Category Archives: Columns

Acadia Column (The End…And A New Beginning) idea for headline**Sean F

By Acadia Otlowski

Over the summer I made one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make in my life. I broke up with my boyfriend of three years in early August.

This may seem like an overly personal choice for my first column, but I have taken from this choice a valuable life lesson: do what your gut says, it’s rarely wrong.

I met my last boyfriend at 17, and we started dating when I was 18, the week I began college. I grew up with him. Since my freshman year, I have transformed from a shy, introverted teenager to a confident adult, a leader.

I have traveled to multiple countries and cities across the United States. Every time I did, I knew he would be at home waiting for me. I was constantly leaving him behind.

For a while, it seemed like it would work. But the further I ventured, the harder things were. I became distant, wrapped up with wild plans for the future. He desperately tried to bring me back closer to him and with that came his insecurities. He became accusatory; so I pulled even further away as I tried to reconcile the life he wanted with the life I craved.

He was ready to settle down, and for me at the age of 20, that was nowhere on my radar. I realized on a short trip to New York that there was no way we could ever reconcile these dreams. Someone would always be disappointed.

We had become comfortable in our lives with one another, something that I think was part of the issue.

The break up was painful; there were a lot of tears.

And just a few days after, I was still unsure if I had done the right thing. I was missing the person to whom I had once told everything, who checked in on me. I was missing the routine that had defined a large part of the past three years of my life.

But I realized, by closing that chapter in my life, a new one had opened. I didn’t have to constantly check my phone so I could reply to a concerned text inquiring my whereabouts. I didn’t have to commit my free time to anything in particular, whereas before I would commit any free time to hanging out with him.

It has made my life more relaxing and freer.

Before I had felt trapped by whatever job he had and whatever state we lived in. Now, the world is at my fingertips.

It was a terrifying choice to make, but in the end it was what needed to happen. Life is filled with these choices that feel almost insurmountable.

But it is these challenging choices that shape one’s life. Avoiding changes when circumstances make us unhappy is what causes us to feel stuck.

At risk of sounding too cliché, I urge you to make that choice that scares you, that takes you out of your comfort zone — being comfortable and living your life in a way that excites you do not go hand in hand.

This is a new chapter to my story. Will you dare to open yours?

Oh, Donald Sterling

by Sean Begin and Navindra Persaud

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling cast a dark shadow upon his team with racially charged remarks that he allegedly made, as first reported by TMZ.

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” said the man alleged to be Sterling in the audio clip.

The comments were recorded by Sterling’s then-girlfriend and mistress, V. Stiviano, who is currently being sued for almost $2 million by Sterling’s wife for embezzlement.

Sterling also referred to NBA legend and former Los Angeles guard Magic Johnson in his comments. It was a photo of Johnson and Stiviano on her Instagram that sparked Sterling’s comments.

“Don’t put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me.  And don’t bring him to my games.”

In response to these remarks Johnson responded on Twitter saying “I feel sorry for my friends Coach Doc Rivers and Chris Paul that they have to work for a man that feels that way about African-Americans.”

Johnson has said he and his wife will no longer be attending Clippers games in the future while Sterling remains owner.

These comments have naturally caused outrage amongst people involved with the NBA on every level, from owners and executives to players and the media who cover the sport.

The irony in this all is that Sterling is the owner of the Clippers whose entire success has been thanks to the players and coaches on the team, who are predominantly black. The NBA itself is an African-American dominant league, with over 70 percent of its players identifying as black.

If indeed the investigation proves that Sterling did make these comments (his side claims they are not him), he does not deserve to have a place in the league let alone own a team.

LeBron James, who is arguably the face of the NBA the same way Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan before him, spoke on the matter after his teams win over the Bobcats.

“I’ve wavered back and forth if I would actually sit out, if our owner came out and said the things that he said. I would really have to sit down with my teammates, talk to my family, because at the end of the day, our family and our teammates are way more important than that. But there’s no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There’s no room for him.”

It is easy to understand the frustration that Clippers players and others around the league have and the mental battle that they face having to decide whether they should play for an owner who would allegedly make such callous statements.

It was refreshing to hear that the Clippers continued to participate in Sunday’s game despite the remarks allegedly made by Sterling. Their silent protest came during the pregame shoot around, when they left their warm-ups at center court and wore regular red t-shirts. The Clippers fell to the Warriors 118-97, evening the series at two games each.

