Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Athletes Miss Out On The Money
Sep10

Athletes Miss Out On The Money

It seems like every year there is either a team or big-time player who gets busted for receiving benefits from a booster. With the industry of collegiate sports growing more and more each year, so do the temptations that the student athletes have to face. The issue of players getting paid for their performance or making money from their signatures has created a question that nobody quite knows how to answer yet. It seems that many are making money off of these athletes, but the athletes themselves don’t receive a cent. This needs to change, but it is a sticky subject because with any solution, somebody is going to find a loophole and take advantage of the situation. This issue has been a topic of discussion for a while now, but it really hit the spotlight when Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was accused of signing jerseys for money. Since then, all of the big names in the sports broadcasting network have jumped in and given their two cents on the subject. Former Duke basketball player and current basketball analyst Jay Bilas explained what he thought should be changed. “I’m not advocating paying college athletes a salary, but rather allowing stipends and other benefits, including endorsement deals,” he said. “It’s a mental hurdle to get over the purity of college athletics, but allowing extra benefits would remove much of the corruption in athletics.” I agree with his argument because it’s common knowledge that these athletes are getting hundred dollar handshakes and receiving benefits anyway. Why not just even the playing field and stop wasting our time trying to crucify players for taking a cut they actually deserve to get? It is time that others get their hand out of the cookie jar and leave some room for the student athletes to get what is theirs. The grueling schedule of a D1 athlete leaves no time for a job, so what are these college students supposed to do? It only seems logical that they would seek out boosters. People like Johnny Manziel kind of ruin this argument because he comes from a wealthy family, and he wasn’t getting the extra cash so he could afford all his meals that week. The majority of the time a player gets in trouble, it is because he or she is actually in need of money. Scottie Bordelon, a sports writer who has written many articles on this issue, makes a point that is hard to argue with. The NCAA says college football players must stay at the collegiate level for two years before they declare for the NFL. These standout players often feel...

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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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Snowden scandal plagues NSA
Aug27

Snowden scandal plagues NSA

Just when some Americans thought the administration could not bear the weight of another scandal, one more pushed its way to the forefront of national news coverage, which was alarmist and sensationalistic at best. In June, Edward Snowden, a government-hired computer expert blew the whistle on the federal mining of private citizens’ digital data. The National Security Agency collects phone records, lengths of calls, text messages, emails and other information under the guise of combating terror. Regardless of whether he’s a hero for exposing the privacy-compromising practices or a traitor for divulging specifics of U.S. intelligence programs, he paved the way for open communication on privacy issues that Americans on both sides of the debate feel strongly about. Even President Barack Obama, who made clear he believed the leaker was no patriot, admitted some good came of the debacle. He said, “There’s no doubt that Mr. Snowden’s leaks triggered a much more rapid and passionate response than would have been the case if I had simply appointed this review board.” Many would like to know what the administration plans to do with what it has learned. Given its passive responses to the recently abounding scandals, people in the U.S. are not confident in their  government or its ability to implement necessary changes. But not to worry. James Clapper, head of the NSA is the poster child for the White House policy of transparency. After all, he did say he endeavored to answer questions at the congressional hearing  “in the least untruthful way possible.” Equally as disturbing is the media’s coverage of the story. Instead of bringing the facts to light, they withheld bits of information to make the scenario appear more bizarre and scandalous. For example, numerous news outlets reported Snowden to be a high school dropout. However, it soon surfaced in an interview with the leaker’s father that he stopped attending school to care for his terminally ill mother before completing a high school equivalency program, attaining a bachelor’s degree and working toward a master’s from the University of Liverpool. In addition to the benefits of higher education, he’s gained experience serving in multiple capacities for both U.S. and British intelligence agencies. In short, Snowden is not the ignorant, uneducated fool the American public first perceived him to be. Further fanning the flames of controversy, most publications ran headlines that forced readers to declare Snowden either a “hero” or a “traitor” before having even read so far as the byline. The reckless, irresponsible angle from which many outlets approached the story left the public no choice but to be divided and argumentative. It fits perfectly into the media’s...

