MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2017
VOLUME 67 NO. 22
Death of UB football player Solomon Jackson continues to affect family, team nearly two years later HANNAH STEIN EDITOR IN CHIEF
Steven Jackson lost his son Solomon, a UB football player, nearly two years ago and the hurt still sits heavy. Sometimes, on his way home from work at UPS in Tucker, Georgia, he drives to Solomon’s former high school,
parks in the parking lot and cries. He remembers driving Solomon, who had perfect attendance, to and from school for four years. He’s a big man and not a crier. But as he stares at the Tucker High football field and thinks about the glory days when his boy dominated the football field, won medals in the swimming pool and wore the high
SA leaves lacrosse team in limbo Instagram account linked to UB women’s team sparks controversy
KATIE KOSTELNY / THE SPECTRUM
COURTESY / THE JACKSON FAMILY
SPECTRUM STOCK PHOTO
THE LOSS OF AN ‘ANGEL’
school prom king crown, he breaks down. The grief Jackson keeps tight inside pours out. It came out during Homecoming weekend last month, too, as he returned to the UB campus and talked to Solomon’s teammates, coaches and Jarrett Franklin, who this year wears No. 41, Solomon’s old number, on his jersey. He’s proud the team is carrying on and that the players dedicated the season to him. He feels Solomon is a part of it. He just wishes things were different. In February of 2016, Solomon became the first UB athlete in team history to suffer a death that was apparently related to football. Roughly two years later, his family and members of the football team are still grieving. But they also still
(left) Solomon Jackson in a three-point stance on the UB football ﬁeld. Jackson was a redshirt sophomore defensive end who suffered a medical emergency at the North Amherst Recreation Center during a condition practice. Solomon died one week later. (middle)Solomon Jackson (third from left), stands with his family at his last family picture at home on Dec. 30, 2015. (right) Steven Jackson, Solomon’s father stands beside Solomon’s number 41 on the ﬁeld after the Homecoming game last month.
feel Solomon’s presence in their lives. Jackson’s grief is part parasite, part friend. It eats at him––but it also nourishes him. That’s why he came back last month. He imagined Solomon, walking around the campus… “He’s still out there, you know,” Jackson said. “His spirit is still there.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
Tension between faculty and administration grows as censure vote approaches Provost Charles Zukoski and Faculty Senate Chair Phil Glick exchange terse emails SARAH CROWLEY SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
MAX KALNITZ / THE SPECTRUM
The members of UB club women’s lacrosse’s e-board presenting at SA Senate’s meeting Friday evening. They are defending their argument that the team shouldn’t have been placed on probation and their budget shouldn’t have been taken away from them.
MAX KALNITZ SENIOR FEATURES EDITOR
The UB women’s club lacrosse team lost close to $15,000 and its club status has been in limbo since last spring, after an Instagram account associated with the team prompted harassment and hazing accusations and punishment from the Student Association. But SA may have mishandled the case and funds, which were the subject of bickering and confusion during an SA Senate meeting Friday night. In the spring, SA designated $8,000 for the team’s ’17-’18 budget to pay league fees, referees and travel expenses. The team also had $7,000 from donations and money rolled over from previous years and was looking forward to a strong season. But it never got any of the money and learned SA gave the funds to other clubs. After SA saw the Instagram account, the
team was placed on probation and SA took away its budget. SA also stripped the team of several privileges; the club can’t practice, fundraise or recruit. Without its budget, the club can’t hire a coach, insure its team or join a league. The team insists SA never had a proper vote on the club’s status and never gave the team members a chance to defend themselves. In no minutes from any meetings last year did any previous SA senators or e-board members vote on the probation of the women’s lacrosse team, according to SA records. As a result, team members had to wait until this fall to plead their case. Now, two and a half months into the fall semester, the team still hasn’t received its privileges. Team members feel they’ve been mistreated and denied justice. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
PAGE 2 SA Assembly passes resolution opposing proposed Main Street restaurant Resolution urges Buffalo Common Council to deny proposal for new establishment
The chairman of UB’s Faculty Senate has accused the university’s top academic officer of bullying and intimidation ahead of the Senate’s vote Tuesday on whether to censure Architecture and Planning Dean Robert Shibley for allegedly mishandling a former assistant professor’s tenure case. The dean is facing a censure vote after a Faculty Senate subcommittee found in May that the School of Architecture and Planning dismissed the professor without following proper procedure. The professor contended, and the subcommittee agreed, that Shibley had not received a necessary report from her mentoring committee before making his decision to terminate her contract. There is a counter-proposal up for a vote, as well, that would remove the censure resolution from the floor altogether. Since the last Senate meeting, tensions over how to handle the case have intensified between Senate Chair Phil Glick and UB Provost Charles Zukoski, according to a string of emails The Spectrum obtained Friday in which Glick accused the provost of attempting to bully and intimidate the Faculty Senate throughout the process. Several faculty members and administrators familiar with the case argued at the last Senate meeting that Shibley acted appropriately and according to all rules and procedures. They said the censure resolution was brought forward without all the facts of the case known.
PAGE 3 Relax, this is supposed to be fun How I went from the lacrosse e-board to SA supporter
SPECTRUM STOCK PHOTOS
UB Provost Charles Zukoski sits in a Faculty Senate Executive Committee meeting. Zukoski has recently argued with Faculty Senate Chairman Phil Glick over how to deal with a former professor.
Those who believe the dean should be censured feel the issue deserves special consideration since the dismissed professor is now suffering severe health problems and would not have lost her New York State health coverage if Shibley had heeded the subcommittee’s opinion and re-appointed the professor. On Nov. 4, Glick emailed the provost to ask him to consider changing his position to reappoint the professor. He offered to do “everything in [his] power as faculty chair to permanently table” the censure resolution against Shibley if UB would reinstate the professor in order to allow her to obtain disability benefits. At issue is whether allowing the professor to do that would constitute an “impermissible gift of public funds,” emails show. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
PAGE 8 Toni Morrison delights during career review at Kleinhans Nobel Prize-winning author addresses soldout crowd in Buffalo
Page 2 | The Spectrum
Monday, November 13, 2017
SA Assembly passes resolution opposing proposed Main Street restaurant Resolution urges Buffalo Common Council to deny proposal for new establishment
SA Assembly passed a resolution Thursday evening urging Buffalo’s Common Council to deny a proposal for a new restaurant on Main Street near South Campus. The resolution passed with six people in favor, two opposing and three abstaining. Main Place is a newly proposed nightlife location in the University Heights area. The proposed restaurant has sparked controversy and is opposed by University District Common Council Member Rasheed Wyatt, University Heights community members and local business leaders. “It’s important that they got community feedback,” Speaker of the Assembly Mike Brown said. “But there is broad opposition. It’s a bad idea for the university community—not just residents–– but many student residents as well.” Brown said University Heights residents are concerned the restaurant will be a “nuisance” to the community and encourage underage drinking. Residents are also concerned about the hours; it is open until 4 a.m. Thursday to Sunday, which residents are afraid could lead to late-night disruptions. Univer-
sity Heights Collaborative members believe the establishment is against their vision of a “safe and walkable community.” In addition to fears of being disruptive to the local community, there are legal concerns. The facility has blacked out windows that violate Buffalo’s Green Code zoning ordinance. There is also a concern about the legality of how the owner obtained the building’s liquor license. The building does not have a kitchen, so the entire operation will be reliant on alcohol sales primarily to the student population, according to Brown. Brown feels there are better, alternative locations where the restaurant could open and still reach its target audience without disturbing the Heights community. “It is a simply bad idea to establish this in the University Heights neighborhood,” Brown said. “But toward the mission of steering students away from partying on South Campus, having nightlife amenities on North Campus would be greatly beneficial to all involved.” Senior geological sciences major Samirra Felix thinks the establishment sounds “sketchy” in regards to its legality, but said having a new restaurant in the South Campus area could be potentially positive.
