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  • Courtney Paris to creat community fund

    Courtney Paris to create community fund
    By VIN A. CHERWOO, AP Sports Writer
    Apr 9, 6:46 pm EDT

    SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP)—Courtney Paris still wants to give back to Oklahoma.

    The Sooners’ four-time All-American had promised to pay back her scholarship if she didn’t lead Oklahoma to a national title. The Sooners fell short in the Final Four against Louisville, but athletic director Joe Castiglione said Tuesday the university wouldn’t hold Paris to her promise.

    So instead Paris says she plans to set up a fund that will go to the needy in Oklahoma.

    “We’re working on something, trying to corroborate and make some kind of fund that kicks back into the community,” Paris said Thursday after being selected by the Sacramento Monarchs with the seventh pick in the WNBA draft.

    The cost of four years at Oklahoma has been estimated conservatively at $64,000, but the price could be even higher since Paris, the daughter of former NFL offensive lineman Bubba Paris, came from California and would have had to establish residence in Oklahoma to pay in-state tuition.

    “We have a great, great university, and our athletic director wouldn’t accept the money back,” Paris said. “But I feel like there is something I can do to help the state of Oklahoma because they’ve supported me so much and I’ve had the best four years playing with them.”

    Paris’ base salary in the WNBA this season is expected to be around $41,000.

    What? Not one mock draft posted for the WNBA?

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  • Nick
    State women's group upset by Paterno comments, asks him to resign
    by Nick
    State women's group upset by Paterno comments, asks him to resign

    January 8, 2006

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- A leader from the women's rights group NOW has asked Joe Paterno to resign over comments the Penn State football coach made about an alleged sexual assault.

    Joanne Tosti-Vasey, president of the National Organization for Women in Pennsylvania, said Sunday that she was "appalled" by Paterno's comments last week and that they represent an institutional insensitivity that endangers women.

    Paterno's remarks came a day before the Orange Bowl, when a reporter asked about Florida State linebacker A.J. Nicholson, who was accused of sexual assault and sent home before Tuesday's game.

    Paterno replied by talking about past suspensions of Penn State players. He then added: "There's some tough -- there's so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?"

    "Geez. I hope -- thank God they don't knock on my door because I'd refer them to a couple of other rooms," Paterno continued. "But that's too bad. You hate to see that. I really do. You like to see a kid end up his football career. He's a heck of a football player, by the way; he's a really good football player. And it's just too bad."

    Tosti-Vasey issued a news release calling for Paterno to apologize and step down from the post he has held for 40 years. She sent an e-mail to Paterno and the university president the next day, but said Sunday she has not heard back from either.

    "Allegations of sexual assault should never be taken lightly," the statement reads. "Making light of sexual assault sends the message that rape is something to be expected and accepted."

    Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said Sunday that Paterno's comments were taken out of context. A spokeswoman at the NOW headquarters in Washington said the organization's president, Kim Gandy, supports the call for Paterno's resignation.

    Guido D'Elia, communications director for Penn State football, said Paterno made his remarks in the larger context of distractions in the bowl-game environment. Nor, he said, did Paterno intend to make light of the assault allegations.

    "I think if you were present, you understood he meant no malice," D'Elia said Saturday. "If you heard his tone, he really thought it was too bad for everybody. He was concerned for everybody."

    No charges have been filed against Nicholson, although police in Florida said the matter remains open.

    Tosti-Vasey said Sunday that Paterno's comments are the latest in a series of insensitive actions by the university's athletic department. The Pennsylvania...
    -01-09-2006, 08:22 AM
  • txramsfan
    Colorado is a mess.....
    by txramsfan

    Colorado prez brought to tears over vulgarity controversy

    DENVER -- The University of Colorado president began to cry during an interview after the release of a transcript that showed her refusing to condemn a football player's alleged use of a vulgar anatomical term to describe a female teammate.

    An attorney told Betsy Hoffman during a heated legal deposition this month in a federal court case that the vulgar reference had been used by a player to describe then-teammate Katie Hnida.

    The attorney asked Hoffman whether she thought the term was "a filthy and vile word."

    Hoffman replied it was a "swear word" and its meaning depended on the circumstances in which it was used, according to a copy of the June 5 deposition released by the school Tuesday.

    Asked if it could ever be used in a polite context, Hoffman replied: "Yes, I've actually heard it used as a term of endearment."

