No end in sight for basketball lockout
Sep01

No end in sight for basketball lockout

The NBA preseason is scheduled to begin Oct. 9. The season opener is meant to start Nov. 1.  However, hope for these events to take place as planned is quickly dwindling. For the first time in 13 years, the NBA is at a major disagreement.  The last lockout resembling this one was in 1998-1999, and the season was shortened to just 50 games. It is the players against the team owners, with the owners wanting to cut back on the players’ income budgets from around $2.7 billion down to $2 billion annually for the next 10 years. Head coach for the UMHB men’s basketball team Ken DeWeese said, “The players are making more money, are treated more luxuriously and have better working conditions than ever before in the history of the NBA.” The owners on the other hand have seen the value of their franchises sky-rocket and while not full in cash, the value of the franchise is considerably more than they paid for it originally. Not only does the stand-still affect the player’s wallets, but also the advertiser’s pocket change. “Both sides may be forgetting the fans, not to mention the corporate ticket buyers, and billions to televise the games,” De Weese said. Not only are the teams to blame, but also the owners. “Both sides are at fault and should quickly begin to understand the future viability of the NBA, monetary-wise, is at stake,” DeWeese said. “Therefore, negotiations, in very good faith, need to be immediately started.” Players and team representatives have been meeting to try and sort out the complicated issue, but so far no solution has been reached. Just as the NFL is having major issues with players and owners making their expected earnings each year, the NBA is also dealing with this. In reality, it is the behind-the-scenes people, like those who work in the stadiums, who will feel the most hurt by the NBA losing so much money. The lockout has been going on since July 30 and could end up costing the NBA millions of dollars and losing many fans. Assistant coach for the UMHB men’s basketball team Jimmy Smith said, “I do know that the majority of the teams in the NBA are losing money. With the vast popularity of the NBA, that just doesn’t seem right. When it comes down to it, the NBA is a business, and the goal of both the owners and the players is to make money.” Many fans are trying to offer hypothetical answers to the situation. “I’m not sure what the solution is ­­— profit sharing, adjusting the salary cap, etc…. but I feel...

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Cru football isn’t wasting the spring
Apr15

Cru football isn’t wasting the spring

During the spring semester, members of the football program show their dedication for the sport through early morning strength and conditioning practices. Off season is a time when players can prove to the coaches what they’re capable of. Each morning brings tough auxiliary and agility workouts for the football players trying to establish a good standing. Their commitment levels are tested by the hard workouts as well as the time they take place. Players awaken every morning before the sun to “shine” for the coaches. The athletes work out five times a week. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are the designated days for lifting weights. Tuesdays are assigned for different types of running drills, and the team usually spends Thursdays either running or participating in a game of fleet ball. The object of fleet ball is a fun mix of football and ultimate Frisbee while being a tough workout in its own. Sophomore sport management major Everett Morrow sees off season as a time to strengthen his mind and physique as well as grow as a team. “It’s the time that we really become closer and form stronger bonds. It’s where brotherhood is created,” he said. Morrow developed an optimistic perspective on the matter. “My favorite part of workout is the feeling of accomplishment you receive after you’re done. Each day the coaches push us to our limits and challenge us to work harder. I also like being around my teammates and working hard together to reach our goals,” he said. Morrow admitted to his favorite workout being bench, while squat and front squat tend to be more painful. Sophomore exercise and sport science major Jordan Mullinix enjoys how players can challenge each other to do better. “My favorite part of workout is when we do competition. Whether it’s fleet ball or a fifth relay, I like to work as a team and compete against each other.” Mullinix finds confidence in the agility drills. “I’m obviously not the biggest guy on the team, but I feel I can run all right. When we do workouts that involve running, I’m usually not too worried about it,” he said. Throughout these exhilarating drills, coaches keep track of each individual. Doing well in the exercises will determine who receives a spot on the football team. Athletes who show commitment in all aspects gain more respect than those who choose to slack off. Sophomore business administration major Lance Larsen uses off season to prove how dedicated he is to the sport. Like Mullinix, Larsen admitted to enjoying the competition drills as well. “Whether it’s running, lifting, agility or a combination of the three, being...

