Wednesday, April 30, 2014

RIP Frank Budd, Villanova's Fastest Man

 Frank Budd (far right)

Just ten days ago, when I was honoring honoring Villanova Penn Relays greats, I decided on going out of my way to honor two Villanova sprinting greats, Frank Budd and Paul Drayton, who are still to this day the two greatest short sprinters in Villanova history. This afternoon, Villanova announced that Frank Budd died on Tuesday at the age of 74.

Here is the release in its entirety

VILLANOVA, Pa. - It is with great sadness that Villanova University announces the passing of Frank Budd `62, a distinguished alumnus and member of the track & field program who was enshrined as part of the inaugural class of honorees on the Villanova Wall of Fame. Budd was a native of Asbury Park, N.J. A viewing will be held on the Villanova campus this coming Monday, May 5 at 9 a.m. at the St. Thomas of Villanova Church, with a funeral mass to follow at 11 a.m.
During his athletics career Budd established himself as one of the top athletes in Wildcats history. He won three NCAA individual championships, was a two-time Penn Relays champion and went on to represent the United States at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
Budd placed fifth in the 100 meters at the 1960 Olympics and his time of 10.3 seconds tied the old Olympic record in the event. He tied or set six world records during his racing career and remains the world record holder in the 100 yard dash. Budd's world record time of 9.2 came at Randall's Island in New York in 1961 just after he concluded his junior year at Villanova. Budd also remains the school record holder in the outdoor 100 and 220 yard dashes, as well as the indoor 50 and 60 yard dashes.
As an undergraduate at Villanova, Budd was a member of the track & field team from 1960-62. He won the outdoor national championship in the 100 yards as both a junior and a senior in 1961-62 while also capturing the 1961 title in the outdoor 200 yards. In each of those years Budd also helped lead the Wildcats to Championship of America titles in the 4x220 yard relay at the Penn Relays, including anchoring the 1962 winning team.
Budd was also a seven-time IC4A champion for Villanova, winning three titles indoors and four outdoors. He won both the 100 yards and the 200 yards titles in 1961-62 and was the champion of the 60 yards indoors for three straight years from 1960-62. On October 7, 1995, Budd was one of seven Wildcats legends who were a part of the first induction class onto the Villanova Wall of Fame in Villanova Stadium.
 

 

Despite never playing a single down of college football, Budd was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 1962 NFL Draft. He went on to play wide receiver in the NFL for both the Eagles and the Washington Redskins.

RIP

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Radnor gives Villanova approval... Again

An effort to reverse the decision by Radnor's Board of Commissioners to allow Villanova a zoning exemption was voted down on Monday by the same body. The basis of the renewed debate was a dubious ethics complaint against Radnor Commissioner Bill Spingler based on the fact that he has worked at Villanova basketball games, donating his takeaway to Radnor-Wayne Little League.

Villanova's opponents are even more desperate now than they have ever been. It's nice to see those jerks lose.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Big Surprise: Emily Lipari named National Athlete of the Week

Emily Lipari celebrates winning the DMR

In perhaps the least surprising news of the year, Emily Lipari was named division one athlete of the week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Here's the release.

Lipari, a senior running as a collegian at the local Penn Relays for one last time, made the most of her Franklin Field finale.
She rallied her team to come-from-behind victories in both the distance medley and 4×1500 relays on Thursday and Friday before holding off 2014 indoor 800 meters champion Laura Roesler of Oregon for a third relay win in the 4×800 on Saturday.
After receiving the baton in fourth in Thursday’s DMR, she closed her 1600-meter anchor leg in a race-best 4:33.44  to edge Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe in the final meters by less than a third of a second. She again outkicked Cuffe on the final straight the next day to claim the 4×1500 win with a 4:16.4 split.
While she came back for her first two wins, she had to hold on for her third as she ran a 2:03.50 anchor and kicked away from Roesler, again on the final straightaway, to claim the 4×800.
Maybe she'll finally get added to the watch list for "The Bowerman Award" that Sheila Reid was notably snubbed from winning. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

GREAT DAY: Villanova women sweep, Men win the 4x800

*Jacked from Villanova

Emily Lipari was athlete of the meet, but Nicky Akande should get a ton of credit, as she also ran on all three relays, and put Emily in position to meet each time.

