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CODY G. NORMAN George Mason University

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MASON ATHLETICS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam rhoncus blandit odio non cursus. Sed congue leo sed odio scelerisque blandit. Etiam a sagittis tellus. Ut sit amet consequat lectus. Nunc in dui ipsum, nec tincidunt lacus. Pellentesque condimentum nisi at libero egestas eu scelerisque metus faucibus. Praesent sit amet felis felis, non consequat ipsum. Cras aliquam sodales rhoncus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Vestibulum est

diam, viverra eu lobortis eu, pretium vitae magna. Integer hendrerit, lorem adipiscing ornare faucibus, tellus odio dictum nisi, sed condimentum magna eros ut mi. Duis eget leo et elit placerat pharetra. Sed aliquet urna non erat sodales congue. Maecenas pulvinar accumsan tincidunt. Phasellus nibh massa, aliquet eget accumsan sed, egestas in justo. Donec sed volutpat urna. Sed feugiat malesuada risus, ut suscipit sapien lobortis a. Integer hendrerit, lorem adipiscing ornare faucibus,

tellus odio dictum nisi, sed condimentum magna eros ut mi. Duis eget leo et elit placerat pharetra. Sed aliquet urna non erat sodales congue. Integer hendrerit, lorem adipiscing ornare faucibus, tellus odio dictum nisi, sed condimentum magna eros ut mi. Integer hendrerit, lorem adipiscing ornare faucibus, tellus odio dictum nisi, sed condimentum magna eros ut mi. Duis eget leo et elit placerat pharetra. Sed aliquet urna non erat sodales congue. Maecenas pulvinar accumsan tincidunt. Phasellus nibh

Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. STORY BY CODY NORMAN

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MASON ATHLETICS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam rhoncus blandit odio non cursus. Sed congue leo sed odio scelerisque blandit. Etiam a sagittis tellus. Ut sit amet consequat lectus. Nunc in dui ipsum, nec tincidunt lacus. Pellentesque condimentum nisi at libero egestas eu scelerisque metus faucibus. Praesent sit amet felis felis, non consequat ipsum. Cras aliquam sodales rhoncus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Vestibulum est diam, viverra eu lobortis eu, pretium vitae magna. Integer hendrerit, lorem adipiscing ornare faucibus, tellus odio dictum nisi, sed condimentum magna eros ut mi. Duis eget leo et elit placerat pharetra. Sed aliquet urna non erat sodales congue. Maecenas pulvinar accumsan tincidunt. Phasellus nibh massa, aliquet eget accumsan sed, egestas in justo. Donec sed volutpat urna. Sed feugiat

malesuada risus, ut suscipit sapien lobortis a. Integer hendrerit, lorem adipiscing ornare faucibus, tellus odio dictum nisi, sed condimentum magna eros ut mi. Duis eget leo et elit placerat pharetra. Sed aliquet urna non erat sodales congue. Integer hendrerit, lorem adipiscing ornare faucibus, tellus odio dictum nisi, sed condimentum magna eros ut mi. Integer hendrerit, lorem adipiscing ornare faucibus, tellus odio dictum nisi, sed condimentum magna eros ut mi. Duis eget leo et elit placerat pharetra. Sed aliquet urna non erat sodales congue. Maecenas pulvinar accumsan tincidunt. Phasellus nibh Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. Quisque id auctor massa. Nam iaculi. STORY BY CODY NORMAN


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FINISHED Cody G. Norman

215 Summer Breeze Lane • Fredericksburg, VA 22406 • (540)538-7475 • cnorman2@masonlive.gmu.edu

CODY G. NORMAN PROFILE Dependable, hard-working, goal-oriented and conscientious are key character traits I portray consistently in the classroom, during employment, and in personal activities. Seeking a challenging internship for the Summer of 2012 that will better prepare me for employment upon graduation in Dec. 2012. EDUCATION George Mason University Fairfax, VA Candidate for a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Spring 2013 Major: Integrative Studies w/ a focus in Sports Journalism and Sports Writing Recognized as a member of the Dean’s List following the Fall ’09 and Spring ’10 semesters RELATED WORK EXPERIENCE August 2009-January 2012– Sports Editor, Broadside (George Mason University Campus Newspaper) -Managed a staff of writers to produce the sports section in a weekly campus newspaper. -Edited stories and met with writers to help improve writing to be published in weekly sports section. -Credentialed member of the media for all home and away games for Mason basketball. April 2010 – Published author of Finding Love in Agony -Co-wrote a collection of poetry published by Publish America with Daniel Hollowell in April 2010. June 2010 – Media outreach intern for the Old Spice Chris Cooley Football Camp -Interacted with Redskins Tightend Chris Cooley and Pro Camps Worldwide to help produce a quality sports camp for young kids. November 2009-January 2011 – Lead blogger for KingJamesGospel.com, RightDownEuclid.com -Wrote daily blog posts from the perspective of a life-long Cleveland Cavaliers fan. Fall 2010 – Freelance writer, Patch.com -Worked as a freelance writer for the Fairfax City Patch.com, writing recaps and feature stories about local sports. March 2011-Dec. 2012 – Radio co-host, e Morning Breakdown -Host a sports talk radio show with several colleagues on the campus radio station three days per week for two hours per day. March 2011& 2012 – Credentialed member of media during CAA basketball tournament Wrote recaps and feature stories for campus newspaper about games in the conference basketball tournament in Richmond. March 2011 – Credentialed member of media during NCAA basketball tournament Wrote recaps, features and blog-posts for campus newspaper and website about games in rounds two and three of the NCAA basketball tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. SAMPLE COPY March 2011 – Cam Long has overcome adversity to lead Patriots (http://tinyurl.com/CGN-Broadside1) October 2011 – Exposure outweighs profits for Mason athletics (http://tinyurl.com/CGN-Broadside2) November 30, 2011 – One Lucky Chair (http://tinyurl.com/CGN-Courtside1) November 30, 2011 – A New Form of Paradise (http://tinyurl.com/CGN-Courtside2) November 30, 2011 – Courtside Seats (http://tinyurl.com/CGN-CourtsideMagazine) December 2, 2011 – Colleges look to capitalize on NBA lockout (http://tinyurl.com/CGN-USAT) REFERENCES Excellent references can be given upon request.

