NCAA

No 4. Stanford women top Tennessee

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No 4. Stanford women top Tennessee

STANFORD -- For Tara VanDerveer, Nnemkadi Ogwumike's career night ranked right up there with the best she has ever seen at Maples Pavilion. That's high praise for a Stanford star who has followed recent greats like Candice Wiggins, Jayne Appel and Jeanette Pohlen.Ogwumike scored a career-high 42 points and dazzled in what might have been the most meaningful home game of her senior season, and No. 4 Stanford beat sixth-ranked Tennessee 97-80 on Tuesday night in one of women's basketballs best rivalries.VanDerveer joked "she would have had 50" had Nneka not noticed the cheering, Fiesta Bowl-bound football team."This was one of the most incredible individual performances I've ever seen on this court," said VanDerveer, in her 26th season at Stanford. "Nneka has come such a long way. ... This year there's no stopping her. I said to her she was a woman with girls out there. She dominated in a way I've never seen. You can say it was a zone."The Cardinal extended their school-record home winning streak to 68 games at Maples Pavilion, where a sellout crowd of 7,329 waved red "We Back Pat" rally towels in support of Hall of Fame Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, who revealed in August she has early onset Alzheimer's.Toni Kokenis scored a career-high 26 points with five 3-pointers and Ogwumike dominated for Stanford (8-1) in another physical, back-and-forth game like those that have defined the storied series with Tennessee (7-3).Shekinna Stricklen scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Lady Vols, who had their five-game winning streak snapped. Stanford's total was the most points given up by Tennessee since 1997.Glory Johnson added 18 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals and Meighan Simmons scored 13 for Tennessee on a night Ogwumike put on a show for national television. And for her pop.With her father, Peter, in the stands fresh off a business trip to his native Africa, Ogwumike hit from long range and aggressively drove to the basket for layins. She jumped for joy after powering in for one score and drawing a foul. She jumped for 17 rebounds, too."Well, for lunch. No, I'm just kidding," Ogwumike joked of what did the trick.After VanDerveer called for her other players to do more after a Saturday win against Princeton, it was all Ogwumike yet again. She scored six straight points for the Cardinal to open the second half.VanDerveer hugged Ogwumike after her spectacular night."We talked so many times with the young players about how important Maples is to us," Ogwumike said, listing off her former teammates who started this sensational streak at home. "They defended this place like it was no other place."The performance marked Stanford's first 40-point scorer since Appel went off for a school-record 46 in a win against Iowa State in the NCAA tournament regional finals at Berkeley on March 30, 2009. Wiggins had a 44-point game.Ogwumike's basket that hit the rim and bounced in with 10:59 left gave the Cardinal their first double-digit lead of the game at 65-55 - and they only built on that the rest of the way. Ogwumike's two free throws with 3:49 left topped her previous best outing of 38 points on April 4, 2010, against Oklahoma."She brought a lot of energy to the team," Johnson said. "When you have that much energy on the floor, it spreads to everyone else."Like little sister. Sophomore Chiney Ogwumike added 14 points as the Cardinal shot 53.6 percent.Tennessee shot a sizzling 61.5 percent in the first half to stay within 48-41 at the break before going a cool 37 percent in the second half to finish at 49.1 percent.The Cardinal, riding a streak of four straight Final Fours without a championship, haven't lost on their home floor at raucous Maples Pavilion since falling to Florida State in the second round of the NCAA tournament on March 19, 2007.Stanford has beaten Tennessee three times during that span - also a 73-69 win on Dec. 22, 2007, and a 67-52 victory on Dec. 19, 2009. There also was that monumental 71-59 victory last Dec. 30 that snapped top-ranked Connecticut's record 90-game winning streak.Summitt walked onto the court a few minutes before tipoff to a rousing standing ovation from the sellout crowd.Fellow Hall of Famer VanDerveer was shown on the main elevated center-court scoreboard offering her support to Summitt while acknowledging how much Stanford cherishes the rivalry and regular non-conference meetings with the Lady Vols."She understands she and Tara and the rivarly they've had and the friendship," Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick said. "She understands this is more than basketball. It's been absolutely incredible the love they've shown for Pat."VanDerveer said Stanford's program "is behind her 100 percent." Summitt was not yet on the court with her team to see the presentation."Pat, we love you, we care about you and we wish you the very best in your battle with Alzheimer's," said the video with VanDerveer, who walked to the opposite bench to greet Summitt. They posed for a few photos together."Tennessee, Pat has made us better," VanDerveer said afterward.Stanford freshman starter Jasmine Camp missed the game with a left foot injury sustained in Sunday's practice. Kokenis played in her place and made back-to-back baskets midway through the opening half to get her team back within 16-13.Stanford scored 40 or more in the opening 20 minutes against the Lady Vols for the first time since getting 41 on Nov. 27, 1999.The Cardinal began the game 3 for 13 to 6 of 8 for Tennessee, which jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the opening 2:50.The Lady Vols were whistled for a technical foul at the 11:18 mark of the first half for having six players on the court. Stanford converted both free throws to cut Tennessee's lead to 16-15.Tennessee freshman guard Ariel Massengale, who had missed last three games nursing a dislocated middle finger on her left hand that required minor surgery, entered the game for the first time with 10:45 left. The Lady Vols beat DePaul and won at both Rutgers and UCLA without her. Massengale practiced Monday in the Bay Area.Stanford football coach David Shaw and some of his players attended the game and men's basketball coach Johnny Dawkins sat courtside. Four-time Olympic luger Brian Martin participated in a halftime hoop shoot.

