October 24, 2013
W W W. V S U S P E C TAT O R . C O M
Inside This Issue
Blazers play rivals North Alabama Saturday, pg. 5.
- OPiniOnS: “addressing ‘Stranger danger’” - FEATURES: “Kanye puts a ring on media mama”
- SPORTS: “VSU’s men’s basketball is back”
Today at VSU Fall career exPo - office of career opportunities is hosting the Fall career expo at the Uc’s Magnolia and cypress rooms from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students and alumni can network with employers and explore options in various fields.
Breast cancer awareness - Members of the distinguished Women of excellence are selling breast cancer awareness pins for $1 in the Student Union at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Friday. Half of the profits will go to the laMP Foundation.
enactus cluB and redi the enactus club has partnered with the non-profit redi organization, after a trip to africa, to help a group of women in Kenya trying to change their families’ lives through economic enterprise. Behind odum library at 6:15 p.m.the event’s goal is to raise awareness of water-based troubles across the globe. the event includes prizes and donations of any size will be accepted.
Weather Today Sunny
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Joe Adgie Social Media editor email@example.com
the atM at the University center is moving to the Student Union. that was revealed by VSU President dr. William McKinney at last thursday’s Faculty Senate meeting during his question and answer session. dr. McKinney explained the reasoning behind the move. “an atM should be in the Student Union,” dr. McKinney said. “it’s more well-lit, there’s more student traffic, that atM is not in an ideal and safe location. that atM
is going to be moved.” the decision was in response to the robbery incident at the Uc atM on oct. 3, when a student was forced at gunpoint to withdraw $1,000 from his account. Michael Humphrey, Valdosta local, was arrested in connection to the robbery. Student reaction has been very positive. “i think it would be beneficial if they moved the atM closer to main campus, based on the recent situation where there was a kidnapping,” claire contevita, senior mass media major, said. “it is dangerous there, especially in the middle of the night, and i know a lot of students live on campus. if they want to get
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“ It’s more well-lit,
there’s more student traffic, that ATM is not in an ideal and safe location. That ATM is going to be moved. ” - President McKinney
money and they want to go out, they have to go all the way out in the dark, and that’s not safe.” contevita felt that if the atM was moved to a more populated area, it would be safer for students. “the atM movement to the Student Union would be
Will Lewis / The SPecTaTor
The campus ATM is currently in front of the UC. Dr. McKinney proposed moving the ATM to the Student Union.
an excellent idea,” christopher Powell, freshman undecided major, said. “it’s closer, it’s more safe, well-populated, it’s not in some random parking lot that you go to in
Joe Adgie firstname.lastname@example.org
ritsuki Miyazaki / The SPecTaTor
Jeremy Johns, freshman mass media major, dressed as a ninja as he climbed his way to the top of the rock climbing wall setup in the rotunda of the Student Union. CORE Outdoors hosted a Halloween climbing event. Participants were encouraged to dress up in Halloween costumes as they climbed the wall.
the middle of the night. it just seems a lot safer in the Student Union.” there was no timetable announced on the atM relocation.