    Hoffman defended her answer Tuesday in a meeting with Durango Herald reporters and editors, but said she should have phrased it differently.

    "I was immediately sorry I said it," she said.

    Hoffman began to cry at one point in the discussion at the Herald and left the room briefly to compose herself, the newspaper reported.

    University spokeswoman Michele Ames said Hoffman knows the word has "negative connotations" today but it did not in its original use centuries ago.

    "Because she is a medieval scholar, she is also aware of the long history of the word dating back to at least Chaucer," Ames said.

    Fourteenth-century English writer Geoffrey Chaucer used the word in his sometimes-bawdy classic The Canterbury Tales.

    The deposition came in a lawsuit filed by three other women who say they were sexually assaulted by football athletes in 2001.

    A member of the Board of Regents and others said they were appalled by what they called Hoffman's lack of sensitivity.

    The comments recalled football coach Gary Barnett's ill-fated description of Hnida in February as an "awful player" after she told Sports Illustrated she had been raped by a teammate in 2000.

    Barnett was suspended shortly afterward by Hoffman, who said his comments about Hnida and another woman accusing an athlete of rape had stunned her.

    Regent Jim Martin called Hoffman's comments "more outrageous" because they were made under oath by the university's top leader.

    "I'm embarrassed for the university, I'm embarrassed for her and, quite frankly, it shocks the sense of human decency," Martin said. "She needs to give an immediate apology."

    Hoffman had consistently...
    -06-17-2004, 12:08 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Kiwanuka everybody's All-American -- but Uganda on mind, too
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 26, 2005
    By Dennis Dodd
    CBS Senior Writer
    Tell Dennis your opinion!

    Preseason All-American team
    The first memory Mathias Kiwanuka has of Uganda is vomiting.

    "The first impression was the smell," Boston College's senior defensive end said. "I was warned about it, but I don't think there's anything that can prepare you for it. There's some kind of plant in the air. It's an adjustment. The plane de-pressurized, I smelled it, and immediately I threw up."

    Mathias Kiwanuka is eyeing a huge season as Boston College joins the ACC. (Getty Images)
    Kiwanuka lost his lunch but gained perspective as a third-grader while visiting his parents' homeland in 1991. Culture shock doesn't even begin to describe what he encountered.

    Poverty, disease, strife -- and incredible heroism. As the grandchild of Uganda's first prime minister, Mathias quickly found out he was a descendent of a legend. Benedicto Kiwanuka took office in 1962 after Uganda won its independence from the United Kingdom. Ten years later, he was assassinated by dictator Idi Amin during a military coup.

    "(A) number of people back in Uganda ... would just come up and shake my hand, saying, 'I have a tremendous amount of respect for your grandfather,'" Mathias said. "People appreciate honest, genuine individuals. From my standpoint it motivated me not necessarily to aspire to be a big political figure. But if you can change one person's life that dramatically, a couple of decades later ... and shake your grandchild's hand, that's something that is unmatched."

    Mathias Kiwanuka is as American as a Big Mac, but a part of his heart is in Uganda to this day.

    "Seeing the lifestyle at that young of an age, not having the things that America has," he said. "It's hard for children, especially, to understand that.

    "There's a lot of things that could be changed -- the AIDS epidemic. You think, why isn't anybody doing anything about that? It kind of keeps you grounded."

    The NFL was slobbering over him last year when the kid they call "Kiwi" could have easily forsaken his senior year and been drafted high. A member of CBS's preseason All-America team, Kiwanuka is attempting to become the defensive player of the year in two conferences.

    Posting 11˝ sacks and 25 tackles for loss earned him that honor in the Big East last year. With Boston College moving to the ACC, Kiwanuka already has been named the conference's preseason defensive player of the year.

    Why stop there? Kiwanuka goes into 2005 as the best defensive player in the country.

    He grew up playing AAU basketball back in Indiana. Only halfway through his senior year did...
    -08-28-2005, 08:27 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Georgia Tech Lineman Clings To Hope In Aruba Disappearance
    by DJRamFan
    Nate McManus was on the same trip as Natalee Halloway

    Aug. 29, 2005

    ATLANTA (AP) - Nate McManus took the same graduation trip as Natalee Holloway.

