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DAILY HELMSMAN Wednesday 09.18.13


For information on the rugby club, see page 8

Vol. 81 No. 015

Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Memphis

Students lose First amendment Rights on constitution Day

Wednesday Night Live at U 3 of M Sorority Decisions Based 6 on Race at UA Top Men’s 7 Basketball Recruits

Engineering student’s death surprises and saddens teachers

By Joshua cannon The University of Memphis is not typically synonymous with silence. Students hustle from Patterson to Dunn hall, talking with friends, and fraternity and sorority members rush to the University Center to have lunch and chat. Freshmen Instagram pictures in tank tops of their new, favorite Greek family. A frustrated student sends a quick tweet to Tiger Babble as a train blasts down the tracks along Southern Avenue. What they may not realize is that the U.S. Constitution – specifically the First Amendment – gives them the right to share their thoughts and opinions without persecution. Yesterday, however, dead air fell on the normally buzzing hub by the fountain from 1 to 3 p.m. The Society of Professional Journalists, also known as SPJ, and the Student Events Allocation Committee sponsored an event at the Student Activity Plaza to celebrate the birthday of the U.S. Constitution, which was signed 225 years ago on Sept. 17, 1776. “The Society of Professional Journalists is a national organization that fights to preserve the First Amendment,” said Kelsie Carter, SPJ president and junior journalism major. “We’re trying to show people how important their First Amendment rights are and how much we need them every day.” Like most days, water flew high from the fountain, but that was one of the few characteristics that appeared ordinary at the plaza. Caution tape connected from pole to pole, forming a giant circle, enclosing a space that would be temporarily known as “The Kingdom of the Socialist States of the People’s Republic.” Students filed in through a

see RIgHTS on page 4

photo coUrtesy of GINGer GUINN

Electrical and computer engineering classes will observe a moment of silence at 9:40 a.m. Thursday in memory of Josh Smith, who died Sept. 11. He is pictured above with his girlfriend ginger guinn.

By Margot Pera For the professors in the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Memphis, Josh Smith was something of a godsend. “Josh picked up fast on a number of research projects we had in our department,” said

Aaron Robinson, an associate professor in electrical and computer engineering and one of Josh’s research supervisors. “You would give him a project, and he would get it done immediately.” Josh Smith was an electrical and computer engineering senior who took his own life the night of Sept. 11. He was

22 years old. He leaves behind his father Kelly Smith and sister Rebekah Maurer. His mother passed away from cancer about two years ago. Ginger Guinn, Smith’s girlfriend, is a junior philosophy major at the University. She remembers cramming for light exams with him and gorging themselves on sushi.

“We were up for up like three days straight, just getting really goofy on sleep deprivation, he wouldn’t let me sleep until I finished my paper,” Guinn said. “Josh was a really beautiful person, a lot of people loved him. It is shocking how many people came to his funeral.” Smith was the youngest

see SMITH on page 3

Starbucks holds grand opening today By austin Reynolds Starbucks will offer prizes, free samples and live music Wednesday at the official grand opening of the Starbucks located inside the University of Memphis Bookstore. The festivities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and students can enter the prize drawings at any time before winners are drawn at

The Daily Helmsman is a “designated public forum.” Students have authority to make all content decisions without censorship or advance approval. The Daily Helmsman is pleased to make a maximum of 10 copies of each issue available to a reader for free. Additional copies are $1. Partial printing and distribution costs are provided by an allocation from the Student Activity Fee.

2 p.m. Students do not have to be present at the drawing to claim their prize. Entrants will have a chance to win $100 bookstore gift cards, tickets in the Follett Suite to this Saturday’s Memphis football game against Arkansas State, and various other prizes such as a U of M polo shirt. Guitarist Trey Jewell and the jazz duo of Patrick Hyland and Kaleb Greene will perform live, according to director of auxil-

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iary services Sandra Barksdale, . Hyland and Greene are University of Memphis students, and Jewell is a local guitarist whose music can be found on iTunes. Bookstore manager Donna Collier said there will be a photo booth where people can have their photo taken with U of M mascot Pouncer from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Author Steve Bradshaw will

