Archive for October, 2010

Connecticut Headed For Philly NCAA Nostalgia?

Four unbeaten national titles, a talent-lode of all-Americans, and an all-time win streak are some of the highlights that have marked the University of Connecticut’s rise to dominance of the collegiate women’s hoops scene since the Huskies hit their stride in 1995 with the first of seven NCAA trophies.

Yet when pressed to list his favorite moments of a Hall of Fame coaching career with the Huskies, Geno Auriemma usually will quickly note two stops in Philadelphia near his Norristown (Pa.) home that are among his favorite memories.


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From Pat

LGBT Student Athletes Taking On Homophobia in College Athletics

I am really excited by several recent news reports about LGBT and ally student athlete led groups on college campuses. Groups at Eastern Michigan, Yale and UPenn have all been featured in recent stories. Other schools that have organized similar groups include Vassar, Purdue and the University of Michigan. There could be more. Those are the ones I know about.

In addition to providing support and visibility for LGBT athletes on campus, these groups are doing trainings for athletes and helping to organizing training for coaches and athletic administrators on their campuses. These campus-based groups join Our Group, a national group of LGBTA student athletes who have similar goals.

I cannot stress enough how important these groups are in making college athletics programs more welcoming and respectful for LGBT athletes. I developed a resource for student athletes who wanted to start a group like this on their campuses which is available here.

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Mechelle on Swoopes: Sheryl Swoopes still waiting for farewell

Sheryl Swoopes doesn’t want to sound angry. She’s past that, she says. And besides, what’s the point?

But the problem is, it does bother her. Swoopes, one of the founding players of the WNBA along with Lisa Leslie and Rebecca Lobo, has never gotten her fond farewell from the league.

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In honor of Halloween

A “costume” flashback: Vanderbilt basketball in 1910. Can you imagine where our game would be if it hadn’t been all but wiped out in the mid-30’s?

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this email — I have no idea why you didn’t (I didn’t), but here it is:

Dear (season subscriber that has already re-upped),

Please accept this letter as an official invitation for you and a guest to join me in a suite at the Prudential Center on Wednesday, November 3rd at 7:00pm as the NJ Nets take on the Charlotte Bobcats. I would like to take this opportunity to get to know some of our fans, and you are one of them. Please note, however, that strings are attached! It will be my goal to get you so excited about this team that you will choose to become part of our 2011 Liberty Season Subscriber family by the end of the evening.

I am so happy that my family and I are now part of the “Liberty Family.” Our team plays the game with great passion and enthusiasm, and as the former coach of the Sacramento Monarchs, I’ve always loved the atmosphere of a Liberty crowd. As we move to “The Rock” in Newark, our team is excited to keep all of the old Garden traditions while creating new ones with you in a brand new environment.

Under the leadership of Rutgers alumnus Cappie Pondexter, I can promise you that some of the new “traditions” will be an attacking offense, hard-nosed defense and a lot of turnovers by the opposing team!

So, please be my guest on Wednesday the 3rd at the Prudential Center to learn more about each other, the new state-of-the-art building, and how you can become a part of the 2011 season. Space is limited, so please RSVP today to Jaime Sparling (Jaime.Sparling@thegarden.com or 212-465-3901).

Thanks for your support and see you at The Rock!

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Evans’ inspiration goes beyond basketball

There’s a big-time basketball player fighting a courageous battle that most people probably have never heard of.

In this town, Dawn Evans is well known. Around the country, Evans has built a reputation as one of the nation’s deadliest shooters and a sure-fire WNBA lottery pick. Some may argue the James Madison point guard could be a No. 1 selection depending on the team and that team’s need.The question for Evans isn’t if she belongs, it’s if she can play.

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Think Pink!

From the Dodge City Daily Globe: WNBA players highlight charity event


It was Team White against Team Black. In the end, the only color that mattered was pink.

The WEPAC Alliance – a Southwest Kansas organization that includes the
communities of Wilmore, Ellinwood, Protection, Ashland and Coldwater – hosted its second annual Hoops for Hope charity basketball event at South Central High School Friday night to raise money for cancer-preventative treatments in those communities.

