Page 1




► Campus: Coffee warms frigid USAPD, student relations. See Campus, page 2

► JagLife: Relive your childhood with retro video games. See JagLife, page 6


South’s beloved son A family, 15,000 strong, remembers one of their own: Christopher Thomas Contributing Writer


See Sports, page 10

► Opinion: Inhumane fishing on campus may destroy population. See Sports, page 15




► Sports: South baseball takes series against Arkansas Little Rock.

VOL. 54, NO. 10

“If it matters to the USA family, it matters to us.”

MARCH 24, 2014

he cool, night wind blew across the students and faculty huddled in front of Moulton Tower the night of Tuesday, March 18. Students and faculty were spread out toward the sides of the plaza and down along the steps. A few designated people walked through the crowd, passing out white candles from a cardboard box. Five minutes before 8:30 p.m., the candles were lit. The wind blew hard, making it hard to keep the flames going. And just underneath the pavilion of the tower sat a podium with a gold University of South Alabama plaque across it. Perched to the right of the podium sat a picture of the reason these people were gathered. It was a portrait of Christopher Elan Thomas, 21, who passed away Saturday, March 16. The picture was taken from the cover article fall 2013 issue of Due South—an article he

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was featured in for being “a face of South.” An active member of Jaguar Productions, Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, College Republicans and the Debate Society, Thomas was indeed a face of South. “He was an inspiration to us. He was an inspiration to everyone here at South,” Zach Charlton, treasurer of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, said during the vigil. “He was a role model for me. Treasurer, it’s hard to get documents from headquarters, documents from brothers. I could always depend on Christopher and say, ‘Hey, I need this. Hey, I need that.’ And magically, in the next couple of days, it was done.” Charlton apologized at the beginning of his speech, saying he “might break down a little bit.” He wasn’t the only one moved to tears. Many could barely talk about Thomas without crying. “He’s part of the reason I came to South,” Ashley Ford, chemistry major,

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See Thomas Page 2


SGA Election Candidates Page 4 In this Issue: Sports, Page 9 Opinion, Page 14

JagLife, Page 6


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

Thomas Continued from Page One

said. “We volunteered at the medical center together. He helped encourage me. He was a really good friend.” Ford was too choked up with emotions to continue. It was evident that Thomas was important to many aspects of the University. Representatives from Jaguar Productions also spoke about how they would miss Thomas. “More than anything, Jaguar Productions is a family, and Christopher was a vital part of that,” Khaela Huey, member of Jaguar Productions, said. “I can say for certain that, as a coworker, as a brother, as a friend, Christopher will be greatly missed.” Christopher Smith, president of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, offered a prayer from the fraternity handbook, which was then followed by a song from USA’s African-American Student Association choir. Students wept through these moments, clinging to each other for comfort. Students weren’t the only ones who were rocked by Thomas’ death. Dean of Students Michael Mitchell

and Associate Dean of Students Dr. Krista Harrell both spoke at the vigil, describing how important Thomas was to South. “I said to his mother yesterday, ‘You probably didn’t realize this, but you shared him with us. He was our child. He was our kid, and we loved him,’” Harrell said. “And I think everybody that’s here and present tonight would echo that.” The vigil closed with a speech from Edgar Walker, Thomas’ uncle. “When you send your family member off to school, you want them to make an impact,” Walker said. “And when I sit back and I pan through the crowd -- wow. I really didn’t expect this. “It’s what you leave behind, and being the age that I am, I just hope and pray that on my day that God calls me back that I have a legacy that he had even at 21 years old. “This is just the beginning of what Chris started, and now it’s your job to finish it. So thank you so much, and welcome to our family.” The ceremony closed with a prayer from Mitchell and a tolling of the bells of Moulton Tower. People blew out their candles, but did not leave.


Edgar Walker, Christopher Thomas’ uncle, prays at Thomas’ memorial at Moulton Tower March 18. Students and faculty stayed long after the final bell rang, comforting one another. The funeral was held Saturday, March 22 in Dothan, Ala., at North-

view Christian Church and Sunset Memorial Park. From this vigil, it’s clear that Thomas made an impact on the people he left behind at South Alabama.

“If anything, he was a true Jaguar,” Tre McCarden, computer science major, said. “He will be missed not only by me, but by the entire South Alabama campus.”

Coffee warms frigid USAPD, student relations By ALYSSA NEWTON Sports Editor


offee, cops and comfort were the main three C’s for last Thursday’s first Coffee with a Cop, during which South Alabama police officers opened themselves up to students to ask questions in a comfortable environment. In the Humanities courtyard Thursday, students could grab a cup of Starbucks coffee and sit down with any officer in attendance and ask them questions or voice any concerns about experiences with the department or about the department itself. Junior Khiahna Young arrived

to the event hesitant to ask questions. “I think this is a front,” Young said. “The officers come off as aggressive, and they overdo things. Instead of being dependent on them, I’m honestly scared of them.” The Coffee with a Cop event was planned for situations just like this. Chief of Police Zeke Aull sat down with Young and fellow USA junior Darnisha Evans and discussed one-on-one all concerns and questions they had concerning USAPD. Sitting at a table in the middle of the courtyard, they began an hour long discussion concerning past experiences, officers and how


Tierra Foster (third from left) together with USAPD Chief Zeke Aull (third from right) organizes Coffee with a Cop event outside Humanities Building March 20.

