University of Minnesota

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Fostering the ‘female warrior’ in sports

Athletics experts on nurturing strength in women and girls
 
I have seen over the years some athletes so mentally tough they would run through a wall when asked, get up, dust themselves off and repeat the feat. I’ve also seen some athletes who virtually were wuzzes — couldn’t handle the least bit of pain or saw adversity as higher than the highest mountain to overcome. Here’s the Carly Simon question — I bet you thought the former was a male, and a female the latter (buzzer sounds) — you’re wrong. Unfortunately the perception still exists that female athletes can’t be tough, resilient or competitive, and sometimes that perception is carried by females as well as their male counterparts. The University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center last month co-hosted a day-long Women’s Coaches Symposium February 7 at the school’s football stadium as part of the Women’s and Girls in Sport Week. Continue Reading →

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Richard Pitino’s Gophers are struggling!

University of Minnesota this year has assistant basketball coaches now making $175,000. Last year under Tubby Smith, not one of his coaches was paid over $125,000. Remember, Jimmy Williams was not permitted to be an assistant coach for Tubby Smith for some frivolous violation. And the university battled in court paying big money to keep Williams off the staff. Athletic Director Norwood Teague fired Smith a year ago because Smith suggested the program needed a practice facility. Continue Reading →

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Women in sport films festival features legendary college hoops coaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Besides Black History Month, February also honors the accomplishments of women and girls in sport. The University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport for the past three years has held women’s film screenings at the Gopher football stadium to mark the occasion. Two films from last year’s ESPN’s “Nine for IX” series were featured at the 2014 Tucker Center Film Festival Feb. 6. Coach chronicles Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer, women’s basketball’s winningest active coach with 900+ wins. Continue Reading →

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A long way from her Swedish family, Gopher center makes herself right at home

Spotlight on the Gophers 100

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players. This week: Freshman center Amanda Zahui B.

 

After sitting out last season after arriving at the University of Minnesota, one might think homesickness could be a common reoccurrence for Swedish-born Amanda Zahui B. But she says it’s not so: “I’ve been by myself since I was 15. I’m used to being away from my family,” the 6’-5” redshirt freshman center tells us. Despite her Patti Labelle declaration of being on her own, Zahui still misses her family. 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 spending per student far surpasses academic spending

Division I college sports spending has reached out-of-sight proportions while academic spending remains stagnant, according to a new Knight Commission college sports database. A close look at the numbers raises questions about who or what is being subsidized by athletic cash-cows like football. Launched in December, the database “compares trends in spending on core academic activities with spending on athletics in public Division I institutions” over a seven-year period (2005-11). Athletic spending per player “grew at a faster rate [as much as 12 times faster] than academic spending per student” at only three percent. The Knight database showed the University of Minnesota’s instructional spending per full-time student grew 13 percent from $18,266 in 2005 to $20,688 in 2011, but athletic spending per player rose 78 percent from over $61,000 in 2005 to almost $110,000 in 2011. Continue Reading →

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Black male students feel targeted by U of M crime alert

School officials grapple with creating a “safe for all” campus
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Everyone at the University of Minnesota — students, faculty, staff and administrators — are concerned about campus safety after a recent “crime wave” of robberies and assaults raised campus-wide alarm. However, many Black students and other students of color are now equally concerned about how they are being seen around campus. After an attempted robbery at a campus dorm in November, campus police misidentified an innocent Black student as a suspect. A letter was sent in December to University President Eric Kaler and University Services Vice-President Pamela Wheelock, whose office supervises campus law enforcement, from several Black organizations including the Black Student Union, the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) and the Black Men’s Forum, expressing their concerns about the use of racial descriptions in crime alerts. “We sent this letter,” explained Black Student Union President Amber Jones, “in response to the stories, the hurt and the pain our community was crying about. 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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U of M targets financial aid to low-income students

Determined students use Pell grant to graduate almost debt free
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler recently announced a new four-year initiative to improve keeping low-income students in college. “We intend to lower the barriers for low-income students to attend the U and obtain their degrees,” said Kaler in a January 16 press release. According to school officials, research shows that low-income students are more likely to drop out of school or delay their degree work due to finances. Approximately 21 percent of U of M undergraduate freshmen (over 1,100) are Pell grant recipients — money from the U.S. government that provides for students to pay for college based on financial need. The MSR last week sat down with four first-year U of M students and Pell grant recipients. Continue Reading →

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Humphrey Public Affairs panel agrees: King’s Dream remains a dream, not our reality

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The 1964 Civil Rights Act became law 50 years ago, and the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs this year is hosting a series of events to commemorate the historic legislation. Last week’s panel discussion at Cowles Auditorium with local civil rights activists was the beginning. Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice Chair Dr. Samuel Myers characterized the January 23 event, cosponsored by the center and the African American Leadership Forum, as “a critical discourse and discussion about how far have we come and where we need to go.”

University of St. Thomas Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, the event’s keynote speaker, told the audience of around 40 people that Dr. King’s legacy too often is romanticized, especially his 1963 I Have A Dream speech. “That speech was amazing — according to many people, it is the greatest speech that’s ever been made in American history,” she said. Continue Reading →

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