ESPN

Recent Articles

Black support essential to Detroit sports

“Few cities have as rich a cultural and sporting history as Detroit,” said the introduction to Grantland’s “Detroit Week” 14-article series published last month.  However, not a single Black person, neither a native Detroiter nor from anyplace else, was in the series. “They don’t care what we [Blacks] care about,” states Eric Pate, a former Detroit sportswriter and sports talk host of mainstream sports journalism sites. Nonetheless, Black Detroiters are proud. “My dad passed in ’99, and he never went to a Tigers game because they were second to last to integrate next to the Boston Red Sox,” recalls Pate. “Once the Pistons moved from the [Pontiac] Silverdome to the Palace, he said, ‘Never again. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

A sports reporter’s spring notebook cleaning

Marlene Stollings’ second hire on her Gopher women’s basketball coaching staff is Nikita (Niki) Dawkins. She is a 23-year coaching veteran who has been a VCU assistant coach the last two seasons and held similar positions at Old Dominion, Michigan and Ohio State, her alma mater. In a released statement, Stollings called Dawkins, whose duties include recruiting coordinator, “one of the top assistants in the country.” She joins Tiffanie Couts, who Stollings named director of basketball operations. Couts was a grad assistant last season at VCU. The women are the only two Blacks on the staff. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

March madness indeed!

 

I just read that University of Florida coach Billy Donovan, as a result of taking his team to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA basketball tourney we know as March Madness, got a contract extension and a large raise. The university is paying him in real cash, not in hamburgers or tattoos or trips on the company’s private jet or promises to help him secure his Ph. D, but $3.6 million in racks and racks of stacks. There is money in them there balls: CBS’s and Turner Broadcasting’s 14-year $10.8 billion contract, NCAA president (plantation director/slave driver) Matt Emmert’s $2 million salary, top NCAA officers’ six-figures salaries, and the new NCAA headquarters is $35 million. Last year’s winning coach Rick Pitino’s salary is $42 million through 2022. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

March graduation rate madness

 

 

A quick prediction for this year’s NCAAs — Black male basketball players’ graduation rates will remain virtually unchanged. While nearly everyone is filling out their brackets, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) released on Monday its annual study on the academic performance of the players in the NCAA Division I tournament teams. The study’s primary author, TIDES Director Dr. Richard Lapchick, compares the graduation rate data of Black and White male basketball student-athletes.  

“There is not much good news to report as almost every category examined remained the same or got worse,” wrote Lapchick. The women teams’ report was released Tuesday. A more detailed analysis will be in next week’s “Another View” in the MSR print edition. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Women in sport films festival features legendary college hoops coaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Besides Black History Month, February also honors the accomplishments of women and girls in sport. The University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport for the past three years has held women’s film screenings at the Gopher football stadium to mark the occasion. Two films from last year’s ESPN’s “Nine for IX” series were featured at the 2014 Tucker Center Film Festival Feb. 6. Coach chronicles Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer, women’s basketball’s winningest active coach with 900+ wins. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Had to watch Whitney Young beat Apple Valley on TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest high school boys’ basketball game of the year, and I couldn’t make it. Parent-teacher conference duties as a social studies teacher at a St. Paul public high school prevented me from attending the Apple Valley-Chicago Whitney Young matchup featuring the nation’s top-ranked player in JAHLIL OKAFOR (Whitney Young) and No. 4-ranked TYUS JONES (Apple Valley). Jones, the No. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Upcoming TV show to address media neglect of women’s sports

Almost half of all athletes are women, but not even five percent are shown in this country’s media. This is expected to be discussed in the upcoming U of M Tucker Center-TPT2 co-produced Media Coverage and Female Athletes on Channel 2 this Sunday, December 1, at 7 pm. Tucker Center Associate Director Nicole LaVoi told the MSR during her group’s 20th-year celebration in October that the show features interviews with academic types, coaches, players and the media. Sadly, this longtime women’s sports reporter wasn’t contacted, but if I had been I would have easily pointed to these examples:

Only two women’s games were shown on ESPN’s college basketball 24-hour tip-off live telecasts despite the availability of three of their eight channels for use during that time. Fox Sports North shows every Timberwolves game live and replays them at least twice afterwards but annually only shows six Minnesota Lynx games — with no repeats. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The WNBA: where it’s been, where it’s going

WNBA media coverage still far short of equitable 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second of a four-part series
 

Although it’s America’s longest running women’s pro league, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is still seen by too many as below major league status. The MSR talked about this and related issues with coaches, players, analysts, fans and league officials throughout the league’s 17th season; their insights are included in this multi-part series on the WNBA. According to Scoreboard for Equality, a new on-line blog that began this summer monitoring women’s sports coverage, America’s longest running women’s pro league championship didn’t make the New York Times’ top sports stories, with just a brief mention in both USA TODAY and the Washington Post. Sports Illustrated had four writers covering baseball playoffs, but only one for the WNBA playoffs. ESPN’s almighty SportsCenter aired the Minnesota Lynx’s three-game sweep of Atlanta only after five other sports stories were aired. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Top WNBA teams hope to peak in playoffs

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The 2013 WNBA Playoffs begin this week: Washington-Atlanta and Indiana-Chicago in the East, and Minnesota-Seattle and Los Angeles-Phoenix in the West in the four best-of-three first-round matchups.  

“When we get into the playoffs, it’s our own destiny,” notes Indiana guard Shavonte Zellous, a member of the 2012 defending champions. The Fever, the only sub-.500 club among the eight playoff teams, has been injury-riddled all season. “We’ve gotten some good wins and some tough losses as well,” explains forward Tamika Catchings. “I think we’ve gotten better from the beginning of the season to now.”

 

“We are going to make a good run,” predicts Zellous. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,