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Softball’s Jackson finds career in coaching p. 12


Is Hell’s Kitchen sordid television trash? Yes. Can we look away? No. p. 6

Column: Standing in solidarity with women for Planned Parenthood

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By Yasmeen Abutaleb Senior staff writer Tom Madigan and his Gazette coworkers were frustrated. The community newspaper had been furiously covering the 2002 Washington-area sniper attacks, and some New York Times reporter was scooping everyone with incriminating details. The young journalist was the first to report that the United States attorney for this state ended state and federal investigators’ interrogation of John Muhammad, one of two suspects, when he seemed ready to confess. “It did not look like the juvenile was going to talk,” the reporter quoted an unnamed local law enforcement official in an Oct. 30, 2002, article. “But it looked like Muhammad was ready to share everything, and these guys were going to get a confession.” Within a few days, federal and state officials would denounce the story. That allegation, along with many others in Times reports surrounding the serial shootings, simply wasn’t true. But until then, Madigan and his colleagues wondered, who the hell was this reporter from New York pumping information from Washington sources when local news outlets couldn’t? Madigan caught a front-page Times story on the attacks and saw the byline: Jayson Blair. He couldn’t help but chuckle to himself. Blair was a former colleague at The Diamondback, this university’s independent daily student newspaper. The young reporter had worked as both a writer and the editor in chief for The Diamondback, and his peers had experienced his deception firsthand. “As soon as I saw the byline, I told people not to worry too much,” Madigan said. “I was skeptical of the quality of the journalist producing it.” The sniper was just one of many stories that eventually led Blair, who declined several requests for comment, to resign from the Times on May 1, 2003 — exactly 10 years ago today. A Times internal investigation found he plagiarized and fabricated dozens of articles — including his

Towson baseball bailout assailed


Critics label decision unfair amid past cuts By Jim Bach Senior staff writer As the debate over allocation of state funds to save Towson University sports teams continues, major players in the conversation couldn’t help but draw comparisons to this university’s experience with financial insecurity and athletic cuts, which didn’t see the same state support. Towson officials based their decision more on Title IX compliance than financial woes, they said. But critics of the decision called into question the fairness of the financial hand Gov. Martin O’ Malley extended to the college while offering no such help to this university in 2012, when officials announced they were cutting 7 sports teams to in an attempt to shrink mounting debt. Others pointed out, however, that university President Wallace Loh didn’t receive the same amount of backlash at the time, either. Towson University President Maravene Loeschke received harsh criticism in March over her decision to cut the university’s baseball and men’s soccer programs and again in April for failing to show up at a meeting with the state’s Board of Public Works to explain her decision. State Comptroller Peter Franchot called for her removal, saying she had misled the Towson athletes and “forfeited her claim on moral leadership.” But shortly following Franchot’s claims, Sen. Jim Brochin (D-Baltimore County), whose jurisdiction includes Towson University, questioned why Loeschke was called to task for her decision when university President Wallace Loh made a similar move to cut seven varsity sports programs in 2012. “I don’t understand what’s differ-

As Jayson Blair’s New York Times plagiarism saga unraveled, former Diamondback staff members watched with tragic curiosity — and knew they had been right all those years

the diamondback, may 2, 2003; illustration by ben fraternale/the diamondback

See blair, Page 7

See TOWSON, Page 9

Students talk taboo in BDSM dialogues

On Cloud 9 shutters 2 years after opening

‘Truth Behind Fifty Shades of Grey’ panel examines kinky sex

After just two years of business, College Park’s only fashion boutique, On Cloud 9, is closing its doors for good. The store opened in March 2011 on College Avenue down the street from Wasabi Bistro, marketing its trendy women’s clothing in hopes of filling a gap in the city’s retail offerings. But owner Carol Gowling owned three other stores, and after her husband died last year, she decided maintaining her College Park location was too much to handle, said Briana Abedi, who works at the store. “It was more of a personal situation … more that she didn’t have the time,” Abedi said. “She has daughters who go [to this university] but

By Savannah Doane-Malotte Staff writer Students in Stamp Student Union’s Colony Ballroom last night prepared themselves for a conversation many had never before dared to discuss in a public setting — kinky sex. The lecture and panel discussion, led by feminist pornographer and sex educator Tristan Taormino, aimed to debunk myths about BDSM presented in the erotic romance novel, Fifty Shades


Boutique latest in clothing store closures By Annika McGinnis Staff writer

Tristan Taormino speaks about Fifty Shades of Grey and BDSM sexual experimentation in Stamp Student Union yesterday. The feminist pornographer led a discussion on approaches to kinky sex. tim drummond/for the diamondback of Gray, as well as teach students about having safe sexual experiences. Jenna Beckwith, sexual health program coordinator at the University Health Center, said she recognized a need for such an event when she saw the influence Fifty Shades was having on students’ sex lives. “I think that in my realm of work, where students come to me with their sexual health concerns, I saw that with

the popularity of Fifty Shades, kinky sex seemed to be the trendy thing to do,” Beckwith said. “The popularity of this book really brought to light a lot of misconceptions and misinformation that young people were having about sexuality. We wanted to open up a space for students to explore their identities and ask questions about this topic in a safe place.”


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are graduating, so it’s not worth it for her to stay. [The store] wasn’t doing enough for her to use her time and energy to stay here.” Its lease ends in late May, but On Cloud 9 might close earlier, possibly within the next few weeks, Abedi said. The city’s only higher-end fashion store is selling everything for 50 percent off and will close when it runs out of merchandise, she added. Michael Stiefvater, the city’s economic development coordinator, said he hadn’t anticipated the store’s closing, at least for business reasons. “Walking by, there’s usually people in there,” Stiefvater said. “People shop there for their daughters, so I always thought they were doing well.” But business reasons also contributed

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See closure, Page 2




Closure From PAGE 1 to Gowling’s decision to close, Abedi said. Gowling could not be reached for comment by phone or email. Clothing stores in College Park have struggled with a lack of space, high rent and seasonal drops in business, Stiefvater told The Diamondback in a previous interview. The city’s only long-standing clothing store is Rugged Wearhouse in the College Park Shopping Center, which appeals to many of its customers precisely for what On Cloud 9 lacks: cheap prices. O n C l o u d 9 ’s c l o t h i n g , though unique and trendy, was too expensive for a college town, several students said. “I like the clothes; it’s a cute store,” said Natalia Peredo, a freshman enrolled in letters and sciences. She had been to the store about five times, adding the prices were high but it was her only option in the city. The store’s layout reminded senior family science major Sadé Diggs of a boutique, but she was also turned off by the prices. “I’m a college student, and I’m broke and I’m currently not working, so I couldn’t really buy everything I wanted from there,” Diggs said.