On the men's side, I really can't say enough about what Jordy Williamsz did this weekend. He was out of his mind, running on three relays in slightly more than 24 hours. I'll  have more on him soon.Also, I'm going to miss watching Sam Ellison run at the Penn relays.

Already can't wait to see Villanova run four races with bib AA next year.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Villanova track recruit asks Olympian to Prom, hilarity ensues


Erin Jaskot is a senior at Tappan Zee High School in New York, and has signed a letter of intent to go to Villanova next year to run middle distances/cross country. She recently asked two time US Olympian Andrew Wheating to her senior prom. His response is pretty funny. Perhaps the softest landing of any rejection in history.

Emily Lipari and Nicky Akande got Five on It


UPDATED COUNT AFTER THE 4X1500:

Emily Lipari: Five Penn Relays titles
Nicky Akande: Five Penn Relays titles
Angel Piccirillo: Three Penn Relays titles
Stephanie Schappert: Two Penn Relays titles

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lipari, so hot right now. Lipari


Stephanie Schappert: First Penn Relays Championship
Michaela Wilkins: Second Penn Relays Championship
Nicky Akande: Fourth Penn Relays Championship
Emily Lipari: Fourth Penn Relays Championship, third anchor

Go 'Cats! Let's get two more tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays Countdown: ONE DAY LEFT!!!!

 Sheila Reid

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day.

By some weird stroke of luck, Sheila Reid, the greatest female athlete for Villanova in the last two decades only won one championship at the Penn Relays. Not by any fault of her own, but she was only put into position to win once, and she came through, winning the distance medley in 2012, her final Penn Relays opportunity.

Since then, Reid has set records, won championships, and been to the Olympics, but her last great win was at the Penn Relays.

Gina Procaccio Penn Relays press conference tidbits

 
I just want to preface it with the fact that I particularly enjoy interviews or press conferences with Gina Procaccio, because she's extremely light on the usual coach bullshit talk.

Here's your quick rundown:
  • The plan is to run all three distance relays. The DMR on Thursday, the 4x1500 on Friday, and the 4x800 on Saturday. 
  • Stephanie Schappert will be on at least two and possibly three relays this year, and Emily Lipari will likely anchor all three. None of the runners have been told which relays they will be on, but there are five girls who she's going to draw from. Editor's note: I'm just going to say that the five girls are Emily Lipari, Kelsey Margey, Angel Piccirillo, Nicky Akande, and Stephanie Schappert, with Michaela Wilkins as a sixth, running the 400 leg on the DMR.
  • The lineups were not yet finalized at the time of the presser, but they will be by Monday night, and the girls were informed of the lineups by Tuesday. 
  • The field is very deep. 
  • Gina says that the Penn Relays are an opportunity for the girls to practice racing without having to bother with a stopwatch.
  • Everyone on the team gets up for Penn Relays.
  • Emily Lipari's progression to a national champion was a four year process, and she's in the best shape of her life, most confident, etc. Emily likes to win, and won't bust her ass to finish third place. There is no Napoleonic complex with her desire to win.
  • Right now, the DMR on Thursday is the most important thing.
  • She doesn't make a habit of informing her runners of who is on the other teams. When Lipari kicked down Laura Roesler of Oregon, it was partially a function of her not knowing who Roesler was.
  • She says that she tells her runners that "This is our turf" and they should fight.
Fight indeed. One day from right now, I'll be at the Penn Relays!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays Countdown: Two days left!

 Matt Gibney

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day.

The first cog in Villanova's Australian pipeline came along in 2009, when Matt Gibney stepped on campus ready to compete. In his first outdoor season at Villanova, he anchored a Penn Relays distance medley relay championship and finished fifth in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 1500 meters. Was injured for much of 2010, but came back in full force in 2011, running a sub-four minute mile, qualifying him for the NCAA Indoor Championships, anchoring a second distance medley championship, and scored points for Villanova at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 1500 behind an impressive group of runners, including two-time World Championship medalist Matthew Centrowitz.

