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Civil rights tour opened students’ eyes to Black history

 Spring break trip field trip encouraged thoughts of college, attending HBCUs

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


Over 40 Minneapolis Public Schools’ (MPS) Black high school students, instead of spending spring break on a sunny beach, traveled down south by bus on a “Civil Rights Research Tour.” The five-day tour (March 31-April 5) took the students to Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia and stopped at several historic sites, including the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four young Black girls died in 1964. For some students, the trip also included stops at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Four of the participants spoke to the MSR last week about their experience. “It helped me learn more about my history,” said Edison junior Nailah Heard. “I never heard of the 16th Street Church at all,” added Edison’s classmate Jasmine Valentine. Continue Reading →

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Redlining targets Black Minnesotans and neighborhoods

Wells Fargo leads pack according to U of M report on sub-prime lenders

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


A new University of Minnesota Law School study shows that Blacks and other communities of color and low-income residents in the Twin Cities still lack access to credit. It is an update of a 2009 study that found that Blacks and Latinos — even with “very high income[s] — were much more likely to get sub-prime loans than very low-income White applicants.”

“It’s hard to believe that systemically a Black family that is making $157,000 a year is less likely to qualify for a prime loan than a White family that earns 40 [thousand a year],” noted Myron Orfield, the director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, which is housed at the U of M Law School. The report also shows that Blacks and other people of color who live in two North Minneapolis neighborhoods had the highest number of sub-prime loans compared to Whites in the same neighborhoods: 59 percent for people of color compared to 42 percent Whites in Near North; and 55 percent for people of color in Camden compared to 29 percent for Whites. These two areas also “were most dramatically affected” among Twin Cities neighborhoods. “Our report [reveals] discrimination in lending against individuals on the basis of race, and also discrimination in lending against neighborhoods on the basis of race,” noted Orfield, who heads the U of M Law School’s

Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (IMO). Continue Reading →

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Greater diversity unlikely in post-Borton Gopher women’s basketball



Thus far, Gopher AD Norwood Teague is two-for-two in firing coaches in consecutive years. He fired Pam Borton as the school’s women’s basketball coach, seemingly less than 24 hours after her last game last week. She got the ziggy in less time than Tubby Smith got axed around this same time nearly a year ago. Borton was my fifth coach I covered as the longest tenured Gopher women hoops beat writer, She had her faults — no coach is perfect, and for whatever reason, she couldn’t convince too many local Black females to play for her.  

Former Gopher Leah Cotton, who played for Borton (2010-13), recently spoke to the MSR while in town for the team’s Senior Night March 2. Continue Reading →

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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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March madness continues



The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) has a rich storied history dating back to pre-World War II days. The Women’s NIT since 1998 has tradition as well — just not as long as the men’s. However, present-day hoops fans and snobbish media types give both the Rodney Dangerfield treatment:

No respect for either of them. While there are those who only see one tournament, and while the men’s NCAA annually gets marathon King Kong coverage and barely Timberbell-like coverage on the women’s side, this reporter gives four-fold attention to the two bigger tournaments, as well as the NIT and WNIT. Both men and women Gopher squads this week are in their respective NIT sweet 16 — the men play Southern Mississippi Tuesday at Williams Arena, and the women go to South Dakota State on Thursday. Continue Reading →

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Gophers focus on Hockey Frozen Four

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


It was like Bachmann-Turner Overdrive last week for the Minnesota women’s hockey team, and this week it’s the Isley Brothers. Minnesota has been “Taking Care of Business,” scoring four unanswered goals to defeat Boston University 5-1 last Saturday in the NCAA quarterfinals. This Friday, they’ve still got “Work to Do” as the Gophers (37-1-1) face Wisconsin (28-7-2) in Hamden, Conn., the site of the 2014 Frozen Four. “It was business as usual,” proclaimed U of M junior defenseman Rachel Ramsey after the win. She added that the biggest prize still lies ahead of them. Continue Reading →

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March Madness begins



Let’s be perfectly clear from the start — this and all subsequent columns are March Madness cliché-free. We won’t be talking about dancing or getting tickets punched here. The Gophers women basketball team plays Thursday in the 2014 Big Ten women’s tournament in Indianapolis — they face 11th-seeded Wisconsin at approximately 8 pm local time. Minnesota (19-11, 8-8 Big Ten) as the sixth seed goes into Indy on a modest two-game winning streak, but more importantly, especially for further post-season considerations, the Gophers have won seven of their last 11 contests. Although the team finished with a positive conference record for the first time since 2009, from now on U of M’s “second season” record must stay above .500. Continue Reading →

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Ever wonder how much college sports cost? Here are more numbers.



