Posts Tagged ‘basketball’

Baptiste Bataille seemed to have his life together when his college graduation approached in 2010. He finished his collegiate basketball career at Northeastern University as one of the leaders in the men’s basketball program, received a bachelor’s degree in environmental geology and marine biology and was looking forward to a bright future in the education field.

But post-graduation, things didn’t pan out the way Bataille expected. Eager to end the job hunt with a position relating to his college education, the French native was stopped short after running into an obstacle he couldn’t bypass.

“On top of being a student-athlete, I was an international student-athlete, so I was dealing with visas,” said Bataille. “A lot of employers are skeptical of hiring a foreigner over an American either because they have to pay a little more money because of the visa or they’re scared of the immigration process. That was one of the main issues.”

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Click on the above image for a photo story on Chris Rawlings

With no other options at the time, Bataille turned to what was his main focus in college—basketball. He returned overseas the summer after graduation and signed with a professional basketball team on the west coast of France. Being a French native, it was easy for him to sign onto a team and get exposure.

“I wanted to play overseas while I was fresh and in shape,” said Bataille. “I looked at the work industry and applied for some jobs but when I kept getting turned down it kind of led me towards the overseas track.”

Bataille is one of many student-athletes faced with the same questions; do I work through the economy and try to get a job? Or do I continue on the path of being a professional athlete?

Diane Ciarletta, senior associate director of career services at Northeastern University, acknowledged the fact that the current economy is slow. But despite this slow economy, she feels a main focus of graduates must be searching for a job the right way.

“The main thing we try to teach our students is the importance of networking and getting out from behind the computer,” said Ciarletta. “Most people spend 90 percent of their time looking at online postings and less than 10 percent making connections and the first thing I tell them is to reverse that ratio. I always tell people if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can’t get there.”

Veronica Napoli, senior international affairs major at Northeastern University and legend of the women’s soccer program, understands Ciarletta’s concept completely. And although Napoli doesn’t face the same visa issue as Bataille, she shares a similar bond with the idea of an inability to land a job.

“More of it is just not hearing back,” said Napoli.  “And I’ve applied mostly through online postings, which is the main problem and I know that. It’s a lot easier to get a job if you know somebody or through networking. But I’m young enough where I’m able to take advantage of the opportunity to play overseas and this might be the only time in my life where I’ll have that opportunity.“

Napoli, a third-team All-American and record holder for most career goals at Northeastern, has opted for the professional track in Italy while integrating an interim job with the Boston Breakers until she leaves to go overseas. Having picked up this temporary position through a connection with the Breakers, this option, she said, allows her to combine both playing and working until the right job offer comes along.

“I’ll be doing general management and sales for the Breakers during their season until August when I’ll leave to go play in Italy,” said Napoli. “Playing just seems like the best fit for me right now whereas taking a sales job or a business job and working from 9-5 in an office just to say I have a job, that doesn’t sound appealing to me.”

Bataille and Napoli join a larger group of graduating student-athletes who were unable to gain any job experience due to the rigorous lifestyle of being a Division 1 athlete.

“I definitely didn’t get enough work experience because of basketball,” said Bataille. “It didn’t allow us to have a part-time job or summer job and if I could go back I would do it differently and try to take advantage of the co-op program and networking. That way, as opposed to just being caught up in the season which is so heavy in traveling, you can look back and say you have experience when trying to answer to the job market.”

Kashaia Cannon, health management graduate student and senior on the women’s basketball team at Northeastern, feels the lack of experience as well now that she’s trying to land a job in the health management industry.

“I’m applying to mostly internships now and I haven’t heard back from any yet,” said Cannon. “And I’m applying to internships and not full-time jobs because there aren’t any entry-level positions in the health management field. They’re mostly manager positions and I don’t have enough experience to apply. The experience is a huge issue. These positions require at least three years’ worth and I don’t have that coming right out of being a college athlete.”

While having a “Plan B” in mind—that is, getting a job—Cannon is hoping to continue her basketball career overseas. She will be attending three different tryouts throughout the United States this summer, with the hopes of landing an agent and a professional contract. For her, like Napoli, the love of the game is too much to give up for a low-level job outside of her desired field.

But contrary to popular belief, it seems there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Although student-athletes are choosing to continue playing professionally and arguably delaying the process of getting a job, it could work out to their benefit.

Bataille just recently accepted a job in Connecticut after finishing his professional basketball career. Although it took three years since graduation, he will be teaching French at a private school and coaching basketball—something he has always wanted to do.

“I think in that specific industry, the education industry in the private sector, they’re looking for people that are multifaceted and people who can do different things,” said Bataille. “I was able to utilize my background in terms of playing professional sports and bring that kind of diverse lifestyle and that helped me get this job.”