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“I’m not done yet!”

As reported by others previously, Washing Mystics guard Alana Beard and Phoenix Mercury center Tangela Smith are currently doing a management internship with Jamba Juice in Emeryville, California. Both have visions of owning their own business after their basketball careers and are getting their feet wet doing everything from washing dishes to going over PNL models with the CFO.

I had a chance to chat with both Beard and Smith on the job today and discussed the experience and their aspirations after basketball. For Smith, who already holds the WNBA record for games played, life after basketball could begin in the next couple of years.

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Mechelle wonders, “Will Pokey Chatman be lift the Sky need?

Pokey Chatman returns to the United States to coach next summer in the WNBA, and it would seem a lot of women’s basketball fans will be very happy to have her back. Some others might not be. And still others will take a wait-and-see approach.

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Sooner News

Video and a OU Q&A with Whitney Hand

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this turned into a Jamie Carey-esqu story? Amber Gray Cleared To Play Basketball For Xavier

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Tamika Raymond Fights for India

“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the souls of its people.” – Mohandas Ghandhi


Many food critics on the Food Network and Travel Channel preach that the best way to embody a culture is through the native cuisine. I truly believe that something as simple as sharing a meal can enrich the spirit. South Indian cuisine is spicy, bold, and full of different flavors. Most Indian food is a combination of spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits because many natives are vegetarians due to their faith.

This week, I had the time of my life eating my first real South Indian meal. The preparation, cooked with love, included vegetables picked from the garden, homemade spices and herbs, and great family conversation. First, I washed my hands, and then I sat in front of a huge banana leaf with heaping piles of different Indian concoctions. I scooped the food in my mouth and each pile sent a unique burst of flavor to my taste buds. It was filling and so delicious! Every meal brings storytelling, history lessons, and Masala chai – the best tea on the planet. The food, tea, and giving nature of the Indian people is like Chicken Soup for the Soul!

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Et voila! A poll

from the AP!

Who’s voting this year, you ask?

Deb Antonelli, Fox Sports
Patricia Babcock McGraw, Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Tony Bleill, The News-Gazette, Champaign, Ill.
Mike Carmin, Journal and Courier, Lafayette, Ind.
Robert Cessna, The Eagle, Bryan-College Station, Texas
Brice Cherry, Waco (Texas) Tribune-Herald
Stu Durando, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Rich Elliot, Connecticut Post, Bridgeport
Jayda Evans, Seattle Times
Dan Fleser, Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel
Jim Fuller, New Haven (Conn.) Register
Jack Genung, Home News Tribune, East Brunswick, N.J.
Monte Hale, The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Craig Handel, The News-Press, Fort Myers, Fla.
Marcus Henry, Newsday, Melville, N.Y.
Clay Horning, The Norman (Okla.) Transcript
Lynn Jacobsen, Tulsa (Okla.) World
Dan Johnson, The Des Moines (Iowa) Register
Kara Lawson, ESPN
Joshua Lindenstein, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.
Jeff Linder, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jim Massie, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch
Adam Minichino, The Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss.
Rob Moseley, The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore.
Beth Mowins, Westwood One
Patrick Ochs, The Oxford (Miss.) Eagle
Rhiannon Potkey, Ventura County Star, Ventura, Calif.
Curt Rallo, South Bend (Ind.) Tribune
Martin Renzhofer, The Salt Lake Tribune
Jerome Richard, Burlington (N.C) Times-News
Edward Robinson III, The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.
Ken Sickenger, Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal
Michele Smith, AOL Fanhouse
Chris Solari, The Lansing (Mich.) State Journal
Dave Trimmer, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
Sarah Trotto, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Ariz.
Steve Tucker, Chicago Sun-Times
Mechelle Voepel, ESPN.com
Katrina Waugh, Roanoke (Va.) Times
Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I hope this list will inspire the voters (or their readers) to send along links to all the articles they’re writing about women’s basketball.