“it’s just the reality of the retail world in general. for every place that closes, one or two opens as well.” MICHAEL STIEFVATER

College Park economic development coordinator But Diggs added she thought other students might shop there because of the store’s unique offerings, which are different from those at stores such as Forever 21 and American Apparel. Diggs, who is involved in the campus group Echelon Fashion Society, said she hopes to see more clothing stores come to College Park. Members of the organization visit boutiques and designers in the Washington area to find clothes for their fashion shows. But it would be a lot easier if they didn’t have to travel so far, Diggs said. “I don’t drive, so everywhere I get to is by bus or if someone drops me off,” she said. “So it would be easier if we had more in the area. … Rugged [Wearhouse] is the closest thing other than [The Mall at Prince Georges], and even [that] mall isn’t really convenient, because you have to catch a bus to campus and it doesn’t run like I want it to run.” There are no current plans for another clothing store to open in College Park, Stiefvater said. A landlord initially was looking

for a place to open a vintage clothing store, he added, but it “didn’t end up happening.” On Cloud 9’s closing isn’t anything out of the ordinary, Stiefvater said, but rather represents the transient nature of the retail industry. “On the bright side, we have lots of openings — Garbanzo [Mediterranean Grill] and The Maryland Smokehouse,” he said. “It’s just the reality of the retail world in general. For every place that closes, one or two opens as well.” Stiefvater isn’t sure what will replace On Cloud 9 on College Avenue, but because of the way the space is built, he said it most likely wouldn’t be a restaurant. Some students, such as Diggs, will continue to hold out hope for another clothing store. Diggs would be happy with anything: a chain clothing store, a thrift store, a men’s clothing store or even a shoe store. “We really don’t have anything, now that I think about it,” she said. christian jenkins/the diamondback

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Remembering victims of domestic violence In honor of domestic violence victims, the members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority made paper lanterns and held a candlelight vigil at their chapter house on College Avenue yesterday. About 70 members of the Greek life community showed up for the event, including representatives from several fraternities and other sororities. The members lined the walkway outside their house with lanterns made from paper bags inscribed with quotes by Walt Whitman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Oprah Winfrey and had a moment of silence. The goal was to bring awareness to the cause, which is also the focus of the sorority’s community service. “Every little bit helps,” said Alyse Hopkins, the event’s organizer and a senior government and politics major. “If you touch one person, then you’ve done your job.”





QUICK TIPS: HOW TO BE COOL On a scale from one to 10, how cool do you think you are? If your rate yourself anywhere under five, continue reading. Here are some quick tips on how to be cool. Thank me later. Instagram selfies: Think of your photographed face as an uploaded gift from the gods. You must post a picture of your face four times a day — at a minimum. Get creative with it! Duck faces are certainly welcomed. The entire world will love you and not find you annoying at all. Sunglasses: Contrary to what many may believe, sunglasses should be worn in all climates. What do you mean the sun isn’t out? So what if you’re inside of a building? Sunglasses indicate you are cool, so don’t even bother taking them off. Trust me, no one really needs to see what your eyes look like anyway. Be mysterious. When is looking like the lead singer of Smash Mouth a bad thing? Case closed.

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From PAGE 1 During the discussion, sexual health experts and university faculty exposed false stereotypes described in the novel, such as the idea that all people who engage in BDSM were abused at one point, so they express that trauma in their sex lives. The book’s main characters perpetuate the belief, but that’s largely untrue, said Tamara Pincus, a clinical social worker who spoke on the panel. “Kink is very stigmatized, and it’s important that students see that we are just regular people like everybody else,” Pincus said. “Most people know that they are kinky at a young age, and it’s just part of how people develop.” Addressing the various stigmas associated with BDSM, Taormino — who also hosts the radio talk show Sex Out Loud — highlighted how at the center of every BDSM relationship is consent, a factor she said many people unfamiliar with the culture don’t link with kinky sex. “Consent is absolutely explicit when kinky people decide to do something with each other,” Taormino said. “The goal is to both give and receive consent from their partner, and to make sure that

TRISTAN TAORMINO, a feminist pornographer and sex educator, debunked the stereotypes presented in the erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey. tim drummond/for the diamondback each person is informed. They want it to be enthusiastic, to have an ‘I’m totally on board with this’ type of consent.” Sophomore biology major Ellen Lee attended the event just out of curiosity about the culture. “It was very eye-opening; I didn’t even know that kink was a thing, I didn’t know that they formed real communities of real people,” Lee said. “A lot of people are too afraid to explore that side of themselves, in fear of judgment. It really made me understand kink better and why people do it.” The BDSM culture is not only

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applicable to kinky people, Taormino said, as some of th e principles o f co nsent and communication could be readily applied to “vanilla,” or nonkinky, relationships. Any couple looking to improve their sexual relationship could do so by putting these ideas into practice, she said. “Any therapist will tell you that you’re more likely to succeed in a relationship if you communicate more,” Taormino said. “So the question is: What can kinky people teach nonkinky people?”





Editor in Chief


Tyler Weyant Deputy Managing Editor

JACK CHEN/the diamondback


Play by the rules of the game be paid for by revenues and resources generated by the intercollegiate athletic program within the institution.” Clearly, the $300,000 from the state budget isn’t among revenues and resources generated by the Towson baseball program. Loeschke herself said in a March 15 column in The Baltimore Sun, “State funds cannot be used to pay for athletics, and thus their financing is a special challenge in our state institutions.”


The Board of Regents should not simply find loopholes to subvert its own policies. But O’Malley arranged this deal, which was passed by the General Assembly, to grant the system $300,000 — which subsequently went directly to save Towson’s baseball team. Lawmakers initially decided against directly giving Towson money to revive the baseball team, something Comptroller Peter Franchot called a “bailout,” which legislators wanted to avoid, according to The Baltimore Sun. But they decided to give the system the $300,000 the baseball team needed, presumably knowing that money would funnel into the Towson athletic department. O’Malley and the Board of Regents apparently found a way to get around this rule, completely undermining the policy. So why did they choose to break the rules now, for Towson? Sports Illustrated reported that our university’s athletic department, as well as most public university departments, is a “self-sufficient auxiliary unit,”

meaning there can be no state funds allocated toward athletics. But if the state is willing to break the rules for Towson, why didn’t it do the same for us? We understand the economic situation was different last year, and that may have prevented our programs from being bailed out. But the very existence of university athletic teams shouldn’t be contingent upon fluctuating budgetary problems. Prospective and current students might have spent years preparing for a college career subsidized by an athletic scholarship, and to pull the rug out from under them in order to attempt a balance in the university checkbook is bad enough. Now, if the state saves a program with similar struggles because state coffers happen to have enough money, those students are frankly being insulted. The board should change its policy, rather than simply creating loopholes to break it. The university system has now come out offering matching $300,000 grants to any Division I school in the system straining to remain financially solvent in its athletic department and Title IX compliance. If this is true, it could change the financial structure of intercollegiate athletics as we know it — something the board is well on its way to doing without policy changes. But we urge lawmakers to ensure they have the resources to make this promise. If universities and prospective students are expecting a bailout similar to Towson’s, and the university system is unable to follow through, it runs the risk of losing all credibility in future financial matters.

Making the worst month your best EZRA FISHMAN As the semester draws to a close, it gets hard to find time to relax and enjoy this beautiful campus we have. At the same time, though, these past three weeks are always the best time of the year for fun activities. Because you probably don’t have time between finals, projects and papers to plan out any adventures, here’s a guide to the fun things you should plan to do with your study breaks. First, get to McKeldin Mall, Washington Quad or La Plata Beach. If you’re someone who tans, it’ll probably be swelteringly hot and sunny for at least one of these weeks. Your nice tan will impress everyone else during your exam (and maybe distract enough people to increase the curve a few points). If you’re someone who appreciates the human form, take an expedition outside — the views are stunning. Regardless, there are also tons of fun activities to be had. If you’ve never played Kan Jam or haven’t experienced college-level Duck, Duck, Goose, now is the time. Finally, if you’ve never read a good book while sitting next to a bunch of people who are tanning — or

nadav karasov Opinion Editor

In defense of Planned Parenthood BEN KRAMER


Opinion Editor

CONTACT US 3150 South Campus Dining Hall | College Park, MD 20742 | OR PHONE (301) 314-8200


n 2012, university President Wallace Loh charged a work group — the President’s Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics — to examine the athletic department’s budget, which had appeared balanced for several years. It uncovered the department’s $83 million debt and a projected $4.7 million deficit in fiscal year 2011, and recommended eight teams be eliminated. Men’s indoor and outdoor track, men’s cross country, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, acrobatics and tumbling and water polo were all placed on the chopping block. Loh accepted the recommendation, also giving the teams until June 30, to raise enough money for eight years of competition, as proposed by Athletic Director Kevin Anderson. Coaches and alumni banded together in an attempt to raise the millions of dollars needed to sustain their programs. But the sums proved too great, and every team except outdoor track failed to meet its goal. Yet when Towson University President Maravene Loeschke announced in March that the baseball and men’s soccer teams would be eliminated to help the department balance its budget and retain its adherence to Title IX, Gov. Martin O’Malley stepped in to save the baseball team. He allocated $300,000 of the state budget to extend the life of the program. What’s really troubling is that O’Malley’s decision directly violates one of the University System of Maryland’s own policies on intercollegiate athletics. The policy states, “Intercollegiate athletics programs are to be managed on a self-supporting basis, meaning that all spending and expenses are to

