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Sports odds and ends: Hill’s college career earns her high praise as ‘a special talent’

 

Despite playing sick, Tayler Hill poured in 24 points last week in her last collegiate visit to her hometown. In the process, the Ohio State senior guard and former Minneapolis

South standout surpassed 1,700 career points — to do so, she needed only three points coming into last Thursday’s contest against Minnesota. “I actually didn’t know about it,” admitted Hill afterwards of the career mark. The 5-10 guard has the Big Ten’s longest active double-figure scoring streak. Hill reached the 50-game mark against the Gophers and leads the conference in scoring just over 21 points a game (11th nationally), and also leads the league in minutes played (32 minutes a contest). Continue Reading →

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HBCU coaches tend to see athletes as students first

 

The latest NCAA graduation rates report shows that overall Division I student-athletes graduate at 80 percent, but the oft-overlooked fact is that Black student-athletes graduate at least 20 percent lower than their White counterparts. Even a sport-by-sport breakdown analysis points out that Blacks lag behind Whites in every sport ranging anywhere from 12 percentage points (women’s basketball) to 23 points (men’s basketball). This “significant graduation gap” between University of Minnesota Black and White student-athletes over a five-year period was the focus of a MSRfront-page article this week. Sadly, most of us, especially in the Black community, rather direct our outrage toward who gets voted off reality show islands or dancing shows than publicly demanding an answer to why our Black athletes — most of which aren’t going to the pros after college — are not graduating from predominately White institutions at the same rate, if not better, than White athletes. Seemingly too many Black parents are delusional about getting rich quick off their son or daughter: University of Washington-Vancouver English Professor Thabiti Lewis recently offered such an example. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota suits Puerto Rican native just fine, weather and all

 

It’s been almost a year since Daly Santana’s first-ever experience of Minnesota. “It was real cold,” she quickly recalled of her visit here last December. The cold weather didn’t discourage the Puerto Rico native from signing with the Gophers. “Still, I knew this was the place I had to be. I just love it,” says the 6-1 Santana, who is the U of M volleyball team’s only player of color. 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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Hall of Fame coach took father’s advice, stood up for what’s right

 

 

I first met C. Vivian Stringer back in the late 1980s when she was the head coach at Iowa and I was a radio reporter covering the visiting Gophers there. She discussed at length her concerns about Proposition 48, then a new NCAA-passed measure that was controversial because of its perceived impact on incoming Black student-athletes. Stringer’s lengthy and emotional response came after the post-game press conference, and it was just the two of us still in the room. The two of us were together again a couple of weeks ago in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Stringer, now the head coach at Rutgers, was the featured speaker at the SHARP Center seminar on Title IX, and this print reporter was supposedly on vacation. Continue Reading →

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Gopher women on their own this summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

The Gopher women are a couple of weeks removed from their first-ever WBI championship. “There were only three teams that get to win their last game, and we were one of those,” notes Coach Pam Borton. It wasn’t the NCAAs or WNIT, but the little-known tourney gave Borton’s 10 returning players an experience plank to build upon. “It was an upswing,” continues the coach. “I think we accomplished some things that we hadn’t accomplished the two previous years before. Continue Reading →

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Father-daughter duo might be Gophers hoops first

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Gopher basketball has previously had parent-sibling combinations on its bench: Former head coach Clem Haskins hired his son Brent as an assistant, and Saul Smith currently is an assistant coach on his father Tubby Smith’s staff. But K-Anna Loyd is the first Black female team manager on the school’s women’s basketball team since 2000. Second-year Assistant Coach Curtis Loyd is her father. This might be an historic first in this regard in Gopher hoops history — a father-daughter duo. A student team manager’s job is more than just that of ball boys and ball girls, as most people believe. Continue Reading →

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Time to dispense with the ‘One Plays’?

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The Big Ten for several seasons has assembled 16-game regular-season schedules in which each team has six single-game opponents each year. Minnesota, for example, only plays Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern once each this season. Now that the conference has 12 teams, one would think a return to a round-robin league schedule — each Big Ten squad plays its opponent twice (once home and once away) — is in the near future. The MSR last week asked Indiana Coach Felisha Legette-Jack if it’s time to do away with the league’s “One Plays” format. 

“I’m totally optimistic that they [conference schedulers] are going to get it right this time,” she opined after her Hoosiers completed their one-game slate with the Gophers, losing 84-43 to the hosts.  

Colorful present and past

Overall there have been 23 Black head basketball coaches in the Big Ten, 13 males and 10 females. Continue Reading →

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Pops would have been proud

 

 

My father KWAME MCDONALD never let an opportunity slip by when it came to supporting the youth of St. Paul. This past month I did a little traveling to support some former prep stars as they embark on their college careers. Here is a short summary of my travels:

Saturday, November 5: Traveled with former St. Paul Central boys’ basketball standout RONNIE SMITH (1976) to watch his son CAMERON, a point guard for the JV men’s basketball team at Waldorf College (Iowa) and a former St. Continue Reading →

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