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the Independent Student Publication of the University at Buffalo, Since 1950

The S pectrum

Volume 62 No. 53

Monday, February 18, 2013

Married Catholic priest is a sign of changing times Story on page 5

A night inside Buffalo’s new Helium Comedy Club Story on page 4

Dollar Bulls

UB calendar may see big changes in fall 2013

Deciphering who gets what in the athletic department

Labor Day, Thanksgiving, winter break and Jewish holidays potentially affected

BEN TARHAN Sports Editor


ollege athletics is big money. Huge money. Even schools like UB, which take on the daunting task of competing with powerhouses like the University of Florida and University of Texas, try to build a brand and turn a profit through athletics. Texas has become one of the most successful college athletics programs in the country with a commitment to every single sport. “Whatever we do, we want to do it well,” said Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds in a USA Today article. “Whatever sport we have, we want it totally funded – I mean totally funded. We want it to be the right experience for every youngster on all of our teams. Whether it be travel or housing or whatever it is, we want it to be first class.” While schools with huge operating revenues can afford to fully fund a large number of sports, some smaller schools can afford to fund only a handful. Buffalo falls somewhere between those categories. The Bulls have the money to fully support the biggest teams on campus (i.e. football and basketball) but after that, other teams are awarded money from the school with inconsistency. Teams with more wins don’t necessarily get more money, and teams with more members don’t necessarily get more money, either. Although the Bulls do not have the athletic budget of Florida (in the 2010-11 academic year, Florida’s football team made $72.8 million by itself, while Buffalo’s whole athletic department made $26 million in 2011-12), they are still making a profit. Student fees account for a large fraction of money dispersed amongst Buffalo’s athletic teams. The fees accounted for $7.8 million of the total athletic budget revenue in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years. Buffalo can afford to give the football team first-class accommodations when it

SARA DINATALE Senior News Editor

Art by Jeanette chwan

travels around the country, chartering planes and reserving whole floors in hotels, but teams like volleyball and wrestling are forced to take 12-hour bus rides to Northern Illinois and the schools in Michigan. Buffalo does turn a profit athletically, even if just barely. The margin between the Bulls’ revenue and expenses in the 2011-12 academic year was $2,000 in the black. The most obvious measure of many teams’ success is on-the-field performance. But which teams get financed the most is not dictated by winning percentages. In the 2010-11 and 2011-12 years, the football team received the most direct institutional support ($4.9 million combined) and brought in the most revenue ($10.9 million

combined), despite posting a 5-19 record. Part of football’s larger revenue comes from ticket sales. The large UB Stadium, which can seat approximately 30,000 fans, gives the team the opportunity to sell more tickets than any other team on campus. The men’s swimming and diving team has posted a first- and second-place finish at the Mid-American Conference championship meet in the last two seasons. Its combined operating revenue from 2010-11 and 2011-12 was $723,779.69. That’s a gap of more than $10 million, though the swim team has been a MAC powerhouse in recent seasons and the football team has struggled to win games. Continued on page 2

Mazel tov

UB’s Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage to become official department SHARON KAHN Staff Writer UB’s undergraduate Jewish studies major is scheduled to become a full-fledged department in fall 2013. Five years earlier, the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage became a multidisciplinary research and academic degreegranting program. Its mission is to foster knowledge, inquiry and scholarly excellence to better understand Judaism. The department will offer various degree options and courses. Dr. Richard Cohen, director of the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage, was one of the visionaries and creators of the program back in 2008. Eager to return back to his home on the East Coast after teaching Jewish Studies at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte for 14 years, he was hired to direct the new program at UB. According to Cohen, the program’s goal is to teach what Judaism is in an academic and scholarly context and to provide a better understanding of Judaism. “This is not just a program for Jews,” Cohen said. “We don’t identify our students by religion. Nobody does that at the university. It is simply to provide a more objective account of Judaism.”

Courtesy of The University at Buffalo / Douglas Levere

In the fall of 2013, the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage will become a full-fledged department with a mission to foster knowledge, inquiry and scholarly excellence to better understand Judaism. Dr. Richard Cohen (above) helped create the program in 2008.

Christianity was founded on many Jewish principles and the major Christian characters were originally Jewish, according to Cohen. He also said Islam was enormously influenced by Judaism, as Jews appear in the Quran. Marla Segol, undergraduate adviser for the institute and an associate professor in


UB’s Department of English, feels the program fits into the university’s notion of what liberal arts is and what it’s for. She agrees that students of all different backgrounds and beliefs can benefit from taking any of the courses offered in the program.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee voted to have class sessions over winter break and hold classes on Labor Day and Jewish holidays. The proposals still have to go to President Tripathi before a final decision is made, and administration will likely set up a group to provide student input, according to Daniel Ovadia, the UB Council student representative. While some students see the benefits, others are upset by the prospects. The executive committee, which “shall act as the representative of the Senate and in an advisory capacity to the President,” is a faction of the Faculty Senate authorized to act between Senate meetings, according to Charter of the Faculty Senate. The committee met on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Currently, UB is the only SUNY University Center that does not hold winter intersession classes; University at Albany, University at Binghamton and Stony Brook University have classes over winter break. The benefits of winter sessions were discussed in a January committee meeting. Kara Saunders, university registrar, used Stony Brook as an example, stating 2,200 students taking three-credit courses would yield about $2 million, according to minutes from Jan. 23 provided by Edward Herman, secretary of the Faculty Senate. “Possible course offerings might include intensive language study, distance learning, internships, undergraduate research experiences, field research, and ‘boot camps’ – courses that would enable undergraduates who had difficulty in prerequisite courses during the fall semester to master the subject enabling them to continue in the spring,” according the January minutes. The committee also believes the courses would benefit international students who are already on campus during the winter intersession. Supong Ozukum, a senior geology major and an international student from India, usually spends his winter break “sitting at home and wasting time.” “If they offer classes, I’d like to take them,” Ozukum said. “It would help me get ahead for my graduation. It would help me stay ahead of the game.” Ozukum admits he enjoys having Jewish holidays off, but the committee voted to hold classes on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. “The reasoning is that one religion should not get favorable treatment over others in the academic calendar,” Herman said in an email. “For example, the vote took place on Ash Wednesday, a day when classes were held.” In Herman’s understanding of New York State law, he said professors cannot give exams, set due dates for projects or papers or mandate attendance on a religious holiday, or “interfere with religious observance in any other way harmful to student success.” Cortney Rosen, a senior communication major who is of Jewish faith, isn’t happy with the proposal.

