Recent Articles

Inclusive candidates for Borton’s replacement



The news wasn’t even an hour old before a local daily newspaper posted on their website a list of possible candidates to succeed Pam Borton as Minnesota women’s basketball coach. Not one, however, of the eight current head coaches and six assistant coaches suggested for the position was of color. The Gophers probably hadn’t gotten back in town after last Thursday’s loss at South Dakota State before Minnesota AD Norwood Teague simply inserted the final date on Borton’s “Dear Jane” dismissal letter — the same type letter that former coach Tubby Smith received last year. Every time I saw Teague at a Gopher game during the season, he looked like he was just counting days, hours and minutes before he could zap her out. The former coach had been on shaky ground since last season. Continue Reading →

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Black History Month: now more than ever







By Marc H. Morial

Guest Commentator


“There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.” — Lonnie Bunch, founding director, National Museum of African American History and Culture


Ever since the 2009 election of Barack Obama as America’s first Black president and the 100th anniversary of the National Urban League in 2010, the perennial debate about the need for Black History Month has intensified. Some have questioned the need for a special month to recognize the many unknown and unsung achievements of African Americans. With Obama as president, the logic goes, we have now achieved Dr. King’s dream of a non-racial America where everyone is judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I wish it were so. Continue Reading →

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PBS commemorates television show that featured the best in gospel music



By Charles Hallman
Staff writer


Over the course of three decades, the late Sid Ordower brought the greats and some-to-be greats in gospel music each week on local Chicago television. The likes of Albertina Walker, Mahalia Jackson, Mavis Staples — along with her sisters and their father, James Cleveland, and Otis Clay routinely appeared on Jubilee Showcase, a half-hour long show that ran from 1963-1984. Beginning November 30 and throughout the month of December, PBS will air a 50th anniversary commemorative television special on Jubilee Showcase, said his son Steve Ordower in a recent MSR phone interview. “He was an owner-operator [of his shows], which was pretty rare back in those days,” he explains. “Unfortunately, the first 13 episodes were erased, and he was livid. Continue Reading →

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College football games aren’t cheap, either

Last week we looked at the high cost of attending a Vikings game, but is attending college football games significantly cheaper than pro football games? To quote Les McCann and Eddie Harris — compared to what? Using again Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index (FCI), the average cost of a Gopher football game for tickets, food, parking and game souvenirs is around $400, nearly $50 cheaper than a Minnesota Vikings game. “I think we’re one of the lowest ticket prices in the Big Ten,” U of M Deputy Athletics Director David Benedict told the MSR last week. “Based on where we are in relation to our conference peers, we are very affordable because we are on the low end of the scale.”

We examined football single-game ticket prices at all 12 conference schools, as well as Maryland and Rutgers, who both are expected to join the Big Ten in 2014. Continue Reading →

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The Good Wife Works – The other woman




Tonya (not her real name) didn’t think of herself as a jealous woman. In fact, she remembered that while waiting in a long line and talking to the man next to her, when she wrote down on a slip of paper something the man said, a woman marched up to Tonya and demanded, “Did he give you his cell phone number?”

“No. Should he have?” Tonya felt sorry for her. Item (Associated Press, October 2011): A Wisconsin woman aimed a gun at her fiancé’s head after finding him with another woman in the basement of his home. When the gun didn’t fire, she stabbed him. 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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