Marcus O'Sullivan Penn Relays press conference takeaways


So you don't have to watch: 
  • Specifically mentioned Patrick Tiernan, Rob Denault, Dusty Solis, Sam McEntee, Jordy Williamsz, Sam Ellison, Josh Lampron.
  • The focus for now is on Friday, which is the day of the DMR. 
  • The team will run all three distance relays. This is only the second time they've done that.
  • Selections for relays are based on current form, and the ability to handle pressure.
  • The ability to handle pressure is a specific trait that he looks for in a Villanova runner. The Penn Relays is the most pressure that a Villanova athlete will feel.
  • Marcus says that the Penn Relays can put a Villanova runner under more pressure than the Olympics, because it's essentially a home meet for Villanova. 
  • He specifically singles out Williamsz, McEntee, Denault, and Solis as in form.
  • Says that the fields are particularly loaded. 
  • The Let's Go Nova chants at the Penn Relays are completely spontaneous, and the coaches have nothing to do with them. The people who have graduated have great passion for the school and the team.
  • When specifically asked about Dusty Solis' ability to handle pressure, Marcus says that he's not worried about him, and that his wife loves him. Solis doesn't overthink things, and Marcus singles him out for his toughness.
  • There will be a 4x4 in the IC4A section.
  • Says that he will really miss Sam Ellison, even though sprint coach Anthony Williams primarily coaches Ellison, because he doesn't run enough mileage to work with Marcus.
  • There will be a smattering of kids in individual events.
Pretty excited for the Penn Relays, you guys. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays Countdown: Three days left!

 

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day. In this case, it's for the three wheels that these two ladies hope to win in their final appearance at the Penn Relays, and the number that they have already won.

With three days left, I've decided to go with two seniors who will be trying to turn their already brilliant Penn Relays careers at Villanova into legendary ones.

Both Emily Lipari and Nicky Akande came onto  the Villanova campus at the same time, albeit under a different set of expectations (which are stupid for incoming college athletes, but that's for another time). Lipari was a multiple time national champion on the track from New York, a state known for being a distance running power, while Akande was a state champion in Georgia, a state that is more known for its sprinters, Both have thrived at Villanova though, with Lipari generally getting more accolades, but without Nicky Akande, Emily Lipari would likely have zero Penn Relays wheels. Akande's 800 leg in the DMR broke the race open, and she was the pivotal third leg that kept Villanova in the race in the 4x800 so that Lipari could unleash her superhuman kick

Full video of the 4x800 from last year after the jump

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays Countdown: Four days left!

Bob Raemore, Joe Manion, Paul Drayton, and Frank Budd

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day.

Penn Relays week is upon us!

I chose to do something different here, so that I could honor two of Villanova's greatest short sprinters in history who were slightly hampered by the fact that while Villanova always had an abundance of guys who could run a quarter mile back in the day, they never had enough short sprinters to field a championship 4x100m relay team. To this day, it remains the only relay that Villanova has never won at the Penn Relays, and it looks unlikely that they will ever do it, given the state of college track at the moment. This squad from 1961 of Bob Raemore, Joe Manion, Paul Drayton, and Frank Budd came pretty close though, winning the 4x220 yard relay. Later on in the same year, Drayton and Budd would run combine as two legs of a world record setting 4x100 relay for the USA in a duel meet with the Soviet Union at Moscow. Drayton would later win silver in the 200 meter dash and gold in the 4x100 relay at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays countdown: Five days left!

Noel Carroll (second from right) and the 1965 two mile relay

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day.

On the track against normally waif-like middle distance runners, the 6'2, (relatively) stockily built County Louth native Noel Carroll looked out of place, especially indoors, where smaller men generally reign supreme. For some reason though, Carroll ran his best indoors, setting a European indoor record in the half mile in 1964, and anchoring a Villanova world record setting two mile relay. That same year, Noel Carroll qualified for his first of two Olympics for his native Ireland, participating in the Tokyo games. He would later go on to compete in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. While a two time Olympian and sub-four minute miler, Noel Carroll's greatest impact on Ireland was outside of sport, where he was a spokesman for the Dublin City Council, a high profile advocate for fitness, and helped establish the Dublin Marathon in 1980. The winner of the Dublin Marathon which receives the Noel Carroll Memorial Trophy.