MADDY FOWLER, THE SPECTRUM
SA Assembly passed a resolution on Thursday opposing Main Place, a proposed restaurant near South Campus. Assembly members who voted in favor of the resolution questioned the legality of how Main Place obtained its liquor license and believe the restaurant would be disruptive to the University Heights residents.
“It would give students a common place to meet up, which is better than having like five million house parties going on,” Felix said. She said her biggest concern is finding a safe way for students to “blow off steam” and have fun near campus. “Sometimes people want to drink,” Felix said. “I mean, it’s college and we’re all adults.” Felix said that the subway ends at midnight and a lot of students don’t have cars, making it difficult to go downtown to experience nightlife, leaving them with no choice but to party in the Heights. Matthew Esack, a junior history major thinks it is “detrimental” for students not to have a legal way to go out. He believes not having easily accessible nightlife options will just lead to more house parties. “It’s just an empty building right now. I don’t see the problem of having another bar there, as long as there’s not underage drinking students,” Esack said. Brown agreed that there should be more nightlife opportunities, but thinks business-
es should focus on bringing opportunities to North Campus. He pointed out that Maple Road and Niagara Falls Boulevard are not residential areas like University Heights, so students would not be disturbing residents if they went to establishments in that area. More students live on North Campus than South Campus, he added. “They wouldn’t move downtown because there’s already a bunch of bars there. They would be more likely to go near North Campus because of the student market,” Brown said. “We should tell businesses that students are seeking nightlife near North Campus where UB could provide official transportation to address drunk driving concerns.” email: email@example.com
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EDITOR IN CHIEF
David Tunis-Garcia Maggie Wilhelm COPY EDITORS
Dan McKeon, Chief Saqib Hossain Emma Medina NEWS EDITORS
Sarah Crowley, Senior Maddy Fowler FEATURES EDITOR
Max Kalnitz, Senior ARTS EDITORS
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THE SPECTRUM Monday, November 13, 2017 Volume 67 Number 22 Circulation 4,000
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
CARTOON / ARDI DIGAP
A bar near South Campus could be good for both students and community, but Main Place isn’t going about it in the right way A local businessman wants to open up a bar on Main Street near South Campus. The proposed bar, called Main Place, has sparked controversy. University Heights residents fear the nightlife destination will cause disruption in their neighborhood. The owner wants to put in black tinted windows, which would violate Buffalo’s Green Code Ordinance. The venue also masqueraded as a restaurant in its liquor license application, which raises ethical concerns. And because the bar will host 18 and up event nights, there are underage drinking concerns. While it is understandable that University Heights residents do not want disruptions in their neighborhood and we as students are eager to work with them to find compromises—such as the recently reinstated late night bus-
lets to do so while causing as little disruption as possible. A bar offers a perfect compromise; so why are University Heights residents so opposed? There is already a bar on Main Street—The Steer—do they really think one more bar is suddenly going to create that much more disruption, if any? While Main Place will host some 18 and up events, on most nights the bar will be a strictly 21 and up destination. So the students going to the bar aren’t going to be out of control freshmen. It will mostly be juniors, seniors and graduate students—many of whom feel they are running out of options for places to blow off steam following the recent shooting in Allentown and lack of nightlife options in Amherst. There is a definite lack of night life opportunities in the areas surrounding both North and South
campuses, which is why students tend to turn to disruptive house parties. Developing Main Street to include more nightlife will only benefit both students and community members alike. But Main Place might not be the best venue, given that it’s been marred in controversy from the outset. Main Place should be honest about the fact that it’s a bar—falsely claiming to be a restaurant just seems suspicious. The tinted windows are a city violation, and 18 and up nights could lend themselves to underage drinking. A bar near South Campus is a good idea, but either Main Place needs to clean up its act, or another business needs to step in. Either way, another bar on Main Street is long overdue, and will inevitably happen eventually as the area becomes more and more developed.
Relax, this is supposed to be fun
of my teammates. And what was once just the place I went to get things for lacrosse became another huge part of my life. In the past, I stood up to SA for the lacrosse team. I’ve also been the person confronting a club on SA’s behalf. I know how frustrating SA’s rules can be and how frustrating clubs can be as well; I’ve seen it from both sides. At the end of last semester, due to the harassment and hazing that occurred on the fake Instagram, the team was put on probation. They lost their budget and their ability to function as a club. Lacrosse does deserve to know what that probation means exactly and what they can do to fix it, but SA deserves to have a club that is a welcoming place for all students; a club that’s free of harassment, free of scandal and free of private Instagrams. SA is working to fix the situation legally and correctly, but the team needs to accept responsibility for what they’ve done. Last year, I worked hard to get them a budget rollover that this year’s e-board wants. I know what it takes to earn a rollover. They need to learn how to earn it back. Trying to place blame on one person isn’t what a team is about. They need to own their mistake and take the punishment that’s handed to them. Lacrosse saved me my freshman year, and I want others to be able to find that solace like I did. But in order for that to happen, serious changes need to be made.
