WBEZ | Northwestern http://www.wbez.org/tags/northwestern Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Northwestern athletes can unionize, federal agency says http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-athletes-can-unionize-federal-agency-says-109919 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/nu_0.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>In a stunning ruling that could revolutionize college sports, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation&#39;s first union of college athletes.</p><p>The decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board answered the question at the heart of the debate over the unionization bid: Do football players who receive full scholarships to the Big Ten school qualify as employees under federal law and therefore can legally unionize?</p><p>Peter Sung Ohr, the NLRB regional director, said in a 24-page decision that the players &quot;fall squarely&quot; within the broad definition of employee.</p><p>Pro-union activists cheered as they learned of the ruling.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s like preparing so long for a big game and then when you win &mdash; it is pure joy,&quot; said former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma, the designated president of Northwestern&#39;s would-be football players&#39; union.</p><p>An employee is regarded by law as someone who, among other things, receives compensation for a service and is under the strict, direct control of managers. In the case of the Northwestern players, coaches are the managers and scholarships are a form of compensation, Ohr concluded.</p><p>The Evanston, Ill., university argued that college athletes, as students, do not fit in the same category as factory workers, truck drivers and other unionized workers. The school announced plans to appeal to labor authorities in Washington, D.C.</p><p>Supporters of the union bid argued that the university ultimately treats football as more important than academics for scholarship players. Ohr sided with the players on that issue.</p><p>&quot;The record makes clear that the employer&#39;s scholarship players are identified and recruited in the first instance because of their football prowess and not because of their academic achievement in high school,&quot; Ohr wrote. He also noted that among the evidence presented by Northwestern, &quot;no examples were provided of scholarship players being permitted to miss entire practices and/or games to attend their studies.&quot;</p><p>The ruling also described how the life of a football player at Northwestern is far more regimented than that of a typical student, down to requirements about what they can and can&#39;t eat and whether they can live off campus or purchase a car. At times, players put 50 or 60 hours a week into football, he added.</p><p>Alan Cubbage, Northwestern&#39;s vice president for university relations, said in a statement that while the school respects &quot;the NLRB process and the regional director&#39;s opinion, we disagree with it.&quot;</p><p>The next step would be for scholarship players to vote on whether to formally authorize the College Athletes Players Association, or CAPA, to represent them, according to the NLRB decision.</p><p>The specific goals of CAPA include guaranteeing coverage of sports-related medical expenses for current and former players, reducing head injuries and potentially letting players pursue commercial sponsorships.</p><p>But critics have argued that giving college athletes employee status and allowing them to unionize could hurt college sports in numerous ways, including raising the prospect of strikes by disgruntled players or lockouts by athletic departments.</p><p>For now, the push is to unionize athletes at private schools, such as Northwestern, because the federal labor agency does not have jurisdiction over public universities.</p><p>Outgoing Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter took a leading role in establishing CAPA. The United Steelworkers union has been footing the legal bills.</p><p>Colter, who has entered the NFL draft, said nearly all of the 85 scholarship players on the Wildcats roster backed the union bid, though only he expressed his support publicly.</p><p>He said the No. 1 reason to unionize was to ensure injured players have their medical needs met.</p><p>&quot;With the sacrifices we make athletically, medically and with our bodies, we need to be taken care of,&quot; Colter told ESPN.</p><p>The NCAA has been under increasing scrutiny over its amateurism rules and is fighting a class-action federal lawsuit by former players seeking a cut of the billions of dollars earned from live broadcasts, memorabilia sales and video games. Other lawsuits allege the NCAA failed to protect players from debilitating head injuries.</p><p>NCAA President Mark Emmert has pushed for a $2,000-per-player stipend to help athletes defray some expenses. Critics say that is not nearly enough, considering players help bring in millions of dollars to their schools and conferences.</p><p>In a written statement, the NCAA said it disagreed with the notion that student-athletes are employees.</p><p>&quot;We frequently hear from student-athletes, across all sports, that they participate to enhance their overall college experience and for the love of their sport, not to be paid,&quot; the NCAA said.</p><p>The developments are coming to a head at a time when major college programs are awash in cash generated by new television deals that include separate networks for the big conferences. The NCAA tournament generates an average of $771 million a year in television rights itself, much of which is distributed back to member schools by the NCAA.</p><p>Attorneys for CAPA argued that college football is, for all practical purposes, a commercial enterprise that relies on players&#39; labor to generate billions of dollars in profits. The NLRB ruling noted that from 2003 to 2013 the Northwestern program generated $235 million in revenue &mdash; profits the university says went to subsidize other sports.