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in California: “Berkeley’s girls basketball coach Cheryl Draper took her team off the court with 1 minute, 20 seconds left in a game in a loss to Miramonte-Orinda, claiming she and her players heard racial slurs.”

And now we have this in Pennsylvania: Smear campaign against nation’s top girls basketball team – Philly’s Neumann-Goretti – traced to rival coach (nice job by write Joseph Santoliquito)

It attempted to discredit the NG program, alleging that the African players on the Saints, here legally, are older than their actual age and are in the United States illegally. Contents of the email were posted on comment forums of media websites (since removed) alleging institutional misconduct, and stating that the “FBI” is looking into the matter.

What PhillyVoice has uncovered is that the email Aston received was not just from anyone. It emanated from an email address that is registered to the name and home address of another Philadelphia Catholic League coach, Archbishop Wood girls basketball coach John Gallagher, who through an attorney neither confirms nor denies sending the email to Aston “and others.”

Additionally, Archbishop Wood has known about this — and has taken no action to date. 

And this from Maine: Witnesses: Calais girls basketball teammates exchanged obscenities, one pushed coach during game

An altercation between two Calais High School girls basketball players during a recent game is believed to have sparked a controversy that prompted the superintendent of schools to tender his resignation, after the school board reduced his disciplinary action against the players.

On the flip side: From the Deseret News: Copper Hills reaping the rewards of years of building program

“To be honest, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” said Morley, who spent nine years coaching boys basketball, as well as football. “There was no tradition, no anything. They basically handed me a bunch of deflated balls and old uniforms and said, ‘Hey, turn the program around.’ I knew there would be work, but to be honest, I didn’t quite know how much.” Morley quickly diagnosed a number of issues. First, he was new to girls basketball so he wasn’t even sure if his experience would translate.

Yes, you can call Kansas State over #20 Texas an upset, but a bigger upset was Oakland (10-11, 4-4) over Green Bay (17-4, 7-1)), 70-67. And it was on the Phoenix’s home court.

By ending UWGB’s season-high winning streak of eight games, Oakland became the first team to knock off the Phoenix in Horizon play at the midway point of the league schedule. What’s more, the feisty Grizzlies handed UWGB (17-4 overall, 7-1 conference) its first home loss.

“I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t a little bit of a surprise,” said an elated Jeff Tungate, Oakland’s second-year coach. “But, we’ve had a really good week of practice, and our players have been really determined. I knew we were going to play well coming in. I just didn’t know, is ‘playing well’ going to be enough? Thankfully tonight, it was.”

You may recall that Tungate inherited a program that was a hot mess.

Another big upset: San Jose State (10-11, 4-6 MW) stunned Fresno State (17-4, 9-1), 56-51.

I’m have a funny feeling this group of Mountaineers maybe driving coach Carey bonkers. They take down TCU, 76-71.

Ouch. Albany took out its frustration on New Hampshire, 74-48.

It’s not quite Monday, but it’s never too early to start throwing down gauntlets: Editorial: Greatness awaits USC women’s basketball team

 AS WE WATCHED the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team evolve under the leadership of coach Dawn Staley over the past few years, it was evident that it was on a trajectory toward elite status.

We believe it has crossed that threshold this season, having spent 11 straight weeks at the top of the national rankings. A showdown with No. 2 Connecticut on the road presents a grand opportunity for the Gamecocks to step into rarified air and send a message that not only can it run with the big programs, it can defeat them.

Last season, Kansas State enticed fans to attend a women’s basketball game by offering free bacon.

This season, Georgetown is one-upping those Wildcats with something even better: free kale.

Congrats: Brittany Boyd breaks Cal women’s basketball all-time assist record

Congrats, (but I think the Harvard English professors might want to chat with the headline writer): Fagbenle Reaches Century Mark in Women’s Basketball’s Loss to Penn

Though the Harvard women’s basketball team may have been on the losing end of a back and forth contest against Penn (11-6, 2-1 Ivy) Saturday evening at Lavietes Pavilion, the game was one for the record books.

