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OCTOBER 12, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 20

LIVING HIS DREAM Defending the First Amendment since 1911


Brad Franchione, interim defensive coordinator, poses with a football Oct.7 at Bobcat Stadium.

BRAD FRANCHIONE Near-fatal car accident provides drive, new perspective on life By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem

Brad Franchione remembers the date well, but that’s about the extent of his memory.

Aug. 1, 1991. That was the day Franchione’s life changed—for better or for worse.

The long and winding road Franchione left his girlfriend’s house that Thursday and hopped into his 1985 Ford Bronco truck and drove onto the highway. He left to go home and start packing for the state baseball tournament. The road was under construction, which eliminated the shoulders on both sides. Franchione’s margin for error was thin, but he tried to pass a car and veered out of control. His car turned over, rolling a few times before ejecting Franchione, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

“It was not a good situation,” Franchione said. “I don’t remember the pain. I don’t remember much. It was pretty devastating. It changed my life.” His mother, Linda Solomon, received the call after Franchione had been taken to the hospital. She worked 30 miles away at Tech Tank and left immediately to console her son. On her way to the hospital, Solomon drove by mounds of clothes on the highway. They belonged to Franchione, who had worn the clothing while taking high school senior photos the day before. There was no sign of Franchione’s truck, which had been removed from the highway earlier. Solomon expected some minor bruises. Her main concern was Franchione’s senior season of football. When she arrived, Solomon’s greatest fears were realized. Franchione’s life was teetering on the brink. “It never occurred to me that it was this bad until we got there, and he had the traumatic head injury,” Solomon said.


Franchione’s brain was bruised and every bone in his head was broken, including his sinus cavities. The bones in his head were shattered, but not displaced from their original locations. “I saw the C.A.T. scan of his skull and his head looked like eggshells,” Solomon said.

Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do! Football quickly became an afterthought. Franchione’s life was now at stake. The doctors told Solomon to watch for the color behind his ears. Franchione’s ears turned black, which meant his brain was bleeding. That night, with Franchione unconscious, Solomon watched over her son as he battled for his life. Franchione remembers his mother’s presence at his bedside. He wanted to tell her that everything was going to be okay, but didn’t have the energy to muster up a complete thought. His father, then head coach of Pittsburgh State, handed his son Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!, written by Robert H. Schuller. Schuller’s book provided Franchione with guidance as he began a new journey in his life. “The title pretty much says it,” he said. “There’s a lot of anecdotes of people who faced tough times and made it into a positive.” Eventually Franchione woke up. “I had over 200 stitches above my Adam’s apple and over 200 below,” he said. The athlete’s bones would



need some time to heal, but his brain wasn’t swelling, which was a good sign. His dangerously low magnesium levels, though, worried doctors. He had little magnesium in his body, because he had been lifting and the broken

hospital. Solomon said Franchione had always been a popular person. His likeability was undeniable because he showed a genuine interest in people. Case in point: Solomon had to go on television to stop

“I saw the C.A.T. scan of his skull and his head looked like eggshells,” ­—LINDA SOLOMON, BRAD FRANCHIONE’S MOTHER

bones in his body depleted his magnesium levels even further. “They weren’t sure he’d make it,” Solomon said. “It never occurred to me that I would lose him. Things were bad and I knew that—the thought of losing him never even occurred to me.”

Hospital stay The nature of his injury required a unique approach, since most of the severe damage occurred in his brain and not the body. There was no surgery to assuage Franchione’s pain. Instead, the doctors gave him steroids to stop the brain fluids from flowing outside his skull. He needed to eat a minimum of 3,000 calories a day because his brain required extra energy to heal the injuries. Franchione’s friends, family and football team visited him during his stay at the


people from calling her son. “When this occurred, we had so many phone calls to the hospital that the hospital asked me to put out an announcement on TV to not call the hospital,” Solomon said. In all, Franchione spent six days in the hospital before he received clearance from his neurosurgeon to return home. There was just one problem. The doctors insisted he leave the hospital in a wheelchair.