</p><p>During the NLRB&#39;s five days of hearings in February, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald took the stand for union opponents, and his testimony sometimes was at odds with Colter&#39;s.</p><p>Colter told the hearing that players&#39; performance on the field was more important to Northwestern than their in-class performance, saying, &quot;You fulfill the football requirement and, if you can, you fit in academics.&quot; Asked why Northwestern gave him a scholarship of $75,000 a year, he responded: &quot;To play football. To perform an athletic service.&quot;</p><p>But Fitzgerald said he tells players academics come first, saying, &quot;We want them to be the best they can be ... to be a champion in life.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 15:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-athletes-can-unionize-federal-agency-says-109919 Economist: College football like NFL but for pay http://www.wbez.org/news/economist-college-football-nfl-pay-109737 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP565441140271.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Major colleges run their football teams just like those in the NFL, relying on players to generate millions of dollars in revenue, an economist testified Wednesday before a federal agency that will decide whether Northwestern football players may form the first union for college athletes in U.S. history.</p><p>&quot;The difference would be ... the NFL pays their players,&quot; Southern Utah University sports economist David Berri told the National Labor Relations Board on the second day of a hearing in Chicago that could stretch into Friday. That colleges don&#39;t pay their football players, he said, likely boosts their programs&#39; profitability further.</p><p>The NLRB is considering whether Wildcats&#39; football players can be categorized under U.S. law as employees, which would give them rights to unionize. The university, the Big Ten Conference and NCAA have all maintained college players are student-athletes, not employees.</p><p>Attorneys for Northwestern began presenting their case opposing unionization, endeavoring to show that the newly formed College Athletes Players Association would provide little tangible benefit to the Northwestern players.</p><p>Asked whether one of CAPA&#39;s stated goals &mdash; to improve football-player graduation rates &mdash; made any sense for Northwestern, the university&#39;s associate athletic director, Brian Baptiste, noted the school&#39;s rate was already No. 1 in the nation &mdash; at 97 percent.</p><p>&quot;I guess you can increase 97 percent,&quot; he said wryly.</p><p>Union supporters say they would be able to force schools to better protect football players from head injuries. Baptiste suggested that only the NCAA, with oversight power across the country, was in position to address that.</p><p>&quot;That has to be done on a national level,&quot; he said. &quot;Northwestern wouldn&#39;t have control over that.&quot;</p><p>Supporters argue a union would provide athletes a vehicle to lobby for greater financial security. They contend scholarships sometimes don&#39;t even cover livings expenses for a full year.</p><p>Baptiste said NCAA rules tie Northwestern&#39;s hands, and they would bar it from assenting to demands from an on-campus football union, including calls to increase the value of scholarships. He said the NCAA caps scholarship amounts.</p><p>Berri, the economist, was called to testify on behalf of the proposed union, which is pushing the unionization bid with support from the United Steelworkers. He sought to illustrate how the relationship between Northwestern and its football players was one of employer to employees.</p><p>Profit numbers attest to the program being a commercial enterprise, he told the hearing,</p><p>Northwestern&#39;s football program reported a total profit of $76 million from 2003 to 2012, with revenues of $235 million and costs of $159 million, Berri testified. The numbers were adjusted for inflation for the private school.</p><p>Berri conceded he didn&#39;t know that maintenance of the Wildcats&#39; stadium was not included in the expense numbers. And he said he also did not know if football profits made up for losses in other, less popular school sports.</p><p>Schools with revenue-generating football teams were in the business of entertainment, Berri said. Asked who provided those services, he responded, &quot;Players are the ones you are watching.&quot;</p><p>Northwestern attorney Alex Barbour pressed Berri about whether he was trying to say the school exploits its football players.</p><p>&quot;There is an economic definition of the word &#39;exploitation,&#39;&quot; he responded. &quot;A worker is exploited ... if their economic value is greater than their wages. ... By that definition, they are exploited.&quot;</p><p>Whether the economist should have been allowed to testify was a point of contention, with Barbour complaining that Berri&#39;s analysis was irrelevant to the central question: Are college football players are employees?</p><p>But after allow the side to debate the issue, the hearing officer overseeing the case, Joyce Hofstra, agreed to let Berri speak, saying the hearing was &quot;novel&quot; and she would err on the side of admitting evidence.</p><p>Barbour had said during his opening statement that allowing a college athletes&#39; union to collectively bargain would be &quot;a Rube Goldberg contraption that would not work in the real world&quot; and would fundamentally change college sports.</p><p>Berri, though, pointed to the NFL and its embrace of a union, saying unionization in its case &quot;did not cause the professional sport to collapse.