Western Illinois

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A father’s investment pays off

Recruitment for college volleyball does not come cheap
 
All four volleyball teams at the September 6-7 early season tournament at the Sports Pavilion each had exactly one player of color: Daly Santana (Minnesota), Marquita Marshall (Ball State), Melanie Miller (Western Illinois) and Jeme Obeime (Duke). When asked why college volleyball — at least the teams that play the Gophers or, for that matter, the Gophers themselves — still lacks diversity, U of M Coach Hugh McCutcheon

responded, “I really can’t answer that. I do know that USA Volleyball is committed to trying to grow the game.”

My best estimate over my years covering Minnesota volleyball is that I probably can use at least four hands to accurately count the number of Black female volleyball players in Minnesota uniforms. “We are recruiting the best players we can, and that’s it,” stated McCutcheon. “More diversity is a real important part of our development. There’s no question that some of the best athletes are people of color.”

Unfortunately, in this second decade of the 21st Century, volleyball, instead of attracting more Blacks, seems to be repellent when it comes to urban females: It seemingly still reeks with country club residue. Continue Reading →

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Free Gophers football tickets meant to ‘improve student engagement’

Not many Black students seemed engaged
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2013-14 University of Minnesota school year now is in session. Last week, during the school’s sixth annual Welcome Week, nearly 5,000 new students took advantage of  the offer of a free ticket and meal voucher and attended the August 29 Gophers’ home football opener. However, it is not clear how many of the approximately 400 Blacks and other new students of color were in attendance. During a 75-minute period before the game, this MSR reporter didn’t notice too many Blacks first-year or otherwise who came through   the stadium’s Lincoln County gate. But the few we were able to talk with all looked forward to “having fun” at their first-ever college football game. Continue Reading →

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