See BRAD, Page 2

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The University Star Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy @universitystar


Delivery service launch puts companies in competition By Kasandra Garza NEWS REPORTER @KasGarza

College Delivery, a food delivery service that has been present in the city for over a decade, finally has some competition—Favor. Favor launched in San Marcos Aug. 28 and delivers anything from food to a phone charger. Tina Heileman, spokesperson for Favor, said company officials decided to launch in San Marcos after noticing a great amount of people in the area using the company’s app. “We have this technology where we can see on a map where people have already opened up our app and so we saw this huge cluster in San Marcos and all around Texas State,” Heileman said. “We just listened to the customer’s requests and launched there.” Albert Garcia, founder and owner of College Delivery, said his delivery service is locally owned and operated and has been in San Marcos for the past 13 years. Garcia said College Delivery will remain focused on its customer service despite the fact that Favor is now in competition with the company. “It’s inevitable someone else would come in and try to compete,” Garcia said. “We’re just going to keep focusing on our customers and on our restaurants and keeping them happy.” Garcia said he plans to change marketing and advertising strategies to gain more customers. College Delivery is set to offer delivery from more restaurants, including several food trucks such as St. Pita’s and

Donut 9-1-1, he said. Favor offers delivery outside of the restaurant realm, including the options for customers to order drinks from Starbucks. Garcia said College Delivery will remain “primarily focused” on the “restaurant side” of delivery, but options may expand as the company grows. “We’re going to try to expand our services and delivery such as dry cleaning and prescription drugs,” Garcia said. “We get a lot of calls and customers in the retirement community who are unable to drive and need our service to go pick up their medicine.” Jeremy Cagle, computer science sophomore, said College Delivery lacks the “features and convenience” Favor offers because the rival company doesn’t have an app and its website is “unresponsive.” “One of College Delivery’s biggest pros is that they are contracted with so many places,” said Keaton McAtee, exploratory sophomore. “They just need to work harder if they want to stay on top.” Garcia said in the next two months customers can expect to see an update to the company’s website making it more mobile-friendly. College Delivery will soon launch an app to maximize business. Garcia said the app will give customers more control by including a GPS for customers to see where the delivery is before it arrives to their door. “We’ve just got to make it as easy to order through us as it is through Favor,” Garcia said. “With them coming into town, there’s some things we have to change up a little bit.” Garcia said Favor coming


to San Marcos is not a big deal because there are still some differences between the two companies. “You can pay with cash or order through a computer (with College Delivery) whereas (Favor) is just appbased,” Garcia said. “With our website, you can build your order and customize it.” Heileman said Favor’s focus on customer service has led to the company’s success. “We’re really all about customer service and really that’s how we like to differentiate from our competitors,” Heileman said. “It’s our quality,

our speed and our customer service.” Heileman said Favor’s quality customer service is evidenced when the “runners,” employees who deliver orders, text customers to let them know how long the wait will be and to request specific details about the customers’ order. Favor delivers more than just food and drinks, Heileman said. “If you need an iPhone charger, we’ll run to the Apple store and get you an iPhone charger,” Heileman said. “We’ve literally heard the craziest requests and we’ll

go out and get your order.” Although Favor delivers items ranging from medicine to video games, Heileman said the business works with food merchants as well. “Just in case there’s a place not featured (on the app), we can still go out and get that for you,” Heileman said. “We’re really your ‘order-anything’ personal service.” Cagle said one way College Delivery can compete with Favor is by extending business hours. Currently, both Favor and College Delivery stop services at 10 p.m. “Due to San Marcos be-

ing a college town, a majority of the students stay up past these hours,” Cagle said. “College Delivery can take a competitive advantage by extending their hours before Favor does.” Garcia said competition is “not a bad thing” and it only exemplifies San Marcos’ growth as a city. “Our goal is for everyone to think of Favor before picking up their keys,” Heileman said. “We’ve had a lot of good feedback and we hope to be the No. 1 delivery app in San Marcos.”


