Recent Articles

Godzilla strikes again

Godzilla, a “radiation-mutated creature” who has been the star of several Japanese-based movies since the mid-1950s, typically stomps its way around smashing things until it is finally subdued. A real-life Godzilla earlier this month got even stronger, thanks to the NCAA. The NCAA board of directors voted 16-2 to give the Big 5 — Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12, the most powerful and richest collegiate conferences — the ability to “unilaterally change” rules that for years applied to all 350 Division I schools. Now 64 schools, including Minnesota, that currently belong to these conferences could, beginning in January, make up their own rules regarding stipends, recruiting, and practice time limits, for example. Even though all conferences will have this “autonomy umbrella,” smaller leagues like the SWAC and the MAC will be like those airplanes trying to shoot down Godzilla in those movies as the Big 5 will be

able to flex their muscles at ease. Continue Reading →

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Game of Change: Racial integration of basketball didn’t end discrimination


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Last Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the Loyola (Chicago)-Mississippi State NCAA regional semi-finals game played at Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich. on March 15, 1963. This week, “Sports Odds and Ends” features an “Another View” column originally published in the MSR April 30, 2009 edition on the contest called the “Game of Change.”  


Many believe that the 1966 Texas Western men’s basketball team with five Black starters, who defeated an all-White Kentucky squad for that year’s national title, cemented integration in college sports. But actually, a game played three years earlier poured the final mixture, so to speak. An all-White Mississippi State team played Loyola, with four Black starters, in the1963 NCAA Mideast Regional in East Lansing, Michigan. Continue Reading →

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HBCU Tennessee State plays Gophers here this week

Cupcakes — this is the insulting term local media often uses to undervalue, underestimate and margainize the Gophers men’s basketball non-conference opponents each season. Former coach Clem Haskins hated such annual references to his early-season schedule, which included at least one Historically Black College and University (HBCU) school each year. “Not only is it financially beneficial to them [the visiting team gets a guaranteed payout plus a portion of the gate receipts], but it also exposes them to a great city and a great atmosphere and Big Ten basketball,” explains Gopher Coach Tubby Smith on scheduling Tennessee State (TSU) at Williams Arena this Thursday at 7 pm. “That’s what we try to do on a yearly basis.”

Nearly 20 players who played at TSU, including Dick Barnett, Leonard “Truck” Robinson and Anthony Mason, were later drafted and distinguished themselves with long pro careers in the NBA. The late John McLendon, who learned and put into practice the fast break from James Naismith, won over 87 percent of his games as head coach in the 1950s. Continue Reading →

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