The entire scenario seemed to weigh heavy on the players during the game. There seemed to be a dark cloud hanging over the team. As the starters sat on the bench for the remainder of the day there was a look of utter despair.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a public statement calling the audio recordings disturbing and stating that the NBA will work to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible.  Silver said that he would not discuss any moves towards punishment because all members of the NBA do in fact have a due process to state their side of the story.

Silver is just three months on the job, after taking over for David Stern, who served as commissioner for 30 years before retiring in January. This incident is an immediate test of his ability to exert control over the 30 owners who voted him in as commissioner.

What needs to be answered his why the league failed to acknowledge or sanction Sterling for his prior racist and actions and comments. The uproar now is justified but could have easily been avoided had owners made a stand previously. But since the Clippers for years were the laughing stock of the NBA, his actions were pushed aside and ignored.

Well, that cannot and will not be ignored any longer.

Even Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and notorious fence rider, condemned the comments Sterling made. The owners will have no choice but to try and force Sterling from his ownership. His comments are, after all, bad for business. And, for better or worse, money does talk. As of Monday evening, more than half a dozen companies had withdrawn their corporate sponsorship with the Clippers.

Its clear Sterling has no place in the league anymore. What’s clearer is Sterling shouldn’t have had a place in the league for years though. But when you consider the people who also own NBA teams – guys like Cavalier’s owner Dan Gilbert who made millions in mortgages while the economy collapsed or Magic owner Richard DeVos who has dumped millions of dollars into anti-gay marriage initiatives – you see a fraternity that has hidden on of their members.

While the words and attitudes expressed by Sterling are horrible and contemptible, it is not the first time his racism has surfaced nor is this nearly the most racist thing Sterling has done.

Sterling was sued by the federal government for housing discrimination back in 2003 with documents of his testimony surfacing in 2006. In those documents, Sterling said black people attract vermin and had no place living in his housing. He settled out of court, reportedly in the largest settlement in history over discrimination.

So while what Sterling said is reprehensible, this outrage should have surfaced over a decade ago. Housing discrimination can lead to incredible levels of violence: see Chicago in 2014, where people die every day over land and territory with little education or opportunity.

It’s time for Sterling to go, but its time for everyone to look at the larger problems, for once, and try and solve them, rather than lose their cool over some unsurprising comments made by an 81-year-old man.

Every End Brings A New Beginning

By: Paige Brown

 

In less than a month, my college career comes to an end.

 

The idea that I will no longer be fighting for parking spots or going crazy in the wee hours of the morning on layout nights is bittersweet. Not only am I leaving the stress behind, but also all the memories I have made here.

 

This last year, I have made some of the best friends here at Central that I know will be in my life forever. Working with The Recorder is something that has done more than keep me here until 5 a.m. and build up my resume.

 

After working closely with my predecessor, Amanda Webster, I learned a lot about how the newspaper works behind the scenes. I enjoyed the long nights, hard work and creativity that went into our finished product. Seeing something published and printed and knowing that I first handedly put work into was rewarding.

 

After a few people mentioned the idea and pushed me towards running for Editor-in-Chief and knowing that I only had one more semester left, I decided to go for it.

 

With the support from the staff, I won the election. I have spent the last five months leading an incredible group of people and producing a product that I am proud to have my name on.

 

The experience that The Recorder has given me is irreplaceable. I have learned more about responsibility, time management, leadership, deadlines and journalism as a whole this semester than I have in the last five years of college.

 

Besides the work, the people that I spend hours on end with each week have made my experience here much more interesting.

 

Brittany Hill, my Managing Editor, has become one of my closest friends. I can’t help but think that we wouldn’t have the relationship we have today if she wasn’t helping me lead this paper.

 

Saying that we have become a small family is an understatement. My staff has seen me at my best and my worst. I have seen them at their best and their worst. At the end of the day, we work together to produce a product that is benefiting all of our futures.

 

Some of these people I know will be in my life forever, though it does make me sad to know that after this week, I will not be spending almost 12 hours on a Monday night in a hot office that eventually smells like feet while we all start to go a little bit insane at four o’clock in the morning on Tuesday.

 

Well, I could maybe do without the smell of feet and the long nights, but it will be an adjustment.

 

Since this is my last column, I would like to take this chance to thank those who have supported me. Professors, friends, family and my staff. I wouldn’t have made it through college without all of you.

 

With the craziness of what life has thrown at me, The Recorder office has been my home away from home. To the select few that have been there for me this semester (you know who you are), thank you especially. From the long nights to the day-to-day humor that only we understand, you guys have been amazing.