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Cheer prevails in Austin
Apr12

Cheer prevails in Austin

Among the university’s student population, one group in particular stands out with their toned build and  1980s Reebok high tops: Cru cheerleaders. Since the end of January, the team has spent hours working on a routine to compete in the Texas Collegiate Championship hosted by St. Edward’s University in Austin. Cru Cheer coach Farrah Dunaway explained the motive behind entering the competition. “The team enjoys every moment that they support Cru athletics; they wanted to have that same feeling of working towards a goal, despite the challenges and laying everything they have on the table to see who will be the victor,” she said. Regardless of injuries and illnesses, the squad maintained determination and stayed mentally tough throughout this year. Cru Cheer returned from the competition with a handful of awards. The team placed second, third and fourth in the stunt competitions, first place in the skills routine — which included Divisions II and III as well as junior colleges — and took first place overall. When it comes to constructing a routine, elements of cheer, dance, stunt and tumble come together. This creates a high-energy, three­­–minute performance. Senior elementary education major Taylor Tyre knows how important it is for the routine to be polished for the competition. “Everything has to be perfect … even something as little as transitions. The slightest thing out of place can lead to a sloppy routine,” she said. Senior history major Ellen Bates describes the stunting aspect to be the most difficult challenge. Stunts give a wow factor to the routine and leave the audience impressed with daring acts of high altitude. “We were changing out bases and flyers up until the last practice before our showcase, which was very stressful, but everyone really pulled their weight and made those stunts work,” she said. Sophomore elementary education major Nicole Rosato admits to keeping her heart in the right direction and maintaining faith from beginning to end. “It was a great experience to be a part of a team that grew stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. We definitely didn’t win simply by skill, but also from the strength God provided,” she said. In all, members of Cru Cheer showcased an award–winning performance, and made their fans and coach proud. Dunaway said, “The team was up against the wall many times, yet pushed through and never gave up. In life, they will be placed in similar situations, and I am confident they will remember how God has grown them and groomed them for success during trials.” Also, in Daytona Beach, Fla., the National Cheer & Dance Association’s Collegiate Championship took place with mascot, CRUnk. The...

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Spanish golfer qualifies for invitational
Apr12

Spanish golfer qualifies for invitational

Some 5,000 miles from his hometown, Cadiz, Spain, freshman economics major Pablo Mena has thrived as a Crusader and has been a crucial weapon in the arsenal of Cru golf for this season on the team. Mena was first discovered by Coach Aaron Rodeffer in an international student athlete showcase in Miami, Fla., last July, put on by the International Doorway to Education and Athletics. He displayed much potential. Rodeffer  described him as the “most accomplished” golfer in the showcase and took an early interest in Mena, recruiting him to the purple and gold in a short span of two days. Mena was approached by several coaches representing various schools such as the University of Massachusetts and North Carolina. Mena said that Rodeffer stood out, and was the reason he decided to come to UMHB. So what brings this international athlete so far from home? His love for golf and his desire to study abroad. He had always wanted to study in the U.S. and said, “I’ve been planning on it since I was 16.” Mena recalls an easy move to UMHB in August, commenting, “I felt very comfortable, welcomed by my teammates and peers.” He was comfortable enough to nickname all of his teammates, such as sophomore criminal justice major Taylor “Baby T” Holleyman and sophomore Spanish and communication double  major Spencer “Northwest” Turner to mention a few. “(He) gets along with everyone and brings a great chemistry to the team,” said Holleyman, further asserting that Mena had a smooth transition socially. However, coming to the golf team at the collegate level was not so smooth. He had a rocky start, which can only be expected when introduced to game play on an entirely new continent. Rodeffer suggests that Mena, “has made a great turnaround this spring.” Mena himself was quick to testify accordingly. “(Last) semester I played terrible, but this semester I am getting my golf game back,” he said. Turner spoke of his progression in a positive light. “Yes, he obviously had his speed bumps first semester, but he has adjusted quickly and is improving on his scoring,” Turner said. In addition to his progress, teammates complimented the Spaniard on his ball striking, enthusiasm and demeanor on the golf course. Mena was recently invited to the California Lutheran Kingsmen Invitational, in Lompoc, Calif., after qualifying for his first top-five appearance. The team finished sixth of 14 total teams in the invitational, and Mena recognizes the event as the most memorable yet of his time as a Crusader. Mena most recently fought for the Cru at the West Region Invitational March 4 and 5, which concluded the...

