‘Better Call’ (Not Quite) Saul
One Year Later Page 8
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DAILY COLLEGIAN DailyCollegian.com
Thursday, April 9, 2015
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GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS Federal jury finds Tsarnaev responsible in Boston Marathon bombing; stage set for death penalty debate.
By Richard A. Serrano Tribune Washington Bureau
BOSTON — A seven-woman, five-man federal jury in the Boston Marathon bombing trial found Russian immigrant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of all charges against him, including conspiring to plan and execute the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11. The decision Wednesday, which came after two days of deliberations, was not surprising given the admission by Tsarnaev’s attorney that her client took part in the April
2013 bombing. It sets the stage for the punishment phase of the trial, in which federal prosecutors and defense lawyers will face off over whether the former college student should be sentenced to death. Tsarnaev, 21, thin, touslehaired and lightly bearded, stood for the reading of the verdict. As he has throughout the trial, he showed next to no emotion. He stood for some 30 minutes as the lengthy verdict form was read, sometimes swaying, picking his fingernails or cracking his knuckles, but never looking toward the
jury box. The counts against Tsarnaev included conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and murder in the death of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during a police manhunt. Seventeen of the counts make Tsarnaev eligible to receive the death penalty. Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. instructed the jury to return to his third-floor courtroom sometime “early next week” for opening statements in the penalty phase, when experts expect to see a more robust
legal battle. Prosecutors will push hard for a death sentence, while the defense will argue for life in prison with no parole. Judy Clarke, the lead defense attorney, is one of the nation’s top anti-death-penalty advocates and has yet to lose a client to death row. The first part of the trial lasted a month as the prosecution called 92 witnesses, including victims of the attack, and showed the jurors surveillance video depicting Tsarnaev placing his bomb. see
TSARNAEV on page 3
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, above, was convicted on 30 charges in the Boston Marathon bombing, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Competitive fun is the name Students believe justice of game for UM Chess Club served in jury’s decision By Jaclyn Bryson
RSO offers chance to learn, compete
By Anthony Rentsch Collegian Staff
Tim Kelly, a junior accounting major, and Lauren Timmins, a sophomore chemical engineering major, share a love for chess, though this enthusiasm did not develop in the same way Timmins learned the game as a kid but never played until she arrived at the University of Massachusetts. Kelly, on the other hand, learned to play when he was 17 and immediately liked it, joining his high school chess club before
Members of the Chess Club stare each other down at Blue Wall last Thursday. seeking out the UMass Chess Club the first week he was on campus. Now, Kelly and Timmins are the president and vice president of the club, respectively, and their love of chess continues to spill over into the club chartered in 1975, at what Kelly called the peak popularity of chess in America due to the chess
prodigy Bobby Fischer. “Chess is really stimulating,” Timmins said. “Chess hasn’t been solved. There is so much to learn about it.” “Rules for chess are really simple: I could probably teach someone who hasn’t even heard of it in five minutes,” Kelly said. “But the see
CHESS on page 2
Following 11 hours of deliberations spread over two days, the jury finally reached a verdict for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – he’s now officially guilty for his involvement in the Boston Marathon Bombings, a terrorist attack that occurred nearly two years ago, injuring 264, killing three and shaking an entire city to its core. And for many students at the University of Massachusetts, the longawaited verdict finally brings some justice. “He deserved to be caught,” said Ryan Fields, a sophomore finance and economics major. Sophomore biology major Ashley Truman said that despite the biggest defense being that Tsarnaev was influenced by his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, she believes he acted in his own free will. Being the same age as Tsarnaev was when he committed the crime, she
said being swayed to partake in an act of terror is not something someone can easily be coerced into. “I’m 19 too and I don’t think I could be influenced to do the things he did,” she said. “I think it’s a good thing he got convicted.” With the conviction official, the next step is sentencing. Found guilty of all 30 charges against him, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, Tsarnaev now faces the possibility of the death penalty. And this is where UMass students begin to have mixed opinions. “I think that the death penalty is extreme in a lot of cases,” Maggie White, a sophomore, said. “I feel like the death penalty is kind of saying it’s ok to take care of violence with more violence.” Zoe Ma, a freshman hospitality and tourism management major, said that she has done a lot of debates regarding the death penalty in the past, and despite Tsarnaev’s
crimes, doesn’t believe in the concept as a whole. “Even though what he did was awful, since I’m against the death penalty, I would probably be against him getting the death penalty,” she said. But some students still want to see a harsh sentencing for the convicted bomber. “My initial reaction is to give (the death penalty) to him,” Fields said. “But at the same time, I think people should live their life out in prison and suffer that way, instead of just ending it in a very quick manner.” “I feel like yes, the death penalty is extreme, but at the same time, what he did was extreme,” sophomore and operations and information management major Mikayla Goodwin said. “I don’t think there really is any best way to handle this situation.” And with the conviction coming nearly two years after the bombings took place, some students said see
REACTION on page 3
Woman charged Trials pending for ‘The Hungry Heart’ in July death of others in 2012 rape to be shown Mon. Drug abuse central UMass student to documentary The 64-year-old woman who struck and killed a University of Massachusetts student on North East Street last July has been charged with negligent motor vehicle homicide, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. Cynthia S. May, of Orleans, is scheduled to be arraigned April 17 at 2 p.m. in Hampshire Superior Court. Hannah Frilot, the 20-year-old UMass student from Arizona, was walking northbound along the righthand side of the road when she was struck from behind by May’s vehicle just after 11 p.m., according to the
District Attorney’s Office. Frilot was pronounced dead at the scene. Negligent motor vehicle homicide is a misdemeanor, and can be punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in prison with an accompanying 15-year loss of license. The accident was investigated by the Amherst Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police Detectives Unit attached to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, and the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS). Aviva Luttrell
The three remaining men who allegedly gang raped a University of Massachusetts freshman in her dorm room in 2012 will not go to trial until June at the earliest, Masslive.com reported Wednesday. Justin King, 21, and Adam Liccardi, 20, both of Pittsfield and Caleb Womack, 20, of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, are each charged with three counts of aggravated rape. Liccardi faces a fourth count for allegedly raping the victim again after the others had left. Emmanuel T. Bile Jr., the first of the four men to be tried, was found guilty of two counts of aggra-
vated rape and sentenced to eight to 10 years in state prison last week. Prosecutors allege the men entered the then 18-year-old woman’s room in Pierpont Hall and gangraped her while she was too intoxicated to consent. According to Masslive. com, the trials were delayed for months due to scheduling conflicts and the wait time for DNA test results. Alfred Chamberland, Liccardi’s attorney, moved for a change of venue due to the amount of publicity the Bile trial received, Masslive.com reported. Aviva Luttrell
By Aviva Luttrell Collegian Staff
The University of Massachusetts will host a screening of “The Hungry Heart,” a new documentary about the epidemic of opioid abuse, Monday, April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium. A panel discussion with the film’s director and community members will follow. The documentary, directed by Bess O’Brien, addresses prescription drug abuse, addiction and recovery through the
eyes of pediatrician Fred Holmes in a small town in Southern Vermont. According to the film’s website, Holmes uses suboxone to help treat his patients who are struggling with addiction. For some, it’s a “crucial stepping stone” to long-term recovery, but others use it as a crutch or abuse it and sell it on the street. Throughout the film, Holmes must grapple with these challenges. “Most importantly however, as the film progresses we begin to see the simple but profound connection that Holmes creates with each patient,” see