Reader’s Guide

Reader’s Guide

Organized based on the competencies set forth by New Century College, this portfolio will use sports writing and reporting as the controlling metepahor. Because the center of my life is communication, my answer to the Central Question can be found under the Communication tab above. As someone with extensive experience in sports writing and reporting on many levels, I will address the following NCC competencies: -Communication -Critical inking -Group Collaboration -Aesthetic Awareness Within this portfolio, you will find a variety of evidence pulled from my academic archive that demonstrates my personal and academic growth since I enrolled in George Mason University in the Fal of 2009. Under the tab laebeled Attestations, you will find testaments from a variety of different professionals who have graciously offered to attest to my ability as a journalist and a person in all facets of academia.

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is portfolio demonstrates my creativity, providing a creative home for my creative work in sports journalism. roughout the portfolio, it is evident what means most to me: sports, friends, family and changing the world.

One word at a time

Years that Mason has existed as its own institution

After nearly 15 years as a branch college of the University of Virginia, the Virginia Assembly passed legislation on April 7, 1972 to separate George Mason College from its parent institution.


Family & Friends

Cody G. Norman

April 2, 2012

Finding Love in Agony

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by Cody G. Norman and Daniel J. Hollowell Just One Rose A bushel of flowers Just one little rose. You always had a smiling face, A twinkle in your nose.

Parkinson’s Walk Reflection Reflection Subhead

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You were a star that shined so bright, As bright as one could shine. You put a smile on a young man’s face, And sent a warm shock through his spine. rough all our great memories, And even more fun, Your love lit up my world, Brighter than the sun. And as you aged All came crashing down. You grew stronger and more loving, Still your beauty never drowned. And all I have to thank you for, Lay down your soul and rest. Dear God, I have just one last request: Take care of my grandmother, my very best. POEM BY CODY NORMAN

Best Friends You’re an eternal flame, e king’s diamond-filled crown. You’re a home for my friendship On the outskirts of town. You’re like one dozen roses From the one that you love. You’re a beautiful angel God sent from above. You’re the one that I run to When something’s not right. You’re my heart, you’re my soul You’re my best friend for life. POEM BY CODY NORMAN

Finding Love In Agony is a collection of work by cousin-duo Daniel Hollowell and Cody Norman. Their poems contain various themes and are inspired by a wide range of experiences and encounters, but are all influenced by love in some form. The love for life, the love for laughter, the love for another all share a common order, and through good times and bad, it is love that pulls us through. Published 2010


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Triathlon Reflection Reflection Subhead

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Family & Friends


Family & Friends

April 2, 2012

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Freshman Orientation

Adjusting to life as a student at George Mason University Coming

August 2009


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Personal Convictions Essay

Cody G. Norman

OPINION

Family & Friends

Lucky Charms Letter

To Whom It May Concern:

This I Believe... I believe in my father. I also believe in honor and respect. And I believe in getting back in the box, no matter how many times I strike out. I believe in working hard, getting dirty and doing whatever it takes to win in the game of life. But those are all things he taught me. I’m told sometimes that I’m just like my father, sometimes in an accusatory tone. But I always take it as a compliment, moving on while accepting that line as an honorable tribute. After all, my father is the best guy I know.

at would not have been my answer several years ago. ere is always that stage in a young man’s life, the stage where father and son just cannot get on the same page. I was grounded on a number of occasions for getting a C on my report card. Why couldn’t I be average? I cannot be expected to boast exemplary grades in all courses. at was never the point. It was not about As or Bs. It wasn’t about being average. It was about accepting average. It was about refusing to admit fault and placing the blame on everyone but myself.

Still, no matter how stubborn I grew, he never let me coast by on mediocrity, always challenging me to be the best I could be – challenging me to be an All-Star in whatever it was that I wanted to be. And no matter how far apart we were in our beliefs, he never left my side, standing right there beside me as we – my father and I – knocked the next pitch out of the park. No matter how many times the world forced me out, sending me back to the bench with little left in the tank, it was my father – my coach – who was there to dust me off and send me back out between the chalk.

