Saul Smith

Recent Articles

Message to student-athletes: ‘No means no!’


Apparently based on recent events, two suggested prerequisite courses for all college studentathletes at all three NCAA division schools should be, first, an English class on the true meaning of the word “no,” and second a class on “making right choices.”

A former Hamline University men’s basketball player was recently charged with felony second-degree assault after he allegedly hit a woman in the face while in Spokane, Washington on New Year’s Eve. When she heard about the incident, Crystal Flint briefly chatted with one of her sons: “I told him that no one knew how it was going to turn, [but] somebody has to do the morally correct thing and go…at least tell somebody,” she recalls. If Flint, herself a former University of Minnesota student-athlete, is successful in convincing her youngster to do the “morally correct thing,” it will help eradicate the notion of individual willfulness embedded in too many young people’s minds that falsely tells them that whatever they do, rightly or wrongly, is acceptable these days. This notion we adults have somehow, consciously or unconsciously, planted and watered in them, thus enabling them and bankrupting them morally. This is even more so if the young person has been tagged a “star athlete” in his or her formative years, depriving them of understanding and of consistently hearing the word “no.” Sometimes we see a dangerous pattern developing and allow it to go unchecked. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

U of M assistant coach helps guards transition to college play



The main teaching point Saul Smith stresses to the Minnesota Gophers basketball guards he works with is tempo. “As a former point guard, I think tempo is going to be crucial to any player. “[Controlling] tempo — whether that’s faster or slow, whatever you play — you are going to be more successful. This is what we preach to our guys,” says Smith, the sixth-year assistant coach who helps develop the team guards. Does the fact that he once played guard in college help? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Twitter accounts pose new challenges for college athletes

A new study has found that college student-athletes use Twitter to stay in contact with family and friends, but it also allows fans to be overly negative toward the players. “The Positives and Negatives of Twitter: Exploring How Student Athletes Use Twitter and Respond to Critical Tweets” by Clemson Assistant Communication Studies Professor Jimmy Sanderson and Baylor Assistant Communication Professor Blair Browning, is based on interviews with 20 NCAA athletes. The co-authors also reported that players often get post-game comments that are “critical or even abusive…both performance-wise and personally.” Browning calls such tweets “modern…hate mail.”

The MSR recently asked four University of Minnesota student athletes about their Twitter use:

Junior Maverick Ahanmisi says he occasionally uses it to post pictures “or maybe when I have something that’s really on my mind, then I will use it. I really don’t use it that much.”

“I just got a Twitter account a few months ago, and I’m on it very rarely,” admits senior Leah Cotton. “I use it, but not that often,” adds senior Andre Ingram. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,