SCREENING on page 2
THE MASSACHUSETTS DAILY COLLEGIAN
Thursday, April 9, 2015
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great part about it is everything after that is complicated and stimulating. The strategy is very fun. Even though the rules are the same, every game is different; it’s very rare to duplicate a game. So it’s like a new challenge every single time.” This learning process is woven into the weekly meetings – every Thursday at Blue Wall from 6 p.m. until it closes. Timmins said there is a wide range of skill amongst members, and he tries to teach them some of the strategy and thinking involved during the meetings. Often, Timmins said, an older man named Larry comes to the meetings and sets up boards in a certain way and then lets the games play out, something she and many other players find fascinating. The learning process is always ongoing, but Kelly admitted there are occasionally moments when it’s possible to see the lessons play out on the board. During a game a year and a half ago, he was able to recreate a 17-move game played by one of his favorite chess players, Paul Morphy move-formove. Although Kelly said the game was one of the cooler ones he has ever played, he is into chess more for the personal challenges associated with each game. The outcome of a game of chess, unlike other activities like cards, dice or other sports, is all in the players’ hands, which makes it more individually satisfying and exciting. “My favorite thing about chess is that … all the infor-
“Rules for chess are really simple: I could probably teach someone who hasn’t even heard of it in five minutes. But the great part about it is everything after that is complicated and stimulating. The strategy is very fun. Even though the rules are the same, every game is different; it’s very rare to duplicate a game. So it’s like a new challenge every single time.” Tim Kelly, Chess Club president mation is known to all the players and the only thing that affects whether a person is going to win or not is their ability and that’s it – there is nothing else to it.” While club meetings do provide the 10 to 15 members that show up on any particular day with an opportunity to learn and grow, Kelly and Timmins stress that the meetings are really just a casual space to come play chess and hang out. “It’s a really nice atmosphere,” Timmins said. There also are not any requirements to be in the club, other than showing up at meetings. “People ask me, ‘Oh, how do I become a member?’ and I tell them that you just did,” Kelly joked. Timmins said that although the club meetings are very casual, many of the members play ongoing series against one another, which lead to a fun competitive atmosphere. Currently, the club only competes internally. Kelly hopes that in the near future, the Western Massachusetts Chess Foundation can sponsor the club. This sponsor-
ship would allow them to host official United States Chess Federation rated tournaments at UMass. Next year, Kelly, a USCF member who is highly ranked in the state, even hopes to compete at tournaments as a team. Kelly said that in a couple of weeks the club is planning on holding a casual tournament for anyone interested, whether they’re a UMass student or not. Kelly and Timmins encourage people to join the 20 or 30 active members and get involved in the club – no matter what their experience level is. For the two, joining the chess club as freshmen has been a rewarding decision. “I’ve been an active member (since I joined),” Kelly said. “I haven’t really missed a meeting in the last 3 years (except) for exams.” “I saw it the first week of freshman year and I’ve been going ever since,” Timmins said. “I just have a lot of fun there.” Anthony Rentsch can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @Anthony_Rentsch.
Fraternity to take part in head-shaving fundraiser Proceeds to aid cancer research By Christina Yacono Collegian Staff
The Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and other local participants will be shaving their heads in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation on Sunday. Since 1999, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s head-shaving events across the country have helped fundraise for cancer research for children, and in 2015 alone, 1,145 St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving events have raised over $24.5 million nationwide. According to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation website, Alpha Delta Phi has raised $1,575 out of its goal of $5,000 as so far. At Rafters Sports Bar on Sunday, starting at 11 a.m., different teams from all around the Pioneer
At last year’s event, over 100 people shaved their head. All the teams raised over $75,000, and Alpha Delta Phi raised $5,000. Valley will be shaving their heads to support this cause. Various groups, including the University of Massachusetts Police Department, Amherst Firefighters and Friends, local college sports teams, and others, will be participating. Five years ago, UMass Police Department sergeant Matthew Malo contacted the fraternity about the event. Since then, this has been one of the biggest fundraisers that the fraternity participates in. Every member in the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity helps coordinate and organize the event, and those who volunteer to do so will have their heads shaved. A local barbershop in Amherst, Matt’s Barber Shop,
SCREENING the website states. “The film shines a light on the healing power of conversation and the need for connection that many of these young addicts yearn for but do not have in their lives.” There were more than 65 suspected overdoses in Hampshire and Franklin counties over the past two years – one of the highest fatality rates in the state, according to the
will be providing the headshaving services the day of the event. Vice president and philanthropy chair of Alpha Delta Phi, Raiyan Rahman encouraged everyone to go to the event. “It’s super family friendly with a live band, food and raffles and it’s for a good cause.” At last year’s event, over 100 people shaved their head. All the teams raised over $75,000, and Alpha Delta Phi raised $5,000. This year, Rashman hopes to raise more money on the day of the event, and surpass last year’s total. Christina Yacono can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Northwestern District Attorney’s Office The event is sponsored by UMass’ Center for Health Promotion and the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office and the Northwestern Rx Drug Abuse Task Force. “The Hungry Heart” was recently awarded the 2015 Media Award by the American Society of
Addiction, which praised the film for its “unflinching perspective” on the epidemic of opioid addiction. The screening is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. Aviva Luttrell can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @AvivaLuttrell.
THE MASSACHUSETTS DAILY COLLEGIAN
TSARNAEV The case included a visit by jurors to inspect the drydocked boat where Tsarnaev was captured and where he had scribbled notes about his anger toward America and devotion to Islam. The next phase is expected to go faster, perhaps just two weeks, with less evidence and a greater emphasis on emotion and motivation. Prosecutors will rely again on victim testimony, asking some of the amputees and relatives of the four people killed – three at the race finish line and one during the manhunt – to describe in detail how their lives have been changed. But despite the lingering anger in Boston about the attack, prosecutors also face widespread ideological opposition to the death penalty in the New England state. This week, for instance, a group representing the Roman Catholic bishops of Massachusetts handed out leaflets in front of the harbor-side courthouse saying that Tsarnaev in prison “will never again have the ability to cause harm” and that “society can do better than the death penalty.” To avoid the death penalty, all the defense needs is one juror. Before trial, all 12 swore to the judge that they would be open to a possible death sentence, and could set aside any sympathy for Tsarnaev if they decided he deserves to die. The more difficult chal-
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lenge confronts the defense team. Led by Clarke, they will portray Tsarnaev as a loner, a failure at college and a casualty of a broken family. More significantly, they will argue, he was under the spell of his heavily radicalized older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. “Tamerlan led and he followed,” Clarke told the jury. Yet Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, shortly before he was captured, left a message scrawled in pencil on the inside of the boat where he was hiding in nearby Watertown, Mass. “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians but most of you already know that,” he wrote. “ ... I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished ... We are promised victory and we will surely get it. Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but ... it is allowed.” Two pressure cooker bombs filled with nails, metal shards and BBs were detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line on April 15, 2013. Krystle Campbell, 28, and Lingzi Lu, 23, were killed, as was 8-year-old Martin Richard, watching the race with his family. His sister, 6-year-old Jane, lost a leg and his mother, Denise, was blinded in one eye. Seventeen others lost one or both legs.