Continued on page 2

Opinion 3 Life, Arts & Entertainment 4-6 Classifieds & Daily Delights 7

Sports 8

Continued on page 2


Continued from page 1: From major to master’s “If you are interested in the history of religions, then this is a good place to start,� Segol said. “I have a number of Christian students taking my classes because they want to understand what happened before. They understand that the Bible is their book, and they think of the Hebrew Bible as their book, too, so they want to know it as well.� As of November, there have been three different majors established within the program. Some of the students involved with the start up of the program will graduate this spring with degrees in the majors provided, according to Segol, Students who choose to take part in any of the degree programs offered through the department can choose from a variety of courses that consist of various levels of Hebrew, History of Israel and Zionism, Modern Jewish Thought, American Jewish Experience, Jewish Mysticism and more. While the department offers a great number of courses, the program isn’t extremely demanding. Many of the students do double major, according to Cohen Amy Feist, a senior psychology major, plans on graduating this spring with a minor in Jewish Studies. Feist believes the small-sized classes offered through the department provide students with an entirely different experience from the typical UB courses. “The classes don’t even seem like real classes,� Feist said. “It’s not that normal NSC setting where you’re bored out of your mind sitting alone staring at your professor. It seems more like hanging out with friends and having intellectual and deep conversations about some common thing you’ve all taken a special interest in. The professors sit next to you and want to hear what you have to say. It’s such a laidback setting. You get so much more out of it all that way.� The department is eager to get more students involved and it has made sure to ensure that all students are aware that religion is not pushed on any student who chooses to take

Monday, February 18, 2013

Continued from page 1: UB calendar may see big changes in fall 2013

any of the courses offered through the department. Segol teaches her students there are two perspectives to studying any religion – an emic and etic perspective. While an emic perspective is from an insider’s point of view, it is often studied so one can continue personal practice or give advice to others who practice it. An etic perspective, on the other hand, is an outsider’s perspective and one you don’t have to be a part of to understand. “The idea is that anybody with a reasoning mind, and anybody that is willing to put in the work can get fruitful results from studying this material,� Segol said. “We teach from an etic perspective, and [students] are welcome to use this information any way they like.� The Hillel of Buffalo – the campus center for Jewish life – has partnered with the program to create an internship opportunity for students who are partaking in the courses. Students can work in the community by creating a companion course through the institute and Hillel, according to Segol. Cohen, along with the rest of the staff, sees a bright future for this new department. “I don’t know if you can convey the excitement we have, being a new program,� Cohen said. “When there was only one person here, me, they could take just my classes. Then, we had two people here and we were then able to create a minor in Jewish Studies. Then, we had four people here and we were able to create a major in Jewish Studies.� The department has plans of establishing master’s and doctoral degree programs in the field of Jewish Studies, according to Segol. For students who are interested in learning more about the department or courses that are offered, information can be found at Email:

“For two of the most religious days of the year in the Jewish religion to not get off is not right,� Rosen said. “It’s sacred and it’s a day where we celebrate and a day we replenish our sins for the past year.� Rosen feels if UB holds classes those days, “half the student body wouldn’t be attending� because Jewish students would be observing their religion. “It’s a full day – whereas Ash Wednesday, no one has a problem of attending work and or school and they just find time to go to church,� Rosen said.

Stony Brook and New Paltz recently implemented a policy to hold classes on Jewish holidays, according to Herman. Twenty-two of the 29 fouryear SUNY campuses do not cancel classes on Jewish holidays, according to Stony Brook’s website. The committee also voted to hold classes on Labor Day and extend the days off for Thanksgiving to a full week. The committee felt Labor Day is very disruptive at the beginning of a semester, according to Herman.

“Students who travel home for the holiday often miss more classes than those held on Labor Day,� Herman said. “On the other hand, very few students are in town during Thanksgiving week when classes are canceled on Wednesday. The thought was to recognize this reality and make up the time during the week of Labor Day.� Rosen agrees it may make traveling for students easier but added, “students needs as many breaks as possible.� Email:

Continued from page 1: Dollar Bulls Similarly, in the 2010 season, the women’s soccer team won just one game. Its operating revenue for that season was $662,316. In 2011, the team won 12 games and made it to the second round of the MAC Tournament. Its 2011 operating revenue was $652,517. The only constants are seemingly that the football and men’s basketball teams are on top of these lists. The order in which other teams receive funds from the school varies. In 2010-11, the wrestling team received the third-most funds from the school; in 2011-12, it received the 12th most. Despite the variance in direct institutional support, the wrestling team’s total operating revenue actually jumped from $376,969 to $528,350. It’s easy to say the sports with the most visibility on campus receive the most funds, which would explain why the football and basketball teams are usually near the top, but one of the least visible teams on campus also has one of the highest total operating revenues. The rowing team received the fourth-most direct institutional support in 2010-11 and had the fourth-highest operating revenue. In 2011-12, it received the eighth-most direct institutional support but maintained the fourth-

highest operating revenue. This is most likely owed in part to the fact that the rowing team had 70 student-athletes in 2011-12, the second most behind only the football team, which had 104. Despite the strong example that Texas sets for schools like Buffalo that want to enjoy fiscal and athletic success, former Arizona President Peter Likins believes Texas’ success can be a doubleedged sword. “At Texas, it may be sustainable,â€? Likins said of athletics spending in a USA Today article. “But think about the schools that are desperately struggling to stay in the game and are dramatically increasing the university’s subsidy of intercollegiate athletics and aren’t succeeding in improving their financial position.â€? “Texas, in a certain sense, elevates the stakes of the game so that schools ‌ are further motivated to make financial commitments to try to catch up.â€? While UB certainly has a bigtime overall budget (the university had a revenue of $1 billion last year and profited nearly $150 million), that money is being put into other aspects of the school. Some students are complaining about poor athletics teams, but the administration is putting fund-

ing into improved housing and engineering buildings and attempting to build a new medical campus. The entire athletic department received a total of $10.2 million in the 2011-12 academic year, a hundredth of the total operating revenue of the school in the same period. As UB continues to expand in the coming years, some sports will have to take a back burner to bigger issues on campus or find their own funding, something that Athletic Director Danny White has said he is committed to. Email:

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Monday, February 18, 2013


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Editor in Chief Aaron Mansfield Senior Managing Editor Brian Josephs