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even if you have — now is a great time for that as well. When it’s not sunny out, you should still find a way to be outside. Every year around finals, there seems to be a giant freak monsoon. For about a day or two, it rains nonstop, and the entire campus turns to mush. For most people, this sounds horrifying, and it does get a bit gross. But it’s also a great time to mess around on the campus. Take advantage of your already soaked clothes by taking a dip in one of our luxurious fountains or by running through McKeldin Mall’s sprinklers. Get a box of trash bags and mudslide down the hill behind Dorchester Hall. Mud wrestle. If nothing else, just run around like an idiot. Nothing makes you feel better after staying up all night studying than a shower from nature itself (which you should probably follow up with an actual shower). Try it. Beyond all this, finals week is a great time to get in those sincere moments of friendship — and random acquaintance — you’ve wanted all year. When you’re exhausted, so are your friends and that random person in your class you’ve studied for all night. In these stress-filled moments, funny things start to happen. People get more open and honest; you can

have long conversations about your feelings and the future with someone you’ve never even met before. People are also more open to doing crazy things. If you’ve ever needed a friend who would climb a roof, play a game of tag, start a dormwide water fight or join you in some other ridiculous activity you’ve long had on your college bucket list, you’re bound to find one. Four a.m. has a way of bringing exactly the right people together at exactly the right time — you just need to be open to it. The best part of these activities is that almost none of them require any planning. Just look outside your window and see the weather. If it’s nice, hop outside to your nearest tanning location. If it’s miserable, grab some friends and a box of trash bags. If it’s pitch black out and you don’t know why you even bother anymore, it’s probably time to take a break and have a deep conversation with someone — who, in all likelihood, you’ve probably never even talked to before. If you do, you’ll find these last three weeks tremendously more bearable. Ezra Fishman is a junior accounting and finance major. He can be reached at

AIR YOUR VIEWS Address your letters or guest columns to Maria Romas and Nadav Karasov at All submissions must be signed. Include your full name, year, major and phone number. Please limit letters to 300 words and guest columns to between 500 and 600 words. Submission of a letter or guest column constitutes an exclusive, worldwide, transferable license to The Diamondback of the copyright of the material in any media. The Diamondback retains the right to edit submissions for content and length.

On April 26, President Obama embraced a political lightning rod, delivering a passionate speech at Planned Parenthood’s National Conference in Washington. Obama’s speech marked the first time a sitting president has addressed Planned Parenthood, an organization that has continuously aroused passions on both sides of the political aisle. Cutting Planned Parenthood’s funding has become a common talking point among many in the GOP. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney promised that if elected, he would cut all federal funding to Planned Parenthood his first week in office. U.S. Senate, House and Republican gubernatorial candidates frequently espouse the belief that Planned Parenthood is nothing but a baby-killing machine. After Obama’s speech, Sarah Palin asserted Planned Parenthood has “racist and eugenicist origins,” and questioned why “our president would ‘bless’ the cruel underlying efforts of an organization like this.” Planned Parenthood has faced criticism from outside formal GOP circles as well. In 2012, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation announced it would no longer distribute funds to Planned Parenthood. However, after a massive public outcry from Komen donors and supporters, the group reversed its decision. The Komen Board of Directors even felt compelled to issue a formal apology: “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.” Let’s drop the conspiracy theories and blatant falsehoods. Only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities is abortion services. Each year, Planned Parenthood provides 585,000 Pap tests, gives 640,000 breast exams and administers 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. Twenty percent of all women in

the U.S. have visited Planned Parenthood at least once in their lifetime. Rational observers will dismiss destructive statements complaining about Planned Parenthood’s nonexistent covert mission to murder American children. Take my word for it: This is no eugenicsbased killing factory. I promise. The Supreme Court affirmed the legality of abortion 40 years ago in its landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Yet opponents of this decision are perhaps more vocal than ever. A woman’s right to choose is under siege in many states, including Virginia, where in 2012, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a bill making ultrasounds a mandatory prerequisite for abortions. Our country’s highest court has already spoken unequivocally. But if a segment of the population insists, then let us continue to debate the merits of allowing women to have an abortion. What we must not do, however, is use this ongoing debate as an opportunity to threaten the ability of our mothers, sisters and daughters to acquire the health care they deserve. We must not let opposition to 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s operations cloud the importance of the other essential health services it provides. We cannot let the abortion debate deny millions of women basic health services. Planned Parenthood prevents countless women from suffering from devastating diseases such as breast cancer and HPV. It provides diabetes and cholesterol screenings and flu and tetanus vaccinations. The organization saves lives. This is not my attempt to preach that women are incapable of fighting their own battles. This is me standing in solidarity with women. This is me raising awareness of your ongoing struggle. Last week, Obama praised the organization’s resiliency in the face of concerted efforts by the political right to cut its funding: “If there’s one thing the last few years have shown, it’s that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere; it’s not going away today; it’s not going away tomorrow.” Let us hope the president is right. B e n K ra m e r i s a s o p h o m o re government and politics and history major. He can be reached at



The paradox in feminism

eminism is a movement promoting equal rights and opportunities for women. Based on that definition, I’d consider myself a feminist. In fact, I think most people would probably consider themselves feminists. If this were the true definition of feminism, why aren’t there more feminists around? Christina Hoff Sommers recently gave a lecture on the campus about her book, The War Against Boys. Obviously, the title of the book was designed to be controversial and shake some people’s points of view. She stated that for every two men who graduate with a bachelor’s degree, there are three women who graduate with one. She also cited statistics showing that women are performing better than men in school. Sommers even went so far as to say that some misguided forms of feminism are hurting men. Many feminists in attendance did not agree with the point she was trying to make and argued that men are doing better than women. I heard many feminists say things such as, “Men are making more money than women” and, “There are more men than women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors and careers,” which are common arguments among feminists. At that point, I realized feminism has strayed away from its definition. The rights and opportunities are already there, and feminists have accomplished their goal of equal rights in education. The problem is they want to see results. Until women are making the same amount of money as men and are just

as prevalent in STEM fields, feminists will feel as though their job is not done (at least in the realm of education). The fallacy with that style of thinking is that feminists are not taking into account that men and women have the right to choose whichever career path they want. Sommers brought up the fact that more women choose to major in the social sciences, whereas more men choose to major in STEM fields. Feminists claim that women are doing so because of culture and tradition. But women are now doing plenty of things that at recent points in time were seen as culturally unacceptable. For example, roughly 75 years ago, this university’s student body consisted mainly of men; women did not traditionally attend college. Additionally, women majoring in STEM fields are often selected for jobs over men with similar resumes. Overall, it seems the idea of feminism in modern society is paradoxical and hypocritical in nature by trying to push women into fields of work and study that are more dominated by men, even though the majority of women don’t want to do so. If feminists were trying to promote equal rights and opportunities for women, they would be OK with women choosing whatever field they’d like to go into, even if this resulted in lower wages. Trying to get women to enter the fields of work that men are predominantly interested in is both oppressive and marginalizing, which is exactly what feminists were trying to fight in the first place. Pascal Bloch is a junior computer science major. He can be reached at



Features ACROSS 1 Rascal 6 Kiosk lit. 10 Senseless 14 Mongol invader 15 “-- La Douce” 16 Culture medium 17 Love in a gondola 18 Stead 19 Wear the crown 20 Offhand 22 Become conscious 23 Important decades 24 Prefix for “center” 26 Insurance worker 30 Fanlight 34 Electrical problem 35 Bilks 36 “Bali --” 37 Ache for 38 Brown in butter 40 Grooves 41 Motel amenity 42 Term paper abbr. (2 wds.) 43 Moss and Jackson 44 Reindeer 46 Sights to enjoy 48 U.K. network 49 “Fargo” director 50 Vaudeville prop 53 Chili ingredient (2 wds.)