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/economist-college-football-nfl-pay-109737 Northwestern University football union hearings begin http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-university-football-union-hearings-begin-109693 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/nu.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>The National Labor Relations Board in Chicago held the first in a series of hearings Wednesday to consider whether college football players qualify as employees. Players from Northwestern University filed a union election petition with the board last month. If approved--and later elected to represent the interests of the team&rsquo;s scholarship players--the College Athletes Players Association would be the first labor union of its kind.</p><p>Unlike their professional counterparts, college athletes don&rsquo;t have contracts--they can&rsquo;t negotiate the terms of their tenure. And athletic scholarships are regulated by the NCAA. Studies show that athletes often spend up to 40 hours a week on their sport; they travel for their sport. Oftentimes, players are told when and where to be and what to eat. But Northwestern says it&rsquo;s all part of the overall academic experience.</p><p>University officials contend that students who participate in NCAA Division I sports, including those who receive athletic scholarships, are students, first and foremost.</p><p>Bob, Rowley, director of media relations for the university, spoke to reporters after Wednesday&rsquo;s brief preliminary hearing. He said scholarships are intended to provide for a student&rsquo;s educational experience, even if they&rsquo;re athletic. CAPA attorneys saw things differently.</p><p>Revenue generated by Division I FBS and men&rsquo;s basketball is estimated to be in the billions. CAPA said it is focused on those players because they believe they can make the case that the scholarships are, in essence, compensation.</p><p>&rdquo;If they don&rsquo;t play football, they don&rsquo;t receive the aid...the idea that somehow this is a gift to them, is untrue...if you don&rsquo;t play football, you don&rsquo;t get the scholarship,&rdquo; CAPA attorney John Adam explained.</p><p>Northwestern maintained that the university does not regard, and has never regarded, its football program as a commercial enterprise.</p><p>The key question went unanswered--but it will no doubt be taken up, picked apart and rehashed over three days of testimony before the board next week.</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez"> @katieobez</a></em></p></p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-university-football-union-hearings-begin-109693 Northwestern picks architects for building to replace Prentice http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-12/northwestern-picks-architects-building-replace-prentice-109328 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/19.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 840px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The architecture firm Perkins &amp; Will got the nod late last week to design the biomedical research facility that will be built on the site of the old Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Northwestern University trustees made the decision last week, picking Perkins &amp; Will from a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/after-prentice-northwestern-shows-finalists-designs-new-building-109127">field of three finalists</a>. What did the design have that the others didn&#39;t? A university spokesman <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-12-07/news/ct-northwestern-design-winner-met-20131208_1_prentice-women-old-prentice-site-bertrand-goldberg">told the Tribune</a> the winning scheme has &quot;elegant design and functionality of the floor plans&quot;--a vague diagnosis, if there ever was one.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The project is expected to get underway in 2015 with a $370 million first phase, seen in the images below. A second phase--and there&#39;s no budget or timetable for it--includes the lab tower in the image above. The former Prentice Hospital, 303 E. Superior, which was the subject of the fiercest <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-04-22/preservation-group-proposes-re-use-plan-endangered-former-prentice-hospital-">preservation battle</a> in at least 30 years, is now under demolition.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Here&#39;s a look at some of Perkins &amp; Will&#39;s renderings:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/15.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 840px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Here&#39;s the building&#39;s lobby. Conference rooms on the second and third levels would have views of the space and of the outdoors:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4_2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 442px;" title="" /></div><p>And here&#39;s what lab spaces could look like:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/10_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 438px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Will Chicago get great architecture out of this? That was the promise, of course, from Northwestern University and City Hall once the pipes started calling for old Prentice. The glassy, angular facade in the first phase holds a lot of promise--as far as one can tell with renderings, at least. It looks like a building the city could live with if the second phase winds up not getting built.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But the building looks best with the tower. The tower doubles the building&#39;s area to 1.2 million sq ft and makes what could be a much-needed elegant mark on the Streeterville skyline. So it&#39;s troubling that Northwestern--so exacting in its public appeal for Prentice&#39;s demolition--can&#39;t say publicly when <em>the other half of their new building</em> will be constructed.