Dean's List (cont.)
Expectations create pressure and pressure, in turn, causes stress and stress can ruin your health. (Trust me, I've got horrible acid reflux.) Last week, North Carolina became the first men's basketball team ever to be a unanimous No. 1 pick in the preseason polls. All six top scorers, including national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough, return to a Tar Heels team that won a school-record 36 games last season. But it seems these expectations are already wearing down Roy Williams' squad. UNC's best defender, Marcus Ginyard, went down with a stress fracture in his left foot in early October and now Hansbrough is out indefinitely with a stress reaction in his right shin. Stress fractures, stress reactions, all these stress-induced injuries -- I can't stress enough how hard it has got to be to play loose, fun basketball when everyone expects perfection.
Serious personal issues forced Illinois gymnastics coach Jon Valdez to resign two weeks ago. The big question remains, though, what does the phrase "serious personal issues" encompass? Valdez was picked up for a drunk-driving charge in Wisconsin back in September, but that might be the least of his "issues." The personal coach for bronze medalist Justin Spring is also being mentioned in connection with an investigation into a small wireless video camera found in a varsity Illinois locker room that, according to University police Lt. Roy Acree, "would be able to capture images of people changing their clothes." Valdez was supposed to replace llinois head gymnastics coach Yoshi Hayasaki when he retired following the 2008-09 season. Safe to say, he'll be looking for a new successor.
Recently, it seems as if there have been multiple incidents involving college athletes and racism. At the University of California, Berkley, a current and former football player were arrested for robbing the dorm room of a crew team member who they believed had made racial slurs at an off-campus party. (They got the wrong guy.) Then, last week, three Quinnipiac University students were arrested and kicked out of school for racially harassing and threatening to physically harm three African American members of the men's and women's basketball teams. Obviously, two separate incidents 2,500 miles apart doesn't necessarily indicate a trend, but they do make you wonder how much of an issue racism still is in today's world of college sports, especially when you consider that the racial makeup of a school's sports teams is often drastically different than the racial composition of the school itself.
After an eleven-and-a-half month investigation, University of Virginia police charged Cavalier fullback RaShawn Jackson with one count of breaking and entering and one count of grand larceny in connection with a burglary committed way back in November of 2007. Both charges are felonies. Jackson, a New Jersey native who has gained 119 yards on 15 touches this season, stands accused of stealing a video console from a dormitory. However, coach Al Groh has not seen fit to suspend his junior fullback from the team, which makes sense considering eleven months is way too long to wait before charging someone with stealing a play station.
Absentee ballots? Hanging chads? Presidential complaints? Send all comments to Jacob.Osterhout@gmail.com.
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