march 19, 2014
texas a&m since 1893
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IN WITH THE NEW
University announces final plans for the $54 million Rec expansion, construction to begin Monday Sean Lester The Battalion
he Texas A&M Department of Recreational Sports announced the final plans Tuesday for a $54 million renovation and expansion to the Student Recreation Center that will be funded without an increase in student Rec Sports fees. The renovation of 56,000 square feet and the addition of 113,000 square feet to the facility will begin Monday and
completion is expected by December 2015. The construction will make the Rec one of the five largest student recreational centers in the nation. “Some people would say that this facility has been full since the day it was opened,” said Dennis Corrington, executive director of Rec Sports. “Since that time the student body has grown 25 percent. What our goal was when we started this project was to add enough square footage to match that 25 percent and we’re going to be
able to do that. Along with being able to do that, we’ll also be doing some major renovation, which was important to us.” The Rec will undergo three major renovations, beginning with an $8 million update to the natatorium and its equipment. “Natatorium equipment has a lifespan of between 15-20 years and it’s been 18 years, so it’s time to be replaced,” Corrington said. “We’re spending about $8 million just on replacing and refurbishing the interior of the pool, too — with paint,
new tile, et cetera. It’s going to be a lot like a new pool.” The Aggie swimming and diving teams will be displaced during the renovation and moved to a lone outdoor pool at the Rec from May until September. The team will share the pool with recreational swimmers and classes. Rick Hall, senior associate director of Rec Sports, said the PHOTOS PROVIDED Rec will also get a complete retrofit of its current lighting Conceptual images show the proposal plaza (top), second entrance (middle) and weight room See Rec renovation on page 2 (bottom).
Aggies test position changes, prep for South Carolina opener A&M moves from spring break to spring practice The Battalion
inside technology | 4 Hacker Bowl Competitors seek to turn on-the-spot creative thinking into opportunity.
Let’s be friends
Conner Darland The Battalion
David Cohen — THE BATTALION
Head coach Kevin Sumlin addresses the media during Tuesday afternoon’s press conference. familiarity in those situations always help you, especially when you’re going to play a quarterback who hasn’t played much, if at all. The stability of that offensive line and those running backs is going to be key to us going on the road and winning.” On the offensive line, Cedric Ogbuehi will rotate to the left tackle position previously held by outgoing senior Jake Matthews. But the surprise of the spring has been guard Germain Ifedi moving to right tackle.
“Germain Ifedi has really come on and he likes playing tackle,” Sumlin said. “He’s competing and the way he’s playing right now he doesn’t want to give it up.” Ifedi’s move has opened opportunities at the guard position for junior college transfers Jermaine Eluemunor and Avery Gennesy. With starting guard Jarvis Harrison out due to injury, the young players are getting a shot during spring practice. “We’re trying to create depth in the second line with
the two new guys,” Sumlin said. “We’re developing depth there and what we need to do is develop that kind of depth across the board defensively.” But Sumlin said it’s not just about playing the five best players entering a season when offensive line stability may be more important than ever with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm. “The thing about the offensive line is you want to See Spring practice on page 4
2014 marks 125th anniversary of Aggie Ring Association to commemorate symbol of spirit Homer Segovia
Aggies to tip off postseason Wyoming first up in 16-team CBI
Sean Lester on’t tell Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin it’s too soon to prepare for a game that won’t be played for another 161 days. Sumlin was in full game preparation mode Tuesday, detailing how holes will be filled and how players can help A&M win against South Carolina on Aug. 28 despite it being the first practice back from spring break. “I like a week off. I like spring break,” Sumlin said. “It was not our best effort but it was still pretty good. It’s like anything else — some guys have the retention all the time and some guys, they need to practice daily. South Padre doesn’t really help that. But that’s just how it works.” Sumlin addressed trying to find his starting five on the offensive line where he is keeping in mind that he will be starting an inexperienced quarterback. “What we’re looking for is to get them ready, but we are playing an elite game on the road in a hostile environment,” he said. “Guys with
