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Monthly Archives: November 2010

West Virginia forbids coaching staff to speak to anyone from Michigan

By: Baker Cronin

Leading up to its Friday game against Oakland, West Virginia Athletic Direct Oliver Luck announced that its coaching staff would not be allowed to speak to anyone from the state of Michigan in attendance at the game. Afraid that he would lose more personnel to colleges from the Great Lakes State, Luck decided to play it safe by simply banning all contact between the two parties.

Many people are aware of the bitter feelings Mountaineers have towards the University of Michigan for the departures of their football coach Rich Rodriguez and basketball coach John Beilein. However, the problem is far more wide spread than simply these two coaching changes for Mountaineer athletics.

This past year alone saw the departure of the men’s rowing assistant coach to Michigan State, the women’s soccer equipment manager to Western Michigan, the men’s gymnastics trainer to Central Michigan, the women’s wrestling water boy to Michigan Tech, the entire track and field staff to Northern Michigan, and even their primary mascot to Rochester College.

Several players and fans expressed their frustrations with the current situation.

“It’s aggravating, not being able to depend on coaches for your entire collegiate career. One day, they are your coach… The next, they have found some college in Michigan to coach for.” Says junior forward Kevin Jones (Yes, actually, the former lions running back)

Dr. James Pepper, the father of sophomore guard Dalton Pepper, stated “I personally don’t see what is so attractive about Michigan. You would think our staff would be perfectly happy here at West Virginia, but they keep insisting that the whole mining, hillbilly, and inbreeding lifestyle just isn’t for them”

Senior forward Cam Thoroughman wanted to comment on the issue, but ironically declined an interview, insisting he did not have a comprehensive enough viewpoint on the matter.

 

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Marygrove College satisfied with .500 finish in Oakland University Intramural League

Marygrove College wrapped up their season in the Oakland University top flight intramural basketball league Thursday with a hard fought 33-27 loss to to Hill Hall Ballaz. This brought their unexpected .500 season to an end, and gives them a boost of confidence going into their “game” against the Golden Grizzlies this Tuesday. Having consumed nearly a third of their overall athletic budget to pay for Rec Center passes in order to be eligible to play in the league, most in the athletic department are pleased with the progress made.

Some of the fraternity teams gave them some troubles physically in their first two games, but thankfully the schedule worked out in their favor and they played two academic clubs to get them back to .500. After a last second win against some students who played junior high ball together, their season ended versus a team called the Fighting David Caruso’s. Junior OU marketing major Micheal Burr caught fire sporting his Motion City Soundtrack shirt and a slick jumper which hammered home the final nail in the Marygrove Mustang coffin.

“I never played in high school, we just thought it would be funny to have a team called the Fighting David Caruso’s. We chose basketball because co-ed dodgeball was all filled up. We are a little worried about all of us being able to get off work to play in the playoff game, but hopefully it will work out,” Burr said after the game.

The game had an attendance figure of 14, which nearly doubles the crowd which Marygrove normally plays in front of. This may have led to the Marygrove players’ nervousness, but did not affect Burr, mostly because the crowd consisted primarily of his girlfriend and her friends.

The Mustangs are looking forward to playing in an actual arena for a game and are also looking forward to using jerseys instead of pennies for uniforms.

Three Leagues are Better Than One

By: Uncle Randy

Prior to entering its game with Oakland University on Tuesday, Marygrove College will already have a 3-1 lead over the school just 30 minutes north on I-75.This lead is not points, but league affiliations, something the Mustangs know a lot about. Being a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the Association of Independent Institutions (AII), as well as the United States Collegiate Athletic Associations (USAA), it would be appropriate to say they aren’t too picky as to where they get their action. This alphabet soup, amalgamation of athletic associations can be confusing when trying to recruit kids to the team. At first Coach Dave Sichterman tried to combine them into one acronym, but NAIAAIIUSCAA does not roll off the tongue and rather resembles some sort of Greek deity. Now he just explains that based on the fact Marygrove is recruiting them, their talent level must be such that they should be happy to be receiving any attention to play college basketball. Forget being picky about conference affiliation.

Oakland University is only a member of one paltry little association know simply as the NCAA. As a result, Marygrove sees its trio of league affiliations as a competitive advantage over OU. To paraphrase a speech made by Coach Sichterman a few years ago after some game, Marygrove is “very experienced” due to the diversity in leagues and the confusingly titled university names that the team plays throughout the year. I mean seriously, you try saying Kuyper College five times fast.