59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

PC system Mr. Dithers’ wife Texas tourist site Two-wheeler Oodles (2 wds.) Cathedral parts Stein fillers “-- Lama Ding Dong” 67 Kipling tiger -Khan DOWN 1 Sax man -- Getz 2 Hunter’s wear 3 Like -- -- of bricks 4 Wine-press residue 5 Cookbook word 6 Edna St. Vincent -7 Tunes for divas 8 Feds (hyph.) 9 White wine 10 “Beagle” passenger 11 Water, to Pedro 12 “Columbo” star 13 Forest part 21 Timetable abbr. 25 Faux -26 Tomato jelly 27 Girl from Baja 28 Copier need 29 Suffix for “forfeit” 30 Sandbox enjoyer 31 “On the Beach”


32 33 35 38

novelist Cowboy flick Young lady’s address -- -de-sac Racing vehicle

39 40 42 43 45 46

Track-meet org. Fled Recede Nairobi natives Mountain goats Beethoven’s





47 49 50 51 52

“Moonlight --” Decent grade Data disk (hyph.) Havana’s island Indigo plant Reebok rival

54 Town east of Wichita 55 Humdrum 56 Gutter site 57 From the U.S. 58 Beak



orn today, you know how to pick yourself up and start over again when you fall, which you are sure to do now and then because you are so daring in your pursuit of personal success. Fortunately, you will have been taught when quite young that mistakes and missteps are all a part of life, and that you can learn almost more from them than you can from any progress or success. You are constantly judging and assessing your decisions, your actions and your accomplishments, eager to be a better person and to improve yourself on a daily basis. You are likely to be widely admired, simply because you hold true to your ideals and “stay the course” as a matter of principle. You can be unusually sensitive -- far more so than many a Taurus native, in fact -- but you turn this into an asset and never let it become a liability. Also born on this date are: Tim McGraw, country singer and actor; Ray Parker Jr., singer; Rita Coolidge, singer; Judy Collins, singer; Glenn Ford, actor; Kate Smith, singer. To see what is in store for you tomorrow, find your birthday and read the corresponding paragraph. Let your birthday star be your daily guide. THURSDAY, MAY 2 TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -You’ve been playing by someone else’s rules long enough. Today is the day for you to break free from

constraints you can no longer tolerate. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -You may want to take yourself a little more seriously at this time. A new friend is likely to become more important to you. CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- You’ve had it with the same old routine -- but you may not know the way out just yet. Keep your eyes open for a rare and attractive opportunity. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Someone may be trying to hold you down, but you won’t take no for an answer. What happens to you today will leave a lasting impression. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -You can have almost anything you want today, but you must be willing to ask for it -- and do a certain something that is asked of you. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) -- After your eyes are opened to a new situation that is quickly developing, there may be no stopping you. Someone rolls out the red carpet. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) -- You may realize that style and substance are both important

today -- but you must start with substance. Another revelation can be yours as well. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- You can contribute to another’s success today, but you may have to sacrifice a little something on your own home turf. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Take care not to overthink problems today; they are really very easy to solve if you take them one at a time. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) -- Someone may be taking charge of situations that are really yours to control. You must be willing to stand up for yourself. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) -- You and a rival are poised to go round and round again -- unless you are willing to make a change that eases tensions considerably. ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- Trust is the major issue today, and you should know whether or not you have assembled a team you can trust before the end of the day. COPYRIGHT 2013 UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.




SU | DO | KU © Puzzles by Pappocom

Fill in the grid so that every row, column, and 3x3 grid contains the digits 1 through 9. PREVIOUS DAY’S PUZZLE SOLVED:









Staff writer Emily Thompson reminisces about summer days spent watching Cartoon Network’s classic lineup of The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory. For more, visit


judge tells us the beef Wellington is gorgeous when it plainly looks like (to borrow a Ramsayism) donkey s---. Unlike every other reality TV show, upbeat and uplifting story lines are never emphasized. Hell’s Kitchen lives and breathes schadenfreude, from every sardonic quip of the narrator to Hell’s Kitchen is one of the worst shows on TV. We dare you not to watch it. Ramsay’s customary dressing-downs. We, and they, like to believe that It doesn’t matter whether or not the By Warren Zhang As in any piece worthy of North Senior staff writer Korean propaganda, there’s much Hell’s Kitchen is a meritocracy, that cook deserves to be verbally spanked; rigid regality and pageantry to behold. great success comes from just a little bit the show will aestheticize and dramaI’ve watched Hell’s Kitchen on and Every episode of Hell’s Kitchen follows more elbow grease and that the creme tize it so you will guffaw, even more so than you do at Jersey Shore. off since high school, and I have always the same structure, without fail: a always, infallibly rises to the top. The finales, then, are always underBut the lasting power of Hell’s been baffled by why I keep subjecting punched-up recap, “And now, the conmyself to it. I think I hate the show (it tinuation of Hell’s Kitchen,” bitching Kitchen isn’t its surprisingly stark stated affairs, ending just as the winner is the television equivalent of eating about being put up on the block and an depiction of America’s demograph- is announced; all that’s left is for him deep-fried butter), but I almost always extremely basic challenge tarted up by ics. We are also, at heart, a nation of or her and the rest of the wannabe hashaters. We hate everything: the left beens to disappear back to the darkness end up idly watching an episode or two third-rate hack production trickery. You just know the scores will tie up wing, the right wing, our weight, our from which they came. You won’t ever each season despite my best intentions. I concede there is something un- just before the commercial break, but failures, our weaknesses, our supe- see a Hell’s Kitchen reunion. I wouldn’t be too surprised if most ex-condeniably fascinating about the show. by God does it still sting when those riors, and most of all, ourselves, testants are dead. Hell’s Kitchen is every totalitarian jumped-up editors start cutting to for not being all that we There is no place regime ever in miniature. Never, ever reaction shots before hitting a hack- can be. fo r p o s it i vHell’s Kitchen question the wisdom of dear leader neyed title card and commercials. ity or happiIf you peel back the food, the lar- t a p s i n t o chef Gordon Ramsay, lest you wish to ness in Hell’s get swiftly booted out of the kitchen gesse and the cursing, Hell’s Kitchen that pri ma l Kitchen. by the angriest Brit on TV. What’s left is nothing more than a bag of four or h a t r e d . Every time is to scurry around the kitchen and five editing tricks. The same music T h e s h o w a cheftescurry favor with the esteemed tyrant. cues get reused over and over again i s pl a i n ly tant laughs A little bit of kiss-ass goes a long way, like a dish towel in a stingy restau- nonnutrior smiles, but be warned: Ramsay is a vengeful rant. That cursed dinner service tious junk it must be god. He shall smite when he damn well theme triggers an almost Pavlovian T V, y e t i t followed up feels like it — or when his producers response: I know the carnage is about compels you by a shot of to unfold, and I’m drooling for it like t o s i t d o w n need another bumper for an advert. someone crying, and gape. T he Personalities emerge among the a dog thinking of his bone. dying or just plain The show is obviously an atroc- s h o w s u g g e s t s beleaguered contestants: The egotist suffering. Oscillations is smugly assured of his superiority in ity, and it brings out the worst in me, that maybe, maybe between the carrot and the the kitchen while his comrades eagerly but there’s something that keeps on you aren’t any better than photo courtesy of this. Maybe you deserve stick are never-ending, anticipate his downfall. The sycophant hooking me. I’ve come to realize Hell’s Kitchen Hell’s Kitchen, to watch these terrible with each turn becoming so rapid worships Ramsay and is liable to be utterly shattered when Ramsay makes represents America in a microcosm. people do horrible things as penance that they just blur together. In terms of the carrot, who’s to bold comparisons between the cook The cheftestants are a ragtag team of for your sins. The food is never actually appealing. say that going to a medieval fair with and a barn full of fecal matter. The dreamers fighting tooth and nail for a voice of reason merely appears to be goal that’s probably not worth it. They Whereas a show like Top Chef actu- Ramsay actually counts as a reward? reasonable relative to the rest of the cover a broad array of people, from the ally makes the cuisine attractive, Hell’s Weren’t the challenge rewards supnuthouse. He or she will go far but will competent to the delusional, from the Kitchen’s entrees are always hideous. posed to be rewarding? No matter how terrible, how inprobably still lose to someone less sane. beautiful to the unspeakably heinous. It’s always a shock when Ramsay or a

