VOLUME 103, ISSUE 57
FEBRUARY 18, 2014
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Texas State’s Army ROTC hosted the Polar Bear Plunge as a means of raising money for disabled veterans.
Baseball opener: Texas State ended its opening weekend with a 2–1 record and combined for two home runs in the series.
Officials preparing for five-year interim progress report By Rebecca Banks News Reporter
University officials are preparing the first Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) fifth-year interim report and addressing issues other colleges have had in the past. The fifth-year interim report, to be submitted in March 2016, will include an evaluation of how the university has achieved its goals as outlined in a 10-year report submitted in 2010. The report will determine if the university has met specific standards set by the SACSCOC, said Beth Wuest, associate vice president for Institutional Effectiveness. According to its website, nine colleges were determined by the board of trustees as not being compliant with core requirements on matters such as financial resources and faculty evaluation. Seven colleges were given warnings, one college was placed on probation and another was denied candidacy into the committee, according to the website. Universities must meet requirements concerning program coordination within degrees and have an adequate amount of full-time faculty on campus as well as qualified administrative and academic officers, according to the website. The university expects to be in compliance and meet the SACSCOC accreditation standards, Wuest said. The difficult part of the process is providing documented paperwork that is clear and shows the progress the university has made to achieve its goals, Wuest said. “We just send them paperwork, and we have to make a very convincing argument that we are doing everything we should be doing as best as we possibly can and that we’ve covered all of our bases,” Wuest said. “If they don’t understand something then we just run into a little bit of a snag.” The impact report will address progress the university has made toward achieving the two goals outlined in the 2010 report, Wuest said. “Specifically the goals are to help students clarify their career goals, and the second goal was to assist students in developing and implementing an educational plan to meet their goals,” Wuest said. The university established the Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) Center to meet the two goals, Wuest said. “We have another two years of data to capture as we prepare to submit our fifth-year report,” said Daniel Brown, director of the PACE Center. The center is using an electronic portfolio to collect data, Brown said. The data for the report will show student learning outcomes as well as students’ majors or career interests. “(Students are) getting systematic advising, and they are also getting opportunities at career advising,” said Cynthia Opheim, associate provost of Academic Affairs. “So we think this initiative has been very successful.” Wuest said she is working with Information Technology to compile all the data that will be used in the fifth-year report.
Reynaldo Leaños | Staff Photographer Above: Participants jump into the San Marcos River Feb. 15 for the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge hosted by Texas State’s Army ROTC. All proceeds went to the local chapter of Disabled American Veterans.
lthough the weekend welcomed temperatures in the low 70s, members of Texas State’s Army ROTC plunged into the San Marcos River at Sewell Park in an annual winter fundraiser for a local veterans program.
Left: Two members of Texas State’s Army ROTC jump in the San Marcos River Feb. 15 at the Polar Bear Plunge.
Below: Lt. Col. James H. Adams leaps into the San Marcos River Feb. 15 for the annual Army ROTC Polar Bear Plunge.
Allison Brouillette | Staff Photographer
Local airport receives TxDOT grant for facility improvements By Scott Allen News Reporter
The San Marcos Municipal Airport will soon be revamped with the installation of new runway pavement, lighting and other improvements as a result of a $5.7 million grant approved by state transportation officials. The city will help finance the project along with funding from a statewide Aviation Facilities Grant Program within the Texas Department of Transportation, officials said. Runways 13 and 31 will be the primary focus of improvements to the airport, said Stephen Alexander, founder and manager of Texas Aviation Partners, the company that runs it. “The grant was applied for by the airport a couple of years ago,” Alexander said. “It will be used for refurbishing and fixing runways, upgrading airfield lighting systems
and also widening and improving the airport entrance.” The San Marcos facility is one of the state’s busiest public use airports. It is the only Federal Aviation Administration-designated facility that supports two international airports—Austin Bergstrom and San Antonio. It is in a key location in central Texas and receives an average of 200 flights per day, Alexander said. Greg Miller, director of Aviation Planning and Programming at TxDOT, said the grant funding is distributed to airports throughout the state on an “as needed” basis. “This isn’t just for San Marcos,” Miller said. “We plan on fixing and rehabilitating all of the airports around the state over the next few years.” Texas Aviations Partners has seen a 50 percent increase in traffic since the company began managing the airport in 2010, Alexander said.