they believed they could better the relationship between students and the department. “If you ever have a situation, I encourage everyone to come in and talk to me,” Aull said. “This is why we are having this. If you have a complaint, come in and talk. This event is to help us build as a community.” Unbeknownst to many students, every officer wears a body camera, which records everything the officer does while on duty. If a student has an issue after an encounter with an officer, he or she is encouraged to come to the police department and express their frustration to Aull. “Come by the station,” Aull said. “Make a report, and we will look at the footage. Every single report that is filed, we will look into. If the report is valid, it can be taken anywhere from officer reprimand to termination.” Another fact that students may not know is that students can schedule ride-alongs with officers to get a glimpse of what they do every single day. “Some things, I couldn’t do what y’all (the officers) do,” Evans, a professional health major, said. “Kids are crazy. I would like for one day (to) have an event where we swap roles and see what it is like for the other on a daily basis.” “I think that’s a great idea,” Aull responded. Not all conversation was bad. Many students complimented the officers on their service and hard work. Some even changed their minds a little after talking with the officers oneon-one. “I do feel better after talking with him (Aull),” Young said. “I would like to see what we talked about from today used and put to-

wards improvement.” Her classmate agreed. “I have come to the conclusion that people are who they are: people,” Evans said. “We all have good days and bad days. I appreciate Aull for talking with us. I just want to see action and more interaction with the students. This was a good start.” A frequent topic of discussion was the fall 2012 Gill Collar incident, during which 19-yearold Collar approached the department naked and under the influences of drugs, and was fatally shot by an officer. Business major Melisa Johnson came up to Aull and expressed her disdain for how the situation was handled. “It was a child, and it was heartbreaking,” Johnson said. “It was for us, too,” Aull said. When asked about the use of tasers in the future, Aull said there were “no plans of obtaining tasers” in the near future. Future Justice Professionals member Tierra Foster helped to organize the event. She hopes that, through events such as Coffee with a Cop, students will form a better relationship with the officers and the department. “I think you see the cops in a different light,” Foster said about Coffee with a Cop. “We want to build the relationships and reiterate the motto, ‘If you see something, say something.’” If anything could be taken away from the event, Aull hopes students left with a better outlook after talking one-on-one with the officers, whose job is to protect and serve the students of South Alabama. “We want our students to feel comfortable and confident,” Aull said. “They can always come to talk to us. My door is wide open.”


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

“University of South Alabama’s Student Voice”

Weather for March 24 - 30

Editorial Editor in Chief Managing Editor Copy Editor Opinion Editor Sports Editor Web Editor Staff Reporter

Samantha Andrews

Stephanie Feather Meg Lundberg Matthew Strickland

Alyssa Newton Matthew Strickland

Samuel Brown Jenna Munday


Distribution Bobby Faulk Alan Smith

Advertising Advertising Justine Burbank Graphic Designer Ryan Keller Sheldon Hall Promotions Director Jaclyn LeBatard

Management Advising J. Sellers J. Aucoin Accounting Kathy Brannan

Mission The Vanguard, the student-run newspaper of the University of South Alabama, serves its readership by reporting the news involving the campus community and surrounding areas. The Vanguard strives to be impartial in its reporting and believes firmly in its First Amendment rights.

Send letters and guest columns to: The Vanguard University of South Alabama P.O. Drawer U-1057 Mobile, Ala., 36688. Or Letters and guest columns must be received by 7 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the Monday publication. Submissions should be typed and must include the writer’s name, year, school and telephone number. All submissions become the property of The Vanguard. The Vanguard reserves the right to edit letters and guest columns for length and clarity. Letters will be limited to 300 words. Letters and guest columns are the opinion of the writer. The Staff Editorial represents the consensus opinion of the Editorial Board All members of the Editorial Board have the same weight. The Vanguard has a commitment to accuracy and clarity and will print any corrections or clarifications. To report a mistake, e-mail The Vanguard is published Mondays during the academic year, except for exam periods and vacations, and is published twice each summer. The Vanguard is supported in part by an allocation from student activity fees and operates in the Student Media Department of the Division of Student Affairs. Issues are available at most University buildings and select off-campus locations. The first copy is free. Additional copies are $1 each. Freelance writers will receive payment at the discretion of the section editor and will be notified.


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USAPD Police Blotter 03/17/2014 19:41 Burglary of auto (no theft) Library parking lot Victim reported her vehicle broken into. 03/16/2014 4:22 Driving under the influence Old Shell Road A non-student was stopped for an improper turn and subsequently arrested for driving under the influence. He was transported to Mobile County Metro Jail and issued two citations. 03/14/2014 18:24 Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle Humanities Building parking lot Victim reported his vehicle broken into and burglarized. 03/14/2014 14:19 Theft of property third degree Stokes Hall laundry room Victim reported his American Eagle blue jeans stolen. 03/13/2014 21:17 Domestic violence 3rd degree Intentionally causing harm Stokes Hall Female was arrested for causing minor injuries to her boyfriend.



VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

vote with

visit for more sga candidate information

_____________President_____________ William Denny, a self-described nontraditional candidate, believes that “passion will take us higher with the potential of our student body.”

Josef Hobdy, current SGA Allied Health senator, feels there is a lack of student engagement on campus and that USA needs a leader who listens.

______Chief Justice______ Daniel Currie, current SGA senate clerk, feels strongly about the issue of student parking and suggests unused faculty parking could be converted to relieve the problem.

Janelle Johnson, current president of the African-American Student Association, says, “In order to compromise with the limited parking on campus, I propose a ‘No Decal Day.’”

Micah Messer, current SGA computing senator, believes “the University is on the right track but needs a few tweaks in its policies and guidelines, like parking tickets, for example.”

Trenton O’Neal, current arts and sciences senator, says parking and transportation continue to be an issue at South and that student employees have no way of receiving faculty or special permits.

Danielle Watson, current SGA attorney general, believes in bettering the interaction between USA’s administration and its students.