fantile the prize, the winning team always reacts as if it’s just been given the keys to the candy shop. It goes far beyond psyching the other team out. Without fail, one person will jump up and down, and one person will tell in the confessional a cliched variant of “Best. Reward. Ever.” Somehow, this makes everything seem a lot worse. Hell’s Kitchen excels at creating this noxious environment, in which it’s OK to look down on and hate everything and everyone — and, by extension, yourself — because you know they’ll get their just desserts. Right after the commercial. At the end of the next episode. When the chefs get their black jackets. In the epic season finale. When they reach their goal and realize “head chef” is an empty, meaningless title. Like any successful cult, Hell’s Kitchen has its methods of luring you into its trap and keeping you there. Let’s say you’ve had enough, and you want out. Well, if you ever watch anything on Hulu or Fox’s website, there will be huge ads for the show. You mustn’t click on the banner. You mustn’t click. You mustn’t. You mustn’t. You mustn’t. Say you take it a step further and stop watching television altogether. Finally, you’re free at last. But then you lie awake in bed, staring up at the ceiling when you hear a faint trace of that insidiously generic rock theme, a ghost beckoning you back into the underworld. I hate Gordon Ramsay with all my heart. H e l l’s Ki t c h e n i s a n ut te r abomination. I can’t keep wasting time watching this garbage. Well, maybe one episode won’t hurt. I love Big Brother.

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BLAIR From PAGE 1 coverage of the sniper attacks — and often lied about his whereabouts. His actions would call into question the management, accuracy and accountability of the nation’s most respected newspaper. Madigan, along with many former Diamondback colleagues and journalism college faculty, had no idea Blair’s questionable reporting would end in a cautionary tale of someone given too much too soon. “It was amazing,” said Danielle Newman, who worked with Blair at The Diamondback. “It shocked me that it blew up to be what it was.”

‘SICK LITTLE SUSPICION’ Chris Hanson was a finalist for a tenure-track position as an associate professor in the journalism college in 1999. He sat down for a one-on-one interview with then-Dean Reese Cleghorn, and later spoke with Blair, a student involved in the selection process who had been offered a job at the Times. The quick-minded senior quizzed Hanson’s knowledge of several plagiarism cases, including that of Mike Barnicle, a former Boston Globe columnist who fabricated and plagiarized many columns. Blair later told Hanson he was the stronger candidate because of how well he knew and understood the cases. “He was praising me for knowing the issue well,” Hanson

said. “Rather ironic.” Hanson had an unsettling feeling when he saw Blair’s frontpage story on Dec. 22, 2002, which flatly stated all evidence pointed to 17-year-old Lee Malvo as the main — and perhaps only — gunman in the sniper attacks. It was an unexpected development, given that Muhammad, 41, was a trained Army infantryman. Blair cited five pieces of evidence and quoted anonymous law enforcement officials. Hanson wondered how an inexperienced reporter who didn’t live in Washington could possibly have sources feeding him such incriminating information. Days later, Hanson’s question was answered when a Virginia commonwealth’s attorney called a news conference to rebuke Blair’s reports. “I don’t think that anybody in the investigation is responsible for the leak,” Robert Horan Jr. said, “because so much of it was dead wrong.” The news conference was only the beginning. Over the next five months, the questions surrounding Blair’s work grew. When The San Antonio Express-News raised concerns over striking similarities between one of Blair’s articles and one the paper ran on April 18, 2003, Times editors began a full investigation of Blair’s work. His editors found he’d lied about his travels, as he claimed to be in various cities on reporting assignments and submitted expense reports when he never left New York. He concocted


scenes based entirely on secretly obtained, unpublished photographs from a private Times database. And he made up entire quotes and anonymous sources while covering high-profile national stories. His career at the Times was effectively over. By May 1, he announced he was leaving the newspaper after a nearly fouryear run. Ten days after Blair’s resignation, the Times ran a 7,239-word front-page story detailing the 27-year-old’s journalistic misdeeds. Five Times reporters, who talked to more than 150 people, including editors and Blair’s sources, wrote that the incident served as a “low point in the 152year history of the newspaper.” And it wasn’t just Blair who faced intense scrutiny. His consistent, calculated lying prompted many Times reporters to come forward with mounting complaints about the newspaper’s management. The Times’ top-ranking editors, Gerald Boyd and Howell Raines, resigned five weeks after Blair. The once-celebrated journalism college student, who never finished his degree, was making national headlines for one of the most notorious scandals in the field’s history. Blair, who had quizzed Hanson on past plagiarism cases a little more than a halfdecade earlier, had carved his own place in journalism lore. He’d given the paper what Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. later called a “huge black eye.” “My sick little suspicion in

the pit of my stomach was true,” 3 million at the time. Hanson said. “There were people here who were very angry at him,” said Carl Stepp, a journalism college proIN RETROSPECT fessor who often spoke with Blair. There was his picture smacked “He embarrassed himself and he on the cover of Newsweek. Blair embarrassed us, but it was mostly sported short black hair, a beard and sadness. It was a wasted career glasses while smoking a cigarette. of a very talented young man.” Faculty members wondered “The secret life of Jayson Blair” filled the magazine cover in capital if they’d ignored warning signs block letters on a May 2003 issue. while Blair was a student in the He was suddenly the first student late 1990s. Could they have from the Philip Merrill College of stopped him, they thought, or at Journalism to appear on the cover of least helped before it was too late? “You always have that question,” the former weekly news magazine, which boasted a circulation of about Stepp said. “As a teacher, I think

every day there is some troubled student here that I need to see.” Former Diamondback staffers said the Times saga was only proof of what they knew six years earlier. Thirty alumni, including Newman and Madigan, signed a letter, addressed to three figures they felt were key in Blair’s rise, in June 2003: Thomas Kunkel, then the journalism college dean; Christopher Callahan, then an associate dean; and Ivan Penn, who helped elect Blair as editor See blair, Page 8


tornado preparations After months of bleak winter, the sounds of spring are in the air at last. Walking between classes, students can hear the chatter of squirrels, the chirping of birds, and on certain Wednesdays, a deafening, wailing alarm that sounds like something out of a war movie. An oft-ignored, little-understood phenomenon among students, this discordant shriek is the song of the university’s tornado sirens. Perched atop the Benjamin Building, Computer and Space Science Building and the Service Building on Route 1, the three sirens are positioned so they can warn students and faculty anywhere on the campus of imminent danger. The university installed the sirens as an emergency alert system after a tornado tore through the campus in September 2001, shredding buildings and killing two students. For more of Nate Rabner’s post, check out The Diamondback’s student blogs at