“We’re a private company that runs the airport on behalf of the city, and our goal is to increase the revenues that are generated by the airport to go back into the community to where the airport becomes self-sufficient,” Alexander said. The new airport improvements will better serve the community, said Steve White, commercial and private pilot. “It’s necessary to improve these airports as needed,” White said. “If we keep them in pristine condition, then the community will improve over time.” White, who has been a pilot for more than 30 years, said he uses the San Marcos airport on a weekly basis to visit his brother’s family. He has traveled through San Marcos for the past 10 years and is looking forward to the airport’s improvements. “I like seeing the infrastructure changes that have been occurring,”
Austin Humphreys | Photo Editor The San Marcos Municipal Airport will recieve $5.7 million from the Texas Department of Transportation for lighting, runway and other improvements. White said. “It makes the airport look more professional and brings in more business.” The improvements for the airport
are currently in the design phase, and construction is slated to begin within the next few months, Miller said.
2 | The University Star | Tuesday February 18, 2014
Polar Bear Plunge raises money for veterans By Ernest Macias Trends Reporter
lthough the weekend welcomed temperatures in the low 70s, members of Texas State’s Army ROTC plunged into the San Marcos River at Sewell Park in an annual winter fundraiser for a local veterans program. All proceeds raised at the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge were donated to the local Disabled American Veterans chapter. The Hays County area is home to more than 10,000 veterans, according to the Census Bureau. MS-III Cadet Justin Gregg said his fellow cadets saw the event as an opportunity to help out. “We wanted to do it because we wanted
to give back to the community,” Gregg said. “We thought it would be great to help an organization that helps all these veterans, especially (those) located so close to us. Located in Seguin, DAV Chapter 61 serves veterans in Hays, Comal, Guadalupe, Gonzales and surrounding counties. Chapter 61, established in 1961, offers assistance to veterans in order to empower them to lead a high-quality life. Chapter 61 officers were present at the event. According to Phil Sierer, Chapter 61 commander, the group aids about 80 to 100 veterans each month with a range of services including counseling, advocacy, emotional support and judicial help. “We want to educate veterans on the sys-
tem,” Sierer said. “We still receive World War II, Vietnam and Korea veterans that don’t know where to go or how to seek benefits. We applaud and welcome any effort to help our chapter.” The DAV runs on donations and grants. Chapter 61 adjutant Marlin Howze said the majority of funding is spent on bulk expenses such as office supplies and utilities. “The city and county support us enormously,” Howze said. “They have donated equipment, and now we have a location and space available to provide more services.” DAV chaplain Richard Cusson is an ordained minister who holds a Bible study at the location every Wednesday. “A lot of these veterans have emotional
problems,” Cusson said. “Thanks to the DAV they have someone to talk to—someone who understands exactly what they are going through. We try to hold as many events as we can to spread information to family and friends.” Erika Couturier, ROTC assistant professor, said the Polar Bear Plunge is particularly welcomed in San Marcos and at Texas State because they are active veteran areas. “(The event) opens the DAV to those who don’t know about it,” she said. Army ROTC Lt. Col. James Adams joined the jumpers for the finale collective plunge into the river. The total amount of funds raised at the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge was not available at press time.
