Part of the game

To play a sport in college, one must have a significant amount of talent. Most athletes have trained almost their entire lives to get where they are today, and they’ve developed their bodies to do extraordinary things. Not only must they be fine tuned physically, but their mind has to be equally sharp. A lot of pressure comes with competing at the collegiate level, and mental toughness is crucial. When athletes take the field or court of the opposing team, fans are ready and waiting to heckle in an attempt to knock them off their game. But where is the line drawn, and how much nonsense is an athlete expected to take? At any college basketball game, fans are behind the glass backboard shouting and waving at players to make them miss a free throw. “Brick!” This is considered acceptable behavior, and the player is supposed to block it out and make the shot. It’s all a part of competition, right? Suppose fans get the roster of the players and began personalizing their jeering. “Miss it, Jacob!” Is this acceptable? What if they disregard an athlete’s playing ability all together, and go after their physical characteristics? “Hey, Jacob, you got big ears and your eyes are too far apart!” Athletes deal with these types of conditions on a regular basis, but how much abuse must they endure before they crack? In all honesty, it’s just a part of the game. There are always going to be unruly fans who do and say things that may be considered unsportsmanlike, but players know what they’re getting into when they decide to participate at this level. It’s not a recreational league. Moreover, heckling the other team is a tradition in sports that has been around since the beginning. For spectators, it’s a way for them to feel a part of the game, and some players feed off of the energy. Of course, some people might behave inappropriately every now and then, and we shouldn’t condone that behavior, but that comes with the territory. Many people don’t realize it, but players have been conditioned over their playing years to handle these situations. It all goes back to being mentally tough. Athletes have to overcome setbacks, fatigue and, yes, even a little trash talk. If they can’t handle it, then they have no business playing. However, there have been some rules put in place to keep the heckling to a minimum. Alcohol has been a big issue in the past, which is why it is no longer sold at college games. Even in professional sports, it is only served up to a certain point....

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Crusaders try to save season
Oct13

Crusaders try to save season

Outdoor Cru sports are in mid-season this fall including football, soccer, golf and tennis. However, the ladies of the volleyball team are also back playing in the indoor sports arena of the Mayborn Campus Center. Led by head Coach Kecia Davis, the team has returned with a few new players to help propel the squad to success. Eight freshmen along with two transfers have been added to the roster, and Davis said, “They have acclimated well in such a short period of time.” Davis is assisted by Nobu Togami who was the head coach in the 1985-86 season. Together they work to perfect the women’s mechanics and communication skills. The team suffered a disappointing season last year, missing the conference tournament by one match and ending their season with a record of 7-22. But with the addition of a couple of six-foot players and a preseason ranking of 4th in conference, the ladies are expecting great things. Sophomore defensive specialist Jasmin Austin said, “We have so much more height on the team that it’s almost impossible for us to have a losing season.” Blocking is something they struggled with last year, but with the new elevation, they believe it will become one of their strong points. Sophomore setter Kayla Marzean said, “I think we are going to be really good. With the kind of talent we have, our team should exceed all expectations.” As far as team chemistry, things seem to be on the upswing. Austin felt some of the freshman might have a problem stepping up, but Marzean believes things are going well. “They really took on their responsibilities and roles,” she said. “We are meshing great this year.” As of now the ladies are off to a slow start with a conference record of 3-7 and an overall record of 6-20. But with a few games left, the team remains hopeful. Davis wants to achieve a few goals this fall including seeking more of her players receive academic honors, having an above-500 season and making it to the conference tournament. Marzean said, “I think the season isn’t quite going how we expected, but there is so much potential. Whenever we get down, we just have to keep reminding ourselves that impossible is...

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Dangers of driving while inTEXTicated
Sep29

Dangers of driving while inTEXTicated

On September 22, 2006, 19 year-old Reggie Shaw was driving an SUV on a highway in Utah. He became distracted and crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic. He sideswiped a Saturn coming in the opposite direction, causing it to veer out of control and slam into the truck behind him. The two occupants of the Saturn, Keith O’Dell and James Fufarro, were killed on impact. It was later determined that Shaw was distracted because he was sending a text message. He received a jail sentence of 30 days and served 100 hours of community service. These days, cell phone usage is at an all-time high, but in recent years, a new phenomenon has swept the nation. Text messaging has taken the place of talking and driving as the most distracting thing to do while in the driver’s seat. When drivers receive a text message, they take their eyes off the road for a second to see who it’s from. Then, just to read it, they must take their eyes off again for a few more seconds. All the while, they are completely diverted from the task at hand. No big deal, right? Everyone is guilty of being temporarily distracted to tune the radio, change out a CD or read an eye catching billboard. The real problem is when people reply to a message. Depending on the response, the driver could be distracted for several minutes. That’s when things go wrong. Senior psychology major Jude Austin said, “Obviously it’s a bad idea. It’s just as bad as driving under the influence (of) alcohol. They both alter your awareness and ability to make decisions.” Sophomore cell biology major Hillary Halderman said, “I’m more conscious about it now, but I still do it occasionally.” Many people realize the dangers of texting and driving but they continue to do it. Senior sport management major Christi Williams said, “I do it, but I know it isn’t smart. It kind of worries me, though, because I know other drivers are doing it as well.” Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported that people who text while driving are 2.8 times more likely to be in a crash. So what is being done to combat this new way of getting into accidents? Director of Public Safety Gary Sargent said that the state of Texas passed a law concerning driving and cell phones. “This year we saw (a law) passed that you can’t use your cell phone in a school zone area. Whether it will be expanded beyond that is anyone’s guess,” he said. While the new law in Texas may seem lenient, the state of Utah...

