Editor’s Note: Each week we publish an interview with the SMBA ’14 Student of the Week. The winner of the Student of the Week (awarded by the previous winner) sits in the front row of class and proudly displays a flag of his or her choice on the famous Tez statue. Brian Regan is our next winner for his quality participation in class and with speakers.
KC Niedermeyr: From one East Coaster to another, I would like to congratulate you on being Student of the Week. You are from the Northeast and went to undergrad in Maryland. What made you pick up and move to the West Coast?
Brian Regan: I had actually always wanted to move to California from a really young age, mostly due to being a huge San Francisco 49ers fan. However, I came out to San Diego on vacation in 2008 and knew that this was the ideal spot for me. I almost didn’t go back home, but I figured it’d be wise to finish college. So I did that and moved out to San Diego less than a year after completing school.
KN: You have been out of school now for almost four years now. Why did you decide that this was the time to go back to school to get a graduate degree?
BR: There’s really a multitude of reasons for why I went back, but at the forefront was me realizing how important it is to do something that you love for “work.” Work takes up way too much of our lives for it not to be enjoyable, so as a result, I luckily found the SDSU sports MBA program, and saw it as the perfect opportunity to mesh a lifelong love of sports with an advanced degree.
KN: From our previous conversation I know that your career aspirations are in football. Is that your favorite sport? If so why and if not which one is?
BR: Yes, football is my favorite sport. I just love the numerous elements of the game that make it great for both the players and the viewers. Football combines the violence (hitting) that creates excitement, with a great deal of athleticism, teamwork, and intelligence. I feel that football offers unparalleled lessons for players in toughness, hard work, teamwork, dedication and so on. Furthermore, the fact that “any given Sunday” holds true at the game’s highest level, truly provides intrigue for viewers in practically every game.
KN: I see that you played rugby in college. Since that is not a prominent US sport, how did you get involved in it?
BR: I actually became involved because a bunch of my friends went out for the team my freshman year and coerced me to try out. Having always played a sport while in school, I figured why not? I get to do something with my friends, plus I get to hit people.
KN: What is it about the sports industry that draws you to it? Is there a defining moment?
BR: I’ve always held a very high avidity for sports, whether it was playing them while growing up as kid, in video games, or watching any and everything that was sports-related on TV. Since I can’t be an athlete I figure the next best thing in life would be to work in the sports business. I don’t know that there’s been a defining moment, however, I think it was a matriculation of both my interests in the sports business, as well as dissatisfaction with what I was doing for a career prior to joining the program, that ultimately made me decide it was time to follow my dreams and apply to the program.
KN: We have already completed seven classes toward our sports MBA. Which one was your favorite and why?
BR: My favorite class, although grueling in format, was Sports Law. I really enjoyed learning about the history of sports, and how we arrived at the systems/league structures that we are currently operating in today. I think this knowledge will be a huge asset going forwards in understanding ways in which certain leagues can be improved, but also should be a requirement for all people in sports business to know.
KN: If you had the chance to change one rule in any sport, what would it be and why?
BR: Tough question … but after watching the NBA playoffs (Heat vs. Pacers most specifically), I would start throwing players out of games for flopping. I understand there’s an element of gamesmanship, but what happened to the good ole days when not being able to be knocked down was a good thing (sign of toughness, manliness, etc.)? Naturally, there’d be questions about what if the refs get it wrong, but I’d say who cares? Keep kicking them out until the practice has been scared out of the game. I’d apply this to all sports, but the NBA has seemed to overtake soccer in the acting department, so it should be applied there for starters.