Student seeks to inspire through clothing line By Lindsey Bedford Trends Reporter
When Tre’ion Murray was deciding what to name his clothing design company, he thought about the lives of famed artists and creators, hoping their achievements would help inspire some of his own. Inspiration finally struck the fashion merchandising junior, and he settled on the name Todd Vinci, which means “clever conqueror.” “It’s framed after Leonardo da Vinci, because a lot of his art went unfinished, and I related that to a lot of people’s passions and desires,” Murray said. Murray said he began working as a fashion designer his sophomore year at Texas State. He originally only made 12 shirts and sold them out of his backpack. Murray’s customers praised his simple, streamlined designs. “(Keeping) it simple is thinking outside the box,” Murray said. Murray decided to utilize social media to further promote his line after word of his products began to spread across campus. Murray said two of his friends distributed Todd
Vinci shirts at Riverfest and posted photos of people wearing them on Instagram. Now, Murray continues to post designs on Instagram and other social media sites to test how students receive them. Murray said his vision is for Todd Vinci to evolve into a lifestyle brand, as opposed to just being a clothing line. “I want people to know that if there is something you love to do, don’t be afraid to go for it,” Murray said. “Do you what you love to do. People are afraid to believe in the unknown.” Murray said his goal after graduation is to get a job and save up enough money to open a Todd Vinci boutique. He would like to add more products to his online e-commerce shop as well. So far, Murray has created Todd Vinci long and short-sleeved shirts, beanies and baby onesies. “I want to touch everyone, young and old,” Murray said. “There’s no cap on who I can motivate. My vision that God gave me isn’t just to touch college students.” Murray said the Todd Vinci team strives to make every design purposeful, assigning meaning to each
Tre’ion Murray, fashion merchandising junior, uses social media to raise awareness of his design company, Todd Vinci. piece created. Murray works closely with a team that includes Nathan Slaughter, executive assistant and graphic designer. Slaughter said he primarily uses computer design programs to create the unique Todd Vinci designs. The brand’s designs take a significant amount of time to create despite being simple by nature.
Murray’s work references anything from ancient myths and legends to his own background and hobbies. “I take inspiration from history and my childhood,” Murray said. “The Nefertiti’s design means ‘beautiful.’ I feel like more women need to use their imagination and (know) that they are something special.” Pauline Sullivan, fashion mer-
Sonja Burton | Staff Photographer chandising associate professor, said Murray is an example for students from all disciplines. “Believe in yourself and start out in a manageable way,” Sullivan said. “Your education enables you to grow your business. Everyone has dreams while they are in college and should use the resources around them to make those come true.”
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4 | The University Star | Tuesday February 18, 2014
THE MAIN POINT
Bobcats must take advantage of Open Door sessions S
tudents are notorious for complaining about university policies, but Bobcats no longer have an excuse to criticize without taking action since more Open Door sessions with the university’s top administrator are available this semester. Bobcats have always been vocal when it comes to expressing their opinions about the university’s functions. When it comes time to actually speak with President Denise Trauth about such issues, however, students are markedly absent. According to a Feb. 7, 2013 University Star article, only nine students attended the Open Door session with Trauth held last February. According to the same article, the already low turnout at the session was higher than it had been in previous years. Instead of complaining about the university’s actions and policies casually with their friends, more students need to actually take advantage of a unique chance to directly voice their opinions with the university’s highest official. Many argue that poor Open Door attendance is due to a lack of advertising and a poor location. Since last fall, however, the president’s office has made a concerted public effort to make the existence of such sessions more widely known and offers them in more accessible locations. In an effort to garner more student interest for such events, the Texas State website, as well as the official university Facebook and Twitter pages, is advertising the sessions regularly. Flyers posted around campus also provide information the sessions, as well as a campus-wide email. The existence of Open Door sessions should be obvious to most students on campus by now. According to the Texas State website, students have the opportunity
Black History Column Series
to participate in four Open Door sessions scheduled for this semester, the first of which is held today beginning at 3 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center. An Associated Student Government Round Table featuring Trauth and other administrators is scheduled for March 25 at 5 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. A registration-only Cat Chat with Trauth will take place April 1 at 3 p.m. in the Reed Parr room at the J.C. Kellam administration building. A final Open Door session will be held at 3 p.m. April 16 in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. Sessions in previous years were held in the president’s office at J.C. Kellam, a far less accessible location than the current venue, the LBJ Student Center. Students have no excuse to keep their comments inside and avoid airing grievances directly to Trauth, especially since the Open Door events are centrally located, scheduled at reasonable hours, held at many dates throughout the semester and do not require any prior registration. It is easy to complain about issues openly among fellow students, but it solves nothing if these issues are not brought directly to university officials when the opportunity is offered. At other universities, many officials in the same position as Trauth would never schedule time throughout the semester to directly speak with students. Even if no changes actually result from these Open Door sessions, it is still better to make concerns apparent to officials rather than simply complaining amongst fellow students. If students are genuinely concerned about the way the university is run, they should take the initiative to attend one of the four Open Door events this semester.
