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Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010
Christine Evans removed as dean Nationial search to be held for replacement James Bright Editor
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Christine Evans was removed from her position this summer and offered a job as a professor in the agriculture department. Professor in the Literature and Language department Dr. Sal Attardo will hold the position while a national search is conducted to fill it, Provost
Larry Lemanski said. Evans said although there was obvious planning involved in her removal, she had no part in it. “From my side this was entirely a surprise,” she said. Questions as to whether Evans’ sexual orientation played a role in her dismissal were raised, but Evans said she does not think it was a factor in her removal. “I am openly lesbian, and have
made no attempt to either trumpet or hide that orientation,” she said. “I’m quite certain that most people on campus and in Commerce who have interacted with me to any extent are aware of that. I can also add that I have had no direct experience of mistreatment or different treatment related to the issue.” Even if her orientation was the reason for her removal, Evans said it would have been legally irrelevant.
“I don’t believe that Texas or the A&M University system include sexual orientation on their list of characteristics with specific civil rights protection,” she said. Calls to confirm this information with the A&M University system’s human resources department were not returned as of press time. “My personal opinion is that my sexual orientation was probably not
Construction almost complete
KAT HUFFINES / THE EAST TEXAN
Construction of the new music building will finish early next semester with the unveiling of the building scheduled for Feb. 4. Texas A&M University-Commerce has several construction projects going on around campus, all of which will change the layout and design of the university.
Construction gives campus face lift Jared watson Digital media editor
Construction projects around the campus of A&M-Commerce, including the new Music Building, construction of a new residence hall and upgrades to the pedestrian walking mall, continue as classes begin for the Fall 2010 semester. The new Music Building is open and hosting classes to begin the semester, with only a few projects remaining to be completed. “[Students and teachers] are occupying most of the building,” Facilities Project Manager Jim Patton said. “No activities are being conducted at the old building.” The music building is more than simply a concert and practice space for music students, according to the Music Department Head Dr. Chris White.
Thursday H: 94 L: 75
Friday H: 94 L: 71
White said it reflects a sense of professionalism that the previous building lacked. “[Monday, Aug. 30] was the first day of classes and the faculty and student responses have been delightful,” White said. “I had one student tell me that it was like Extreme Makeover: Music Department.” According to Patton, the only remaining work left in the site is the completion of the concert and recital halls, which he estimated would be complete by the second week in October. “The site should be fully operational by the beginning of November,” he said. While the concert and recital halls aren’t finished, the building fully functions as a practice and educational space for the music department. “We finally have a building worthy of our students,” he said. “It gives you a sense of wonderment and delight that is unique to good architecture.”
Saturday H: 93 L: 72
The music building, which cost in excess of $29.5 million, will officially be dedicated on Feb. 4, 2011. The construction of a new 258-bed residence hall began with the demolition of several of the West Halls, which was completed over the summer. The un-named hall, a three-story building expected to be used to house incoming freshmen, is due to be completed by the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester. “[A&M Commerce President] Dr. Jones made the decision to make A&MCommerce a more residential campus,” Interim Director of Residential Living and Learning Dennis Koch said. “He wants us to be up to 3,000 students in the near future because he believes that students have a better college experience if they live on campus.” According to Koch, the living units in the new hall, which he referred to as
See MUSIC on page 3
See EVANS on page 3
LSC loses five universities Caleb Slinkard Managing Editor
The Lone Star Conference Council of Presidents gathered Wednesday, Aug. 25 at Texas Women’s University’s Parkland Campus in Dallas to discuss the exit date of the five Oklahoma schools leaving the Lone Star Conference. The Council agreed on a plan that will have all five schools exit the LSC by the end of the 2010-11 athletic seasons. “Today’s decision reflected a desire of our member institutions – the 11 that will remain and the five withdrawing – to move forward and look to the future,” LSC Commissioner Stan Wagnon said. “Starting anew with the 2011-12 athletic seasons will allow everyone to get started down the respective paths that were made known earlier this summer.” Three Oklahoma schools- Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and East Central University- are leaving the LSC to join with six Arkansas schools and create a new Division II conference. The name and headquarters of this new conference have yet to be decided. The six Arkansas schools are the University of Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist and Southern Arkansas, all of which are currently members of the Gulf Coast Conference. According to a press release by Southwestern Oklahoma State University, the universities “plan to submit a conference strategic plan, a conference constitution and conference by-laws to the NCAA by Dec. 1, 2010.” “The intent of the conference is to group together similar institutions in terms of budgets and goals,” said the presidents, chancellors and directors of athletics from the universities in a joint statement. “Furthermore, the conference is intended to be made up
See LSC on page 3
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Writer gives freshmen “healthy” living tips
CHANCELLOR MILLS OPINION EDITOR My weight is something that I’ve dealt with for years. It’s not like I have ever been largely overweight, but I have never considered myself to be in good shape by any means. So, here are some tips to help keep off those dreaded “Freshman 15.” As far as working out goes, all students have free access to the Rec Center, which has plenty of options when it comes to having a fun workout session. Another tip when it comes to working out is to take your roommate with you as a workout buddy. You are sure to have more fun than if you were to work out by yourself and it will give you an opportunity to get to know your “roomie” a little better. Now, to this day I still have a problem with over-eating. I contribute this in large part to the fact that I am the child of a single parent who sometimes had trouble making ends meet, making it taboo to not clear my plate. So, if you are an over-eater like me, eating at the cafeteria will go a long way to remedying that. As a
freshman, you are required to have a meal plan and, I guarantee, if you eat every meal there for a week, you will likely swear off food for the following week. If that little jaunt down the porcelain river does not help to curb you over-eating habit, then it may be time to take some more drastic steps – chemical dependency. Granted, it is not the most savory of options and I would certainly never endorse such an action but, clearly, there must be some merit to the practice. It is never too early to start to develop a “big boy” addiction. And for those who doubt this method, I have one question: have you ever seen a morbidly obese crack addict? Now, I realize that there may be some of you out there – you tragically fated few – who will not be helped by my advice up to this point. You are probably reading this and saying to yourself, “But Chance, I don’t like lifting heavy stuff, I love stuffing my face with crappy food and I don’t want to start using drugs or alcohol cause they are bad for me.” For you folks, I have one more fail-safe, idiotproof strategy: bulimia. I know it is not very pleasant to talk about, but it may be the only option for some people. It may seem kind of gross and, yeah, you may end up losing a tooth or two but you are just going to have to weigh that against how much you want to be thin. I hope this has helped. You’re welcome.
Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010
Editor excited about Commerce
STEPHANIE NORMAN CAMPUS LIFE EDITOR Bed sheets: check. Computer: check. Clothes: check. The rest of my materialistic items I can’t live without: check! I loaded up my little red car all by myself, filled up with gas and headed to Commerce for a semester of classes, work and memories I will most likely never forget. I pulled into my new residential parking lot
straddling a huge pothole. The big red brick building looked lonesome and the parking lot was dead. After lord knows how many loads from my car to my dorm, I finally took a break and sat down on the little blue chair in my jail cell sized room. My first night here I hardly got any sleep, considering I had no pillow! When I woke up in the morning, I went straight to the bathroom door only to find I was locked out. Grabbed my keys, ran downstairs and found a sweet, young woman to help me. When I told her my dilemma, she responded with, “So basically you’re telling me you have to pee,” which made me laugh. As a junior transfer student, I am learning a whole new campus, new people and how things work around here.
Just about everyone I have met is welcoming and inviting. When I moved here last week, I not only got a new “home,” but a new job, new school and I have met so many new people. It’s amazing how moving an hour away from home can seem like you’re living a whole new life. Friday night, I realized I was not the only one in this position. All of the other transfer students and freshmen are in the same boat I am. In order for us to meet people we all need to get out there and push ourselves a little bit further. Introduce yourself to a stranger, smile at someone walking by and don’t be afraid to go out just because you don’t know anyone. My new job in the weight room has allowed me to meet tons of people. In just six days, I went
from knowing just one person in this town, to meeting handfuls of individuals just like me who make me feel at home. I encourage all of the new students to get involved. Don’t just sit around in the dorms waiting for something to happen… because it probably won’t. Use your recourses; visit the library, rec center, bookstore, Grill 155, Mex to the Max, Einstein Bros. Bagel, The Bistro, The Club or any other place on campus. If you don’t know where anything is, explore; take a walk. A little exercise won’t hurt you. For this new fall semester, I challenge each student to make a new friend (or many), try something they have never done before, and live life to the fullest. Just don’t get too carried away and forget to finish homework.
Editorial: Reason for Evans’ dismissal leaves more questions than answers While Provost Larry Lemanski’s firing of former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Christine Evans was done by the book, the manner in which it was done conveys a lack of respect to Dr. Evans, students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the A&MCommerce student body in general. Lemanski is not legally required to provide a rea-
son for Evans’ dismissal, and the fact that he provided one is reassuring. The reason he gave, however, is unsatisfactory. Of course the college wants to move in a new direction but that doesn’t mean anything. Any personnel change by necessity involves a new direction. Evans deserves to know why she was fired and the students of A&M-Commerce
need to know that the administration in place has legitimate reasons for removing an individual in an important place of authority. We are not interested in offhand political statements that don’t provide relevant information. Without an explanation for Evans’ dismissal, we’re left with only unanswered questions and speculation, which is pre-
cisely what such vague explanations are designed to do. Clearly the A&MCommerce administration considers Evans worthy of being an A&M-Commerce faculty member since they extended a job to her as a professor in the agriculture department. Perhaps in the future they will consider A&M-Commerce students worthy of the entire truth.
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The East Texan, official student newspaper of Texas A&M University-Commerce, is published 12 times per semester during the Fall and Spring by students in reporting and editing classes. Content is solely the responsibility of the student editors and writers. The comments and views expressed in The East Texan do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of other students, staff, faculty, administration, or the Board of Trustees. The East Texan is located inside the Journalism building on the east side of campus in room 113. Single copies are available in Journalism 113 for an additional 25 cents. Letters to the Editor are welcome and should be limited to 250 words. They will not be edited for spelling, grammar and libelous or malicious statements. We reserve the right to refuse publication. Letters should be typed or e-mailed and must include a signature, classification (grade level) and telephone number. Mailing address is The East Texan, P.O. Box 4011 Commerce, Texas 75428.
The East East Tex Texan an The Established 1915 JAMES BRIGHT Editor Caleb slinkard Managing Editor
JARED WATSON digital media Editor
ADAM TROXTELL Sports Editor
kat huffines Graphics Editor
CHANCELLOR MILLs opinion editor
MEGAN CAREY ART SCENE Editor
jasmin brown copy desk chief
stephanie norman campus life editor
MELISSA ARCHER STAFF CARTOONIST
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Fred Stewart Faculty Adviser email@example.com
Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010
INFOGRAPHIC CREATED BY KAT HUFFINES The above graph shows enrollment numbers for undergraduates by classification for 2009 and 2010, and shows each had a significant increase.
...enrollment sees dramatic jump CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
the reason for my dismissal,” reaching their goal of enrollment set in the University Strategic Plan set in place to reach 10,000 students by 2010. “Meeting our enrollment goal allows us to
remain dedicated to our university values, vision and mission while recruiting, retaining and graduation qualified students who are then prepared to contribute to our economy and our world, while providing
for their families,” Holley said. “In hitting this mark, everyone wins” Interim Director of Undergraduate Admissions Jody Todhunter said this large population of students changes the whole environment
of the campus. “It’s an exciting time for this university as a whole to see our enrollment surpass the 10,000 mark,” he said. “Having this many students on campus infuses that collegiate atmosphere
that helps students enjoy their time on campus daily.” Hendrix said physical improvements on campus are a contributing factor to the enrollment increase. “I think all of the changes we have been able to make in the campus and the energy is making a difference, and it’s everyone working together and realizing how important it is to change,” she said. Hendrix also said the connection between the Student Access and Success Center and students plays a beneficial role in recruiting and retaining students. “We’ve been establishing strong relationships with public school partners as well as community college partners,” she said. “I think having our OneStop-Shop [gives us] the opportunity to focus on each individual student.” Graduate enrollment is up as well. Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Dr. Allan D. Headley said being in
public eye helps A&MCommerce’s graduate programs gain notoriety. “Factors that contribute to the increase in graduate enrollment include the continued dissemination of information about the high quality of our graduate programs and internationally recognized faculty through various avenues, such as our Graduate Expo, which was held this past spring in the metroplex,” he said. A&M-Commerce President Dan Jones said the enrollment increase is helping make A&MCommerce more wellknown as a whole. “Our record-breaking enrollment this fall is the result of many great things coming together: a campus that has never looked better, caring faculty and staff, and most importantly, an educational experience of unparalleled quality,” he said. “We’re no longer ‘the best-kept secret in Northeast Texas.’ Big things are happening at A&M-Commerce, and people are noticing.”
GRAYSON GRAVES / THE EAST TEXAN The football stadium features several new additions such as opposing team benches and a new scoreboard. The scoreboard also several spots available for advertising, which will create a new revenue stream for the university. COURTESY PHOTO MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Provost Larry Lemanski said despite the budget cuts the education of students is still the top priority at A&M-Commerce.
