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Gopher guard undaunted by infrequent play

Spotlight on the Gophers 100BLACK GOPHER 100
 

There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players. This week: Gopher junior basketball player Kendal Shell

Near the end of a blowout non-conference Gopher win earlier this season, the Williams Arena’s designated student section began chanting “Play Kendal” for U of M junior guard Kendal Shell to get inserted in the game. To this longtime reporter sitting far too close to the section than preferable, it sounded too much like the silly “Play Ho-se-a” chorus oft-heard during the mid-1990s when fans disrespectfully called for Hosea Crittenden, the diminutive guard seen by many as the Gopher human victory cigar whenever a home win was safely secured. It was no different then than now, over two decades later, as non-student athletes mockingly call for a walk-on student athlete to get in essence “garbage time” on the raised floor. Continue Reading →

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College hoops still stuck on gender equity, racial diversity

But there appears to be agreement on rule changes 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College basketball is now off and running.  Here are a couple of the least-discussed story lines:

 

Gender inequity in sports reigns supreme

ESPN next Monday (November 11) will hold its 24 hours of hoops. Once again the four-letter sports network, using three of its umpteen channels, will show only two women’s basketball games among its 18-game marathon coverage that starts at 6 pm Central next Monday and goes through next Tuesday. And although the two women’s games kick off the coverage, it remains a head scratcher that the self-appointed sports leader can’t or won’t find other female programs to show. After all, if ESPN can dedicate three channels to over 24 hours of live hoops, certainly, if they really were committed to women’s sports coverage besides the typical lip service, then what would it hurt to add a fourth channel for it? But when you ask the ESPN brain wizards about this like I did several years ago during a women’s basketball media conference call, they brushed my inquiries off like dandruff on a dark-colored sweater. Continue Reading →

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Gophers WBB falls again

 

HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. — In a few days, Penn State and several other Big Ten women’s hoop squads will learn where their March playing schedule takes them next. But unlike the regular season champions, the Lady Lions, who are assured their spot, the Gophers aren’t sure of theirs. “We just let the basketball gods figure it out,” admitted U of M Coach Pam Borton last Thursday after her team’s nine-point loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten tourney’s first round as she referred to the NCAA selection committee. “It’s out of our hands,” added Ohio State senior guard Tayler Hill of her Buckeyes’ chances. Continue Reading →

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Message to student-athletes: ‘No means no!’

 

Apparently based on recent events, two suggested prerequisite courses for all college studentathletes at all three NCAA division schools should be, first, an English class on the true meaning of the word “no,” and second a class on “making right choices.”

A former Hamline University men’s basketball player was recently charged with felony second-degree assault after he allegedly hit a woman in the face while in Spokane, Washington on New Year’s Eve. When she heard about the incident, Crystal Flint briefly chatted with one of her sons: “I told him that no one knew how it was going to turn, [but] somebody has to do the morally correct thing and go…at least tell somebody,” she recalls. If Flint, herself a former University of Minnesota student-athlete, is successful in convincing her youngster to do the “morally correct thing,” it will help eradicate the notion of individual willfulness embedded in too many young people’s minds that falsely tells them that whatever they do, rightly or wrongly, is acceptable these days. This notion we adults have somehow, consciously or unconsciously, planted and watered in them, thus enabling them and bankrupting them morally. This is even more so if the young person has been tagged a “star athlete” in his or her formative years, depriving them of understanding and of consistently hearing the word “no.” Sometimes we see a dangerous pattern developing and allow it to go unchecked. Continue Reading →

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Gopher women look strong going into 2013 Big 10 conference play

 

All 12 Big Ten women’s basketball squads begin conference play this week with a winning record. Minnesota (11-3) plays at Michigan State Thursday in East Lansing, then at Wisconsin next Sunday. Gopher Coach Pam Borton told the MSR after her squad’s double-overtime win over Creighton that she believes her squad’s non-conference schedule has readied them for what is to come. “I think we’re prepared,” she pointed out. “We’ve played a wide range of teams. We’ve seen a lot of different types of defenses and offenses, a lot of different styles. Continue Reading →

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Black lawmakers almost killed Title IX

Landmark bill caught in race vs. gender  equity wrangling

 

Long before Title IX, Black females have been participants in sport. “There [always] has been a strong African American women presence in sport,” notes Ohio State Sport Humanities Associate Professor Sarah Fields, author of “Race v. Gender: How Constructions of Title IX Have Failed Women of Color.”

Blacks and other female athletes of color in action scenes were included in racially motivated “endangered exhibits” at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. “In the 1930s…there were strong [women] basketball leagues in some Black colleges, and they played against each other,” continues the professor. Continue Reading →

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New Gophers AD says increasing diversity is ‘high on my radar screen’

 

Has the role of today’s big-time college athletic director changed? We recently put that question to Norwood Teague, who was hired in April to succeed Joel Maturi as University of Minnesota athletics director. “It’s multi-faceted,” explained Teague, formerly the AD at VCU for the past six years, on his new job. “You have to be very cognizant of a lot of different areas.”

Even more so today, the athletic director is more CEO than cheerleader. “[College sports] has become a bigger business and a larger operation. Continue Reading →

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For 30 years now, college football has chased the green

 
Many think it’s time all the workers get their share
 
It went unnoticed, but last week was the 30th anniversary of college football turning into a big green industry. Green as in $$$. From the early 1950s, the NCAA negotiated college football television deals. Then came the 1980s. The College Football Association was formed by a group of schools and got its own TV deal. Continue Reading →

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Hoops odds and ends—Free at last: Charde Houston traded to Phoenix

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

If there was an appropriate theme to summarize last week’s announcement that the Minnesota Lynx traded Charde Houston to Phoenix, it should be:

Free at last! The 6-0 forward, who was a 2009 WNBA All-Star, has been a virtual no-show, making only cameo appearances in Coach Cheryl Reeve’s rotation the last two seasons. Houston barely logged eight minutes a game, and zilch during last year’s playoffs. Although she never publicly complained, I did — but I never really got my questions about her lack of court time answered. I wondered aloud how a player who wasn’t hurt, and just two years earlier averaged 13 points a game, couldn’t get off the bench except for timeouts. Continue Reading →

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Penn State women’s basketball team the top seed in tourney

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Penn State will be the top overall seed in this week’s Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis. The four-day conference tournament starts Thursday. It is the school’s sixth Big Ten regular season title and its first since 2003-04. It also is the first under Coquese Washington. “Last year we surprised people,” the fifth-year head coach said of the Lady Lions’ runners-up finish in the 2011 tourney. Continue Reading →

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