Friday, April 24, 2015

More changes

Coaching/player changes:

Georgia coach Joni Crenshaw has named Karen Lange her associate head coach.

Evan Unrau is coach Bonnie Henrickson's new assistant coach at UCSB.

Senior point guard Kyndal Clark is leaving Drake.

Former North Carolina State guard Chloe Jackson has transferred to LSU.

More college news:

Allegations against Wichita State coach Jody Adams are that she created "an atmosphere of anger, isolation and personal insults," causing four players to quit. Former player mother's expressed perspectives on the allegations.

Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey has been retained, but her contract wasn't extended.

At CSUN, Tessa Boagni and Caroline Gilling click in basketball and in life.

WNBA news:

Princeton's Blake Dietrick will take her shot at the WNBA.

"Message to my younger self"

Chiney Ogwumike's latest "unfiltered" video - a message to her 13-year-old self.

Another call to action on domestic violence

From the Washington Post:

Of course, one can’t equate domestic violence in the WNBA with domestic violence in men’s professional sports. Last year, ESPN counted 48 players “considered guilty of domestic violence under league policy” in the NFL since 2000, and Bleacher Report noted nine NBA players charged with domestic assault in the past three years. Even the most creative Googling for “WNBA domestic assault” won’t return numbers like these.

Still, the league is not immune from the problem. Though WNBA players in legal trouble are not covered as closely as male pro athletes in similar jams, there were reports that Jantel Lavender of the Los Angeles Sparks was hit with a restraining order by her ex-boyfriend in 2011 after a fight; that former WNBA player Deanna “Tweety” Nolan was arrested for allegedly assaulting her wife in 2012; and in 2013, former WNBA player Chamique Holdsclaw pleaded guilty to assault after her girlfriend, another WNBA player, reported Holdsclaw shot at her SUV.

Yet, when Congress wrote a letter urging professional sports leagues to clarify their domestic violence policies after the Ray Rice incident last year, the WNBA was not on the list of recipients......

The WNBA, however, has not made its policy on domestic violence public, if it has one. The league retweeted the Tulsa Shock’s statement about Glory Johnson — more or less, a no-comment — but has yet to offer a statement of its own. (The league was not immediately available for comment.)


Dina Skokos, the WNBA director of communications, said yesterday:

“We are aware of the incident involving Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson and are working with the Phoenix Mercury and Tulsa Shock organizations to obtain more information.”

That is the league's lone statement on the matter, so far.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NCAA news continues to flow

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw supports having the women's NCAA Tournament at a different time from the men's.

Not one but two good reviews of new Jayhawks coach Brandon Schneider.

Former Louisville guard Arianna Freeman has transferred to Colorado.

Well, there's one way to do it:

Texas A&M University-Kingsville coach Wade Scott is cleaning house. After a program-worst 0-26 season, he's cutting all but four players from the roster.

WNBA news:

South Carolina's Aleighsa Welch is preparing for her transition to the league.

Griner-Johnson case brings same-sex violence into the spotlight

It's been a little over 12 hours since the news of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner and Tulsa Shock forward Glory Johnson's arrests for domestic violence broke. There's been no outcry against women, women's sports or the WNBA because of it. I haven't been able to find any homophobic statements on the Internet. Those with vested interests weren't fretting with one another about the impact the incident would have on the game.

In fact, the reaction to what happened last night in a Phoenix suburb between two of the faces of the league has been pretty ho-hum. Are we that accustomed to professional athletes being involved in domestic or other violence? Maybe.

There was Baltimore Raven Ray Rice punching his wife out in an elevator last year. Two weeks ago, NBA players were involved in a stabbing at a New York City night club. Phoenix Suns twin brothers have been charged with felony assault.

Arizona Republic reporter Paola Boivin says the Griner-Johnson sheds light on a long-taboo subject:

When all is pled and done, this could turn out to be the greatest assist of Brittney Griner's career.

Reports on Thursday that the Mercury star and her fiancée were arrested on suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct shed light on an issue that has been ignored by sports leagues, avoided by media and mocked by fans: same-sex domestic violence.

This period of hyper-sensitivity toward abuse issues is a good thing. It might not feel that way to Griner and her partner, Glory Johnson of the Tulsa Shock, but the long, Title IX-fueled journey for equal opportunity must also include equal coverage of tough storylines......

It's a real concern. A 2014 survey by the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center found that 21.5 percent of men and 35.4 percent of women living with same-sex partners experienced intimate-partner physical violence in their lifetimes, numbers significantly higher than opposite-sex relationships.......

The WNBA should be proactive in educating players about abusive relationships and the resources available to them.

The league is unique in that it has had more athletes be open about their same-sex relationships. It should be at the forefront of discussion, too.

The WNBA, like most professional leagues, has been more reactive than proactive in addressing impactful issues.

It could learn a lot from the NFL, both good and bad.......

t is not just the league that bears responsibility to trigger change.

The media has under-reported stories of same-sex domestic violence. "Why" is a complicated question. Is it because same-sex relationships are still a hot-button issue for some? Is it because of fear of casting a negative light on women who are still battling equal-opportunity issues?


