Open Letter: President Virjee disrespected Daily Titan Sports

In Sports, Sports
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President Framroze M. Virjee,

With all due respect, your open letter to the Orange County Register regarding their lack of coverage of Cal State Fullerton Athletics is disrespectful.

The Daily Titan takes pride in publishing daily stories about the Titans in their Big West matchups and friendly competitions. You went out of your way to address a publication 6.4 miles away from you, while the Daily Titan sports desk sits four floors beneath your office.

Our circulation is not necessarily the highest, but as a whole, the Daily Titan and Titan TV productions cover topics that go unnoticed by the university. We provide a voice for CSUF students and its community.

In your tweet, you expressed your displeasure with the OC Register. You called for better coverage, but failed to recognize the hard-working students who already provide it.

You are frustrated that the OC Register gave CSUF men’s basketball a 200-word spread about their Big West Tournament games, but Jordan Mendoza, a Daily Titan sports editor, wrote about the three games in three days, staying late at night in the Honda Center so they could be published immediately.

The CSUF versus USC baseball game where the Titans blew past the Trojans in a 10-4 win had a 485-word spread in the Daily Titan’s sports section. We published a recap with a one-minute, 21-second video on Twitter about the game, and how infielder Hank LoForte stretched his nation-best on-base streak to 59 consecutive games.

At the time of this letter’s publication, the tweet has six retweets and 20 likes — which is a lot for the Daily Titan Sports Twitter account which has almost 850 followers. This tweet was liked and retweeted by others, but we did not see any likes or retweets from you.

Last semester, Julius Choi, previously an assistant copy editor and currently a co-sports editor, wrote a profile on cross-country runner Samantha Huerta after she was named Big West athlete of the week. That same weekend he covered the Big West Championships where a CSUF runner collapsed after crossing the finish line and suffered a seizure due to dehydration.

This semester, four reporters and a photographer woke up before the crack of dawn to drive over 350 miles to Scottsdale, Arizona to cover CSUF baseball in the inaugural weekend of the MLB4 Tournament.

We were at a constant state of sleep deprivation, hunger and subject to freezing that weekend as we reported from Salt River Fields at Talking Stick while the Titans took on Texas Christian University, Vanderbilt and the University of Virginia.

Former CSUF baseball head coach Dave Serrano, who currently writes for Baseball America, praised the Daily Titan for sending reporters to the monumental weekend.

Dedicated sideline reporter Brandy Flores spends her weeks carrying camera equipment to CSUF games to highlight wins or losses for the weekly show production of Titan Sports. With a campus that is 241-acres, that camera equipment becomes tiresome quickly — especially when flights of stairs and wet grounds are involved.

 

Titan Sports works alongside us at every home game to ensure our community can truly experience Titan Athletics. Like us, Titan Sports is run solely by students, and they receive no academic credit. They are fueled by their desire to report the truth of sports on their campus.

Not only do we tell the stories of the athletes that represent CSUF, we tell the stories of fans who devote a majority of their time and spend their hard-earned money to attend games and exemplify their #TitanPride. The OC Register does not do any of this.

We understand the OC Register is being compensated by the university for their coverage, but the Daily Titan advertising department spends countless hours in the morning’s cold-calling businesses so the paper can continue its independent coverage of CSUF, the city of Fullerton and Orange County.

Although we are independent of the university, the Daily Titan spends late nights and early mornings covering every aspect of CSUF. We get into the newsroom in the early afternoon and leave in the early morning. So why would the university pay for another publication to talk about the school, when the result of our labor at the Daily Titan has led to numerous awards, especially in the last three weeks.

The sports desk is present on social media, but we hardly see you like or retweet our content.

In your open letter to the OC Register, you attempted to defend the importance of the university’s teams. But in doing so, you offended the editors and reporters of the Daily Titan sports desk, along with the producers, sideline reporters and anchors of Titan Sports.

Last semester, Megan Garcia put her heart, soul and tears into the sports section. She did not pass a class because rather than studying, she was sitting behind a desk and fact-checking countless previews and game recaps.  

We prioritize CSUF Division I teams before our school work and well-being. Unfortunately, it seems that it has gone unnoticed by you, President Virjee, and we see where your priorities are.

Respectfully,

Megan Garcia (Senior Editor, former Sports Editor)

Brandy Flores (Executive Producer of Titan Sports)

Julius Choi (Sports Editor)

Jordan Mendoza (Sports Editor)

Arnulfo Gonzalez Jr. (Assistant Sports Editor)

Matthew Mendoza (Assistant Sports Editor)

Demetrious Herrera (Assistant Sports Editor)

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