Pennsylvania governor files lawsuit against NCAA regarding sanctions
Jan29

Pennsylvania governor files lawsuit against NCAA regarding sanctions

Rain silently poured on the top of a squad car that would shuttle one of Pennsylvania State’s assistant football coaches, Jerry Sandusky, to a nearby county jail. Onlookers clutched their umbrellas as they witnessed what would be a dreary course of events for the University of Pennsylvania in the days to come. On Nov. 5, 2011, Sandusky was arrested due to suspicions of having inappropriate relations with several young boys, and was to be tried for child abuse. Four days later, head football coach Joe Paterno and the university’s president Graham Spanier were fired for their lack of diligence to report Sandusky’s criminal actions. The following months proved to be a fiasco as decisions were made in the case. On Jan. 22, Joe Paterno passed away. Everything that had once been cherished by Penn State seemed to have been taken. The outcome resulted in Sandusky being accused of 45 out of 48 counts of sexual abuse. More than that, the NCAA had to choose the proper course of action to take on the university. Political science Professor Dr. David Holcomb said that he has no expertise in this sort of case, but that he could see the two prominent viewpoints that people held as to what the NCAA should rule considering Sandusky’s acts. “Some will argue that the NCAA’s move is problematic since there are no specific rules violations in the Penn State case,” Holcomb said. “Others will argue that the situation was so heinous and directly connected to a prominent NCAA athletics team that the NCAA had to act.” The NCAA took the latter route and decided to penalize the university. Penn State was forced to pay a $60 million fine, while the football program was deemed ineligible from bowl games during the next four seasons. The team was also forced to give up 40 of its scholarships during those four years. These sanctions crippled the school. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has decided the NCAA was too harsh on the university. The entire state of Pennsylvania has been affected by the rulings because it is a state-funded university. Junior finance and accounting major Cody Lee said, “I don’t think he had in mind that the NCAA was going to hit Penn State that hard.” Corbett decided earlier this month to sue the organization as a result of the penalties placed on the university. He said, “These sanctions … punished the past, the present, the local businesses and the citizens of Pennsylvania,” at a news conference held at Penn State university at the end of December. It has certainly been a rough road for the school. The NCAA also...

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Men sustain division dominance
Jan29

Men sustain division dominance

By Leif Johnston The men’s basketball team has been on a fast track straight to the top of the ASC West division with an impressive 12-1 record. Recently knocking off a stingy Howard Payne team by double digits, the Cru looks to keep that momentum as they finish conference play. Hitting the road to play quality teams will prove to be a tough task, but the Cru believe it isn’t anything they can’t handle. “There is no doubt that the road trip will be tough. It’s easy for teams to lose focus while traveling so much, but coach has done a great job to prepare us for what to expect,” senior business finance major Cory Meals said. The Crusaders provided themselves a great deal of momentum going into the grueling road stretch. A blowout win over a talented HSU team was just what the Cru was looking for. “The Hardin Simmons game was huge considering we were both tied for first place in the East Division. They are our rivals, which made the win that much better,” freshman biology major Layton Zinsmeister said. With younger players having to step up, the strong core of seniors provides a source of experience that has been vital to the team’s success. The Crusaders continue their winning ways by playing hard-nosed defense and taking care of the little things. “I really thought this would be a team that would shoot the ball consistently between 48% and 53%, but we haven’t reached that yet,” Head Coach Ken DeWeese said. “We are shooting the ball OK, but we are not shooting the ball nearly as well as what I think this team can.” The men’s program has been successful in the past and has set its sights on a deep run into the national tournament. This year’s team is no different. After a couple of early losses, the Crusaders have been doing whatever it takes to take their game to the next level. “Our team goal this year is to win every game. Each game is just as important as the next. Our ultimate goal is to win a National Championship; we just have to stay focused and continue to work hard every day.” Meals said. The unselfish approach that the Cru have taken to this season has made a tremendous impact on their production. Not to mention forcing their opponents to stay aware of each player on the court whether the player is a starter or coming off the bench. “The past couple of games our first and second leading scorers have been off the bench, Thomas Ore and Antonie Chaney,” Deweese said. “The...