Tiger Babble Campus Life

2 National 3 Sports

sign copies of his book “The Skies Roared,” and Pamela Denney, a University of Memphis journalism professor, will sign her book “The Food Lovers’ Guide to Memphis.” The Starbucks opened a month ago, but the grand opening was put off for a number of reasons. “We had a soft opening at the beginning of the semester to

see OPENINg on page 5 6 7

2 • Wednesday, September 18, 2013



H ELMSMAN Volume 81 Number 15

Editor-in-Chief lisa Elaine Babb Managing Editor l. Taylor Smith Design Editors Faith Roane Hannah Verret Sports Editor Meagan Nichols General Manager Candy Justice


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DOMINO’S PIZZA Across 1 “Amazing” magician 6 Attire 10 Blacken on the grill 14 Locales 15 On the calm side, at sea 16 Hawaiian dance 17 *Auto wreck extraction tool 19 Children’s book author Blyton 20 NYC dance troupe 21 Palindromic fool 22 Hajji’s destination 23 *Princess Leia portrayer 26 Dueler’s cry 29 Totally unlike a muscleman 30 Author Uris 31 Soldier of fortune, briefly 32 Swanky parties 35 *Was on the same page as 40 Directional ending 41 Makes a boo-boo 42 Converse of “divided by” 43 Nativity scene trio 44 Shore restaurant specialty 47 *Inappropriately used therapeutic jargon 51 German autos 52 Trim, as expenses 53 Monopolize 56 Trigonometry ratio 57 Scary showing, and the first word of each answer to a starred clue 60 Words with date or precedent 61 __ and done with 62 Pacific kingdom called the Friendly Islands 63 Flair 64 Texas’s El __ 65 Family car Down 1 Indian monarch 2 Spirited horse 3 “Eye of __ ...”: “Macbeth” 4 Court prosecutors, briefly 5 Line on a weather map 6 In large amounts 7 Suspect’s “I was home asleep,” e.g.



“Due to my less than acceptable quiz score, my Spanish professor put sound effects on the PowerPoint to keep me interested.” @SpencerTurney

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8 Whistle-blower in a striped shirt 9 Spelling event 10 Like some pizza 11 Cop’s conjecture 12 Rocker Cooper 13 “M*A*S*H” character who hears choppers before anyone else 18 Shallow crossing 22 Cut into tiny pieces 23 Walking stick 24 Blunt-tipped weapon 25 Violent rage 26 If-then-__: programmer’s sequence 27 At hand 28 Dress at a ball 31 Jan. and Feb. 32 Fred and Wilma’s pet 33 Germany’s __ von Bismarck

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The University of Memphis

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 • 3

Campus Life

Wednesday Night Live comes to U of M By Omer Yusuf Wednesday Night Live will bring poet Knight Krawler to the University Center River Room from 7 to 9 p.m. The goal of the event is to bring free entertainment by bringing people such as comedians, artists and poets to campus. “We got our inspiration from Saturday Night Live, but we wanted to add our own spice to it,” Devin Gibbs, entertainment chair of the Student Activities Council, said. Wednesday Night Live happens one Wednesday every month throughout the school year. DeRAY Davis, Miguel, Rudy Currence, Ovious Maximus and Lee Nash are all scheduled to appear on the SAC lineup. Krawler has appeared in many underground poetry events and has written two books — “Endless Night” and “The Rules of Poetry” — as well as establishing the non profit organization GET AMPLIFIED INC. The goal of the organization is to uplift society through live performances, lectures, workshops and literature.

He also performed at the 2012 Northeastern Conference and the 2013 National Conference. When SAC was planning the lineup last semester, Bianca Cole, president of the organization, suggested they ask Krawler to perform at Wednesday Night Live. Gibbs believes that Wednesday Night Live has grown leaps and bounds since last semester.

Krawler is a wonderful poet and speaker. We knew we had to get him in.

Bianca Cole

“Attendance is up from last semester, and we are just trying to better ourselves each time,” Gibbs said. Tiana Scott, University Traditions chair, said that while Wednesday Night Live is already a great show, there could be improvements to help it reach more students. “I feel that Wednesday Night

Live is a great event, but we definitely need different promotion,” Scott said. “We need to capitalize on the social media aspect more, as well as putting up posters earlier and mainly just utilizing campus resources.” Scott also said that student input is valued, and there are evaluations for students to fill out at the event to gain feedback about how entertaining the event was. “It’s a lot of fun, there are a lot of different artists who are not known but are very humble and gracious to show their talent,” Scott said. Cole thinks that Wednesday Night Live will go well this week. “It will go fantastically,” Cole said. “We also want to reach out to other organizations such as the journalism department, writing, etc.” For SAC, the long-term goal of Wednesday Night Live is the same as the short-term. “We just want to supply the free entrainment in the middle of the week,” Gibbs said. “We know how the college life can be, and we want to give students a place to relax and make it through the rest of the week.”