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It’s official

The Chicago Sky named Pokey Chatman general manager and head coach, the team announced Friday.

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Ah, proofreaders…

Goodness knows  we could all use one. Case in point:

Sports Editors:

The preseason AP Top 25 women’s basketball poll will move on Oct. 29.

AP Sports

Everybody sing!

(or) Everybody OLD SCHOOL sing!

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Roz’s murder, but after hearing it, she writes about the issues that surround the tragedy: Love and Basketball: Not Always a Happy Ending

In many ways violence in lesbian and gay relationships is no different than violence in heterosexual relationships. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with how well we deal with relationship conflict, infidelity, or just growing apart. Our ability to cope with the anger, jealousy, anguish and depression that often go with a break up has nothing to do with whether we are gay or straight. Though we hear more about violence in heterosexual relationships, relationship violence of any kind, whether the relationship is straight or gay, is a problem.

On the other hand, many gay relationships must be negotiated without the institutional and personal support that are taken for granted by heterosexual couples. Coping with the relationship issues that are inherent in being in one are often exacerbated by isolation fear, and discrimination that many LGBT people face every day in a culture that tells them they are sick, sinful, immoral or crazy.

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Childhood Dreams Become Reality for Rutgers Walk-on

On a crisp Autumn morning inside the Rutgers Athletic Center, sophomore Brittany Lapidus sat observing her teammates being approached Thursday from those making the rounds at the Scarlet Knights’ annual media day.

Though Lapidus may not have been high on the interview list for those seeking to hear pearls of wisdom from those expected to do the heavy lifting this season for Hall of Fame coach C.Vivian Stringer, the 5-foot-7 guard from Marlboro, N.J., was just thrilled to be part of the contingent in a new role.

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More ‘ice

From SlamOnline: California Love – Candice Wiggins connects West Coast hip-hop and the NBA.

And from the .com: Candice Wiggins Discusses Recovery and Offseason Plans

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from Mechelle? Check out her chat transcript.

Get more info when Mechelle’s on the radio today:

Mechelle Voepel and I (Brenda VanLengen) will have fun talking about our drive to SW Kansas and my stay in the caboose at the motel on “She’s Got Game” Friday at 12noon CST on SportsRadioKC.com (Mechelle got a regular room)

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and, to mix my metaphors, touches a lot of important bases: Pat Summitt’s words fuel fire – Tennessee coach’s “off the cuff” remark implies Auriemma broke recruiting rules

These are two towering figures in the sport of women’s basketball, two legends in the profession of coaching. They have pushed each other and, thus, elevated the game. If you genuinely like and respect both Summitt and Auriemma, which I do, this enmity between the programs actually has become painful to witness.

This latest flare-up is on Summitt, period. I don’t think she meant to do it, but she did. Not talking about it doesn’t make it go away. If there are real recruiting violations going on with UConn, then they need to be investigated. If there aren’t, then Summitt’s remark was out of line and she should acknowledge that.

If you want to talk with her about the situation (or abut the Sky’s decision, or the Mystics decision, or what the heck is not going on with espnW), CHAT with her, today at 2pm.

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What Defines Perfection in Sports?

Perfection. It manifests itself in a variety of ways. It can be subjective or objective. For instance, Warren Zevon saw perfection in the hair of a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s. That’s his opinion, and he’s entitled to it (judge for yourself). In Don Larsen’s case, perfection was indisputable. 27 up, 27 down. By definition, a perfect game.

Then there’s Zenyatta. An individual athlete whose victories have been determined plain and simply by the fact that she has run faster than all of the opponents she has ever faced.

But perfection in sports is not always as concrete as Zenyatta never letting another horse hit the wire ahead of her.

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(Readers of the WHB will know Jo from her time with the Franklin Pierce Ravens.)

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Full Court Press has

their preseason rankings out.

Kinda feel like #4 is an interesting pick.

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Michelle writes for Fanhouse: Stefanie Gilbreath Finally Getting Her Chance for USC

On that Thursday night last February when USC guard Jacki Gemelos took the court at Cal for the first playing time of her college career — three years and four ACL surgeries after she arrived — Stefanie Gilbreath couldn’t watch.