Students ‘go green,’ with environmental fee By Madison Morriss NEWS REPORTER @themorrisscode

Students may have more of an impact in Texas State’s initiative to “go green” than they think. Since 2003, students have paid a $1 Environmental Service Fee, also known as the Green Fee, as part of their tuition. Rebecca Bell-Metereau, co-chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee, said the fee is designed to support sustainability practices on campus. “(The fee) will improve energy efficiency and help the students, the university and the environment,” BellMetereau said. Bell-Metereau said the Environmental Service Committee is currently seeking proposals for future projects from students, faculty and staff. Any group on campus can make a proposal intended to increase the environmental sustainability of Texas State as long as it is not already being done by some other sector of the university, she said. If the proposal is approved, the committee funds the selected project with money from the $75,000 collected through the Green Fee. “We, as a committee, believe that the Green Fee is generally something that supports projects students have proposed,” Bell-Metereau said. “So we are really just trying to coordinate efforts that are already existing.” Nov. 2 is the deadline for Green Fee proposal submissions, she said. “One of our goals is to get the (Board of Regents) to approve raising the Green Fee,” Bell-Metereau said.

“(The University of Texas at Austin) has a $5 green fee and it’s not very much out of all the tuition that you pay.” Some students agree an increase of the Green Fee would benefit campus life. “I think that it would help the campus to raise the fee,” said Brittany Morton, exploratory junior. “Even to just $2, it would double the money that could be raised.” Meagan Kerr, electronic media sophomore, said the existing money raised by the fee is not being used properly. “We could use the money we have by cleaning up the rivers better,” Kerr said. “If they have $75,000, I think they could do a better job.” Bell-Metereau said the university’s steady increase in student enrollment over the years has strengthened the potential impact of the Green Fee. In past years, the Green Fee funded the installation of refillable water bottle stations in campus buildings and residential halls, river cleanups and the implementation of recycling programs, she said. “You feel good afterwards, and then you think that there is so much more to be done,” Bell-Metereau said. Bell-Metereau said after serving on a San Marcos committee that got curbside recycling implemented in the city, she was motivated to continue increasing the environmental sustainability of the local community. “I look at that and I think that’s great, but then I think we have all of these businesses, apartments and places where they still need to have more of an effort of getting recycling,” Bell-Metereau said. She said the Environmental Service Committee

is responsible for much of the greenery on campus as well as the implementation of university policy to increase composting. “I know some people have complained that they have taken away a parking space and put in a green space in, but really it’s making it to where it’s more walkable,” Bell-Metereau said. She hopes Texas State can get a windmill in the future through the Green Fee to conserve energy. “I’m not familiar with how much the cost would be, but it’s something that we intend to work with, with the new vice president for finance, to see what kind of budget there is to try a few of these things,” Bell-Metereau said. She said now is an important time in history for students and faculty to start being environmentally conscious. “I think that now there is a real sense of urgency because when you even have the Pope going around the world begging people to pay attention to the environment, we’ve got some serious issues to deal with,” Bell-Metereau said. “We all need to change our way living.”



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Photographer’s Latin American career recognized By Louis Zylka LIFESTYLE REPORTER @OrinZylka

The Wittliff Collections at Texas State are known for showcasing the works of talented artists unknown to most of the student population. A retrospective look at the achievements of Rodrigo Moya, a prominent Mexican photographer known for documenting individuals living in Latin America during times of war is currently on display at the exhibits. Carla Ellard, exhibition curator, said Moya is known for capturing images of life and political occurrences in Mexico and other Latin American countries for the past 40 years. Ellard said fewer Americans than people from Hispanic countries are familiar with the photographer’s work. She said the gallery is one of the first places students in the United States have had the chance to familiarize themselves with Latin American history through Moya’s eyes. “It is the first time in the U.S. that his work is being seen as a retrospective,” Ellard said. “We are excited to bring his work to the U.S. and to a whole new audience.” Ellard said a large amount of Moya’s work was purchased by the university in the early 2000s. Constance Todd, former

Wittliff Collections director, said she played a major role in convincing the university to bring Moya’s photographs to Texas. Todd said she believed his work would be a great addition to the Southwestern and Mexican collection at the Wittliff. “(Curators) look for photographs that are commanding images,” Todd said. “(Moya) had a wonderful reputation as a photographer.” Ellard said she hopes the exhibition will promote Rodrigo Moya: Photography and Conscience, the next book in the Wittliff Collections’ Southwestern & Mexican Photography series, published by the UT Press. She said the publication is the first English book on Moya’s work. Todd said the book is an anthology of Moya’s career featuring essays detailing his reasoning behind certain iconic photographs. She said its primary focus is lower-class citizens living in Central America. “(Moya) was really concerned with people who had to work on the land,” Todd said. “He was really trying to make the world a better place.” Tommi Scugoza, public relations sophomore, said she works at the front desk of the Wittliff Collections and has viewed the exhibition multiple times. She said Moya’s pictures shed a powerful light on the