How I went from the lacrosse e-board to SA supporter
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ing, which was changed to a small shuttle to deter partying—it’s starting to feel like we can’t win. If they don’t want house parties on the streets where they live, that’s fair. But the proposed bar would be on Main Street, which is not a residential area. It could push students away from these disruptive house parties. Isn’t that ultimately what University Heights residents want? While students need to work on being more respectful to those who live in the University Heights neighborhood and there is no excuse for disorderly conduct or underage drinking, at the same time community members need to realize that college students are always going to find a way to party. So would they rather students throw ragers next door to them, or keep their partying to a bar several blocks away? And they should have safe out-
ALLISON STAEBELL CO-SENIOR MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
When I arrived on UB’s campus freshman year, I felt lost. I had no place to go, nowhere to call home. I grew up playing sports and my teammates became my lifelong friends. But I had no place at UB and more importantly, I had no team. A few weeks into my first semester, an old high school teammate sent me a message asking me to play goalie for the club lacrosse team. I went to practice the next day and just like that, I found my place. Over the next three years I played over 1,680 minutes –– every second of every game for my team. I became team secretary my sophomore year and treasurer my junior year. I was one of two people who actually met our team’s participation rules, I attended every practice,
meeting, fundraiser and SA event I could. Everyone always told me to relax; lax was supposed to be fun. I had a goal though: to follow in the footsteps of the team presidents I admired so much. As treasurer and starting goalie, I helped lead the team to their first playoffs in ten years and I helped us get budget rollover for the first time since I’d been on the team. All I talked about was lacrosse; I spent classes dreaming about practice that night, and I spent my free time planning for the team. I was all in. Then last year’s e-board election happened. Like any large group, our team had cliques. I spent much of last season hanging out with the graduating seniors. My junior class was gone, and those below me had formed their own group. I joked that I was leaving along with the seniors. Those jokes turned into reality. Rather than having a formal inperson election like we were supposed to per our team’s constitution, the election was held via email. That’s where the trouble started. I wasn’t involved in the vote counting, but I could tell something was wrong in the weeks leading up to the election result announcement. At the end of the year pizza party, our president announced that I had won president, and I was relieved...But that relief didn’t last long. After the underclassmen left the party, they had their own afterparty elsewhere where they questioned the elections results.
I knew they were upset. I knew they wanted me out. I tried to bring us together, but it didn’t work. We held another election, this time in-person. That’s when I found out about my team’s private Instagram. They requested to follow me and I did not accept because I knew SA would not approve of this account. Last year’s president and secretary and I discussed how this account was not acceptable. All three of us worked for SA. We were mandatory reporters and we knew their policy. Those that made the Instagram were asked to take it down, but instead of listening, they changed the name to a joking insult against our secretary. That night I lost the new election. Between my loss and the private Instagram situation, I realized these were not the kind of people I wanted in my life. Despite my desire for a home, for a place to save me from being lost, despite the time, energy and dedication I had put into the team, I knew I couldn’t be involved with these girls any more. So I quit. I left the group message, deleted my former teammates’ numbers and tried to distance myself from this group that had once made me feel whole. I threw myself into my job at SA. While I was in the midst of last year’s lacrosse chaos, I became a director for SA. I got involved with SA my junior year, thanks to the encouragement of some
Page 4 | The Spectrum
Monday, November 13, 2017
THE SENATE ARGUED THAT THE ACCOUNT WAS PERSONAL AND DIDN’T REFLECT THE TEAM. THE E-BOARD BASICALLY TRIED TO DOUBLE DOWN ON THE TEAM. - MIKE BROWN
SA LEAVES LACROSSE TEAM IN LIMBO CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
“We weren’t able to defend ourselves in the way that we should have been and we were just told what was going to happen to our team,” said Allison Moore, a junior speech pathology major. SA has not explained why or how it reached its decision or why instead of freezing the club’s funds, it redistributed the money between the 32 other club sports teams. This has left the team scrambling to pay for league fees and has threatened its spring season. UB Council student representative Mike Brown does not think SA e-board handled the case well and feels SA is on a “witch hunt” to derecognize the women’s lacrosse team. Brown, a junior political science major, said the images posted on the Instagram account, which showed members of the team drinking, should not have been grounds for probation. “The Senate argued that the account was personal and didn’t reflect the team. The eboard basically tried to double down on the team,” Brown said. Brown said he believes the decision highlights a tendency of SA e-board to make decisions behind closed doors without the
approval of the Senate, disregarding the checks and balances the Senate is supposed to provide within the student government. SA members traveled to Montreal this weekend and did not respond to numerous Spectrum requests for comment.
THE ACCOUNT In early May of last semester, Sydney Marco, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, created an Instagram account called “hideyourdads” and posted pictures showing club members drinking and partying together. At one point, the Instagram account’s biography read, “UB Women’s Lacrosse Team.” Only club members and close friends knew about the account, until Jane Truesdell, former SA sports coordinator and secretary of the women’s lacrosse team, asked Marco to deactivate the account. Marco refused. Marco then changed the name of the account to “heyjaneihateyoulolz,” prompting Truesdell to take action. Marco wrote an apology letter taking full responsibility for the Instagram account and said her actions shouldn’t reflect on the team. Marco feels that Truesdell used her power as SA sports coordinator to get the club in
more trouble than it deserved. “The specific picture reported for sexual harassment happened to include our eboard, but I think [Jane] painted the situation [in] a worse picture than it deserved,” Marco said. “[Jane] had a position very high up in SA and had a lot of power. I think that because she was the only one who didn’t like the account, she took it upon herself to make sure we got in trouble for it.” The male student pictured didn’t report the account for sexual harassment. Truesdell, who is not in the picture, accused the team of harassment in her report. The photo doesn’t depict obscene content but its caption contains a joke about the male student. Truesdell said she feels badly the team is still suffering from Marco’s actions, but feels that this is a valuable lesson for the team. In the professional world, social media conduct isn’t taken lightly, she said. Truesdell said she hopes that this series of events has taught the women’s lacrosse team the importance of Internet safety and to think before posting on social media.
THE TIMELINE Former SA treasurer Daniel Emmons approved the 2017-18 SA budget on April 21, including the lacrosse team’s budget. The team also qualified for rollover of its unspent funds from the 2016-17 school year.
