University of Minnesota Gophers

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Gopher shortstop leads team in runs, hits, doubles, triples and home runs




The leadoff hitter in baseball is mainly expected to be speedy and a regular on-base player. After her last home game of the season, we asked U of M shortstop Tyler Walker, who bats leadoff for the Gophers, if there is a similar expectation in college softball. “I think it’s different only because the dynamics of the game is different,” she briefly explained. “You use the same approach [as in baseball] — you want to get on base to start the game and get things going.”

Down a run at the U of M’s May 5 home finale, Walker led off the seventh inning. “I think my approach was to hit the ball hard, make contact, and I will find a hole,” she recalled. Continue Reading →

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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 →

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Leah Cotton: Gopher guard has junior-year growing pains



It is known as a sophomore slump when a second-year player struggles, but thus far there is no known term when this occurs during a player’s third season. Call it what you want, but this is what U-M junior guard Leah Cotton currently is experiencing. 

Cotton averaged nine points in five non-league games, but since she was inserted in the Minnesota starting lineup by Minnesota Coach Pam Borton, the 5-8 guard’s scoring average is only 6.7 points in conference match-ups. Only three games has she shot 50 percent or better as a starter as well. Her seven-point average overall is three points less than the 10.7 points per game Cotton had in her sophomore year last season. Earlier this season, the young lady brimmed with confidence. Continue Reading →

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Father-daughter duo might be Gophers hoops first



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Gopher basketball has previously had parent-sibling combinations on its bench: Former head coach Clem Haskins hired his son Brent as an assistant, and Saul Smith currently is an assistant coach on his father Tubby Smith’s staff. But K-Anna Loyd is the first Black female team manager on the school’s women’s basketball team since 2000. Second-year Assistant Coach Curtis Loyd is her father. This might be an historic first in this regard in Gopher hoops history — a father-daughter duo. A student team manager’s job is more than just that of ball boys and ball girls, as most people believe. Continue Reading →

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The toughest game of a career – Gophers college football seniors exit the field for junior student-athletes



By Kenneth Foxworth

Contributing Writer


The hardest time of the year for senior student-athletes is the last game of their college career. This, after the five years of investing their hearts, souls, minds and countless hours into the University of Minnesota through its football program. Yesterday, when these matriculating seniors ran out onto the field amid smiling parents, faculty and fans, cheering for them for the last time at TCF Stadium, they did so with full knowledge that they would never again don the Gophers’ maroon and gold against an opponent. This past Saturday, nine African Americans — Gary Tinsley, Da’Jon McKnight, Troy Stoudermire, Shady Salamon, Kim Royston, Eric Lair, Johnny Johnson, Anthony Jacobs and Duane Bennett — completed their journey through the University of Minnesota, one of the most elite universities in the Midwest region.  
Kim Royston (Number 3) and family    Photo courtesy of U of M

“It was a great feeling winning our last game,” Brandon Kirkesey said in reference to the Gophers’ 27-7 win over Illinois. Continue Reading →

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Stop the punting of the Vikings! Minnesotans unite with a ‘Fan Response Movement’ to keep the team



In 2002, I wrote the following in my book The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes: “The Plan of the movers and shakers of Minneapolis is to move the Vikings out of Minnesota (p. 253). “These powers…have created the false notion that the Twin Cities can’t support four teams. As you will see, they don’t want to. …But the powers do love the University of Minnesota Gophers, so they will be the ones to get a new stadium…[and] the Twins.” (p. 254)
Henry Savelkoul (January 8, 1997), Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission chairman, wrote “The Viability of Four Major Sports Teams in Minnesota,” concluding that “Minnesota can’t afford four major league teams” (p. Continue Reading →

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