Student Event Allocation Committee Applications Are Available! Student Event Allocation is a program that allows Registered Student Organizations to submit proposals for events and programs such as speakers, lectures, dance performances, etc. The Student Event Allocation Committee decides if the organization should receive monetary allocation for their programs, as well as the amount of money, based on the program proposal. The committee helps the organization with many aspects of their program planning and execution. Committee members are selected to serve for an entire academic year. Applications available in Student Leadership & Involvement (UC 211) Deadline: Friday, Sept. 20 Questions about this committee? Contact Angie Norwood

uuSmith Continued from page 1 undergraduate to work as a research assistant in the engineering department. This summer, he won second place in a DRS Technologies engineering competition in Florida. He was also working on patenting one of his many projects for the University. Robinson supervised Smith during his research tenure. He recalled giving Smith a difficult project that he mastered instantly. Eddie Jacobs, an associate electrical and computer engineering professor and one of Josh’s research supervisors, was highly impressed with his work on an underwater robot that could view things at the bottom of the ocean. “He demonstrated a whole lot of a potential to be a great electrical computer engineer,” Jacobs said. “My most joyous memory of him was the excitement he felt when we got involved solving a technical problem. He exuded the kind of enthusiasm you want to see in all of your students.” Jacobs and Robinson knew Smith throughout his mother’s struggle with cancer and eventual passing. “I met him right before his mom passed. He had coauthored a research paper for an international conference and had to pass on going to the conference because his mother could pass at any moment,” Jacobs said. Jacobs said after his mother died, there was “something

just sad about him,” but that Smith’s suicide took them by surprise. Robinson said they would talk a lot when he lost his mother and that he mainly listened, and offering advice when he could. “I just told him to let time do what it does,” Robinson said. “He came to talk to me this summer and told me he was moving in with his fiancée — he seemed happy — smiling like he was finally getting over the passing of his mom.” Robinson was blindsided by Smith’s suicide, saying it caught him totally off guard. “These kinds of events really make you question things,” Robinson said. “I want to be involved in the lives of my students, but obviously I missed something.” Bob Maichrowicz, the associate director of the U of M Counseling Center, said students who are grieving should surround themselves with supportive people and loved ones. “The most important thing for those affected is to talk about what has happened. Sharing and talking about it can be healing,” Maichrowicz said. “Josh knows if he reached out to us, anyone in this department would be eager to help him,” Robinson said. “There were a lot of teachers that really liked that guy.” At 9:40 a.m. on Thursday, all of the electrical engineering computer classes will observe a moment of silence in Smith’s honor.




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4 • Wednesday, September 18, 2013

uuRights Continued from page 1 makeshift entrance, signing a waiver and receiving a passport emblazoned with the crest, “Eat free or live free! You can’t do both!” printed on the front. Over 140 students waived their right to text, talk, socialize or take photos for a free burger or hot dog. When they broke the rules, black-shirted men with clubs came screaming in their faces, before throwing a once free lunch into a trash bag. The state, U.S. and University of Memphis flags waved overhead as SPJ officers served hotdogs and hamburgers, beans and potato salad to a long line of budgeting college students, but they weren’t allowed to choose what they wanted. “Oh, potato salad? Have some beans,” said SPJ Treasurer Ashley Deering as she served food on people’s plates. For Shenan Arnold, a junior fashion merchandising and marketing management major, the event helped her appreciate how much freedom American citizens have. “I think people don’t really appreciate their rights,” Arnold said. “A lot of people don’t have rights in other countries, so this is a good way to humble ourselves.” Deering admits that she was caught off guard by losing the rights that feel so common and natural to her. “I talk all of the time,” Deering said. “We’re so used to having our phone. It’s an eye opening experience.” Montavious Phillips, management information systems major and senior, was one of the SPJ staff members with a club in his hands. “You need to leave now,” he

photo By Nathanael Packard | staff

In honor of Constitution Day, the Society of Professional Journalists held a special event to remind students of the rights they have as residents of the United States. Students reveived free food but were not allowed to speak while eating it. The event showed students what it was like to be without the freedom of speech. said, pointing his club and forcing journalists and photographers out of the kingdom. According to Phillips, it some-

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times takes events like this to make people aware of the privileges that they have. “People often just live in the

moment and have no idea what is going on in the country and the world,” he said. “Ignorance is bliss. This is a way to get people to

understand what is going on and how appreciative and fortunate we are to have these certain rights and amendments.”