ince its creation more than a century ago, the Aggie Ring has evolved from a piece of jewelry to one of the most recognizable symbols of the Aggie spirit. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Aggie Ring, which will be celebrated by honoring the ring throughout the year with unique Aggie Ring stories told via social media and Texas Aggie Magazine, said
Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of The Association of Former Students. As the milestone is observed, The Association of Former Students looks to the history captured by the two Aggie Ring collections found in the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center, The Josh Sterns and Memorial Ring Collections. The Josh Sterns Collection, named after its originator, features a ring from each class from 1891 to 1964 while the Memorial Ring Collection features rings of deceased Aggies from each class from 1965 to the present. Greenwade said by adding rings to the memorial
collection, families gain an additional place to remember their loved ones and the collection gains a representative from that class. “The Memorial Ring Collection is one that is very special to us and we are honored when family members choose to have their loved one’s ring showcased here,” Greenwade said. “We want people to see not just that ring but to know the story of the Aggie who wore that ring.” Every Aggie Ring made since 1947 has been handcrafted by Balfour, making the 125th anniversary of
he Aggie men’s basketball team will start its postseason action Wednesday against the Wyoming Cowboys. A&M (17-15, 8-10 SEC) accepted its bid to play in the College Basketball Invitational and will tip off against the Cowboys (14-8, 9-9 MWC) at 7 p.m. in Reed Arena. Head coach Billy Kennedy said the CBI was not where he wanted to end the season, but said some postseason play would be good for his players. “Two or three weeks ago, I knew all along that worst case scenario, if we got the chance to play that I would want to play,” Kennedy said. “I told [my players] all year long that we wanted to play postseason play in whatever tournament we get in. Obviously the NCAA Tournament was our goal.” Wednesday’s matchup will be the first appearance by A&M in the CBI’s seven-year history.
This also marks the Aggies 19th time to appear in postseason play and the eighth time within the last 10 seasons. The CBI is a singleelimination tournament that includes 16 teams and is hosted at on-campus arenas throughout the country. The championship of the CBI is a threegame series between the two finalists. Junior guard Jordan Green said he is excited for a chance to show what he can do in the postseason. “The last two years, you play until conference, then conference tournament and then you stop, but now it’s in our heads to continue to practice in March,” Green said. “I think it’s a great thing and a smart decision by coach to put us in [the CBI] and continue to play in March.” A&M has ranked third in both scoring defense — allowing 63.4 points per game — and field goal percentage defense — holding opposing teams to just .402 from the field. The Aggies are led by sophomore point guard and College Station native Alex Caruso. In the regular season, Caruso led See Basketball on page 3
Jonathan Sheen— THE BATTALION
Junior guard Jordan Green says he is excited to continue the season with the CBI.
See Ring on page 2
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page 2 wednesday 3.19.2014
THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT VOICE OF TEXAS A&M SINCE 1893
Jake Walker, Editor in Chief THE BATTALION is published daily, Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters and Tuesday and Thursday during the summer session (except University holidays and exam periods) at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. Offices are in Suite L400 of the Memorial Student Center. News: The Battalion news department is managed by students at Texas A&M University in Student Media, a unit of the Division of Student Affairs. Newsroom phone: 979-845-3315; E-mail: email@example.com; website: http://www.thebatt.com. Advertising: Publication of advertising does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by The Battalion. For campus, local, and national display advertising, call 979-8452687. For classified advertising, call 979845-0569. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Email: battads@ thebatt.com. Subscriptions: A part of the Student Services Fee entitles each Texas A&M student to pick up a single copy of The Battalion. First copy free, additional copies $1.