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">As the former Prentice is wrecked and hauled away and the new design makes its way through approvals and design refinements, the fight for good architecture on that site might not yet be over.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-12/northwestern-picks-architects-building-replace-prentice-109328 Northwestern trauma surgeon finds link between booze and bullets http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-trauma-surgeon-finds-link-between-booze-and-bullets-108728 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Liquor Store.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Dr. Marie Crandall was at UCLA when riots broke out in Los Angeles in the early &lsquo;90s. In the aftermath, activists there zeroed in on liquor stores, identifying them as as hotspots for violence. Many sought to have licenses revoked&mdash;but store owners rebuffed and said there was no data to support the claims. And they were right.</p><p>While the discussion about a potential link between booze and bullets has persisted over the last 20-plus years, the data dam remained dry.</p><p>So Crandall, now an associate professor of surgery at Northwestern&rsquo;s Feinberg School of Medicine, decided to crunch Chicago&rsquo;s numbers. She and her research partners used data from the Illinois State Trauma Registry from 1999 - 2009 to geocode all the gunshot wounds that presented to trauma centers in Chicago during that period. They cross referenced the data with the locations of liquor licenses held in the area.</p><p>&ldquo;I was not surprised that there was an association in our again, already distressed communities. I was surprised at the strength of the association in a few of these areas,&rdquo; Crandall said.</p><p>The study found that in some South and West Side neighborhoods, a person is up to 500 times more likely to get shot hanging out by a place with a liquor license than they are standing three blocks away.</p><p>That was not the case in more affluent areas of the city. And Crandall said she thought the geographic trend reflected other issues facing Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;If you looked at the maps, you would see that the trauma deserts, and these neighborhoods that have the association with liquor licenses and food deserts and places where we&rsquo;re closing elementary schools&mdash;all seem to overlap,&rdquo; she explained.</p><p>Crandall said she hopes that when the study is published in a couple of months, it will inform discussions at the city level about potential to engage the business community and public health officials about this association and potential solutions.</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 20:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-trauma-surgeon-finds-link-between-booze-and-bullets-108728 Is Chris Collins a 'perfect fit' for Northwestern basketball? Maybe. http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/chris-collins-perfect-fit-northwestern-basketball-maybe-106437 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chris%20collins%20small.jpg" style="height: 443px; width: 620px;" title="Can Chris Collins finally take NU to the NCAA tournament? (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)" /></div><p>Will Chris Collins be the answer to Northwestern University&#39;s beleaguered men&#39;s basketball program&#39;s prayers?</p><p>The Chicago area was a big part of the new Wildcats coach&#39;s life growing up. When his dad, Doug, was the Chicago Bulls&#39; head coach, Chris was a ball boy for the team.</p><p>Then, the younger Collins was named Illinois &quot;Mr. Basketball&quot; while playing hoops at Glenbrook North High School. He played collegiate ball at Duke, then worked as an assistant at Seton Hall before serving as a member of Coach Mike Krzyzewski&rsquo;s Blue Devils staff the last 13 years.</p><p>The 38-year-old Collins reportedly inked a seven-year deal with Northwestern, saying this challenge is &quot;a perfect fit&quot; for him and the school.</p><p>We&#39;ll have plenty of time to find out whether he&#39;s right. Here&#39;s what he has working in his favor:</p><ul><li><strong>Collins understands the academic dynamics of college ball</strong>, because Duke has been able to recruit players that also have strong academic backgrounds. A perfect example is Simeon&#39;s Jabari Parker: The student-athlete is best player in the country and is headed for Duke.&nbsp;</li></ul><ul><li><strong>Collins knows the Chicago prep school scene</strong>. You never know:&nbsp;Maybe Parker could have ended up at Northwestern if Collins had taken the job sooner. But this is where the new coach must make his mark.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>He has some pretty stellar sounding boards</strong> in Coach K and his dad. Doug Collins is busy coaching the Philadelphia 76ers, but the father and son are still close, and the elder Collins is a fount of knowledge.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>He&#39;s in good company at Northwestern.</strong> The success that head coach Pat Fitzgerald is having with the football program is a huge plus for the future of the school&#39;s athletics program.</li></ul><p>Still, that doesn&#39;t mean that Collin&#39;s won&#39;t face roadblocks at Northwestern:</p><ul><li><strong>The Big Ten Conference is a huge challenge.</strong> Collins will be competing in one of the best and toughest conferences in the country. It will be the games, as well as the recruiting, that test his mettle.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>The Wildcats have never been to an NCAA tournament.</strong>&nbsp;Collins must convince some of the &quot;blue chip&quot; players that they have an opportunity to succeed with him.<strong> </strong>That stage is very important to a high school player when he&#39;s deciding on his college choice.