The 2013 WNBA Draft occurred this past week and as expected, Baylor University’s Brittney Griner was the number one pick in the first round of the draft. Here is a list of the rest of the basketball stars who will continue their career at the professional level:

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

ROUND 1:

1. Brittney Griner (Baylor University) – Phoenix Mercury—Griner was the first NCAA player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. She finished her career with 3,282 points and 748 blocked shots.

2.Elena Delle Donne (University of Delaware) – Chicago Sky—The 6’5 guard/forward was the second leading scorer in the country with 26 points per game. She finished her career with 3,039 career points.

3. Skylar Diggins (University of Notre Dame) – Tulsa Shock —Diggins is the only Notre Dame player to earn 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals in her career.

4. Tayler Hill (Ohio State University) – Washington Mystics—As a guard at Ohio State, Hill scored 2,015 points and had 240 steals. She was an All-Big Ten first team and defensive team player.

5. Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M) – New York Liberty—Bone averaged 9.3 rebounds a game and will undoubtedly help the Liberty in the front court.

6. Tianna Hawkins (University of Maryland) – Seattle Storm—The forward averaged 18 points a game and finished her career shooting 57 percent from the field.

7. Toni Young (Oklahoma State) – New York Liberty—Young will join Kelsey Bone on the New York Liberty. She was an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and led Oklahoma State with 16 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game.

8. Kayla Alexander (Syracuse University) – San Antonio Silver Stars—Alexander is the all-time leading scorer at Syracuse and holds records for career blocks, field goals made, free throws and games played.

9. Layshia Clarendon (University of California) – Indiana Fever—Clarendon is the highest draft pick to ever come out of the University of California. She averaged 21.4 points per game in the NCAA tournament.

10. A’dia Matthies (University of Kentucky) – Los Angeles Sparks—Matthies was named the SEC Player of the Year by the Associated Press and shot 42 percent from the three point line this past season.

11. Kelly Faris (University of Connecticut) – Connecticut Sun—Faris was a team leader at Connecticut in many other aspects aside from statistics. She is the second player to record at least 1,000 points, 750 rebounds, 500 assists and 250 steals.

12. Lindsey Moore (University of Nebraska) – Minnesota Lynx—Moore holds the school career in assist record at 699 as well as single season assist record at 195.

ROUND 2:

1. Alex Bentley (Atlanta Dream) 2. Sugar Rogers (Minnesota Lynx) 3. Kamiko Williams (New York Liberty) 4. Davellyn Whyte (San Antonio Silver Stars) 5. Nadirah McKenith (Washington Mystics) 6. Chelsea Poppens (Seattle Storm) 7. Emma Meesseman (Washington Mystics) 8. Diandra Tchatchouang (San Antonio Silver Stars) 9. Jasmine Hassel (Indiana Fever) 10. Brittany Chambers (Los Angeles Sparks) 11. Anna Prins (Connecticut Sun) 12. Chucky Jeffery (Minnesota Lynx)

ROUND 3:

1. Shenneika Smith (New York Liberty) 2. Nikki Greene (Phoenix Mercury) 3. Olcay Cakir (New York Liberty) 4. Brooklyn Pope (Chicago Sky) 5. Angel Goodrish (Tulsa Shock) 6. Jasmine James (Seattle Storm) 7. Anna Marie Armstrong (Atlanta Dream) 8. Whitney Hand (San Antonio Silver Stars) 9. Jennifer George (Indiana Fever) 10. Alina Iagupova (Los Angeles Sparks) 11. Andrea Smith (Connecticut Sun) 12. Waltiea Rolle (Minnesota Lynx)

 

I found this neat flow chart that shows the different options for NCAA regulated per diem and meal money. A lot of people think it’s simple, players are hungry they get food. Unfortunately, it’s not.

There are many different regulations for both home games and road games that deal with the proper amount of money or the different rules that apply for pre and post game food. The example team is Baylor University, it’s pretty interesting so check it out!

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In the wake of the Rutgers University men’s basketball scandal comes another, perhaps not so shocking, update. Tim Pernetti, the university Athletic Director is no longer holding that position as of today. It is still unclear whether Pernetti was fired by higher university officials or respectfully resigned.

The biggest concern of many spectators is why Pernetti made the initial decision to only suspend Rice rather than fire him after learning of the circulating video. But after the sudden backlash and severity the video brought forth, Pernetti decided it was in the best interest of the university and the program to fire Rice.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

State officials in Trenton said they would hold hearings about how Pernetti handled the allegations and a a New York Times article reports that Stephen M. Sweeney, a Democrat and the president of the State Senate, said officials should reconsider firing Pernetti.

Before serving as the Athletic Director, Pernetti was a television executive with much experience presenting college games on national broadcasts. He had never even coached a college team, let alone run a college program.

But the decision seemed smart and initially proved successful because of the growing “business” college sports has become. This past November, Rutgers was invited to join the Big Ten conference that would generate more exposure and a larger television revenue.

A news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. today and Rutgers president Robert L. Barchi will speak.