For years I watched, I listened, as he carved his name into the Hall of Fame. And in doing so, he has served as my inspiration. My mentor. My coach. My friend. My father. Like I said, he is the best guy I know.

Tune in to The SpotCast every Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on WGMURadio.com Cody Norman, Daniel Zimmet, Mark Mansdoerfer & Stephen Kline

Click on the picture to hear the interview with President and Mrs. Merten on April 27

I have been an avid consumer of General Mills Inc. cereals for the last thirteen years and have been quite delighted with the measures that have been taken in order to promote a healthier lifestyle for consumers. e whole grains, vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients delivered by General Mills products speaks volumes about the General Mills company and I applaud you for the manifest effort in these aspects. However, over the last several weeks I have been completely and utterly dissatisfied with the facade of several key components in my most beloved cereal, Lucky Charms. Recently, I have been experiencing an undeniable craving for the magically delicious taste provided by Sir Charms and the Lucky Charms cereal. My desire for the aforementioned cereal stemmed from the observance of a rather interesting commercial which contained a catchy tune listing all of the marshmallows inhabiting every box of Lucky Charms. Being in college, I rushed right to the dining hall to quench my yearning for the cereal and began to set aside a heart, star, horseshoe, clover and blue moon, a pot of gold and a rainbow and a swirly red balloon.

tressed and vowed to continue my search until each shape was discovered. I am currently on bowl number twenty-six and have yet to obtain the pot of gold and/or a purple horseshoe. However, I have ingested a marshmallowshaped hourglass. As you might imagine, it has been very bothersome to me that I cannot seem to find the pot of gold or a purple horseshoe; therefore, I have decided to take my issues directly to the producer and voice my concerns. As I conclude this letter, I would like to make my issues extremely clear and let General Mills Inc. know that I am sincerely saddened by their misleading advertisements. If the company is no longer going to include the pot of gold in their cereal, it is pertinent that the catchy tune be reassembled. Below is a suggested restructuring of the song. I would greatly appreciate it if you would seriously consider my proposition and revise your tune as you see fit. Hearts, stars and hourglasses Clovers and blue moons. Rainbows with no pot of gold And a swirly red balloon ank you for your time and thoughtful consideration. Sincerely,

As I scavenged through my bowl for each of the marshmallow shapes, I became increasingly dis-

Cody Norman, A Concerned Citizen


Long Road to Success Sports

April 2, 2012

Cody G. Norman

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Cam Long has overcome adversity to lead Patriots in record-breaking season As he walked through the pathway created by cheerleaders and teammates to receive his framed jersey on Senior Night, guard Cam Long had one arm wrapped around his mother, Myrtle, and the other around his brother, Rendell. Just seven years earlier, Long was involved in an incident in Palm Bay, Flor. that forced his mother to send him more than 850 miles north to live with his brother in Woodbridge. Rendell, Long’s eldest brother by about 15 years, was a former football player at Florida State University and took his troubled sibling into his home as a sophomore in high school. “Just [Rendell] being able to help me move up here and not allowing me to be the knucklehead I was in Florida was really a great thing for me,” Long said. “It just showed how much my brother really loved me.” During his sophomore season at Freedom High School, Long’s coach and former Mason basketball player Ahmad Dorsett called coach Jim Larranaga with some recruiting advice. “He told me that he had a sophomore down there that he thought was going to be big time,” Larranaga recalled.

“[Long] was 6-foot-4; he was athletic; he could shoot the basketball. And it came during a year that we were going to be graduating all of our guards. Signing a point guard that year was huge for us.” Following several visits to George Mason University, Long signed with the Patriots during the early signing period and became a member of the basketball team in 2007. Just three games into his sophomore season at Mason, Long contemplated applying for transfer. He was unhappy with the way he was being used on the court and thought he would have been better suited as a score-first guard. “Sometimes people think they deserve a lot of things,” Long said. “I thought I was a great player and I didn’t feel like I was getting the respect that I deserved.” He approached the coaching staff with his objections on one of the team’s early road trips. “at is not an uncommon event, for a player to question his decision. But, when [Long] came in to talk me, he told me that he didn’t think that I trusted him. And I told him, ‘Listen, you’re in the starting lineup and you’re

playing more than 30 minutes a game. ere is no bigger sign of how much confidence I have in you than how much I play you.” Long responded: “ere is a big difference between playing 30 minutes of my game and playing 30 minutes of [Larranaga’s] game.” He described the conversation as both confusing and understanding. “I found out that they wanted the same things I wanted,” Long said.”And, after sitting down to talk with them, I felt more free.” e next evening – on Nov. 22, 2007 – in a game against the East Carolina Pirates, Long played a much different basketball game and enjoyed the best game of his early collegiate career, going for 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists. After making the decision to remain a Patriot for the remainder of his college career, Long began to endure cramping issues during his sophomore and junior seasons. Mason athletic trainer Debi Corbatto tried everything. ey called people within the NBA to see how they dealt with cramping issues at the professional level and submitted Long to blood tests on a weekly basis, leaving his

Sometimes people think they deserve a lot of things. I thought I was a great player and I didn’t feel like I was getting the respect that I deserved. Cam Long