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>Recruitment. </strong>Collins mus find players who proved their acumen for high school academic &ndash; and who can also shoot a jump shot.</li></ul><ul><li><strong>The Northwestern basketball facilities need to be upgraded</strong>, as the school just did for its football program.<br />&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Collins needs to fill out his coaching staff.&nbsp;</strong></li></ul><p>None of this will be easy, but this hire makes the Wildcats basketball program one to watch from now on.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and on Facebook at<a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame"> Cheryl Raye-Stout #AtTheGame</a>&nbsp;</em></p></p> Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/chris-collins-perfect-fit-northwestern-basketball-maybe-106437 Local colleges need more Chicago prep talent http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/local-colleges-need-more-chicago-prep-talent-106092 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_depaul_bb_heather.jpg" style="float: right; height: 377px; width: 300px;" title="DePaul men's basketball teams in Chicago with problems. (AP/File)" />While colleges across the country celebrate getting into the NCAA men&rsquo;s basketball tournament, there is no madness in Chicago. It has been years since Chicago had a spotlight on it for its men&#39;s college basketball prowess. This is difficult to understand with the quality of the players who excel on the high school courts of Chicago. Particularly since the Big Ten Conference (arguably the best in the country) just held court at the United Center for its tournament. It&rsquo;s tough to see local teams in such a rut. It&rsquo;s hard to watch the best talent from Chicago not play here on the NCAA Division I level.</div><p>Fifty years ago, the Loyola Ramblers celebrated the last time a time from Chicago won a national title. DePaul during the 70s and 80s was a nationally renowned team under Head Coach Ray Meyer. During the Blue Demons hey day, they were <em>the</em> basketball team in Chicago (not the Bulls). This of course was pre-Michael Jordan and six NBA titles. There have been Chicago schools in the NCAA tournament in the past few decades, but none have been a premier team in the country.</p><p>There have been times when Bradley, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois and Illinois have produced winning men&#39;s programs. Illinois has made numerous appearances in the NCAA tournament. It was just eight years ago when Bruce Weber took the Illini with Dee Brown and Deron Williams to the brink of a NCAA championship. They lost to North Carolina in the final.</p><p>Many give credit to former coach Bill Self for bringing in those players before he bolted to Kansas and won the NCAA championship there. After the loss to the Tar Heels, Illinois saw erosion of talent. Weber was fired and now Illinois is under the leadership of John Groce. In his first season, the Illini coach is guiding the team to post season play. The #7 seed Illinois will play #10 seed Colorado in first round NCAA action on Friday in Austin, Texas.</p><p>Simeon High School&rsquo;s Jabari Parker, the top national player and an excellent student, is headed to Duke. Why not? It is an elite program and has been consistently challenging for national titles. It is a huge shame that a team from this area, DePaul or Northwestern, was not even considered. Derrick Rose left here to play at Memphis for a year before leaping to the NBA.</p><p>Why is it hard to keep the best Chicago high school players? The factors are numerous: campus life, coaches, consistency of excellence, putting a distance from the streets of Chicago (and for some, the weather). Whatever the reasons, the local college teams see players leave&nbsp;and&nbsp;not become hometown heroes.</p><p>Here is a look at what the Chicago college teams did&nbsp;this season:</p><p><strong>DePaul 11-21 (overall) 2-16 (Big East conference) </strong></p><p>The Blue Demons been spinning their wheels for years. They have been the doormat in the conference and now they will be joining the new league of the Catholic schools. Playing in Rosemont is a huge negative for the school. Their last NCAA appearance was 2004.</p><p><strong>Northwestern 13-19 (overall) 4-15 (Big Ten Conference) </strong></p><p>They started the season 7-0. Numerous injuries and a suspension depleted the team&rsquo;s roster. With the loss to Iowa in the first round on Thursday, Northwestern fired head coach Bill Carmody on Saturday after 13 years guiding the team. One of the names highlighted for this job is Duke assistant Chris Collins. He is from the area and his father Doug is a former Chicago Bulls coach. NU has never been to the NCAA tournament.</p><p><strong>University of Illinois Chicago 17-15 (overall) 7-9 (Horizon Conference) </strong></p><p>The Flames will go to the Collegeinsider.com tournament. It&#39;s a rather new event that gives some teams a chance to experience post season play. UIC has had four post season appearances, three NCAA, one NIT and no wins.</p><p><strong>Loyola 15-16 (overall) 5-11(Horizon Conference) </strong></p><p>Head coach Porter Moser has had the job for two years. The Ramblers have not been to the NCAA since their &quot;Sweet 16&quot; appearance in 1985.</p><p><strong>Chicago State 11-21 (overall) 5-5 (Great West Conference) </strong></p><p>They won the Great West Conference tournament, which they also hosted on Saturday. The win gave them a berth in the Collegeinsider.com tournament. It is the school&rsquo;s first post-season appearance. The Cougars will join the WAC next year. Head coach Tracey Dilby is finishing his third season. He was a former DePaul and UIC assistant.</p><p>According to former players, it doesn&rsquo;t take much to turn a basketball program. If a school can recruit one or two top notch players, it can catapult a college team. The challenge is convincing Chicago student athletes to stay here and make a difference.