Vice President

William Pearson, current SGA vice president, says that keeping students involved is an ongoing battle, one which he will continue fighting.

_______Treasurer_______ Zachery Charlton, current treasurer of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, feels “like our student parking has become a big problem here on campus with the school expanding but no expansions on parking.”

Attorney General Justine Harris, threetime SGA arts and sciences senator, has led safety projects to make campus more accessible for our handicapped students but says “there is still much more that needs to be done.”

Emily Jerkins, current SGA business senator, says she “will aim to simplify the appropriation process, increase transparency, accountability and accessibility to information, and cultivate collaborations with student organizations.”

Engineering Senators Jake Denson, current treasurer for the American Society of Civil Engineers, says,“One thing that I think South Alabama students could greatly benefit from would be diagonal parking all around campus.”

_____Nursing Senators_____ _____Business Senators____ Senitra Crutchfield, First Year Council member, feels parking is an issue and that “parking spots are very limited in front of Deltas 3-5 and in front of Stokes Hall.”

Anesha Lee, current member of First Year Council, promises she will give her “full time and effort in hopes of making a difference and bettering the experience on campus.”

Emalee Entrekin says, “Parking is a major issue that both commuter and residential students face” every day, and she feels she will be able to help if elected.

Johnathan Sampey, First Year Council member, says parking is an issue and that we should be able to park in more than one zone on campus.

Jalen Samuel believes there should be more shows of school spirit on campus.

Amber Watson says that she “will strive to support and represent my student body in the very best of my ability.”

Gabi Vargas, currently on the First Year Council, feels that there is a “lack of safety on campus after hours” and wants to work toward creating more lighting along the sidewalks.

Marcus Williams, current First Year Council member, says that “knowing the importance of recycling should be a must for everybody today.”

Candidates who did not contribute information are Evan Carraghan, Ben Gipson, Nathan Graham, Bradley Harris, John Johnson, Skyla Jones, Darshan Patel, Judson Pitalo, Jacob Rose, Samuel Sikes, Ben Swain, Mohnish Vaidya and Joshua Weigartz.


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014


2014 sga ballots will be available march 31 to april 2 in your jagmail inbox

_______________Allied Health Senators______________ R. Saleha Carstarphen, Women of Excellence member, says that parking should reflect USA’s growth “because, as of right now, parking can be rather difficult on a regular basis.”

Trey Davis, current SGA Allied Health senator, says the “parking policy is an issue mainly because of the different zones that people park in are limited.”

Malik McMullin, prior member of First Year Council, thinks that rising tuition and lack of state funding is an issue that USA faces.

Connor Read, Tau Kappa Epsilon member, says that despite his limited involvement in campus organizations, he can show his devotion to leadership if elected.

_____Student-at-Large____ Molly Miller, current SGA student-at-large, says she’s noticed students’ concern with parking and thinks SGA should look into improving it.

Forrest Edhegard, currently involved with First Year Council, feels that SGA should be more responsible for creating a synergy between clubs, departments and societies that is fostered by communication.

Elizabeth Smith says, “South is an amazing school, but just like any school, there are some things that should be fixed,” and believes recreation center policy, cafeteria meal portions and parking are some of them.

Jazmyn Wright, member of First Year Council, says one issue facing USA is its dining services and that “many students have concerns about their hours of operation as well as the quality of the food.”

____Computing Senators___ Tre McCarden, First Year Council member, wants students to know that they don’t have to be afraid to be involved on campus and that student involvement will improve the campus atmosphere.

________Arts & Science Senators________ Thomas Adent, vice president of First Year Council, says,“Most of the senators do very little,” and he pledges to be the most reachable and active senator by listening to and solving students’ problems.

Ashley Ford, current SGA arts and sciences senator, feels strongly about making USA’s campus more environmentally friendly.

Calvilyn Hooper is currently a resident assistant involved in National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Abeneefoo Koo, Mortar Board, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.., Diamond Girls and Women of Excellence.

Scott McGallagher, officer of Kappa Alpha, wants to see members of the Greek community become “more involved in making this University a greater place for all students, present and future.”

Sara Mitchell is involved with the Panhellenic Council and feels strongly about the lack of parking around residential areas on campus.

Ravi Rajendra, president of First Year Council, says the lack of student engagement is the biggest issue USA faces and that SGA can help by working to engage students.

Joel Langley says there is a lack of recycling on campus, and he believes “it is the duty of our University to promote healthy lifestyles and allow students an opportunity to make their campus clean.”

Jacob Taylor, current SGA computing senator, says, “Residential parking is an increasing issue that I feel SGA, the governing voice of the students, can take action this upcoming year and get results.”

Education Senators

Nicholas Frazier, current SGA arts and sciences senator, feels strongly about the student retention rate and says programs could be implemented to keep students motivated and excited about their education. Skye McLeod, Kappa Delta member, says she “will persistently work to help push, promote and educate students on all of USA’s available clubs and activities in an effort to continue to increase on-campus involvement.”

Chelsea Barley, current treasurer of the African-American Student Association, feels strongly about the issues of parking policies and student involvement.

Joshua Taylor, says he has “accumulated various degrees of social competence” from his leadership in organizations and internships and adds that one issue that USA faces is residential parking.

Callie Wilkinson says, “Parking is a huge issue at South Alabama because we do not have a enough parking in most places.”

Kaitlyn Beans, current First Year Council Team councilor, says USA is spirited but can do much better than last year’s 10 percent voter turnout.




VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014


Relive your childhood with retro video games By KANDACE RAYBON Contributing Writer


lay and Talk is a family-operated retro video game and phone repair shop near the University of South Alabama’s campus. It is located behind Applebee’s in the shopping center at the intersec-

tion of Airport and University Boulevards. Jonathan Pate, the owner of Play and Talk, said, “I’d always wanted to open up my own store, and video games are my strong point.” Pate, 25, started his business as a booth at the Mobile Flea Market after returning


Left to right: David Pate, Jonathan Pate (owner) and Jon Burstein with their friend Mario.

to Mobile, Ala., four years ago. Early last year, Pate was given the opportunity to expand and have a spot in Belle Foods on University. Play and Talk remained there until October, and in November the new location opened. Play and Talk still has a booth at the flea market. Pate said, “People like to relive their childhood. That’s what retro games are all about.” Play and Talk offers a variety of novelty items specializing in retro games. The store has collectable toys and comics. Play and Talk also offers a 10 percent discount to South Alabama students with a student I.D. Patrick Morrison, a student at USA, said, “Play and Talk is a great store to find classic video games and consoles that you don’t see much anymore. They have Battletoads in there – Battletoads. They also sell cards, comics and more modern consoles and games.” Morrison continued, “I go there to play Super Smash Bros. Melee. If you want to buy Chrono Trigger, fix your iPhone, sell your PlayStation 3 or win a tournament with your friends, go to Play and Talk.” Play and Talk hosts game tournaments every other Friday. The next one will be this Friday, March 28. The tournaments are free. The most popular tournament games include Super Smash Bros. Melee, Goldeneye 007, Pokemon, Mario Kart, Killer Instinct, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Inventory of newly released games and retro games comes in every week. Pate said, “It’s not the same old boring stuff every week because you never know what people are going to bring in.” South Alabama graduate student James Camp said, “I checked out Play and Talk to see what I could find to add to my collection. I was pleasantly surprised. They had everything! They even made me a deal for buying multiple games.” In addition to selling and purchasing retro games, Play and Talk also repairs phones. Christina Penton, a senior at the University of South Alabama, said, “I went into Play and Talk to get my iPhone repaired, and they had it fixed and back to me in just 30 minutes.” Alexis Vincent, a South Alabama junior, said, “Each time I have been in the store, the employees have been more than helpful, along with the owners – genuine, good people. I am so thankful to have found a store that treats their customers more important than money.” Pate also said the “Play” in the name is referring to the games and the “Talk” is for the phone aspect of the store. He hopes to expand and possibly open up another store within the next year.

events this week

March 24

USA Piano Ensembles Spring Concert 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Students: $5 General: $8 Laidlaw Philippines culture discussion 5 p.m. Food will be served Marx Library


SGA Debate 6 p.m. Dining Hall conference room


Opera 101 class for Madama Butterfly 12 - 1 p.m. Larkins Music Center “Reducing stress through meditation” lecture 6:30 - 8 p.m. Bankok food will be served Marx Library Room 181


Ninth-Annual Electroacoustic Music Concert 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Students: $5 General: $8 Laidlaw


Madama Butterfly 8 p.m. Students: $10 General: $30 - $60 Mobile Civic Theater


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

Beer, BBQ and bungholes: Firkin Fest takes off


Grant Saltz, owner and manager of Moe’s Original BBQ, advertises The Great Firkin Fest. By TAYLOR KINGREA Contributing Writer


n Saturday, April 5, for the first time, Moe’s Original BBQ presents The Great Firkin Fest, featuring fresh beer from 10 local breweries to be judged as well as musical performances headlined by Keller Williams. “The tapping of the bungholes will begin

at 12:30 (p.m.),” server Ashleigh Valluzzo said, referring to the tap on a small barrel of beer called a firkin, from which the festival gets its name. “The brew masters say to be careful because you never know what the tap will do,” she continued, “like temperamental women.” Valluzzo explained there’s a whole language around the firkin that can be made ripe with offense and innuendo. As a lover of both

WORK FOR THE VANGUARD Positions Available Managing Editor The managing editor is responsible for all production functions and operations of the newspaper. The managing editor is also responsible for all layout and design responsibilities as defined by the editor-in-chief. 15 hours per week. Copy Editor The copy editor will be asked to edit any or all copy that appears in the publication for errors of grammar, punctuation, clarity, accuracy, fairness and completeness. Be prepared to demonstrate knowledge of AP style. 5 hours per week. Web Editor The web editor will have an overall responsibility for web design, content planning and production. 5 hours per week. Sport Editor The sports editor will be responsible for managing the content and layout of their designated section, while ensuring a variety of USA sports coverage. 15 hours per week.

“Beavis and Butthead” and good beer, I took joy in the bunghole comment. She laughed, wanting to continue, “That’s what they’re called!” With the owner and manager of Moe’s Original, Grant Saltz, sitting next to me, I asked if there were any other names they’d thought about calling the festival. He smiled and admitted, “What the firk?” Saltz grabbed a full page ad he had created for Lagniappe before settling down. He said he’s been doing a lot of work spreading the word about the festival. He described the events planned for the day, which will feature 10 local and regional breweries serving up one-time only creations out of what is called a “firkin,” or small cask of beer about onefourth the size of a regular barrel. For a brewmaster, the firkin is unique because it goes through a secondary fermentation process. “One firkin is pretty special,” Saltz said, “and we’ll have ten. It’s gonna be awesome.” Saltz elaborated about the process of working with the firkin, saying that the beers are never before created and will not be replicated. He described the creations as “experiments” for even the brew masters themselves, who may use a variety of ingredients like orange peels, hot peppers, or cocoa nibs to name a few. Each beer will be tasted and judged, and a winner will be announced at 4 p.m. After the brew comes the music. Saltz said that artist Williams just worked out, but he intends to have high-caliber acts like Williams playing every year. The Great Firkin Fest (whose name under-