Marygrove parents banned from bringing snacks to team at half-time

by: Sparky McKay

Late Thursday afternoon, head coach Dave Sichterman announced in an impromptu press release, plans to ban soliciting parents trying to give the team snacks of any sort at half-time. The policy, Sitcherman explained, was not to kill a long-standing Marygrove tradition, but to help the team focus their effort and attention back to basketball. “Sometimes, I felt like I was talking to room of 5-year-olds who had eaten one too many Fruit Roll-Ups. This trend was disturbing our harmony as a team and my authority as coach.”

This ruling had been in the works a long time, manager William Davenport explained in an interview after the conference. “Even when I started two years ago, you could see signs of it already. For example, Dan Ochoa’s dad brought in orange slices to a half-time talk during a scrimmage and as soon as I saw that the team started putting the slices in their mouth and playfully smiling at each other, I saw the stress on coach Sichterman trying to control what amounted to a bunch of junior high kids who had just discovered girls.”

Truly, this swift overturning of what used to be a Marygrove favorite has been met with some opposition. Senior guard, Franklin Murdock, said he used the promise of snacks as an excuse to play harder, “I remember we were down by twenty or something, and I knew Dan’s dad was taking us out for ice cream after the game. So, win or lose the basketball game, I still got a banana split.”  Despite similar player complaints about the fact that they will no longer be getting Fruit-By-The-Foots, Sunny Delights, or celery sticks with the peanut butter and raisins, coach Sichterman stated that he is “resolved to find a solution to a catastrophe that could’ve been so easily avoided.”

The Marygrove Athletics department had some worrying commentary regarding the ruling and the recruitment of new athletes. “We used to hook potential athletes with this ‘snack incentive.’ It was a great program. Now, we’re going to have to use scholarships and other such promises to even get athletes interested in Marygrove.”

Effective two weeks from Thursday, the ban is slated to eliminate any kind of fruit, snack, or novelty dessert from the mouths of Marygrove athletes during game time. “It really is a shame,” commented Ochoa’s mother, “However, it is a relief of that I’ll be able to get rid of those six trays of Mustang cupcakes I have chilling in my freezer before the ban.”

What is this Half Court Press you speak of?

After 53 years of a virtual monopoly on  Oakland University‘s print media market, an alternative newspaper has  risen up to challenge the stagnant status quo.  However, this new upstart is not so much of a competitor to the classic OU favorite, but rather a new addition to the campus.

Coined as The Half-court Press (HCP), their mission statement is to deliver news about the basketball team, albeit with a twist: this newspaper is satirical. In the same vein as the popular satire The Onion, the HCP project grew out of inspiration from another satirical basketball newspaper. The Refraction is an incredibly successful publication out of Utah State University, and is a pioneer for rouge student section newsletters. In fact, as a measure of popularity, their Facebook page has nearly 800 fans since the paper was started in October 2007. It was this model that provided spark and genesis of the HCP.

Although still in its infancy, the HCP staff remains upbeat about the material they have in store for the 2010-2011 season. “We have a great example [The Refraction] to follow and we came up with at least 20 ideas in the first two days, so there’s no shortage there,” said one staffer who, like the entire HCP staff, desires to remain anonymous. The enigmatic origins of the newspaper are perhaps the greatest strength of the newspaper. “We could be girls, or maybe guys, in a dorm, or maybe a warehouse. It shouldn’t matter to our reader. We love OU basketball and the University. At the end of the day, we’re really enthusiastic fans, just like you,” quoted Jericho Sanders, the co-editor.

The HCP plans to publish on weeks the Men’s Basketball team has games,  in both paper and electronic format, using a WordPress blog, Facebook page, and the classic grapevine as ways of getting their name out there. As explained by Ivee West, another co-editor, the concept of dissemination is rather simple, “Before basketball games, people start coming in but you’re really just sitting there for like 20 minutes texting your mom or something. Why not get pumped, while having a few laughs, by reading the HCP?” The simplicity of the philosophy demonstrates just one facet of the HPC. “We’re just trying to have a good time with it all,” West continued.

“Let others keep trying to justify for the twentieth time the need for an OU football team. Who cares? We have a badass basketball team, one of the top mid major teams in the country. We just want to have fun while supporting our Golden Grizzlies,” quoted technology coordinator, Sparky McKay. The HCP staff explained yet another simple approach to the inception of ideas:stories are not necessarily written by one person. In fact, the effort is almost always collaborative. This environment has been the basis of the HCP model and the reason for its early success.

Sparky McKay made  the distinction as an “alternative” clear, “‘Competitor’ has a connotation of rivals. Rivals have to be good at the same thing. The OP [Oakland Post] is good at talking about real stuff. We do comedy, or satire, or whatever you want to call it.” With this attitude and a growth of stories from more anonymous sources, the HCP has a solid start, sure to bring more sheep into the OU basketball fold.

Sparky McKay