LARA DIETRICH STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The works of Rodrigo Moya are on display at the Witliff Collections through July 2.

hardships many workingclass Latin Americans face. “I like his usage of blackand-white photography,” Scugoza said. “It kind of captures the mood or the setting he is trying to get.” Ellard said the exhibition focuses on subjects such as city life of unknown people, the Latin American revolutions and thoughts on agnostic faith and rituals .

“(Moya) used what a working photojournalist would use at the time from the ‘50s through the ‘80s,” Ellard said. “The themes are very personal.” Scugoza said displays like Moya’s serve as useful tools for students looking to complete assignments or broaden their knowledge on a certain topic. “(Students) come up here

and learn about something they didn’t even know existed,” Scugoza said. “They get to learn about different photographers and artists here at the library.” Todd said the Wittliff Collections have some of the best photo exhibits in the country. “Having such a gallery is a wonderful cultural amenity for the campus,” Todd said. “These are photographs and

exhibits that are presented that you can see in New York or San Francisco.” Ellard said Moya and his wife, Susan Flaherty, plan to visit the university Nov. 15 to discuss the exhibition and his inspiration as an artist. “We will be having a book launch, and he will be signing books as well,” Ellard said. “It’ll be a great celebration of Mexican photography.”


Q&A with James Young, guitarist for Eli Young Band By Mariah Simank LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank

The four group members who make up the Eli Young Band, one of country music’s hottest groups, recently announced their upcoming winter tour. The University Star sat down with guitarist James Young to discuss how the band came together, and what separates this tour from previous concerts.

Mariah Simank:

You guys recently announced your 2015/2016 winter tour on Sept. 21. What can people expect from this tour? James Young: We’ve spent this summer bouncing around. We were on tour with Toby Keith, and we were also doing a bunch of fairs and festivals and bigger crowds. So this fall, it’s just going to be kind of more club scenes and intimate crowds. That’s kind of where we started, and that’s what we love to play in front of, so it’s going to be a blast. It’s going to be our full set and just being back in the club environment.

MS: Where are you most

excited to play? JY: We’re going to be doing a lot of House of Blues, and those are always fun venues to play. Just the vibes in those rooms are always so amazing, every one we played around the country, and so we are looking forward to those.

MS : You guys have three No. 1 hits, a Grammy nomination and have won an Academy of Country Music Award for Song of the Year for “Crazy Girl.” What is that like, to gain this kind of recognition? JY: I think we’re still pinching ourselves a little bit over all that has happened to us over the past 15 years, but it’s wonderful. We started as a bar band in Texas, and to come from there to what we’ve accomplished now! Especially for the fans—Texas had our back since day one and still has our back. MS: Do you participate in the band’s songwriting process? JY: I do, yeah. Me and

Mike started writing when we were in college, and we pretty much wrote the majority of those first two records.

MS: What would you say that y’all’s songwriting process is like? JY: It’s different every time. Back in the day, it was just me and Mike sitting and writing in college. This last record, all four of us sat down to write. Nowadays, we have writers come out on the road, and we sit down in the tour bus and try to write as much as we can. It gets a little harder now because we’re so much busier and on the road. You just have to kind of make time to do it. MS: When was the moment that you knew you wanted to pursue your music career? JY: I think it was maybe the first time we ever played in front of people. There was a little bar in Denton, where we all went to school at North Texas. Just getting up on stage live and playing music and having people cheer you on and sing back. That was the first taste of the drug that

is music. I think that’s kind of where it all started.

MS: What is the most challenging part about being on tour? JY: Probably the most challenging part is being away from your family nowadays. When we started none of us were married and had kiddos and whatnot, so being away from home poses the most challenges on the road, just ‘cause you miss your family and you want to be home as much as you can. MS: So far, what’s your favorite show you’ve played? JY: That’s a tough one. A couple years ago we did our own show. We’d just gotten off tour with Kenny Chesney, and we decided to do our own kind of one-day festival deal at the ballpark in Ar-

lington. It was all on us, and it turned out to be amazing and the crowd was amazing. When you hang your name on something, you get a little nervous about how it’s going to be when it’s just your show, but it turned out amazing and we were very proud of that night.