As the first half came to a close, senior forward Temi Fagbenle sunk a free throw to become the 19th player in Crimson history to score 1,000 points. Fagbenle was Harvard’s leading scorer in the game, earning 19 points to bring her career total to 1,010.

Intersting: Pepperdine Students to Protest Alleged Discrimination Against Lesbian Basketball Players – The women claim their coach told them, ‘Lesbianism isn’t tolerated here.’ 

Some great stuff by Sue on Diana’s decision to sit out the WNBA season:

A Washington Post columnist says Diana Taurasi’s decision to sit out this year’s WNBA season for $1.5 million to play for her Russian team next winter is “a sobering message for the WNBA.”

Nope. It’s business as usual.

It’s a sad situation for Taurasi, the WNBA’s highest-paid player at just less than $107,000 a year, and a problem for the WNBA.

No, this is a sad situation, as is any player who is so worn down after year-round playing that they look tired in WNBA press conferences. And there are lots of those. Taurasi is taking advantage of her skills and her popularity and accepting a great offer that will take care of her financially when she’s older. She’s doing it on her terms, her way. As my source who first told me this news Friday night said, taking the money was “a no-brainer” for Taurasi.

It’s curious that Russian teams will pay big bucks to American players, but U.S. teams will not.

Again, no. I wrote about the differences between U.S. and European/Asian salaries in 2012:

Women’s professional basketball in Europe and Asia is directly effected by the worldwide recession because teams there are sponsored by businesses and governments. When faced with keeping their enterprises alive, companies cut the extras, like their team sponsorships. Ditto, governments. And as up to 100 percent of a team’s budget can come from sponsors, some franchises are forced to fold……

Nice piece on the NCAA’s Champion Magazine on FGCU’s Kaneisha Atwater:

Ninety-eight percent of teen moms do not graduate college before they turn 30. Kaneisha, though, is on the cusp of being counted among the other 2 percent. She is on pace to receive a degree in criminal justice from Florida Gulf Coast University in May 2016, thanks to a basketball scholarship.

For decades, a birth often marked the death of a college career. News reports told stories of scholarships that weren’t renewed, of free paths to a degree blockaded, of pregnant athletes whose fear of losing their place on a team steered them to abortions. Those accounts spurred culture change: In 2008, Division I adopted legislation preventing athletes from losing their scholarships for medical reasons the year they became pregnant. Seven years later, schools like Florida Gulf Coast are willing to make accommodations so athletes like Kaneisha can juggle diapers and textbooks and basketballs.

Having a flashback to Yolanda Griffith’s experience at Palm Beach Community College under coach Sally Smith.

The door she opened led her to one of the top programs and coaches in the country, Iowa and C. Vivian Stringer. But, not long after enrolling, Griffith discovered she was pregnant. With the father uninterested in raising a child, she left school and returned to Chicago where her family banded around her. The birth of her daughter, Candace, in May of 1989 found Griffith unsure what the future held for her. Realizing she wanted to continue to play basketball, a game plan was laid out: go to a Junior College, graduate, then finish out her career at a four-year college. The first thought was to stay local, but a good friend knew the head coach at Palm Beach Community College, Sally Smith. Interestingly enough, Smith, who had been the first black All-American on the legendary Nashville Business College team, herself had had a daughter when she was 18. “He said,” recalled Griffith, “’This is the best place for you as far as the facilities, getting education, and helping single parents.’”

Wait, isn’t this a recruiting violation for UConn-Notre Dame-Louisville? Mo’ne Davis, Charles, Diggins, Schimmel to Play in Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

 

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From Michelle: Rivals team up for a cause – Cal’s Lyles, Stanford’s Kokenis work to support LGBT inclusion in sports

During a week when rival teams dig in and prepare, Mikayla Lyles and Toni Kokenis are reaching out. During a week when programs with a history might be talking a little trash, Lyles and Kokenis want to start a dialogue.