photo courtesy of the astronomy department



BLAIR From PAGE 7 in chief of The Diamondback. The former students wanted answers about Blair’s time at the university, they wrote. They wanted the journalism college and The Diamondback to conduct their own reviews of Blair’s work and “create a more open and evenhanded environment of communication for current students.” In the letter, the former students reminded Kunkel, Callahan and Penn of when they first expressed their problems with Blair. He had no editing or management experience before helming The Diamondback, they

said, and they could not verify some of the facts he gathered while he was a reporter. And as the paper’s leader, they wrote, he was unreliable with his work responsibilities. He disappeared “for long stretches” and didn’t properly pay his staff members. Even though Blair is black, the alumni wrote, “race had nothing to do with it.” But there was one thing staff members desired above all else. “Finally, and most importantly, we ask that you listen,” the alumni wrote. “Listen when current and future Diamondback staffs raise concerns, particularly the senior members.” The staff members had a point, Stepp thought. Perhaps Blair’s rise

to stardom should have been slowed down while he was a student. “You want to respect students and encourage students, but you also want to be careful and remember they’re still young and still insecure and need a lot of help,” Stepp said. “How do you push them and treat them like adults, but know they’re going through a lot of stuff you don’t know about?”


Newman often grew enraged with Blair when they both worked at The Diamondback in the late 1990s. When they passed each other in the journalism college’s hallways, Newman always mumbled insults under her breath. One day, she was so vexed that she sent an email to Blair. “You’re gonna get busted one day, just like Janet Cook [sic],” she wrote to the then-editor in chief, referencing a Washington Post writer who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for a story that was later found to be fabricated. “You don’t even know how to spell her name,” Blair responded, CARL STEPP referencing the missing “e” in Journalism professor Cooke’s last name.

you want to respect students and encourage students, but you also want to be careful and remember they’re still young and still insecure and need a lot of help.”

“You’re still gonna get busted,” Newman wrote. So when Blair’s journalism career met an unceremonious end, former Diamondback staffers said only one word perfectly summed up how they felt: schadenfreude, which means taking glee in someone else’s misery. Blair was a great schmoozer — he always made a great first impression, they said — but his old colleagues knew that could only take him so far. Faculty felt differently. “It was sad to see a former student sort of at the vertex of a huge journalistic problem,” said Chris Harvey, the journalism college’s internship and career development director who taught Blair in an intensive reporting class.“You don’t want to ever see somebody do poorly, and especially students who showed so much promise.” When Newman read through the extensive Times story detailing the errors in Blair’s work, she said she and former Diamondback staffers related to the Times’ metropolitan editor, who in 2002 wrote an email to administrators about Blair. “We have to stop Jayson from

writing for the Times,” Jonathan Landman wrote, according to the 2003 Times article. “Right now.” Newman hadn’t seen many of her college newspaper friends in years, she said, but Blair’s downfall called for a party. The Friday following Blair’s resignation, she got the day off from her Washington Post job and invited the former staff members to her house. The festivities came about six years after the group met in the middle of the night at Plato’s Diner to decide what to do about their irresponsible boss. Newman mounted Blair’s Times mugshot on a dartboard she borrowed from her parents, and the old Diamondback staffers took turns pelting darts. And, of course, they played “Lyin’ Eyes,” the Eagles song that had become a sort of anthem during their trying experience with Blair. They were once again singing the lyrics together: “You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes.” The 20-somethings couldn’t help but enjoy knowing Blair’s deceitful ways had finally caught up with him. But Madigan, who said he can still hear Blair’s characteristic cackle, struggled to believe his former peer so publicly imploded.

you don’t want to EVER see somebody do poorly, and especially students who showed so much promise.” CHRIS HARVEY Journalism college internship and career development director

“You’re going to work with a lot of people in your career,” he said. “I don’t see a lot of use crying and moaning about it happening because it does happen. I do hope the next time it does, people pay attention to the warning signs.” This is part two of a threepart feature on Jayson Blair’s rise and fall. Check back Friday for the lessons learned at this university a decade later.



Student use of scooters rising despite strict state laws Riders required to wear helmets, eye protection By Bradleigh Chance Staff writer Despite the threat of steep fines for not following newly implemented state scooter requirements, the number of students using scooters to navigate the campus has only increased, according to DOTS officials. Police have been lenient about enforcing the new requirements, which were put into place in October and mandate that students wear helmets and protective eyewear while riding

TOWSON From PAGE 1 about the same decision and the same painful process that President Loeschke went through and yet the reaction from the comptroller is totally different,” Brochin said.“I’m missing something here.” Eventually,Gov.Martin O’Malley allocated $300,000 of the state budget to extend the life of the Towson baseball program, but it still raised questions about the application of Title IX, a federal law that requires equal opportunity for both men’s and women’s sports in college athletics, among other provisions.

scooters. But as awareness of the law increases, students who don’t comply will face a $110 fine, police said. Student riders who weren’t used to wearing protective gear weren’t initially penalized, said University Police spokesman Sgt. Aaron Davis. “Much like any new law, there is an adjustment period as people acclimate themselves to a new behavior,” Davis said. “What we saw initially were a lot of people that still did not wear glasses or goggles, simply out of ignorance.” The number of incidents in which police have stopped scooter riders has increased since the law was put into

place, but most often, police were simply educating students about the law, Davis said. Officers gave out warnings instead of citations in many cases. Although many students said they’ve noticed a drop in scooter ridership since the law was passed, the Department of Transportation Services put a new scooter pad in Lot 11b last week because of rising demand for scooter parking. “I think popularity of scooters has rapidly declined,” said Lawrence Laynburd, a junior aerospace engineering major. “Last year, it was beginning to pick up, but the law came just in time to ruin it for a lot of people. I avoid riding my scooter as often as pos-

sible because I hate my helmet.” Some students, including Laynburd, said they frequently see students abiding by the law, although some riders still push its limits. “Most people wear a helmet with at least a visor for eye protection, but sometimes I see people wearing baseball or lacrosse helmets instead, which is against the rules because those helmets aren’t DOTSapproved,” Laynburd said. “If I had a Maryland Terps baseball helmet, I’d probably wear it instead of my goofy scooter helmet, too.” Laynburd said he has only seen one student riding a scooter without a helmet on

“i think popularity of scooters has rapidly declined ... last year, it was beginning to pick up, but the law came just in time to ruin it for a lot of people.”

the campus since the law went into effect, likely because of the effort University Police have put into educating students. “I remember before the law passed, a cop pulled up next to me just to give me a heads-up about the new rules coming up, and how much each ticket for each individual violation would cost me,” he said. Other students have already felt the sting of a hefty citation. Freshman kinesiology major

Shannon Collins, who plays on the women’s soccer team, said while she also feels the popularity of scooters is decreasing, the new laws are having an impact on those who use them to traverse the campus. “The fine for not having a helmet or eye protection is absurd, and I think that [is] a deterrent and forces us to follow the new laws,” she said.