    Now, as McManus prepares for his first season as a starter on Georgia Tech's offensive line, he tries to keep up with news about the missing Alabama teen, clinging to hope that she might be found alive in Aruba.

    "I was at home when I heard the news," McManus recalled. "Everybody was like, 'Oh, she missed the plane. She must have fallen asleep somewhere.' Then a day became two days. Then it became weeks."

    Holloway was a year behind McManus at Mountain Brook High School in suburban Birmingham, Ala. She was on the dance team that performed at football games and, while the two weren't especially close, they did share many of the same friends.

    Holloway was last seen May 30 leaving a bar on the final night of a graduation trip to the Dutch Caribbean island. Extensive searches had produced no signs of her.

    "I took the exact same senior trip that she did," McManus said. "I had the time of my life. It was awesome."

    While three people have been detained in Holloway's disappearance, no one has been formally charged.

    "It's tragic the way it was handled," McManus said. "A lot of things went really wrong. A series of mistakes led to this. It's really upsetting."

    While distracted by the Holloway case, McManus' main focus has been on Saturday's season opener at No. 16 Auburn. He will be one of three new starters on the offensive line, taking over at right guard.

    The revamped line is one of the major question marks for the Yellow Jackets, who are hoping for a breakout year after three straight seven-win seasons. Nagging injuries to McManus and others have hindered progress in the preseason.

    "We're a new group, but we're tight," McManus said. "We've been underestimated since day one."

    Coach Chan Gailey is a little more guarded in his assessment of the line.

    "They've been OK but they're not where they need to be," he said. "Most of that is because of injuries. They've not had much time to play together."

    When McManus lines up for his first college game, he'll be going against the school he rooted for most of his life.

    "I was definitely an Auburn fan," he said. "Lots of my friends go to Auburn. They'll be at the game. It's going to be real exciting."

    The Tigers offered McManus a scholarship, which left him torn about which school to attend.

    "I was going out to eat with my parents, and it was between Auburn and Georgia Tech," he said. "I told them, 'This is the night....
    -08-30-2005, 06:57 PM
  • RamsFan16
    Penn State's Hali is from family of survivors
    by RamsFan16

    Tamba Hali hasn't seen his mother since 1994, but that - he hopes - is about to change. While Hali fled to the United States to stay with his father, his mother stayed behind in war-torn Liberia.

    "I just want her to be by my side," said Hali, a defensive end from Penn State. "It's been tough. First going through life with your mother; then going through the second half of your 22 years without her. You deal with it and work through it. That's how life is. Full of adversity."

    Few players at the NFL scouting combine have been exposed to the level of adversity faced by Hali and his family.

    "The first time we got attacked (by rebels), the plane came down," Hali recalled. "We were sitting there. I remember my mother was cooking. Gunfire just started erupting all over the place."

    Such incidents happened with increasing frequency in Liberia, then in the midst of a civil war.

    "So we went into hiding," Hali said. "My stepdad got a car, and we went to a village far away from the city. ... Certain people would hide us. We'd have places to stay in little huts. You find ways to manage. You find ways to eat, cook and all of that. We'd spend six months there and then come back out."

    When military action heated up again, they'd head back to the countryside. Sometimes death was all around.

    "Sometimes it would be just one (body)," Hali said. "Sometimes you'd see a stack of bodies sitting on the side of the road while you were walking. A lot of kids (in Liberia) weren't educated. A lot of them would be running around killing people for no reason.

    "It's hard to explain to people what it's like to actually be in that situation, feeling like, 'Maybe today I could die, or see other people get killed.'"

    A couple of years ago, his mother, Rachel Keita, was shot in the leg.

    "She was walking with three or four other friends," Hali said. "They were walking in Monrovia. What I hear is that three other people got killed, and she got shot in the knee. By God's grace she's still alive."

    It may be difficult for Hali to fully explain his experiences to others. But he's getting plenty of practice during the interview sessions with teams at the combine.

    "We interviewed him (Friday) night," said New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi. "I was just overwhelmed with not only his story, but the way he told it. He's such a thoughtful, intellectual, moving person. ... I tell you what, you could hear a pin drop in our interview room when he was done telling us (his) story."

    Many chapters remain in Hali's story, many of which might deal with his burgeoning football career. A defensive tackle his first two seasons at Penn State, Hali blossomed...
    -02-27-2006, 05:18 AM