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at the top of the NAIA preseason polls: Tennessee’s Union in Division I and Iowa’s Northwestern in D-II.


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to get Sue’s report of the USC and UCLA dining/kick-off events

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Mel looks back before we all look forward: Another Poll Season Looms

With the 35th season of AP voting about to get underway with the release of the Associated Press preseason poll later this week the Guru presents from the history files for you people of CoSIDA and other stat freaks a few preseason poll categories.

Incidentally, poll No. 600 is only six voting weeks away.

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From Lady Swish

Women’s basketball Top 10: We can’t wait

The list made me think about how some people kvetch about the W being “relegated” to the summer months… as if that’s a BAD thing.

One: I have no wish for the W to compete with men’s and women’s college ball, much less the NBA.

Two: Frankly, it’s PERFECT. Women’s fans get basketball year-round… with just enough of a pause between the college and pro season for us to keep us hungry and appreciative (and for those of us who are birders to enjoy spring migration).

And every two years, we get the extra indulgence of the Worlds or Olympics! What more could a bball junkie ask for?

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Two from Q

Five preseason questions: How far can Vandersloot lead Gonzaga after losing ‘irreplacable’ seniors?

Whatever pressure there is on the Gonzaga University women’s basketball team to repeat last year’s success, 5-foot-8 point guard Courtney Vandersloot will likely be shouldering a significant chunk of the burden.

And a really nice catch: Guest Blogger: Who is your daughter’s role model?

Basketball is one of the few sports where women have a popular professional stage to showcase their skills. Yet on a national level they remain somewhat invisible, especially in regards to our youth. We don’t watch ESPN2 when the WNBA is on because there is baseball on FSN, so our young girls turn on MTV and watch the Hills. What are the consequences of our girls knowing everything about Lady GaGa and knowing nothing of Edna Campbell?

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but it is something that needs to be looked at carefully.

Set aside the Tennessee/UConn rivalry and its awkward end.

Set aside your disdain for that smart-ass, disrespectful Philly guy.

Set aside your impatience with the reverence of all things Orange.

And just look at what was said at the Southeastern Conference media day event (and day after interview).

“I’ve never compromised at all, and I wouldn’t. And if I did, they should fire me,” said Summitt. She was asked if she was talking about Bruce Pearl, Tennessee’s men’s basketball coach, who is currently under investigation for recruiting infractions.

“I didn’t have Bruce Pearl on my mind. I probably had Connecticut on my mind. There’s a reason we don’t play them,” she said.

Any way you cut it, Coach Summitt has accused Connecticut of recruiting violations.

A toss away remark, a poor attempt at humor, an attempt to clarify her support for a friend and fellow employee, a deliberate revelation of a known truth — however it got out into the world, there it sits.

The winningest and, easily argued, most respected, visible coach in ALL of women’s basketball has accused the coach of the second most storied program in women’s basketball, the current coach of the United States National team and the president of the WBCA, of cheating.

This is not about a fanbase’s outrage or Itoldyaso.

This isn’t about whether Summitt and Auriemma despise each other.

This isn’t about wondering whether this is “news” the national press should jump all over.

This isn’t about questioning whether the Chris Strobel and the NCAA enforcement crew is doing a thorough job of investigating.

This is about how women’s basketball has said it wants to self-regulate itself.

As they often say,  there are some ways in which they don’t want to become like the men’s side. That is why the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association recently established their Ethics Committee which “assists in monitoring ethical standards, enforces appropriate action for any misconduct, and continues to positively influence and uphold ethics in women’s basketball.”

That is why, in September of this year, the following guidelines were laid out by the WBCA:

The WBCA Ethics Committee is comprised of coaching peers and was established in response to a membership perceived lack of communication and accountability among coaches regarding unacceptable behavior. The Committee has been directed to honor the mission statement of the WBCA, which is to develop and foster a reputable identity for the sport of women’s basketball.