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Conference championship in sight for softball

With a perfect record for the first 15 conference games this season, the Lady Cru softball team has its eyes set on making it to playoffs. “Being 12-0 for conference play has been such a blessing. We’re a dedicated team, not only to the game and our coaches, but also to each other and ourselves,” junior special education major and short stop Laura Sotiropoulos said. She goes on to say that, “I believe that it’s the hard work we put in at practice, and our composure that we have towards every part of the game when we step foot on the field that has helped us keep such a good record this season.” One key part of having a successful year is the teamwork that has been building throughout the season. The Lady Cru has several returning players, but also the addition of new faces, which makes this even more crucial. “One of our mottos is to have faith in each other and yourself, and I believe that is what has brought us together. We have a huge amount of trust in each other to get the job done when it’s needed,” Sotiropoulos said. Senior nursing major and first baseman Megan Bhone agrees. “Teamwork wins ball games. One or two people can’t win it alone. It takes the whole team to contribute. Defensively, we trust in our teammates to make all the plays. Offensively, each at bat counts to win. Once our team clicks, we are unstoppable,” she said. One factor different from last year’s team is the addition of the new head coach. After 12 years with the Lady Leopards at Temple College, Head Coach Larry Hennig was happy to make the move to be in charge of the Lady Cru. “Coming to Mary Hardin-Baylor is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s been a real good move. There are things along the way that you like, and then there are things that really are special: the traditions and growing close to the girls that are in the program, which has made it so much fun for me.” On April 15 and 16, the Lady Cru could be playing for the Conference Championship if they have at least three wins out of the four games against Howard Payne University. Although there will most likely be games lost throughout the rest of the season, the team knows they always have members to lean on. “We support each other whether we are winning or losing. We pick people up if they are having off days, and most important, we laugh and have fun together,” junior exercise and sports...

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Mustaches seen around campus
Mar29

Mustaches seen around campus

The years-old tradition of “Mustache March” was bought to campus this semester by the men’s baseball team. The practice was originated by Robin Olds, an American fighter pilot and general officer in the U.S. Air Force. It was his way of showing defiance against the facial hair regulations during the month of March. Now men all across the country participate in this yearly protest. With the season getting off to a slow start, the Cru decided to try something new. “We needed a change in the team. I mean, we started off 0-5 our first five games,” junior exercise sport science major and pitcher Sam VanHoozer said. “(We) figured we could use something to kind of turn things around for us, and it has gotten us back to almost a .500 record.” This was a way for the purple and gold to come together and build a more dynamic team than in previous seasons. “The guys that could grow a mustache participated, but some of the younger guys have a little work to do,” junior sport management major and third baseman Josh Fredrick said. “We are going to try to do it again next year and get the freshmen involved more with (them) using the Just for Men hair product so they can experience what we did.” The team got weird glances and confused faces around campus, but also when they played against other schools. “You have no idea how many looks we have got,” junior exercise sport science major and designated hitter Derek Draeger said. “The girls hate them, and the guys respect us for them. As for other teams, they laugh and kind of take it as a joke, or they just use it to make fun of us.” Even head Coach Derek Dunaway was involved. “I had one for two days until we lost, and then I shaved it,” he said. The rest of the team was soon to follow with the removal of the mustaches when they lost the series against McMurry University March 19-20. “We just took a couple hard losses these past few weekends, which is why we decided it was time for the mustaches to be shaved off,” VanHoozer said. “They are gone, and hopefully we will get back on track for winning.” Fredrick agrees. “We’ve worked hard and are going to continue to work hard. Baseball is a weird sport, and sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want it,” he said. “We know the task that is ahead of us, and we feel like God has put us in a lot of different situations of adversity. The only way...

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