SGA dismisses SAVE proposal Social Media editor on Monday night, SaVe (Students against Violating the environment) went to the SGa for support of their divestment program and didn’t get it. the divestment program concerns requesting the VSU Foundation to “freeze any new investments in the fossil fuel industry and commit to a plan to divest all of its holdings in fossil fuels within five years,” according to a letter that SaVe sent to the organization on oct. 11. the SGa, however, expressed concerns with the consequences of this divestment program. “i do know a few compa-
nies that are what (SaVe) would consider that we need to divest from,” Sen. tamelonie thomas said. “they do play an integral part in our scholarship. they play an integral part in our special projects on campus, and i don’t want it to seem as though the SGa is stepping out and saying ‘the student body is against this’ when we don’t exactly know who these companies are.” thomas was referring to a line in SaVe’s presentation that read “We have included a list of the 200 largest fossil fuel extraction companies from which we are asking to divest.” SaVe did not list these companies, nor did they mention any of these companies, See SGA, Page 2
Solar panels bring green energy to Odum Jordan Barela a S S t. M U lt i M e d i a editor email@example.com
On the Web
Robbery prompts ATM relocation
naacP #ProJectKJ News of the Kendrick Johnson case, a lowndes High School student who died, has swept the town and VSU’s NaacP will be leading a forum to raise awareness of the case in Jennett lecture Hall, room 2111, at 7 p.m. Follow VSU’s NaacP twitter @VSU_NaacP. V-day auditions - Male and female students students interested in acting next semester can audition for V-day 2014’s “a Memory, a Monologue, a rant and a Prayer” sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. auditions will be held in odum library, room 1460.auditions are today from 5 to 7 p.m. and Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, email Beth thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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VSU is moving in a greener direction. a solar canopy was recently built behind odum library. the canopy is a 10 kilowatt solar array. the canopy produces energy that goes directly to odum library, and does not go to the Georgia Power grid. construction of the solar canopy began in September, and was finished earlier this month. “it is exciting,” danielle Jordan, president of Students against Violating the environment, said. “We cannot address climate change without decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels and solar is one way we could change that.” the solar panels were manufactured by a company called enphase. enphase is the leading micro-inverter system provider
“ We cannot address climate change without decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels and solar is one way we could change that.” - danielle Jordan
for both residential and commercial solar panels. a solar micro-inverter is integrated into each solar panel module and converts the output into an alternating current so that multiple units may be connected in parallel connections. the company provides a high-tech approach to the solar panels and the micro-inverter systems they produce. enphase’s vision is “to make solar simple and energy smart so everyone is empowered to create a zero energy footprint for themselves, their home, and their business,” according to their website. the canopy itself was built
Von Kennedy / The SPecTaTor
The solar canopy sits behind Odum Library and produces energy for the building. The project cost VSU $69,800.
by Hannah Solar, a solar company located in atlanta. the cost of the solar canopy project was $69,800. With the recent addition of the solar canopy, a question arises: Will VSU have more solar panels or canopies on campus? “i think there is a broad interest in exploring the possi-
bilities of renewable energy,” Michael Noll, associate professor of Geography and president of Wiregrass activists for clean energy, said. the biggest contributing factor to more solar panels on campus would be how to budget the costs of the panels. “(We) have everything in
place to have more solar at VSU, i think we just have to be more courageous and embrace it,” Noll said. “that is easier said than done, you have to pay the bills still.” “it would be beneficial, and it is the smart and responsible thing to do,” Jordan said.
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OCTOBER 24, 2013
Continued from Page 1 by name at Monday night’s meeting, and the Others in the SGA expressed confusion as to SGA was unable to determine what these what this divestment program entailed. companies were. However, this list is avail“I went to dictionary.com to make sure I able on the Fossil Free campaign’s website at knew what divestment was,” Senator Tamera gofossilfree.org. Dunn said. Other SGA members explained the benefit Senator Edgar James called for a hand vote this divestment program would provide to to see how many senators actually understood VSU. the program. “The thing is when you invest into a com“Investments and gas stuff are difficult to pany, you’re empowering understand,” Senator Matt them,” said Senator Candicee Lovelace said. “I was a fiChilds, SGA representative of major when I was in It’s not a common is- nance the Faculty Senate’s Environmy undergrad, and I still sue that you hear mental Issues Committee. “If have difficulty understandyou take away your investing what they’re talking about, but basically ment, you’re sending a mesabout. Don’t be ashamed they want to send a sage (that says) we as a peosaying you don’t underple, as human beings, undermessage that we care stand either.” stand the issues that (are) goIt was this lack of about our environing on with our climates, and understanding that helped ment and our health. defeat the measure of supwe want a better environment.” -Candicee Childs port, as 18 senators abChilds explained that stained from voting on the SAVE wanted the VSU Founmeasure. Three senators dation to “invest in companies that actually voted in support of SAVE while 13 voted care about us as humans with the environagainst. ment.” The SGA vowed, however, to work with “It’s not a common issue that you hear SAVE on future projects. about, but basically they want to send a message that we care about our environment and our health,” Childs said.