Noel Carroll died in 1998 at 56 years old.

Here's a video from 1990 with Noel Carroll speaking about his career. Notice how he wanted to follow Ron Delany at Villanova so badly.




Friday, April 18, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays countdown: Six days left (part two)

Sonia O'Sullivan

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day. Given that there were two Olympic medalists who had won six times at Penn, I picked the man and the woman. 

With no disrespect to other great Villanova runners like Sheila Reid, Vicki Huber, Carrie Tollefson, Jen Rhines, Carmen Douma-Hussar, and Caroline Zajac, the greatest female runner in Villanova history is easily Sonia O'Sullivan. Not only is O'Sullivan the fastest Villanova runner at every current and former Olympic distance from the 1500 to the marathon (with the exception of the steeplechase, which wasn't competed as a women's event during her career), but she is also the only female Villanova runner to set an individual world record, the only one to be a World Champion on the track, the only one to be a World Cross Country champion, and the only one to win an Olympic medal, when she took home silver for Ireland in the 5000 meters in the 2000 Sydney Games behind probable doper Gabriela Szabo of Romania.

The County Cork native is one of her country's most beloved athletes, and she is unquestionably the greatest female professional athlete in Villanova's history.

Villanova Penn Relays countdown: Six days left!

  Larry James at the 1968 Penn Relays
 
Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day. 

The 1968 Penn Relays are most famous for being the event that Larry James, the late, great "Mighty Burner" made history, when he became the first man in history to cover a quarter-mile in under 44 seconds, anchoring the victorious Villanova mile relay in an astounding 43.9 split for the full quarter-mile. James' time, when rounded down to 400 meters is still considered the fastest split in relays history, faster than two-time Olympic 400 meter gold medalist and current world record holder Michael Johnson!

Here's how Sports Illustrated described it at the time:

Although no one at Villanova had announced officially that the Wildcats were going for the big five, when they did try it was about as surprising as H.H.H.'s announcement that he was going to run for president. Even so, winning five relays in one meet is like having five aces in your hand in a game of five-card stud: it isn't possible. Or, at least, that is what everyone said. But Jumbo Elliott, the always-smiling Villanova coach, had a supercard up his sleeve. In fact, he had three—Larry James, Frank Murphy and Dave Patrick.

James, the slim sprinter from White Plains, N.Y., who was only No. 2 on his high school's mile-relay team, recorded the fastest 440 ever run when he anchored the mile-relay team to a 3:06.1 with a startling 43.9 leg. The mile relay was the final event of the marathon two-day meet and, although James had run three 440s in the previous 24 hours, he had saved sufficient energy for the grand finale. When he received the baton he was five yards behind Rice's Dale Bernauer, a fine quarter-miler, but that didn't seem to have much effect on James. "He's the mighty burner!" a teammate shouted. "Watch him cook."
A graceful, floating runner whose feet never seem to touch the ground, James caught Bernauer, flowed past him on the backstretch and went on to win by 12 yards. His time is not a world record, since it was made on a relay leg, but it was almost a full second faster than Tommie Smith's 44.8 world mark. After the race James was mobbed by teammates, friends and well-wishers, and by the time he made it into the locker room he confessed, "I'm not used to this. This fame is all new to me."
Later on in 1968, James won a silver medal in the 400m dash, and a gold medal in the 4x400 meters at the Mexico City Olympics. In addition to his two titles won at the 1968 Penn Relays, James would go on to win four more Penn Relays watches over his final two years in college.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays countdown: One week left!

 Sydney Maree (far right)

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day. 

Sydney Maree set a world record in the 1500 meter run, ran a mile in 3:47 seconds, held multiple American Records for more than 20 years, and made two Olympic teams for the United States, after his native South Africa was banned from the Olympics because of Apartheid, which is ironic in the case of Sydney Maree because as a black man, this represented the second time that he was victimized by the insidious Apartheid system. By the measure of the stopwatch, Maree is the greatest Villanova runner in history, holding virtually every school record above 1500 meters to go along with multiple NCAA records that still stand. From 1981, the year he graduated, until 2008, when Bobby Curtis won the NCAA 5000 meter championship, he was Villanova's most recent NCAA outdoor champion, a 27 year drought that gives me a reason to mention Curtis, who despite being one of the greatest Villanova runners in history across many distances was never able to win at Penn, showing just how difficult it can be.

