Jane Teixeira addresses student concern over football program’s stay on campus
***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines***
The Humboldt State Athletics Department was notified that the San Jose State football team was coming to HSU the same time the general student and staff population of campus were told.
With the notice coming late on Sept. 29, the first chance that the department had to discuss matters was the following day with the Spartans roughly 24 hours away.
“I got the same information at the same time that everybody else got the information on campus,” HSU Athletics Director Jane Teixeira said.
SJSU anticipates spending $100,000 to $150,000 in total while at HSU. This includes meals, housing, use of Humboldt State’s facilities and round trip bus fare per San Jose State’s media relations.
It is currently unclear as to how much of this estimated budget belongs to Humboldt State or how that money will be distributed.
On Tues. Oct. 13, Santa Clara County moved into the orange tier from the red tier, meaning that COVID-19 guidelines will be loosened.
According to San Jose State football social media and Humboldt State University, the team will be leaving the HSU campus on Oct. 14 following the announcement that Santa Clara County will allow the Spartans to hold practices on their own campus once again.
According to an email sent out to HSU students on Tuesday Oct. 13 if conditions do get worse in Santa Clara County again.
“Should Santa Clara County return to the red tier, HSU will consult with Humboldt County Public Health and SJSU about the viability of the team’s return to HSU to proceed safely for practice and/or competition.” Humboldt State said in the email.
Teixeria explained that she has not been involved with any contract negotiations between HSU and SJSU, but believes the arrangement is similar to any rental of the Redwood Bowl.
“I believe that they are renting our facilities and paying for them like any other outside group would be able to do,” Teixeira said.
Student concerns surrounding a large group of people coming onto campus was addressed by Emergency Management Coordinator Cris Jones Koczera. Koczera said that since the team arrived, the Athletics department has been working with local county health officials.
Koczera believes the chances of the SJSU bringing COVID-19 with them is very low considering the team is subject to mandatory testing once per week before the Mountain West season begins, and three times per week when competition starts.
“Because of the frequency of testing that was required both by the state and by local county public health, they are by far the most tested individuals, probably in our entire county right now,” Koczera said.
The Athletics Department became aware of frustration coming from the rec sports organizations on campus which prompted Teixeira to hold a meeting with members of those groups on Sept. 30.
For Division 1 athletes, there is immense pressure to perform well and do whatever they are told to do as part of their respective athletic programs. Teixeria pointed out that while the SJSU football team is on our campus, they did not directly make the decision to come here themselves as individuals.
“It’s really important to know that the student athletes and the coaches and the student workers and the people that are up here from San Jose State are just following the lead of their leadership,” Teixeira said. “Just like we’re just following the lead of our leadership and I think it’s important that our individuals or people who are out in the community understand that this is by no fault of their own.”
Hard to imagine the AD being out of the loop on this decision, Thomas, so the most important question remains (and please get and report the answer soon): who did make the decision to “host” the SjSU football team at HSU? Excellent staff editorial last week on this issue, by the way.