went a variety of creations) is the brainchild of Sarah Cure, manager of Budweiser-Busch Distributing, who wanted to team up with Moe’s to highlight the local brewing talent. The 10 breweries participating will be Fairhope Brewing Co. (Fairhope, Ala.), Back 40 Beer Co. (Gadsden, Ala.), Tallgrass Brewing (Manhattan, Kan.), Druid City Brewing (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), Cahaba Brewing (Birmingham, Ala.), Southern Prohibition Brewing (Hattiesburg, Miss.), Blue Pants Brewery (Madison, Ala.), Yellowhammer Brewing (Huntsville, Ala.), Rocket Republic (Huntsville, Ala.) and Brew Stooges (Huntsville, Ala.). So, what three words would Saltz use to describe how he feels about the festival on the horizon? He paused and gazed into the first day of spring. Maybe he’s had time to think of this, but there’s something about the moment that feels fresh. “Really ‘firkin’ excited!” he said. The event will start at 12 p.m., and at 4 p.m., an awards ceremony will take place. Musician Eric Lindell will play at 1 p.m., and headlining musician Williams will begin at 9 p.m. Firkin Fest-only tickets will be $22 advanced and $25 the day of the festival. Keller Williams-only tickets will be $22 advanced and $25 the day of the event. Fest and Williams tickets will be $32 advanced and $35 the day of Firkin Fest. Moe’s BBQ is located at 701 Springhill Ave. A portion of the festival’s proceeds will go to the local American Cancer Society.

The Vanguard Staff Positions Paying positions for the 2014-2015 academic year. Send your resume and a cover letter explaining the position for which you are applying. Send samples of writing, photography and layout if available. Applications are due no later than Saturday, March 29. Please send applications to Likewise, send any related questions. Be prepared to interview for the position. JagLife Editor The JagLife editor will be responsible for managing the content and layout of their designated section, while capturing the lifestyles and flavor of the USA community. 15 hours per week. Opinion Editor The opinion editor will be responsible for managing the content and layout of their designated section, while finding and reflecting the diverse, in-depth perspectives across the USA community. 10 hours per week Senior Reporter A senior reporter will be well-versed in AP style, relentless in gathering information and professional when conducting interviews to provide frequent and expert articles. 10 hours per week. Staff Reporters A staff reporter will regularly cover assigned beats and provide ongoing story ideas, all in accordance with deadlines and AP style. Please specify which section you are most interested in covering: Campus, JagLife, Sports or Opinion. 5 hours per week.


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

What is the best part about being in college?

Stephen Jones Freshman of Public Relations “Being able to interact with students from different cultures.”

Ryan Gilmore Freshman of General Studies “Getting to meet all the different kinds of people.”


Evan Li Freshman of Biomedical Sciences “Free food and not having to get up early.”


Victoria Blackmon Sophomore of Theater “The people. I like the friends. Once you know what you want to do and get with like-minded people, moments start blooming.”

of the


Shannon Hambly Freshman of Theater “To me, the best part is all the new experiences, doing all the new things I never did before. It’s a huge part of finding yourself.”

2014 International Festival T

Fahad Noshili (left) dresses Madison Tuttle (right) in an Arab abaya.

he the Council of International Student Organizations and the Office of International Student Services and Admission held the spring international festival Thursday, March 20 in front of the Mitchell Center. The event featured booths from seven different cultures—Indian, Vietnamese,

Phillip Sutton (right) tries on an Arab keffiyeh.

Emirati (United Arab Emirates), Nepalese, Saudi Arabian, Latin American and Pakistani. Each booth showcased different aspects of their culture, opening all students to new and exciting ideas and beliefs. The spring international festival is an annual event held at the University of South Alabama. PHOTOS BY SAM ANDREWS | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Jenna Tai (far right) demonstrates a traditional Asian game.

Estefania Barrios (right) and Jorge Silva (left) sport Latin American garb.

Jonika Prajapati performs a mock Indian wedding on Kashawn Sinkler (left) and Madeline Trout (right).





VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

No. 13 Jaguars sweep first SBC series against UT-Arlington SSouth outh A Alabama’s laabama’’s L Lady ady Jags ta takes ak first Belt Conference series. SSun un B elt C onfference seri ies


Kaitlyn Griffith led the Jaguars with four hits on Saturday against UT-Arlington. SAMUEL BROWN Staff Reporter


In sid e

outh Alabama’s softball team hosted UT-Arlington this past weekend in both teams’ first conference series of the season. The Jaguars won and shut out the Mavericks in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader, and then went on to squeak out a 2 to 1 extra-inning victory in Sunday’s game to secure the sweep. In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Farish Beard got the start and pitched five shutout innings, striking out eleven, walking only one and allowing only one

hit as the Jags won 9 to 0. In the first inning, Stephanie Pilkington and Amanda Minahan scored on an error to give the Jags a 2 to 0 lead. Kaitlyn Griffith then went on to double in Blair Johnson, which extended the lead to 3. After an Alex Breeden sacrifice fly in the third, the Jaguars added five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning by way of an Amanda Herron tworun double, an Emily Messer RBI single and a Pilkington two-run single. Callie Collins took the loss for UT-Arlington, after allowing seven runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings.