Oct. 17 A professor reported some books had been stolen from Ashley Hall. A Ti83 calculator and an Adidas backpack were stolen from Patterson Residence Hall. Graffiti was discovered on the exterior of the Fine Arts Building facing Brookwood Dr. A girl came to the lobby of Centennial Hall to report that her car had been broken into. Oct. 18 Brendan Stubblefield, 23, was arrested for driving under the influence after he ran a stop sign. His car was turned over to Tipsy Transit. A burglary was reported at the construction site on North Campus. An iPhone was reported stolen from Nevins Hall 2111. Chase Jackson,18, was arrested for breaking into the band office. He was charged with Burglary, Interference with Government Property and Theft by Taking.
Upcoming Events Oct. 25 The “Blue House” at 111 W Moore Street will host a Russian style Halloween at 2:30pm. Oct. 26 The 2014 Miss Valdosta State University Scholarship Pageant will be held in Whitehead Auditorium in the
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Fine Arts Building at 7pm with doors opening at 6pm. Tickets are $5 for students and children under the age of 12 and $10 for adults. The Black Student League will present ScreamFest from 7- 11 p.m. on the Front Lawn.
AVAILABLE NOW! $100.00 DEPOSIT @ TREELOFT. 3BR/2BA $725-775, 1BR/1BA $450-475, 3 blocks from VSU, cathedral ceiling, pool & laundry facilities, water & garbage included. 229-561-0776
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october 24, 2013
vsuspectator.com | page 3
Our point of view...
Addressing ‘Stranger Danger’ C
ampus safety is usually one of those subjects that fall to the background until it is compromised. With the recent influx of crime on campus, the issue of safety has found its way to the forefront of discussions. VsU administrators have since then taken steps to improve the safety of students and faculty while on campus, but many still question whether or not their efforts are enough. While we don’t believe the
safety measures VsU currently has in place are sufficient, it would be irresponsible to assert that more can be done by the university. no matter how much effort and funding goes into safety, the university can’t guarantee the safety of every single student and faculty member on campus. if the students want to lessen their chances of a runin with potential criminals, they must adopt a certain level of self-accountability. Walking alone at night is an
easy way to become a target of theft. Avoiding dimly lit areas after certain times is a simple measure to lessen the chances of being assaulted. during a recent faculty senate meeting, president William McKinney stated that in response to the robberies around the University Center, VsU would relocate the AtM to the student Union. Although the AtM was located at the University Center for stadium patrons, it would seem as if the safety of students trumped the con-
venience of fans. Measures such as this are necessary, but is moving an AtM to a better-lit location enough? Apparently not for VsU, because in response to a rash of bicycle thefts, a portion of VsU’s budget has been spent on improving video surveillance around campus. Many bike thefts have gone unresolved due to the ineffectiveness of security cameras. More cameras could help with identifying persons suspected of theft. some are still not satisfied
with the steps taken by the university to improve campus safety, but what more is possible? We believe that the student body would only reject more extreme measures such as mandatory curfews or a buddy system. it’s hard to find a balance between protection and freedom. VsUpd can’t ensure one without encroaching upon the latter. We assert that judgment on the efficiency of these new measures should be held pending a review of their af-
fectivity. if newer cameras, an updated campus alert system and AtM relocation aren’t enough to ensure safety, then the only plausible course of action is to put some of the responsibility on students. How do you feel about the administration’s response to campus safety? express your opinions by sending the staff a tweet at @vsuspectator.
This editorial was written by John Preer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and it expresses the general opinion of the editorial staff.