Lyles, a senior guard from Cal, and Kokenis, who played three seasons at Stanford before concussions forced her off the court, carved out time this week — in the run-up to the annual back-to-back games between the Bears and Cardinal — to create a shared space for inclusion and a conversation about acceptance.

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Very excited….

Just got my latest USA Sochi Winter Olympic team email, and look at the gloves they have for sale!!!

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Russia and the IOC Agree: Don’t Be Openly Gay at the Olympics.

My response? Don’t boycott, stand up to them. Hire these folks to create the US’s Opening Ceremony uniforms.

THe_Molo_Tots_Pyxis_Suit_-_Rainbow

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Griner: No talking sexuality at Baylor

Former Baylor women’s basketball star Brittney Griner says that Kim Mulkey, her college head coach, told players not to be open publicly about their sexuality because it would hurt recruiting and look bad for the program.

“It was a recruiting thing,” Griner said during an interview with ESPN The Magazine and espnW. “The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn’t let their kids come play for Baylor.”

So, what’s the next thing Mulkey will profess “ignorance” of?

Meanwhile, from the New York Times: ON RELIGION‘Griner Effect’ May Change the Game at Baylor

By dint of her celebrity status, to say nothing of her marketplace value to the Baylor brand, Ms. Griner has instantly altered the relationship between Baylor and its gay students, one that has been awkward at best and contentious at worst. Far from condemning her as a sinner, Baylor offered Ms. Griner “our admiration, appreciation and support,” as the university’s director of media communications, Lori W. Fogleman, wrote in an e-mail this week.

Plenty of caveats should be attached to this tolerance offensive. Baylor continues to omit sexual orientation from its nondiscrimination policy. The university’s official statement on sexual misconduct lists “homosexual acts” — as well as sexual harassment and adultery, among other behaviors — as “misuses of God’s gifts.”

Even so, if it is too soon to know with certainty whether Baylor’s public acceptance of Ms. Griner’s sexuality will extend to the John and Jane Queer of its rank-and-file student body, a more expansive kind of change seems possible thanks to what one might call the Griner Effect.

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From the NY Times: Faried Shows Support for L.G.B.T. Community

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried became the first N.B.A. player to join Athlete Ally, an organization aimed at combating homophobia in sports.

Faried, 23, was raised by a lesbian couple in Newark.

“I have two moms and I love them both very much,” Faried, who played collegiately at Morehead State in Kentucky, said in a statement from Athlete Ally. “I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the L.G.B.T. community – whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans – to feel welcome in the N.B.A. and in all of our communities.”

This follows on another column celebrating allies: Super Bowl Writer On Saying Thanks To Brendon Ayanbadejo

Just then, before Suggs spoke to us, I looked off to the right to see a big bruiser of a man pulling on his haberdashery at a locker beneath the numeral “51.” Six years of living overseas had blurred my player-recognition skills and jumbled my recall of jersey numbers, so I had brought along a lineup card. I fished it from my pocket and found the “51.”

Oh.

Oh . . .

There stood Brendon Ayanbadejo, age 36, born in Chicago to an American mother and Nigerian father, educated at UCLA, three Pro Bowls as a noble special-teams sort, a man whom I had never met but for whom I held a vast gratitude. In a giddy locker room in which the great Ed Reed waltzed around singing Eddie Money’s “Two Tickets To Paradise,” I momentarily had misplaced Ayanbadejo’s face. In fact, in the urgency of the game, I had not thought of him all weekend. Yet here was a man I had never expected to exist in all my life, a heterosexual football powerhouse who had spoken up voluntarily and beautifully and repeatedly for g-g-g-gay people.