The University of Memphis

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 • 5

uuOpening Continued from page 1 allow for training of the staff,” Barksdale said. Collier said they wanted to wait until students were comfortable with their classes before the grand opening. “Our concentration at the beginning of the semester is students and students getting what they need, so we were concentrating on that,” Collier said. While still new to campus, the Starbucks has been popular for students looking for their caffeine fix. “We’re just really excited about this Starbucks, and the students seem to love it,” Collier said. “It’s very busy all the time and hopefully the lines will continue to move faster, and faster, as everybody gets more comfortable, but we’re glad to have it in the store, and we’re glad that everybody’s enjoying it so much.” Upon opening last month, the Starbucks took the place of the previous bookstore café. Construction on the Starbucks began after the end of the spring semester and was completed during the summer term.



photo By Nathanael Packard | staff

The Starbucks in the University Bookstore will host its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. There will be a prize giveaway, live music and book signings.

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6 • Wednesday, September 18, 2013


UA president: Sorority decisions based on race By Jay Reeves Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The University of Alabama is ordering changes in its sorority system amid charges of discrimination in the Greek-letter organizations, which the president acknowledged Tuesday are segregated by race. President Judy Bonner mandated that sororities belonging to a campus association composed of white sororities begin using a recruitment process in which new members can be added at any time, and she expanded the maximum allowable size of the groups to 360 people to increase the chances for prospective members. Bonner, in a video statement released by the university, said people are watching Alabama just as they did when it admitted its first black students five decades ago. “This time it is because our Greek system remains segregated and chapter members admit that during the recruitment process that ended a few weeks ago decisions were made

based on race,” she said. Bonner said “systemic and profound changes” were required for graduates to compete globally. “While we will not tell any group who they must pledge, the University of Alabama will not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” said Bonner, who became the university’s first female president less than a year ago. Bonner enacted the new policy Monday just days after the student newspaper, The Crimson White, detailed allegations that alumnae of some all-white sororities had blocked chapters from adding two black students as new members in August, when the university announced 1,896 new sorority members. Members of the Faculty Senate, meeting after Bonner’s statement was issued, said the new rush rules were a step in the right direction, but many said more action was needed to eradicate racism in Greek-letter groups. Language and classics teacher Sierra R. Turner, a black woman,

said opening up the recruitment process was “rather token” since it wasn’t accompanied by any way to measure progress. “It’s not good enough,” she said. Other teachers questioned why action wasn’t being taken to integrate men’s organizations, and some called for an investigation of a Greek-controlled organization called “The Machine” that influences campus politics. Faculty Senate President Steve Miller said students and teachers would march from the library to the administration building on Wednesday morning to demonstrate for change. “We’re going to be there awhile,” he said. University of Alabama trustee John England Jr., a state court judge in Tuscaloosa and a former member of the Alabama Supreme Court, last week confirmed his step-granddaughter was one of two young black women who tried to join an all-white sorority but were rejected for membership. Gov. Robert Bentley and trustee

Paul Bryant Jr., son of the legendary Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, are among those who have publicly criticized segregated Greekletter organizations at the university since The Crimson White story. The charges of racism are marring a year in which the university is trying to show racial progress in the 50 years since then-Gov. George C. Wallace’s “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” blocking integration at Alabama, and with the school’s football team ranked No. 1 nationally. Allegations of racism at Alabama provided a backdrop over the weekend at ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the 1963 bombing that killed four black girls at a church in Birmingham. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson suggested picketing all-white sororities at the university, and Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell, whose district includes Tuscaloosa, said the situation at Alabama shows discrimination isn’t dead. “When we still have fraternities and sororities in our state that block because of race, we still have work to do,” said Sewell.