 

In only a few weeks, I will be out of here. As great as that sounds, I am sorry to know that I am leaving all of this behind.

 

I am onto bigger things. Maybe graduate school, maybe a job with the NFL. Either way, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people and experiences I have met and had here at Central.

 

It will be missed, but not forgotten.

For the Love of the Game, Just let them Play

by Sean Begin

It’s time to throw out the book.

Or, at least, make some highly necessary changes.

What book? That would be the Unwritten Rules of Baseball, which made yet another appearance April 20, when the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez ignited a benches clearing brawl after he flipped his bat on what he thought was a home run.

Turned out it was really just a deep outfield hit, one that saw Gomez wind up (barely) at third base with a triple, and could, as Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi speculated, been an inside-the-park home run, had Gomez hustled out of the box.

Pirates closer Gerrit Cole, apparently succeeding Brian McCann as baseball’s Arbiter of All Things Unwritten, took offense to this action. Cole shouted something to Gomez, who promptly removed his helmet and started towards the mound, having to be restrained by the third base umpire.

Naturally, the benches cleared, and after Gomez slipped the umps grasp, a full-on basebrawl erupted on the field at PNC Park. Gomez was eventually ejected, along with the Pirates’ Travis Snider.

But the real issue here starts back at the plate, with Gomez’s bat flip. This story is not a new one.

Gomez, himself, drew the wrath last season when he bat-flipped after hitting a home run against the Braves, whose then-catcher, Brian McCann, took exception. McCann blocked Gomez from touching home, causing benches to clear then.

The same story can be applied to Marlin’s pitcher Jose Fernandez, who also caused the benches to clear last season when he stood at home plate and stared down his first major league home run against those same Braves.

McCann again, this time joined by third baseman Chris Johnson, took offense to Fernandez’s actions.

Lather, rinse and repeat the story with the Dodgers Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig, who seems to anger the Unwritten Rules arbiters wherever he goes.

Really, it’s time for all this game managing by the players to stop. Baseball, while making massive amounts of money from TV contracts, is facing a sharp decrease in young fans. The exuberance guys like Gomez and Puig show when they play the game needs to be allowed to flourish.

If Gomez wants to flip his bat over a triple, let him. In the end, because he didn’t score, his actions only hurt the Brewers. Cole didn’t suffer from being stranded 90 feet from home, so why does he feel the need to say something?

If anyone should have policed Gomez, it should have been the Brewers.

Most of these players, too, are young Hispanics from the Dominican Republic or, in Puig’s case, Cuba. Long have they played simply for the love of the game. Puig made $17 a month playing ball for Cuba’s national team. When he celebrates with a bat flip, it’s not to show up the other team, it’s to show his excitement over the game.

Besides, watch a basketball game, a soccer match or a hockey game, and tell me if you don’t see players celebrating the in-game accomplishments.

You don’t see some seventh-man bench players in the NBA getting mad at Blake Griffin for staring down some guy he just posterized with a massive slam-dunk. When Messi scores for Barcelona, the backup goalkeeper isn’t running onto the pitch to get in his face for taking his shirt off and sliding on his knees in front of the fans.

Baseball is 160-plus-years-old. It’s time leave the old, unwritten code of behavior where it belongs, in the past, and stop acting like a bunch of old men angry that some kid is having fun on his lawn.

Charlotte Shows Fight Against Defending Champs

By Navindra Persaud

The Miami Heat managed to hold off a fighting Charlotte Bobcats in the first round of the NBA Playoffs Sunday, defeating them 99-88. The Bobcats, however, showed clear signs that the have the ability to take control in opening minutes, which could be threatening to the reigning NBA Champions.

Not only were the Miami Heat outrebounded but they also may have gotten a little help on the officiating end as the Bobcats had 12 free throw attempts while the Heat had 26, most of which came from, you guessed it, Heat guard Lebron James.

Charlotte, who have now fallen to the Heat a total of 17 times in a row, managed to out rebound the heat 44-38 in the game despite an injury sustained by their center Al Jefferson. Most of Miami’s rebounds came from center Chris Anderson and James who combined for 19 of Miami’s 38 boards.

Jefferson did return to the game and put together some quality minutes. He is quite capable of generating points in the paint and being a he defensive presence as well. He averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds this season and managed to score 18 points and grab 10 rebounds through 35 minutes, the majority of which were played with a plantar fasciitis injury.

