Hernandez murders career

Upon arriving to the NFL for the 2010 season, Aaron Hernandez had a bright future. He was picked up by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of that year’s draft as an All-American tight end from the University of Florida. According to ESPN, Hernandez racked up just shy of 2,000 receiving yards in three seasons, and he averaged a solid 11.2 yards per catch. This was a rising star for the Patriots organization until this summer when he was arrested as a suspect in the June 17 murder of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old linebacker for the semi-professional football team, the Boston Bandits. The press immediately jumped on the story, and turned to the Patriots for answers. This type of publicity is detrimental to any organization, especially to one in the business of such a violent game. And so began the successful publicity, or anti-publicity campaign for that matter, for the New England Patriots to wash their hands clean of the situation. A week after the murder, the Patriots dropped Hernandez, who had signed a 5-year $40 million contract 10 months prior, on the grounds of being connected to the murder in any way. They issued a statement on June 26 announcing his release. “A young man was murdered last week, and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players  was arrested as a result of this investigation,” said the organization in a press release. “We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect  the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do.” This swift move proved to anyone tuning in that the New England Patriots do not take criminal activity lightly. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport spoke with a “person with knowledge of Patriots’ decision-making,” and was able to report that the decision to drop Hernandez was made the week prior to the release by those in the highest reaches of the organization – presumably, owner, Robert Kraft and head coach, Bill Belichick. This move did save face for the Patriots organization, but it will be taking a toll on the Patriots’ salary cap. Hernandez’s contract called for a $12 million signing bonus and $16 million in guaranteed money. Another good move by the organization was to reassure Rapoport that it is about far more than just money. Finally to further remove Hernandez from the organization, the Patriots offered a free exchange for those fans who found themselves with a Hernandez jersey they could no...

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Cru Score Second
Apr17

Cru Score Second

As the final seconds on the clock witnessed the formalities of a decided game, the dominant story of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship was not Amherst’s second national title. It was the story of an unranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor team and its crusade to Atlanta. After two losses in the three opening games of what would be their national championship campaign, the Cru would regroup to forge a regular season record of 17-2 and place themselves in the American Southwest Conference fi nal. The loss to conference rival, Concordia University, in the ASC championship robbed the team of an ASC title, but perhaps in exchange unknowingly gave UMHB the drive to orchestrate a championship run. With the best record in the conference, the Crusaders earned a fi rst round bye in the NCAA tournament. Almost two weeks after their ASC title defeat, the Cru came after Concordia with a vengeance by unleashing 117 points on the Tornados to win by 25 at home at its Crusader Arena. With the momentum of a huge and high-scoring second round win, the UMHB basketball program punched its ticket to the NCAA Sweet 16 and tied the best run by men’s basketball in school history. By then defeating Whitworth University, ranked sixth in the nation, UMHB began its Cinderella story. In an interview after the game that elevated the team and school to its highest accomplishment in the sport, Head Coach Ken De-Weese talked about the feeling of the victory as indescribable. He would go on to commend his team on the poise they exemplified when the Pirates took the lead after a successful shooting spree by Whitworth. “There was one timeout there where I was talking to them saying, ‘we need to do some things out there,’ and they said, ‘Coach, we’re going to be fine,’ and they were,” DeWeese said. And that is the way the team handled the next two matchups again, with poise. A trip to Salem, Va., produced two more victories for the Cru with one against St. Mary’s College of Maryland in the Elite 8 stage. With just more than a minute left to play, only one point separated the two teams in a game that would end 69-66. There was the more impressive win that resonated around Division III; a Final Four victory that catapulted the small school into the national spotlight and the tournament final. The unranked UMHB program surprisingly knocked the number-one-ranked St. Thomas out of the tournament. The Crusaders overcame many obstacles to line up against Amherst College April 7. They are the first team in the conference and...

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Kimberly Spradlin visits, talks Survivor
Dec06

Kimberly Spradlin visits, talks Survivor

Over the years, Chapel has had several celebrity guest speakers including politicians, major league baseball players and New York Times best selling authors among others. However, as varied as that sounds, Chapel was able to broaden the scope just a little more this past week with a Survivor. Kimberly Spradlin, winner of the 24th season of the hit reality television series, Survivor, stepped back on campus last week. That’s right, stepped back on campus. Spradlin was a freshman at UMHB 11 years ago. In a 45-minute question-and-answer session, University Chaplin Dr. George Loutherback interviewed Spradlin about her time at UMHB. “I honestly had an incredible experience here,” Spradlin said, “This is the only place that I actually felt like I had a college experience, so I feel very fondly about Mary Hardin-Baylor. Being back on campus is really fun.” As a freshman resident of Burt Hall in 2001, Spradlin immediately plugged in on campus. She represented the freshman class in the Miss MHB Pageant. She had an experience here comparable to that of many of the students today; she had to eat at Hardy, she had to attend Chapel and she built relationships at UMHB. Loutherback even had a part in pulling a prank on the future celebrity. A trickster herself, Spradlin had played a joke on a senior football player in a class taught by Loutherback, and the athlete recruited the professor to help get her back. Loutherback called her in to ask why she cheated from the football player on a test and tell her that consequences could lead to expulsion. On Survivor, Spradlin was able to outwit 17 other contestants, but she was no match for Loutherback’s cunning prank. What made her a prankster as a college student made her a survivor on CBS, her ability to be social played a huge factor in the game. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Survivor host of 12 years Jeff Probst was asked to comment on Spradlin’s success, and he pointed out her social skills. “She was great at the social game,” Probst said. “So many faces and great at reading a situation and equally good at stopping a disaster before it starts.” Her mastery of the social facet of the game even won her the Sprint Player of the Season award which raised her winnings to $1.1 million. The Survivor then entertained questions from the audience. Spradlin was bombarded with questions about her game strategy, her life after the show and what she did with the prize money. After chapel, she took pictures with fans in Mabee. The former Crusader now owns a bridal shop in San...