REACTION they can still remember exactly where they were and what they were feeling at the moment the bombs went off near the finish line. Harrison Ma, a freshman management major, remembered just finishing track practice when he found out the marathon attacks, a feeling he describes a weird, having just finished running himself. He feels like that day was a long time ago. “(The trial) dragged out for a while,” he said. “There was a period I forgot it was (happening).” But for many, the verdict today brings a sense of closure. “(I’m) relieved, honestly. Justice was served,” Fields said. “They have a very
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methodical process of finding all the evidence. You are innocent until proven guilty and they did a very good job of proving that.” Yet despite the act of terrorism that affected both the city of Boston and the nation itself, some students see the bombings, along with the relief of today’s verdict, as a chance for people to come and grow stronger together. “I think it grew everyone, at least in the state of Massachusetts, together,” Goodwin said. “There was something to rally around, like a cause to stand up for, to stick together.” Jaclyn Bryson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLLEGIAN FILE PHOTO
A memorial at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, just days after Tsarnaev and his brother planted bombs that killed three and injured hundreds.
Afghan insider shooting reported Attack is second of its type this year By Shashank Bengali Los Angeles Times
MUMBAI, India — A U.S. soldier was reported killed in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday after a visit to the area by a senior American diplomat, in what Afghan officials described as an insider shooting. Afghan news media reported that at least two other U.S. soldiers were wounded when an Afghan soldier opened fire near the provincial governor’s compound in Jalalabad, east of Kabul. The Afghan soldier was killed in an exchange of gunfire with U.S. troops,
according to provincial officials. NATO forces in Afghanistan confirmed that a service member was killed but did not immediately disclose the soldier’s nationality. State Department officials in Kabul said that no U.S. Embassy personnel were killed in the incident. “The incident took place after a senior U.S. official held a meeting with the provincial governor,” embassy spokeswoman Monica Cummings said. “All chief of mission personnel of the visiting party are accounted for.” The U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, P. Michael McKinley, was in Kabul and not part of the visit to Jalalabad, the capital of
Nangarhar province, embassy officials said. It was the second attack this year in which an apparent Afghan service member turned his weapon on U.S. forces. In January, an Afghan in military uniform shot to death three U.S. contractors at a military facility inside Kabul’s international airport, before being shot and killed by security forces. So-called insider attacks, which once were among the leading killers of international forces in Afghanistan, have diminished sharply in recent years as the foreign troop presence diminishes. Approximately 10,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Afghanistan.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Opinion Editorial THE MASSACHUSETTS DAILY COLLEGIAN
“Yeah, it’s pretty hard not to be completely cynical these days.” - David Byrne
Thursday, April 9, 2015
My senator has been indicted. The schmuck.
The stigma of mental illness in schools My skin felt clammy and pale, my heart was on the verge of pulsing out of my chest, and my thoughts were
tions from my peers and disapproval of teachers. Every option that I had to escape only seemed to be filled with more anxiety than I could handle. As a student at the University of Massachusetts, I admit my fears of social consequences are not as prevalent as in high school. Mental illness is not stigmatized on our campus as heavily as it is stigmatized in high school. However, I still do not see my anxiety as a valid excuse to miss class, particularly with the cost of my education. If I have a panic attack before class, I force myself to attend out of necessity. Having anxiety is not like having a cold; I cannot go to University Health Services to ask for a doctor’s note that excuses me for having anxiety, though I wish the issue could be solved so simply. I recently read an article on Huffington Post in which 17-year-old writer Kamrin Baker calls for more widespread education about mental health issues through her campaign, Joy is Genius. “There is still a massive stigma surrounding people with anxiety and depression in my school, and though teachers and counselors can be wildly sympathetic and helpful, no one really cares to educate the masses,” she writes. Like Baker says, shifting the seemingly universal stigma away from mental health issues like anxiety or depression is not overly complex. It seems the only way to change societal perceptions of mental illness is to make mental health education a statewide or national priority in public schools. This may assist in minimizing the shame associated with these issues. In high school, I was barely educated about ways to cope with my mental illness, ways to help others cope with mental illness or recognizing the signs. Although the University has some great programs in place to educate the UMass community about mental health issues, I wish that I could say the same about my experiences in high school. At a time when all I wanted was to live like a normal adolescent, both explicit and implicit societal stigma forced me to feel ashamed of the odd person that I was. Though I experience similar feelings of shame in college, I am at least provided with resources to help. If my peers (and even teachers) had known how to recognize the ceaseless anxiety attacks and stigma that forced me to suffer in silence, my high school experience would have been much more comfortable.
unceasing and nauseating. It only made the situation worse that I was in high school chemistry class in the middle of a lab. I attempted to stare off into the distance to take my mind off of these paralyzing sensations. However, it was to no avail. For each calm moment that I had salvaged, I was pulled away from comfort by the overwhelming vocalizations of my peers and teacher. I thought it would be dramatic to run to the nurse’s office or bathroom when there would be little comfort for me in those places either. I was paralyzed by fear. Since the age of six I have been aware that I have an anxiety disorder, which is a relatively common age to display symptoms. It was nothing new. As I grew older, however, I felt my stress increase while I felt there were fewer ways to cope with it. Dealing with a mental illness can be relatively exhausting. Attempting to manage anxiety, depression and other mental illness has a distinct learning curve. Receiving therapy and medication are some obvious routes to doing so, but from my own experiences, these are not automatic fixes to a mental health problem. The stigmatization of mental illnesses is present in society and in the people with mental illness. A study on the subject from World Psychiatry reveals that people with mental illnesses, “struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease,” as well as with, “the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness.” Anxiety is not viewed in the same way as a cold or the flu. For these temporary illnesses, acquiring a doctor’s note and documentation is not difficult, and people are excused because of the illness. People with anxiety, however, may inadvertently be forced into shame. As I grow older, the shame associated with mental illness becomes increasingly present in my life. In high school, there were days that I constantly felt prone to having a panic attack and I had no refuge. Even if I could not bear sitting in a classroom with noisy peers, I had the perception that I would have to out of necessity. Just raising my hand to go to the nurse’s office or bathroom felt ridiculous, particularly with a limited amount of students allowed outside of the classroom. If I took too long, Brianna Zimmerman is a Collegian columnist and I worried about the social ramifica- can be reached at email@example.com.