</p><p>Looking at what John Groce did in his first recruiting year may mean Illinois is moving in the right direction. He will have two players from Simeon high school playing for him next season: Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate. Groce got some help from an Illinois alumni and former star Kendall Gill. The new coach asked him to recruit and it worked. Gill&rsquo;s pitch is something his parents told him: stay in your home state and it will be beneficial when the playing career is completed. He believes the alumni base in Illinois helped him when his playing days in the NBA were over.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/local-colleges-need-more-chicago-prep-talent-106092 Hot Hawks, cold Bulls and women sports characters http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/hot-hawks-cold-bulls-and-women-sports-characters-105953 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" ap="" carcillo="" charles="" class="image-original_image" colorado="" first="" game="" goal-a="" his="" photo="" rex="" scores="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_1danny_carcillo_co_game_winner%20arbogast_0.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 404px" title="Danny " vs="" winner="" /></div><p><strong>Twenty-four games left for the Blackhawks and counting&hellip;</strong></p><p>The story and the excitement keep building for the Blackhawks. Halfway through the NHL season, they have yet to register a loss in regulation (21-0-3). Tonight they hope to continue this unbelievable ride with a rematch with the Avalanche in Colorado. A few injuries are a concern, specifically Patrick Sharp. But this team has had different players step in and step up. Last game Danny Carcillo scored the game winner in the final seconds. After the win, coach Joel Quenneville refereed to Carcillo by his nickname, &ldquo;Car-bomb&rdquo;. That may offend some, but it was funny just to hear that nickname used by a coach.</p><p>As the Hawks keep winning, the Derrick Rose drama for the Bulls is going on and on. It almost feels like the movie <em>Groundhog Day</em>. Twenty one games left on the NBA schedule, still no decision in sight. Now there is daily reporting when he sits with the team on the bench and when he doesn&rsquo;t. It is just becoming too monotonous for everyone. Tonight the Bulls host Utah and then spend the next week on the road.</p><p><strong>Women in sports</strong></p><p>Two kicks for one young lady, ten steps back for women in pro-sports? Much has been made about the failed kicks by Lauren Silberman, at the NFL regional combine event in Florham Park, N.J. The former soccer player made two very poor attempts in kicking try-outs that resulted in a flurry of responses.</p><p>There are indications that Silberman was hurt. She should have postponed the workout or not done it at all. The other major factor: she has never played collegiate football. That could be more of the problem about her failed attempt at the NFL regional combine.</p><p>One thing that you learn physically in the sports world -- man or woman -- is know your limitations. Silberman should have learned a valuable lesson. If you are injured, not prepared or do not have the aptitude to do it (particularly when it is impactful) rethink your situation. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Speaking of impacts, there is no doubt that Northwestern Women&rsquo;s Lacrosse coach Kelly Amonte-Hiller continues to be a force in her sport. On Wednesday, she registered career win 200 when the Wildcats won their home opener beating Boston College 17-10. Tomorrow 4-1 Northwestern will play at John Hopkins on the east coast.</p><p>Did you realize that the Big Ten women&rsquo;s basketball tournament is in the Northwest suburbs at the Sears Centre Arena? Most people haven&rsquo;t a clue about that event. The arena has had a tough time trying to stay afloat and the businesses in Hoffman Estates are hoping this tournament will be a boost. It is a real bargain with the tickets going for $15 a session. Next weekend when the men play at the United Center, you will see a lot more attention for that event (and pay much more).</p><p><strong>What was he thinking?</strong></p><p>Dennis Rodman being part of the theatre of the absurd is always a natural in the sports world. It is ridiculous and dangerous when the former Bulls player steps into the international political world. The eccentric and controversial former NBA player went to North Korea to be entertained and seen with the country&#39;s leader Kim Jong-Un, it made headlines. You would think it was a sketch from Saturday Night Live. A sketch would be funny, the real scenario was not and makes you wonder: what was Rodman thinking? Having been around Rodman while he played for the Bulls, he doesn&#39;t think, nor does he care about most things. Dennis just does what he wants to do and if he gets paid, so much the better.&nbsp; Maybe Rodman thought it was all fun and games like a reality show. But when he visits a country that has declared the U.S. as its sworn enemy, it begs the question: Does he have any common sense at all? Apparently not.</p><p><strong>Characters that will be missed</strong></p><p>Bears cutting ties with defensive back DJ Moore made a lot of reporters unhappy. He was one of the few players on that team that didn&rsquo;t filter his thoughts about anything and anyone (including Jay Cutler). His playing time diminished after he made the negative comments about the Bears QB. Coincidence?</p><p>The baseball season begins three weeks from Monday. I miss Ozzie Guillen! This will be the first time in years he will not be in a dug-out. Some how, some way he will be heard. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Baseball is coming...</strong></p><p>Yesterday the White Sox extended the contract of&nbsp; left hand pitcher Chris Sale 5 years to the tune of $32.5 million. There are two two option years on the back end that can net him millions more.