Lea B. Olsen

Recent Articles

WNBA players’ dilemma: Make money abroad or stay home and rest?

A  “time off bonus” of up to $50,000 a player can earn for “limiting their overseas play to three months or less” is part of the collective bargaining agreement signed earlier this year by the WNBA players and the league. But is 50 grand enough of an enticement to keep them from going overseas or shortening their time there? “I think that all of the athletes can and should take advantage of the situation to stay home and get that bonus,” advises Columbia College Chicago Assistant Sports Management Professor Monique Maye, whose sports management company also represents female pro players. She believes that the players could instead use the WNBA off-season for attending graduate school or working in their collegiate field of study. “There are so many things out there that they can do using their degrees,” continues Maye. Continue Reading →

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Spotlight on the Gophers 100

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. Beginning this week and throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players. This week: Gopher sophomore volleyball player Daly Santana

Although last Wednesday’s Minnesota-Wisconsin volleyball match wasn’t billed that way, it featured an “Only One” matchup as U of M soph outside hitter Daly Santana and Twin Cities native Dominique Thompson, a U of W junior, were the

only players of color that night at the Sports Pavilion. Santana finished with 10 kills, 11 digs, and had one of the team’s three aces in the 3-1 regular-season home finale win. “You look at her performance tonight — it was really strong,” remarked Gopher Coach Hugh McCutcheon afterwards. Continue Reading →

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

How to better promote the WNBA
 

 

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.  

The WNBA has over the course of its existence used season-long promotions that frankly bombed. “We Got Next” and posing star players in evening gowns are just two sad examples. Prior to last spring’s draft, the W launched a new logo as part of what League President Laurel Richie called its “rebranding initiative.” Then came its “3 To See” campaign, for which the president credited ESPN with the season-long theme. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota ‘the team to beat’ in 2013 WNBA playoffs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the closing scene of the series finale together sang, “It’s a long, long way to Tipperary.” To initially begin our WNBA playoffs discussion, we note that it’s simply a long, long way to seven wins, the required number needed to capture a championship trophy next month. Winning the first in a best-of-three series generally puts additional pressure on the other team that now must win the next two contests to advance. Several “insiders” recently shared their thoughts and prognostications with the MSR on the 2013 WNBA eight-team playoffs that begin Thursday. “I think it will be a battle between those two [on] who will come out of the West,” says Indiana Coach Lin Dunn on Minnesota and Los Angeles, seeded one and two respectively in the West. Asked about her club’s

post-season chances, Dunn says, “Right now we’re not a great team, but we got a chance.”

“It doesn’t matter where you are going into the playoffs as long as you get in,” adds Indiana forward Tamika Catchings on the Fever’s 4th-seed position in the East. Continue Reading →

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In final analysis, Title IX created ‘unprecedented opportunities’

 

After 40 years of existence, Title IX still raises the hair on the necks of those critics who strongly feel the federal law hurts men’s sports. These naysayers continue to propagandize this lie. However, more often than not it seems that White females have been the main beneficiaries of the equity legislation since its passage 40 years ago. “I think it has been a law that helped all women,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison law student Valyncia Raphael. “But I think right now the conversation does not acknowledge that there are different types of women who have benefited from the law in different ways.”

Raphael made her observation during a national Title IX conference held last spring at the University of Michigan. Continue Reading →

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View’s top stories, overused words of 2011

 

The Associated Press (AP) last week released its list of 2011’s top 10 sports stories. “Another View” has our own top 10, or what should have been the top local sports stories of this year:

The Minnesota Lynx: The only local major league team to participate in their respective league post-season. However, the Lynx went one step further — they won the WNBA championship in October, and the MSR proudly provided more coverage from preseason to All-Star Game, where a record four Lynx players were selected to finals, than any local publication. Faith Johnson: The longtime successful head coach this past spring became the first Black female high school basketball coach to win state girls’ titles at two different Minneapolis schools (North and DeLaSalle). Sandy Stephens: The first Black quarterback to lead a Division I school to a national championship as well as the last quarterback to lead Minnesota to a Rose Bowl victory finally got recognized in November by being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Continue Reading →

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