The Bobcats also got help on the offensive end from guard Kemba Walker who provided 20 points, dished six assists and grabbed five rebounds. Walker provided not only offense but also a spark on the Bobcats that they seemed to ride as the game went on. Guard Gary Neal also provided 17 points and forward Josh McRoberts added 15 points and seven rebounds.

“We did some really good things today,” Walker said in an Associated Press interview. “We just have to keep executing throughout the game. We can’t get rattled.”

Clearly the Bobcats offense was clicking. However, the fact that the Heat got to the free throw line much more often is the major factor in their win over Charlotte. They were allotted more trips to the line providing an advantage to earn easy points. Perhaps this could be prevented if the Bobcats didn’t turn the ball over 13 times versus the Heats seven total.

The numbers are simple and the Bobcats should know exactly what adjustments they need to make. Jefferson told the Associated Press he does not plan on sitting out and should hopefully be able to fight through his injury to help the Bobcats win.

They will also need to find a way to neutralize Miami guard Dwayne Wade who, despite only playing 28 games out of precaution by the Heat, came back absolutely strong, finishing with 23 points and going 10-of-16 from the field and adding five assists.

Wades ability to penetrate the defense and get inside the paint for high percentage shots has always been key to the Miami Heat’s success prior to the arrival of James but when they both take the court the Bobcats need to figure out how to stop both from scoring rather than just concentrating on one of them.

Jefferson took care of Miami center Chris Bosh in the paint, holding Bosh to just four rebounds in the entire game. Bosh’s offense was also limited but he managed to score 13 points.

The pieces are there for the Bobcats and after a few minor adjustments fans should be prepared for a fight from Charlotte, who are making the playoffs for just the second time of the 10 years the franchise has been in the league.

With Playoffs Looming, Pacers Need to Find Offense

by Navindra Persaud

When the Miami Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers last Friday, it showed quite a bit of weakness in the Pacers offense. As things stand, the Pacers are in the number two spot in the Eastern Conference but they will need to figure out a way to get past the offensive slump that they have been in lately.

There has been very little effective ball movement from the Pacers on the offensive end, and they are very fortunate to at least have the number two seed. They may survive the first round of the NBA playoffs, but may not make it out of the second round if they have to face the Chicago Bulls, who have really put together a stellar season, given the circumstances following Derrick Rose’s season ending injury and other ailing players.

Brian Windhorst said it best in his article for ESPN last Saturday: “All of it comes down to their struggle to execute such basic concepts like throwing entry passes, standing in the best spot or setting a screen that actually screens someone. There’s sloppiness and poor execution everywhere.”

It is hard to pinpoint whether the problem is with Frank Vogel’s coaching or simply just the players failing to understand, but he looked visibly upset with the way his offense was performing. Vogel stated in a post game interview for ESPN that he was still confident in the team and still believes that the team is in good shape.

Indiana guard Paul George, who finished the game against the Heat with 22 points, five rebounds and five assists in the loss also said that the team needs to be able to “prepare well.” He relied on the excuse that in the playoffs the team understands that it’s a clean slate and that they will be able to start fresh. Though this may be the case, the Pacers should worry about their offensive problems now in order to make a statement in the closing games of the regular season.

The Miami Heat have managed to show that they don’t plan on cruising out the remainder of the season and that is something the Pacers should strongly try to mimic. It would be in their best interest to start putting the fear in other teams in the Eastern Conference.

In the last 13 games that the Pacers have played they have only scored above 90 points four times. They managed to get through the season and just finding their offense at times, but streaky will not be enough to get them through the playoffs and into championship contention.

Fans also have to take into consideration that the Pacers struggled even with Miami guard Dwayne Wade sitting out of the game. With Miami’s full roster, the Pacers have to worry about Wade as another offensive threat that they will either need to match or eliminate by playing excellent on the defensive end.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chicago Bulls posed more of a threat to Miami than the Indiana Pacers do at this point because of their effective defense. While Indiana’s defense is decent, it is clearly not enough to offset a smooth offensive team like the Bulls have managed to be this season.

Paul George is a great scorer but he can not bear the load on his own, and so far this season starting point guard, George Hill, has only managed to average 10.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists. To have a point guard struggling as Hill wasn’t able to score against the Heat.

The Pacers are being a little bit too passive and they do not look like a team who is hungry enough to win the NBA championship. They need to whip themselves into shape as the regular season comes to a close.