...budget cuts continue CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
and Success Center as one such example. He said the cost of creating the center was $1 million and that other universities have paid upward of $20 million for similar buildings. “Our university leaders had the wisdom to look at a facility like the former print shop and envision what it could be – a great resource for the student body,” he said. Vice President for Business and Administration Bob Brown said utilities underwent a $200,000 cut. The addition of the chilled water loop has aided the university in saving money, and such efforts will not stop there. “We are always looking for ways to be more energy efficient and improve our operations,” he said. Lemanski said several other updates have been made in campus buildings in order to increase energy efficiency, such as waterless urinals, lighing, sun screens, boilers,
chillers, cooling towers and new air conditioning systems. Brown said he expects to cut $225,000 from the utilities budget next year. The removal of certain positions was another way Lemanski said the university was able to meet the required budget cuts. He said 16.8 positions were eliminated from state funding. Most of these positions were in the Provost’s division, but none resulted in the removal of an A&MCommerce employee. Eight positions were reassigned to other funding sources, 8.3 positions were unfilled vacancies and .5 was from unfilled retirement. Lemanski said the money saved from these cuts is required to be returned to the state, and that the university will likely face additional cuts next year. He said Texas leaders have already asked state agencies to lower their next two-year, non-formula funding requests by 10 percent in preparation for the 2011 legislature.
...new stadium adds to Lion pride CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
It looks like a smallcollege football stadium,” he said. “We’re pleased with the way it turned out and excited to start playing in it. It’s taken a long time to get here.” Morriss said he likes the idea of hosting high profile high school games, and he also said A&M-Commerce has already been contacted by interested parties. “I think that’s good any time we can get
those types of student athletes on our campus,” he said. “That’s a plus for us, and that’ll certainly be the case once everybody finds out we’ve got a visitors side now.” Cooper admitted there was talk about eventually switching the current home section to the new bleachers, but he said that would not be happening anytime soon. However, fans of Commerce Tigers will be in the new seats. “Right now, we’re
going to stay where we are,” he said. “It’s the best place for us.” Morriss has his own idea about what to put in the new stands. “What I’d like to do is talk about putting our band behind their bench, maybe a couple of student section over there,” he said. “When you go to College Station, that’s where the chore is and where the band is, they raise holy heck, and it’s a distraction. I’ve been down there twice as the head coach of Baylor. That’s
kind of what I had in mind.” New lights and newly laid rubber in the synthetic turf complete the current renovations. Cooper said smaller additions will be added at a later date. “There are still some things we’re working on, some cosmetic things to tie it all together,” he said. “That’ll be work in progress. They’re not necessarily things that needed to be there before we played our first game.”
...fresh money brought through grants CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
engineering and technology, received an $18,000 grant for the “2010 Engineering Summer Program (ESP),” which hosted middle school students from Commerce and Cooper from June 7-18 this summer. “The students were introduced to robotics, given challenges, and designed and planned their own robots, which they demonstrated on June 14,”
Donham said. The students were also taken on a tour of L-3 Communications in Greenville during the camp. “L-3 is a major collaborator on various programs,” Lemanski said. “Including our new computational science program.” Dr. Vanessa Huse, a mathematics instructor, received a $60,434 continuation of a grant for “Measurement in the
Middle Grades,” a Teacher Quality Grant Program. The award will be used for teacher training for middle school mathematics in the Athens area. “We’re trying to improve all the science and mathematics areas in the grade schools, middle schools, and of course high schools, so students in the United States are better prepared when they come to college,” Lemanski said. “In other
words, they won’t find algebra so difficult. They’re good at it.” However, Lemanski stressed that though he is enthusiastic about the advances in research at A&M-Commerce, he does not want to see the university sacrifice its educational base. “We want to maintain excellent teaching as well,” he said. “But also bring up the research and scholarship component of our institution.”
Ca mpus Life
Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010
Courtesy of Marie Claire
A&M-Commerce will begin an online personal finance class, Finance 497: Intro to Personal Finance, this semester.
Personal Finance class debuts in fall Jasmin Brown/ the east texan
Latson’s Printing & Office Supplies provides personal service to customsers and has been a downtown Commerce fixture for over 50 years.
Latson’s values service above all Chance Mills Opinion Editor Starting as a newspaper in 1953, Latson’s Printing & Office Supply, Inc. is now one of the oldest retail and printing service stores in Commerce. The owner of Latson’s, Dick Latson, belongs to the second generation of Latsons to own the business. “My father moved here from Texas Tech in west Texas in 1953 – it was his dream to own a smalltown paper,” he said. “He and another man owned the Commerce Journal up through 1966. I took over in 1977. It was just a little old chop shop and then we expanded the business to include office supplies and copies.” In the beginning, Latson never intended to own the company on a long-term basis. “The family turned it over to me back in the late ‘70s because there wasn’t anything really to sell,” he said. “So I was going to school at the university [in Commerce] and decided that I would run the business for a few years, then sell it and continue on with my education. Obviously, that didn’t happen and I ended up keeping it for 33 years now.” Although he was not running the company in the early years after its formation, Latson thinks that it would have been easier owning a “baby” company back then. “Business in the early days was a lot easier than it is nowadays,” Latson
said. “Back in the early days, we made a lot of mistakes and took on too much debt and came close to losing the business. But there was lot of business to be had and so the mistakes weren’t as costly. If I were starting in the business today, I doubt if I could make it. It’s just a lot tougher these days.” One thing Latson enjoys about his business is serving others. “The thing that keeps me going and the satisfaction I derive from it is being somewhat of a service industry,” he said. “I’m passionate about our customers and get great satisfaction from helping people solve their problems, helping people out of binds – that probably drives me more than the money. A lot of decisions made in the industry are based on how we can help the customer as opposed to how we can make more money.” This satisfaction from helping others is apparent to anyone who visits the company’s website. On the opening page, Latson has clearly stated what his company will do for you that others may not. “At Latson’s, customer service is not only our top priority, it is our passion,” the website reads. “We strive to be your one source for all of your office supply and business and needs. One vendor, one call. Simplify your life.” A Commerce native, Latson also enjoys feeling like he is giving back to his community. “The thing I’m most
proud of is just survival and being able to provide payroll for 14 families,” Latson said. “It’s pretty awesome when you think about the fact that the survival of your business provides support for many different families within your community. I’m proud that we’re able to provide a place of employment for those people.” Like most business these days, Latson’s was affected by the recession. “Business here was down, but it wasn’t as bad as the industry as a whole, so I’m kind of proud of that,” he said. “We didn’t have to lay anybody off. We’ve pretty much been able to hang on to our payroll.” However, this level of recession resistance has come with a price, according to Latson. “It has taken its toll on us,” he said. “It’s going to take awhile to dig out of this. Our cash reserves are depleted. So it’s going to take another year or two to pull out of this recession for us.” After 44 years, Latson’s still receives a good deal of business on a regular basis. “We get quite a bit of retail downtown,” Latson said. “We probably get more retail business than the few of us that are around down here.” Senior sociology major Kerry Hendricks – who used Latson’s engraving services to create a humorous nameplate as a gag gift for a professor – spoke highly of his customer experience.