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans. 

NCAA adopts sexual violence policy: 'It's not banning violent athletes...'

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AP

NCAA adopts sexual violence policy: 'It's not banning violent athletes...'

NCAA member schools will be required to provide yearly sexual violence education for all college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators under a policy announced Thursday by the organization's board of governors.

Campus leaders such as athletic directors, school presidents and Title IX coordinators will be required to attest that athletes, coaches and administrators have been educated on sexual violence.

The policy was adopted from a recommendation made by the Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence, which was created by the board last year in response to several high-profile cases involving sexual assaults and athletic departments, including the scandal at Baylor.

The policy also requires campus leaders to declare that athletic departments are knowledgeable and compliant with school policies on sexual violence prevention, adjudication and resolution.

Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and activist who speaks to college teams across the country about sexual violence , is a member of the commission. She has called for the NCAA to ban athletes with a history of sexual violence. While this policy falls far short of that, Tracy said she was encouraged.

"It's not banning violent athletes, but it's a positive policy that's going to have a big impact on our campuses," Tracy said in a phone interview from Amherst, Massachusetts, where she was spending the day speaking to the UMass football and basketball teams.

The announcement from the NCAA came just one day after Youngstown State decided a football player who served jail time for a rape committed while he was in high school will not be allowed to play in games this season. Ma'Lik Richmond , who served about 10 months in a juvenile lockup after being convicted with another Steubenville High School football player of raping a 16-year-old girl in 2012, walked on at Youngstown State earlier this year. He will be allowed to practice and participate in other team activities.

Tracy has promoted a petition urging Youngstown State to not allow Richmond to play.

"I think that playing sports and playing NCAA sports is a privilege. It is not a right," Tracy said. "If we're going to be placing student-athletes in that position of power and influence - to drive narrative, to drive conversation, to affect culture - then behavior matters. Right now, I feel like Youngstown is sending the message that violence against women, rape all of these things are OK. It doesn't affect your ability to play sports."

A move toward an NCAA policy on sexual violence was given momentum by numerous issues involving athletes and athletic departments in recent years. Perhaps the most high-profile example is Baylor, where an investigation found that allegations of sexual assault, some against football players, were mishandled by school leaders.

Two years ago, the Southeastern Conference barred schools from accepting transfers who had been dismissed from another school for serious misconduct, defined as sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.

Indiana announced in April that it would no longer accept any prospective student-athlete who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence. In July, the athletic director at the University of Illinois said the school was working on a similar policy.

Tracy said the NCAA has not ruled out implementing a policy like Indiana's.

"The fact that's still on the table, we're still having discussions about that, we're still going to keep working moving forward, gives me a lot of hope," she said.

In a statement, the NCAA said: "Any discussion of individual accountability beyond the criminal justice system must address the complexities and nuances of different federal and state laws so that it can be consistently applied across the NCAA."

The new NCAA policy defers to schools to set their own sexual violence education practices, though in 2014 the association set expectations for its members with a resolution and made recommendations in a handbook on sexual assault.

"Schools do different things," Tracy said. "The NCAA is now saying this isn't just an option. This is now a policy and a requirement. And not only that but you need to attest to us every year what it is that you're doing ... Some schools are doing a great job. Some schools are not doing a great job."