Schools in the University System of Maryland can’t accept state funds for their athletic programs, per the system’s Board of Regents policy. But O’Malley was able to offer the money by giving it to the university system, which then passed it onto Towson. To maintain fairness, the system pledged to donate matching $300,000 grants to Division I schools trying to maintain a Title IX-mandated balance in their athletic programs, The Baltimore Sun reported. Joshua Thompson, an attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, which has been involved with lawsuits over the constitutional-

ity of Title IX in the past, said men’s sports usually get the ax when schools have to stretch athletic budgets and adhere to federal law. “Schools have two options when faced with a complaint that alleges that they are out of balance: They can increase opportunities for women by creating new sports for women … or they can cut men’s sports,” Thompson said. “When universities are faced with constrained budgets and finite resources … we don’t really see in great numbers that new sports are added for women or that more opportunities are necessarily generated.” While Title IX may have come into play in Loeschke’s decision at

Towson, the situation at this university mirrors that of many schools that decide to cut sports programs. It almost always comes down to a lack of financial resources, not an issue of federal compliance that spells doom for men’s sports programs, said Nancy HogsheadMakar, a former Olympic swimmer and senior director of advocacy for The Women’s Sports Foundation. “When schools do have to cut a men’s program, it is inevitably — and both Maryland and Towson are prime examples of this — because of budgets, because they can not support the size of the athletic program that they would like to,” said Hogshead-Makar, who is also

a law professor at Florida Coastal School of Law. Whether athletic cuts are born out of a need to comply with federal law or a lack of resources on the part of the athletic program,Brochin said O’Malley, university system chancellor Brit Kirwan and the Board of Regents should share more responsibility over the stability of athletics programs and their compliance with federal laws, and not leave it in the hands of university presidents to make these tough decisions. He said this kind of a resolution could have stopped this university from cutting several sports programs in 2012. “I think that the governor’s office

should have been proactive and said, ‘Stop,’” Brochin said. Budget woes could continue to grow so much that only the sports that bring in the most revenue, or lose the least, survive while all other programs fall to the wayside, which Brochin said is detrimental to the university as a whole. “Why are football and basketball the end-all?” Brochin said. “It just seems like we’ve just forgotten about all the other sports and all the kids who want to play these sports.” “That’s not what university athletics is supposed to be about,” he said.


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THE DIAMONDBACK | Sports | Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Jackson From PAGE 12 Varsity softball rejuvenated Jackson’s interest in the sport. She loved to hit, she said, and enjoyed the low-pressure environment. Jackson also to challenge herself. She wanted to be Fontana’s starting shortstop. Five games later, she was. “Once she was there, she was into it,” Bruich said. “When she commits to something, she’s into it 100 percent.”

RECRUITMENT Following Jackson’s freshman year, Henry J. Kaiser High School opened closer to home, so she transferred. Then, Jackson received offers to play travel softball. She hardly wanted take that next step, though, especially after attending an open tryout. “One girl is getting yelled at for yawning on the field and not hustling,” Jackson said. “Another girl has passed out because the workout was so long, and an ambulance came.” The intense environment was unattractive to a girl who had no intention of playing past high school. Travel softball was also too expensive, but a mother of a former teammate at Fontana offered Jackson and Stewart, who played with her sister on Kaiser’s varsity team, the opportunity to play for free. While at Kaiser, Jackson reluctantly — yet smoothly — transitioned to travel softball. The competition reminded her of her former neighbor, G e o rge . I t p u s h e d h e r i n ways she wasn’t pushed in high school. She was forced to move back to right field. Jackson was still a raw talent, and she still struggled with the awkwardness of adapting to her wiry frame. “The game became a lot quicker, so I would try to do things quicker,” she said. “But my feet would get there before my glove.” Her speed and body type served her well in the outfield, and many college coaches recruited her there. Still, Jackson thought playing outfield was too easy. She wanted to be a shortstop because it was a challenge, but no interested schools needed her to play there. Jackson focused on Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla. The coaches were displaying heavy interest in some of her teammates, so she approached them, confused and somewhat annoyed. “So you’re not going to recruit me?” Jackson said. “Why aren’t you going to talk to me? I know I’m better than her.” As it turned out, BethuneCookman thought Jackson wasn’t interested. She had never responded to the Wildcats’ letters — she didn’t know she had to. Jackson eventually connected with then-coach Laura Watten, who had good news for the prospect. “We knew that she would be able to be versatile in any position,” Watten said. “We just so happened to really need a strong shortstop.”

BIG NUMBERS Bethune-Cookman ended up

tigers From PAGE 12 continued his progress after a shaky start to his freshman campaign, delivering another strong midweek performance. The freshman went seven innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits and three walks, while striking out seven. “Going from high school ball to college ball is a big step,” Robinson said. “Being the No. 1 guy in your area and then coming to a college like Maryland — it’s a big change, and you have to adjust to certain things. You have to grow and understand that you’re not the big dog anymore, and you need

being the perfect fit for Jackson. In her three years with the Wildcats, she batted .465 with 34 home runs and 175 RBIs. She also stole 74 bases and got caught only seven times. “She definitely holds herself to a higher measuring stick,” former Bethune-Cookman teammate Lauren McCoy said. “As anybody with her ability and talent should.” Those numbers didn’t matter to Jackson, however, if she couldn’t perform in critical moments. After Texas swept the Wildcats in the 2005 NCAA Super Regional, she was particularly hard on herself. Jackson was no match for Longhorns ace and 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympian Cat Osterman in Game 1, and Jackson struck out four times in a 1-0 defeat. “I never strike out four times in one game,” she said. “[I was] doubting myself and my ability.” It was one of her lowest moments of her career. After the season, Jackson injured her back in a car accident. Her desire to play, let alone return to the postseason, took a huge hit. Jackson was in constant pain when she swung the bat, and she didn’t know if she could fight through it. But Watten motivated her to continue playing, so she went through extensive physical therapy to prepare herself for the next season. “I think [Watten] has been a bigger influence than Amber would let on,” Bruich said.“Amber grew so much around her.” But when Watten left to take the coaching job in College Park after the 2005 season, players gradually lost their drive, and the team environment quickly dissipated. With that, it was time for Jackson to move on. The Terps offered her and Stewart scholarships, and the sisters were reunited with Watten in 2007. Jackson received her master’s of education at this university while breaking single-season records in batting average (.408), home runs (24), RBIs (56) and walks (55) in the process. Though she was set on ending her playing career again at the end of college, she was constantly pushed by those around her to play at the next level: National Pro Fastpitch.

‘NEXT STEP’ Jackson enjoyed two successful years with the Washington Glory and starred on the 2007 NPF championship team. But after the 2008 season, the Glory folded, and the players’ contracts were picked up by the USSSA Pride in central Florida. After being surrounded by friends in the Washington area, she failed to rebuild the network that existed before in Florida. Her body ached, and Jackson decided to “take the next step” in her life. She gave softball lessons while working parttime as a teacher’s assistant at Steuart W. Weller Elementary School in Ashburn, Va. It wasn’t long before J a c k s o n wa s d ra w n i n to coaching. A local coach recommended her to Loudoun County High School in Lees-

to work and earn your stripes.” The early-season struggles in two-out situations were gone yesterday, as eight of the Terps’ 11 runs came with two outs. The inability to deliver in clutch situations was gone, at least for one day. And after reiterating the importance of quality two-out at-bats to his players all season, the first-year coach finally saw the work pay dividends. “It’s [about] just constantly pounding away at it and talking about it and working on it and practicing it,” Szefc said. “If you want to be good at something, you just have to keep pounding away at it, and that’s what we’ve tried to do with these guys.”

Later on, though, that view of coaching would change.


assistant coach amber jackson starred for the Terps in 2007 and batted .408 with 24 home runs, 56 RBIs and 55 walks — all then-single-season records. photo courtesy of maryland athletics burg, Va., which was looking for a coach. Soon after, she got a call from the school. “Well, why not?” Jackson said. “Just give it a try.” She was young and had never coached before, but Loudoun County hired Jackson to lead its softball program. Now she had new responsibilities: hiring assistants, managing a junior varsity program

and dealing with parents. Despite the numerous tasks, Jackson said she never felt overwhelmed. After all, she was responsible for her players for only several hours before they returned home. “I knew I liked high school b e c a u s e o f t h a t a s p e c t ,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t going to be full-time. It wasn’t going to be my life.”