“The customer service I received at Latson’s was really awesome,” Hendricks said. “They really value their customers and really want you to keep doing business with them. I went in to get a custom nameplate made for a prank on one of my professors, and the lady that helped me was really helpful. She was able to help me pick out what I needed and even offered come constructive changes. As opposed to other larger businesses, I felt a real personal and friendly experience. Granted, the selection may not be as broad as Staples, but the customer service really makes up for it.” Latson’s has expanded its business to Sulphur Springs. However, Dick said he does not really have a desire to expand the business further at present. “We did expand a couple of years ago, and we had opportunities to do some more expansion and, probably if I was younger, I’d consider it, but a lot of that cash flow becomes a lot more critical the bigger you get – you take on a lot more risk,” he said. Latson wants to focus on securing his assets. “We decide to pull in the reins a little bit and try to get a good handle on this to where we’re taking care of what we have and then, maybe down the road, if my manager wants to look at expanding again, we might consider it. But, for now, we’re going to hold on to what we have.”
A&M-Commerce unveils new scholarship program JASMIN BROWN COPY DESK CHIEF In April, Texas A&M University-Commerce launched Cash4College, a state-funded scholarship program that targets new undergraduate and graduate students in certain academic disciplines. According the Cash4College web page: “Cash4College is a Texas A&M UniversityCommerce scholarship program open to eligible graduate candidates and undergraduate candidates who have not attended Texas A&M UniversityCommerce before.” According to VicePresident for Student Access and Success Dr.
Mary Hendrix, “The Cash4College initiative is a special initiative designed to maximize our base funding from the sate.” Hendrix said each state university receives “performance incentive funds,” which are allocated based on an institution’s performance on “key indicators” such as retention, graduation rate and time to degree. A&M-Commerce President Dan Jones has approved use of these incentive funds for scholarships. “These scholarships are targeted as classifications and degree programs that will generate the most weighted
funding for the next two years,” Hendrix said. “For example, we receive more funding from the state for master’s and doctoral programs and for degree programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).” The Cash4College initiative will continue through the Spring 2011 semester, with scholarships being awarded to approximately 300 students, according to Hendrix. “We are providing 50 two-year, $2,500 per semester scholarships for students transferring to our university and majoring in the STEM disciplines,” she said. “We are investing $1,000 for 50
of our current students who want to pursue their graduate degrees. The remaining scholarships will target over 200 graduate students.” According to Hendrix, students transferring to A&M-Commerce for the Fall 2010 semester who are majoring in a STEM discipline have been notified of Cash4College scholarship options. For further information contact Dr. Hendrix at Mary_Hendrix@ tamu-commerce.edu. Cash4College scholarship requirements and applications can be found at tamu-commerce.edu/ admissions/tuitionCosts/financialAid/ cash4College/scholarshipProgram.
CALEB SLINKARD MANAGING EDITOR While most universities recognize that preparing their students for life in the “real world” is their most important goal, certain aspects of this wellrounded education tend to be ignored. That’s where certified financial planner Jared Pickens steps in. A graduate of Texas Tech and Kansas State with an undergraduate and master’s degree in personal financial planning, Pickens will be teaching a personal finance class during the 2010 fall semester at A&M-Commerce. The class, officially Finance 497: Intro to Personal Finance, began as a thesis project at Kansas State. “Instead of doing a traditional thesis for my master’s degree, I was allowed to design and implement a personal finance class,” Pickens said. “I also was part of a volunteer program at Texas Tech where I did financial planning and financial counseling for students. That was the inspiration for this class.” Pickens approached A&M-Commerce with the help of current A&MCommerce CFP Director Dr. Nathan Harness, one of Pickens’s professors at Texas Tech, and the school quickly latched on to the idea. The class, which is completely online, is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of personal finance. “Our biggest goals are to educate students on every aspect of financial planning, encourage people to live within their means and to teach students to save some money,” Pickens said. “By the end of the class, you should be able to put your own personal finance plan together before you earn your first paycheck. We teach everything from money management to debt to investment to real estate. Anything you want to know, we cover it.” This class provides A&M-Commerce students with a unique opportunity for a university of A&MCommerce’s size. “It’s relatively new and I think you’re going to see classes like this more and more needed as things like what happened in 2008 continue to occur,” Pickens said. “We’re slowly seeing classes like this come in, but it’s rather slow.” As the financial world becomes more and more
complicated, students will need to seek educational opportunities to remain up-to-date on everything that’s going on. Since personal finance is such a daunting topic, many students simply ignore it. “I think all students should have a basic understanding of personal finance,” Harness said. “The financial world is becoming increasingly complex and the responsibility for understanding that complexity falls square[ly] on the individual. College students today need a basic understanding of retirement funding, student loans, credit card debt, employee benefits, and a plethora of other financial concepts.” Without a sound financial education, many students exit college loaded with debt. For students who aren’t making that much money coming out of college, this is a questionable strategy. “The average student graduates with up to $3,000 to $4,000 in debt,” Pickens said, “and that doesn’t even count student loans. Because we live in a consumer-driven society, we want everything now. We want what our parents have now.” This “need-it-now” attitude leads to poor financial decisions by students, which can impact their appreciation of their education and their ability to give back to their university. “I get a number of parents and alumni who tell me they wish they had not learned personal finance the “hard way”- through making the wrong financial decisions,” Harness said. “Understanding basic finance has become a necessity to function in the complex financial environment we live in.” News of the class has spread quickly among faculty and staff, and Pickens is confident that the class will continue to be offered at A&MCommerce. While there are hopes of adding it as a minor or to the university’s core curriculum, for now the class is open to all students. “I encourage students to check with their advisers to see if the class will give them credit towards their degree plans,” Pickens said. “[But] the class is open to anyone. I’m hoping that the class goes so well that we can add sections and eventually see a live class in A&M-Commerce.”
Ca mpus Life
Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010
Art Art Scene Scene
Thursday, Sept. 02, 2010 www.theeasttexan.com
Even with a cast stock full with big names like Paul Walker, TIP “T.I.” Harris and Chris Brown, Takers still fails audiences and robs audiences of precious time and money. This is T.I.’s first post-jail time film.