Page 10

Spring practice observations

In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Hannah Campbell took the mound and went five shutout innings, striking out four and only allowing two hits as the Jaguars beat the Mavericks 8 to 0 in the second run-shortened game of the day. The Jags got off to a quick start in the bottom of the second inning, scoring five runs on an RBI single by Herron, a Chloe Rathburn score off a Maverick error, a Taylor Rodgers RBI single and Pilkington and Minahan RBI doubles. In the bottom of the fourth, a Johnson RBI single, a Griffith sacrifice fly and a Rath-

burn RBI single extended the lead to 8 to 0. Shannon Carrico was handed the loss for the Mavericks after allowing eight runs on 10 hits. In the series conclusion Sunday, it was a much closer game. Beard got the start, going six innings, allowing one run on three hits. The Jaguars trailed 1 to 0 going into the bottom of the seventh when Gwen Jones scored on a Maverick error, tying the game at 1, sending it into extra innings. Campbell Farish Beard in the top of the seventh, pitching a perfect two innings. In the bottom of the eighth, Herron hit a double to left field, scoring

Page 11 South Alabama pitchers nationally ranked

Johnson and giving the Jaguars the win in walk-off fashion. Campbell was awarded the win, as Collins of UT-Arlington was handed the loss after going 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) while striking out four. With the series sweep, the Jaguars improve to 25-3 on the year as the Mavericks fall to 14-18. Beard improves to 14-1 on the year as Campbell improves to 9-2. Beard is currently the nation’s leader in ERA, with a miniscule 0.35. The Jags continue conference play as they travel to Troy to take on the Trojans Wednesday night.

Page 12

Freshman has early success


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

South baseball takes series against Arkansas Little Rock The Jags bring home a series win after winning 2 of 3 Sun Belt conference series against the Trojans SAVON MORRIS Contributing Writer


niversity of South Alabama traveled to the University of Arkansas-Little Rock for three game Sun Belt Conference series. South Alabama baseball mustered out season-high totals in hits and runs en route to a 9-6 series-opening win over UALR Friday, March 21 at Gary Hogan Field. USA (11-9, 2-1 SBC) faced a 5-0 deficit through five innings before the Jaguar offense erupted for six runs in the top of the sixth to take a lead it never relinquished. UALR (10-9, 0-4 SBC) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by Joseph Paulino, and extended its lead to 3-0 on a two-run double down the left field line by Sam Vogel. Drew Merten followed with a two-run double to push the Trojan lead to 4-0, and UALR extended its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Bryson Thionnet. USA cut the Trojan lead to 5-2 in the top of the sixth when Cole Gleason delivered a bases-loaded, two-run single back

up the middle to score Andrew Tindell and Adam Ballew, each of whom singled earlier in the inning. Hayden Jones followed with an RBI single to left-center field to cut the UALR lead to 5-3. Matt Wojciechowski then delivered a single through the right side of the infield to load the bases for the second time in the inning. Matt Bolger then singled to left field to plate Gleason and cut the UALR to 5-4. USA tied the game one batter later on a bases-loaded RBI single through the right side of the infield by Cameron Cummings. Tindell then reached on an RBI fielder’s choice to shortstop to give the Jags a 6-5 lead. “(Kevin) Hill hung in there and did well,” head coach Mark Calvi said. “He gave up the four runs in the second inning, and you don’t ever want to give up a four-spot but it happens. He battled for us, and (Cameron) Carleton, (James) Traylor and (Brandon) Hallford were good out of the bullpen. We need to continue to pitch well.” The Jaguars go on to win the first game of the series 9-6. The Jaguars traveled with “Michael’s secret stuff,” the water bottle that Bugs Bunny used to get the team fired up in

“Space Jam.” That’s pretty far fetched, but whatever motivation the Jags have is working. They clinched yet another game in this three-game series (6-5). Seven Jaguar batters hit safely in the game, led by Ballew who went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Wojciechowski finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Gleason went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Tindell added a double and two runs scored. Erik Hindmon doubled, drove in one run and scored once. Bolger had one hit, one RBI and a run. Drew LaBounty added one RBI. Jaguar left-hander Locke St. John (3-0) earned the win in five innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts and four walks. Traylor earned his second save of the season with two scoreless innings, and struck out four with one walk. UALR loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning with no outs on consecutive singles by Justin Steelmon and Paulino to leadoff the inning, and a walk by Ryan Scott. St. John responded with a strikeout for the first out of the inning before Jason Prevatt grounded out to second to score Steelmon and give the Trojans a 1-0 lead. “Ben Taylor and James Traylor were

good,” Calvi said. “Traylor really clutched up at the end for us. The hitters did a good job today. A lot of credit to Adam Ballew who went 4-for-5 with two RBIs. LaBounty, Bolger and Hindmon each drove in a run. Tindell had a double and scored two runs, but he made an incredible play defensively that helped win that ballgame for us.” Allen worked eight scoreless innings allowing just two base hits and striking out three. The outing tied a career high in innings as Allen was denied the chance to throw the ninth because UALR plated their 10th run in the eighth inning. The Jaguars couldn’t clinch the sweep in the third game of the series falling 100. The third time in a row the Trojans scored first when Merten launched a tworun homer to left center field to gain a 2-0 lead in the second. The home run scored Austin Pfeiffer, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning. UALR was able to add to its lead in the fourth with another home run. This time it was Thionnet launching the first pitch he saw well over the left field wall. See Baseball takes series Page 12

South Alabama spring practice: Week two observations Sports reporter Samuel Brown gives observations from week two of South’s spring practices SAMUEL BROWN

