Issuu on Google+

Volume 123, No. 16 Distribution 10,000 Serving the University of Virginia community since 1890 The WEEKEND Cavalier Daily Dai EDITION Thursday, September 20, 2012 U.Va. self-reports Dimas’ ineligibility Coaching staff discover NCAA violation Sept. 10 after rival school’s coaching staff question soccer standout’s athletic status By Ben Baskin Cavalier Daily Associate Editor Virginia self-reported the rules violations that prompted the NCAA to declare men’s soccer player Ari Dimas ineligible for the remainder of the 2012 season. In a Sept. 19 letter to the NCAA obtained by The Cavalier Daily, Athletic Director Craig Littlepage said Virginia coaches learned of the violation Sept. 10 after coaching staff at an undisclosed school inquired about Dimas’ eligibility. Coaching staff promptly informed the University’s Athletics Compliance Office of a potential violation of NCAA Bylaws 14.2 and regarding “Seasons of Competition.” Virginia declared Dimas ineligible the next day, forcing him to miss a home contest against Mount St. Mary’s. Dimas, who was playing his fourth year on the varsity team, began competing on the squad as a walk-on during his second year at school . His first year at Virginia Dimas played for the school’s club soccer team, which according to NCAA rules counts as a season of his varsity eligibility. NCAA Bylaw states: “An individual is charged with a season of competition for participation in intercollegiate competition as a member of an institution’s club team if that institution sponsored the sport as a varsity intercollegiate sport and as a club sport at the time of participation.” Because Virginia sponsored soccer as a varsity intercolle- giate sport when Dimas played on the club team in 2008, the NCAA ruled that his varsity eligibility had expired at the conclusion of the 2011 season. The NCAA, however, did not adopt the bylaw until June 24, 2009 — a year after Dimas’ began competing on the club team. During the 2008 fall term, Dimas practiced with the Virginia women’s varsity soccer team and played on the club soccer team . Because Dimas’ time practicing with the women’s team came prior to his membership with the club team, his NCAA paperwork did not list his club participation. “When speaking with the coaching staff, they were aware that Mr. Dimas was a practice player for the women’s soccer team and knew that he was practicing for the UVA men’s soccer club team but they were not aware he competed for the team,” Littlepage said in the letter. “When Mr. Dimas completed his NCAA, ACC, and UVA Please see Dimas, Page A3 Blank announces grant Department of Commerce gives University-managed innovation fund $1 million By Donald Sensabaugh Cavalier Daily Associate Editor Courtesy US Department of Commerce Rebecca Blank, acting U.S. secretary of commerce, visited Grounds Wednesday with good news for the Virginia Innovation Partnership — $1 million in federal funds. Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank and University President Teresa Sullivan announced Wednesday the Virginia Innovation Partnership — a fund that supports startups and early-stage technologies — will receive a $1 million federal grant. The award is part of $7 million in new grants available through the i6 Challenge, an annual initiative led by the Department of Commerce that funds innovation-based entrepreneurial projects. The Department of Commerce selected the partnership and six other organizations from about 80 applicants from across the United States. “These centers will help provide the tools and the support entrepreneurs and researchers need to take their product to market, to launch businesses, to drive innovation, and to create jobs,” Blank said in the Rotunda Dome Room Wednesday morning. The partnership is managed by the University, Virginia Tech and SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute. It will dispense between $40,000 and $80,000 to 20 Virginia entrepreneurial and technological projects. The partnership will hold entrepreneurs accountable to certain benchmarks for product development and to ensure the long-term viability of the project. “Applicants must prove that the concept will continue to create jobs, that it is not just a flash in the pan,” said Matt Erskine , the acting assistant secretary of commerce for economic development and a University alumnus. No portion of the pool of money awarded to the partnership is set aside specifically for the University. To benefit from the grant, the University will need to have projects compete for funding from the partnership. “Our inventors and researchers are welcome to compete, but they won’t have a free pass,” Sullivan said. Through its investment the partnership will create an estimated 2,000 jobs after eight years, according to a Department of Commerce press release. Though many Virginia businesses and start-ups are eligible for funding from the partnership, certain sectors may be particularly likely to lobby for investment funds, particularly Please see Partnership, Page A3 Judge overturns sentence Law School’s Innocence Project helps wrongfully-accused man walk free By Kelly Kaler and Andrew D’Amato Cavalier Daily Staff Writers After years of work on the part of the University Innocence Project, Maligie Conteh boarded a bus as a free man for the first time in several years. A wrongful robbery conviction in 2010 had put him behind bars. Lawyers from the University Innocence Project managed to get his conviction overturned Sept. 13 — just days before Conteh was scheduled to be deported to Sierra Leone. Conteh was arrested for robbery after police identified him as matching the physical description of someone who had committed robbery at knifepoint 15 minutes earlier. “He didn’t need money,” said Deirdre Enright , director of investigation for the Innocence Project. “He didn’t have a knife or money on him when the police searched him.” His conviction was overturned because the prosecution failed to reveal a prior criminal history of a major witness in the case. “Just a month before the robbery, the alleged victim had himself been charged with possessing fraudulent documents and driver’s license which would have caused the judge to doubt his testimony,” Enright said. Enright became aware of the situation when a fellow professor introduced her to a lawyer at the firm McGuireWoods, who was working on Conteh’s deportation case. Conteh’s lawyer, Jonathan Blank, was confused about the deportation case because, as he explained to Enright, he feared Conteh was getting deported for a crime he did not commit. Conteh said he was on the Internet at the time the crime was committed. A Facebook photo Please see Conteh, Page A3 Nash, students talk honor Committee’s roundtable series seeks student input Cavalier Daily Staff Writer Jenna Truong | Cavalier Daily Please recycle this newspaper The Honor Committee held the first in a series of seven roundtable discussions Wednesday evening in an attempt to bring students into a dialogue about honor at the University. Honor Committee Chair Stephen Nash described the discussions as an opportunity for students to “share their experiences about honor and what it has meant to them during their time [at the University] and ways they think the Honor Committee and honor system can improve.” The Committee invited all of the more than 600 students who Please see Honor, Page A3 Editor-in-chief (434) 924-1082 Print Ads 924-1085 CFO 924-1084 News Sports Life Coursera adds 17 online partners Columbia, Brown, Vanderbilt, others join digital course platform; University begins courses Jan. 28 By Kaelyn Quinn Honor Chair Stephen Nash, above, discussed honor with students Wednesday. Cavalier Daily Photographer The Innocence Project at the Law School, above, helped throw out Maligie Conteh’s wrongful robbery conviction. By Grace Hollis and Erik Payne Cavalier Daily Staff Writers The online learning service Coursera, which announced a partnership with the University July 17, added 17 universities to its list of participating institutions Wednesday. Coursera is a free online course service available to anyone with computer access. It currently partners with six of the schools in the U.S. News and World Report’s top 10, as well as 27 other institutions. The company’s expansion bodes well for the future of online learning at the Uni- 924-1083 924-1089 924-1092 Graphics Photography Production 924-3181 924-6989 924-3181 additional contact information may be found online at C M Y K Cyan Magenta Yellow Black versity — a topic of debate this summer during the ouster and reinstatement of University President Teresa Sullivan. Coursera’s new partners include Vanderbilt, Berklee College of Music, Brown and Columbia. Coursera spokesperson Nikki Sequeira said in an email that the company’s expansion would positively impact the University’s online learning initiatives. “As Coursera continues to experiment with online education strategies and learn Please see Coursera, Page A3 Life Opinion Sports Comics Arts&Entertainment Classifieds A2 A4 B1 B2 B3 B6

September 20, 2012

Related publications