When will it happen in the women’s basketball coaching ranks? WBCA, I’m looking at your leadership and asking you to speak up. From Pat Griffin: Straight Women Allies in Sport: Rare Sightings of An Important Species

The problem is that straight women allies in sport are invisible and they offer their support privately.  By confining their support to private conversations within their teams or one on one to coaching colleagues, straight women athlete and coach allies fall victim to the same old homophobia and fear of association with lesbians that has plagued women’s sports since Senda Berenson organized the first women’s basketball game at Smith College in 1893.   Don’t get me wrong, private allies are better than no allies.  But we need public allies who speak out consistently and boldly if we are to change the culture of fear and secrecy that persists in women’s sport.  To most effective challenge heterosexism and homophobia in women’s sports, straight women allies must be willing to speak out publicly.

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From Graham: Studevent takes on bullying – Lady Lions senior was bullied as a teen, starts program to help middle schoolers

Then came the day, not long after she had a chance as an eighth-grader to travel to a tournament with older girls, that she found a letter addressed to “Senorita” in her bag, spelling out in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t welcome in her new surroundings. More letters followed, always anonymous, calling her a “taco bitch” and far worse. Emails spread, intermingling her name with pornographic videos. She was even tipped off that a girl, whose identity she never learned, planned to pay two classmates to plant marijuana in Studevent’s bag. All of this because she was different, because she didn’t come from the same place or look like other students, because she was easy to single out.

“It wasn’t so much what was said; it was just the fact that it was said from the people I looked up to,” Studevent said. “I’ve always been proud to be Mexican. You can say I hopped a fence, whatever joke you want to make, but I’m always going to be proud of who I am.”

The WBCA and its coaches could take a lesson from Studevent when it comes to confronting homophobia — which is a kind of bullying.

Not holding my breath, though. Remember this from Pat Griffin back in October, 2012?

Yes, I would agree that many college and professional women’s sports teams are generally open to and comfortable with lesbian teammates. Yes, many lesbian professional athletes are out to their teammates and coaches.  Of course, lesbians have always been important participants in and advocates for women’s sports.  On some teams lesbian coaches and athletes are welcomed and invited to be as open about their sexual orientation as they choose to be.  Yet, as we celebrate this openness, we must understand that situations like these are also true:
  • College coaches of women’s teams still have “no lesbian” team policies
  • Lesbian athletes are dismissed from college teams, find their playing time limited or are harassed until they quit teams solely because of their sexual orientation or gender expression
  • College coaches of women’s teams still use negative recruiting tactics to insinuate that coaches of rival teams are lesbians
  • College coaches who are lesbians are afraid to identify themselves out of fear that it would be used against them in personnel decisions and recruiting
  • Only one Division 1 women’s basketball coach in the entire United States is publicly out as a lesbian (Sherri Murrell at Portland State University)
  • Lesbian athletes are discouraged from being open about their lesbian identity lest it “tarnish” the entire team’s reputation
  • Lesbian coaches, athletes and sports administrators are targeted with anti-LGBT vandalism and anonymous harassment
With regard to the last item on this list, read this article about a lesbian high school athletic director in California who is currently under attack by vandals who are targeting her because she is a lesbian.

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via Helen Carroll of NCLR: Lisa Howe ex of Belmont U will be the subject of ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Sunday, 9amEST.

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The Push Back at Belmont University Continues

the uproar in Nashville just won’t die down. The women’s soccer team is keeping the pressure on, students are staging protests and sit-ins, faculty members are speaking out, city counselors in Nashville are objecting. It seems like the entire city is up in arms about the dismissal of a lesbian coach at a private Christian school. A major Belmont donor, board member emeritus and big player in the Nashville music scene has publicly attacked the university’s position. This is Nashville. A city in the south. The Bible Belt. Imagine. Let us all learn from these outraged southerners and Christians.

Pat also points to an article in Sports Illustrated by Jeff Pearlman (who, in my experience, has been a little hit and miss in his writing):

Belmont gets it all wrong in ousting woman’s soccer coach Lisa Howe
 

One of the greatest things about morality is how those who claim to act on its behalf are often the ones drinking from the emptiest cups.