Staff Reporter

• Br B Brandon raan ndo don n Bridge Bridgee has been a bit inconsistent this th hiiss w week. eek. H ee He’s e’ss look looked k great at times, but then there th her ere are are time ar ttitimes ime mes w when hen n he can be fairly inaccurate. Hee iiss be H b becoming ecoming a b bit more vocal as a leader. Trey Tr reeyy F Fetner etner h et has as bee been e a little more consistent, but bu ut h hee w was ass ddefi efin fin nitely itelyy excelling with the read opttion io on o on on n Friday. Frid Fr idaayy. H Hee h had 5 or 6 plays that went 30 orr more o mor ore yards yyaard rds ds on the th h keeper. • We W eess SSa axton was waa not at practice on Friday. Wes Saxton On O n Wednesday, Weed dne nessd day, ayy, he was getting hit hard and lo ook okeed d a llittle iitttltle itt le b ba an angee up. I’m not too surprised looked banged hee w a as s n’ n ’ t a at t p ractii Friday. Hopefully it is wasn’t practice no n o t th h in n g to t o o se e r ri ious. nothing too serious. • Ru R unn nnin ingg back back Xavier Johnson practiced Running fforr the fo th he fi firs rstt titim rs m me timee o on Friday after missing the firs rrst st pa p art t o f sp prin ng due d to personal issues. part of spring


Coach Joey Jones look on at a spring practice during week two.

• JJa ay Jones Jones Jo nees di n didd not no o practice on Wednesday or Jay F Fr r i id d ay ay. y . Th T h e c co o ac a c h ing Friday. The coachingg staff is letting him rest as he h he a b as een th ee thee fea a has been featured running back for all of the spring. Kendall Houston and Terrance

Timmons have been splitting reps with the 1’s. Berren Tyson and Xavier Johnson split reps with the 2’s on Friday. • When Chris May has to leave practice for class, Harrison Louden has slid into the RT spot with the 1’s and I thought he has held up well. He’s been a bright spot this spring. It’s fun to see him go up against Jimmie Gipson. Jimmie Gipson is so quick off the snap, but not as physical as you would expect. • Marvin Shinn has been held out of practice until Friday. He was dressed out but was no contact. His ankle was heavily taped and he was limping quite badly. • The TE core has been one of the most impressive units of the week. Wes Saxton, Braedon Bowman, Rush Hendricks and Ryan Onkka all have proven they can catch, run routes effectively, and be physical. • LB Davin Hawkins is emerging as a leader of the defense. He is proving himself as one of the most physical players on that side of the ball as well.


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

Pitch perfect: Jaguar pitchers are nationally ranked Dynamic duo continues to make South Alabama softball history, Beard No. 1 in ERA, Campbell No. 7 ALYSSA NEWTON Sports Editor


unior Farish Beard and senior Hannah Campbell have earned top rankings throughout the Jaguars’ season thus far for their pitching performances, which have lead No. 13 South Alabama to a 25-3 record. Campbell, a native of Satsuma, Ala., and Beard, a native of Fairhope, Ala., were once competitors in high school. After becoming Jaguars, the former opponents have become two of the best pitchers in the country with a combined ERA of .95 as of March 16. Beard is now known as the best in the nation as she leads in ERA and strikeouts per seven innings in the NCAA. “It’s an honor,” Farish said to USAJaguars. “But at the same time we’re getting to do something we love every day,

and it hasn’t changed the way we work.” The junior is also ranked fifth in the NCAA in wins and sixth in strikeouts and shutouts. Beard has been honored with Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week three times. Two of these honors were given back-to-back this season, making her the first of any league student-athlete to accomplish this feat. The righthander also leads the country in strikeouts per seven innings with 11.5 per game. Beard recorded a career-high of 15 strikeouts in no-nos verses UTSA March 1. Beard moved to 14-1 on the year with her shutout in game one of the Jaguar’s first in-conference series against UT-Arlington. But not far behind Beard is her fellow Jaguar teammate, Campbell. Campbell ranks seventh in ERA and sixth in walks allowed per inning, with less than one per contest. Campbell

also ranks fifth in the NCAA in saves. The lefty Campbell is the only pitcher in USA history to record a perfect game and was named the program’s first-ever All-American last year after being selected for second-team honors. She now has two perfect games under her belt with her most recent being against Nicholls State. Campbell was also named to USA Softball’s Top 50 2014 Watch List. “What they have accomplished in such a short amount of time is phenomenal,” head coach Becky Clark said. “It’s amazing … They (the team) are one of the top 15 teams in the nation, and the program has only been in existence for eight years.” Even in their short time, Beard and Campbell have made their mark on the South Alabama softball program and have plenty of time to continue making history.


Pitcher Farish Beard is ranked No. 1 in ERA with a 0.35.

Jaguars get Matt Floyd from University of South Florida South Florida quarterback to enroll at USA in fall SAMUEL BROWN Staff Reporter


t is unknown who will be South Alabama’s starting quarterback heading into the 2014 season, but what is known is that there will be another player competing for the job. Former South Florida Bull quarterback Matt Floyd will be enrolling at South Alabama in the fall. Floyd will graduate this summer, which makes him immediately eligible to play this fall. He will have two years to play at South Alabama. “Once a Bull, always a Bull. But I am excited and proud to say that I am now officially a member of the South Alabama Jaguar nation,” Floyd said via Face-

book. “I’m extremely stoked to join a successful program like this one. Mobile, AL bound in a few months.” Floyd appeared in nine games, starting three, over the past two years at South Florida. During his career at South Florida, Floyd completed 51 percent of his passes for 538 yards, no touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was named to the 2012 Big East All-Academic Team. As a three-year starter at Milton High School in Milton, Fla., Floyd threw for 4,988 yards, 37 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns. He will join Brandon Bridge, Trey Fetner, Grant Powell and Brett Sheehan as the scholarship quarterbacks on South Alabama’s roster.


