Friday, February 12, 2016
School Desk

Taking measure of Masiello

By Maya Rajamani
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Christian Kearney, a junior at Manhattan College, says he is fine with the fact his school welcomed basketball coach Chris Masiello back after a resume scandal.

It was a roller coaster of events: a basketball coach led his team to its first NCAA tournament in a decade, only to see the players’ dreams crushed by the opposing team. After the loss, he spun his successes into another job, only to see the offer withdrawn after a mistruth on his resume came to light.

The story of Manhattan College’s coach Steve Masiello could have made for a sports movie, but for students at Manhattan College, it was prime fodder for an ethical debate. 

On April 7, Manhattan College released a statement announcing it would reinstate Mr. Masiello as head coach once he completes his degree at the University of Kentucky, the college where he studied and played hoops as an undergraduate — but never finished his degree, as a University of South Florida investigation found out. 

Manhattan sophomore Matthew Lucey chastised the college for reinstating the coach, equating its decision to “selling our values for sports championships.” 

“We gave him a chance because we’re dying to have him back, especially after he agreed to a contract with USF,” said Mr. Lucey, who felt ethics were not present in the debate to restore Mr. Masiello to his position. 

Junior Dean Gizzo, a chemical engineering student, agreed with Mr. Lucey’s sentiments. For Mr. Gizzo, the school placed its desire to have a successful basketball team over its commitment to Catholic virtues. 

“I think it was a business decision and not a morality decision,” he said. “I think that’s not what Manhattan College is about.”

Other students were less certain that the school’s decision went against its morals. For sophomore Colin Lynch, there was no way to make an ethical determination about the situation without knowing more about the factors surrounding the lie on the resume. 

“If we knew whether he purposely did it or not, then we could say whether it was a good decision or not,” he said.   

Philosophy major Pat King felt the decision warranted a deeper discussion of ethics. 

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I can understand how welcoming Steve Masiello back to Manhattan College might be a problem for some. However, Manhattan is founded on the Lasallian principles of St. John Baptist De La Salle and forgiveness is certainly one of those principles. Also, welcoming back The Prodigal Son is certainly a Christian thing to do. I believe Manhattan made the correct decision.

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