Ran into coach Bobby Braswell at a YMCA youth basketball game, he watching his nephew, I my daughter.
We started talking about things, and I mentioned how sad it was about Staci Schulz being fired as women's basketball coach. Braswell said it's a tough job and people don't understand how tough it is. I knew Braswell did because the Matadome is so pathetic.
This caused Braswell to tell a story of a recruit (no names, since it's an NCAA violation to name someone who hasn't yet signed a letter of intent) from Texas who Braswell and his staff have been hard after for some time, Braswell saying CSUN has been after him the longest. Then Braswell found out that the recruit has scheduled a visit to South Florida.
South Florida broke ground on a 50,000 square foot arena, the Muma Basketball Center, on March 3. School officials said on the school's Web site that construction hopefully will be completed by the end of the year.
The current arena, the Sun Dome, seats 11,400 and looks like an arena: round and in its own building. So does the Muma Center
The Matadome? Not so much. To paraphrase Braswell: Do you really think a guy from Texas -- who plays his high school ball in buildings that resemble college arenas -- really want to come once he sees this place? Braswell thinks he's going to lose on that recruit.
It's too bad that CSUN President Jolene Koester threw her support behind a $125 million Valley Performing Arts Center -- whose construction has been stopped and restarted by budget cuts -- instead of investing a fraction of that behind upgrading the university's athletic facilities.
Although Koester is a regular fixture at CSUN basketball games, she clearly doesn't get it. It is athletics, not theater, that bring a community together.
Braswell said he would like to see bleachers on the second level (as it was when he played there in the 1980s) and put the student section on camera for televised games.
But even with those, he's fighting a losing battle.