Ryan Jeanes | Star Illustrator The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University.
In honor of Black History Month, the opinions section will spotlight a column written by one of The University Star’s black staff members in each issue. The University Star hopes to showcase a variety of perspectives in the new series dedicated to bringing issues in the black community to light.
Black names reflect heritage, do not deserve trivialization
Brandon Sams Opinions Columnist Public relations freshman
he societal demonization of black names is Tbigotry a form of covert racism based on historical that needs to be acknowledged and
admonished. Modern day black names, as people call them, have roots in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This idea was consistent with other causes within the community at the time, such as the natural hair movement for black women. The entire notion of naming children differently was created to positively distinguish black culture from the more mainstream white culture. Black Americans finally started to embrace their own culture in the 60s and 70s, unlike in earlier decades when the majority of the community attempted to appeal and conform to white America through their actions, dress, hairstyles and names. Part of this embracement was eschewing traditional white names in favor of uniquely black ones. Essentially, black people began to own their identities, taking pride in blackness and their heritage in the face of the dominant white culture. Black slaves were robbed of their language, religion, history and names the moment they set foot on American soil. They were previously kings, queens, laborers, artisans and everything in between, but after landing in America they became nothing. They were only what their masters made them. It angers me when I hear people callously mocking black names, laughing like drugged-up hyenas at the mere utterance of a name such
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as “Shaniqua.” It should not offend anyone if a woman’s name is Shaniqua. The only difference between Shaniqua and Jane is cultural connotation. Both are names, and neither is more important or right than the other. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, people with black-sounding names were 50 percent less likely to receive callbacks from employers than completely equal applicants with white-sounding names. This perfectly illustrates the covertly racist nature pertaining to black names in our society today, regardless of whether the attitude is conscious or not. According to the same report, applicants with white-sounding names, when they had better credentials, received 30 percent more callbacks than white-sounding applicants with lowerquality resumes. In contrast, high-quality applicants with black-sounding names only received 9 percent more callbacks than their less-qualified counterparts. It is a double-edged sword—not only is it harder for more people with blacksounding names to secure employment, but it is much harder for them to distinguish themselves or improve their employability through their achievements. Even after a job seeker builds a strong resume, the presence of a black name continues to dissuade employers from hiring him or her. When people demonize black names, it goes much deeper than simply preferring “normal” names or ones that are easier to pronounce. I really doubt a person with a traditional Jewish, Asian or Polish name would have to put up with the same stigma those with black names do. When people call black names “ratchet” or “ghetto,” what they are actually saying, whether they know it or not, is that employers and society-at-large have the right to discriminate against a person based on his or her race and the negative stereotypes that accompany it. Since the very beginning, even simple allusions to blackness have been under attack in this country. This attack on black names is just another example of tightly concealed racism that continues to pervade a country and world bent on maintaining an outdated system of racial dominance and subservience.