MS: Do you have a favorite song you perform with the band? JY: Of course “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”—that song still speaks volumes to us from the day we cut it. It’s always a joy to perform, and to have people sing your songs back to you is just an amazing feeling. Of course, “Crazy Girl” really broke us wide-open because of the national scene, so we’re blessed every day that we chose to cut that song. “When it Rains” always holds a special place

in our hearts. That was kind of the song that people first latched onto. “Guinevere,” of course, was one of those tunes, too. It’s hard. It’s like picking your favorite kid.

MS: How would you describe your most recent album to people who may not be familiar with the bands music? JY: On the country side of the spectrum, we’re not like super-duper, I would say, country. We live in that realm, but we’re from Texas, and we started playing Texas country, which is kind of more rock ‘n’ roll, I would imagine. It seems like country music is kind of the new rock ‘n’ roll, so it’s ever-changing. It’s changing every day. And so we just like to get up there and rock out and have fun, and it’s very up-tempo and rockin’.

4 | Monday, October 12, 2015

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Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams @universitystar


Dismantling Islamophobia, national necessity



slamophobia is the irrational and exaggerated fear, hostility and hatred toward Muslims and America has a bad case of it. According to a 2010 Religious Perceptions in America report, approximately 43 percent of Americans admitted to feeling at least “a little” prejudice

toward Muslims. By their own admission, almost half of Americans are knowingly Islamophobic. Naturally, the actual proportion of Islamophobic Americans would be higher than the self-reported number one would imagine. There are over 1 billion Muslims in the world, and the Islamic faith is the

fastest growing religion, expected to reach over 2 billion people by 2050. Painting this entire, broad group of people which currently encapsulates one-seventh of the world’s population, in one way is about as irrational as a person can get. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Drawing conclu-

sions about a group of people based on atrocities committed by individuals is the epitome of ignorance. A study by research center New America found that white supremacists are a bigger threat to America than radical Muslims. If people started manipulating that data and drawing broad conclusions about

all white people in the world, there would be an understandable outrage to that blanket negative characterization. So take a walk in someone else’s shoes for a moment and imagine how they feel when people start associating them with murders, terrorists and criminals—not a good feeling. Everyone has the right to their own individuality. Lumping people together based on coincidental attributes or beliefs is not progressive, it is reductive and in these two instances, racist. Now, the term racism brings up many discourses, namely detractors screaming how Muslims are not a racial group, but a religious identification. Although this is true, critics ignore the social mechanism behind race and identifications. Race is not static or universal, and each society defines it differently. In fact, race is entirely determined by personal identification as well as through a social framework of how a person or group is viewed, often by the dominant collective. In America, and much of the western world, Muslims have been what sociologists call racialized. Meaning, racial and ethnic identity has been ascribed to the broad group of Muslims. The act of racialization has led to a mass of

anti-Muslim prejudice, something most Americans admit to in this post-9/11 society. According to a 2008 Gallup poll, 30 percent of Americans recognize that Muslims are not treated fairly in this country. The first step to solving a problem is understanding that it exists. However, the prejudice still exists. While acknowledgement is a step in the right direction, a 2010 Time poll found about 30 percent of responders thought Muslims should be barred from running for the presidency. America takes one step forward, and two steps back. Intolerance leads to fear which leads to hate and ends in discrimination. Perhaps it would be best to stop the cycle, for once in America’s sordid history, before it gets to the final step of this cyclical trend. While intolerance and hate are just as bad as discrimination, society is wading in troubled water when it begins effecting the life chances and unalienable rights of a person to the pursuit of happiness and liberty. Muslims are people just like everyone else. They are just trying to make it through this crazy phenomenon called life. Instead of placing the burden and atrocities of a select group of the over 1 billion Muslim population, society should try to lift up a group of people for once.

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.