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UMHB basketball: second in the nation

Staff Editorial As the first unranked team in Division III to make it to the NCAA National Championship, UMHB has a lot to be proud of. Whether on the court in Atlanta, April 7 or watching from Belton, Cru pride roared across the nation as the men’s basketball team fought for the national title. Though the football team usually makes playoffs and receives the limelight, this time the light shone on the court rather than the field for the first time in the history of the school. It may have surprised people because the team lost several key players from last year and expected this to be a rebuilding season. Instead, they reloaded and astonished everyone by being the first UMHB men’s basketball team to make it all the way. Some students flew out of Austin at 6:30 a.m. April 7 and made their way to the stadium in time for the 11:30 a.m. game. Others rode 17 hours on the fan bus, alternating between sleeping and enjoying time with friends during an unforgettable journey. Still more poured through the doors of Grand Avenue Theatre for a free showing of the NCAA main attraction. Fans, students and faculty could not be more grateful to the local movie theater for opening up four theaters for fans who couldn’t make it to Atlanta. The big screen and atmosphere made viewers feel as if they were courtside, cheering on the Cru. Because the game also aired on CBS Sports, seeing Crusader fans and players on television brought excitement to people watching all over the country. Even though Amherst came out on top, students called it the best basketball game ever, and did not regret the tiring trip to Georgia. In fact, fans arrived home 30 minutes before Monday morning classes. For seniors, the once-in-a-lifetime experience brought even more pride. Though a national title would have been a fantastic goodbye, second in the nation remains something students will remember and relate to their own children. Not only did it generate school pride, but the men’s success will mean great things for the university. A private Baptist university with a dynamic sports department stands out to prospective students. Not only does the South now know about the Cru, but the whole nation knows who UMHB is. The exposure the university gained will be interesting to handle. Maybe people will even stop confusing the school with Baylor University. The rise to fame will probably bring in more students in the future, especially athletes who dream of being on a successful team. The publicity will be great motivation for the team to give it their all...

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SBP Harris says goodbye

By Kassidy Harris When I decided to transfer to UMHB four short years ago, I never thought I would be blessed with such an incredible adventure. The memories, friendships and experiences will be cherished for a lifetime. I am completely humbled and honored that I was chosen to serve as the student body president these past two years. For those who recall, my platform was leading to serve, serving to love. I can honestly say that I have learned so much about leadership, service and loving others during my term as SBP. The road has been extremely difficult at times, and there have been stressful moments, but when I think of the opportunity I had to serve the student body, those times fade away and the joyful, exciting times shine through. I sincerely hope that the student body is pleased with the work I have done as student body president and knows that I have prayed for this university, the students and faculty, on a daily basis. A quick note to the underclassmen—please, I’m begging you, realize that these collegiate years are going to fly by. Take time to stop and take in your surroundings. The community on campus is unlike any other, so take advantage of it while you can. And lastly, you still have time. You still have time to get plugged into that organization you have always wanted to join. You still have time to invest in the lives of people you don’t even know. You still have time to join a Bible study on campus. You still  have time. To the student body—Thank you all so much, more than words can express, for allowing me to be your president. You have no idea the impact you have had on my life. Thank you to my friends for constantly lifting me up in encouragement and support. Because of you all, I will look back at my time at UMHB with a smile. Thank you to the students I never had the opportunity to meet for lifting me up in prayer and trusting me to lead. It was a fantastic experience, one I am extremely proud of. I can honestly call this university home and, as a result, you are family. Congratulations, class of 2013. I pray that we let our light shine for Jesus in the real world, remembering where we came from, and let’s embark on another adventure  of giving God complete honor and...

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Deported for education

Home-schooling is a choice that parents make if they do not like the way the public school system works or if compelled by religious reasons, but the government is trying to deport one family who chose to home-school  their children. A German family fled their country in 2008 to seek political asylum in the U.S. in hopes of home-schooling their children. Now the Department of Homeland Security wants to send the evangelical Christian family back to Germany. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, along with their six children, now reside in Tennessee which reminds them of their homeland. Their fate rests in the hands of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2010, an immigration judge granted the family political refuge, but the Department of Homeland Security objected and argued that they didn’t deserve asylum. Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, is representing the Romeike family. “The Obama administration is basically saying there is no right to home-school anywhere. It’s an utter repudiation of parental liberty and religious liberty,” Farris said. It does seem ironic that our government is helping thousands of illegal immigrants, and yet they want to send a family seeking political asylum back to their homeland German leaders threatened the Romeike family and demanded that they stop home- schooling. In Germany, the state constitutions require children to attend public schools, and parents who do not comply with those rules face punishment ranging from fines to prison time. In some cases, children are taken away from their parents in a police van. It seems so strange that a country founded by people seeking freedom from religious persecution would try to deport a family with almost the same problem. Obama says he is all for human rights, vows to fight religious persecution, and is trying to make the immigration policy more fair, but he will not fight for a Christian family who just wants to home-school their children. Why does the government think it is acceptable to intervene in parents’ decision on how to educate their children? The right of parents in choosing education and upbringing should not be determined by the government or  anyone else. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that banning home schooling would not violate fundamental liberties. If the government is saying that home education is not a fundamental human right that parents should have, then this should be alarming, because that is what is happening in Germany. If the government decides what children have to learn, and a whole generation is formed by this point of view, then that means the next generation won’t have that freedom...

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