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body feeling very weak a majority of the time. “ere was just so much frustration going on with that,” he said. “It was something that you thought would never go away. It took away my aggressiveness during games. I thought the harder I played, the faster the cramps would come.” Larranaga and Corbatto discovered that one of the underlying issues was a result of poor dieting. ere were not enough carbohydrates and protein in his diet so the cramps were a result of his body not having enough energy. About mid-way through his junior season, Corbatto began treating Long with a very simple medicine: he was asked to begin eating cups of

Jell-O before and at halftime of every game. “We never could figure out exactly what was causing it,” Long said. “But we just noticed that I was gradually able to play more. It went from 20 minutes to 25 minutes. And now, all of a sudden, I’m playing 35 minutes with no issues. It’s been a huge sigh of relief.” Over the last four years, Long has put up rather aweinspiring numbers. He is on pace to finish his career in the top 15 of nearly every offensive statistical category, most recently surpassing the millennium mark in scoring earlier this season. After he finishes his career with the Patriots, Long hopes to get an opportunity to continue his basketball career in the NBA.

“e NBA would definitely be a great thing,” Long said. “Like any other basketball player, that has always been my dream.” His back-up plan, however, is very unlike most other basketball players. If basketball does not work out for him in the long run, Long plans to move somewhere warm and take up a career in the real estate business. For now, though, Long remains the humble leader of the Patriots who prepare to challenge for the CAA Conference Tournament championship while both Myrtle and Rendell Long cheer him on from the stands. STORY BY CODY NORMAN


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Cody G. Norman

Inside the Locker Room

Sports

A Closer Look at the Cleveland Cavaliers Inside the Locker Room: A Closer Look at the Cavs ere’s just something about multi-million dollar athletes that cause people to mistake them for superhuman beings with fat pockets and big heads. However, I was given the unique opportunity to explore the depths of the Cavaliers locker room before and after the game on Saturday night against the Utah Jazz. I discovered that the exact opposite was true of these professionals; they are people just like you and me. 5:45 pm I arrived at the Quicken Loans Arena and took a walk down to the court. While standing courtside, Zydrunas Ilgauskas finished his warmup and prior to returning to the locker room, Z stopped to acknowledge each and every fan that called his name from the bottom row of the arena. He spent several minutes signing autographs and posing for pictures with Cleveland Cavaliers fans (and even a few Utah Jazz fans) along the way. I was impressed with Z’s willingness to laugh and joke with his fans after 11 years of being in the league. He was/is a true class act. 6:00 pm Coach Mike Brown typically speaks to the media about an hour and a half before the opening tip. e Cleveland coach recognized many of the reporters and called them by name during his interview; I was impressed that a man of Brown’s stature would make it a point to learn the name of many members of the media. He, as well, took a step back from his profes-

sional life and was able to communicate with these reporters (and fans) on a more personal level. 6:15 pm Following Coach Brown’s comments, the locker room was opened up to the media. As many of you are well aware, LeBron James is a HUGE Ohio State Buckeyes fan. LeBron sat on the floor, cheered on his Buckeyes, and sang along to the music playing from the headphones the laid beside him. LeBron refused to formally speak to the media as a whole prior to the conclusion of the game but he carried on conversations with many of the men in the room. e King may be one of the most recognizable human beings in the world but as I sat, watching the game (with LeBron James) I realized that he really is a human being just like the rest of us. He has a very humble personality and, believe it or not, LeBron gets as excited about a Buckeyes victory as anyone else in Ohio. As I looked around the locker room, I noticed an enormous pair of shoes sitting at my feet. At first glance I thought it may have been a full-size speedboat or cot set up for Mo Williams until I noticed the letter S-H-A-Q written across the top. A size 23 shoe sounds big, yes. But you just don't realize how big it really is until you see it in person. Obviously, LeBron was not the only one in the locker room. Darnell Jackson spent a lot of his time watching the game with Bron and he, too, displays extraordinary character. D-Block exited the

locker room and hit the weight room for about 20 minutes before returning (with his muscles flexed, of course!). Delonte West and Anderson Varejao were in and out of the locker room throughout our visit and both players were incredibly polite each time they entered and exited; both players acknowledged our presence and said, “Excuse me” if they ever needed to squeeze past us. Following a game-winning field goal by the Buckeyes, LeBron James was ready to speak to the media. One of the reporters asked the King about his announcement to change his number saying, "Why the No. 6? Why not choose a number that nobody has ever worn before?" LeBron joked by saying, "What do you mean, like No. 72 or something? I mean there's not many numbers that nobody has ever worn before." Everyone, including LeBron, laughed (yes, he laughed at his own joke). 6:45 pm After we spoke to LeBron, I headed back out to watch some of the players warm up from courtside. Like Z, Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker both signed autographs and posed for pictures to show their respect and appreciation for Cleveland fans. It was incredible to see these two guys displaying such gratitude toward their fans after only nine games with the Wine and Gold. 7:30 pm Prior to opening tip and the announcing of starting lineups, the Cavaliers made an effort to thank both present and former members of