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Students should not generalize ethnicities
Alexis Aguirre Opinions Columnist Journalism sophomore
should avoid generalScaltudents izing ethnicities into stereotypicaricatures and understand
that people are comprised of more than their last names and skin colors. I am Mexican. Yes, I like tacos. And yes, on occasion, my friends and I will ride around town with a Tejano song blaring from the radio. But none of that says anything about Mexican culture in general. These are personal preferences. Somehow, when my last name is revealed, people suddenly think it is okay to make connections between me and whatever stereotypical crap they have seen on television. Just because I am Mexican and like some stereotypical Mexican things does not mean I ride to campus on a donkey wearing a sombrero and a zarape. Students need to realize that generalizing a person based on his or her culture is often going to come across as ignorant and disrespectful. Mexican stereotypes, for example, are rarely accurate. Stereotypes in general are mostly offensive, and students should understand by now that a person’s identity goes beyond skin color and last name. Aside from my short height and my accent that becomes apparent whenever I speak quickly, there is no real distinguishing characteristic about me that screams “Mexican.” Before anyone knows about my heritage, I am just another student walking in The
Quad. When someone hears I am Mexican or hail from South Texas, however, it is as if a mariachi has suddenly started playing behind me. For many, after my heritage is revealed, I become just another stereotype. More often than not, stereotypes are untrue. Aside from the complete inaccuracy, generalizing a group of people is very offensive. No one wants to be told who he or she is by someone else. While it may be true that a person’s identity is influenced by culture and heritage, everyone is different. Generalizing ethnicities and defining someone’s culture by stereotypes is terribly insulting. No one wants to be told how to act by an outsider. Because I come from South Texas and I have a Hispanic last name, people tend to assume I speak Spanish and eat spicy food. Sorry to break the news, but I speak Spanglish at best, and sometimes, even barbeque sauce is too hot for me. I am who I am, just like other people are who they are. Just because someone does not meet the stereotypical expectations of his or her culture does not make them any less Mexican, German or any other heritage. Do not get me wrong—I love my culture and my background. It becomes more and more important to me the longer I am away from home. But my culture and my involvement in it do not give anyone the right to think that I am some kind of at-risk student as Mexicans are often portrayed. I grew up in a nice home with supportive parents. I took karate lessons and was editor of my high school yearbook. I am sorry if these attributes do not fit the idea of the typical Mexican female that has been created by the media. Stereotypes are insulting and false and should by no means be utilized when interacting with someone of another culture.
The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Tuesday, February 18, 2014. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.
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The University Star | Tuesday February 18, 2014 | 5
Bobcats win three on road over weekend By Cameron Cutshall Sports Reporter @CameronCutshall
The Texas State softball team had its best 10–game start in a decade after improving to a 7–3 record at the Campbell/ Cartier Classic last weekend in San Diego. The Bobcats won three out of five games in the tournament. Texas State was one of six teams that participated, including South Dakota, California, California State-Fullerton, Saint Mary’s and San Diego State. The Bobcats started the tournament with a two-game split against Saint Mary’s and Cal State-Fullerton. Texas State won its first game against Saint Mary’s in a 3-0 shutout. The Bobcats got on the board early in the first inning against Saint Mary’s when senior shortstop Jordan Masek hit a single through the right side to drive in Timishia North, senior center fielder. Kendall Wiley, sophomore first baseman, hit a single through the right side to score Masek from second base, allowing the Bobcats to take an early 2–0 lead. “I try to tell myself to stay calm,” Wiley said. “(I) stay in my load and wait for the right pitch to come my way.” Wiley scored the Bobcats’ third run of the game in the fourth inning when senior catcher Delia Saucedo hit a single up the middle. Senior pitcher Rayn House pitched a complete game shutout to earn her fourth win of the season. House allowed four hits, one walk and struck out eight. The Bobcats lost their second game of the season in the matchup against the Titans. The team took an early 2–0 lead in the first two innings of the game. However, Cal StateFullerton scored all four of its runs in the third inning to take a 4–2 lead and win the game. Freshman pitcher Kaylee Garner moved to 1–2 on the season with the loss, giving up four runs and six hits in 2.1 innings. Texas State swept San Diego State and number 23 California on the second day of tournament play. The Bobcats gave the Aztecs their first and only
loss of the tournament. The loss marked the second time the Aztecs have been defeated this season. Kourtney Koroll, junior utility player, hit a home run in the fifth inning to seal the 4–2 victory for the Bobcats. Sophomore Ashley Wright earned her first win of the season pitching a complete game. Wright gave up four hits, 2 runs and five walks while striking out three. The Bobcats faced the California Golden Bears for their second matchup of the day. Texas State held a 3–1 lead until the seventh inning when Danielle Henderson, Golden Bears infielder, hit a two-run homer with two outs to tie the game at 3 each. Sophomore catcher Katie Doerre hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Bobcats a 4–3 victory, moving the team to 7–2 for the season. “That was a really good team,” Wiley said. “ I feel like the team came together. We had some clutch hits, and we did what we needed to do to win games.” House earned her fifth win to advance to 5–0 on the season. House pitched the full seven innings, allowing 11 hits, three runs and two walks. Texas State lost its final match against South Dakota in extra innings. The Bobcats and the Coyotes were tied at two runs apiece in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. The Coyotes scored to make the game 3–2 after a throwing error by the Bobcats in the top of the eighth. Texas State responded in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single by North to score Doerre, sending the game into the ninth inning. The Coyotes wrapped up the game with four runs to make the score 7-3. Two of those runs came from right fielder Morgan Hancock on a homer in the ninth. Morgan went 4–5 in the game, scoring 3 runs and two RBI. House earned her first loss in the matchup, falling to 5–1 on the season.