“The stigmatization of mental illnesses is present in society and in the people with mental illness.”
Senator Bob Menendez, of the great state of New Jersey, was charged with taking bribes from Dr. Salomon Melgen in return for political favors.
morning by closing lanes. Aggravating and embarrassing, check. Instead of resigning like a decent human being, Menendez has run around the state professing his innocence Claire Anderson and collecting for his legal fund, raising over $200,000 in Menendez received lavish private contributions by the gifts including private flights end of 2014. He is pretty good and vacations in Melgen’s Dominican Republic home and Paris. Melgen was rewarded in turn when Menendez influenced the Department of State to pressure the Dominican Republic into give a Melgen-owned company a port security contract and at this fundraising stuff. helped Melgen’s girlfriends The New Jersey public from overseas get travel visas. does not seem phased by the While accepting the lav- scandal – it’s almost like we ish gifts is not exactly ille- expect our politicians to be gal unless the prosecutor corrupt. A Rutgers-Eagleton can prove the gifts were in poll found that people see corexchange for political favors, it ruption as a major problem in is aggravating and embarrass- the state, but believe corruping for New Jersey. The state tion is common and part of the is still recovering from the last system. The same study found major political scandal, when that 58 percent of the public Gov. Chris Christie punished believes Menendez should stay the mayor of Fort Lee and the in office unless found guilty. thousands of commuters that Never mind the fact he will rely on the George Washington spend most of his time runBridge to get to work every ning around trying to save
himself instead of fighting his constituents. Menendez refuses to leave office, arguing he is innocent until proven guilty, a comforting right we all have. But Menendez has already admitted to taking the gifts and violating Senate ethics. He is guilty, and the public knows it. At this point he is just dragging the state through the mud until an eventual verdict. While everyone’s time could be put to better use solving Jersey’s many problems, Newark still operates under the watchful eyes of the Justice Department after the police department was discovered to be violating people’s, especially African American’s, constitutional rights, or that thousands of people still live in temporary housing two years after Hurricane Sandy. But it’s OK, because Menendez’s legal problems clearly top everything else.
“The New Jersey public does not seem phased by the scandal, it’s almost like we expect our politicians to be corrupt.”
Claire Anderson is the Opinion and Editorial Producer, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLUE WALL SUCKS
by Claire Anderson
1 2 3 4 5
They steal business from student-run organizations like Earth Foods and People’s Market with Dining Dollars They cannot make sandwiches When I mention that they cannot make sandwiches, they get upset Good options are never open or available when I want them to be. I don’t want ice cream at 5 p.m., I want it at 11 p.m. There are cockroaches
t h e m a s s a c h u s e t t s D a i ly C o l l e g i a n BUSINESS
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The Massachusetts Daily Collegian is published Monday through Thursday during the University of Massachusetts calendar semester. The Collegian is independently funded, operating on advertising revenue. Founded in 1890, the paper began as Aggie Life, became the College Signal in 1901, the Weekly Collegian in 1914 and the Tri–Weekly Collegian in 1956. Published daily from 1967 to 2014, The Collegian has been broadsheet since January 1994. For advertising rates and information, call 413-545-3500.
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Arts Living THE MASSACHUSETTS DAILY COLLEGIAN
Thursday, April 9, 2015
“I just talked to Jesus / He said, ‘What up, Yeezus?’” - Kanye West
It’s all about ‘Saul’ in stylish prequel to ‘Breaking Bad’ Odenkirk elevates the inaugural season By Eli Fine Collegian Staff
Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for the first season of “Better Call Saul.”
“Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan and producer Peter Gould returned to create and run its spin off series, “Better Call Saul” on AMC. They are a huge part of why season one of “Saul” is as good, if not better, than “Bad” was in its first season. “Saul” is imbued with its own tone, characters and qualities, while still allowing it to share a televisual universe with “Bad.” “Saul” takes place prior to the events of “Breaking Bad.” Small-time Albuquerque lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), aka Saul Goodman, specializes in elder law and lives in the shadow of his brother, Chuck (Michael McKean). Chuck is a founding member and name partner in the uber-successful law firm Hamlin, Hamlin and McGill (HHM). Jimmy tries, over and over again, to join HHM, all the while maintaining a flirtatious relationship/deep friendship with an HHM lawyer, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). Jimmy spends a lot of time caring for Chuck, who due to a strange medical con-
dition, is confined to his house, convinced that he cannot come in contact with electricity. Throughout the season, flashbacks reveal how Jimmy became a lawyer in the first place. Years ago, Jimmy left a life of petty crime behind him to work in HHM’s mailroom. As he worked that menial job, he went back to school, took and passed the bar and became a lawyer in his own right. Jimmy wanted to make his brother proud and wanted to prove that he could make something of himself, only to be disappointed when Chuck’s reaction was less positive than he would have hoped. The most powerful moment of season one comes at the end of the season’s penultimate episode, when Jimmy discovers Chuck was behind HHM’s continuous refusal to hire him. He confronts Chuck, and Chuck’s impulsively hateful response is heartbreaking. McKean plays the scene with a perfect amount of hostility and resentment. At this point in the series, I had developed a strong connection to Jimmy. I wanted him to succeed and to earn his brother’s pride, and this confrontation makes it clear that that will never happen. It’s a crushing scene. The power of that scene speaks to just how terrifically the writers have developed the character of
Jimmy. The season’s flashback structure gives us just enough of a peek at his past life as a petty con man, when he was once known as “Slippin’ Jimmy”, without overdoing it and spending too much time in the past. Instead, most of the season is spent watching Jimmy attempt to achieve success in his field, to hook new clients and to make some money. One of the season’s, and presumably the series’, larger themes is good versus evil, considering whether Jimmy is a “good guy” or a “bad guy.” For the majority of the season, Jimmy listens to his conscience and, for the most part, does the “right thing” when confronted with ethical dilemmas. At the very end of the season, however, he seems to come to the conclusion that doing the right thing is no longer going to be his go-to. This is an intriguing setup for season two, when he will presumably be experimenting with this new mindset, leaning into the not-so-ethical aspects of his personality that we know so well from watching him for all those years on “Breaking Bad.” Bob Odenkirk is an absolute pleasure to watch. He nails it as Jimmy balances his charming, funny and charismatic personality with his desperation and motivation to be financially successful. Odenkirk comes from an esteemed sketchcomedy background, and
AMC NETWORKS ENTERTAINMENT LLC AND SONY PICTURES TELEVISION
Bob Odenkirk reprises his role as Saul Goodman, or Jimmy McGill, in this impressive prequel to “Breaking Bad.” his comedy experience lends itself nicely to this show and this character. Jimmy is quick-witted, smart and funny, and his humor is inspired, in large part, by Odenkirk’s established comedic persona. The bottom line is that Odenkirk is a gigantic part of why this show is successful. Before “Saul” premiered, there were many naysayers online who didn’t believe in Odenkirk’s ability to carry a show. They could not have been more wrong. The other established “Breaking Bad” character that returns to “Saul”
as a regular is Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks). While Banks is great and all, Mike doesn’t hold a candle to Jimmy in terms of being a character that is well-developed, entertaining and interesting enough to carry a series like this. One episode of the season is, unfortunately, entirely devoted to Mike, and the only good scene in that episode is the one scene in which Jimmy appears to help Mike out of a scrape. The rest of the episode is melodramatic nonsense that deviates tonally and thematically from the rest of the show. It’s a
waste of an episode, and a full hour spent away from Jimmy in the already short, ten-episode season. Disregarding that one Mike-centric episode, “Better Call Saul” had a tremendous first season. Gilligan and Gould have done an excellent job expanding Saul Goodman from a one-note sleaze ball to the wonderfully threedimensional character that Jimmy McGill is. I adore this show and will re-watch the season as soon as it pops up on Netflix. Eli Fine can be reached at elazarfine@ umass.edu and followed on Twitter @ElazarFine.