Between rollover and donations as large as $1,000, the team was set to have a $15,000 budget. SA held its final Senate meeting of the semester May 5. No SA sports coordinators attended the meeting, so Senate members were not informed of the issues surrounding the women’s lacrosse team due to the absences. The following timeline then played out: May 9: Truesdell reported the Instagram photos to former SA Vice President Gina Nasca via email. Truesdell said she asked the team to remove the Instagram three times because she believed it could “lead to issues with derecognition and problems with Student Life [and] SA.” Truesdell also sent a handwritten note to Nasca in which she wrote, “Women’s lax hazes, harasses and has horrible student management tactics that do not coincide with the policies of the university or SA,” adding that the club is “out of control and too much of a liability for SA.” May 10: Nasca emailed women’s lacrosse that “some concerns regarding the function of your club have been brought to my attention” and that she would like to schedule a meeting with the club. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
WOMEN’S LAX HAZES, HARASSES AND HAS HORRIBLE STUDENT MANAGEMENT TACTICS THAT DO NOT COINCIDE WITH THE POLICIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OR SA. - JANE TRUESDELL
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Monday, November 13, 2017
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WE WEREN’T ABLE TO DEFEND OURSELVES IN THE WAY THAT WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN AND WE WERE JUST TOLD WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TO OUR TEAM. - ALLISON MOORE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
May 11: Truesdell and former SA President Matt Rivera asked Katie Raymond, former SA summer Senate chair and current senator, to hold an “emergency” meeting on May 15 to vote on whether or not the team would be derecognized. When Raymond attempted to hold the meeting, SA senators said they could not attend the meeting, so she decided to cancel it. SA Senate could not determine a punishment for the team and postponed the vote until the Senate’s first fall meeting on Sept. 29. May 14: Nasca sent out an email to the team’s e-board stating that the proposed May 15 Senate meeting was cancelled but because the club was up for derecognition it “will be receiving a $0 budget for next academic year and will have to be put up for derecognition again at the beginning of next semester.” May 17: Nasca sent an official probation letter to the women’s lacrosse team via email. The letter said the club was placed on probation and that their status would be resolved by the Senate at the beginning of the fall semester. The letter also listed the reasons for probation, including “potential harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation,” inappropriate social media usage, possible hazing and encouraging underage drinking.
and Brown to discuss their situation. Sept. 29: The minutes for SA’s Sept. 29 meeting stated it would be discussing the “Women’s Lacrosse derecognition after the club’s suspension in May 2017.” The Senate unanimously voted––with two abstentions––to retain the club’s status, but to put the team on probation. The senators decided the photos of the team were posted by one member and did not reflect the team or indicate the team engaged in hazing. Nobody voted in favor of derecognizing the club, but SA e-board said the club still had to be put on probation and “didn’t quite explain why,” Raymond said. The e-board said the lacrosse team could defend itself at the next Senate meeting, Raymond added. Nov. 7: Josselyn Hancock, junior chemistry major and women’s lacrosse team secretary, emailed SA Vice President Jamersin Redfern with questions regarding the team’s status. Redfern never returned her email. Instead, SA Administrative Director Mark Sorel emailed Hancock, “Your club alleged behavior may have violated the Student Code of Conduct. … You are effectively on suspension not probation (& certainly not derecognized) pending an answer from these groups.” Nov. 10: The women’s lacrosse team met with SA Senate, SA attorney Josh Korman
If Korman finds enough evidence against the team, the Senate will hold a hearing on Nov. 20 for the team’s possible derecognition.
THE MISTAKE If the Senate approves a club’s budget as of its last meeting of the semester, it is finalized for the following academic year, according to Raymond. And Emmons signed and approved the Senate-approved ’17-’18 budget, which included funding for lacrosse, last spring. The funds should have been frozen–not redistributed–pending possible disciplinary action when the allegations about the Instagram account surfaced, Raymond said. SA Senate’s September vote to not derecognize the team cleared it of all of its charges, so the club should have been allowed to function as a team again, Raymond said. “We just want to play lacrosse. We’ve been recognized since September and nothing has changed,” Moore said. According to the SA club handbook, the e-board incorrectly handled the club’s case by unilaterally stripping the club of its funding, Brown said. “The club successfully fulfilled its SA requirements and should not have been placed on probation. [Last semester] the e-board never voted whether or not to derecognize the team or place the team on probation,” Brown said.
GOING FORWARD The financial setbacks caused the team to miss paying its league fee of $700 plus a $25 late fee. If the team can’t pay by Dec. 1, it will not play in the spring. After dealing with the situation since May and attending meetings instead of studying, Moore wants to move past the incident. “We just want our budget back and to be able to function like a club,” Moore said. Other members feel that even if they do get their budget back, they won’t be able to form a cohesive team by the time they have to play in the spring. Victoria Towndrow, a junior civil, structural and environmental engineering major, is fearful that without its budget, the team will miss its deadline in December and won’t be able to compete at all. “All of our tournaments are in February. We have no plays, no idea what our new members look like and honestly, we’re unprepared,” Towndrow said. “Other teams started recruiting and practicing over the summer, so at this point, we’re months behind.” Maggie Wilhelm contributed reporting. email: email@example.com
ALL OF OUR TOURNAMENTS ARE IN FEBRUARY. WE HAVE NO PLAYS, NO IDEA WHAT OUR NEW MEMBERS LOOK LIKE AND HONESTLY, WE’RE UNPREPARED. OTHER TEAMS STARTED RECRUITING AND PRACTICING OVER THE SUMMER, SO AT THIS POINT, WE’RE MONTHS BEHIND. - VICTORIA TOWNDROW
Tension between faculty and administration grows as censure vote approaches
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The former professor’s current health insurance does not cover her outpatient care, which costs an estimated $20,000 a month, Glick said in his email. Glick cited a legal opinion the Senate obtained through NYSUT’s legal team that said the reappointment would not constitute a gift of public funds. Zukoski responded Nov. 7 to Glick’s email, copying the other members of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee in the “interests of transparency,” he said. “I am very sympathetic to the difficult situation of a former colleague whom you described,” Zukoski wrote in his email. “However, the University at Buffalo cannot appoint an individual for the express purpose of providing paid NYS disability benefits to which that individual would not otherwise be entitled. To do so would be an impermissible gift of public funds and violate the public trust placed in me as an officer of a state institution.”