It’s time to stop touching Military officials should lift black women’s hair ban against women in combat GENDER




t seems as though society views black women as mythical creatures. Some individuals deny or ignore our presence while others expect us to live up to extremely high ideals and fantasies. One thing in particular seems to inspire a bountiful array of irritating questions: our hair. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have fielded questions regarding my hair. I almost never have enough time to explain the intricacies of black hair care or discuss the benefits of Peruvian versus Brazilian weave. I honestly do not even know the difference. I have spent 19 years walking around with this bird’s nest on my head and I still cannot begin to understand it. If I am not able to grasp the concept of my own hair, trust me, another person

cannot either. According to society, it is rude to approach a stranger and begin to mash your fingers into their hair. Applying this rule to my life, it is not okay for someone I do not know to come up to me and fondle my braids because they are curious. I am not a petting zoo. Keep your hands off, Curious George. Also, do not ask whether or not my hair is real. It would not be nice of me to inquire if those are real breasts or if that nose was paid for. Regardless of whether it grew out of my scalp or I bought it at the corner store, it’s mine. Don’t ask, don’t tell. The complete process of washing my hair takes a full 12 hours at the least, so no, I do not wash it every day. If I did, I would never have time for anything else and my hair would feel like buckwheat. I would be a walking fire hazard in the blazing hot summers of Texas because my hair would literally be the texture of hay. I would not be surprised if Black Beauty decided she was hungry and began to munch on my hair for a midday snack. Yes, my hair was short yesterday. Yes, my hair is long today. Was it magic? Maybe. Every-

The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, Managing Editor.......................Imani McGarrell, News Editor........................................................Anna Herod, Sports Editor.............................................Quixem Ramirez, Lifestyle Editor.........................................Mariah Simank, Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, Multimedia Editor......................................Preslie Cox, Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall,

one knows black folks are magical. The truth behind the change in length is simple: I bought it and sat in a chair for 10 hours while braiding the “fake” hair into the “real” part of my mane. Asking questions about black hair is not bad. I’m glad so many people find it to be such an interesting topic. However, do not interrupt whatever I am doing to ask me these foolish questions. I’m busy, honey, move along. I will get back to your questions at a later time. There have been times where I’ve felt like pulling a Britney and shaving my hair off. Then I would realize the boiled egg look is perhaps not for me. On a serious note, it has taken me 19 years to accept my hair and learn to embrace these locks. We live in a society that does not see kinky, coily and textured hair as traditionally beautiful. I have finally realized I do not need society to tell me my hair is beautiful. Society is pretty lame anyway. Do not touch my hair, plain and simple. Unless people want to lose a couple of fingers, it is best to refrain.

—Mikala Everett is a marketing sophomore




n 2015, women are still disqualified from certain jobs. A person should be disqualified due to the lack of skill, not due to gender. In the end, expertise is going to get the job done, not testosterone. Recently, Capt. Kristen Griest and Lt. Shaye Haver became the first women to graduate from the Army Ranger School. This is a monumental achievement because they are the first women to make it through the grueling course—not due to a lack of skill or desire, but a lack of opportunity. The unfortunate part of this historic milestone lies in the fact they are not allowed to actually apply for the Rangers like their male counterparts because they are women. Therefore, these two history-making women will have to wait on the sidelines for the military to move into the 21st century. Aside from being completely sexist, this entire

idea of barring women from combat positions on the sole basis of their gender is ridiculous. Anyone who makes it through the Army Ranger School has proven they have skill and determination. After all, the reason for this course is to assess a candidate’s eligibility. The reason they cannot apply to be Rangers is a rule barring women from combat roles which also incorporate the Special Forces. The Department of Defense implemented a rule in the assignment policy that stated women were not to be in direct combat roles in units below a brigade level. The wording makes it seem as if it only limits certain combat roles, but in reality this means women are not allowed in any fighting positions because almost all are under a brigade level. This rule was implemented for a few reasons, but mostly because of physical qualifications. Biologically, women are built with less physical strength and endurance than men. For most regular military, women’s qualifications are less intense than that of men. This seems like a good reason to keep them out of combat roles, but it should not determine what happens to all women. Citing biology as if all women are exactly the same in every genetic way is not a viable reason to exclude them from combat positions. Especially when they