our military on their Military Salute Night. Coach Mike Brown paced back-and-forth, up and down the court while he welcomed and sincerely thanked the members of our military. Brown explained that he came from a military family; his father was in the Air Force so the coach grew up exposed to the military and has a great amount of respect for those individuals. **Of course, at this stage of the night, the Cavaliers won a nail-biter against the Jazz 107103** 10:00 pm Following an intense game, we waited out in the tunnel for Mike Brown to speak. While we were all crowded around the coach's normal spot, I felt a large hand touch my shoulder and a deep voice utter, "Excuse me, man." When I turned to see who it was that touched my shoulder, I was staring at the Big Witness Protection's KNEE CAPS! It was unreal. According to Dictionary.com a giant is defined as a "being with human form but superhuman size, strength, etc." Yup, that's Shaq. en out came Mike Brown to speak to the media; before any questions were asked, Brown said, “I’d like to open up by saying I have the utmost respect for Jerry Sloan. He’s a great coach and everything about him is just a class act…I love his demeanor. I love the way he coaches his team. And I don’t know him at all but it’s just from afar.” Brown, himself, is a classy individual. And the way he carries himself is mirrored by his

entire team. e coach went on to praise JJ Hickson for another excellent game and went on to describe Anderson Varejao as his "glue guy". He said, "[Andy] holds everything together. It doesn't matter what lineup is out there, you know that you can always go to him and he can keep it together. Whether it's at the 4 or the 5 spot." Coach Brown then described the role that LeBron had in Saturday night's matchup. He referred to his superstar as Picasso on ursday night and called him Rivenbrandt on Saturday. He then said, "What LeBron did on the floor at the end of the game was awesome. He put everybody in the right position to keep bodies on bodies and contest the shot. So LeBron, defensively and as a coach on the last couple of plays, was off the charts. It just speaks volumes to his intelligence and his feel for the game." 10:15 pm e locker room was reopened to the media and, again, LeBron spoke about

the game. After LeBron’s comments, we were left waiting for JJ Hickson to come out of the shower. While we waited, I was able to talk to Danny Green about his plans for Sunday. Outside of his daily workout, Danny said Sunday was a “chill day”. He said he would be resting and watching football for most of the day following his workout. When Hickson came out and sat at his locker, he willingly spoke to the media about the game and paid a lot of respect to LeBron James for mentoring him throughout the summer. Hickson talked about his ability to make good decisions on the floor and his outstanding play as of late. After my experience with the Cavaliers, it was incredible for me to see the human-side of each of these individuals. ey are amazing athletes, yes. But off of the hardwood floor, these guys are high character individuals. And it made me proud to be a Cavaliers fan.


Sports

Cody G. Norman

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Wounded Warriors

Just before the first plane struck the South tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, a young Daniel Lasko stood in Harrisonburg, Pa. to take the oath of enlistment into the United States Marine Corps, swearing to protect his country. He swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And he swore to bear true faith and allegiance to the red, white and blue. Lasko was born in 1982 in Easton, Pa. and grew up an athlete, playing baseball at the high school level. He was well-equipped for the Marine Corps at age 19 and made the decision to enlist, seeing it as an opportunity to serve his country. Before beginning his enlistment, Lasko was sent home to be with his family until he could be transported south to Parris Island in Port Royal, S.C.. After viewing the violent attacks, some individuals may have decided to rethink their decision to volunteer for military duty.

But not Daniel Lasko. He boarded a bus to Port Royal and began the 13-week camp on Sept. 17, just one week after the attacks. He graduated from boot camp in January of 2002 and was stationed in Camp Lejeune, N.C.. “Initially, my plan was to complete the standard four years of active duty and move on,” Lasko said in a recent interview with Our Military Heroes. “As I got further into my duty, I started to enjoy it. I was climbing up the ladder and gaining rank quickly in three years. Making it a career was now an option for me as I was gaining experiences, traveling and making new friends along the way.” In 2004, Lasko was deployed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to Afghanistan. After just one month in country, Corporal Daniel Lasko was operating a machine gun aboard a 7-ton armored vehicle when the vehicle rolled over two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), severely injuring his

left foot. “To me, it felt like a slow motion movie,” Lasko said. “Two bright flashes of light and then total darkness.” Lasko spent over a year between Bethesda Navy Medical Center and Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, Md., enduring more than 15 surgeries on the leg before having it amputated below the knee. In January 2009, he graduated from Northampton Community College where he majored in criminal justice. He spent time working for Rep. Allyson Schwartz in her Pennsylvania office as a caseworker specializing in veterans’ affairs while competing in marathons and triathlons across the globe. On Saturday afternoon, Lasko joined his teammates on the Wounded Warrior Amputee softball team on the campus of George Mason University to compete against the Diamond Dream Foundation. He has been a member of the team for just two months, traveling the nation once a month to play softball.