‘Furious’ new heights reached in seventh installment Flying cars are this film’s tamest part By Eli Fine Collegian Staff
Early in “Furious 7,” Brian O’Conner (a mix of Paul Walker and some awfully creepy post-mortem CGI) tells his son, rather randomly, that “cars don’t fly,” this being Brian’s way of chastising his son for throwing his toy car on the ground. Having seen previous installments of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, I took this non sequitur as a decent indicator that we’d be getting a flying car or two in this movie. And I wasn’t disappointed, because holy crap do cars fly a whole bunch in “Furious 7.” Not halfway through the film, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his whole gang drive armored cars out of an airplane mid-flight. Huge parachutes release, the cars glide down to land on a highway and we’re thrown right into the next gigantic action set piece of the movie, which involves Brian running up the side of a coach bus as it falls off a huge cliff. I’m not an action movie guy by any stretch. I rarely care enough to see an outand-out action movie like “Furious 7, and when I do see them, I rarely enjoy them. That’s why I wasn’t expecting much from this movie, and
Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) have the need for speed in “Furious 7.” that’s why I’m so surprised that it blew my mind the way it did. I’m not saying that I loved it. I’m also not saying that it’s a good movie. It isn’t. I’m saying that as a collection of insane sequences and massive, ridiculous set pieces, “Furious 7” manages to be more unique, exciting, wacky and crazy than any number of recent blockbusters. Consider the latest “Transformers” film, last month’s “Insurgent” or any other recent action movie that you want. None of those movies contain anything as
mind-blowingly senseless as Vin Diesel driving a car – nay, flying a car – through the top floors of three huge skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi, crashing through the windows of each building and interrupting multiple fancydress parties. None of those movies feature performances as colossally, laughably terrible as the ones given here by the likes of MMA fighter, Rhonda Rousey and rapper Iggy Azalea. None of those movies have an unabashedly long sequence devoted entirely to the product placement of Corona beer, where-
in their main characters talk extendedly about how they only drink Corona. “Furious 7” alone can lay claim to all of these things. Even the movie’s more calm, character-driven scenes (of which there are maybe two) seem like director James Wan was doing cocaine immediately before filming them. Toward the beginning of the movie, Dom and his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) have a phone conversation about keeping Mia’s family out of harm’s way. As Wan intercuts between the two characters,
the camera arcs around them grandly, sweeping around as if this were some epic scene, when in fact it’s just a phone conversation. This is a little jarring at first, but it absolutely fits with the totality of the movie whose motto seems to be “all out crazy.” The movie opens with an exhilarating credits sequence in which the movie’s villain, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), breaks into and destroys a hospital. Not only is the sequence really fast and arresting, it introduces us to the film’s best performer in Statham. Statham is perfectly cast as Shaw. Whereas most action blockbusters have generically evil, boring villains, Shaw is 100 percent an engaging, threatening and perfectly over-the-top villain. Statham has a ton of screen presence and chews up the scenery in appropriately British fashion. The amount of civilian deaths Dom and his gang cause in “Furious 7” must number in the thousands. The gang crashes into multiple police cars, causes huge pile-ups, explodes highways, destroys skyscrapers and much more. The movie doesn’t care about theoretical civilian deaths, and the characters certainly don’t care either. This is only slightly troubling, as the movie does portray a hugely heightened universe, and the gigantic
civilian death toll is only a small facet of the film’s absolute insanity. Vin Diesel mumbles his way through the movie. He is barely understandable at times, and when he is discernible, the things he says are ridiculous to the point of being laugh-out-loud funny. My personal favorite Dom line comes at the end of the movie when he is gearing up to fight Shaw. Shaw grabs a crowbar, but Dom aims a shotgun at him instead of grabbing a crowbar for himself. In a callback to an earlier scene, he says, “You thought this was gonna be a street fight?” Then, he throws down his gun, grabs two huge metal wrenches and comes at Shaw, saying “You’re damn right it is.” This type of nonsense permeates “Furious 7.” I enjoyed myself entirely during “Furious 7.” Whether I was having fun watching cars fly, watching some of the very solid supporting performances (Nathalie Emmanuel, Djimon Hounsou and Tyrese Gibson are especially good), or simply listening to the crazy dialogue, I had a better time than I ever expected to and am now eagerly anticipating whatever bonkers, crazy and Looney Tunes stuff they come up with for the inevitable eighth film in the series. Eli Fine can be reached at elazarfine@ umass.edu and followed on Twitter @ElazarFine.
THE MASSACHUSETTS DAILY COLLEGIAN
Thursday, April 9, 2015
not too late to apply and to fly!
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HOROSCOPES Jan. 20 - Feb. 18
Soon small talk will morph into people complaining about how hot it is, reassuring you that people are terrible anyways.
Squishy Sudoku Time!!!
Feb. 19 - Mar. 20
Jul. 23 - Aug. 22
If you find yourself shaking during class, it’s probably just the Easter chocolate withdrawal. Set aside a few Kinder eggs for this purpose.
Aug. 23 - Sept. 22
If only dairies worked like breweries where you can bring your growler to a cow every week and get super fresh tasty milk.
How can you be so sure it’s really meat substitute if it doesn’t have grill marks as opposed to actual meat?
Mar. 21 - Apr. 19
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Oct. 23 - Nov. 21
May. 21 - Jun. 21
If you manage to make it back to your bed night after night, you are doing much better in life than the “for here” Blue Wall plates.
Saving your essay as a .gif will give your paper the perfect “flow” and ”animated language” that your teacher was hoping for.
Getting swept up to the twentieth floor of the library by the funnel of wind outside of the building is quicker than taking the elevator.
Maybe they ask you to reapply suntan oil after going in the water because it literally just floats off your body.
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No horoscope until you apply for comics editor. Dems da breaks.
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If you are calling your toilet seat anything other than a throne, how could you call yourself royalty in this home?
Dec. 22 - Jan. 19
Are sesame seeds really seeds? I’m pretty sure if I planted my bagel, absolutely nothing would grow, not even in ten years.