Racial quotas still needed Isaiah Smart s tA f f W r i t e r email@example.com
this school year has had its share of controversy and concerns. Last week, the conversation didn’t end. the Young Conservatives of America posted an affirmative action bake sale outside of West Hall last week that got a few students up in arms. the bake sale, said to be a national initiative by the organization, provided prices that varied based on different groups in the nation, but let’s talk about affirmative action and what it means. Affirmative action has been a means for years to make our nation more inclusive of minorities. the initiative has been in place for years and has put a number of Latinos, African-Americans, Asians and women in the workplace. for some, this is a form of institutionalized racism. When considering a minority for a position, the employer now has a more stern judgment on hiring someone that they possibly
didn’t want there in the first place. this initiative follows up into what seems to be regulated racism/segregation. Affirmative action and institutionalized racism can be combated, and the most effective way is through mentality. the only real way to change these things in our society is to change the nation’s, and even the world’s, way of thinking. i will say that at its inception, affirmative action was needed. We needed to force the hand of corporations and businesses in order to get minorities into jobs. now, i feel as though we’ve progressed enough as a nation to not have to force-feed diversity to institutions. it should be a desire of all to have the most efficient, diverse workplace. After the climatic end of the civil rights movement, our nation reached a critical transition in economy and societal change. in that period, i feel that we slowed down on the push for change, and now we’re forced to get the wheel turning again. this is only the tip of an iceberg full of controversy, miscommuni-
cation and poor education. it’s like the civil rights era was a car that ran constantly and then sat in the yard for years. this car is now rusted and harder to move, yet we’re trying to do all we can to get it back on the road of human rights. Here’s the catch: this change has to be wanted and acted upon. saying that we want equal representation and a level playing field cannot only be the end. We have to act upon these words to see change. i have come to the unfortunate conclusion that we can’t change everyone’s way of thinking, but if we continue to speak and work towards it there will be a wildfire of change. the complete removal of affirmative action would be ideal in a world that accepted applicants of all backgrounds based on the meeting or exceeding of qualifications. the truth behind that is we don’t have an effective way of regulating the abolishment and we need a lot more people who are willing to act for the change. in due time, my friends.
s tA f f W r i t e r firstname.lastname@example.org
the Affordable Care Act website sucks, the law does not. the perception that the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) website somehow takes away from the law allowing underprivileged Americans who cannot afford health care is truly misleading. Conservative news outlets (not republicans – there is a difference) have made the ObamaCare website into an example of both the incompetence of the Obama administration and flaws of the law. in actuality, technical difficulties do not fall on the shoulders of the president but of the i.t. department of the company that designed the site. the first thing people look for when they need a service performed is what it will cost to get it done. the ObamaCare website was no different. With a less-than-perfect credit rating for the coun-
try, constant revision to the debt ceiling every six months and budget cuts galore, common sense can show that America was fiscally responsible in its decision making when looking for a webmaster. Glitches and errors occur in all systems even when top dollar is paid, so expect errors when people pay pocket change for quality. Yes, the designers knew there would be problems with signing up for health care in our country before the website was launched, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be fixed in due time. in the last two years BlazeView, VsU Hallnet and the VsU website have had major overhauls. Also, the VsU
Do you think your degree will get you a good job or a load of debt?
Leiyan Smiley junior chemistry major
Shane McGuire freshman criminal justice major
“i believe my job will not end me a load of debt but a promising career.”
“As of right now i’ve got a lot of student loans i’m trying to pay off.”
Want more opinions? Check out the Video People Poll online at: youtube.com/ValdostaSpectator
Godly conversation at VSU Religious organizations on the rise throughout campus Elan Waite
ObamaCare: No glitch Von Kennedy
email system has changed more than a model at a fashion show, and there are still data transfers, glitches, errors and other maintenance needed every other friday from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. the Affordable Care Act will substantially enhance the lives of many Americans who cannot pay for a visit to the doctor. My academic advisor, dr. pat Miller, broke it down to me this way: “Why do we have public schools? Because the country is better off when our citizens are educated.” she then added that it is the same reason we need the Affordable Care Act – because our country will be better off when everyone is healthy. A website and its glitches will not change that fact.
