A lot of sweat goes into running the Butler men’s basketball team, but not all of it is produced by the players on the court.
The student managers for the team put in as many hours as the players themselves do.
“It’s a full-time commitment,” Scott Schmelzer, a junior manager, said. “The only time we’re not there with the players is when they are lifting.”
The team currently has four student managers not including Schmelzer, who is away from his duties this semester interning in Washington, D.C.
Student managers have the responsibility of getting things prepared for players prior to practices and contests.
“We have to be at every practice 45 minutes before it starts and an hour and a half before a game starts to set up,” Mason Dettmer, sophomore manager, said.
As far as the duties a student manager has to undertake, Schmelzer said it is all about making the players and coaches feel more at home.
“We set up all the equipment, make sure [the players] have their laundry and handle the filming duties and serve as a passer or a rebounder during practices or just whenever they need another man on the floor,” Schmelzer said. “We just try to ease the burden on the players and make it so that the coaches don’t have to do as much either.”
While student managers could desire such a job for a number of reasons, Dettmer said a love of the game of basketball was the reason he decided to take the role.
“I’m a huge basketball fan, and I played in high school, so I missed being part of a team, and I thought being a manager would be the next best thing,” Dettmer said.
Freshman manager Jared Todd said being part of the Butler squad now will benefit him in future endeavors.
“I want to be a basketball coach someday, and there are no better people to learn from than coach Stevens and all of his assistants and really from our whole program,” Todd said.
Assistant coach Terry Johnson said the student managers’ positions help prepare them for future coaching positions by being able to observe the Butler coaching staff firsthand.
“[The important things are] being able to see us operate everyday, how we prepare and to know how important their job is,” Johnson said. “It’s a really important task that we don’t have to worry about because they’ve got it taken care of.”
Johnson said the managers are a significant asset to the basketball program that should not be overlooked.
“They are extremely valuable,” Johnson said. “They are really no different from our players, other than the fact they’re not on scholarship.
“We depend on them just as much as we depend on our players to perform on game day.”