There’s nothing like finishing up my workout this morning to look at my phone and see a breaking news update that Mike Rice was fired. The Rutgers men’s basketball coach was terminated this morning after an ESPN broadcast showing him physically and verbally abusing players on the team.

The video features excerpts from practice sessions between the 2010 and 2012 seasons, and initially resulted in Rice obtaining a three-game suspension, $75,000 fine and he had to go to anger management classes. But Athletic Director Tim Pernetti received much pressure and backlash from state officials and decided to ultimately fire Rice.

 

According to a CNN article, Pernetti said in a written statement,

I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice. Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interests of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community.

The video was originally obtained by ESPN through former NBA player Eric Murdock, Rutgers former player development director. Murdock told ESPN the school fired him for releasing the information on Rice, but Rutgers maintains that he was let go for “insubordinate conduct” unrelated to the abusive video.

In the video, Rice is seen physically abusing players by pushing, shoving, kicking and throwing basketballs at their knees and heads. He also yelled extreme slanders at the players, calling them inappropriate names including homophobic slurs.

Rice had just ended his third year as head basketball coach with an overall record of 44-51. He was contracted to continue coaching the 2014-2015 season before being fired. Under his time as head coach, he led the team to the NCAA basketball tournament two times.

At 41-years-old, Ed O’Bannon is seen as a legend in the basketball world. Back in his collegiate days, he led UCLA to a national championship. He played two seasons for the New Jersey Nets(now Brooklyn Nets), before a nagging knee injury forced him to leave the NBA and play professionally overseas for many years.

Now, O’Bannon’s name has been in sports headlines for his lawsuit against the NCAA and bringing awareness to the corrupt nature of the collegiate sports powerhouse.

Ed O'Bannon. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Ed O’Bannon. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

in 2009, O’Bannon noticed his UCLA likeness being used in a college basketball video game without his consent. From there he thought about the profits the NCAA had been making on his behalf without giving any compensation for his talents.

The NCAA claims they maintain his likeness perpetually because of the clause, “forever and throughout the universe” stated in the contractual papers student-athletes sign when they enter college to play a sport. But O’Bannon claims that a 17 or 18 year old kid doesn’t know what he or she is doing by signing a contract of that magnitude with no legal representation.

If the lawsuit ends in favor of O’Bannon and collegiate athletes, the NCAA would be forced to pay billions of dollars in compensation and college sports would have to adopt a market-based model.

Two months ago, a judge ruled that the plaintiffs in O’Bannon’s suit could go for the broadcast revenues. The next court date is June 20 and it will be decided whether the case will go forward as a class action.

 

Fans of March Madness understand the point that anything can happen on any given night. I personally believe that the seed doesn’t matter, because teams have continuously proven to stun the sports world every year. When I was filling out my bracket after Selection Sunday, I thought I had it signed, sealed and delivered. I chose my few upsets for the tournament and had faith in the higher seeds to advance.

I was wrong.

Like most people in the run for March Madness, my bracket is in shambles! But I’ll accept it for the single fact that these games have been beyond entertaining. Let’s take a look at some of the upsets this year that shocked fans, coaches and even the teams themselves.

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No. 12 Oregon over No. 5 Oklahoma State – Arsalan Kazemi’s double-double led the Ducks past the Cowboys 68-55.

No. 12 California over No. 5 UNLV – California had four different players score in double-digits to win 64-61.

No. 12 Ole Miss over No. 5 Wisconsin – Ole Miss beat Wisconsin 57-46 after Marshall Henderson scored 17 points in the final 11.5 minutes alone.

No. 14 Harvard over No. 3 New Mexico – The Crimson stunned the sports world beating New Mexico 68-62, only playing 7 players the entire game.

No. 13 La Salle over No. 4 Kansas State – Jerrell Wright had 21 points and eight rebounds for La Salle as they beat Kansas State 63-61.

No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast over No. 2 Georgetown – In arguably the biggest upset of the tournament so far, FGCU beat the Hoyas 78-68, taking down a favorite for the Final Four.

No. 12 Oregon over No. 4 Saint Louis – Another upset for Oregon? Yup. They took down Saint Louis 74-57 in the second round of the tournament, taking a huge lead at halftime that couldn’t be cut down.

No. 9 Wichita State over No. 1 Gonzaga – Like many brackets, I had Gonzaga in the championship game. But Wichita State upset the No. 1 team in the country, beating them 76-70.

No. 13 La Salle over No. 12 Ole Miss – Yes, the seed difference was only by 1, but La Salle beating Ole Miss was surely an upset. A buzzer beater layup by Tyrone Garland gave La Salle the win, 76-74.

No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast over No. 7 San Diego State – FGCU marks the first 15 seed team to ever make it to the Sweet 16. Beating San Diego State 81-71, they are well on their way to another shocking performance.

The Sweet 16 games begin March 28th and I am more excited than ever. If the first part of this tournament has proved anything, it’s that it’s the year of the upset. Happy March everyone!