Star-studded cast robs audiences JAMES BRIGHT EDITOR There’s a reason no one has ever tried to replace the rat pack. Every member of the group were talented actors, singers and entertainers. Paul Walker’s new film “Takers” makes an effort, but falls incredibly short. The movie is your basic run-of-the-mill bank robber story with a different group of actors. They are the best at what they do. They’ve robbed several banks over the last five years. They are looking for the big score. Yadda yadda you get the picture. At first the movie appears to have promise. An eclectic group of actors fill out the cast. Each one has their own back story, which the movie spends a decent amount of time explaining. It looks at multiple perspectives throughout the movie includ-
ing those of the thieves’ and the police. Sadly this movie fails to capitalize on any of these potential high notes. Matt Dillon, Chris Brown and Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris are a small sampling of what this movie brings. The problem is, out of these three only Matt Dillon can act. Brown is whiny and generic throughout the film. He never really connects to the audience and therefore it’s really hard to care what happens to his character. Compared to Harris though, Brown is a master of the craft. Fresh out of prison – in real life and in this film – Harris is a single-note tough guy who seems to be stronger than anyone else in the movie. The guy is maybe 130 lbs and somehow manages to flip someone twice his own weight over his shoulder. Plus, every time he’s on the screen his accent makes it close to impossible to understand
anything he says. Something every movie needs are back stories for its characters. “Takers” is no different. Everyone gets at least a little bit of back story. The problem is they are all boring, generic and limited. There is no ingenuity in any of these tales. No real reason as to why these people act the way they do. Hayden Christensen, who is the brains of the operation, is covered in tattoos, but dresses like Frank Sinatra. The reason why is never given. Chris Brown has a 10 minute scene where he leaps over cars, buildings and even a six story parking garage. Yet there is no way to know where he acquired these ninja skills or why he has them. This is what makes the movie so weak – excessive plot holes. The film does make an effort to give the audience multiple perspectives, but no one really
cares. The cops –played by Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez – are one-note characters at best. Dillon plays the older, agitated by-the-street officer while Hernandez slips into the young, trying-to-do-it-bythe-book-but-failing-at-it cop. Every police film in the world has these archetypes and these two do not do them justice. What is worse is the lack of climax in the police side of the story. At the end of the movie, it just kind of trails off and ends with no real resolution one way or the other. There is just no reason to spend money to see this movie. There are several others just like it. If you are feeling the high stakes crime movie jones watch any of the “Ocean’s” series, or “The Italian Job” or even “Maverick.” Any of these films is far and away better than this onenote piece of garbage.
The East Texan has two additions to their editorial staff, Campus Life Editor Stephanie Norman and Graphics Editor Kat Huffines. Norman said she took this editorship to help develop and sharpen her skills as a reporter. “My ultimate goal as a member of the staff is to enhance my journalism skills and use this as stepping stone in furthering my career,” Norman said. “I would really love to be the editor of Vogue magazine.” Norman was selected as the campus life editor for The East Texan earlier in the summer. She has an associates’ degree in applied science from Paris Junior College
(PJC) and transferred to A&M-Commerce as a junior to major in journalism and minor in photography. She has been working in the journalism field for a total of four years – two years in high school and two years in junior college. After graduating in 2008 from North Lamar High School in Paris, Texas, Norman was contacted by The Paris News, the local paper, to write for them. In addition to working at The Paris News, Norman attended school at PJC and served as the editor of college newspaper, The Bat, for two years. Norman earned a several Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) awards including first place for the on-site contest two-person photo essay, second place
for the on-site contest for magazine layout and a $400 TIPA scholarship. Norman said she really enjoys layout, photography and writing opinion pieces. With two years of journalism background and an associates’ degree of Art in Communications, The East Texan welcomes Kat Huffines from Mount Pleasant as the Graphics Editor. She is a junior transfer student from North East Texas Community College (NTCC), where she was a staff writer one semester, Arts and Entertainment Editor one semester and Editor of The Eagle one semester. She graduated in 2008 from Chapel Hill High School. In 2010, Huffines received first place in a Sports Action photo contest at TIPA, along
Robin Becker’s debut novel showcases an array of randomly talented zombies with particular human traits.
“Brains” communicates heartfelt, vulnerable tale MEGAN CAREY ART SCENE EDITOR
and her 1948 short story “The Lottery.” Scattered in between these two references is a score of allusions from Frankenstein to remarks on books I have heard of and meant to read but never had, like Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Galapagos.” In my opinion, these references throughout the novel add to Becker’s credibility as an author. Against all odds, and my expectations, Barnes’s ragtag team of zombie misfits become verifiable and relatable characters, which prompts the reader to care about them. Joan, nurse of the zombie-human war, can fix any zombie situation, from reattaching a detached, decaying digit, to stitching up some guts with a needle, thread and duck tape. Guts is a young boy who never does the zombie shuffle and can actually run. Annie had a mean, quick draw while alive, and after death, becomes the first and only zombie who can handle a gun and hit her target every time. Last, but certainly not least, is Ros, short for Rosencrantz, who beyond all expectations can talk and understand words. These zombies set out on a quest with a goal in mind and put aside their zombie instincts to achieve what they wanted. Sure, they fell off the wagon a few times, their human chauffeur was kind of jerk and deserved to be eaten, but what human being doesn’t mess up? They are human, or as close to human as zombies can get, and the ride to this realization is enjoyable and mysteriously hopeful.
Robin Becker must have been using her head when she noticed the soaring popularity of zombies and chose the shuffling, living dead as the basis for her debut novel “Brains.” While it is true that during the past year zombies have been a tad overdone, her novel takes the once misunderstood and hard to relate to race, and attempts to make them human. In this daring and crazy attempt, I think Becker was a wild success. The novel revolves around middle-aged professor Jack Barnes, who is forced to join the infected masses that contracted the zombie virus created by scientist Howard Stein. When Barnes regains consciousness after his transformation, he immediately starts to write. Granted, the word he writes is ‘Brains!’ but it is this event that is Professor Jack Barnes’s first clue of his sentience. The first aspect of the novel that caught and held my attention was the immediate and oft placed media references. Some of them were so obvious anyone could understand them, such as the first association on page four of George Romero, who is practically the Father of Modern Zombies (in film at least). Then a remark will throw me for a complete loop where I actually have to put my book down and JAMES BRIGHT / THE EAST TEXAN look it up on the Internet. For example, on page 151 Becker references a story and an author I have never with a first place front-page heard of, Shirley Jackson design, first place feature photo, third place photo illustration and an honorable mention for a news SENSES FAIL: LET IT THE LIVES OF ENFOLD YOU (CD) OTHERS (DVD) feature article. Some of her work has also been published in the Mount Pleasant newspaper The Daily Tribune. “I like the camaraderie of the newsroom and the teamwork between the staff and editors,” Huffines said. “The WWW.UULYRICS.COM newsroom is a great place to bounce off each other. You WWW.DVDNEAR.COM “ It was one can just feed off of each othof my favorite ers creativity.” “An emotional cds when I was In the future, Huffines journey into growing up--it hopes to work as a an unexplored was awesome.” graphic designer at a period in the -James Bright metropolitan newspaper. 20th century.” With the addition of -Caleb Slinkard Norman and Huffines, The East Texan staff now consists of nine editors.