have already proven not all women are unable to qualify in the same ways as men. There’s a reason rules and laws should not be based off generalizations. There are always exceptions to a rule, and because of this there should be a way for qualified people to go past discriminatory hurdles. Not all women are born lacking strength and endurance to perform as well as men in combat. If someone, regardless of gender, can prove they qualify to perform a job, they should be able to perform the actual job. There is no logical reason to prevent a qualified person from performing in the Special Forces, especially when taking into account the difficulty of the unit. Instead of barring certain people from joining, the Special Forces should take every person they can find. The only basis of keeping women out of combat roles is pure, unfiltered sexism. The Department of Defense should rule to repeal this guideline and allow these fully qualified soldiers to perform the job they have trained and fought for. Everyone should be allowed to take the chance to make their dreams come true. The aspirations of women should not be limited because they have vaginas. —Cris Rivera is a music freshman 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666

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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday 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 Monday, October 12, 2015. 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


Quixem Ramirez, Sports Editor @quixem @universitystar

BRAD, from page 2 Franchione refused. He wanted to leave on his own power, on his own terms. That was the Franchione way, after all. A nurse settled on a compromise: the staff would wheel him to the door, and he would walk the rest of the way. “They wouldn’t let me walk out of the hospital,” Franchione said. “I fought with them for a long time. It felt like five or six hours. I wasn’t going to let them wheel me out of the hospital. I wanted to walk out on my own.” Six days after his near-fatal car accident, Franchione left the hospital a different man. He had hundreds of stiches on his body—133 from his eyebrow to his hairline alone—a separated shoulder and a new perspective on life. “We always laugh and say if the good Lord wanted me that day, he had his chance to take me,” he said. “He must’ve left me here for a higher calling. That’s the fun part of being where I’m at now. There’s a lot of people that helped me to get to where I am now.” The accident carved a different path for Franchione. Initially, he felt his goal was linear—play football in high school, then in college before joining the coaching ranks. Instead, he was confronted with a fork in the road. The end result, however, remained the same. “You have to rely on your path,” Brad Franchione said. “There’s always a way to achieve your goals and dreams. There’s always going to be some road blocks and detours, but if you just stay true to who you are and keep working hard, you can achieve your goals.”

“For a while he lost himself.” Franchione was not in the clear yet. Walking remained a problem, and the accident had cost him his vision in his left eye, resulting in a

permanent loss of depth perception. His sinus cavities were broken, reducing his diet to milkshakes and pureed meals. While other students worried about the end of their high school career, Franchione worked on the bare essentials: re-learning how to walk, eat and run. Solomon remembers Franchione’s initial steps all too well. Her son would take short steps with his left foot and long steps with his right, in a galloping motion. Solomon connected herself to her son with a rope and had him run along the football field’s lines to teach him how to run again. She added a metronome to give him a rhythm to follow. The two repeated the exercises until the athlete found his footing—literally. As he worked on his physical limitations, Franchione lost sight of who he was and who he used to be. A part of him died in the accident. “I wake up with it every day,” Franchione said. “I’m not sure I ever got back to the person that I was before the injury.” Solomon noticed the changes in her son firsthand. Franchione was typically affectionate, but he was “pushier” following the accident. “For a while he lost himself,” Solomon said. “I’ve always said I was not me either. I went crazy for the first year after the accident. For the first six months we didn’t have Brad, then we began to see him coming back. He is the same person now.”

Back to football Franchione’s life was still intact, except that it wasn’t. Before the accident, his life was football, and a neurosurgeon told him he would never be able to play the sport again. “Brad was bugging me to tell (the surgeon), ‘No, no, no, we really want to play football,’” Solomon said. That was not the end of that discussion—not in the

slightest. The athlete pushed it further, until his dreams of playing high school football were in reach. no longer on life support. A C.A.T. scan revealed that his bones were healed, clearing him for non-contact drills. So, Franchione returned to football practice, two weeks after bruising his brain and nearly losing his life. One week later, he was cleared for full contact. Solomon was wary of her son suiting up and intentionally

His father’s coaching experience exposed Franchione to football, but the sport was in the rearview mirror until he met his junior high school coach William Dunn. Dunn instilled his “burning love” for football in his team. After that, Franchione was absolutely hooked. His new dream was to coach a football team at any level. The sport dominated his life, even in the classroom. “When I was sitting in class, I was thinking of what we were going to do

