NCAA

The ReCap by Rachele Lena: 11.7.18 Podcast by HWTP Sports Talk

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This week we were joined by Emily Giambalvo from The Washington Post who covers the University of Maryland athletics news. We were also joined by author and professor Andrew Billings who co-wrote Mascot Nation: The Controversy Over Native American Representations in Sports.  

Emily Giambalvo joined us this week to discuss the reinstatement and subsequent firing of Coach DJ Durkin for the University of Maryland’s football team. Durkin was originally taken out of power due to allegations of inappropriate behavior including a toxic culture of intimidation and humiliation against players. Once Durkin was reinstated on Wednesday, there was a major outcry from the players and the community. Giambalvo states that players using their voices to protest against policies and those in power, “is not something that we usually see in college sports.” 

Giambalvo states that on a college football team, “the head coach holds a lot of power,” and believes that now that Durkin has been removed there will be major changes for the team. She states that much of the pressure and criticisms against DJ Durkin stem from his inability to control the strength and conditioning coach, Rick Court. Those on the athletic board claimed that DJ Durkin was a good man and simply did not receive the correct training, which Giambalvo claims “may have swayed their decision heavily”.  

We were also joined by author and professor Andrew Billings who spoke about the use of Native American culture in sport team’s mascots. Billings claims that the controversy over Native American mascot use is based on various questions, asking “is it the name, is it the image or logo, or is it the rituals that go along with it?” Billings also discusses the backlash against those that are told they “have” to change their actions. He explains that when people are asked, “Should someone do something?” the answer is most usually yes, but when the question is phrased as, “Should someone have to do something?” the answer is most usually no.  

Andrew Billing’s claims that many that oppose the changing of these team’s names do so on the basis of the worry that the fandom of the teams may change. Billings explains to us that it is possible for many teams to drop the most offensive aspects of their teams, including name, mascots, or rituals, and still maintain their history and pride while remaining inoffensive. The public has begun to take part in a practice called “de-mascoting” that removes the offensive aspect from team regalia while maintaining a person’s ability to show team pride.

Listen to the entire episode below. Don’t be shy! Send us your questions and/or comments!

 

The ReCap by Rachele Lena: 10.24.18 Podcast by HWTP Sports Talk

“We still need due process to play out…and that the claims of a cover-up [from] USA Gymnastics don’t really hold up when you consider ...” Will Hobson, Washington Post

“We still need due process to play out…and that the claims of a cover-up [from] USA Gymnastics don’t really hold up when you consider ...” Will Hobson, Washington Post

This week HWTP Sports Talk is joined by Will Hobson from the Washington Post to talk about the recent arrest of former USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny. This scandal comes after the Larry Nassar case regarding sexual assault allegations in USA Gymnastics hit the headlines, placing the spotlight on USA Gymnastics in the news.  

Steve Penny, the ex USA Gymnastics president, was arrested and indicted last week on state tampering charges. Penny is alleged to have taken and hidden documents that the ongoing investigation occurring in Texas would have benefited from. Hobson claims that, “law enforcement did a preliminary investigation [of the USA Gymnastics training center outside Huntsville, Texas] two years ago when Larry Nassar was initially arrested and determined that no crimes had occurred other than Nassar’s abuses,” but then went on to tell us that due to backlash from Nassar’s victims, the case was reopened. 

David reminds us that it is unclear whether the evidence that Penny is accused of tampering with has been destroyed or if these documents are hidden in an office somewhere. The question remains on whether or not we are rushing to judgement on the guiltiness of Steve Penny without getting all of the facts and discovering what information is contained within those hidden documents. Will Hobson claims that, “we still need due process to play out…and that the claims of a cover-up [from] USA Gymnastics don’t really hold up when you consider [that USA Gymnastics] did report Nassar to law enforcement”. Suspicions do rise when it is considered that despite Nassar being reported to law enforcement, USA Gymnastics still asked victims not to speak publicly about the abuse.  

Hobson reminds us that, “there are a lot of different organizations and institutions that had the chance to stop this sooner and they didn’t”. Due to the fact that it is unclear what information these documents contained, it is difficult to determine the guilt of Steve Penny in this investigation.  

This investigation has made it difficult to find another person to fill this position as president of USA Gymnastics and the most recent president, Mary Bono, resigned after four days on the job. Will Hobson describes that, “the turmoil [we] are seeing at USA Gymnastics…speaks to the tunnel vision that the Olympic committees have had.” We are also reminded that these type of sexual assault cases have occurred multiple times throughout the years and these organizations have been able to easily keep these issues out of the spotlight, but since the Nassar cases, these stories have been given more precedence.

Full episode below.

The ReCap by Laina Stebbins: 7.11.18 Podcast by HWTP Sports Talk

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David is joined this week by New York Times reporter and author Karen Crouse to have a discussion about sexism in sports, and Crouse’s article, "At Wimbledon, Married Women are Still 'Mrs.'" Later in the show, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post comes on to discuss a college basketball corruption case that now involves the University of Maryland.