Rec renovation Continued from page 1
fixtures. The third renovation will include a new roof on the facility. Major changes students will see include the doubling of the size of the weight room and the addition of an outdoor plaza above it. “We’re expanding it by double and we’ll add about 30,000 gross square feet in that facility,” Corrington said. “We’re adding a personal training suite with evaluation offices and a workout area. We’re also adding a movement area into the weight and fitness room, so it’s going to be able to serve a lot more people.” The weight room will be moved to the first two basketball courts at the end of the semester to accommodate the construction. The Department of Rec Sports will meet Wednesday with architects from San Antoniobased design firm Marmon Mok to discuss the construction schedule and phases of the project. “Our team and the architect team led by Marmon Mok predicted a lot of those things and we’ll work with them,” Hall said. “One of the things we found out is we were prepared to close the weight room down during spring break, but they told us they won’t start doing anything in the weight room until June 1. That was a huge collaboration with them to say, ‘Hey, leave it the way you’ve got it now. Move it all out in May when the students are gone.’” In addition to the expanded weight room, two basketball courts, four volleyball courts, one soccer gym, an eight-lane indoor pool and new activity rooms will be added onto the fa-
Ring Continued from page 1
the ring momentous to the company as well. “We’ve been making the ring for a long time and understand the significance of the ring to Aggies,” said Willard Clark, Class of 1967 and Balfour representative. “We are pleased that we have been a part of the Aggie Ring program for such a significant period of time.” Clark took over the Aggie Ring account for Balfour from his father, Willard Clark, Class of 1942, creating a history with the ring that makes the account more than business for
cility, as well as a second entrance that will be located just north of Olsen Field. Corrington said the repayment of prior debt allowed the department to consider a renovation and further allow for no increase in student fees. The other factor that led to renovation plans was the percentage of students using the Rec. Upon opening in 1995, Corrington said the Rec served 85 percent of the student body. In recent years, he said that number has dropped to 75 percent for a number of reasons, including overpopulation. “If you try to go into the weight and fitness room between six and midnight you’re going to wait for a machine,” Corrington said. “When the students have a chance to [use the Rec], we’re full. That’s how I interpreted it and that’s the major thing that told me, ‘Let’s do something now.’” Hall said student surveys and new statistics also led to the consideration for renovation. “Later on, after we were open and operational, national standards became available that you should have nearly one square foot per person enrolled,” Hall said. “Well you saw how enrollment grew and it suggested we should have a 50,000 square foot weight room and we were at 14,000. There was a lot of different data and surveys that told us at our first opportunity we really needed to expand.” Corrington said the standard for the 55,000 students at Texas A&M is “about 600,000 gross square feet” for renovation. With the expansion and renovation of the Rec the facility will be 413,000 square feet.
Clark. “We are incredibly proud to produce the Aggie Ring, the largest ring account in America,” Clark said. “Between my father and I, we have serviced this account for over 50 years. It is a labor of love.” Manuel Ibarra, senior construction science major, is one of many students eagerly awaiting Balfour’s next distribution of Aggie Rings, and said the achievement means even more to him as a firstgeneration college student. “The most important thing is making my parents happy and letting them know that their sacrifice wasn’t a waste,” Ibarra said. “People will recognize me now not just be-
cause I’m wearing an A&M shirt that anyone can buy, but because I’m wearing a ring that not everyone can earn.” Many other universities offer class rings, but Greenwade said 125 years of history has created a luster in the Aggie Ring seen in no other. “The gold is no different than the gold that might be in any other ring, but it is what we all feel for Texas A&M,” Greenwade said. “That feeling that we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves and that when we wear that ring, we have a responsibility to represent not just ourselves, but to represent Texas A&M and the core values of Texas A&M.”