THE MASSACHUSETTS DAILY COLLEGIAN
continued from page 8
any kind of negative backlash from fans. As far as his sexuality? Not a single wayward comment. For someone like Davis, who is a former NFL player and a mentor for young athletes, who also helped Gordon throughout the coming out process, it was an encouraging sign. “Now, situations don’t always align that beautifully in every case, but Derrick is really a template for what we hope to have happen.” Cyd Zeigler, who owns Outsports.com and penned Gordon’s original story, said the most important aspect for Gordon was to simply play basketball and to be accepted as an athlete first. But he acknowledged that Gordon’s high profile at UMass helped elevate the story. “There are lots of people I’ve talked to who point to Derrick as somebody who helped to deal with something going on in their life,” he said. “It’s because of several things. He’s a basketball player in Division I. He’s black, he’s got tattoos. He fits so many different angles that people don’t necessarily connect with gay people. Still when you watch TV, the gay male characters are still white. Sometimes they’re black, but usually they’re white, they usually don’t like sports. They usually talk funny. They usually like Cher – the singer. So Derrick kind of flies in the face of all that.” Gordon reveled in the ability to connect with others and isn’t one to shy away from attention, nor is he shy on confidence. In that sense, it made him an ideal role model for the LGBTQ community. Yet despite the added attention and responsibility, Gordon also had to assimilate himself in area where outside attention isn’t always welcomed: the locker room. Zeigler believes that coming out stories like Gordon’s are like a marriage. “I think the media is interested in coming out stories,” he said. “What they’ve failed to do is tell the most important part of the story, which is life after coming out. “It’s almost like when you get married. The wedding really isn’t that big of a deal in the big picture, it’s the marriage. Coming out is the same thing. Coming out is one day in the media and that’s it. Well, what’s the marriage going to look like? And the fact that the marriage looks pretty good between these gay athletes and these teammates should be talked about more within the media.” For Gordon, facing the most important part of the story meant facing a locker room filled with teammates, which, at one point, refused to even shower with him, even after he came out. It would take time, but his success hinged on his assimilation back into the locker room. And while Gordon was adamant his relationship with his teammates was great, he acknowledged it wasn’t always easy. Initially, he questioned how the situation would unfold. He’d often walk into an empty shower only to see groups of teammates enter once he finished. Yet time eased the awkwardness. Like turning a stream of water, he said once one teammate mustered the courage to join him it turned into three, which turned into five. Before long, they were having conversations. It was normal. Davis has been in Gordon’s position, too. A college and professional football player, Davis understands the nature of the locker room – something that outsiders don’t necessarily connect with. From the outside, it’s
an area where guys are naked together so, as Davis explains, the assumption is this is where relationships will go awry. Gordon proved this wasn’t the case. “It just roots back to historical narrative that gay is this type of predatorial type of thing, where now you have gay people who can’t control their sexual impulses,” Davis said. The locker room conversation generally implies there is a specific “locker room code,” which marks its territory as a safe haven for players. Think of it as a oneway area of communication where everything goes in, but little, if anything, comes out. It’s one of the few spaces where athletes are still vulnerable. “People don’t really understand it unless they’re in the situation,” Gordon said. “People are going to be uncomfortable. And it wasn’t like that here. Don’t get me wrong, was I thinking about it from time to time? Like, maybe something could happen when I’m in the locker room? Yeah I thought about it. But the more it went on, I was like I don’t have to worry about that.” Part of ensuring a successful “marriage” was educating the rest of the team. Gordon said once the Minutemen saw who he was dating – he said three of his previous relationships were with white males in their 40s – they became more comfortable with Gordon. “I think it’s good to see we haven’t changed as a team,” said UMass center Tyler Bergantino, who was Gordon’s roommate in 2012. “This is one of the closest teams I’ve ever been a part of. It shows DG is comfortable around us since we’re all that close. It’s to the point where it’s not even in our heads anymore.” Gordon said they loosened up to the point where they’d crack jokes at his expense, to which he’d laugh along. If he was to get defensive about his sexuality, it wasn’t typically with his teammates. But Gordon’s improving relationships with his teammates couldn’t make up for the growing feeling that he wasn’t valued like he should be.
One more shot Gordon’s voice is again rising as he recalls this past summer. He predicated his workout regiment on improving his 3-point shooting, something he spoke at length about before the season began. Gordon believed the long hours would pay off and the slashing guard would have a capable shot to add to his offensive repertoire. He assumed the coaches believed it too. By the end of the season, that wasn’t the case. Gordon attempted only 15 3-pointers this season, making one. He said he and UMass coach Derek Kellogg were on two different pages regarding his freedom to shoot and once he realized that wasn’t his role, his confidence was “ruined.” That’s something rarely ever uttered from the uberconfident Gordon. “It just wasn’t my role to shoot the ball,” he said. “So it was basically like I was putting in work for nothing.” Of course, it’s easy to see it wasn’t Gordon’s role. He transferred to UMass after his freshman season at Western Kentucky, where he averaged 11. 8 points per game but shot just 26.6 percent on 3s. He yearned for the chance to prove himself as an all-around player yet never produced the results. UMass will point to Gordon’s track record, Gordon will point to what he hasn’t shown yet. It created a divide and both sides agreed
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Gordon beamed as he spoke to the media the day he came out as gay. they weren’t looking for the same thing. “We had a great conversation,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “He’d like a little bit of a change of scenery. He’d like to be more involved as a feature player on the basketball front and he thought a change of scenery would be good – and I agree.” Gordon isn’t the type to shy away from the spotlight, nor does he play his emotions close to his vest. He’s keenly focused on how outsiders view his game. In the preseason, he spoke of proving coaches within the Atlantic 10 Conference wrong – practically daring them to give him space to shoot the ball. They did, and more often than not, it worked for them. So it was that same coaching audience which Gordon now fretted would view him as some kind of damaged goods now that he was, as he put it, a free agent after transferring. “If people really know who I am and know the player that I am, they know I can do a lot more than what I did this year on the court,” Gordon said. He implored coaches to flip through tape of his entire game, even dating back to his Western Kentucky. The shooting woes? Well, those aren’t as bad as they seem either, he says. “I’m not saying I was Ray Allen at Western Kentucky, but I made a lot of 3s and missed a lot of 3s.” In the same breath, he recalls his ability to lead Western Kentucky to the NCAA tournament despite tempered expectations surrounding the team. It was vintage Gordon. Brash, with confidence bordering on arrogance, while also instinctively selling himself as a player. He has to, for he has only one more shot to prove himself to those who judge him. One more shot to prove his basketball worth.