The East Texan welcomes two new editors
Editor’s Picks BORED TO DEATH (TV)
“Witty with a dry, awkward humor and I’ll continue watching.” - Chance Mills
Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010
Lions welcome Case ADAM TROXTELL SPORTS EDITOR Volleyball coach Craig Case will be returning to Division II when he takes the reins of A&MCommerce’s team starting in the fall. He is succeeding Mark Pryor, who coached the Lions to one of their best seasons in recent years last fall. Case said he wants to continue the success brought by Pryor and his players. “Things are going in the right direction based on the great work Coach Pryor put in,” he said. “My goal is to build on that, not implode it and start from scratch. In order for us to have another successful season and sustain that success year in and year out we need to have a team culture that not only promotes success, but also supports it.” During the announcement of the hire on May 20, Athletic Director Carlton Cooper said he felt Case was the right choice. “We are very excited to have Craig Case join our Lion athletic family,” Cooper said. “He brings a wealth of experience and strong national recruiting ties to our program. We were looking for a volleyball coach to take our program to the next level as a nationally recognized program. We have selected the right person by choosing Craig Case to lead our volleyball program.” Case comes to A&MCommerce after spending four years coaching at Valley City State University in North Dakota. He said coming to Texas was a factor in his acceptance of t he job. “Being in Texas is great and having access to some of the best players in the nation is tough to match,” Case said. “It’s been interesting to see the flood of emails I’ve gotten from players throughout Texas who have gotten offers elsewhere, but want to stay closer to home. There is an incredible amount of talent and passion for the
game of volleyball here in Texas and I’m excited to have access to that.” Case also said he was impressed with the attitude of the athletic department. “When interviewing and visiting with Mr. Cooper and [associate athletic director] Judy Sackfield I felt like they were committed to winning,” he said. “The best part about that is I felt like they are even more supportive of a great student-athlete experience. Both things are important to me and it’s tough to find schools that are supportive of both of them.” Upon arriving for preseason training, Case will bring a new system and way of playing. He admits getting the players used to this new order will be the first hurdle. “I think the first obstacle we’re going to face is for them to buy into the things that I do differently,” he said. “I’m confident the players are able to do this, but we’ll see how that ends up going.” After this, Case said he plans to build the team to be “good” all around, not in just how they play. “I think good teams win matches, good teams win titles,” he said. “My philosophy is that ‘who’ we are is more important than ‘what’ we do. Everyone I’ve met with on the team is equally committed to winning and being successful.” Case and the Lions start this new season against Southern Arkansas on Sept. 3, and they’ll be without top players Lauren Flynn and Perla Faudoa after both graduated. While he said this will be a challenge, he is confident his team has the ability to continue building on a good season. “I’m looking forward to working with this team,” Case said. “We have our work cut out for us, but everyone seems both excited and capable of overcoming any obstacles that we might have in front of us.”
Sophomore Rachel Robertson goes up for a kill during the Lone Star Conference tournament in Canyon, Texas, at the end of last season.
Expectations high for young Lions ADAM TROXTELL SPORTS EDITOR
A&M-Commerce volleyball enters the 2010 season with a heightened expectation because of their success last year. Former head coach Mark Pryor saw the team achieve a 25-10 record and a conference tournament appearance. The offseason was more a story of losses, however, as Pryor accepted a job at Baylor and all-American Lauren Flynn graduated along with other top senior Lions. Perla Faudoa, Amy Addison, Morgan Ballard and Alyssa Oberle are only a few of the names new head coach Craig Case will not be able to use in his squad because of graduation, but he said they may have a lasting effect on his current squad. “I think those are great players,” Case said. “But you need players like that to turn things around and create something new, and then you need the players like we have to carry on that tradition. You need people who understand that tradition and what has been accomplished.” One such player Case may have in mind is senior Terra Ousley. Case is her third coach in four years, but Ousley said
she doesn’t let it affect her game. “It can be difficult sometimes if you’re a person who doesn’t adjust well to different coaches, but I’ve had experience with that in high school,” she said. “I played club, so every year I had a different coach. I’ve had the experience of having to adapt quickly to someone else. As long as they’re a good coach, it shouldn’t bother you at all.” The experience Ousley brings to the team could prove to be invaluable, and she said she knows her role as a senior. “I think my job is to just lead by example, just do the best I can do and help anybody that asks me questions about anything,” she said. Despite losing talented players, Case said he is satisfied with remaining ability coupled with that of new recruits. He also said freshmen may need to step in immediately to start in certain positions. “Mark (Pryor) did a great job of bringing in a couple of really talented players,” Case said. “We’ve got a couple of positions where we just need a freshman to jump in and play it. We got really lucky we were able to recruit two liberos late, and they look really strong. I think we have
During a preseason match against an FC Dallas youth team, junior Devon Herrman goes up for a header off of senior Megan Monroe’s cross.