REBECCA BRATEK Managing Editor

Managing Editor Rebecca Bratek Editorial Editor Ashley Steves News EDItors Sara DiNatale, Co-Senior Lisa Khoury, Co-Senior Sam Fernando, Asst. Rachel Raimondi, Asst. LIFE EDITORS Rachel Kramer, Senior Lyzi White Lisa Epstein, Asst. Art by Jeanette chwan

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February 18, 2013 Volume 62 Number 53 Circulation 7,000 The views expressed – both written and graphic – in the Feedback, Opinion, and Perspectives sections of The Spectrum do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board. Submit contributions for these pages to The Spectrum office at Suite 132 Student Union or The Spectrum reserves the right to edit these pieces for style and length. If a letter is not meant for publication please mark it as such. All submissions must include the author’s name, daytime phone number, and email address. The Spectrum is provided free in part by the Undergraduate Mandatory Activity Fee. The Spectrum is represented for national advertising by both Alloy Media and Marketing, and MediaMate. For information on adverstising with The Spectrum visit or call us directly. The Spectrum offices are located in 132 Student Union, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 14260-2100


Nation on vacation Breaking down the drama of the upcoming spending cuts So … remember the fiscal cliff ? At the end of 2012, Congress faced a serious dilemma: compromise on a new deal to address a $1 trillion budget gap by the beginning of the new year or risk sending the economy into another recession. Its grand compromise was to patch up a few things here and there and then postpone the rest for two months. Problem (temporarily) solved. Could our government possibly be more incompetent? Well, where there’s a will, there’s a way. The two months end on March 1, and Congress just took a 10-day vacation. Lawmakers are off until Feb. 25 for their Presidents’ Day recess, leaving them only four days to seal the deal when they reconvene. Prior to the break, Democrats offered their plan to address sequestration – automatic cuts in spending – with tax increases and more graduate spending cuts. Republicans, however, want to replace it only with other spending. President Obama has made it clear on multiple occasions he doesn’t want to see the automatic cuts go into place. Let’s be honest: nobody does. But it’s hard to believe Congress is taking any of this seriously if its members are currently off lounging in Boca Raton. We are constantly battling economic crisis, and we’ve elected and employed the most inept Congress in our nation’s history. Last year, the 112th Congress’ average approval rating was 15 percent, the lowest ever in Gallup’s history. Currently, the month-old 113th Congress’ rating is at 14 percent. Yet, these are the people we have elected to run our country. Every four years, we put all our time and energy into a big, flashy presidential election so we can pick our new scapegoat, but when it’s all said and done, it’s our comrades in the Capitol who do all the bidding. So now – thanks to their utter inability to compromise or work efficiently – they have a lot

to bid on when they return all refreshed and tan, starting with the spending cuts. Jan. 1’s American Taxpayer Relief Act postponed any sequestration movement until March, leaving the impending $1.2 trillion worth of cuts over the next 10 years in the shadows. Some of the cuts that could occur would affect defense and non-defense accounts, such as education, the IRS, border patrols, homeland security as whole, Medicare, health and safety inspections, loan guarantee reductions and cuts to health care-related jobs. Those cuts could cause massive complications to students in higher education programs. Sequestration included a reduction of 8.2 percent in federal financial aid, totaling approximately $350 million (for reference: in 2011-12, the total federal aid for undergraduate students was about $135.9 billion). In turn, scholarship programs, work study and research grants would be affected by the automatic cuts. On top of that, Congress still needs to figure out a budget. The fiscal year began at the beginning of October. That’s right – it’s been over four months since the beginning of the current fiscal year, and there is still no budget set in stone. This means funding for all federal agencies will expire in two weeks without it. And because of the newest saga in the ongoing series of debt ceiling crises, the government is expected to default on existing loans without a new increase after the country hits its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit at the end of December. Happy 2013. Congress either has to let in and compromise or let the cuts happen, and at this point, it just seems like it’s playing the world’s longest game of chicken. How long can each party and each house last? How long can we, the people, last? Email:

What’s in a name?

Native American nicknames and imagery should be removed from sports Is racism fine as long as there’s a uniform that comes with it? A few weeks ago, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian held a symposium to discuss the growing controversy on the use of Native American imagery in American sports. The discussion has heated up recently after the Atlanta Braves decided to scrap the idea of reviving their “screaming Indian” logo, but for decades, Native American organizations, individuals and allies have protested the use of imagery in the marketing of athletic teams. The Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Indians and, most notably, the Washington Redskins are all part of a choice group of teams that use Native American names, some considered to be more offensive than others. ’Skins owner Dan Snyder argues the team’s name and mascot pay homage to Native Americans and aren’t meant to promote negative stereotypes. But the point is they do. Though many consider Redskins to be a neutral term, many more find it extremely distasteful and demoralizing. With every argument someone can make to keep it, there will always be a counterargument to get rid of it. To progress, it’s necessary to abandon offensive imagery and names in our sports. Many organizations have rightfully begun to stray from the term. The National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association, the NAACP, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the American Psychological Association have all publically opposed the use of names or imagery. Some media organizations have stopped using the full name of Washington’s team, including The Kansas City Star, Washington City Paper and DCist. Even the NCAA banned the use of imagery and nicknames in 2005, spare for a few exceptions (the Florida State Seminoles, for example,

are exempt from the rule because the university has a strong relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and an agreement to use the name). It’s obviously not just a problem in professional sports, though it’s a problem that has reduced significantly over the last 40 years. In 1970, about 500 high school team names fell into the “red slur” category (e.g. Redskins, Red Raiders, etc.); now there are fewer than 100. High schools and professional teams that understand the implications of the name but continue to use it are only maintaining racist stereotypes and telling the people who support their teams that it’s OK to also support the terms. In both cases, they’re teaching fans at a younger age that the derogatory terms are acceptable. If something is so blatantly offensive, why give it the attention? Well, no one has ever argued against the power of money. There’s enough demand for the ’Skins name, and because there’s been no apparent backlash in terms of sales, there is also no immediate financial incentive to change it. It’s easy to choose marketing over morale if the money is pouring in. But restructuring team names and images to something that doesn’t alienate an entire group of Americans will bring in the people of that group who are interested. Not only that, returning fans will not only continue to pay for tickets and merchandise, they will have to update their merchandise. Native American imagery in American sports creates a barrier, turning Native people into objects of entertainment rather than human beings. We should be at a point in society where derogatory, racist terms aren’t flashed around on banners and jerseys. Email:

In April, the Buffalo Common Council passed legislation prohibiting those under the age of 21 from entering Chippewa bars and nightclubs, with the exception of Thursday nights – college nights – because “commingling” was causing many problems for the Entertainment District. By October, no one under the age of 21 could be on Chippewa on any evening. Now, bar owners and patrons aren’t happy, and some have started a lawsuit, including a 19-year-old UB student, the owner of Bayou Party Bar and The Lodge and the owner of Lux nightclub. This sickens me. I cannot comprehend why anyone would say this law is a horrible idea. Maybe my opinion doesn’t have as much weight because I’m 21 years old, but hear me out. I understand the argument that as a college student, you want to go out and have fun with your friends. I understand the argument that if you’re 18, you’re an adult and shouldn’t be barred from an establishment. I understand this isn’t an argument about whether or not underage patrons can drink in said establishments – at least to those involved in the lawsuit. Under New York State law, anyone over the age of 16 is permitted to be in a place where alcoholic beverages are sold or given away. But businesses that sell liquor to those under 21 could lose their liquor licenses, face serious fines and even be shut down temporarily or for good. Think of any bar you’ve ever visited – if you’re 21. Did they knowingly let in anyone under the age of 21? I doubt it. If they did, fake IDs wouldn’t exist. It’s not worth the risk because if an establishment is caught allowing underage drinking, it could be devastating for owners. And it’s not a this-will-happen-to-you-ifyou-willingly-and-knowingly-serve-a-minor-alcohol situation. These things could happen if a police officer picks up a 19-year-old back on UB’s campus and he says he came from an establishment in the Entertainment District, where he had an of-age friend buy him a drink. The establishment could be at fault – not just the 19-year-old who illegally drank and not just the friend who bought him the drink. Maybe I see the commingling ban differently because I have an 18-year-old sister. I can’t picture her or any of her friends going out on Chippewa, though I know it can happen. I can’t stomach the idea of her in an establishment with those over 21. To me, she is my baby sister who really isn’t ready for that kind of experience. She and her peers shouldn’t want to grow up so quickly. The reality: college nights or even just allowing anyone between the ages of 18 and 20 in bars and nightclubs will have even younger kids getting fake IDs so they can party. Those who are 17 and 16 – maybe even 15 – will start to lie and say they’re 18 just to get into a club. You can’t say it doesn’t happen; that’s naïve and ignorant. Kids are trying to become adults faster, and some believe going to bars and nightclubs and drinking alcohol is the way to grow up. And though the bars say they’re giving wristbands to only those of-age, which allow 21-yearolds to buy alcohol, can they regulate who is consuming the alcohol? Can they regulate what happens out on the streets once those kids are inebriated? This isn’t a question of money – the bar owners claim they’re losing $15,000 to $25,000 per week since the ban was put into effect. This is a question of safety. Bar and club owners who cite the income loss are only caring about themselves and their own pockets, which is selfish and disgusting. I understand the need to make a living in this economy, but bars and clubs on Chippewa can find other ways to bring in customers. Other bars in the city seem to do that just fine without marketing to those under 21. In theory, you should be able to mix of-age and underage people in one nightclub. In a perfect world, club and bar owners would be able to regulate who has access to alcohol. But this world isn’t perfect, and Colin Miller – the 19-yearold UB student suing the City of Buffalo – and Chippewa bar owners need to take off their rosecolored glasses. Those over 21 years old will buy minors drinks. Underage kids will have fake IDs. As much as everyone tries to ignore the problem, these things happen. Maybe a commingling ban won’t erase these problems, but it sure will start to lessen it. Miller argued the ban isn’t letting Buffalo live up to its “full potential.” Does full potential mean underage drinking, stabbings and homicides – all of which have occurred during college nights, according to Darius G. Pridgen, the Ellicott District Common Council member – or does it mean safer, less crimeridden streets? Email:


Monday, February 18, 2013

Life, Arts & Entertainment Buffalo welcomes Birbiglia

A night inside Buffalo’s new Helium Comedy Club TIM ALLMAN Staff Writer

Courtesy of Mike Lavoie

Last Thursday, comedy star Mike Birbiglia visited Buffalo’s Helium Comedy Club to deliver his new act, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, and his hilarious and honest take on Buffalo.

For three nights, comedian Mike Birbiglia tended to the City of Buffalo in the midst of another harsh winter and even bleaker downtown nightlife. With the newly opened Helium Comedy Club, Buffalo can finally learn to laugh again. Helium Night Club is Buffalo’s latest addition to downtown nightlife and has already welcomed nationally renowned comedians like Rob Schneider (Dino Time), D.L. Hughley (Cat Run) and Brian Posehn (The Five-Year Engagement). Last week, the club welcomed Birbiglia and his opener, Josh Rabinowitz, for a latenight comedy special. The laidback atmosphere allowed audience members to have some food and drinks while sitting with friends and having a laugh – the perfect synthesis of restaurant and theater. Temeka and Ron Woods, 35 and 39, of Buffalo, loved the show and raved about the new space. “It’s a really nice space,” Temeka said. “It’s great to have a legitimate comedy club in Buffalo.” Birbiglia has starred in three Comedy Central specials and has three comedy albums: Two Drink Mike (2006), My Secret Public Journal Live (2007) and Sleepwalk With Me (2012), which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Magazine Comedy Charts. In 2008, Birbiglia’s one-man show, Sleepwalk With Me, played off-Broadway at Bleecker Street Theatre in New York City. Actor Nathan Lane presented the show, and The New York Times called the show “simply perfect.” Recently, Birbiglia made his film debut by turning Sleepwalk with Me into a feature film. It premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and won the NEXT Audience Award. Now, Birbiglia tours the country with his new comedy act, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, which he performed at Helium Feb. 14-16. “I was told if I didn’t like Buffalo, I shouldn’t mention it,” Birbiglia said. “You people are really sensitive.”

The opening remarks from Birbiglia kept the show relative to the city and did what comedy does best: critique in a humorous fashion. He remarked that he was told Buffalo Police do not pull anyone over, to which he replied, “Well, they should.” He commented that the Buffalo Police force seemed a bit like Swiss cheese. A highlight in the beginning was his description of the Hotel Lafayette, where he stayed in Buffalo. He said it was nice, but he heard, at one point, the city was in talks to blow it up. “It’s nice to be staying in a place that was so close to demolition,” Birbiglia said. Birbiglia’s very relaxed, matter-of-fact, conversational style made it effortless for audience members to relate and enjoy his show. “The best part of the show for me was definitely the story [Birbiglia] told of being pulled over for having a suspended license,” Ron Woods said. “His facial expressions were hilarious. The part about having an itch while waiting in the cop car but not being able to scratch it being hand-cuffed was just awesome.” Comedic up-and-comer Josh Rabinowitz, who has appeared on Comedy Central numerous times, served as Birbiglia’s opener. On Feb. 21, Helium Comedy Club will present Godfrey, whom audience members will recognize from the Ben Stiller comedy Zoolander.