In addition, in order to help cultivate a higher standard of conduct and self-regulation regarding recruiting, the Ethics Committee has created a mechanism to identify and act on emerging and/or continuing NCAA violations. Specifically, the procedures outlined below are designed to increase communication between the membership and their respective compliance contacts, and are intended to complement NCAA, conference and institutional systems that are already in place.

The process begins when a coach calls the WBCA to report a potential violation by another coach(es)

Step 1 The initial response from the WBCA will be to clarify the facts of the potential violation, educate/ remind the coach about the processes that are already in place, and to recommend that:
a. the involved coaches discuss the issue amongst themselves;
b. the complaining coach discuss the issue with his/her institutional compliance officer and/or
athletic director;
c. the complaining coach and his/her institutional administrator discuss the issue with their
conference office; and
d. the complaining coach and institution follow proper procedures to notify the NCAA Enforcement staff

Step 2 After receiving a report of a potential violation(s), the WBCA will call the head coach of the program that has allegedly committed the violation(s) (hereafter referred to as respondent coach). Note: the WBCA will call the head coach regardless of whether the allegation(s) was made against an assistant or associate coach. This courtesy call is intended to (1) notify the respondent coach that a colleague has reported a concern and (2) request a response to the allegation(s). The complaining coach’s name will be kept confidential, throughout the process. In addition, the WBCA will remind the respondent coach of his/her obligation to inform his or her own institution of the allegation. The respondent coach has ten business days to reply following the initial WBCA contact. During that time frame, the WBCA will attempt to reach the coach up to three times. If the coach does not respond, the allegation(s) will be forwarded from the WBCA to his/her institution, conference office and possibly the NCAA Enforcement staff.

Step 3 After speaking with the respondent coach, the WBCA will share his/her response with the coach that originally reported the potential violation. At that point, one of the following scenarios will apply:
b. If the respondent coach agrees that a violation has occurred and agrees to report the violation, then the process is complete. The WBCA will forward a letter to the respondent coaches’ institution and a summary of the case to the co-chairs of the ethics committee.
c. If the complaining coach continues to believe that a violation occurred and the respondent coach disagrees, the WBCA will forward a summary of the case to the co-chairs of the Ethics Committee as well as the ethics committee divisional or regional representative of the respondent coach. Note: In Division I it would be the regional representative, and in Division II and III it would be the divisional representative.) Ethics Committee members are expected to keep all matters brought to their attention confidential. If the Ethics Committee representatives become involved and determine that the nature of the case warrants review by a Hearing Panel (e.g if they believe an NCAA violation may have occurred), they will “Red Flag” the case and the following additional step applies:

Step 4 The Hearing Panel shall include the Ethics Committee co-chairs, the WBCA liaison and an Ethics Committee representative. The Hearing Panel may invite the respondent coach to participate in a conference call. The Hearing Panel has two options for disposition of a case:
a. The Hearing Panel may determine that a case warrants further review by the NCAA, the respondent coaches’ conference office, and/or institution. In such a situation, the full Ethics Committee would review the specifics of the case in order to determine the appropriate entities to be notified. In ANY situation where there is credible evidence to indicate that a NCAA violation has occurred, the WBCA will forward that case to all three entities.
b. The Hearing Panel may determine that the case warrants no further review and will close the case.

Okay, WBCA Ethics Committee (see members below), here’s your first test. And it’s a doozy.

Whatcha got?

Position Name School
Co-Chair Tara VanDerveer Stanford
Co-Chair & WBCA Alumnae Jody Conradt Texas
Division I/Region 1 Harry Perretta Villanova
Division I/Region 2 Sue Semrau Florida State
Division I/Region 3 Sam Dixon Furman
Division I/Region 4 Audra Smith UAB
Division I/Region 5 Sherri Coale Oklahoma
Division I/Region 6 Pam Borton Minnesota
Division I/Region 7 Jane Albright Nevada
Division I/Region 8 June Daugherty Washington State
Division II Sue Ramsey Ashland
Division III Kris Huffman DePauw
WBCA Staff Liaison Shannon Reynolds WBCA COO

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