A s s i s tA n t OpiniOns editOr email@example.com
the saying goes “You don’t talk religion or politics.” that is how it is still seen for many people who know that both topics can lead to an often unwarranted and heated debate. the different views on both vary and are often unclear until a conversation is started. it’s very tricky, especially with religion. those who talk politics are viewed as educated and enlightened, but too often those who even dare to speak on religion are labeled zealots or extremists. it begs the question, where can religion be discussed openly and freely? A college campus, a place of higher learning, should always serve as a forum for educated discussion and debate. religion on college campuses is growing. More campuses are starting religiousbased organizations. VsU even has a few such as Hillel, a Jewish organization; MsA, the Muslim students Association; and a few Christian programs such as Campus Out-
Sports Editor: eric Jackson Photo Editor: ritsuki Miyazaki Multimedia Editor: rebecka McAleer Web Designer: John preer Copy Editor: Olivia McLean Social Media Editor: Joe Adgie Faculty Advisers: dr. pat Miller, dr. ted Geltner, Keith Warburg
and academic, there is no doubt that we would be creating a more understanding and tolerant group of students. religion on campus is needed for this exact reason. the stereotypes surrounding each religion can only be combated with knowledge. We have an opportunity that students were not as lucky to have 50 years ago. We have diversity. even on this campus there are people all around who are different in one way or another. “share accurate information about what we believe,” Abdul salah, senior interdisciplinary studies major, said when asked what he wanted the Muslim students Associa-
tion to do. He talked about hopefully having an interfaith panel where established members of various religions could talk about their faith and possibly answer questions. this would allow conversation to start and educate students on other religions. the only problem is getting students to come out. Many students find it valuable to have the organizations on campus for other students’ personal gain. “for some students it’s very important that you have some type of religious organization going on,” Myinda scarbrough, junior psychology major, said. “i wouldn’t want to be part of a campus that doesn’t have any.” Getting younger people involved in religious organizations is crucial to their growth. it is important that they continue to get people interested in the groups so they can continue. religious organizations on campus coexist, function and flourish, and this is needed especially today. the student body should see this, and even if they don’t join or go to any meetings they should know that the organizations are here and open.
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reach. Many of the organizations open their doors to anyone who would like to come in regardless of their reli gious affiliation. there is also the department of philosophy & religious studies which offers classes to educate students on religions from all over the world. With all these opportunities for religious education on campus, both extracurricular
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Online at www.vsuspectator.com Opinions expressed in the spectator other than editorials are the opinions of the writers of signed columns and not necessarily those of the spectator and its staff. All rights reserved. reprints by permission of the editors. Views in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the Valdosta state University administration, faculty and staff.
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OCTOBER 24, 2013
Kanye puts a ring on media mama f MCTcampus Newly engaged, Kim Kardashian at a Mercedes-Benz event.
irst up this week, Vh1 premiered the highly anticipated biopic of ‘90s girl group tLC. starring Keke Palmer, Drew sidora and Lil Mama, the film chronicled the group’s rise to stardom as well as their financial struggles. at one point, the girls were only getting paid $25 a week. sMH. all three actresses deliv-
ZOMBIES ATTACK VSU! Brian Hickey s ta f f w r i t e r
Not only are they in October movie marathons, but zombies have been spotted on the VsU campus – all thanks to Campus recreation. this year Campus recreation will be putting on its annual haunted trail. the trail will be located behind the sustella parking deck by the COre ropes course. admission to the haunted trail will be $3 for VsU students and $5 for VsU faculty, staff and Valdosta community members. the trail will be available Oct. 28-30, 8-10:30 p.m. this year’s trail has a different twist. “Zombie takeover” is the theme, a new idea
Campus recreation hopes to be very popular among students. “there have been lots of stuff in the news about zombies in the past two years, and the walking Dead is super popular,” said Katy Latevola, graduate assistant for special events and student development. “we knew the zombie theme would be an automatic thrill to people.” that is not the only thing Campus recreation has up its sleeves. it has also worked with a scare coach who owns haunted houses in the atlanta area. “Participation numbers are also way up,” said Katherine Geter, senior and team leader for special events and student development. “this will help as far as that scary factor and having something
around every corner (goes).” students also have the opportunity to participate in the trail as volunteers. as always, donations are accepted. “we ask (volunteers) to provide their clothes,” Latevola said. “we have masks and someone doing their makeup for them.” all proceeds raised from the event will go into a scholarship funded by Campus recreation to help students attend a nationwide conference where students interested in recreation or fitness and wellness can network or get graduate assistantships. students interested in volunteering for the haunted trail are encouraged to email Katy Latevola at email@example.com.