Monday, February 18, 2013


Married Catholic priest is a sign of changing times ALYSSA MCCLURE Staff Writer The Catholic Church is changing and many think it’s a good thing. John Cornelius is the first married man to become a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. On Saturday, Jan. 26, Cornelius, a 64-year-old father of three, was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. He spent 20 years as a priest in the Episcopalian Church before retiring in 2010, when he and his wife, Sharyl, converted to Catholicism. He was allowed to be ordained a priest in the Catholic Church under a 2012 papal exception to the church’s celibacy rule. Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone presided over the ceremony at Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville, N.Y. “Yahoo! God is good!” Cornelius said about the event on his blog, Cornelius the Roman. Traditionally, Catholic priests are not permitted to be married and must take a vow of celibacy upon ordination. However, last year the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, established an ordinariate – a group similar to a diocese – in which former Episcopalians and Anglicans who have converted to Catholicism are able to serve as Catholic priests while maintaining some aspects of the Anglican faith. The directive was aimed at welcoming dissatisfied Episcopalians and Anglicans into the Catholic Church, according to The Buffalo News. Father Pat Keleher, monsignor at the Catholic Newman Center located on UB’s North Campus, believes the Catholic Church should take the next step and expand the rule to include those outside of the Episcopalian and Anglican churches. He concedes if such a change does take place, it will happen gradually.

Courtesy of Cornelius the roman

John Cornelius became the first married priest within the Diocese of Buffalo. Students and members of the UB community believe this is a big step for the Catholic Church.

“Things in the church happen slowly – it’s like turning a big ship, you don’t turn on a dime,” Keleher said. The decision, though a new concept, has been well received by the Catholic community. Keleher believes Cornelius’ ordination has the possibility of creating a ripple effect of change in the church. He thinks it’s wonderful. “People will begin to notice that this married priest is a wonderful man and … say, ‘Well why can’t other married people become priests?’ And I think that will somewhat open the door [for other married priests],” Keleher said.

Although Pope Benedict XVI’s ruling will allow certain married men to be ordained in the Catholic Church, priests will not be allowed to marry after ordination. Cornelius was a part of the first 30 priests to be ordained for the ordinariate. He will be a part of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which is based in Houston, Texas, and will lead the Fellowship of Saint Alban in Henrietta, N.Y., a part of the Diocese of Rochester. Cornelius was a priest in the Episcopalian Church for 20 years and served at parishes in Florida, Rhode Island, Texas and New York. Cornelius’ discontent with the direction of the Episcopalian Church – notably its approval of a gay bishop in 2003 – led him and his wife, Sharyl to convert to Catholicism two years ago, according to The Buffalo News. He was also in disagreement with the ordination of women in the Episcopalian Church.


Catholics are not alone in supporting this expansion of acceptance in the church. “There are many divorced priests with children who were ordained after their divorce, so this seems like a logical next step,” said Josh Schmid, a freshman civil engineering major. Schmid, a Lutheran, supports Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to allow former Anglicans and Episcopalians to be ordained in the Catholic Church. He believes because members of the clergy need to obtain the same education regardless of their denomination, other denominations should be allowed to serve. “Most other denominations have had a similar policy [to Pope Benedict XVI’s proposal] in place for many years and there have been no major issues as a result of these policies,” Schmid said. Cornelius, who considers himself a traditionalist, took a vow of chastity along with his wife upon his ordination, agreeing that sex is a gift from God for procreation purposes, according to the New York Daily News. However, he was not required to do so, according to the logistics of Pope Benedict XVI’s exception. Keleher was surprised at Cornelius’ decision to voluntarily abstain from sex as a Catholic priest, as celibacy is not essential to priesthood. He believes Cornelius’ choice to be abstinent was “a move of conscious” or a “move of inspiration.” As Pope Benedict XVI has recently resigned as leader of the Catholic Church, the future of the ordinariate he established regarding marriage in the priesthood is now uncertain. However, recent changes in the church, including the pope’s ordinariate, demonstrate the Catholic Church is attempting to evolve with the world and cater to its followers. Keleher believes actions like Cornelius’s ordination may solve the shortage of priests in the Catholic Church. Email:

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Monday, February 18, 2013

UB’s top medical discoveries of 2012: part two HANNAH BENDER Freelance Writer

Self-seeding blood vessels Use: A technique that uses the body’s natural immunological response to injury to make modified blood vessel segments regenerate new vessels when grafted Researchers: Daniel D. Swartz, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering; Stelios T. Andreadis, a professor of chemical and biological engineering, Maxwell Koobatian, a biophysical sciences graduate student; and Maoshih Liang, a chemical and biological engineering graduate student

UB is known as a research institution, but many students aren’t aware of what professors are doing outside their classrooms.  The Huffington Post used UB as an example of advances in scientific research, coinciding with innovative research and medical discoveries that have come out of  UB in 2012. Bacterial resistance eliminator Use: A protein complex that, when combined with antibiotic treatments, can be more powerful than the two individual treatments alone Researchers: Dr. Anders Hakansson, an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, and Laura R. Marks and Hazeline Hakansson from the department of microbiology and immunology HAMLET is a protein complex found in human breast milk that effectively kills pneumococci and other respiratory tract pathogens. Although he was initially interested in respiratory tract infections, Hakansson began his research studying the protein’s process for destroying tumor cells. In doing so, he found a component of the cell that links tumor cells with bacterial cells. Using this link, he introduced HAMLET to Streptococcus pneumoniae, commonly known as pneumonia – one of the largest causes of pediatric and geriatric death and disease from respiratory tract infections. The bacteria live in the human nasal and pharyngeal cavities, causing infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis by spreading to previously uninfected sites. HAMLET uses a mechanism not found in other drugs and can specifically destroy the pneumonia bacteria. Although it will not destroy other strains of the streptococcus bacteria entirely, Hakansson found it does have some effect that is seen in destruction of the S. pneumococcus. “There’s a missing link in the pathway that lets the bacteria survive,” Hakansson said. The lab began to treat other bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aurea (MRSA), Vancomyacin-resistant enterococcus and E. coli with a combination of HAMLET and commonly used antibiotics. These bacteria are usually treated with highly toxic antibiotics and lengthy hospital stays. MRSA and VRE infections can also result in surgery or loss of a limb. In the presence of