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South African golfer now a Crusader
Sep29

South African golfer now a Crusader

Every year the university welcomes hundreds of athletes from all over the country and even the world. This fall has been no different. The golf team opened its arms to freshman sport management major Bryce Myburgh who comes all the way from a small sea-side village, Ballito, in South Africa. He became aware of UMHB after doing a search on Collegeboard.com. “There were so many options, and there were few that gave good scholarships,” he said. “But UMHB was one of the best. I believe a big part of my choice to come here was that God led me here.” Myburgh has been interested in other sports including field hockey, rugby and soccer, but since the age of 13, golf has been the dominant one in his life, and it was another part of his decision to join the Cru. Head coach Aaron Rodeffer actually remembers getting an e-mail from Myburgh sometime last August. Having no experience in recruiting international players, he consulted Randy Mann, the previous head coach, asking if he’d ever had luck dealing with golfers who lived out of the country. Mann explained how it was difficult to obtain internationals because of their inability to get funding from the government, but he decided to give it a shot anyway. After several e-mails and determining the time difference, Rodeffer made the call to speak with Myburgh. “It’s seven hours between here and South Africa,” he said. “I spoke with him, had a great conversation and started down the road to see if it was something that would work out.” Since Rodeffer would not be able to see him perform in a tournament, he relied on Myburgh’s stats. “I looked at his resume and his numbers from all the competitions he’s been in,and they were really good,” Rodefer said. “Plus, he played on the South African Amateur Tour, which is a big time tour …. If he’s good enough to compete on that, then he’s good enough to play here,” Rodefer said. “Myburgh always has a positive attitude, even when he’s not playing his best. He has a good short game and he strikes the ball well, but he’s still adjusting to golf in the U.S. The courses in South Africa are measured in yards, whereas here, they’re measured in feet.” “That’s a huge difference in trying to figure out what club to hit. Not only is he trying to figure out the conditions, he’s also got to do some quick conversions so he knows which club to hit,” he said. Myburgh seems to have no problem getting used to his new environment. Sophomore exercise sport science major...

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Not everything is black & white

The infamous Kanye West is at it again. At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, 19-year -old Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video. She beat out other top artists such as Pink, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and the great Beyoncé. However, while she was giving her acceptance speech and thanking loyal West made his way to the stage and the microphone out of her hands. He proceeded to say, “Taylor, really happy for you, and I’m gonna you finish, but Beyoncé had one of best videos of all time.” He handed the mic back to Swift and calmly walked off the stage, leaving her stunned and speechless. She just stood there not knowing what to do or say for a minute until being escorted off. It was not the first time West had pulled a stunt like this. He has a history of tantrums going back to 2004. But one of his most memorable outbursts occurred in 2005 when he declared “George about black people.” He is a very talented performer and has sold millions of albums, but his antics are simply unacceptable at times. He is an arrogant artist who reverts back to a child when things don’t go his way. His behavior is terrible, but the man is consistent. Since he came onto the music scene, he has annually caused some sort of disruption at an awards show. After the MTV awards show, West’s latest act was all over the news, Facebook and in the mouths of anyone who watched the VMA’s. Some artists who were in attendance updated their Twitter accounts calling West names that should not be repeated. Yes, West is not the sharpest tool in the shed, and he tends to make irrational decisions. But what I don’t understand is why some people are making it a racial incident. As I read through comments of how people felt about what happened, there were an alarming number of posts that read, “porch monkey. We should hang him,” and “just another n*****.” And they got worse. Who are these people? Why is it that when a black person wrongs a white person, it’s assumed that racism was involved? His actions were inexcusable; he was disrespectful and that was a rude thing to do. But he certainly didn’t do it because Swift was white. He simply thought Beyoncé’s video was better. In fact, she ended up receiving an award for having the video of the year. Obviously, he chose the wrong place and time to express his opinion. West was a jerk for stealing Swift’s moment, but he’s just a jerk who happens to...

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