</p><p>And the Cubs are selling single game tickets today. Nice to think about baseball, when you have mounds of snow all around. Season begins April 1st - no fooling.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></p></p> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/hot-hawks-cold-bulls-and-women-sports-characters-105953 Grappling with an IOC decision that makes no sense http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/grappling-ioc-decision-makes-no-sense-105678 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_olympic_wrestling_paulsancya.jpg" style="float: right; height: 179px; width: 300px;" title="Looks like the IOC has pinned wrestling. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)" />One of the oldest sports in the world was kicked to the curb a couple of weeks ago. The International Olympic Committee removed wrestling from its list of 25 core sports. Now the wrestling world is in a battle to try to get it restored so it will be part of the Olympic Summer Games in 2020 and beyond.</div><p>It was really quite a shock that one of the oldest sports (and one that seems so synonymous with the Olympics) was put on a list of seven sports on the chopping block.</p><p>There are two more IOC sessions before the fate of the seven sports is determined. Only one will get a chance to get a stay of execution. The IOC executive board meets in May and a&nbsp;final decision will be made in mid-September.</p><p><strong>The seven sports in danger are:</strong></p><p>Karate &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Roller sports</p><p>Climbing</p><p>Squash</p><p>Wakeboarding</p><p>Wushu (Chinese martial arts)</p><p>Baseball/softball</p><p>Wrestling</p><p>Come on, just seeing wrestling on this list even looks wrong. All the other sports are newer to the Summer Games. Wrestling was an original.</p><p>The threat to Olympic wrestling is being felt on the college and high school too.&nbsp;</p><p>There are 77 (soon to be 78) Division I college programs in the U.S. The Big Ten Conference is considered the best in the country. Northwestern University wrestling coach Andrew Pariano told me he would really like to know the reasoning behind this decision. Last summer, Olympic wrestling wasn&rsquo;t on television. It was only available online. That should have been a tip off. Pariano and his staff had an Evanston restaurant put it on a flat screen TV.</p><p>&ldquo;The actual event was extremely well attended it was a difficult ticket to get in London,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;</p><p>Which makes anyone wonder, why it was diminished to wind up online?</p><p>On the high school level, Fremd High School assistant wrestling coach Ruben Hinojosa looked at the decision for what appears to be the root of it.</p><p>&quot;My thoughts on the IOC removing wrestling are confused and wondering why they would remove one of the oldest sports in the games, I have learned that when things just don&rsquo;t make sense it comes to money and politics, so I would guess these two things have something to do with their consideration,&rdquo; Hinojosa said.</p><p>With the Olympics isn&rsquo;t it always politics and money?</p><p>For one Palatine High School wrestler, Matt Buffo, that isn&rsquo;t on his mind. But losing the dream is.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;When you wrestle all the coaches say the goal is to aspire to get to the Olympics,&rdquo; Buffo said. &ldquo;The dream is always the Olympic gold and now it isn&rsquo;t, because they are taking it out.&rdquo;</p><p>The high school sophomore loves the sport that his father Bob, a former wrestler, turned him on to.</p><p>It is emotional for me too, since my late father wrestled at a Chicago Public High School in the late 1940s. Now my nephew, Jeremy, wrestles in junior high school.</p><p>&nbsp;Wrestling is one of the purest forms of competitions. It is one-on-one, you are in a weight class and its strength against strength. It&#39;s tough physically, and according to Buffo, mentally.</p><p>&quot;Your team can cheer you on, but it is basically just you, you are making the decisions, &lsquo;Are you strong enough to push yourself to get that extra two (points) before the period is over-or are you just going to huddle there and wait for the clock to run out,&#39;&quot; he said.</p><p>If the sport does not survive the Summer Games after 2016, how will it impact the sport? Coach Pariano believes the collegiate level will respond.</p><p>&ldquo;We may ban together to become stronger, because if there is not an International style, the pinnacle would be an NCAA champion,&rdquo; Pariano said.</p><p>However, there are still concerns expressed by Hinojosa.</p><p>&ldquo;I think eventually this may impact scholarships at the college level, but I truly believe that wrestling will be back in the Olympics,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;</p><p>And that is the hope of the huge wrestling community. Pariano pointed out there is two hundred countries&nbsp;that participated in wrestling at the Olympics. It made it one of the most diverse sports at Games.&nbsp;USA, Russia and Iran are all being very vocal trying to reverse the IOC&rsquo;s decision.</p><p>&nbsp;So it still goes back to the question as to why wrestling is on the cut list. Is it because it is not one of the glamour sports?</p><p>Not exactly, according to Hinojosa. &ldquo;I am not sure if glamour has anything to do with it,&quot; he said. &quot;There are still sports in the Olympics like speed walking, archery, shooting, etc&hellip; that are not too glamorous.&rdquo;</p><p>However, in an era of appealing to the viewing audience and retaining sports that can put money in the coffers of the IOC, it is a plausible thought.</p><p>For Buffo and the rest of the wrestling world that IOC decision will be like a match.