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Many people in the USF community are excited about the run our basketball team has made over the...

Many people in the USF community are excited about the run our basketball team has made over the course of the season. Here we sit on the eve of Selection Sunday and the South Florida Bulls may be competing in the ultimate postseason tournament. One of the ultimate pipe dreams becoming a reality. For fans it is exciting and stressful but for those of us who lived this, it is intensely personal. Before I continue let me share a little bit about myself, from 2005-2008 I served as the team manager for the Men’s basketball team. I scrubbed floors, ran the clock and did whatever the coaches and players asked me to do. I also was a first-hand witness to a program that was woefully unprepared for the rigors of big time basketball. It wasn’t that people didn’t care or we had a bunch of rotten apples in our group. In fact, it was the opposite. All of us worked tirelessly day and night to try and make our program into something worthwhile. However, we were hamstrung by the environment that surrounded us and couldn’t recruit the players necessary (with few exceptions of course) to compete at the highest levels of the game. Through personnel and coaching changes it always seemed like we would chase our tail. This is why from the construction of the Muma Center to the renovation of the Sun Dome and to this incredible season our team has had it is the most rewarding experience in sports I’ve ever had. I along with countless others suffered for three years working in the basement of a deteriorating arena while we had to fight through junior cheerleaders in order to get to a gym that would allow us to start practice on time and now that same school could be competing in the NCAA tournament. I won’t get into the technical X &O’s, RPI’s and bubbles, I’ll leave that to the alleged experts. All that I know is this, at around 6:30 on Sunday evening I’m going to be in tears for one reason or another because the program that I have literally bled for will either attain an unthinkable reality or be snubbed by academic elites. The pain is almost unbearable, I’ve been moody and impatient with anyone who is ignorant about the game and I’ve hardly slept the last two days. However, in a short while the band aid gets ripped off for all of us and for me it cannot come soon enough.

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