Texas State softball won three of five games at the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego.
Austin Humphreys | Star File Photo
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6 | The University Star | Sports | Tuesday February 18, 2014
Texas State opens spring season with two wins, one loss at home -
Junior pitcher Tyler Black pitches against Washington Feb. 15.
By Kirk Jones
Sports Reporter @kirk_jones11
The Texas State baseball team ended its opening weekend with a 2–1 record and combined for two home runs in the series—an improvement after beginning last season with zero. The Bobcats played Friday against the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines took an early lead, scoring 5 runs in the first two innings. The Bobcats finished the game with four errors but converted on two double plays. The Bobcats came back in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game 7–7 after trailing 7–4 going into the inning. Senior catcher Tyler Pearson hit an RBI single to tie the game heading into the ninth. “We were ready to play Michigan,” Pearson said. “We wanted to get after Michigan. We were ready for the season to start up and ready to play someone that doesn’t wear the same colors as us.” Senior closer Hunter Lemke pitched two shutout innings, striking out three and earning his first win of the season. “I think we’re going to have a good team this year,” Pearson said. “We swung the bat a little bit today. Our pitching looked good. Our pitching has the ability to be really great.” David Paiz, junior third baseman, singled through the left side on the infield, scoring junior outfielder Cody Lovejoy to win the game 8–7. “These players are smart,” said Coach Ty Harrington. “We don’t underestimate what they think, or how they play, or what they understand, because they’re smarter than
Allison Brouillette | Staff Photographer
people give them credit for. These players want to be great and win championships, and they may.” The Bobcats took on the Washington Huskies in the second match of the three game series. Texas State lost 6–1 despite a career high 8.1 innings pitched and eight strikeouts from junior Taylor Black. The single run for Texas State came off the bat of Pearson who homered in the sixth. The Huskies scored 4 runs in the top of the ninth with a 2-run homer and two RBI singles. The Bobcats had two multi-hit players, as Pearson and Paiz accounted for four of the team’s six hits. Texas State bounced back Sunday as the team defeated Air Force 6–0. A careerpitching outing by junior pitcher Austen Williams helped secure the win. Williams pitched a career-high in innings with 7.2 and in strikeouts with eight, allowing two hits in his second start ever. Tanner Hill, sophomore first baseman, hit a three-run homer to put the team up 4–0 in the bottom of the sixth. Lovejoy hit a double down the left field line to add 2 runs, putting the Bobcats up 6–0. Senior pitcher Ross Goebel and Lemke shutout the Falcons, each allowing zero hits and no earned runs to close out the game. “I think we have one of the most challenging schedules this year,” Harrington said. “We played a Big Ten school in Michigan, a Pac-12 school in Washington and Air Force. We are known for our tough non-conference schedule and tough weekend schedule. We do it for the challenge, and you have to play the big boys to be a big program.”
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