Take Marty Dickens, for example.

As the chairman of Belmont University’s board of trustees, Dickens has served as the voice of godliness behind the Nashville school’s recent decision to fire Lisa Howe, its women’s soccer coach, because she has the audacity to be gay and expecting a child with her partner. As Dickens told The Tennessean on Sunday, “We expect people to commit themselves to high moral and ethical standards within a Christian context. That includes members of the board, faculty and administration.” Dickens went on to explain that Belmont, a Christian university, boasts a very strict no-sexual-relations-outside-of-marriage policy, and since gays can’t marry in the state of Tennessee, well, hey, Howe had to go.

Every day, men like Marty Dickens wake up and thank God for their positions as unofficial deities. Every day, I wake up and thank God for men like Marty Dickens. Without such people, after all, who would we intolerance-seeking journalists have to write about?

Further north, Pat wonders: Lesbian Coach Discrimination at the U of Minnesota?

Meanwhile, Lady Swish writes: Being gay in women’s athletics: Be not afraid

Seems to me people will be afraid of  “being gay in women’s athletics” as long as university presidents and athletic directors don’t speak out against this idiotic form of bias. Yes, I might bellow that those coaches who are gay (and those coaches who are straight) should speak the hell up, but who am I to ask someone to risk losing their job?

Leadership starts at the top. Notes Helen Carroll:

“I don’t want blame or criticism thrown towards women who are coaches,” Carroll explained, “because I think that we have been conditioned to try and survive the best way we can in a very sexist atmosphere. Secondly, what I’d like to see from the leadership of women’s coaches is to set a very fair and open atmosphere for their athletes using the language around lesbian athletes and around LGBT people in an accepting way. And then I think it’s the responsibility of some of the rest of us [outside the profession] to work with athletic directors and college professors to teach them how and why it’s to their advantage to set an accepting atmosphere for all of their coaches, and trickling down to the athletes.”

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is sounded by Pat: A Challenge to Heterosexual Women Coaches and Athletes: Speak Up and Out

One of the problems that we face in women’s sports is that if heterosexual coaches who believe homophobia and discrimination against lesbian coaches and athletes are wrong remain silent in public, it leaves too many other coaches, athletes and parents with the impression that homophobia and discrimination against lesbians in sport is fine and dandy. We need more coaches who privately express their support for lesbian coaches and athletes to speak up in publicly and do it more often.

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Pat speaks up

When Coaches Teach Bigotry in the Name of Christianity

Excuse me, but I thought the primary goal of coaching girls’ or women’s basketball teams was, well, coaching basketball . That would not be the case for Jaye Collins, however. He is the coach of the Louisville Legends. The Legends are part of a network of independent girls basketball teams affiliated with Elite Basketball Family. EBF’s goal according to their web site is as follows: The EBF is a 501©3 non-profit organization designed to ensure the future success of hundreds of young ladies each year by giving them chances to earn college scholarships to play basketball.

But if you go to the Legends web site and click on the coaches tab, here is what Coach Collins has to say about his goal:

I started the Lady Legends program with the support of my wife, Kari, in hopes of encouraging young girls to be proud and secure in not being part of the lesbian and homosexual lifestyle which is so prevalent in woman’s/girl’s athletics. Many girls, as early as middle school, are being influenced or “tested”, or converted and convinced that if they play sports, specifically basketball, they must be, should be, or need to be gay.

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Allegations of Anti-Lesbian Bias in IUPUI Women’s Basketball Program

If these allegations of abuse are substantiated, it is not only the coaches who should be held accountable. It is also the school athletic administrators and any other athletic staff who ignored or supported the alleged abusive behavior and anti-lesbian interrogations and relationship rules. How many times do we have to hear this story or variations of it for coaches and administrators to begin to take seriously their responsibilities to abide by school policies and state non-discrimination laws?

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