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Dream Bowl is dream come true

A 13-win season, an ASC conference title, an appearance on Sports Center’s top 10 countdown, and a trip by four players to the inaugural Dream Bowl are just a few of the accomplishments that were a part of Cru football’s 2012 season. The best seniors of DIII NCAA and NAIA football are selected to play in the Dream Bowl. Exercise sport science majors LiDarral Bailey and Sam Maxie and sports management majors Javicz Jones and Michael Coles represented the university together one last time in this game. “It was very nice getting to play with three of my teammates,” Maxie said. “That really helped with team chemistry.” The game took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Salem, Va. as part of a celebration of the excellence, commitment and sacrifice made by players and their families. Bailey and Jones were selected by their team to be captains. “It was a great honor being captain,” Jones said. “Of all the great all-stars that attended, they elected me. I felt like we represented our school well.” Bailey helped lead an offensive attack that scored 37 points. He rushed for one touchdown while throwing for another. This performance won him the offensive MVP trophy for the game, an award only topped by his stumbling touchdown pass earlier in the season that landed him on Sportcenter’s Top 10. Jones anchored a defense that pitched a shut-out against the opposing Patriot squad in the Dream Bowl, helping his team to a 37-0 blowout. He also was awarded the American Southwest Conference defensive player of the year for a second consecutive season. Jones’ achievements on the field go even further. He was  awarded with  DIII defensive player of the year by D3football.com based on a season where he recorded 131 tackles, five sacks, two blocked kicks and a school record eight interceptions. Jones joins current Indianapolis Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman as the only Crusader to win the DIII defensive player of the year awarded by D3football.com. Although his days playing for the Cru are over, he says that his love of the game is by no means dwindling.  Jones and other players had the chance to showcase their talents in front of professional scouts at the Dream Bowl in hopes to help continue their football playing profession. “Yes, I do still have the same drive, but it’s in overdrive right now,” Jones said. “Next step is to play professional ball, NFL or CFL.” Offensive linemen Michael Coles and Sam Maxie who helped pave the way for a lethal Crusader offensive attack also received their fair share of awards. Coles was awarded ASC offensive lineman...

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Lady Crusaders strive for fourth playoff spot
Jan29

Lady Crusaders strive for fourth playoff spot

With six games left this season, the Lady Cru basketball team is fighting to book a spot into the conference playoffs.  The Lady Cru are currently in fifth place in the West Division in the latest ASC Standings with an overall record of 4-14 and 3-10 in conference play. The women are only one game behind Texas Lutheran University for the fourth place playoff spot. Women’s Head Basketball Coach Lisa Curliss-Taylor expressed the significance in the remaining game this season. “Every game is important for us to make the playoffs. Every minute on the floor is important, and every possession is important. When we break it down game by game, we also have to break it down to the minutes in the game. We have to have that sense of urgency to do what it takes to get to the postseason,” she said. Sophomore exercise and sport science major Taylor Tucker agrees with Curliss-Taylor. “We are trying to continue to motivate ourselves and each other to push harder every day, so we can improve our record and advance to the postseason. We establish every day our primary goal, which is to advance to the playoffs, and we try to fight through adversity, such as losses,” she said. The Lady Cru will have to depend on their relationships with each other as a strength to help secure a playoff bid. Having an off and on-court relationship with teammates will help benefit the team. Freshman pre-physical therapy major Tori Tucker and junior cell biology major Katelyn Smith both describe their team. “We all have a great off- the-court relationship. We hang out every day at the upperclassmen’s apartments and sometimes go out to dinner. We cook for each other, as well as attend movies as a team. We gel off the court just as much as we do on the court,” Tucker said. “We spend a lot of time out of practice together just hanging out. It really helps build team chemistry.” Smith said. The Lady Cru have begun their six-game road trip and are currently 2-2. The team started off the series by taking on Texas Lutheran University. The women lost in a nail-biting 61-59 defeat. The team bounced back, however, and won against Schreiner University 68-59. They then traveled to Sul Ross State University where they won 72-56. Three Cru players scored in double digits to drive through the Lobos with a commanding win. The women recently fell to Howard Payne with a 74-84 final. The team will take on Concordia University today at 5:30 p.m. in Austin  in a crucial ASC West division match-up. The women lost to...