Apple to have new gear
et again, this week proved to be a week filled with rumors and new gadgets. Microsoft released a remote Desktop app for android and iOs that allows you to use your PC from an android or iOs phone or tablet. Microsoft is working on a version for windows Phone 8. if you did not update your windows rt device to 8.1, you can now. after a glitch for the upgrade was found, it was removed from the app store and has now been replaced. the windows 8.1 PC upgrade is also available. apple had another keynote and announced some new hardware as well as gave us some updates. the Mac Pro has finally been given some specs. it has a 3.7GHz quadcore Xeon CPU, up to 12GB raM, 1tB ssD and uses
Spec Tech with Steven Setser
three 4K displays. it also has four UsB 3.0 ports and six thunderbolt 2 ports. it will be available at a later date at a starting price of $2,999. say goodbye to the iPad, unless you have an iPad 2. the iPad is dead, but the iPad air replaces it. the iPad air looks like a giant iPad Mini from last year. it has the new look, the new a7 and M7 chips found in the iPhone 5s and has better 4G. it will be available on Nov. 1 for $499. the iPad Mini with retina Display was also revealed to have a better screen, better wi-fi and the same new chips from the iPhone 5s. it
will be available Nov. 1 for $399. the iPad 2 will stay and have a price of $399, the same as the just-announced iPad Mini. Did apple miss the price point of its small tablet? Nintendo of Japan has stopped the production of wii consoles. Nintendo representatives have said that production remains unchanged in the U.s., but for how long? it looks like Nintendo is shifting focus away from the wii and onto the wii U. Microsoft announced that it has extended its “Games with Gold” game program indefinitely on the Xbox 360. Microsoft said it will give more details later if the same service is coming to its next generation system, Xbox One. Continue SpecTech on the Web Spectator!
ered stellar performances; some even said Lil Mama’s portrayal of Lisa “Left eye” Lopes was uncanny. it was all worth it. the film premiered to an estimated 4.5 million viewers on its first broadcast, shattering records for Vh1. One person who probably wasn’t watching was none other than Ms. Kim Kardashian, but she won’t be go-
ing by that name much longer. Kim’s baby daddy, Kanye west, proposed to the reality star on her 33rd birthday in the only way Kanye west could. the rapper rented out the san francisco Giants’ baseball stadium as a venue for his grand gesture of love. Complete with an orchestra, some of the couple’s closest
Pop Addict Anthony Pope
friends and family and a reported $8 million ring, west asked the media maven to be his forever, or at least until they get sick of each other.
