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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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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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U of M campus assaults prompt racial profiling

Student drinking, ‘rampant’ mental heath issues also top concerns of Student Affairs
 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Conclusion of a two-part story

 

A series of criminal attacks on and around the University of Minnesota main campus during the summer and fall has created both anxiety and concern about public safety of both students and staff. These attacks also have concerned many Black students, especially males who believe that they are now racially profiled due to descriptions given to police by the unfortunate victims.

“I’ve been listening to students [of color] who say they have been racially profiled,” said U of M Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Danita Brown Young during a recent MSR interview. “Or they feel that people are looking at them differently because they are a male of color, and that the descriptions constantly say, ‘Black male.’

“The problem is this: Most of the perpetrators of the crimes have been people of color,” continued Young, who, in recent meetings with top school administrators and law enforcement officials, has been advising against using simple descriptors in campus crime alerts. “They could be Dominican or Cuban or Ethiopian,” explained the dean. “We do need to try to move away from those descriptors and just focus on crime.”

She added that lately campus police have focused more “on the behavior versus the race. Continue Reading →

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My top photos of 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Photos by Mitchell Palmer McDonald 

Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses

to mmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com. 

 

 

 

 

  Continue Reading →

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New U of M hire advocates for students

Student Affairs Vice Provost challenges Black students
to use their voice on campus
 

First of a two-part story

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

The MSR first met Danita Brown Young at a Gopher football game this fall, just a few months after she’d assumed her duties as the University of Minnesota’s chief student affairs officer this past July. “I am a sports fanatic and love all Cleveland professional sports teams. I also love NASCAR racing,” wrote the Kent, Ohio native on her wedding website. We subsequently arranged a sit-down interview with U of M Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Young at her office in Appleby Hall during first-semester finals week last month. “I am a Midwestern,” she told us proudly. “What’s interesting about my family is that we were the first African American family to settle in Kent, Ohio. Continue Reading →

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Off-and-on student discovers it’s never too late PhD Project encourages people of color to pursue graduate business study

PhD Project encourages people of color to pursue graduate business study
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

It took a while, but V. Marcia Pruitt later this month finally will get her sheepskin. Pruitt, a St. Paul Central graduate, will receive her bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University during a December 17 fall commencement ceremony. Her journey is a testimonial to the value of formal education and the importance of taking advantage of available support along the way. “It was on my bucket list to do,” noted Pruitt, who graduates with magna cum laude honors. Continue Reading →

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One Black coach, a few Black players reach NCAA women’s volleyball playoffs

 

 

 

Each of the four teams that played in the NCAA first- and second-round volleyball matches hosted last weekend by the University of Minnesota had at least one player of color: Cheyanne James (Radford), Alexis Austin (Colorado), Victoria Hurtt and Erin Taylor (Iowa State), and two Puerto Rico-born players: Iowa State’s Neira Ortiz Ruiz and the Gophers’ Daly Santana. James was second on her squad in kills — one of a school-record five players receiving all-conference honors. Hurtt thrice led Iowa State with 20-plus kills. Colorado Coach Liz Kritza called the sophomore Austin “team-oriented.”

While seeing a low single-digit number of players of color at a volleyball match, even a post-season match, wasn’t that surprising, discovering that one of the schools was coached by a Black female was a surprise, especially since, unlike the other three schools, her photo was not included in her school’s pre-game notes. Marci Jenkins last weekend completed her sixth season at Radford (Va.) University, which won the Big South conference this year. Continue Reading →

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