“e first time I took the field with these nine guys, I got goose bumps,” he said. “I knew we were all the same. We are all veterans. We are all disabled. We all have amputations. It’s a perfect fit for me.” ough Lasko and his teammates are no longer able to defend their county through war, they have made it their mission to make the American public aware of the sacrifices and resilience of our military, proving they will rise above any challenge. ey received a warm welcome to Fairfax from fans, with respect and admiration in the forefront during Saturday’s game. As the ten year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 passes, so does the anniversary of the day that Corporal Daniel Lasko, one of the many brave men who have given everything to protect our country, gave his life to the United States Marine Corps. STORY BY CODY NORMAN

April 2, 2012

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April 2, 2012

Cody G. Norman

Heading into their final season of Mason basketball, Alan and Sally Merten have one last goal: to add another chair to their collection

In the far corner of Mason Hall office D103, there sits a modest-looking bar stool. It’s an old chair with nicks up and down the legs and a flattened cushion on the seat. Certainly not an object with pristine visual appeal, but an object with as much history as its body alludes. “I bring all the new recruits into my office to show them this chair,” said President Alan Merten. “I tell them that I need a few more like it.” Back on March 26, 2006, right in the midst of the Patriots legendary run into the Final Four, Merten sat in that chair as he watched his team knock off the No. 1 seeded Connecticut Huskies in their Elite Eight match-up in D.C. He was seated in the late Abe Pollin’s box at the MCI Center, taking in the game from what would become his lucky chair. at same lucky chair that now sits in his office. “Before I left the box and headed down to the floor, I told Mr. Pollin, ‘at’s my lucky chair,’” Merten said. “And it showed up in my office sometime the next day.” When Merten and his wife Sally took over as president and first lady of George Mason University in July of 1996, the university schooled just 24,000 students, most of whom commuted from within the Northern Virginia area. It has since become the fastest-growing university in Virginia, eclipsing the 30,000student mark. One of his first duties as president was to replace the men’s basketball coach, Paul Westhead. While he was not directly involved with the search process, Merten made

it clear to the athletic department that any potential hire had to interview with him first. “I believe, and Sally believes, that there is a strong relationship between the university and athletics,” Merten said. Shortly after the search began, Jim Larranaga, coach of Bowling Green State University, met with Merten and was offered the coaching job at Mason. “Jim told us that he was going to build a program and that he wasn’t here for the short term,” Mrs. Merten said. “He said he would take us to the NCAA Tournament in three seasons and we made it in two. So he made good on his promise, just as he makes good on all of his promises.” e new coach and president, along with their wives, developed an almost immediate friendship. “My wife and I were very impressed with President Merten’s leadership ability,” said Larranaga, the Patriots’ head coach for the last 14 seasons. “He would interact with deans of the colleges and then come out and be a huge fan of the basketball team.” “Sally was always there with him. It was a team effort.” As their friendship off the court progressed, Larranaga’s success on the court was incredible. With one week left to play in his second season as head coach, Larranaga and the Patriots clinched at least a share of their first CAA title in the history of the university. Without hesitation, Merten ordered an airplane and had it fly around the university

with a banner that read, “George Mason University: CAA Champions.” “Most people would have waited to see if we won it outright,” Larranaga recalled. “But his thinking was that, whether we won or tied, we were going to win our first regular season conference championship and we should be proud.” e Mertens have attended nearly every home basketball game throughout their tenure, sitting in their courtside seats at half court. “Long before everybody else jumped on the bandwagon, he was promoting how good we were,” Larranaga said. “He talked to the national media about how proud he was, not just of the basketball success, but of the success academically.” en, the unthinkable occurred in March of 2006. e Patriots rode a hot streak throughout the NCAA tournament, reaching the school’s first and only Final Four. ey were in the midst of an incredible run and the Mertens were there the entire way, flying on the plane with the team to almost every game. “Most presidents don’t fly on the planes because they don’t have that kind of relationship with the coach or the players,” Larranaga said. “But President Merten would come out to our practices. He cared that much about our program.” rough all of the noise surrounding the men’s basketball program, Merten and his staff were primed to take advantage of the spotlight and morph the university into

one of the biggest, fastestgrowing universities in the state of Virginia. “People wanted to write about us and they’d run out of things to say about our basketball team,” Merten said. “Every morning we would meet and discuss how we were going to take advantage of all the media attention, how we were going to get our academic programs out there. And, somehow, we did. We were in newspapers and on televisions all over the world.” With all of the exposure came a rapid inflation in admissions requests. ere were 350 percent more inquires, 54 percent of which came from out-of-state students. More and more people flooded the Internet, applying for the chance to enroll in Mason. “March of 2006 was the best [public relations] month that George Mason, the man, ever had,” Merten said. “He had more attention in one month than he did in 250 years.” Since then, the university has continued its hasty growth, consistently appearing in the U.S. News and

World Report’s list of Up-andComing Schools in America. e campus has now branched out to Arlington and Prince William as Merten and the administration have poured more than $450 million into construction. Over the last five years on the court, Mason has compiled a 107-57 record. ey’ve helped legitimize the CAA, earning a trip to three postseason tournaments. e 2010-11 Patriots notched the longest win streak in school history, winning the regular season conference title on their way to a third round appearance in the NCAA tournament. Yet, with everything that Merten has accomplished while employed as president of Mason, he remains humbled by the pace at which this university has grown. Each game, with four minutes left to play in either half, he rises to a thunderous ovation from the student sections. He points his air-powered gun into the stands and sends a t-shirt into the hands of one lucky fan. “It reminds me of what I’m

