Are today’s Black athletes that oblivious to their history? Many either don’t know or don’t want to know when Black athletes were consistent targets for the then-and-still-majority-White media. Times, they say, are different now — Black athletes don’t have to go through what Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali did, along with their contemporaries as well as those who opened the doors for them. It’s sad that today’s Black athletes don’t know, or don’t want to know, just how much the Browns, Abdul-Jabbars and Alis took their social consciousness seriously, even at the expense of their illustrious careers. That these men and others like them cared more about representing their heritage, their Blackness, than endorsement deals. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
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 →
By Charles Hallman
A seven-game review of Minnesota women’s basketball at this point of the season yields the following three points:
First point: Billed before the season as the missing piece, Rachel Banham thus far seemingly has made a smoother transition as freshman starting point guard than her male counterpart Andre Hollins (more on him later). “I think she’s doing a great job getting a feel of things, and she’s playing a lot of minutes. She’s really pushing tempo and keeping our team playing fast,” surmises Coach Pam Borton. Second point: Will junior Leah Cotton ever play “unplugged”? Yes, she makes mistakes (i.e., silly fouls), but often makes up for it with hustle and ball hawking on defense. Continue Reading →