‘I’m just trying to change the world’ It’s natural to assess a situation and draw on past experiences to come to a conclusion. Coaches must do it when evaluating players, often using prior history to determine what players fit which systems. Judges do it nearly every day, citing precedent upon making rulings. For Gordon, there is no precedent. There’s no path in the ground to follow, nor does he have much of an idea where he will end up. Today, Gordon will fly to Miami, where he is scheduled to be an ambassador at the Miami Pride parade this weekend. He’s only a week removed from a trip to the Final Four in Indianapolis where he spoke at a news conference organized by legal activists to object to an Indiana state law which members of the LGBTQ community found discriminatory. In May, he’s scheduled to attend an event in Boston with Jason Collins, where Gordon will speak. Gordon is somewhere between a regional celebrity and a star, something he doesn’t mind. Rarely do players with his type of recognition become available on
the transfer market. Never, has an openly gay Division I men’s basketball player transferred to another institution. He can’t control how schools view him in terms of his sexuality, something he’s come to terms with. If they don’t like it, fine, he says. He won’t hold grudges. But Gordon can at least attempt to control how potential suitors view him as a basketball player, and he was daringly honest with how he views himself and where he expects to end up. He said his plan is to play at a high-major or another school within the Atlantic 10 Conference. Of course, if he’s given the option. He wants them to know exactly what he believes they’re getting, too, regardless of his sexuality. “At the end of the day, I know I’m gay but I’m a hell of a basketball player,” Gordon said. “I’m a player that wins games and puts time and effort in the gym. I want to get better and I can do it all – shoot the ball, score, pass, rebound, defend, everything. Honestly, I think more coaches should be worried about that aspect of what I can bring to the table.” It’s been a winding year for Gordon. He’s lost childhood friends and gained “many” others. He was embraced by the Amherst community and according to Gordon, he couldn’t have come out at any other school. He’s traveled the country. In a year, Gordon became celebrity. Gordon also made significant strides for gay athletes everywhere. When asked, Gordon said he knew of a number of “high-major” starters at other schools who were also gay and awaiting the right time to come out. He wasn’t jeered once, nor did he have issues within the infrastructure of his own team. That’s an important step. Yet on the court, Gordon’s role and subsequent desire to continue to play for UMass eroded. For Gordon, his entire life is riding on his success next season. It wouldn’t happen at UMass. “Honestly, “I’m just trying to change the world,” he said. “I changed the world by coming out and now I’m trying to change the world again as far as being the first openly gay basketball player drafted. So I think people will definitely still follow me.” And so he goes, hoping there’s another team to give him a chance, to become a featured player on offense, to allow him to be a programchanging player. As of now, he doesn’t know where he’ll end up. He doesn’t know whether coaches will give him that chance and share the belief he is the player he pleads that he is. All he knows is that he believes in himself. Mark Chiarelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli.
finished with three goals, and Elena McWright, who added a pair of goals of her own. VanderZalm also had a fourth called back at the start of the second half due to an ineligible stick. “Our execution (on Roach) was great. I thought we did a great job of forcing her into some tough situations. She had a shot toward the end of the second half but Rachel (Vallarelli) came up with a key stop. While Anne did a fantastic job defending her, our overall team defense did a great job to frustrate their attack,” McMahon said.
continued from page 8
The closest the Catamounts (9-5) came to UMass in the second half was four goals on two separate occasions when Alex Bernier cut the deficit to 8-4 with 26:46 remaining in the game, and when VanderZalm made it a 9-5 game with 23:57 left. Holly Turner recorded three goals and an assist while Eileen McDonald finished with two goals and an assist. Erika Eipp also scored one goal in the victory. Andrew Cyr can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.
UMass tries to StriKeOut Cancer
Mikayla Panko throws the ball in a game vs George Washington Friday.
Minutewomen set to face Fordham By Adam Aucoin Collegian Staff
they are doing and making sure they’re healthy. If we can do that and honor people in the process, I think that’s great.” Suzanne Koch, widow of former UMass men’s soccer coach Sam Koch, will throw out the first pitch on Saturday. Koch passed away from sinus cancer last summer. As part of the campaign, the team will give out free bracelets and offer a reduced admission price of $2 to spectators who show up wearing pink. On the field, Stefanoni knows UMass will have a tough game on its hands. She believes limiting mistakes will be essential to a successful weekend. Fordham (18-16, 4-4 A-10) enters the weekend touting a prolific offense. Five of their hitters are batting over .300, led by sophomore Amy Van Hoven who leads the team with 44 hits. According to Stefanoni, pitch location and cutting down on walks will be very important in this series for their pitchers. Senior C a ro l i n e Raymond leads the Minutewomen pitching staff into the weekend. Raymond has found her stride recently on the mound and is coming off a week where she was named A-10 Pitcher of the Week. “We need to treat this weekend like we’re coming in and playing the Atlantic-10 tournament and take that mindset into the games we have,” Stefanoni said. “Sortino Field is a tough place to play and Fordham knows that so we need to be on top of our game if we want to be ready.” The series kicks off at noon Saturday with game two of the doubleheader following at 2 p.m. The third and final game of the series is at noon Sunday.
Coming off a weekend when it took two of three games against favored Atlantic 10 opponent George Washington, it’s safe to say the Massachusetts softball team has finally found its stride. There will be no time for the Minutewomen (8-16, 3-6 Atlantic 10) to rest on their laurels though, as they face another tough A-10 opponent in a three-game series against Fordham this weekend. The series includes a double-header Saturday afternoon and a matinee Sunday. For UMass, these games will be bigger than just another weekend of conference play. S a t u r d ay, the Minutewomen will take part in the NFCA StrikeOut Cancer campaign. This campaign aims to honor those who died due to cancer, and shed light on the ongoing struggle against the disease. For head coach Stefanoni and her players, this campaign holds a special meaning. The UMass softball family lost long time coach Elaine Sortino Aug. 18, 2013 after a lengthy battle with the disease. “That game is always a tough one on both ends,” Stefanoni said. “You’re thinking about not just her, but everyone in our softball family and our community that has gone through cancer.” Stefanoni knows it will be on their minds as they play, but also hopes that people see what the message of the day is supposed to be. “For the first couple innings, it will be a little tough. She is always in the back of our mind while we’re playing,” Stefanoni said. “The major point around this is to raise awareness for everyone and especially for younger Adam Aucoin can be reached at kids to be aware of what firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE MASSACHUSETTS DAILY COLLEGIAN
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Finding his way
One year after coming out, Derrick Gordon leaves UMass in search of his basketball identity By Mark Chiarelli