Hakansson’s protein, however, these powerful and highly contagious infections lose their hyper-resistance. “You can use treatments that are currently on the market, that are not very toxic, that are very good, and that have been working for years until this resistance pattern appeared,” Hakannson explained. “We have a drug that will potentially not allow for resistance, which usually occurs.” The biggest issue that HAMLET tackles is resistance. While most antibiotics fall short and allow for resistance to develop, the protein weakens the cell to allow for gentle pharmaceutical treatments and a swift recovery. If such success is found in clinical trials, HAMLET may indefinitely remove bacterial resistance as a stumbling block in clinical treatments. Biofilm eradicator Use: A mechanism through which metal implants can be used as electrodes to tackle chronic, long-term infections associated with joint replacements and other limb modifications Researchers: Mark Ehrensberger, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Anthony A. Campagnari, a professor of microbiology and immunology; Esther Takeuchi, a professor of chemical and biological engineering; Nicole Luke-Marshall, a research assistant professor of microbiology and immunology UB engineers and medical researchers have partnered to develop an electrochemical technique for eradicating biofilm infections on metallic or plastic orthopedic implants. Biofilms are layers of biologically inactive microorganisms, and they’re not susceptible to antibiotics. Biofilms congregate on the surface of metal implants and form

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thick, impenetrable layers – often with many types of bacteria – which makes treatment extremely difficult without removing the implant. “Infections that occur in patients with implants are very severe and they’re usually chronic, long-term style infections,” Campagnari said. “The problem we’re trying to address is that once an implant gets an infection, that’s very challenging to treat.” Orthopedic surgeons usually have to try debridement – removing the bacterial cause of the infection at the site on a macroscopic level – to combat the infection. The organisms are too small for the eye to see, and it’s nearly impossible to clear an infection entirely through surgery, which makes debridement a rather inefficient treatment. When surgery and potent antibiotics fail, the only option left is to remove the implant. The injured site is filled with antibiotic spacers or beads and is left structurally non-functional, rendering the limb useless. “We’re trying to circumvent that by saying if you have an infected implant in place, you could apply this stimulation to the implant while it is still maintaining the structural integrity of that bone and eradicate that infection without removing the implant,” Ehrensberger said. Ehrensberger’s mechanism provides stimulation that interferes with electrochemical modulation of the implant’s surface and area of the body at a cellular level. It disrupts the structure of the film so it’s broken up and absorbed into the body in pieces, making it far easier for the immune system to attack and destroy them. Used in conjunction with antibiotics, this process has shown to be effective in vitro with many types of gram-positive and negative bacteria. Ehrensberger will soon begin work in animal models with financial help from the recently obtained Bruce Holm Memorial Catalyst Fund.

Patients with vascular disease often receive treatments requiring a replacement of blood vessels using grafting from other areas of the body. Vascular disease can be widespread throughout the body, leaving few healthy vessels available for grafting. If a healthy vessel can even be found, failure rate is high and the patient will likely suffer quite a bit of pain at the site from which the vessel was extracted. Swartz is using a tissue-engineered blood vessel (TEBV) he developed in combination with immune responses that aid in rebuilding damaged tissue to join grafted cells with the body’s original vessel tissue. This TEBV has three layers, all generated from cells that naturally occur in the body – some coming from other areas in the body so entire vessels themselves do not need to be grafted. As a result, immunological rejection will not be an issue, as the body does not attack its own tissue under normal conditions. Swartz has had previous success in using bone-marrow stem cells as predecessors to vascular tissue and is working on an in vitro model system that studies the relationship between bodily fluid flow limitations and repair of blood vessels. The TEBV functions to adjust the vessels during development by adding growth factors and changing the way in which fluids will flow through the vessel, allowing for a quicker and more successful regeneration of the vessels. Swartz is currently performing his research in conjunction with the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke and the National Institutes of Health to study disease response in vessels by looking at different vascular beds found throughout various parts of the vascular system. Swartz is comparing the results of the trials of animal models to in vitro trials. Email:

Monday, February 18, 2013

HELPHELP WANTED WANTED MARKETING POSITIONS AVAILABLE. Lasertron Family Entertainment Center is currently hiring for an introductory level marketing position. Candidates should have some knowledge of Adobe’s Creative Suite including Photoshop & Illustrator. Some incoming phone sales will be necessary. Email your resume to Lasertron, 5101 North Bailey Avenue Amherst, NY. PART-TIME & MANAGER POSITIONS AVAILABLE. Lasertron Family Entertainment Center is currently hiring for GoKart operators and general customer service . Working at a fast, detail-oriented pace and having excellent customer skills is a must. Starting at approximately $11/ hr. must be available nights and weekends. Managementin-training positions are also available. Stop in and complete an application at Lasertron, 5101 North Bailey Avenue, Amherst, NY. APARTMENT ApartmentFOR for RENT Rent 4,5,6 & 8 BEDROOM remodeled apartment houses. 32 apartments to choose from. University Buffalo Main Street Campus- off Englewood. Beginning June 2013: UB South Campus for $300/ bed plus utilities. Washers & dryers included. Contact BRADENGEL37@ or Shawn at

Classifieds 716-984-7813 Check out our website EVERYTHING YOU NEED for the 2013 academic year. Great 1 to 8 bedroom houses & apartments. Near South Campus. Off-street parking, laundry, dishwashers & much more! Please call: Andy to schedule a showing. 716-3084881. OUR NICEST APARTMENTS RENT NOW! Newly remodeled 1-4 person apartments on W. Winspear, Englewood, Tyler, Heath & Merrimac. Amenities include O/S parking, Whirlpool baths, W/W carpeting, new SS Appliances, free laundry, live the Sweethome life on South! Call 716-775-7057. MERRIMAC 3&4 BEDROOM. Updated kitchen, bath, dishwasher, laundry & off-street parking. $295 per person. Available June 1st. 716-308-5215. CLEAN, SPACIOUS ¾ bedroom duplex. 1 mile from N. Campus. Newer appliances including dishwasher, microwave & washer/dryer. Plenty of off-street parking. Rent includes cable/high speed internet, water & garbage. $1100.00 month 1yr lease begins 6/1/13 call Tony 716-510-3527. 1 TO 8 BEDROOM HOUSES AND APARTMENTS at UB South: dozens in prime locations on Winspear, Northrup,