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here for. And that’s the students,” Merten said. “is is a very special place and a very special university. It has meant a lot to Sally and me to be able to play a role in making this a better university. To see what we’ve created, particularly what we’ve created in respect to the enthusiasm from the student body, it’s just been incredible.” As the time nears that the Mertens’ tenure as president and first lady will end, so too does their time sitting courtside at Mason basketball games. is is their last basketball season, their last CAA tournament, and their last NCAA tournament. But it is also their last chance to find another seat to place in the far corner of Mason Hall office D103. STORY BY CODY NORMAN


FINISHED Playing in the Name of Mason Sports

April 2, 2012

Cody G. Norman

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Behind Doc Nix and the Green Machine, the Patriot Center has become a true homecourt advantage College basketball fans across the nation packed into the Quicken Loans Arena last March. Expecting to see great basketball, those fans were greeted with a welcome surprise. A strange man in a funny suit danced along the stands, directing his band in such a unique fashion that people wide and far lined up for photographs with a regular in the post-tournament “One Shining Moment.” Despite the Patriots’ nailbiting victory over Villanova in the second round, or even despite the gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of Ohio State in the subsequent round, George Mason University won the 2011 NCAA Tournament. At least in the mind of Doc Nix. “In the realm of Ws and Ls and stats on the box score, we didn’t win,” Doc Nix said. “But in terms of showing up and representing ourselves and what we’re about, I think we did win.” Known for his Masonthemed zoot suits, Dr. Michael Nickens, more commonly known as Doc Nix, has attracted a nation- wide audience and has, in many ways, be- come the face of Mason basketball. “Taking it up a notch and wearing something that stands out just gives everyone that cue and gives me permission to get in front of people and encourage them to clap and sing along,” Doc Nix said. “It’s kind of a code for, ‘Pay attention to this.  is is part of the performance.’” While continuing his work

as an assistant professor in the School of Music, his alter ego has charmed the NCAA landscape for six years, bringing doubt to which persona is the most real. “It’s like asking, ‘Is Bruce Wayne the real guy or is Batman the real guy? Is Clark Kent the real guy or is Superman the real guy? Is Dr. Michael Nickens the real guy or is Doc Nix the real guy?’ It’s hard to say what’s what,” Doc Nix said. As a drum major at West Potomac High School, Doc Nix noticed that, as a member of the marching band, he could control an entire football stadium from one spot on the field. He brought the idea to Fairfax just one year after Mason’s historical run to the Final Four and continues to breathe life into a crowded arena. Despite the Patriots’ inability to unseat No. 5 Notre Dame in the fi rst round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, Doc Nix made a huge splash in the college basketball landscape as the Green Machine was recognized by a number of

sports writers as the most spir- ited pep band in the nation. “We were at one game – and we were never really in the game,” Doc Nix said. “We were at one game and lost, but we still made enough of an impact to earn that kind of shout-out. Man, that feels so good.” Last season, Doc Nix and a number of other band directors within the CAA began hosting an event called “Breakfast with the Bands” that is held on the Saturday morn- ing of the CAA Tournament in Richmond. Providing a unique link between music and athletics, the Green Machine won the 2006 NCAA Final Four “Battle of the Bands” and were named the 2008 and 2009 CAA “Best Pep Band” by CAAZone. com all the while providing one of the best home court advantages in the entire nation. Doc Nix and the Green Machine have been a driving force behind the Patriots’ incredible success inside the

Patriot Center. ey played an integral role in the Patriots’ 18-game home winning streak that lasted almost two full years.  eir fl awless renditions of “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Killing in the Name” echo throughout the arena, giving Mason what Paul Hewitt called a “solid 5-point advantage.” “In a league where most conference games are decided by 10 points or less, that’s big,” Hewitt said. “is is as good of a home fi eld advantage as I’ve been around.  is is as good as it gets.” Wherever the band may travel, they always return with more fans. And, ac- cording to Doc Nix, they return home with more people who recognize George Mason University as the school that has “that strange guy that wears the funny suits directing their band.”

Visit CourtsideSeats.onmason.com or download the mobile application by scanning the QR code to the right.

STORY BY CODY NORMAN

Pick up a copy of the new and improved Broadside every Monday at a distribution bin near you. Visit us at our office located in the lower level of Student Union Building II (The Hub).


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April 2, 2012

ALMOST FINISHED

Colleges Capitalizing on NBA Lockout

As the NBA lockout cast its shadow over the game of basketball this fall, some colleges saw the lack of professional basketball as an opportunity to pounce on hoops-starved fans. And through various marketing techniques, several schools capitalized on the opportunity to enhance their fan base. “It makes sense for us to attempt to fill that void,” said Wayne Hogan, associate athletic director at Georgia Tech, which competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In order to appeal to a wider audience, the Yellow Jackets have moved 10 of their home games into the Philips Arena, home of the NBA's Hawks in downtown Atlanta. And despite the NBA owners and players reaching a tentative labor agreement, Georgia Tech will keep their full slate of games at Phillips Arena in hopes of boosting a fan base that had dwindled in recent years. “We feel the temporary move downtown combined with the NBA lockout gives us an opportunity to cultivate an expanded fan base,” Hogan said. “We hope we might win a few [NBA fans] over and they might find our product equally appealing.” Georgia Tech is certainly not the only school to try to take advantage of the lockout. And it's not just major-confer-