Today, we celebrate Sydney Maree's seven Penn Relays championships.

Only one week left!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays countdown: Eight days left

  Charlie Jenkins at Melbourne

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day. 

Charlie Jenkins represents a lot of things in Villanova track and field history. In the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Jenkins became the school's first Olympic medalist, first Olympic gold medalist,  first multiple Olympic medalist, and its only athlete with more than one gold medal. In addition to his two Olympic golds, Jenkins won eight Penn Relays watches and was a member of Villanova's 1957 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship team along with his fellow Olympic gold medalists Ron Delany and Don Bragg.

Jenkins is also significant because he was Villanova's first coach after the death of Jumbo Elliott in 1981, and because his son, Charles, Jr. or "Chip" won an Olympic gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the 1992 Barcelona Games, marking the first time that a father and son had won Olympic gold in the same event.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nine days until the Penn Relays

 Ron Delany 

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day. 

Four different Villanova athletes won nine Penn Relays champions. All of them were Olympians, all of them finished a season number one in the world rankings, two of them were Irish, one of them a world champion, and one an Olympic champion. For the purposes of this, I will pick Ron Delany, Villanova's second Olympic champion, winning his 1500m gold medal only two days after Charlie Jenkins won Villanova's first gold medal in the 400m dash. Delany's career at the Penn Relays was significant, because he won watches in both sprint and distance relays, running the third leg on three champion mile relays, and anchoring three victorious distance medley and sprint medley relays a piece, demonstrating his considerable range.

Now 79 years old, Delany remains one of Ireland's most recognizable sportsmen.

Villanova football names its 2014 team captains

Poppy Livers

For the second season in a row, the Villanova football team will be going with only two captains, as head coach Andy Talley announced today that the team's 2014 captains will be senior wide receiver Poppy Livers and senior safety Joe Sarnese. Livers and Sarnese succeed the graduating Dan Shirey and Antoine Lewis, who were the captains for the 2013 season. 

At 375 pounds combined, Sarnese and Livers are only 70 pounds heavier than Dan Shirey, and a whopping 220 pounds lighter than Shirey and Lewis combined, making them the smallest pair of captains in the recent history of the Villanova football team.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ten days until the Penn Relays: The countdown begins

Mark Belger

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day. 

With ten days left, it is Mark Belger, class of 1978. With ten relays watches, the Bellmore, New York native is Villanova's grand champion at the Penn Relays, with the Wildcats undefeated in the ten relays that Belger took part in at Villanova.

In addition to his Penn Relays exploits, Belger finished fourth at the 1976 Olympic Trials in the 800, barely missing the team, and won the NCAA 800m Championship in 1978.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rakim Cox pro day highlights


Here's the report of the pro day from NFL.com
Rakim Cox, DE (6-3 3/4, 266) — Cox ran the 40 in 4.93 and 4.94 seconds. He had a 32 1/2-inch vertical and 9-8 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.41 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.14 seconds. He performed 20 strength lifts on the bench. Cox has 32 5/8-inch arms. He worked out as both a hand-in-the-ground defensive end and in space as a linebacker. Cox will work out at a the regional combine held in Miami later this month.
Not bad measurables. He'll almost certainly get some sort of NFL contract, and possibly will even get drafted.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blast from the past: 1968 IBM advertisement featuring Paul Arizin


Despite the fact that he was a star player, Paul Arizin left the NBA when he was offered more money to work for IBM than he was from Philadelphia Warriors. Pretty interesting how much different it was than today, where contracts are guaranteed, and just about any established veteran is making more than five million dollars a season.

I thought this was pretty cool in light of Mad Men returning this week.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Donte Divincenzo junior highlights


This is admittedly just two week old filler I found surfing YouTube tonight, because I am exhausted.

He's also an unsigned prospect, so don't bother him on twitter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DIKEMBE MUTOMBO IS A LIAR!