Glick responded to Zukoski’s email Nov. 8, noting that UB’s attorney did not dispute NYSUT’s legal opinion and that the university’s “continued assertion that reinstating the faculty member would constitute a gift of public funds is nothing but a red herring.” Glick declined to comment for this story. Zukoski declined to comment on the nature of the emails or the differing legal opinions between SUNY’s and NYSUT’s legal teams, and he would not elaborate on his position that the reinstatement of the professor would be a “misuse of public funds.” The provost released a statement through UB spokesperson John Della Contrada. “Faculty are central to our core missions,” the statement reads. “Policies and practices have been put in place to enable, serve and protect them. Personnel matters are confidential and are not commented upon.” email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Page 6 | The Spectrum
Monday, November 13, 2017
T H E L O S S O F A N ‘A N G E L’
The family isn’t hung up on what caused his death. They accept it as fate and, being SPIRIT OF SOLOMON religious people, as God’s will. “We don’t understand it,” Jackson said. Jackson remembers the way the family re“We don’t ask God why. Solomon had so joiced when a UB scout recruited Solomon much more life to live and give. He was an to play defense. All his sons had been born angel in my life.” with big bones and football in their blood. Now, 22 months after Solomon’s death, Solomon chose No. 27 in high school, the his mother still sleeps and eats unevenly. number his big brother Sterling wore at the She’s not caught up with what killed him. University of Hawaii. He moved on to No. She just misses him. She misses his voice 41 at UB. and saying his name. So she’s found ways His family couldn’t have known then what to compensate. When she or Jackson open the future held. their front door, they call out to their son, On Feb. 22, 2016, their 20-year old, 6-foot- saying, “Solomon, I’m home.” 1, 229-pound boy collapsed at a UB condiSolomon’s 15-year-old sister, Solange, tioning practice at the seven years younger North Amherst Recrethan Solomon, was Solation Center. The redomon’s closest sibling. shirt sophomore deShe knows he’s gone, fensive end never stood “It has just been a lot for the but prefers to think of back up. He died seven family to move on––it’s just him as “off at college” days later in the hospital, not as easy as people think it and speaks about him in without ever speaking a is. God doesn’t make any mis- the present tense. word. takes. You know what he did? She and other famiJackson says his son Solomon beat us to heav- ly members insist that died due to natural en. God called him home. He they still notice Solocauses. The family demon among them. One clined to provide the au- needed him more.” night, Solomon’s broth- Steven Jackson topsy report to The Specer, Sterling, awoke, cold, trum. The Erie County on the sofa and said he Medical Examiner’s Ofcould see Solomon’s silfice only releases autopsy reports to next of houette, picking up a blanket to cover him. kin. Solomon’s aunt, who gives speeches across On that tragic Monday night, Jackson got the nation, often sees Solomon sitting in the a phone call from the trainers. Solomon had crowd. collapsed, they told him. The family rushed “It has just been a lot for the family to to Buffalo. move on––it’s just not as easy as people “For some reason, something hit me [when think it is,” Jackson said. “God doesn’t make they called] and I asked what in the world was any mistakes. You know what he did? Solwrong––Solomon of all people, probably in omon beat us to heaven. God called him the best shape of anybody on the team, big- home. He needed him more.” gest and strongest––in great shape and then Jackson goes to Solomon’s grave every they called,” Jackson said. “So I don’t know Friday. Solomon’s mother visits on holidays. what was going through my mind. ... I was “I know he’s not dead,” Jackson said. “His breaking down at this point.” spirit is here. His spirit is at Tucker High UB handled the death quietly. The trainSchool. His spirit is in Buffalo.” ers hurried Solomon to the hospital, but the Every holiday, the family mentions Soloschool did not make any announcements. mon in prayer, and Jackson said it’s as if SolThe Spectrum tried to attend a memorial seromon were there. vice for Solomon last February, but was told press wasn’t allowed. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
SPECTRUM STOCK PHOTO
TRAGEDY ON THE FIELD
COPING WITH THE LOSS
His friends called him “Solo” for short The last time Solomon’s parents spoke to and say he was resilient and joyful and ex- him, they video-chatted him the day before pected more of himself than the coach he collapsed. Jackson doesn’t like to talk did. Whenever he was knocked down, he about it. jumped back up, determined to improve. Solomon’s room still looks like it’s waiting That’s why no one could believe it on that for him to come home. His parents go in February morning when Solo fell over and a few times a week and gaze at Solomon’s didn’t get up, his teammates said. swimming and football trophies. Jackson was an all-state swimmer and an all-county The team had just finished a practice. As trainers hurried to the side of the foot- football player. “People come in this house and they say ball field, everyone heard Solomon breaththey feel Solomon and they feel he is at ing heavily. “We were thinking, ‘He’s Solomon. He’s a peace,” Jackson said. Solange tries to avoid tough guy. He’s just tired Solomon’s room. Before, or probably didn’t eat beshe wouldn’t go in unless fore,’” said Jamarl Eihe told her she could. land, a Bulls wide receiver and friend of Solomon’s. “What keeps me going, if I She feels it would be a “Solomon was such a mess up a play, I would think sin to go in now. She said strong guy; nothing ever to myself, ‘Well, Solo would she would feel like Solodefeated him. So about keep his head up,’ or if I’m mon was yelling at her. 10 minutes later he was not hustling to the ball fast Solange mostly refusstill laying on the ground; enough, ‘Well, Solo doesn’t es to talk about Soloall of us were confused have the opportunity to.’ mon and sits in the car and worried.” All the opportunities Solo at the graveyard. She Eiland said it was the doesn’t have anymore – we turns up the radio and pretends the family is first conditioning prachave to take advantage of visiting someone she tice of the season and it those opportunities because doesn’t know. Her famwas a “tough, non-stop” we’ll never know when our ily has put her into therworkout. There were apy in the past. stations of hurdles, run- last game is.” - Jarrett Franklin ning, drill work and agilWhen she thinks ity testing. Boise Ross, about Solomon, she who played receiver for thinks about the tramthe Bulls and was Solomon’s roommate, re- poline and about how he would jump with called the practice was just like any other. her for hours. Then they would lay down on Eiland said the team was stretching after it and talk about life. He had a gentle way of easing her mind. Solomon used to babfinishing a run. “Everybody got silent. Everybody ysit her and take her on bike rides. They dropped down to their knees and prayed for liked to cook food together and even when him,” Ross said. “As soon as you realize it’s they burned the pizza, it still tasted good. taking longer than usual just to get up and He taught her not to get anxious about the for him to be OK, because usually Solomon small things and to enjoy what she had. He taught her to skip a rock, and togethalways popped back up, it got serious.” The trainers rushed Solomon to Buffalo er, they found a “hidden” lake. It was their special place. When they were together, she General Medical Center. “Never did I imagine I wasn’t going to see felt light and like anything was possible. He was her hero. him after that,” Eiland said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
KATIE KOSTELNY / THE SPECTRUM (TOP OF PAGE) PHOTOS: COURTESY / THE JACKSON FAMILY & SPECTRUM STOCK PHOTO GRAPHIC & LAYOUT / PIERCE STRUDLER
(left)Students hold signs memorializing Jackson at a basketball game on March 1, 2016.| (right) Solomon’s father, Steven Jackson stands on the sidelines at the Homecoming game last month. He stood with the coaches, rooted the players on and imagined Solomon on the ﬁeld.