“He showed me another path. I’ve had a chance to live out my dream and now I’m just trying to make sure it stays that way.” ­—BRAD FRANCHIONE

hitting other players in his physical state. “It was probably worse for me than it was for him,” Solomon said. “I think I was nauseous the entire time.” But Solomon knew there was nothing she could do to weaken the athlete’s desire to play. Franchione played football, but on one condition: He had to wear a facemask, which was not widely used in the ‘90s. At halftime, Franchione would toss his helmet to the sidelines and Solomon replaced his visor with another one suited for darkness. The bottom line: Franchione’s love for football knows no bounds. “It was a crazy year,” Solomon said. As a child, Franchione had aspirations to be a mathematician and a firefighter. He was the valedictorian of his eighth grade class.

in football practice that day,” Franchione said. “I probably should’ve been more focused on my classes, but that was what I lived for.” Franchione, a football player since the third grade, excelled as a quarterback at Southeast Cherokee high school during his freshman year. “I enjoyed it,” Franchione said. “When you have a chance to play quarterback, you have a chance to see the game differently than a lot of other players on the field. That experience definitely helped me.” He transferred to Pittsburg High School for his sophomore year, where he was no longer the big fish in a small pond. At the request of his coaches, Franchione moved from quarterback to outside linebacker because the other players on the team were “faster” and “taller.” The position shift called for a change in Franchione’s frame of mind as well. At outside linebacker, he was an emotional player. At quarterback, he was a cognitive player with the entire offense at his fingertips. The sophomore only


Brad Franchione writes notes on Oct. 7 at Bobcat Stadium.


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needed six games to claim a starting role on the team at his new position. Part of Franchione’s willingness to change positions was in part because of his high school coach Larry Garman. “I always knew they cared about people,” Franchione said. “The fact that they cared about me and had passion for the game of football. That was where I wanted to be.” Two decades later, Franchione makes it a point to keep in contact with his SEMEN DONORS NEEDED! $150 per specimen, healthy college students age 18-39. For application go to www.

coaches when he visits his hometown of Pittsburg, Kansas.

“At 18 years old, this is the dream that I had.” Although the circumstances are unexpected, Franchione is finally at the helm of his own defense. Franchione has spent the last five seasons as the linebackers’ coach and special teams coordinator at Texas State. His father, Dennis, is in his second stint as head coach at Texas State. John Thompson resigned as defensive coordinator Sept. 27 following Texas State’s 59-14 loss to Houston. The Bobcats were last in the country in scoring defense and 127th in total defense under Thompson. With a coaching vacancy, Dennis Franchione sought continuity and familiarity. Both boxes were checked off with his son, who nearly earned the job outright two years ago after Craig Naivar left the program to


Kentucky. “I felt like he’s the guy that’s most ready to orchestrate the things that we wanna do,” Dennis Franchione said. “We have a good rapport. He and I are on the same page on some of the things we need courage to change and fix.” Unlike 24 years ago, Brad Franchione happened to be in the right place at the right time. “There’s no way in the world I could have predicted that this was the way it was going to happen,” Brad Franchione said. “I saw it a lot of ways, but I never saw it happen this way.” The task at hand for Brad Franchione is to mend one of the worst defenses in the country, at least statistically. “At 18 years old, this is the dream that I had,” Brad Franchione said. “If you’ve ever had dreams before, mine came true. Am I ready? Yeah, I’m ready.” College football has steadily gravitated toward the offensive side of the ball, with the rise of spread and up-tempo offense. Offenses are cool nowadays. They are smarter, faster and pose more problems than ever before. Defense is decidedly less glamorous and, by extension, harder to execute. “It’s difficult, but that’s the fun part,” Brad Franchione said. “Just to show that you can take those 11 pieces and manipulate them in such a way to whatever you do you have a chance to step them. I think we are working in the right direction. We aren’t where we are going to be but thank God we aren’t where we used to be.” Brad Franchione’s job has been years in the making. Now that his time is here, he doesn’t want the opportunity to go to waste. In football and in life, chances are few and far between. “The Lord worked in his way in my life through a time that things were so bleak that I wasn’t going to be able to achieve that goal,” Brad Franchione said. “He showed me another path. I’ve had a chance to live out my dream, and now I’m just trying to make sure it stays that way.”



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