ence teams looking to cash in. In Boston, where professional teams like the NFL's New England Patriots, the NBA's Celtics, the MLB's Red Sox and the NHL's Bruins rule the landscape, college teams struggle to find their place among the professional behemoths. Northeastern, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, is trying its best to squeeze its way into the mix. “We’re in a battle year in and year out with some great sports team,” said Matthew McDonald, assistant director of athletics and communication at Northeastern. “is may be our opportunity to generate excitement for college basketball.” So far, it seems to be working. “Northeastern is providing a great product at a great price,” said Terry Connors, a longtime Celtics’ season ticket holder who recently purchased season tickets to see the Huskies. Connors kept his season tickets with the Celtics, but was one of the first Bostonnatives to take advantage of the unique offer from Northeastern. His brother, Mike Connors, is an assistant coach for the Drexel Dragons, a CAA opponent. And Huskies’ coach Bill Coen is a graduate of the same school, Hamilton College, as Terry Connors. “It all fits well for me,”

Terry Connors said. “It gives me a chance to go out and see some great college basketball. e CAA has been on the rise since 2006, so this is a great opportunity to get out there and see those guys compete.” American University, another mid-major program from Washington that is looking to stand out in a city that has top-flight college programs such as Georgetown and Maryland, as well as the NBA's Washington Wizards, has reaped some benefit from the NBA's extended time off. e school was awarded a six-game package to have its games broadcast on Comcast Sports Network, which is usually the home to game coverage of the Wizards. rough the Eagles’ preexisting relationship with the network, they will get Washington Wizards’ broadcasters Steven Buckhantz and Phil Chenier, along with Washington Post columnist John Feinstein, to serve as their play-by-play announcers. Two of those games have already been aired, but they still have two more scheduled in December, one in January and another in February, despite the fact that the Wizards will be back in action later this month. “It makes our fans, our basketball coach, and our university very excited,” said Keith Gill, athletic director at American. “Being able to get

Cody G. Norman

Washington Wizards Midnight Tipoff Coming

top flight broadcasters reflects our commitment to being the best.” Florida State, also a member of the ACC, has taken the opportunity to collect sponsorship money for the entire athletic program. Just as their football program was able to take advantage of the NFL lockout, the basketball team has been able to increase advertising revenue for the program. “It has actually been a two-part process for us,” said Jason Dennard, director of marketing at Florida State. Even as the NBA season returns on Christmas Day, collegiate programs are hoping to continue their recent success, attracting fans and monetary support to a more stable college basketball system. “People like to invest their money where it makes them feel good,” Dennard said. “And, right now, they feel good investing in college athletics instead of the NFL or NBA after their lockouts.” STORY BY CODY NORMAN

Sports

August 2009


Attestations

April 2, 2012

Cody G. Norman

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

To whom it may concern, Please accept this letter as a personal recommendation for Cody Norman. Cody worked as an intern for our organization, ProCamps, Inc., during the spring and summer of 2010 on our events in the Washington DC area. During his time with us, Cody had a significant impact on the success of our business and our individual event. roughout his time with the company, Cody worked on a variety of key projects including assistance with organizing, planning, and marketing events representing Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins. With many projects being

left up to Cody’s autonomy, he displayed great character, reliability, and timeliness in his work. With his help, our summer event for Chris Cooley was a spectacular success. Another notable aspect of this internship is that Cody was here for the betterment of himself in his drive for experience, being that little to no compensation was received for his efforts. roughout his time here, Cody showed himself to be a person of detail, fortitude, and foresight. From my observation, Cody not only proved himself to his supervisors here at ProCamps, but was also well respected by his fellow

interns. We feel extremely fortunate to have had Cody as part of our team as he was a perfect fit with our corporate culture. All of his hard work and dedication to our goals speak highly of his character and work ethic. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions regarding Cody Norman. LETTER FROM ADAM TRICK, PRO CAMPS INCORPORATED

STARTED

To Whom it May Concern: I am writing on behalf of Cody Norman, a student at George Mason University who interned with USA TODAY Sports in the Fall of 2011. His internship was with the organization’s Digital Desk, which is primarily responsible for the publishing, programming and packaging of digital content to multiple platforms. Despite a full plate of schoolwork, as well as responsibilities with his school newspaper and radio station, Cody was the consummate intern during his time with USA TODAY. What impressed me most about Cody was his

work ethic. He has the ability to handle an endless lists of tasks in a timely manner and, more importantly, in a professional fashion. Cody quickly learned our publishing tools and understood the importance of adding material for packaging purposes. He came up with good story ideas and followed through to get several bylines on USA TODAY Sports’ web site. And he did all that while performing his duties as beat writer for the George Mason men’s basketball team and creating a special 40-page magazine to preview the team’s season. I have all the faith in Cody and know that he is at

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the beginning of a successful career in sports journalism. I strongly believe that Cody would be a valuable addition to any organization and recommend him to the fullest. I would gladly fulfill any request for further information. LETTER FROMTIM GARDNER, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR

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