Monday, November 13, 2017
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
Solange tries to distract herself from the loss by cheerleading and keeping a 4.0 grade-point average. She said she doesn’t have friends and goes to school to do what she needs done. She sometimes has trouble sleeping and hallucinates. “I get this weird sense of someone being there, but then I fall asleep and it’s over,” Solange said. “I felt somebody pick me up and bring me back to my room after I fell asleep on the couch. I legit felt like it was Solomon, but I know it couldn’t be possible even though it really did look like him.” Solomon’s parents still cook his favorite meals: spaghetti with meat ragout sauce, Polish sausage, ground beef and turkey. GROWING INTO HIMSELF
Jackson said Solomon was a chubby baby and ate a lot of food and “grew into his muscles.” Solomon would call his dad from UB sometimes to perfect his seasoning on his steak, which always made his dad grin. Jackson’s elementary school bus driver told Jackson’s parents how often Solomon spoke about how much he loved being with his family – from taking trips to their timeshare in Orlando to go to Disney World over break, or spending Christmas with loved ones. “This kid talked about his family all the way home, and he does it every day,” the school bus driver told Jackson. But over the first five years of Solomon’s life, Jackson spent time in Germany, Korea, Egypt and Israel while he served in the U.S. Army. Jackson, a 21-year military veteran, had five years of service left when Solomon was born. He had a pass to come home every weekend to spend time with his family. On the weekends, he coached Solomon, his siblings and his friends in football. Solomon started playing football at 5 years old. As a coach, Jackson was harder on Solomon than any of the other teammates, but Solomon never seemed to mind. “He had no enemies. He treated everybody the same no matter of the color of your skin or how big or small you are; you know, he was truly an angel,” Jackson said. “This kid just loved life. He held no grudges; he would just let things come and go.” Jackson remembers how much Solomon loved Batman because of his strength and bought him a Batmobile on July 24, 2016, which would have been Solomon’s 21st birthday. Solomon’s last time home was for Christmas, but he left early to come back to UB to meet the new recruits. Initially, Solomon didn’t want to go to college too far from home. But once he met former UB football stars Khalil Mack and Brandon Oliver, he accepted the school’s offer without looking back. Mack and Oliver – who now play in the National Football League – mentored Solomon and showed him how to be a serious player, Jackson said. Jackson developed relationships with Mack and Oliver and they still call him on the phone. “That’s why the players called me ‘Pops,’
NEWS because I was the Pops for a lot of them with fathers who didn’t come like I did,” Jackson said. “I was privileged and fortunate to be able to do that.” Jackson took the players out to dinner and encouraged them during games. Solomon’s friends remember Jackson being at games and cheering them on from the sidelines. Eiland said he specifically remembers looking to the sideline during the games and seeing Jackson shouting, “All for one.” Jackson misses those games and says he still has a strong affinity for UB. “UB will always be home. The team will always be a part of us,” he said. Eiland recalls the moment when he and Solomon had just gotten their first helmets in the locker room and Solomon broke down and cried. “He was just thankful. It was always a dream for all of us to get to that point,” Eiland said. “When he got to the realization that he actually completed that goal, that’s when he broke down... I just remember being surprised that he was that proud at that moment, but I never thought someone would cry because they were so proud.” It is comforting for Jackson to still be in contact with Solomon’s friends even though it makes him sad his boy will not be able to graduate with them. He said he talks to them a few times a week. Jackson listens to gospel music every day and cries when he hears psalms about giving one’s life to God. Every Friday, Jackson goes to Solomon’s grave and talks to his son. Other times he sits next to the grave and cries. Sometimes he sits and prays. “It has not been easy. Every day is different,” Jackson said. “There’s not a day or millisecond I don’t think of Solomon. It’s still an open wound.” KEEPING STRENGTH ON THE FIELD
Many UB football players said they had a tough 2016 season after the loss of Solomon, but they have gained strength from his death. Ross felt Solomon with him as he wore Solomon’s number, 41, last season. “My mentality is honestly Solomon Jackson,” Ross said. “He’s always worked hard. He’s always had a good spirit, and so every time I come out here now, I feel like, ‘Why not be happy and why not be jovial about the situation that I’m in, because it can end at any moment.’ So that’s what really what drives me.” Ross said Solomon hated losing. But he remembers Solomon’s smile and positive attitude toward life the most. “Every time I think about him I think about how he walked through the halls or how he walked to practice, how he carried himself. He was a good spirit always,” Ross said. The elder Jackson said it is not just a privilege for the family to have Solomon’s number worn, but he said it says something about the player who wears it. “[Boise, Jarrett and Solomon] all came to UB like brothers,” Jackson said. “They came on scholarship and started school together and now they would graduate together. It is very, very touching for me to see.” Eiland said he talks to Solomon in his head before games to stay focused and
motivated. He feels Solomon is watching over him. Jackson called Solomon “a tank” and said he could get through anything. He said Solomon would beat himself up after games because he was his own “strongest critic.” Jackson said Solomon never thought he played the best game. Franklin, who wears No. 41 this season, said Solomon’s death was one of the hardest things he has dealt with. “I remember the day we found out. It felt like a dream. I felt like it was a nightmare, and I just needed to wake up from this nightmare,” Franklin said. “Days and weeks passed by, and I kept thinking, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.’ And you know, it just pained me. I remember the worst part about it was me calling my dad and breaking the news to him because you know, I broke down and started crying.” Franklin said losing last season was disappointing. But he feels Solomon’s spirit on the field, and it helps him move forward. His first impression of Solomon was his Southern accent and his genuine smile. “Honestly, I feel like his death is the hardest thing many people on the team have gone through,” Franklin said last year. “So this season going the way it has, we can’t say this is the worst we’ve ever seen because we’ve experienced the worst thing that’s ever happened to us. So this is just another test and we have to push through this test and try to build off of this.” Franklin feels most of the team has been “playing for Solomon.” “What keeps me going, if I mess up a play, I would think to myself, ‘Well, Solo would keep his head up,’ or if I’m not hustling to the ball fast enough, ‘Well, Solo doesn’t have the opportunity to,’” Franklin said. “All the opportunities Solo doesn’t have anymore – we have to take advantage of those opportunities because we’ll never know when our last game is.” Jackson came back to UB on Oct. 8 to see the game against the Western Michigan Broncos. He stood on the sidelines the entire time with the coaches to root the players on. “I’ve built a lot of relationships with these young men and Solomon’s coaches since his passing and it’s relationships that are going to last the rest of my life,” Jackson said. He pictured Solomon, who would have been graduating this year, on the field and felt everyone was playing for Solomon. He heard Solomon’s voice during the game, saying to his teammates, “Move forward,” and, “Don’t worry about it. We need you. We still got this.” There is still a chair in the defensive locker room with Solomon’s jersey that no one sits in. There is an “All 41” sign painted over the entrance to the locker room, and his No. 41 is painted twice on the field. Solomon may be gone, physically. But, as Jackson says, “his spirit will always be in Buffalo, as well as in Georgia.” When Jackson looks back on his son’s life, he is honored to have known him for 20 years. “That’s pretty much it in a nutshell, Solo’s life, his young life,” Jackson said. “But I wouldn’t change nothing for the world.” email: email@example.com