NYT’s Karen Crouse on sexist traditions in sports

Karen Crouse covers sports for the New York Times. She is also the author of “Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town's Secret to Happiness and Excellence.”

One of her latest articles for the Times explores Wimbledon’s apparent fixation on the marital status of female players, with the case study being Serena Williams – who is now being referred to as “Mrs. Williams” by chair umpires, after getting married last year but not taking Alexis Ohanian’s last name.

“If you are a woman competing at Wimbledon, you are either a ‘Miss’ if you are single, or you are a ‘Mrs.’ if you are married,” Crouse says.

“But when you have the case of someone like Serena, who is recently married but has not taken her husband's name, they just call her ‘Mrs. Williams’ – so it makes it sound as if she is married to her father.”

This particular way of addressing players according to their marital status does not extend to men, however.

“If you are Roger Federer – [who is] married with four children – you are simply ‘Federer,’” Crouse says. “So, the married men do not have the courtesy title in front of their names.”

Is this just a case of the British being overly proper and fond of tradition, or something more malicious?

“I’ve heard the ‘tradition’ side of it as it relates to Augusta National,” says Crouse, who also covers golf for the Times. “I'm getting to the point where when I hear the word 'tradition,' it's feels like it's synonymous for sexism or prejudice. I just don’t buy it.”

She points to the fact that women at Wimbledon have had equal pay for 11 years now.

“They've been able to get past…the idea that women don't need money because they're married to men who make the money,” Crouse says. “They've gotten over that tradition, so maybe it's time for them to recognize women as their own people, and not who they are married to or…whether they're married or single.”

“It has the impression, at least, that you just see women as appendages of men,” she says.

Crouse says that in an over-600-page compendium about Wimbledon, you can find the detailed marital history of every semifinalist and finalist on the women’s side, both singles and doubles: “It has the date of when you were married, the place, and the full name of your husband,” Crouse says.

“That's how I found out that Serena's husband, Alexis Ohanian, his middle name is Kerry because this was listed in the Compendium. It is so crazy.

“None of this is done on the men's side,” she says, adding: “If you're going to have this kind of information and the women are going to be recognized in terms of their relationships, you should do the same for the men.”

WaPo’s Jesse Dougherty on college basketball corruption

Jesse Dougherty is a staff writer at Washington Post who covers college sports and University of Maryland athletics. He speaks with David about a developing story that now involves both of his beats.

An FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball has now led to more subpoenas for the University of Maryland, even after the University handed over records after being initially subpoenaed in March.

The new subpoenas request information regarding one unnamed former player at Maryland, the team’s assistant coach, and a recruit who ultimately attended Kansas.

“The company line from everyone is that ‘this happens everywhere.’ Of course, that's not entirely the case,” Dougherty says.

“There are over 300 schools in college basketball, so it can't be everywhere – but I don't think any school’s really in the clear, even if the trials are looming.”

Back in March, it was reported that Diamond Stone, a former Maryland player, was implicated in improper payments that were meant to steer him to sign with sports agency ASM after college.

“He was one of a long list of players that was sort of roped into this whole federal investigation,” Dougherty says.

When that happened, Maryland announced that they were conducting an internal investigation. “Given the fact that...Maryland was looking into some matters on their own front…it didn't seem like Maryland was totally in the clear of this kind of thing,” he says.

The March subpoena, in part, requested communication records between Maryland employees and Christian Dawkins. According to the Washington Post: “Dawkins is facing charges, including wire fraud, under accusations he arranged payments for the families of several top recruits to ensure they attended certain schools and eventually signed with preferred agents and financial advisers.”

The initial subpoenas were then followed up, less than two weeks ago, with more that request additional information regarding communications with another player.

So far, the University of Maryland’s reaction to the new subpoenas has been “pretty close to the chest,” Dougherty says, but “I can’t imagine Maryland’s feeling great about that.

“It's not something you want connected to your program. And [with] about a dozen now that have been implicated or sort of tied into this…morale can't be a hundred percent, that's for sure.”

Since there are few connections between Maryland and Silvio D'Souza, the recruit who ended up attending Kansas, Dougherty says it's “not totally surprising to see Maryland at least come up in a subpoena” – although, he and David agree that the case might not necessarily track back to Maryland.

“It could just be that they're trying to gather more information…I think Maryland’s roped in just by association in this,” Dougherty says. “They’re sort of tangentially connected to the Silvio case. And as you said, if there is some glass half-full, it could be that – that it's not actually going to crack down on [Maryland], but just sort of an information gathering for a trial that could unfold in October.”

Until then, “things are going to bubble to the surface, and it’s going to be a fun thing to follow and report on,” says Dougherty.

Listen to the entirety of both conversations below.