UMHB Classroom

As an educator and ex-coach, I see the classroom as the arena, or court, that hosts the daily competition between each student, the class, and the teacher. We compete to help each other strive toward the achievement of learning, the attainment of knowledge, or a skill, and understanding. The goal of our striving is to bring about learning in all the participants. The most exciting competitions are the ones in which competitors play their best. I believe this competitive environment can also be created in the classroom, but it requires a different take on how we approach our work.

The challenges of the conflict between academics and athletics, educating versus the focus on just eligibility, are very difficult because so many variables impact the outcome. My hope is that this one small perspective change to educating, seeing it as competere, may bring us all one step closer to our ideals.

I leave you with this thought, “Which possess to be a more difficult challenge, creating that perfect bracket or the worlds of athletics and academics co-existing?” How can we do better?


Benzie, M. (2019, August). The longest an NCAA bracket has ever stayed perfect. Retrieved from

Dodson, A. (2017, June). All the NBA draft’s one-and-done lottery picks: A scorecard. Retrieved from

Speight, C. (2018, February). The success and future of the one-and-done. Retrieved from

Written by Lester Sombito, Ph.D. '96
Associate Professor, School of Exercise & Sport Science I am blessed. I love what I do, learning and teaching students about the commodification of sport, and where I do it, UMHB. Aside from my faith and my family, UMHB has played a pivotal role in my life. I attended the university as a freshman in 1992 and graduated in 1996. I have served the university in a variety of roles, such as admissions counselor and residence hall director. God's journey for my life took me to serve as a head tennis coach at the collegiate level prior to my current faculty position. Aside from teaching, my time is invested in the following activities, being a husband, a father to two girls, and other enjoyable experiences such as tennis, running, reading, cooking, and woodworking.



Page last updated June 09, 2023

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