The Spectrum | Page 7
ATHLETES DYING YOUNG Solomon Jackson became one of at least 182 college athletes to die in the U.S. since 2002, according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. These deaths are bafﬂing and often leave more questions than answers. Seventy-ﬁve percent of all sudden deaths suffered by college athletes are related to unknown heart conditions, according to the NCAA. Only one in 10 U.S. student-athletes who suffer sudden cardiac arrest survives, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. UB football coach Lance Leipold said no athlete is allowed to play at UB without a clearance from doctors and trainers. Water breaks are built in for health purposes, he said. “I think anyone humanely would be worried,” Leipold said. “What this program, what this family is going through, nobody wants that to happen.” Irele Oderinde, the University of Oregon’s football strength coach, was suspended 30 days last January for conducting conditioning drills so rigorous that three of the players in his care were hospitalized. Between 2000 and 2012, at least 20 college football players died following overexertion from practice, according to The Courier-Journal. Solomon’s death also happened amid a national debate over football safety in the wake of neurological disorders found in the brains of former players. Jarrett Franklin and Boise Ross, who wore Solomon’s No. 41 jersey in the years following his death, aren’t worried for their own health. “Yeah, it’s a tragedy, but I can’t think about my health. It’s a physical game, so if you hold anything back, then you’re prone to injury,” Franklin said. “I have to go all out, 100 percent, because that’s what he did.” Ross said he values the time he is playing even more now, because he realizes he has to cherish life. “Unfortunately, across the country you see athletes dying young and I look at those days as a time that I hope no one has to go through,” Leipold said. “We all worry. But it shows you the value of life. In every unfortunate tragedy of anyone leaving this Earth before what we feel [their] time is, like I say, unfortunate, but for us to always try to analyze and come up with the whys, I can’t say.” Kelly Dougherty, an associate professor of exercise science at Stockton University, said many athletes may die young because of problems with thermoregulation, which is the process by which the body maintains its temperature. Dougherty has looked at clinical populations and said deaths can only be looked at on a case-by-case basis, but she has concluded that thermoregulation needs to be addressed in athletic practices. Dougherty said factors such as exercise intensity, environment and hydration can all contribute to an emergency situation. Coaches need to be educated about the risks, she said. “Football players usually start practice in July or August, and a lot of time[s] they start practice in full pads, and also a lot of time[s] kids come to practice not in tiptop shape,” Dougherty said. “All of those factors combined – it really sets up a cascade [of] events whereby it predisposes them to a heat-and-stress-related illness.”
COURTESY / THE JACKSON FAMILY
(left) Solomon poses on the UB football ﬁeld. (middle) Solomon, a redshirt defensive end reaches for the football on the ﬁeld. (right) Solomon (second from left), stands next to his father and brothers, Steven and Sterling on December 30, 2015. COURTESY / THE JACKSON FAMILY
SPECTRUM STOCK PHOTO
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Page 8 | The Spectrum
Monday, November 13, 2017
COURTESY / TIMOTHY GREENFIELD-SANDERS
In Toni Morrison’s BABEL series address on Thursday at Kleinhans, the author took attendees through her novels over her career, examining works like “Beloved” and “The Bluest Eye” in-depth.
Toni Morrison delights during career review at Nobel Prize-winning author Kleinhans addresses sold-out crowd in Buffalo BENJAMIN BLANCHET SENIOR ARTS EDITOR
All the makings of a historic night were at Kleinhans on Thursday night. Renowned author Toni Morrison took the stage in another installment of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s 2017-18 BABEL series. Morrison, speaking on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s address in the same venue, discussed her lengthy career and each of her 11 novels. Before the main event, singer-songwriter Drea d’Nur opened the evening with a dose of soul. The artist’s rendition of “A Change is Gonna Come” was met with thunderous applause. Barbara Cole, artistic director of the Just Buffalo Literary Center, followed with recollections of King’s address at the venue. Cole said there are still great lengths for America to go to solve issues of racial injustice. Morrison kicked off her address by not-
ing Buffalo’s large size and beautiful architecture, right before “dauntingly” referencing the speech’s relationship to King’s address. King’s historic shadow may have been cast over the venue, but the author made it her night, recalling the inspiration behind her first book. “At [the] age of 39, I wrote my first book,” Morrison said. “There really are not books written for me ... and many books by African-American writers were written about me but not for me, for white people.” It led her to create “The Bluest Eye,” a book inspired by a conversation with her friend in which Morrison insisted God existed but her friend disagreed. Her friend never got the blue eyes she prayed for, resulting in her lack of faith. Morrison said the novel and its creation wasn’t always “Shirley Temple” and explained people, even black women, “hated the book because of its inclusion of incest.”
After discussing “Tar Baby,” Morrison explained her involvement in “The Black Book,” a collection of materials she came upon in her research. In the collection, she read an old newspaper article about a slave woman killing her child, a concept that inspired her to create “Beloved” after yearning for the child’s perspective on the death. Morrison discussed “Paradise” and its connection to her great-grandmother’s view on blackness. “These children here have been tampered with,” her great-grandmother noted of Morrison and her sister. “So I began my life knowing I wasn’t pure, but being dark black [like my great-grandmother] really was,” Morrison explained. The book, dealing with a black town subscribing to racial purity and outliers around the town, somewhat got back at her greatgrandmother for her ideology. Morrison examined her book “A Mercy” and how she worked with a book de-
signer on a head cover to create a map of New England without English identifying words. It “predated racial conflicts” like slavery for Morrison. After discussing themes of compassion in “God Help the Child” and the deliberate lack of color termed in “Home,” Morrison talked about visualizing her characters in her day-to-day life. She wrapped up the evening by noting her next novel, which she jokingly said is her favorite. Morrison, along with Cole, conducted a brief on-stage Q&A. She appeared sillier than before, insisting that she writes the “best sex scenes,” which caused the audience to erupt in laughter. As the session came to a close, one attendee asked what steps could be taken to achieve King’s famous dream. She backed her final point by telling the story of a hall at Princeton University. The hall was built by slaves and is to be renamed Morrison Hall, which caused a problem for Morrison. “It’s this whole thing of examination, what society was and what happened,” Morrison said. “Our exposure to something has far more impact than erasing it, hiding it and calling it something else.” Attendees like UB Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence Teresa Miller thought Morrison’s speech was both inspirational and relevant. “She’s candid, she’s unscripted, she’s insightful and I loved the very last thing she ended on [regarding] Princeton and slavery,” Miller said. “Being able to say how am I supposed to make this [speech] sound like something it’s not. But the fact that she said it’s important not to erase that history and memory, to learn from things, is the lesson that we all could learn from. It’s so applicable to today.” email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Page 10 | The Spectrum
Monday, November 13, 2017
JACK LI / THE SPECTRUM
The Bulls huddle after the game. They will be playing in the MAC tournament starting on Nov. 16.
