Fairleigh Dickinson’s Cinderella Run In The NCAA Tournament Takes Controversial Turn With Questions About Staffer

Farleigh Dickinson Sweet 16

Getty Image

Odds are, a number of college basketball fans knew nothing about Fairleigh Dickinson University prior to the last week.

In fact, they may not have even known the small New Jersey private school, with an enrollment of around 12,000 students, even existed.

But it’s hard to ignore the Knights now. Not after they made history by becoming just the second 16 seed in NCAA Tournament history to knock off a No. 1 seed.

That’s March Madness for you.

Fairleigh Dickinson almost didn’t even get the opportunity. The 16th-seeded Knights snuck into the tournament as one of the final at-large bids after losing the NEC Conference Tournament final to Merrimack.

But they made the most of their opportunity.

FDU blew away Texas Southern, 84-61, in the play-in round. That set up a monster David vs. Goliath matchup with top-seeded Purdue.

Head coach Tobin Anderson, however, didn’t back down. Anderson told his players he believed they could go and beat Purdue.

And that’s just what they went and did.

The Knights stunned to Boilermakers, joining UMBC (in 2018 vs. Virginia) as 16th-seeded teams to knock off No. 1.

Ultimately, Fairleigh Dickinson’s run came to an end with a 78-70 loss to 9th-seeded Florida Atlantic in round two. But it was still the type of run that lives on in history.

However, there appears to be a catch.

Fairleigh Dickinson Under Fire For Use Of Student As Basketball SID

One of the most remarkable parts of FDU’s run is its Director of Athletic Media Relations, Jordan Sarnoff. Sarnoff is just a junior at the university and fills a role usually reserved for someone with far more experience.

The media relations director of Division I college basketball program is, without a doubt, a full-time gig. Some were amazed by Sarnoff’s story. But others felt it was a bit more insidious…

Many believe the university is taking advantage of Sarnoff’s willingness to gain experience to avoid properly paying for the position.


Sarnoff’s LinkedIn page shows he also handles men’s soccer and women’s bowling sports information director duties. That’s a tall task. So what say you? Awesome experience? Unfair exploitation? Or a bit of both?