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FYC plays matchmaker for Crusaders
Dec06

FYC plays matchmaker for Crusaders

Excitement filled the crisp, autumn air as students took their seats at the annual Date Auction. It was a fundraising event put on by First Year Council to raise money for Spring Formal, and they collected more than $1,400 from the event. Here’s how it worked. Female students bid on their favorite of the 37 available single and group dates based strictly on the description of the date. The men waited, hidden among the crowd, watching the women place bids on their dates. Dates ranged from single to group dates of up to four, from horseback riding to the Twilight premier and cost from $15 to $190. Sophomore psychology major Andrew Alvarez thought it would be fun to take on a group date with two friends. The three planned a picnic followed by some “thrifting,” to shop for ’60s attire, which they plan to wear at the local roller rink. “I’m just looking for a good time and a fun triple date,” Alvarez said. Though he may not be searching for anything more than a night out with friends, college is a time of self discovery, and the university has seen its fair share of engagements. Some hopeless romantics even plan to use the event to their advantage. Sophomore accounting major Seth Michaelson wrote on his blog about his Date Auction experience. “Tonight I took part in a date auction,” he said, “I planned it to target specifically the girl I like.” All was going his way. The girl bid on the date but his roommate decided to intervene and drive up the price of the date. His roommate ended up winning, but he conceded the date, and Michaelson got the girl. Romantic intentions or not, Date Auction provides a fun way to meet people. “I think if things go well that the dates could lead to relationships,” said sophomore ministry major Alec Lloyd. As an officer of FYC, Lloyd signed up and auctioned off a date that featured a little culinary adventure of homemade pizza and building a gingerbread house. The key to the success of the event came from the bidders. The women’s reactions to the different dates varied but each date had someone who was willing to pay the price. Freshman nursing major Julia Domicoli decided on a date of glow-in-the-dark miniature golf. “I chose to bid on (my) date because the date seemed interesting, and it would be a fun way to get to know someone,” Domicoli said. The fundraising will be a big help for Spring Formal where some of those attending may be on their second...

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Lady Cru ends season 3rd in ASC
Nov16

Lady Cru ends season 3rd in ASC

Lady Cru volleyball made school history this semester with the most wins in a season, 22-8 overall and 12-4 in conference play. The result was a trip to the conference tournament, and third place in the ASC. In the first day of the double elimination conference tournament UMHB faced off against Texas Lutheran University to win 3 sets to 0. An identical fate would await U.T.-Dallas in part two of the double header for the Lady Cru. In day two of the tournament, UMHB would fall to Hardin-Simmons for the third time in the season. A consecutive loss on day three against U.T.-Dallas ended the season for UMHB. “We finished a top-three team, and going through the season that’s where we felt we should be,” Head Coach Rob Frost said, “us, U.T.-Dallas and Hardin-Simmons at top three.” The team had an unusual dynamic this season and was comprised of 12 players, four seniors and eight freshmen. Senior leadership led the athletic freshmen through the record-breaking season and five All-Conference Team players. Shelby Prather is one of five freshman starters, and she filled a crucial hole left at the setter position. A graduate of Leander High School, Prather sparked the interest of Division I schools like the University of North Texas and University of Texas at San Antonio but believed that God was leading her to UMHB. “I was extremely blessed this season to be able to spend it with those girls. We got along so well and worked hard together to earn our success,” Prather said. “Coach Frost has done a great job with the program here, and I’m honored to be a part of it.” Prather posted 931 assists and averaged a little less than nine assists per set, had a team-best 33 service aces and 239 digs. Prather and Tina Miller were both decorated with second-team all conference honors. Miller, an education major and middle hitter for UMHB, led the team in kills, averaging 2.98 per set. She is proud of her accomplishments but pays credit to her teammates. “The setter is a very important part of my success this season,” Miller said. “I think (Prather) did amazing this year, and she will get even better in seasons to come.” Miller is one of four seniors who played the last of their college volleyball at the semifinals of the 2012 ASC Tournament. Morgan Baker, Elise Butler and Sapphire Reid were the other three. Baker, a three-year starter for the Lady Cru was a significant source of leadership and will be missed next year. She received Academic All-District honors and will graduate this May after her third year...

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