errick Gordon pauses, allowing the flow of yet another conversation about basketball, life and the future unknown to momentarily grind to a halt. He’s deciphering between a year’s worth of memories – a year which he describes as a personal journey and a blessing – and trying to pigeonhole a year’s worth of change into one answer. Selecting the most impactful moment from the past year is impossible, but now satisfied with his answer, Gordon attempts to explain. “My whole life has changed,” said Gordon, his cadence quickening. “I’ve done things that your average 23-year-old is not doing right now, to be honest. I’m doing a lot of abnormal things off the court. I’m going to a bunch of events and flying all over the country and meeting new people. I’m good friends with celebrities that I know I can go to and talk. “It’s just like, ‘Man, if I would have known this I would’ve came out a long time ago. A very long time ago.’” Gordon made history a year ago today, becoming the first Division I men’s basketball player to announce that is gay. Hours after making the joint announcement with ESPN and Outsports.com, he donned a fitted black t-shirt which said #BETRUE across the chest and Gordon sat in the green room of the Mullins Center and rehashed his story to hordes of journalists, just days after telling his teammates for the first time. The pursuit of happiness is fleeting. For Gordon, that day marked the beginning of a renewed, invigorated search. It would, however, come with impediments along the way. “He’s got a greater love for life,” said Wade Davis, the executive director of the You Can Play Project. “When I first met him, he was fragile. He was not in a place of not loving himself, but he was really struggling with how to exist in the world, because he was this amazing athlete who understood his sexuality and was really at a point where he could no longer not be out.” On the day he came out Gordon said he felt as if he could jump higher and he beamed for the duration of the interview session. That day, his steps were lighter and his future brighter. He said he would no longer have nights where he cried himself to sleep and seriously contemplated quitting basketball altogether as he struggled to live in a constant state of secrecy, fearing at any moment those around him may learn his secret. Instead, April 9, 2014, ushered in the next phase of Gordon’s life. The University of Massachusetts community embraced Gordon as he started
Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay player in Division I basketball, dribbles upcourt in a game against Siena November 14, 2014. all 32 of UMass’ games this season. Along the way, he criss-crossed the country fulfilling speaking arrangements, dated a celebrity actor and saw his Twitter account gain more than 10,000 followers. He assimilated back into a locker room that he once felt alienated in and became a source of inspiration within the LGBTQ community in the region. Yet despite the abnormal opportunities off the court, it was his normal, if not inauspicious production on the court this past season which gnawed at Gordon’s psyche. He averaged only 28.4 minutes and 9.4 points per game in an offensive role which he neither agreed with nor flourished in. Gordon expected more from both himself and his coaches. A self-described winner, UMass’ 17-15 record compounded his personal frustrations. He failed to see eye-toeye with the coaching staff over his offensive role and didn’t live up to his own expectations. “I wasn’t liking the way things were going,” he said. “Overall, I wasn’t happy.” So, on March 24, Gordon announced his intention to transfer from UMass in search of a more
prominent role at a high-major program, in search of a team that allows him to be “the guy.” Less than a year removed from making the most difficult decision of his life, Gordon again took a step toward the unknown, seeking yet another fresh start in another new environment. From the outside it was a curious decision. A player fully embraced by the Amherst community who figures to have a prominent role next season decided to transfer? Why give that up? Because Gordon is on a mission to prove himself as much, much more.
‘Almost like when you get married’ In the months leading up to last season, Gordon would watch the video over and over, smiling each time. The clip shows former Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins approaching the scorer’s table in his first home appearance late in the fourth quarter of a game in which the Nets handily beat the Atlanta Hawks. As the officials motion for Collins to enter, the Barclays Center public
address announcer brings attention to Collins’ debut. The camera pans and fans begin to rise. At first, only a handful catch on, but eventually entire sections followed suit. Before long, most of the arena stood as one cheering for Collins. “The announcer said Jason Collins and just about everybody stood up in the arena and started clapping,” Gordon said. “And when I saw that, it just put a huge smile on my face. I was like ‘Wow, that could be me.’ And I watched that video over so many times, like, ‘Yeah, I want that to be me.’ When I saw that, I said ‘Ok, I know it’s time.” Collins, who had a 13-year professional career, announced he was gay in 2013 and became the first openly gay NBA player to appear in a game when he signed with the Nets. Gordon followed Collins’ path intently as he determined how to go public with his own sexuality. Initially, Gordon waited for a collegiate player to follow Collins’ path. When that didn’t happen, the 6-foot-3 guard from New Jersey determined he’d take the risk of being the first. “I knew I was going to be the first
one coming and a lot of people were looking up to me,” Gordon said. “So I had to make sure to keep my head on straight. I’m a good kid already, but to make sure I keep my head on straight because I’m under the microscope right now so it’s like everybody is watching my move. “And I don’t mind it. I know I can be a good role model, which I have been. I’m always willing to help anyone out that needs help with this whole process. I still get emails from people saying ‘Oh, I appreciate what you’ve done for me and you helped me come out to my family’ and things of that nature.” In an instant, Gordon became a national name. With that comes attention and responsibility. Yet he was also a trailblazer, the first player to ever return to Division I men’s basketball as an openly gay player. Gordon’s reception was pivotal for an entire community as well as for a player aiming to propel himself up the rungs of the basketball landscape. Yet Gordon said that by the end of the year, only his Mohawk received see
GORDON on page 7
WO M E N ’ S L AC RO S S E
Minutewomen stay unbeaten at home vs UVM Murphy scores four, UMass wins 16-7 By Andrew Cyr Collegian Staff
Former Massachusetts women’s lacrosse star Katie Ferris has experienced her fair share of lopsided games at McGuirk Stadium throughout her career. In her four seasons with the Minutewomen, the programs all-time leader in goals (211), assists (119) and points (330) went a combined 37-3 at McGuirk. On a rainy Wednesday afternoon in Amherst, Ferris experienced her fourth ever loss at the stadium. This time, however,
it came as a member of the visiting team. UMass (11-1, 3-0 Atlantic 10) defeated Vermont 16-7 in Ferris’ return to Amherst, this time as an assistant coach on the Catamount staff. “It was really fun,” head coach Angela McMahon said of the experience coaching against a former player. “It makes the game a little bit more special.” “She meant so much to our program during the four years she was here, but it’s really great to see her give back to the sport.” Hannah Murphy led the Minutewomen with four goals and two assists, and Amy Tiernan added three goals and two assists in the first half alone on her way
a six point evening. McMahon said Tiernan had been struggling recently and for her to get off to a hot start was great for her confidence, and allowed her to play more relaxed. “My teammates set me up well and we had great movement on attack today,” Tiernan said. “Something clicked for me today I guess, I cleared my mind and was ready to play.” Holding a 4-3 lead with five minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the first half, Nicole Troost beat Vermont goalkeeper Meg Hopkins to give the Minutewomen a two-goal cushion. Following the goal, the floodgates opened – UMass scored three more goals in the half, includ-
ing two in the final minute from Tiernan and Murphy to give the Minutewomen an 8-3 lead into the locker room. “I was very happy today. Our goal was to win the possession game and looking at that, we did just that,” McMahon said. “We forced them into a lot of turnovers and our goal was to get 35 shots today, and to see that got the exact number means we are closer to shooting 50 percent and those are the types of looks we want to get on cage.” Entering the game the UMass defense knew it had its work cut out in dealing with the nation’s second-leading scorer Jessica Roach. Roach was held in check to a mere two points,
Katie Ott carries the ball in UMass’ win against Vermont. both coming on assists, as Picking up the slack on defender Anne Farnham offense for Vermont was face-guarded her the entire Vanessa VanderZalm, who length of the field for the entire game. see WOMEN’S LAX on page 7
Published on Apr 9, 2015