octoBer 24, 2013
VSU Blazers to host rival North Alabama Saturday Still elated from last week’s comeback rally however the Blazers know they must execute early if they expect to tame the streaking Lions. No. 11 VSU looks to build upon its 35-30 victory over West Georgia when they welcome conference foe, North Alabama, this Saturday. This is the 37th all-time meeting between two of Division II’s more prestigious programs, combining for six national championships, 13 regional titles, and 15 Gulf South Conference titles. Though this year’s Lions are not as talented as previous teams, the upcoming contest shouldn’t be anything less than the usual barn burner. VSU squeezed out a 24-21 win over the Lions last season in Florence, Ala. Incumbent quarterback Cayden Cochran will be the starter Saturday despite a tender right ankle which was aggravated during last game before backup Kaleb Nobles replaced him in a poised fashion. Cochran and company are up against the top scoring defense in the conference, holding their opponents to 17 points a game on average. The Lions defense returns nine starters from last season and is led by GSC tackle leader and Defensive Player of the Week, Tavarius Wilson. Blazer wide receiver Willie Downs was confirmed as ‘probable’ for Saturday after missing last week; he likely won’t be fully-healthy nonetheless his presence itself will spread out the field more in a favorable way for VSU. UNA quarterback Luke Wingo has been efficient in six games after winning the starting job this past spring. The sophomore has rushed for seven touchdowns and thrown seven along with only two interceptions for 878 passing yards. Regardless of losing, during the last meeting Wingo had a sound game as a freshman finishing with 221 yards (17-31). Dissecting the Black Swarm
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'RZQO RDG 7 KH 6SHFW DW RU 0REL O H $SS )RU 0RU H 'HW DL O V Dowling Payne/Blazer Pride Quarterbacks Cayden Cochran (11) and Kaleb Nobles (5) reviewing plays after practice on Tuesday. Nobles went 19 for 21 last Saturday along with four touchdowns.
however will be his greatest challenge this season. “We got to get our minds right here at practice and get excited,” linebacker Chris Pope, who is three tackles shy of Jessie Tuggle for second on career all-time tackles list, said. “I feel like that’s us this year. Last year we weren’t a big excited team, we play off emotion this year. When emotions run high that’s when we play well. It starts at practice then carries over to the game.” UNA is led by Hall of Fame coach Bobby Wallace, who returned as head coach in 2012 (1988-1997), making his first visit back to Bazemore-Hyder Stadium in nearly two decades this weekend. Wallace is responsible for establishing UNA as one of the nation’s best as well as restoring West Alabama’s program during his tenure there (2006-2010) with a Division I stint at Temple in between. “He’s a guy I respect tremendously,” Dean said. “We’re very good friends. We talk in the offseason quite a bit. He’s had a tremendous amount of success everywhere he’s gone. It’s been a long time since he’s been down
here in Valdosta. It will be good to see him.” Dean leads 5-1 in six meetings between the two accomplished head coaches. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m. Note: UNA leads VSU 20-15-1 in all-time meetings. VSU’s Chris Pope is 21 tackles shy of tying Minnesota Vikings linebacker Larry Dean for No.1 on all-time career tackles.
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PagE 6 | vsusPECTaTOR.COm
OCTOBER 24, 2013
Catching up with Jon Murtaugh The Spectator’s Steven Quinn recently caught up with the Director of Operation for Valdosta State University’s Rugby Club, Jon Murtaugh
SQ: When was the rugby club born? JM: We started back in 2010, there were about six to eight of us who went out to the front lawn to play, and after about two months we started to take thing seriously, and decided to get organized. SQ: Why is the club not a varsity sport? JM: As far as the varsity level goes across the nation rugby is not recog-
nized as a varsity sport, but there are still competitions at pretty much every level such as d-1, d2. SQ: What do you think of the popularity regardless of varsity status? JM: We consistently have 75 to 100 fans at every game, and show support through making tshirts, signs, and even cooking the team’s meals.
SportS VSU men’s basketball is back
SQ: What do you think of the Universities support? JM: they help us out enough, but not like others schools we get more support by going out, and finding sponsors, but they gave us a field to practice on, and help advertise. SQ: How far has the club come since 2010? JM: We are definitely one of the top teams in the state, we just recently beating UGA 393, we have come a really long way.
VSU Rugby Jon Murtaugh dodges a defender during a rugby match.