THU & FRI, MARCH 20 & 21
7:30 PM • Rudder Auditorium
GET TICKETS MSC Box Office • 979-845-1234 MSCOPAS.org
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thebattalion 3.19.2014 page3
Lankford swats walk-off double
Extra-innings win comes after sluggish start Tyler Stafford The Battalion
late-inning push led to the third walk-off win of the season for the No. 23 Texas A&M baseball team as it beat the Columbia Lions 8-7 before a Tuesday night crowd of 3,526 at Blue Bell Park at Olsen Field. With one out in the 11th inning, junior first baseman Cole Lankford hit a double to the gap in right-center that drove in Blake Allemand for the gamewinning run. “I told our team I’m very, very proud of them,” head coach Rob Childress said. “There have been a lot of moments that have made me proud so far this year, but tonight’s by far and away the most.” Allemand, who scored from first base after a one out single, ran through the stop sign of third
base coach Andy Sawyer on his way to the plate. “I didn’t even know he gave me a stop sign until after I got up from scoring,” Allemand said. “I’m not going to lie to you, the ball landed as I got to second base and I said, ‘I’m scoring regardless.’ Luckily it worked out, otherwise it would have been a bonehead play.” Freshman starting pitcher Tyler Stubblefield (3-1, 1.91) doubled his season total of earned runs when he gave up three in two innings pitched. Stubblefield walked one, allowed five hits and did not record a strikeout in 45 pitches. The Aggies (15-8, 1-2 SEC) responded in the bottom of the second when sophomore shortstop Logan Taylor ripped a double to the right-center gap that scored freshman left fielder Nick Banks. Sophomore southpaw Matt Kent relieved Stubblefield and went 2.2 innings giving up three hits, two earned runs and strik-
Continued from page 1
David Cohen — THE BATTALION
Junior first baseman Cole Lankford hit a walk-off double in the 11th inning Tuesday to seal the A&M win, 8-7. ing out two on 48 pitches. Kent worked out of a jam in the third inning after an error and a single put two Lions on with one out recording back-to-back groundouts. In the fourth, Lion left fielder Robb Paller ripped an 0-1 pitch
over the visiting bullpen in right field to put Columbia up 5-1. A&M chipped away at the lead – scoring one run in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Full story at thebatt.com
the SEC in both assists (154) and assists per game (4.8), while ranking second in steals. “We’re looking forward to playing again,” Caruso said. “No one likes being done this early in the year. I heard coach say it’s not where we want to be, and it’s definitely not where our goal was, but it’s something and I think it’s something that we can win.” Wyoming hails from the Mountain West Conference and lost its previous matchup to the UNLV Rebels, 71-67, in the second round of the MWC Tournament. The Cowboys will be without Larry Nance Jr., who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, due to an ACL tear. Instead, they will look to sophomore guard Josh Adams to lead the Cowboys into Reed Arena. The Aggies currently own the all-time series with Wyoming 3-1, with the Cowboys taking the previous matchup 79-70 on March 13, 1986, during the National Invitation Tournament. Kennedy served as an assistant coach at Wyoming in the 198788 season, where the Cowboys reached their first NCAA tournament appearance. Should the Aggies win against Wyoming, they will face the winner of the Morehead State and Illinois State matchup Monday in the CBI quarterfinals.
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puzzle answers can be found on page 4
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3/18/14 11:15 PM
Customer Appreciation Day! Party on the Patio Rattlers @ Hullabaloo March 19 1pm-5pm
Competition puts twist on hacking connotation
Hacker Bowl brings together students, prospective employers Alexander Nelowet
Come out and be appreciated March 19th. We will have FREE Ball park Hot Dogs, Free Gifts, not to mention a DJ from 1-2, and LIVE MUSIC from 2-5. Come and join the fun and check out Rattlers!
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The Battalion hile hacking is sometimes associated with stealing or committing crime, Aggies will compete Saturday in A&M’s inaugural Hacker Bowl in hopes of winning prizes and gaining interviews with sponsoring companies. Adam Steele, event organizer, said the Hacker Bowl is a conference that evolved out of a hackathon — an event in which computer programmers collaborate on software projects — that took place at A&M last year. Saturday’s event will feature university students from across the state. Steele said the Hacker Bowl is a great event in which teams will work against each other to devise the most original and innovative proTHE gram they can to win a trophy and a potential RICHARDS GROUP start-up fund from one of the sponsors. TRG JOB #: “Students that are hackers, such as programSBU-14-0024 mers, designers or engineers come in and basiCLIENT: SMU cally design and build something,” Steele said. TITLE: “A team of three brings their laptops and they Master’s College Spring Print start coding in some language and build somePUB: thingA&M cool, something that they think is needed Texas Battalion or that they want or something to entertain INSERTION: them. Then the best programs or apps are voted 2/26/14 TRIM: on by judges to see who will win the trophy.” 