ON THE CUSP OF GREATNESS Volleyball team closes the season with close losses, feel they can play top seeds in MAC tournament
THOMAS ZAFONTE SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR
The Bulls did not have an easy end to their season. They were pitted against the Bowling Green Falcons (17-10, 13-3 MAC) and the Miami (OH) Redhawks (21-8, 13-3 MAC) this past weekend in their final home and regular season games. The Falcons and Redhawks were the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the MAC, heading into the weekend, respectively.
Despite the Bulls’ best efforts playing four competitive sets against each team, they came up empty losing 3-1 to the Redhawks on Friday and 3-1 to the Falcons on Saturday at Alumni Arena. The Bulls (15-12, 8-8 MAC) have one major takeaway from the weekend with the MAC tournament only a few days away; they can play with the best. “For us to just come short of [the win] in four [sets] against the top two teams in the MAC, especially two nights in a row at home where I think we could have won, makes these losses tough,” said head coach Blair Brown Lipsitz. “What I liked about it was that I saw a lot of fight after 20 these past two days, that means they are ready to push to the end.” The Bulls struggled to bounce back after losing close sets, earlier in the season. They would follow up a competitive first set loss with a sub-
par second set. Even though they came up short both nights, the Bulls’ lowest scoring set was 19 points for the whole weekend. These signs of improvement are coming at the right time. The MAC tournament starts on Nov. 16. Their proven ability against the conferences’ best makes team captain, sophomore setter Scout McLerran, confident in her team. “Us hanging in both games with the No. 1 and 2 seeds show us that we are right there,” McLerran said. “I think our team should treat this as ‘coming for blood’ in the tournament, as motivation for what we can do.” On Sunday MAC announced the Bulls will be the No. 5 seed in the tournament and will play No. 8 Eastern Michigan Eagles (15-7, 7-9 MAC) in the first round. The Bulls will go on to play the No. 4 Ohio Bobcats (16-14, 10-6 MAC) in the second round if they win.
McLerran said the Bulls would be looking to make history at the tournament regardless of which team they face. “We are a high risk high reward team, but our highs are ridiculous,” McLerran said. “I could see us going in there and blowing people away.” Brown Lipsitz praised the offensive performance of freshman outside hitter Andrea Mitrovic after the game on Saturday. Mitrovic had 24 kills against the Falcons on Friday. Brown Lipsitz also called attention to junior middle blocker Megan Wernette’s defensive performance and the timing she showed in her play the whole weekend. “We are seeing a lot of great things we didn’t see earlier in the season. We just have to keep it up and carry it into the MAC tournament next week,” Brown Lipsitz said. The game against Bowling Green was also senior night for the team. Sole senior, middle blocker Cassie Shado, was given an on-court commemoration before the game started involving her family, teammates, coaches and head athletic director Allen Greene. The team gave Shado a framed jersey along with a cake after the game to celebrate her four years with the Bulls. “I made my mark here at UB volleyball which makes me really happy. With my family here, it just makes me feel warm about the whole thing,” Shado said. The celebration did not detract Shado from staying focused on the games ahead. She feels the Bulls can play with the best. For Shado, that is enough to make her optimistic for the MAC tournament. “That was the No. 2 seed in conference and we played a close set every time,” Shado said. “It shows us they we deserve to be in the tournament and we can beat the top seed teams.” With two head coaching changes, single digit win seasons and now the best MAC season in program history behind her, Shado looks to be a part of one last accomplishment: winning the MAC championship. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
not his first rodeo Head men’s basketball manager discusses his role wranglin’ the Bulls JEREMY TORRES ASST SPORTS EDITOR
As the Bulls traveled to Cleveland for the 2017 men’s MAC tournament, the team received a text from the equipment manager. Anarchy ensued. The game was the next day and the practice jerseys were nowhere to be found. Wesley Scheier was to blame. Scheier, a senior business major, has been a men’s basketball manager with the Bulls for four years. This is his first year as head manager. His duties range from setting up practice to taking food orders and everything in between. “That’s the only mess up Wes has ever had,” said former Bulls head manager Dallas Comstock. “We were on the bus and someone asked about [the practice jerseys] and his eyes lit up because he knew he forgot them. Chaos completely broke out. We had to figure out how to get the practice jerseys from Buffalo to Cleveland.” Scheier pulled strings, and arranged for the practice jerseys to be brought from Buffalo to Cleveland on a Greyhound bus. Scheier always knew he wanted to be involved with sports. He loved every sport as a kid, especially basketball. But Scheier was
TROY WACHALA / THE SPECTRUM
Men’s basketball head manager Wesley Scheier stands center court holding practice jerseys. Scheier handles many important tasks, including feeding the team.
not athletic enough to play basketball at a high school level, let alone collegiately, despite his passion. “If you looked at me when I was younger, I would have been cut when I walked into the gym,” Scheier said. “But I knew I wanted to do something in basketball… I figured the best way to get in involved was to be a manager, get hands on experience.” Scheier spends 25 to 30 hours a week helping the Bulls. Scheier didn’t take the commitment seriously at first. As a freshman and sophomore, he never grasped the
importance of the job. Tom Fox, a video coordinator for the Bulls, recalls a time when the floor needed to be mopped for player safety two seasons ago. “He was sitting at the scorer’s table. I said to him ‘can you please go on the court? Just in case anyone falls over,’” Fox said. “He said to me ‘I should do it but I’m not going to.’… I chewed him out a little bit. The first impression I had of him was very bad… This year he has been fantastic. He has gone above and beyond.”
Scheier learned discipline, the importance of responsibility and time management as a manager. He has found a balance between his role as a student and a manager; his colleagues agree. “He has developed so much. He is a completely different person from when I first started at UB,” Comstock said. “Before he didn’t realize how serious that manager job was. They do all of the dirty work.” Being a manager is an integral part of a program. He sets up practices and organizes meals and equipment. If a meal is not provided by the hotel, it is up to Scheier to make it happen. “If you mess one guy’s order up, they start complaining,” Scheier said. “Any little thing, they will pick it out. You got to make sure that it is as close to perfect as it can be. The coaches and players get on me about that.” Scheier realized the importance of his job during a road trip in Ohio last season. After the game there was a miscommunication between Scheier and the restaurant. Half of the food order was missing. Luckily for Scheier, the players were in a good mood after winning their game. “Thank God we won that game,” Scheier said. “Otherwise I would have been cursed out… Everyone was missing their order. Everyone said, ‘screw it, I’m going to Chipotle.’” Luckily, strength and conditioning coach Mike Snowden pitches in. His role is to work with players on their physical preparation and to work with the athletic trainer to improve recovery. Snowden helps with meal preparation and stresses the importance of a nutritious diet on the road. Snowden credits Scheier for playing a major role in contributing to team health. “Wes is a jack-of-all-trades for us,” Snowden said. “Wes is a guy who I can rely on to get things done right the first time... He plays a role in a little bit of everything.” email: email@example.com