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Crossword of the Day


Monday, February 18, 2013 FROM UNIVERSAL UCLICK

53 A Beatty of films 55 Uses for support, as a wall 1 Punches for practice 61 Dog's tiny tormentor 6 Resistance units 63 Omani money 10 Certain wise men 64 Father, Son and Holy 14 Hawaii island Ghost, e.g. 15 Be a sore loser, in a way 65 Rajah's mate 16 Basic elemental unit 66 University founder 17 "The Sopranos" restaurateur Cornell 18 Letters for an ex-superpower 67 Wrinkly citrus fruits 68 Acronym for an oil-rich 19 Shaped meat dish group 20 Facilitates at the dental 69 Frat's nemesis, maybe office? 70 Henhouse sounds 23 Copious quantity 24 Material measure 25 Talk at length 28 Alone, at the prom 1 Thick slice 31 Gold purity unit 2 Young salmon 34 Square footage 3 In opposition 36 Significant time spans 4 Police actions 38 "Cross my heart!" 5 Military blockades 40 Dentists' chairs? 43 Pretend to have, as an illness 6 Numbered musical piece 7 Party thrower 44 Lustrous gem 8 Full of smooching and 45 Ten inside two pumps? such 46 Navel orange's lack 9 Run in the altogether 48 One looking down on others 10 Awkward 50 Anti-drug spot, perhaps 11 Straddling (Abbr.) 12 Make a little ___ long way 51 Preconception



Edited by Timothy E. Parker February 18, 2013 HAVE A NICE BITE By Mary Jersey

13 Global financial org. 21 All finished, as dinner 22 Eighteenth U.S. president 25 Barbed spear 26 "The Ram" 27 Contradict 29 2012 film about hostages 30 Abrupt inhalations 32 Knock for ___ (surprise) 33 Pitchfork projections 35 Type of math equation 37 Musial of the diamond 39 She, in Rome 41 "The Jungle Book" setting 42 Word with "move" or "string" 47 Worthy of worship 49 Batter or battered 52 Jump on, as an opportunity 54 Mournful melody 55 "Stand By Me" singer ___ King 56 "Love Songs" poet Teasdale 57 Country singer Jackson

58 A shade of green 59 Use shears 60 Trueheart of the comics 61 Back from to 62 440 yards, to a track runner

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) -- What you start today, you're not going to be able to stop prematurely; you must be ready to see it through to the bitter end. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) -You'll find yourself engaged in a test of skill today -- but you may surprise yourself with how quickly you take to this activity. ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- You're likely to be outplayed today by someone new on the scene. You'll be compelled to find out more about this "mystery man." TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- You will have to adjust your thinking to be more in sync with those who are calling the shots today -- but this may be only temporary.

GEMINI (May 21June 20) -- You can endure much more than any of your critics might suppose -- but fortunately the day is likely to ask little of you in this regard. CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- You're getting used to the status quo, but you mustn't fall into the trap of thinking that this is how things will be forever. Change is coming. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- You may be asking more of a friend than you know -- and he or she isn't likely to tell you that you've crossed a line. Be more perceptive. VIRGO (Aug. 23Sept. 22) -- You may be able to loosen things up and behave in a way that is more flexible and responsive. What another brings to you makes you smile.

Now leasing for Fall 2013


LIBRA (Sept. 23Oct. 22) -- Do you really think that you can have it both ways today? Now is the time to make a choice that you will have to live with. SCORPIO (Oct. 23Nov. 21) -- You don't want your reactions to be out of proportion today, or others aren't likely to seek out your opinions for much longer. SAGTTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- You know what is required today, you know how much time you have to accomplish it all, and your strategy is sound. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- You are feeling a bit more emotional about certain things today than you are used to -- but don't let your feelings get the better of you!



Monday, February 18, 2013

Payback Watson ignites Bulls’ offense, avenges loss to Miami Ohio

Wat’s good AARON MANSFIELD Editor in Chief



OWEN O’BRIEN Staff Writer The men’s basketball team may want to consider keeping its record books written in pencil rather than pen after this week’s copious cross-outs and torn pages. The Bulls (11-15, 6-6 Mid-American Conference) won only their third game in 15 trips to Millett Hall, a 79-71 victory over Miami Ohio (8-16, 3-9 MAC) on Saturday. Senior guard Tony Watson scored 31 points to lead the offensive assault, shooting 10 of 14 from the field and 6 of 9 from behind the arc while dishing out six assists. “Holy smokes. I knew he had played well, but when they dropped his stat sheet in front of me, I said ‘wow,’” said Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon. Watson, who struggled with injuries early in the season, is helping to harmonize an offense that has been inconsistent this season in finding perimeter shots. The Bulls shot 7 for 20 from the field in the first half but were able to hold onto a 3936 lead going into halftime due to Watson’s 16 points and perfect 6-6 from the field, four of which were three-point rainbows. Junior forward Javon McCrea, who etched his name into the record books with a career-high rebounding effort on Wednesday night, passed Curtis Blackmore for 10th alltime in scoring in UB history en route to a 20-point, six-rebound performance. “I’ve got so many stories about Curtis,” Witherspoon said. “He was such a large human being. I remember one time sitting next to him at Clark Hall and I felt his legs were as large as my whole body. He had such great hands and he was so fast for a guy his size. I saw him put up some unbelievable numbers. When you told me [McCrea] was close [to passing Blackmore], I was shocked. He was similar to Javon. He could use both hands around the basket and that really helped him.” Twenty-one of the Bulls’ 24-second half points came from Watson and McCrea. The vibrant twosome helped kick start a 15-4 run to build the largest lead of the afternoon (12 points). It was the first time all season the Bulls scored 75 points or more in consecutive games.

Jovan Malakovich /// The Spectrum

Senior guard Tony Watson (above) helped lead the Bulls to a 79-71 victory over Miami Ohio on Saturday. Watson finished the game with 31 points and six assists.

However, the RedHawks whittled away at the lead, responding with a 16-7 run of their own as they pulled to within one in the final minutes. “They were getting it inside,” Witherspoon said. “We couldn’t afford, and we did, to let them pass the ball in rhythm without giving them some turbulence, and we still should have done a better job.” But freshman guard Jarryn Skeete converted an ‘and-one’ to help Bulls regain separation they did not relinquish.