Tulsa World columnist John Klein made similar statements:

Now, Griner and Johnson will be central to the discussion of domestic violence among same-sex couples and how sports leagues deal with the issue.

Indeed.

The WNBA has been silent on the issue today. We are all waiting to see what they will do in this unprecedented case.

I agree with Boivin that the league should educate players about abuse and abusive relationships. It may seem quick to the WNBA, which began courting their gay and lesbian fans in earnest only last summer. But it's time. What it's not time for is burying heads in the sand. A strong, reality-based response is the best response.

If there are player suspensions, so be it. But there should also be a platform to address the issue of domestic violence - same-sex and opposite-sex. The WNBA has a chance to be a leader here.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

More coaching and player carousel

UC Santa Barbara has named Bonnie Henrickson as their new head coach.

Pacific associate head coach Bradley Davis has been elevated to head coach.

Courtney G. Pruitt has been named head coach at Alcorn State.

Camryn Whitaker is Kentucky's new assistant coach.

Lilley Vander Zee is transferring from Texas.

South Dakota State's Gabby Boever has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

More:

Arkansas has extended coach Jimmy Dykes' contract through 2019-2020.

The Wichita State president is looking into the recent transfers of four basketball players.

WNBA transactions page:

...has finally been updated after 22 long days.

April 23, 2015

Team Player Transaction

Atlanta Samantha Logic Contract Signed
Atlanta Aneika Henry Contract Signed
Atlanta Janeesa “Chucky” Jeffery Contract Signed
Atlanta Lauren Okafor Contract Signed
Atlanta Monique Oliver Contract Signed
Connecticut Ka-Deidre Simmons Contract Signed
Minnesota Amber Harris Contract Signed

Mercury and Shock release statements on Griner-Johnson incident

STATEMENT BY MERCURY GENERAL MANAGER JIM PITMAN

PHOENIX – Phoenix Mercury Executive Vice President and General Manager Jim Pitman has released the following statement:

“The Mercury organization is aware of an alleged incident involving Brittney Griner. We are in the process of gathering additional information, and will have no further comment at this time.”

TULSA SHOCK STATEMENT ON GLORY JOHNSON

TULSA, Okla. From team president Steve Swetoha:

“We are aware of the reports out of Phoenix regarding our player Glory Johnson. We are in the process of gathering information at this time. Of course our first concern is for Glory’s well-being and health. We are looking into the matter further and have no other comment to make at this time.”

More details about the incident have emerged:

Griner, 24, and WNBA player Glory Johnson were in an argument in the Goodyear home they recently purchased. Several people inside the home tried to break up the fight before police were called, police said.

Police reports indicate that Johnson's sister called Goodyear police Wednesday afternoon to report that Johnson and Griner, who were "in the living room throwing things at each other."

When police arrived at the home on 133rd Drive, Johnson's sister, Judy, told officers she was at a loss for what to do because of the way the two were fighting, so she called police.

"We couldn't get them pulled apart," Judy Johnson said, according to a police report.

Brittney Griner, fiancee Glory Johnson arrested for assault, disorderly conduct

This morning:

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, the reigning WNBA defensive player of the year, and Tulsa Shock forward Glory Johnson, her fiancée, were both arrested Wednesday for suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct, according to multiple media reports.

Both Griner and Johnson were arrested in Goodyear, Arizona, on Wednesday. Johnson was released at 4 a.m. Thursday, with Griner being released 23 minutes later, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.


Mug shots.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

College hoops still taking center stage in the news

College news:

South Carolina

Gamecoach coach Dawn Staley is confident in the team's continued success.

South Carolina was recently recognized at the Statehouse.

Two donors - including an alumni - have endowed South Carolina with a scholarship named for Aleighsa Welch.

Air Force

Air Force's athletic director said hiring coach Chris Gobrecht was a no-brainer.

Gobrecht said her Ivy League experience will translate to her new job.

The challenge for Gobrecht will be massive.

More:

Former Dixie State hoopers suing the University, alleging racial, sexual and religions discrimination.

The contract of Northern Iowa coach Tanya Warren has been extended through 2020-2021.

Lakota Beatty has transferred from Oklahoma State to Oral Roberts.

Former TCU center Klara Bradshaw has transferred to SMU.

Tatum Neubert is leaving Oregon.

UConn's Gabby Williams is looking to get better this offseason.

Husky Breanna Stewart is the Honda Award winner for women's basketball.

Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant reflects on a hard year.

WNBA news:

San Antonio rookie Dearica Hamby has a blog.

Coaching trio returns to USA Basketball

Dawn Staley will coach the U19 World Championship team this summer, and Kim Barnes Arico and Jeff Walz will assist her. The group coached last year's U18 team.

College news:

David Midlick is Austin Peay's new coach.

Bryce McKey and Bett Shelby as assistant coaches. They were assistants at Xavier and Virginia Tech, respectively.

College coaching changes so far this spring are here.