All 23 University of Minnesota sports teams generate revenue, but only football, men’s basketball and men’s hockey in the last two years have been profitable, according to reports supplied by the school. Each sport’s total operating revenue includes but is not limited to: ticket sales, state or other governmental support, NCAA/conference distributions, broadcast rights, program ad concessions sales, parking, licensing and advertisements, and endowment and investment income.  


After expenses, football ($32 million) in 2012 and 2013 made nearly twice what men’s hoops earned ($18.6 million) and thrice what men’s puck ($9.5 million) made.  The other Gopher programs, however, spent at least twice as much as they reportedly made:

Women’s hockey — $1.6 million in revenues; expenses — $2.4 million

Women’s basketball — $1.2 million in revenues; expenses — $5.1 million

Rowing — $874,000 revenues; expenses — $2.2 million

Women’s track/cross-country — $837,000 revenues; expenses — $2.4 million

Baseball — $767,000 revenues; expenses — $2.2 million

Women’s swimming & diving — $648,000 revenues; expenses — $1.7 million

Women’s gymnastics — $418,000 revenues; expenses — $1.3 million

Wrestling — $550,000 revenues; expenses — $1.8 million

Volleyball — $404,000 revenues; expenses — $2.3 million

Softball — $359,000 revenues; expenses — $1.7 million

Women’s tennis — $307,000 revenues; expenses — $975,000

Men’s swimming & diving — $294,000 revenues; expenses — $1.5 million

Men’s golf — $252,000 revenues; expenses — $1 million

Women’s golf — $232,000 revenues; expenses — $885,000

Soccer — $308,000 revenues; expenses — $1.5 million

Men’s gymnastics — $182,000 revenues; expenses — $1 million

Men’s tennis — $162,000 revenues; expenses — $896,000

Men’s track and field/cross-country — $377,000 revenues; expenses — $2.2 million


To those opponents who profess college sports spend too much and bring in little to show for it, these numbers support their argument. But for those who argue that women’s non-revenue sports (all but basketball and volleyball) fall in this category as loss leaders, their male non-revenue counterparts are just as much ‘losers.’

Finally, in the final analysis, running a Division I sports program is expensive. Based on the aforementioned figures, we now know just how much. Continue Reading →

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College sports: where the money goes


The Knight Commission on Sports recently reported that college athletic spending is three to 12 times more than is spent on academics. Recently, the MSR received the most recent reporting data from the University of Minnesota, and we examined 2012 and 2013 revenues and expenses for all 25 men’s and women’s sports programs at the school. We chose six of them — women’s basketball (WBB), women’s hockey (WH) and volleyball (VB); men’s basketball (MBB), men’s hockey (MH) and football (FB) — because they are revenue generating sports. Rounded in thousands of dollars, monies generated from ticket sales greatly varied among the six teams:


FB — $11.2 million in 2012 and $11.4 million in 2013;

MBB — $5.6 million (2012) and $5.2 million (2013);

MH — $5 million (2012) and $5.1 million (2013);

WBB — $261,000-plus (2012) and $269,000-plus (2013);

WH — $45,000 (2012) and $87,000 (2013); and

VB — $119,000 (2012) and $147,000 (2013). Only Minnesota football ($34.5 million), men’s basketball ($16.9 million), and men’s hockey ($204,919) brought in money from post-season appearances, but not women’s hockey, despite the fact that they won consecutive national championships during the same time period. Continue Reading →

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Would a Robinson Rule be just another ruse?


The only thing I like about a proposed “Eddie Robinson Rule” for college sports hiring is that it is being named for the late Grambling football coach. Otherwise, if the proposed law is modeled after the NFL’s Rooney Rule, I’m afraid it’s a recipe for deception, false hopes and tokenism. This week’s “Another View” published in the MSR sports section briefly discusses Richard Lapchick’s latest campus leadership report, where it notes again just how White (nearly 90 percent) of the campus leadership positions are.  

Here are the latest diversity report’s “lowlights”:

Coaches of color decreased by three, from 18 in 2012 to 15 in 2013. There was a two-percent drop in Black head football coaches (now 9.6 percent) from last year even though Black football players at the same time went up nearly three percent. Continue Reading →

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