</p><p>&ldquo;When you win it is one of the best feelings, when the ref raises your hand and you see the points go up for your team,&quot; Buffo said. &quot;When you lose it is pretty upsetting.&rdquo;</p><p>Here&rsquo;s hoping the wrestling world will have their hand raised in September.</p><p>&nbsp;Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></p></p> Mon, 04 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/grappling-ioc-decision-makes-no-sense-105678 Northwestern to investigate founder’s connection to historic massacre http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-investigate-founder%E2%80%99s-connection-historic-massacre-105689 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F80401078" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/evans%20letter.gif" style="float: left; height: 380px; width: 280px;" title="A letter from Washington in 1865 asked John Evans to resign as governor of Colorado over his role in Sandy Creek. (Colorado State Archives)" />When Gary Alan Fine was named the John Evans Professor of Sociology at Northwestern, he wanted to know more about his title.</p><p>&ldquo;I got on the internet and googled, and within 30 seconds I was shocked,&rdquo; Fine said. He found out Evans was governor of Colorado in 1864, the year of the Sand Creek Massacre.</p><p>Colorado cavalrymen murdered more than 150 civilian Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in one of the most notorious mass killings in U.S. history.</p><p>&ldquo;Children killed in front of their mothers, women who had their breasts cut off, I mean just a horrific story,&rdquo; Fine said, calling it one of most significant events of genocide in U.S. history.</p><p>Colorado&rsquo;s frontier government was effectively at war with the Cheyenne&rsquo;s and the Arapahoes, but the government had offered up the Sand Creek camp as a refuge for tribal members who were willing not to fight white settlers and railroad men. In other words, the massacre amounted to a bloody attack on a peaceful refugee camp.</p><p>Evans was not present at Sand Creek &ndash; he was out of the state on business &ndash; but as the territorial governor he somehow approved the action. He was removed from his post as governor after <a href="http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/resources/archives/four/sandcrk.htm#smith" target="_blank">Congress caught wind of the events</a>, but he remained president of Northwestern&rsquo;s Board of Trustees for thirty years after the fact.</p><p>The City of Evanston is Evans&rsquo; best-known namesake, and his fortune as a railroad mogul played a major role in Northwestern&rsquo;s early development. Multiple emeritus positions and the school&rsquo;s alumni house all carry Evans&rsquo; name.</p><p>That&rsquo;s why Northwestern Senior Adam Mendel took note when he saw Evans&rsquo; name connected to Sand Creek in readings for a class. After further researching Evans and finding out that he was considered culpable for the massacre, Mendel got together with members of the Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance to demand an explanation from the university as to why this part of Evans past was not in the biography of Evans on the university website.</p><p>Mendel said the students wanted &ldquo;recognition of John Evans&rsquo; role in Sand Creek and the way in which his profits from clearing the land of the Native population led to the development of the school.&rdquo;</p><p>They put together a petition that asks for the establishment of a Native American studies program and a scholarship fund for Cheyenne and Arapaho students. The group also wants a permanent memorial built on campus with input from the tribes.</p><p>The university responded in mid-February by announcing a committee of seven scholars to research Evans. The committee plans to release a report in 2014 on Evans&rsquo; connection to the massacre and on links between Evans&rsquo; financial contributions his policies towards Native tribes as governor of Colorado.</p><p>&ldquo;The year 2014 will mark the 150th anniversary of Sand Creek, so it is appropriate to assess how and what we report about John Evans as part of our institutional history, and if and in what way we should continue to recognize his contributions to the University,&rdquo; Provost Daniel Linzer said in a statement. &ldquo;Although Sand Creek occurred 13 years after the establishment of Northwestern, we would like to know in detail the nature of John Evans&rsquo; relationship with the University when he was territorial governor and afterwards.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m ecstatic that the committee is going to be formed,&rdquo; Mendel said.</p><p>He&rsquo;s disappointed that the committee does not include students or any members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, but said it&rsquo;s a great start.</p><p>Fine has high hopes for where the research could take the university.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;What do we owe the Cheyenne and Arapaho, what do we owe native students, what do we owe the students today in terms of remembering our own traumatic history. How do you memorialize trauma?&rdquo; Fine asked.</p><p>He cites the work of Brown University, which formed a committee in 2003 to <a href="http://brown.edu/Research/Slavery_Justice/about/letter.html" target="_blank">address historic links to slavery</a> at the university. In 2007, Brown announced it would give $10 million in an endowment to local public schools as a form of reparations.</p><p>Fine hopes Northwestern will eventually do something similar by helping Native American students get access to higher education. Recent numbers show just seven percent of Native American kindergarteners end up graduating from college.</p><p>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/LewisPants" target="_blank">Lewis Wallace on Twitter</a>.</p></p> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-investigate-founder%E2%80%99s-connection-historic-massacre-105689