During her time at Loudoun County, Jackson went on a sports mission trip to East Asia. Athletes there had no emotional support from their coaches, and she was taken aback. “Their self-esteem, their selfconfidence and who they were as an athlete was diminished because of their experience,” Jackson said. “That broke my heart.” In those athletes’ pain, she saw where she could make a difference. Jackson had known only supportive coaches like Bruich and Watten in her career and couldn’t fathom a career without them. “People would ask me why [I went] to Bethune-Cookman, to play softball; I didn’t go for academic reasons,” she said. “When [Coach Watten] quit, that was just ripped away from me. That was one of the hardest times of my life.” As someone who had been through many hardships in her childhood, she wanted to make sure other athletes with similar lives didn’t endure their experiences alone. When Jackson returned to College Park as a Terps assistant coach in summer 2011, she

knew what to expect in her new position. “It’s not just coaching the game,” Jackson said. “That’s minimal. You’re coaching them on life.”

A CERTAIN FUTURE Jackson’s spent most of her life living in uncertainty. Given the environment she was raised in, she sometimes thinks she shouldn’t have made it this far. But those who have gotten close to Jackson say she has had a greater impact on them than they have been able to have on her. “She’s taught me a whole lot about myself,” Watten said. “She absolutely will tell me how she feels. … She cares about my growth as well.” Jackson is no longer just waiting for her career to end. It’s turned into something far more important than it was all those years ago, out on the street in Fontana’s dusk when she had a completely different life planned. Her next chapter hasn’t been written yet, but now she’s sure she knows what it will say. “I think I’m going to be at that point where I do want to be a head coach one day,” Jackson said. “[It’s] a lifestyle, it’s not a job … it’s who I am; it’s what I do.”



TWEET OF THE DAY Brenda Frese @BrendaFrese Terps women’s basketball coach

“Started my morning with the boys singing.... Happy Bday to me. However, their version went that..“I look like a monkey & smell like one too!””




For news and updates on all Terrapins sports teams, follow us on Twitter @DBKSports.

Page 12

wednesday, may 1, 2013


crafting a new ending

“It’s not just coaching the game. That’s minimal. You’re coaching them on life.” AMBER JACKSON Terrapins softball assistant coach BY THE NUMBERS

In 2007, Jackson enjoyed one of the finest seasons ever by a Terrapins softball player, setting records in four major categories.

tim drummond/for the diamondback

.408 24 56 55 Batting average

Home runs



In preparing for her storied softball career to reach its inevitable end, Amber Jackson found an unexpected calling in College Park By Paul Pierre-Louis Staff writer Amber Jackson doesn’t remember her first Little League team. As a kid, she had no reason to keep track of mascots or team colors. Softball was just something to do — a way to expend excess energy beyond the Fontana, Calif., concrete. When she enrolled in high school, Jackson figured she would quit, focus on school and earn an academic scholarship to college. Softball was no more than an early chapter in the life story she had drafted for herself. She will never know, however, the ending her story would have yielded had she quit softball. There were many moments when Jackson’s career could have suddenly expired — in ninth grade when she grew tired of playing with the same teammates season after season, or her junior year of college when she injured her back in a car accident and shattered her resolve to return to the field — but she remained in the sport. Now, wrapping up her second year as assistant coach of the Terrapins softball team, Jackson no longer thinks about the day she will step away from the sport. Instead, she envisions the next phase, despite her wavering relationship with the game in the past.

What does softball mean to Jackson after being involved in the sport for more than 15 years? After it took her 2,500 miles from home? As one of the best hitters in NCAA Division I history, Jackson owes much of her reputation to the sport. But to properly answer those questions, Sarde Stewart responded as she believed her older sister would. “At the end of the day, it’s like, ‘That is my passion. That is what I’m going to go back to no matter how much I try to fight it,’” Stewart said.

UNTAPPED POTENTIAL Jackson doesn’t think this generation, the one she helps coach, can understand the way she grew up. “Children these days, they don’t just go out and play,” Jackson said in late March, sitting in her office in a black Terps softball sweatshirt. “We played outside until the streetlights came on.” Jackson remembers spending most days and evenings playing tag or pretending to be a Power Ranger in her Fontana neighborhood. She played pickup basketball. There was little organization, and turning the games she simply played for fun into a career never entered the elementary schooler’s mind. But Jackson also remembers tougher


Terps rout local foe Towson, 11-3 Robinson allows one run over 7 innings By Daniel Popper Staff writer All season, Terrapins baseball coach John Szefc has stressed the importance of working opposing pitchers deep into the count, especially with two outs. But the youthful Terps have struggled to do so because of lack of experience against the arms in the ACC and across Division I baseball. Yesterday, in an 11-3 win over Towson — the team’s second victory over the Tigers in a week — those same inexperienced hitters delivered a multitude of two-out RBIs, which lifted the Terps to their fifth win in six games. “We had multiple two-out, two-strike quality at-bats — good at-bats — and that’s what we’re trying to mold it around,” Szefc said. “We’re trying to mold it around putting 27 tough outs together.” Shortstop Blake Schmit started the two-out outburst in the second inning with the Terps trailing 1-0. The transfer from Des Moines Area Commu-

nity College ripped a line-drive single to right field, scoring third baseman Kevin Martir from second to tie the game. The Terps took a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Martir hit an easy ground ball with two outs and runners on the corners, but Towson first baseman Kurtis Voytell couldn’t handle the throw from second, allowing center fielder Charlie White to score from third. The Terps scored two more runs with two outs in the fourth inning on an RBI single from White and an RBI double from right fielder Jordan Hagel. And they continued their two-out scoring barrage in the fifth inning with a bases-loaded hit by pitch and a three-RBI double from second baseman Jose Cuas. “It’s [about] having more productive at-bats,” Schmit said. “Waiting for your pitch, seeing one over the plate, not breaking, you swing down and driving it the other way.” Left-hander Alex Robinson See tigers, Page 10

moments of her childhood, ones that set her early days farther apart from others. Jackson’s father passed away when she was 2 years old, and her mother was in and out of jail during Jackson’s entire childhood. Born in Los Angeles, Jackson lived with her grandparents, Henry and Annie Fulcher. But not knowing her parents left some emptiness inside. “Seeing other people have that and not having it … it made it very difficult,” Jackson said. “So I was very quiet.” She also remembers her fulfilling athletic experiences as a child, like the times she played stickball with next-door neighbor Tatiana George — who went on to play for Florida State in the 2002 and 2004 Women’s College World Series. Soon, Jackson started to see George leave to play softball, and it sparked an interest. As her curiosity grew, the sixth-grader asked her grandmother to sign her up for the Fontana Little League. The family saved money, and Jackson began softball the next year. At first, organized softball was very nervewracking for the quiet seventh-grader. She had never been a part of a team before, and having people depend on her made her feel uncomfortable. Jackson recalls struggling at the plate, but she made up for it with her speed. Besides, she didn’t expect herself to crank out home runs

and smack line drives at this stage. “It was fun,” Jackson said. “Different than just playing outside.” That was all it was to her, and she didn’t seem interested in having it become anything more. But those around Jackson realized she had scratched only the surface of her potential.

‘THIS REALLY GOOD PLAYER, YOU KNOW?’ Dick Bruich already had an extensive resume as football coach of state champion Fontana High School, but he also had a much less notable gig on the side: softball coach. Bruich heard from gym teacher Floyd Youmans there was a freshman with a bat worthy of the varsity team. And at tryouts, one swing from the gangly Jackson left the legendary coach enthralled. Bruich wanted to do anything he could to get her to continue her career. Jackson was tired of playing with the same teammates year after year, and she didn’t want to be stuck on a freshman team. “She had this awesome swing and was just this really good player, you know?” Bruich said. “First game, we stuck her out in right field. We wanted her to bat in the lineup.” She made varsity and started from day one. See Jackson, Page 10

May 1, 2013  

The Diamondback, May 1, 2013

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