If this never happened, I think I will have to reassess my life. I have spent the better part of the last decade making "Who wants to sex Dikembe/Mouphtaou" jokes, including writing it on the bulletin board of Mouph's dorm his freshman year, so if Dikembe is telling the truth, I might as well sink into a pit of melancholy where I will stay forever.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Shabazz Napier: Malnourished


Makes sense that a UConn player wouldn't be smart enough to walk to the dining hall. No wonder their APR is so bad.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Assessing blame for the Villanovan column

On Friday, I posted a response to a column written in this past week's Villanovan that made some uninformed, overly broad, and frankly absurd assertions about perceived benefits received by student athletes at Villanova and elsewhere. Given that I already said enough about the author, and the fact that she took some abuse for it, deserved and otherwise, I feel the need to clarify my position, because the writer of the column, Blaire Fenniman deserves to know that she is not solely to blame for this debacle. 

The lion's share of the blame in this shitstorm should go with the editors of The Villanovan. Not only because it's author's thesis was so fundamentally wrong, but because the column was simply not well written enough to publish even if the points it made were 100 percent correct. It simply did not meet the standard of what an opinion column in a weekly publication should be, especially one at a school that is as selective as Villanova. By allowing that column to go to publication, without a disclaimer, the editors of the paper showed that they were in tacit agreement with the author, and essentially threw her to the fire by allowing it to be published. If the editorial board disagreed with her, the fact that they did not publish a rebuttal piece next to the article is reprehensible, because even a moron would know that something like that would generate controversy.

Ultimately, this situation should have never happened was created by a media environment that values sensationalism over hard news, and content over quality. Hopefully Blaire Fenniman, and more importantly, everyone involved at the Villanovan's editorial staff learns their lesson, and hopefully the athletes and students of Villanova give Blaire Fenniman a fair chance to explain herself, and ultimately forgive her, because grabbing pitchforks and torches and chasing her off campus is counter to Villanova University's core values of truth, unity, and love.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Responding to the worst column in Villanovan history

Jessica Wamala: Villanova athlete, Rhodes Scholar

In this week's issue of the Villanovan, Villanova's official student newspaper, junior Blaire Fenniman wrote a column about how student athletes get benefits that regular students don't, by virtue of their status as athletes. As evidence of such, she cited the University of North Carolina's now-infamous "paper courses", which were apparently the source of massive academic fraud that allowed functionally illiterate football and basketball players pass courses as well as her own anecdotal experiences with an unnamed student athlete who she was in a class with at Villanova.

Needless to say, this has been controversial amongst Villanova athletes past and present, and because of that, and the fact that it is awful and insulting even though I wasn't an athlete, I feel the need to respond in Fire Joe Morgan format.

The column (and my rebuttal after the jump)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Radnor (finally) approves Villanova's zoning variance

Now, in news that is NOT April Fools related, Villanova may be able to actually improve its campus! Despite concerns over traffic (gasp!) and stormwater drainage (the horror!), the Radnor Board of Commissioners FINALLY approved Villanova's request for a zoning variance that was much opposed by its asshole neighbors simply because they're averse to change.

Well, Villanova won, bitches.

Villanova considering a nickname, mascot change

Will D. Cat: On his way out?
 
Ever since a school-wide contest in 1926, all of Villanova's varsity sports teams have been known as the Wildcats. While the appearance of the mascot has changed over the years, from four live wildcats named Count Villan up to the death of the final one in 1950, to a student wearing a wildcat costume. In the last ten years, the Villanova Wildcat was named Will D. Cat, a rather lazy effort at naming a university icon, but it is nonetheless embraced by the Villanova community.

So given the 88 year history of Villanova sports teams being named the Wildcats, it would be safe to assume that changing the nickname of the school's sports teams would be a total nonstarter, right? Wrong, because a small, but influential group of faculty members, mostly from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently took a stand in a meeting with the president and board of trustees demanding that Villanova change its nickname because it perpetuates a stereotype of animals as violent beasts that are meant for human entertainment rather than having their own agency. While the proposal was initially laughed off by administration, especially in the athletic department, more faculty members have attached themselves to the cause, and the school is now seriously considering retiring the Villanova Wildcat.

Normally, I would tell you to make a lot of noise about this to influence Father Peter and the BoT, but it's April Fool's Day, and they would have no idea what you were talking about if you brought it up.