Women deal with Lasley loss in 2010 season ADAM TROXTELL SPORTS EDITOR The A&M-Commerce women’s soccer team goes into the 2010 season with a preseason ranking of 7th by the Lone Star Conference, just outside of conference tournament contention. For head coach Neil Piper, this is not as daunting as it seems. He said history shows preseason rankings seldom predict how the Lions end up performing. “Most people who do those rankings, they try to do it as fast as they can, and they just look at who
finished where last year,“ he said. “Every year we won a conference, we were picked fourth, fifth, or sixth. Every year we’ve been picked first or second, we finished fourth.” The Lions placed 6th last year, grabbing the last tournament spot before falling to Texas Women’s University on penalties in the first round. They finished with a 10-8-1 record overall, 5-5-0 in the LSC. Many of their wins were behind the exploits of Meagan Lasley, as she lead the team with 15 goals. She has since graduated and Piper said it is a
blow to the team. “It’s always tough when you lose one of the best players in your program’s history,” he said. “I felt that way when we lost Erin DeWolfe years ago, we seemed to manage, and I feel that way now. I think with the freshmen we’ve got coming in, plus the returners, we’ll be okay.” Among those returners is Lasley’s striking partner, senior Chelsey Haight. With eight goals and four assists, Haight was second on the team in points with 20, behind Lasley’s 36. She said the attack appears to
be coming together well. “We have new incoming freshmen and forwards that are stepping up, so I think we’ll do pretty good this year,” she said. Most of the five incoming freshmen are attack minded, and Piper said this was an area he wanted to work on in the offseason. “We needed to be a bit more aggressive than we were last year, we needed to be a little bit more athletic across the field than we were last year, and I think these four or five will do that for us,”
a well-rounded recruiting class. It’s created a lot of depth.” The two new liberos, Dakota Crockett and Kallie Carpenter, will be taking Flynn’s old position. Bringing those players in is not the only way Case hopes to combat losing the all-American. “From everything I’ve been told about her (Flynn) and seen in match film, if it went to her, they were in system and could do whatever they wanted,” he said about Flynn. “It was pretty automatic, and we’re not there with anybody yet. If anything, the biggest change we’ve made is that we’re expecting everyone to handle the ball more. Through that, I think we can spread out those defensive touches that she had to get.” One thing that might help the Lions even further is for a first-year player to have as successful a season as sophomore Rachel Robertson had last year. With 67 total blocks and 2.19 kills per set in 2009, Robertson heads into her second season with even higher expectations. “Since I had a good season, I expect that of myself and I know other people expect that as well,” she said. “So, there’s kind of pressure, but I have confidence in and trust my
teammates. I think they can push me as well as I can push myself.” With the LSC predictors ranking A&M-Commerce fifth in the preseason poll, Robertson said the team’s goals are much higher. “We want a championship,” she said. “We think we have the talent, and because we’re young that means in the future it’ll just increase our chances since we’ve been playing together. But, we think it’s possible this year.” The same goes for Case. While he admits not being too put off by the LSC rankings, he said his squad’s eyes are still on the national stage. “We want to get into the national tournament,” he said. “The simplest route there, and the only one you have the most control over, is to go out and win the conference and the conference tournament. You get your own bid. You don’t have to worry about somebody letting you in. I think that’s where Mark was trying to get this team, so the players he recruited have the same expectations that I do.” A&M-Commerce volleyball begins the season on Friday, Sept. 3, when they host Southern Arkansas at 1 p.m. and Oklahoma Panhandle at 7 p.m.
he said. “Some of these freshmen are pretty good athletes. Although we lost a great one in Meagan (Lasley), we’ve got four or five pretty good athletes that can hopefully fill in and take her spot.” Defensively, the Lions have a bit more experience. The back line is lead by team captain and senior Megan Monroe, and she said while the team suffered big losses, she believes they can pull together. “The girls that we lost were a big loss, but it’s a team effort and right now the team’s coming together really well,” she said. “The girls are talking really well, we’re working on meshing together, and it’s looking really good. Hopefully it’ll all click and be one unit.” Another loss A&MCommerce has dealt with is in goal. First-choice goalkeeper for the past two years, Taylor Jordan, has exhausted her eligibility, leaving junior Randi Hafele in charge of the number one spot. Hafele said she is looking to use what she learned from Jordan. “She has taught me well, and I look up to the way that she played,” Hafele said. “It is pressure, but we have a good team. We have a good defense, and I’ve learned a lot over the last two years.” With the starting spot settled, there were questions about who would deputize Hafele this season. Freshman Elizabeth Lanier would normally be an automatic number
two, but back-to-back ACL tears has given Piper something to think about. That’s why he brought in Stacey McDaniel, a graduate student who served as the Lions’ goalkeeper from 2003-2005. “She graduated after three years and only played those years,” Piper said. “We had been talking for almost a year now about her being a graduate assistant. I just happened to wake up one morning and thought wait a minute, she’s got another year left. So I called her up, she said that was something she was thinking about, too. It kind of just worked out.” Piper didn’t rule out Lanier getting playing time, however, and said the young goalkeeper had done well in training. “I was a little bit weary of her being a backup, but she surprised me and has done quite well,” he said. “So, it’s a good battle for that number two spot behind Randi right now.” Women’s soccer starts play on Sept. 4 with a 2 p.m. kickoff against Tusculum at home. Despite numerous departures and a change in goal, Piper said the goal this season is the same as any other for his squad. “Our goal is always to win a national championship, and mostly a conference championship is just a step to that goal,” he said. “If I didn’t think we could do it, I wouldn’t put us there. Our forwards, they play as good as anybody, so we’re definitely not afraid of anybody.”
sports 2010 A&M-Commerce Football Preview Page 8
Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010
CALEB SLINKARD MANAGING EDITOR Team Overview Last Season: 5-5, Lone Star Conference North Division Champions Head Coach: Guy Morriss
Lions players exit the tunnel prior to the 2009 Harvey Martin Classic.
Players to Watch •LB Stephen DeGrate While Cory Whitfield fills the stat line, DeGrate will have a huge role in the 3-4 defense. Expect the senior to have an all-LSC year. •RB Marcus Graham With a strong offensive line and a year in Morriss’ system, Graham has a chance to shine. Morriss is committed to running the ball more, and Graham will get the Lions’ share of the carries.
Lions Sports Week vs. Southern Arkansas 1 p.m. Okla. Panhandle 7 p.m.
Friday Sept. 3
vs. vs. Saturday U p p e r Tusculum Sept. 4 2 p.m. Iowa 6 p.m.
vs. Fort Hayes 1 p.m. Ark..Monticello 7 p.m.
Sunday Sept. 5
Monday Sept. 6
Tuesday Sept. 7
Wed. Sept. 8
Thurs. Sept. 9
@ Dallas Baptist 7 p.m.
vs. Soutwest Baptist 4 p.m.