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Men’s basketball enjoys wins during holidays
Jan08

Men’s basketball enjoys wins during holidays

The fall semester has come and gone, and students are returning to campus ready to start the spring semester after a nice long break in December. However, while most students were enjoying the break, the Cru basketball teams continued their seasons, and the men went undefeated during the month of December. The team maintained an eight-game win streak, which gave an 8-2 record at the end of the month. Although asking these students to commit so much of their time over the Christmas holidays may seem challenging, men’s basketball answered that call big time. “Basketball student-athletes is the only group that the sport spans the two (spring and fall) long academic semesters,” men’s basketball Head Coach Ken DeWeese said. “They are on campus practicing, playing or traveling to play through Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It’s just the way it is. Some athletes and some teams handle it better than others.” Their season also has an extended amount of time in both semesters, making staying for the break between an even greater show of dedication by these student athletes. “It is hard playing through both semesters because you have to fi nd time in order to do school work and get through practices,” senior computer information systems major Brian Todd said. “You’re also missing class for road games during both semesters instead of just one.” Having such a long season and always playing well is quite a challenge, but it is one that these student athletes tackle every year. Keeping their goals in sight is a key to their motivation during holiday play. “Staying focused is what keeps us able to maintain a high level of play,” Todd said. “Game day is game day. The focus on that day is to get prepared to do what we have to do to win.” The Cru played stellar basketball through the holiday season despite only having a small break for Christmas. DeWeese said that good practices with a good learning environment helped the Cru maintain a high level during the semester break. “It’s pretty challenging playing through December because everyone is at home on Christmas break, but we are still playing,” junior business management major James Allen said. “Coach just keeps us focused during practice and games.” The eight-game win streak began before players had their abbreviated Christmas holiday, so when they returned to the season, maintaining that momentum was no easy task. “This year coming back from that break, we had one of our best practices,” Todd said. “I believe everyone enjoyed their break but also realized what we had to do and where we left off when we came back...

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Cru football finishes strong
Jan08

Cru football finishes strong

The  football team has finished its season by repeating the second best run in the school’s football program. It ended with an overall record of 13-1, tying 2004 for the most wins in a season. The Crusaders fell to the Mount Union Purple Raiders in the Division III National Football Championship semifinals 48-35 Dec. 8. Graduate Assistant Coach Derrick Williams has been a part of the football program for eight years. He said, “With finishing 13-1 and coming up short to compete for the National Championship, we realized that this football team had leadership emerge at the right times. We wouldn’t have made the run that we did if it wasn’t for our senior class. I have been around this program for eight years, and to see these guys grow into great leaders, just made this season even more exciting.” With 7:39 left in the game, the Cru went up 35-28 off a three-yard quarterback run by LiDarral Bailey. The Purple Raiders answered with a touchdown of their own, tying the game 35-35 with 3:42 left in regulation. Mount Union then forced another stop and charged down the field on a game-winning drive to go up 42-35 with only five seconds remaining. The Cru drew up one last play, but the Purple Raiders forced a fumble and scored another touchdown to end the game. The Cru lost 48-35 in the closest game Mount Union faced all year. Mount Union went on to conquer the Division III National Championship Stagg Bowl, defeating the St. Thomas Tommies 28-10. The Cru defeated Louisiana College, Franklin College and Wesley College before falling to Mount Union. The semifinal showing was the third time the Crusaders have appeared in the national semifinals. In 2004, they made it to the Division III National Championship Stagg Bowl, but lost to Linfield College 28-21. Junior exercise and sport science major Andy McAteer said the season was special. “As a team, we grew week by week. Every day we could literally see it in motion. We were led by a great group of seniors, and without them it wouldn’t be possible. Having said that our goal was to win the Stagg Bowl, it’s up to the seniors to lead for next year.” Seniors LiDarral Bailey, Javicz Jones and Sam Maxie will suit up to play one more game and represent the Crusaders. Each player was selected to compete in this year’s inaugural Dream Bowl at Salem Stadium in Roanoke, Va., Jan. 21. It features the best NCAA Division III and NAIA players across the country. A senior sports management major, Jones is honored to be chosen to play in...

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