The revamped Blazers look to build upon last season’s success Shane Thomas S p o rt S W r i t e r firstname.lastname@example.org
the Valdosta State men’s basketball team will have 11 new players this season around returners david Murray, Colin Cook and dylan Nsiah. the Blazers were picked to finish fifth in the Gulf South Conference in the preseason Coaches’ poll. picked to finish sixth in the conference in 2012-13, the Blazers went on to have a 19-10 record and advanced to the GSC championship game. “i like what our returners bring to the table,” Mike Helfer, Blazers head coach, said. “You try to recruit guys that fit
your system. We were able to do it last year and i think we’ll be able to do it this year.” the Blazers led the GSC in scoring at 78.4 points per game. With the departure of Josh Sparks and James Anacreon, the team’s top two scorers and rebounders from last season, Helfer will have to adjust his approach on the floor this season with forward Colin Cook filling in. “it’s an adjustment,” Cook said. “Me having a bigger role means getting the job done—more rebounds, efficient basketball, good shots, keeping the team together, winning games. it’s that simple. We love Sparks and we love James but they’re gone. i’ll take everything i’ve learned from those guys and look forward to a great season.” Something to watch closely for the Blazers is
their ability to force turnovers. Last season, patrick diop led the team in steals. With diop gone, the need for the Blazers to disrupt on the perimeter will be critical. “defensively, from a quickness standpoint, this team is as quick as last year’s team,” Helfer said. “if we can put ourselves in position to create turnovers, i think it’ll happen just like it did last year.” Another area of concern is the team’s struggle with the three-point shot. the 2012-13 Blazers were the worst threepoint shooting team by percentage of any team Helfer has coached in the last four seasons. “i thought [three-point shooting] was one of our weaknesses last year and i think it got us beat,” Helfer said. “over the course of the season,
twitter.com Head coach Mike Helfer prepares for his ninth season at the helm of the men’s basketball team.
you’ve got to have more than one or two guys that can make perimeter shots. We’ve got guys who have done it before and are very confident in shooting threes.” With a retooled roster, the Blazers aim to reach their annual goal. “our expectation every year is to win the GSC,” Helfer said. “Hopefully, we have guys that are tal-
ented enough, work hard enough, and play together enough to give us chance to compete for a championship.” Follow Shane on twitter: @itsathomasthing
Lions look to spoil Blazers’ Senior Day Alex Tostado A S S t. S p o rt S e d i t o r email@example.com
Valdosta State will play its final regular season home game on Sunday against a worn North Alabama (4-7-2, 2-4-2) team. the Blazers come into the weekend with a spot in the Gulf South Conference tournament. VSU is trying to solidify the No. 2 seed in the tourney.
UNA needs vital wins in the final few games of the season to try to get themselves into the tournament. “North Alabama will never be weak,” VSU head coach Mel Heinz said. “they are a strong team. they haven’t been blown out by any teams.” VSU and UNA have a young, rich history. the Blazers beat the Lions in VSU’s inaugural season and then lost in the con-
ference tournament the same year; there has been bad blood ever since. “(the Lions) have a new coach so that new coach is trying to figure it out,” Coach Heinz said. the old players are there, the ones that don’t like VSU. it’s reciprocal; we don’t like UNA.” Coach Heinz knows that it will not be an automatic win and is looking forward to the match. “We battle and we’ve
got some payback,” Coach Heinz said. “(i want my girls) to work extremely hard. Not to just go out there and try, but to work extremely hard.” the Blazers are expecting UNA to play their best and won’t let records decide the game. “i think it’s just like football,” Coach Heinz said. “(UNA) just comes and plays. they are here to rock the Blazers’ world.”
the Blazers will honor two players before the game for Senior day. Senior emily Cooper will be honored alongside junior teammate Lauren Hale. Hale will be leaving VSU to attend engineering school at Georgia tech. Cooper is treating this weekend as any other weekend and not letting the hype of the rivalry get to her head. “Honestly, it doesn’t
mean too much more than a normal game to me,” Cooper said. “i mean, it’s going to be the last time i get to play at home and of course it has been amazing playing or this program, but at the end of the day, it’s just a normal game.” “We have a lot of unfinished business with (UNA),” Cooper said. “it’s a game i would like to put away early and easily.”