As basketball teams prepare to start official practice in the coming weeks, Iona will be missing a member of its freshman class. Michael Haynes had signed to play for the Gaels but over the summer was shot and killed in his South Chicago neighborhood when he attempted to break up a fight.
Most college athletic teams work with a charity using one of their home games as a fundraiser. But when Daemen hosts its Spike for Strength Night on Tuesday, the cause is more than community service -- it's personal.
The Wildcats volleyball team will raise money and awareness about Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in honor of freshman middle blocker Mackenzie Knihinicki. The Frontier graduated was diagnosed with the illness this past spring. Knihinicki has responded well to treatment and was cleared to begin practicing and competing last week.
She rejoins on the floor a Daemen team off to an impressive start in its first year of NCAA Division II competition. The Wildcats have won six straight matches and are 10-5 overall. Tonight's 7 p.m. match against Roberts Wesleyan is the team's home opener after spending 15 matches on the road.
At the game, the team will sell Spike for Strength t-shirts and wristbands. All money raised will be donated to Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Chew on this: With the non-conference portion of the season completed this past weekend, Canisius and Niagara have a combined 13-1-5 record. Both sit at the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings. The Purple Eagles are undefeated in nine games with a 6-0-3 mark and are on a three-game winning streak. Canisius is 7-1-2. The lone loss came to host UNLV in a tournament earlier this month. Both teams have a week off before opening MAAC play on Oct. 5 and both seem to be in contention for a conference title.
The teams square off just once in the regular season -- at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 at Demske Sports Complex. Keep that one on your calendar. It has that "instant classic" potential.
For years, it's been a bit of a joke around NCAA tournament time. Want to rile up an NCAA official? Raise your hand in a heavily scripted press conference and say "I have a question for one of the players." The term student-athlete is used by the NCAA and its member institutions reminding us that these are not professional athletes being compensated by the established rules of capitalism but students who also happen to be athletes.
In reality, the term was in part applied back in the 1960s when the NCAA first started allowing scholarships, or grants-in-aid, lest someone get several injured and demand workman's compensation.
But there is a possibility the use of "student-athlete" may be on the outs. That's one of the lessons learned from recently released evidence in a lawsuit by former college players (er, student-athletes) against the NCAA. Former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon is one of several athletes looking for class-action status in their legal battle with the NCAA.
The crux of the case is that the NCAA violated anti-trust laws by not allowing athletes to be compensated above the value of a scholarship (tuition, room, board, books and fees) particularly when it comes to licensing products, such as video games, which include individual likenesses.
The released documents in the discovery phase depict debate within the NCAA as to how commercialenterprises fit into the notion of "student-athlete" and the governance of compensation.
There's no injury update coming out of UB today. The school announced in an email that players are seeing doctors in the evening. RB Bo Oliver, WR Fred Lee, DE Steven Means and S Issac Baugh all left the 23-7 loss to Kent State Wednesday.
A statistical check revealed some interesting numbers for UB post-Turner Gill. They'll be in Friday's editions of The News and on the Web probably later tonight.
Join me at 3 p.m. Wednesday to talk college sports including a look back at Buffalo State football's historic win and Jessica Jenkins signing a pro basketball deal. What else is on your mind? Come and chat!
What's one of the big differences between playing during the week as opposed to on a Saturday? The NCAA requires players on the home team to attend any classes that start by noon. Actually an 11 a.m. or noon class is but a minor inconvience in terms of routine. Having, say, an 8 a.m. class is what can throw off your routine as the Bulls play Kent State at 7 Wednesday night.
"Our kids are going to have to be very, very focused and mature in terms of trying to handle a 7 o'clock kickoff," coach Jeff Quinn said.
Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.
Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.
Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.