The university enrolled a record 34,852 students this semester, and about 13 percent of its students last year were black. Its Greek organizations have been segregated by race since the first black students enrolled and established social organizations, with one oversight organization composed of white sororities and another composed of minority sororities. Only a few blacks ever have attempted to join historically white Greek groups at Alabama, where there are also historically black fraternities and sororities. University spokeswoman Cathy Andreen said Bonner’s order on recruitment applies to 18 white sororities in the Alabama Panhellenic Association, the campus arm of the National Panhellenic Conference. Eight black sororities and fraternities at Alabama are affiliated the National Pan-Hellenic Council Inc. The Interfraternity Council overs 27 historically white fraternities, and an umbrella organization is composed of leaders of all three groups.

clients of a fair trial. Engelhardt granted their request for a new trial, though he called it a “bitter pill to swallow.” “The government’s actions, and initial lack of candor and credibility thereafter, is like scar tissue that will long evidence infidelity to the principles of ethics, professionalism, and basic fairness and common sense necessary to every criminal prosecution, wherever it should occur in this country,” he wrote. Former police Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius and former officers Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon had been convicted of charges related to the shooting and coverup. Retired Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, who was assigned by the Police Department to investigate the case, wasn’t charged in the shootings but was convicted of orchestrating the cover-up. Engelhardt sentenced them to prison terms that ranged from six to 65 years. All five are serving those sentences. Villavaso’s attorney, Tim Meche, said he hopes the Justice Department re-evaluates whether the case should be retried. “The judge’s opinion validates our belief that this case was a perversion of justice,” Meche said. The Justice Department didn’t immediately comment on Tuesday’s ruling. Prosecutors said Faulcon fatally shot 40-year-old Ronald Madison, a mentally disabled man, in the back on the west side of the bridge as he and

his brother ran away from the gunfire on the east side of the bridge, where 17-year-old James Brissette had been shot and killed by police. Romell Madison, one of Ronald’s brothers, said the family is “extremely disappointed” and urged the Justice Department to appeal the judge’s ruling. “This decision re-opens this terrible wound not only for our family but our entire community,” he said in a statement. “From the beginning of this ordeal our family has sought justice, not just for ourselves, but for all the victims and families.” Former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten resigned in December 2012 after two of his top deputies — Sal Perricone and Jan Mann — acknowledgeded they had posted anonymous comments on, The TimesPicayune’s companion website, about cases their office had handled, including the Danziger Bridge investigation. Mann, who was Letten’s top deputy, told Justice Department investigators she told Letten about her posts shortly after Perricone’s activities were exposed in March 2012. Mann said Letten “didn’t have a big reaction” to her confession, according to the judge’s ruling. During a hearing in June 2012, Engelhardt said it appeared federal prosecutors didn’t conduct a “full-blown investigation” after The Associated Press and The Times-Picayune published articles about former officer Michael Lohman’s guilty plea while his case was under seal. Lohman pleaded guilty to par-

ticipating in a cover-up of the shootings. The Justice Department appointed John Horn, a veteran federal prosecutor from Georgia, to conduct a new probe of the allegations. Horn’s investigation revealed Karla Dobinski, a Washingtonbased attorney in the Justice Department’s civil rights division, posted anonymous comments on during the last week of the trial. Dobinski wasn’t part of the government’s trial team but testified at an April 2011 pretrial hearing.

Engelhardt said he was shocked by the revelation and cited it as a key factor in his decision to order a new trial. Horn also had asked that the two news organizations to disclose their sources of information about Lohman’s anticipated guilty plea, but both have refused. In a footnote to his ruling, Engelhardt said the news organizations “perpetuate the viability” of the officers’ bid for a new trial “and support its merit by

New trial ordered in post-Katrina bridge killings By Michael Kunzelman Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a new trial for five former New Orleans police officers convicted of civil rights violations stemming from deadly shootings on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina, concluding the case had been tainted by “grotesque prosecutorial misconduct.” In a 129-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt said at least three government attorneys posted anonymous comments on a New Orleans newspaper’s website, creating a “carnival atmosphere” that “distorted and perverted” justice in the case. “The public must have absolute trust and confidence in this process,” he wrote. “Re-trying this case is a very small price to pay in order to protect the validity of the verdict in this case, the institutional integrity of this court and the criminal justice system as a whole.” Less than a week after Katrina’s 2005 landfall, police shot and killed two unarmed people and wounded four others on the Danziger Bridge. Five former officers cooperated with a Justice Department investigation and pleaded guilty to engaging in a cover-up to make the shootings appear justified. After a jury convicted five other former officers in 2011, their attorneys argued that prosecutors’ online comments and leaks to news organizations were part of a “secret public relations campaign” that deprived their

see killings on page 7

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The University of Memphis

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 • 7


Top men’s basketball recruits schedule visits By Meagan Nichols The University of Memphis men’s basketball team received word from an ESPN-rated fivestar recruit this week that he will take an official visit to see the Tiger program during Memphis Madness on Oct. 18. JaQuan Lyle, the No. 22 rated player for the 2014 recruiting

class according to ESPN’s top 100 list, de-committed from the 2013 NCAA National Champions, the Louisville Cardinals, over the summer and is currently undeclared in his college decision. The 6-foot-4-inch, 185-pound point guard from Evansville, Ind. has official visits scheduled at University of Connecticut, Kansas University, University of Memphis and University of