Offense: 2009 Statistics: 24.5 points per game, 76.1 rushing yards per game, 222 passing yards a game. Key Returning Players: OL John Marshall, QB Adam Farkes, RB Marcus Graham, WR Taylor Fore, WR Adam Jones, and OL David Sudderth Key Losses: OL R.J Brisbon, QB/TE Reid Herchenbach Overview: The offense got off to a slow start last season in their first year under Morriss, only scoring a total of 21 points in their first three games. A 56 point effort against Eastern New Mexico in Week 4 jump-started the offense as Adam Farkes established himself as the starting quarterback over Reid Herchenbach. A&M-Commerce won five out of their next six games en route to a 2009 LSC North Division crown and with the Lions returning almost all of their key offensive players from last season, they look to continue improving. “We expect to be an explosive, high scoring offense,” Farkes said. “During the season we won’t ever start a possession without thinking we’re going to finish in the endzone.” Grade: AQuarterbacks: Adam Farkes (1,953 passing yards, 12 TDs, 14 INTs, 51.8 completion percentage) proved that he was a playmaker last season and enters the 2010 year as Morriss’ unquestioned starter. He’ll be playing his second year in Morriss’ offense and will be throwing to a familiar group of wide receivers. In order for the Lions to have a successful season, Farkes will need to cut down on his turnovers and improve his completion percentage. 2009 Starting Day quar-
terback Reid Herchenbach is gone, and transfer J.J. Harp will have to sit out the year because he transferred within the LSC, so Morriss will only have two quarterbacks going into the season. Much of the Lions offensive promise lies in Farkes remaining healthy the entire season. “We’re in a dicey situation at quarterback,” head coach Guy Morriss said. “We may have to go through the season with two guys and that is a scary thought.” Running Backs: First team all-LSC Marcus Graham (677 rushing yards, 7 TDs) returns to lead a rushing attack that showed flashes of brilliance but was inconsistent in 2010. Junior transfer Jamar Mosley rounds out a very deep, if somewhat undersized, unit. “We have a gifted bunch of runningbacks,” Morriss said. “Marcus Graham is our starter, London Hamilton saw a little bit of action last season and Jamar Mosley has looked good in practice. There’s three guys right there who have decent speed and are slasher-type rushers.” Wide Receivers: All leading receivers return to the Lions this season, including Taylor Fore (491 receiving yards, 4 TDS), Adam Jones (33 receptions, 349 receiving yards) and Blake Patton (28 receptions, 359 receiving yards). This is an experienced and deep group that will provide Farkes with plenty of scoring opportunities. “Our receivers are better and we added some young freshman that will help us,” Morriss said. “We have some depth of good guys so we can keep them fresh and keep them rotating.” Offensive Line: Almost across the board Lions players and coaches are excited about this season’s offensive line. Anchored by fifth year senior John Marshall and all-LSC redshirt junior David Sudderth, assistant head
coach and offensive line coach Jake Peavy’s squad is confident in their ability to push their opponents off the ball and create openings for the running game. “We’re more comfortable in the system now and we’ve gotten a year stronger,” Morriss said. “So far what I see in practice, and it’s only practice, is that we’re knocking people off of the ball better. We feel pretty good about it.” Defense: 2009 Statistics: 28.5 points allowed per game, 34 sacks, 8 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries Key Returning Players: LB Cory Whitefield, LB Stephen DeGrate, DB Israel Hughes, DB A.J. Billings Key Losses: DL Willie Green, LB Chad Washington, DB Alex Contreras, DL Anthony DeGrate, DB Shea Rodriguez Overview: The Lions’ defense won many games for them in 2009 and always seemed to force a turnover or make a tackle at just the right time. Unfortunately for them, many of their key starters graduated last season, leaving the Lions with tremendous holes at defensive line and secondary. There are plenty of young players ready to fill those gaps, but the jury is still out on whether they will be able to step up in time. Morriss switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defensive scheme because of defensive line losses and the number of playmakers he has at the linebacker position. Thankfully for Morriss, LSC Linebacker of the Year Cory Whitfield will be returning. The senior linebacker led the team with 111 total tackles and will have to have an even better 2010 season if the Lions expect to be as good as they were last season. “I think our defense is really going to be solid this year,” Whitfield said. “Ever since we switched to the 3-4 guys have been
flying around and [the defense] looks pretty good. We’re going to have to play like we have a chip on a shoulder and that every turnover should be ours.” Grade: BDefensive Line: With LSC Defensive Lineman of the Year Willie Green (9 sacks) and Anthony DeGrate (9 sacks) both gone, the Lions have little experience at the defensive line position. Morriss’ switch to a 3-4 will take some of the pressure off of the line, but the Lions will have a hard time repeating last season’s success. “We really struggled to find the kind of d-lineman we wanted to fit our system or we would have stayed in the 4-3,” Morriss said. “We signed some good players and they’re going to be young and if they grow and develop we may mix in a 4-3.” Linebackers: This is the strength of the Lions defense and will have to shoulder much of the defensive load. With the only two defensive seniors, Whitfield and Stephen DeGrate (58 tackles, 3 forced fumbles), the linebackers should be up to the task. “We really feel good about our linebacker corps,” Morriss said, “Right now they’re the strength of our defense. Secondary: Leaders Alex Contreras (41 tackles) and Shea Rodriguez (54 tackles) are both gone, which means that returning starters A.J. Billings (41 tackles, 2 INTs) and Israel Hughes (43 tackles, 2 INTs) will have work even harder to stop attacking quarterbacks. Unfortunately for the Lions, Hughes is injured right now and could possibly miss the whole season. Prediction: This is one of A&M-Commerce’s most favorable schedules in a long time, and Morriss’ squad has a chance to record double-digit victories. A more realistic finish is 8-3.
2010 Texas A&M University-Commerce Football Roster Offense QB Adam Farkes QB Lulke Wagner QB J.J. Harp RB M. Graham RB L. Hamilton RB Jamar Mosley RB A. Wingfield RB Derek Lee RB L. Witherspoon RB Joe Paul Pryor FB C. Brown WR Taylor Fore WR Adam Jones
WR Blake Patton WR Darrin Brown WR K. Jackson WR Tevin Godfrey WR Kevin Bevans WR Damian Davis WR A. Arthur WR T. Thompson WR JoJo Bradburn TE Dakota Burch OL John Marshall OL D. Sudderth OL Nick Cannon
Defense OL Brad Autry OL Velani Kautai OL B. Hinnrichs OL Brian Courtney OL Zac Jester OL Josh Howe OL Zach Rice OL Jose Martinez OL Connor Wize OL D. Morrison OL Ray Argueta OL Gary Aguilar K Abo-Mahmood
DL O. Simmons DL C. Freeman DL Tristan Davis DL Tevin Moore DL James Conyers DL D. Hubert DL A Booher DL Evan Booher DL L. Schwertner DL B. Turner DL Jeremy Dotson DL Jake Williams LB C. Whitefield
LB Danny Mason LB Isaiah Cobbin LB Austin Brewer LB S. DeGrate LB Joshua Jones LB J.T. Bates LB Matt Abrams LB Dan Jacobs LB Matt Claggett LB Aaron Shaw LB Jacoby Veals DB M. Cleveland DB Joel Wren
DB Todd Patton DB Marcus Fore DB B. Jackson DB Israel Hughes DB L. Jackson DB C. Cage DB Chez Thomas DB Marlin Terrell DB Alan Beatty DB Dre’ Dunbar DB C. Craig DS Louie Capra P Cameron Frosch
Listen to From the Bench Friday nights from 6 to 6:30 p.m. on your station 88.9 KETR with Jared Watson and Caleb Slinkard
Published on Sep 7, 2010