Buffalo held the RedHawks’ top scorers – Will Felder and Allen Roberts – to a combined 20 points. The latest victory brings the Bulls closer to sealing a top-four spot in the conference as they have a week off before hosting Manhattan (10-15, 8-7 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters tournament. The Bulls are currently No. 4 in the MAC standings. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Alumni Arena. Email:

Cherridy ball Thornton leads Bulls to conference victory, snapping three-game skid


63 JOE KONZE JR Senior Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team hit a groove this weekend. Despite being significantly outrebounded, Buffalo’s offense was in motion – thanks in large part to one player who came off the bench ready to dance. The Bulls (8-16 6-5 Mid-American Conference) had four players score in double figures, leading them to a 79-63 victory over Eastern Michigan (6-18, 4-7 MAC) to halt a three-game losing streak. Junior forward Cherridy Thornton came off the bench to pace the Buffalo offense with 16 points, four assists and four boards. “When our system is working at its best, it gives an opportunity for everyone on the court to be successful,” said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. “I thought today, we ran it very well.” Freshman guard Mackenzie Loesing (15 points), sophomore forward Christa Baccas (15 points) and junior guard Margeaux Gupilan (13 points) also filled the stat sheet. Buffalo jumped out to an early lead after a 15-0 run in the first half while shooting 58 percent from the floor. The Bulls never trailed in the contest, going into the locker room up 42-26 at intermission.

“The kids are playing hard,” LegetteJack said. “They know if they play hard, great things can happen. Whether we are looking at ourselves as a team to beat or a team that can win, we are just trying to figure out who we are every single day.” The Bulls’ 42 first-half points were the most they’ve scored in a half this season. “We are just humble and hungry at the same time,” Legette-Jack said. “You know, there hasn’t been a great history of women’s basketball at [Buffalo] and that’s the hunger side. We want to change the face of women’s basketball. The humility side is that it is a process.” The Bulls allowed 23 second-chance points and were outrebounded 47 to 31, but the squad held Eastern Michigan to just 32.4 percent shooting from the floor. Eastern Michigan’s India Hairston recorded a doubledouble, posting a stat line of 13 points and 13 rebounds. “We knew we were giving up something,” Legette-Jack said. “When you play percentages a bit, we don’t mind giving up what we’ve given up for this particular game.” The Bulls had a week off prior to the contest at Eastern Michigan, giving them a chance to regain their momentum and form. “Our kids were getting sick,” LegetteJack said. “They had midterms to try and prepare for. They are real serious about their academics. They were really wearing down. They had a chance to rest a little bit. Now they are locked and loaded again and are now enjoying their time back together.” The Bulls will look to build upon their latest win as they play host to Miami Ohio Wednesday. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. at Alumni Arena. Email:

Jovan Malakovich /// The Spectrum

Cherridy Thorton (above) came off the bench to help lead the Bulls to a 79-63 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday. Thorton finished with 16 points and was one of four Bulls players who finished in double digits.

Over its recent three-game win streak, the men’s basketball team has had a message for its opponents: Mahalo from the hardest act to follow. Those who have followed Bulls basketball over the past couple years have grown accustomed to senior guard Tony Watson’s Hawaiian flair and “Mahalo hand” signal. They’ve witnessed his on-court leadership and ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ at his silky lefthanded ‘J.’ But they haven’t seen anything quite like this. The Bulls have been sizzling thanks largely to Watson’s decision to absolutely take over. He has averaged 23 points per game over the three-game stretch. In the squad’s most recent victory, a 79-71 win at Miami Ohio on Saturday, Watson put up this stat line: 31 points on 10-for-14 shooting, six assists, one steal and zero turnovers. Head coach Reggie Witherspoon could only describe his performance as “holy smokes.” Who needs Sherlock when you’ve got Watson? We’ve seen this act before: A senior, knowing his time in college is dwindling, gets red hot at the end of his career. Watson’s sudden surge is reminiscent – though on a smaller scale – of the one Mitchell Watt embarked upon last season. The Bulls’ center came out of seemingly nowhere to win MidAmerican Conference Player of the Year. Watson isn’t going to win that honor, but he is one of only two seniors on the team (the other being little-used reserve guard Richie Sebuharara) and he saw this team’s true vulnerability coming into fruition. Before the Bulls’ three-game win streak, they had just lost two straight to average MAC teams, Western and Eastern Michigan, respectively. Buffalo was 3-6 in conference play and at the make-or-break point of its season. The Bulls could have accepted this as a rebuilding year and been content as a bottom-dweller heading into the MAC Tournament, but at least one athlete knew it was do-or-die time. This is Watson’s last ride. He doesn’t have time for a rebuilding year. Behind his surge, the team is now 6-6, and if the season ended today, the Bulls would be the fourth seed in the MAC Tournament and they’d have a bye to the quarterfinals. The scenario didn’t seem all that realistic 10 days ago. Then again, neither did Watson’s dominance. He twisted his ankle vs. Western Illinois on Nov. 16, missed three games and has struggled to recover. In UB’s first matchup with Miami Ohio, Watson played 31 minutes and didn’t score a single point. It seemed his career would end and the casual fan would forget his name within a couple years. To those who know Watson, it seemed unfair. He’s been plagued by injuries his whole career but is one of the most affable personalities on campus. He spent the summer and fall interning in UB’s athletic department. Wonder why he’s always on the True Blue advertisements? It’s because he’s always the one at True Blue events, always the athlete organizing things like True Blue Bash and encouraging other athletes to show their school pride. Remember the athlete flash mob in the Student Union on Sept. 13? Watson was the one who choreographed the event and the emcee vibing with the mic – with a boot on his foot as he recovered from surgery – as he directed the crowd. Lately, his game has matched his personality. His 55 points over the past two games are the most in back-to-back games since Rodney Pierce scored 57 in 2009, according to UB Athletics. When I asked Watson what he’s been eating for breakfast, he joked: “Wheaties – the breakfast of champions.” For my money, the Bulls still aren’t a championship-caliber team. They might keep winning games if Watson stays pure from downtown, but as the adage goes, “live by the 3, die by the 3.” Nevertheless, in a day and age in which so many college athletes find themselves in trouble, it’s reassuring for fans to see one of the true “good guys” succeed. It’s ironic that his hand signal means “thank you” in Hawaiian. The squad and fans alike should be the ones thanking Watson for salvaging this year and leaving his mark – one last time – on the Buffalo community. Email:

The Spectrum Volume 62 Issue 53  
The Spectrum Volume 62 Issue 53  

The Spectrum, an independent student publication of the University at Buffalo. February 18, 2013