Arizona. Also attending the Oct. 18 Memphis recruiting trip is fellow ESPN-rated five-star player and the No. 2 recruit on ESPN’s top 100, Cliff Alexander. The 6-foot-8-inch, 225-pound power forward from Curie High School in Chicago is scheduled to attend the same KU recruiting trip as Lyle on Oct. 4. Both Lyle and Alexander have

made their collegiate plans clear via Twitter and interviews with various news outlets that the pair intends to play basketball at the same college. “Reason I have 4 visits set up already is because I wanna play w/@humblekid11 and he had had the Kansas, Zona, and Memphis visits set up,” Lyle tweeted on Sept. 17. The Twitter handle humblekid11 is Alexander’s pro-

file name. Only time will tell what the hotly sought after Lyle, Alexander duo decides, but the Bluff City is on their radar. Memphis already received one verbal commitment from a fourstar point guard recruit out of Louisiana, Dominic Magee. The No. 71 recruit on ESPN’s top 100 declared his intent to play for the Tigers on Sept. 18.

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uuKillings Continued from page 6 implication” by refusing to identify their sources. The AP’s outside counsel in the case said the news organization stands by its position.

“Judge Engelhardt may be frustrated by the Justice Department’s respect for the reporters’ privilege in this case, but that privilege exists to promote the flow of important information to the public. A refusal to recognize the privilege

would surely cause significant sources of information to dry up, to the great detriment of all of us,” said David Schulz of the firm Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz. “The AP’s consistent position seeks to ensure the public has

the information it needs for our democracy to function,” Schulz said. Engelhardt instructed attorneys in the case to confer within 30 days to “determine scheduling needs” before asking him to schedule a status conference.


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8 • Wednesday, September 18, 2013

University of Memphis students help with inner-city rugby program By corey carmichael Many sports teams promote teamwork and provide ways to reach out to surrounding communities. The University of Memphis Rugby Club is no exception. Several members of the U of M club are involved with Memphis Inner City Rugby, a program that provides inner-city children a chance to play the game. One of the programs players, JC Russell, attests to rugby being a great sport for high school players. “We’re trying to reach the kids and give them something to do while building a good foundation through rugby,” Russell, an undecided sophomore at the U of M, said. “It teaches discipline, control, how to follow directions and how to work together as a team.” Head coach of the U of M rugby club, Richard Cole said the sport is unique and can especially benefit

those less fortunate. “We have a lot of athletes here that grew up in the inner-city, and they convert nicely to rugby, because they see they really have teammates they can count on,” he said. “One of the things they like about rugby is that they really know that the other players have their back.” Cole said rugby is a unique sport, constantly in motion. Of the 15 players on the field, eight are forwards who have to build a bond in order to succeed in scrums. Scrums involve the eight forwards aligned in a formation competing against the other teams’ forwards in order to regain possession of the ball. “More than any other sport, if you try to do it all yourself, it will not work,” Cole said. “But as you play with other players and work together, you can achieve goals, and that really instills a lot of camaraderie within the players.”

Along with teamwork and other values the sport teaches, the rugby program requires students to keep their grades up and provides tutoring for the students. “It gives them a reason to go to school, because you have to maintain grades to play,” Russell said. “It gives them a little extra motivation.” Memphis Inner City Rugby is a nonprofit organization. Players are provided cleats, equipment and insurance through donations. The program started a team at Kingsbury High School in August 2012 and added another team a few months later in October. Devin O’Brien and Shane Young founded the organization and have seen it grow from one team to six with over 200 students. The tutoring and academic services have helped lead to a 100 percent student acceptance rate into postsecondary institutes or military programs.

photo By NathaNael packard | staff

Captain Adam Hairston and Jonathan Bauer warm up Elma Roane Field before a scrimmage. Many player of the U of M Rugby Club are member of Memphis Inner City Rugby.


photo By NathaNael packard | staff

Ian Curry receives a pass during a warm up. The team practices every Tuesday and Thursday at Memorial Field.

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