4.94"Sarvesh x 10.5" Kaslay, an event organizer for HackCOLOR: CMYK er Bowl and management information systems LINE SCREEN: graduate student, said the term “hackathon” is SNAP/85 a misrepresentation of what actually goes on at FOR QUESTIONS these events. CALL: “A hackathon is actually kind of a misnoKathleen Pendergast 214.891. 2918 mer because people tend to get a negative vibe when they hear the term hacking,” Kaslay said. “In reality, a hackathon involves building stuff in a short amount of time, usually by coming up with smart solutions for day-to-day needs, be it a utilitarian app or an engrossing game” Rafael Cesar, sophomore computer science major, said this Hacker Bowl is a tremendous employment opportunity because if offers students the opportunity to display their technical abilities before sponsors, including companies like Google and Facebook. Cesar said he re-
ceived interviews after participating in previous hackathons. “Employers not only get to see the end result of your technical ability through the project you created, but they also get to see you interact with other people in a team environment for 24 hours,” Cesar said “That’s something you would not usually get from an interview or a trip to the career fair.” Steele said many companies sponsor hackathons because it is a great opportunity to see students creating ideas and working in teams. “For a hackathon, it makes a lot of sense for companies to come in and see what people can do, if they can build something awesome in a short amount of time, see if they are coachable, if they learn quick, if they can get along,” Steele said. “Honestly they can see a resume and all that, but this is a different atmosphere for them to observe students.” Bryan Bulte, managing director of Seed Sumo, one of the Hacker Bowl’s main sponsors, said his company is interested in promoting idea creation and entrepreneurship and helping students strengthen their coding abilities. “Fostering entrepreneurship is one of the biggest initiatives we have at Seed Sumo,” Bulte said. “Hackathons go a long way to demo what a [development] team can accomplish in short sprees without all the red tape. Hopefully students get reminded about why they love coding. Hacking makes you think instinctively and forces you to make decisions quickly and helps to sharpen your skills. “ Cesar said he enjoys these events because of the chance to meet and speak with a group of individuals who are tech savvy, interested in innovation and have similar interests. “A hackathon, for the most part, brings together a group of like-minded individuals who all share the same passion for technology and drive to innovate and create something awesome,” Cesar said. “Many of those people go on to do amazing things, and chatting with them helps build your network in ways that you would not have been able to without having met them.” The event will run for 24 hours and will take place at the Zone Club at Kyle Field. There will be a presentation after the 24 hours where the teams will showcase their projects.
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SBU140024 AM 4_9x10_5.indd 1
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create what we call a nickel and not five pennies,” Sumlin said. “The five best guys aren’t always the best olinemen. We’ll figure that out now but the experience that Germain has or is getting gives us some real different combinations without putting an inexperienced player on the field right away at South Carolina.” As the offensive line continues to take shape, a fellow offensive player tried his hands at a new position on Tuesday. Sophomore receiver Ricky Seal-Jones lined up as an inside receiver in the Aggie offense with his coaches looking to take advantage of his 6-5, 238-pound frame. “It’s inevitable that he’s going to be in the 240s because that six-pack looks pretty good at 238,” Sumlin said. “He’s still going to have it at 245 or 250. He can create some matchup problems by flexing out and being a motion guy. He showed some things today to be physical.
David Cohen — THE BATTALION
Head coach Kevin Sumlin says it is important to find the best offensive linemen that work well together. We’ve been around guys like that who were wide receivers in high school and played basketball then came in and became a good, flexible, inside receiver guy. He’s open to that and now’s the time to look at that.” The Aggie coaching staff has preached a desire for depth at the linebacker position, and Sumlin said sophomore Jordan Mastrogiovanni has gained confidence as an inside linebacker. “Jordan’s comfortable, which is key to that position,” Sumlin said. “Some guys are comfortable in the
THAT KEEPS ME GOING BOTH ON AND OFF THE FIELD.
middle of the defense, some guys aren’t. Some guys like it on the edge but Jordan likes it in there. I think he’s really embraced the confidence and leadership part of the position.” Sophomore Reggie Chevis is another player Sumlin said he has his eyes on, but there is one player who Sumlin said is standing out six practices into the spring. “I think the guy who is the wildcard right now is A.J. Hilliard,” Sumlin said. “He’s a guy who played as a freshman at TCU. He’s a flexible player in there and can play all three spots. We have to be smart where we put him.” As Sumlin and his staff continue to determine the depth on both sides of the ball, the team will return to the practice fields for the seventh practice of the spring on Thursday.
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