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

Baseball takes series

Tennis tops Sun Belt rival Troy

Continued from Page 10

In the fifth inning, the Trojans were able to break the game open by rallying for five runs. Ben Crumpton reached on a one-out infield single. The senior then stole second to tie the alltime career steals record with his 63rd steal. The Jags failed to have a single run in entire contest. The Jaguars had multiple pop flies and strikeouts. The next two batters walked before Steelmon reached on a fielder’s choice to the pitcher. The throw went home and got to the catcher as Crumpton slid in. The collision caused the ball to get away, scoring Crumpton and also allowing Scott to race home from second on the play. Paulino,

then, laced a double down the right field line to score two more runs. Pfeiffer then singled up the middle to score Paulino and give UALR an 8-0 lead. The Trojans added to their lead in the sixth after Hayden Martin doubled to right field, moved to third on another infield single by Crumpton and scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott. The game ended when Steelmon reached on an error by the second baseman, which allowed Mitchell Scheuler to score and end the game. The Jaguars are now (12-10, 3-2) in Sun Belt Conference. The Jags will be at Stanky Field this Tuesday to take on Nicholls State.

JENIA PARKER Contributing Writer


outh Alabama traveled to Troy and took the Trojans by storm Saturday, March 22. The Jaguars played their Sun Belt conference rivals at the Lunsford Tennis complex and walked away with a 4-3 win. The team went into this match after a loss at Tulane last week, but would come out the victors. Junior Daniel Leitner and sophomore Gerhard Gruindelingh dominated their matchup against the Trojans’ Sami Ghorbel and Manshingh Athare with an 8-2 win doubles win. The duo, freshman Turki Jacobs and sophomore Juan Troglia, took their match with an 8-3 win over Trojans Tommy Cundy and Daniel Bustamante.

Earlier in the week, head coach Nick Brochu emphasized that aggression was the key trait the Jags needed to establish for the entire game. Leitner set this tone for the match with the first single of the day. He brought the Jaguars on top when he faced Ghorbel of Troy for the second time of the day. Leitner beat Ghorbel with a 6-2,6-2 win. Gruindelingh continued the streak by immediately taking control of his game against Karen Khachatryan of Troy. Gruindelingh dominated Khachatryan early with a 6-0 win and then a 6-1 win for an overall 2-0 lead. Other wins for the Jaguars also included Jacobs winning over Bustamante with a 6-3 lead and then another 6-3 win. The Trojans did put up a fight

with Athare from Troy, beating Jag freshman Quincy Olij from the Netherlands with a 6-1, 6-1 win. The Trojans also had success with Gabriel Sciacca Dias and Pablo Moreno. Brochu was very pleased with his men’s tennis team. “We were very aggressive,” Brochu told USAJaguars. “Troy fought back in the second sets, but we stayed strong and closed the match.” This match broke the Trojan’s three-match winning strike. Saturday, March 22 marked the second victory over a Sun Belt conference foe this season, improving the Jaguars’ overall to 12-6. The Jaguars will be on the road again next week, for the third weekend in a row, this time traveling to Tennessee to participate in the Middle Tennessee Shootout in Murfreesboro.

Rathburn has early success in Jaguar softball program California native Chloe Rathburn has become asset to the Lady Jaguars program


Rathburn leads the Jags in home runs with five this season. JENNA MUNDAY Staff Reporter


he University of South Alabama softball team has played an impressive season thus far, having a current

record of 25-3 with a perfect 9-0 record for home games. The Jags are currently ranked No. 13 in the country for NCAA softball. The Jags are batting .260 on the year and have a total of 17

home runs so far. Chloe Rathburn, a freshman infielder and catcher, accounts for nearly onethird of these by herself as she, and junior Alex Breedan, both total five home runs apiece. Along with home runs, Rathburn is also tied with junior Blair Johnson in RBIs with a total of 17 each. “It feels amazing to have success like this so early on,” Rathburn said. “But for me, it’s not about the stats. It’s about how much you can help your teammates in any way possible. I feel like they’ve all helped me get to the point of where I am today.” Originally from California, Rathburn was always interested in attending college outside of her home state and wanted to find that “home away from home.” Once she visited the University of South Alabama, Rathburn knew that this was her future home. “Once I stepped onto South’s campus, I had that gut feeling that this was where I needed to be,” Rathburn said. “Everyone was so welcoming, and once I met some of the girls, I knew

that they would become my lifelong friends. It’s like I have 16 sisters now; we’re a family.” The Jags are currently gearing up to face some strong competition in upcoming games, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t continue to do their pregame ritual: dancing around the locker room while listening to Beyonce songs. “We listen to a lot of Beyonce,” Rathburn said. “It helps us clear our minds before the game, which is a really important part of playing well.” Having just opened Sun Belt Conference play this past weekend against the University of Texas at Arlington, the Jags played the Mavericks twice Saturday and once Sunday. The Jags entered the games 22-3 with a perfect 6-0 record for home games. This year marks UT-Arlington’s first year in the Sun Belt Conference. According to USAJaguars, on Saturday, the Jags handed UTArlington back-to-back shutouts and defeated the Mavericks, 9-0 and 8-0, in two games cut short

by the mercy rule. Sunday’s match ended with South Alabama out-hitting the UT-Arlington 7-3, on the day, but erred four times, which ties for third most committed by a Jaguar club in USA single-game history. This win moves the University of South Alabama to 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference Play and extends the team’s win streak to nine games. The South Alabama Jaguars will be playing the No. 7 ranked University of Alabama April 2 while on the road in Tuscaloosa. However, the team is treating this match up like any other game. “We prepare for each team the same exact way,” Rathburn said. “We don’t underestimate any team, and we always play to our ability, not what we think the other team’s abilities are. We work hard everyday just to get at least 1 percent better, and we take that into every game.” The USA Jaguars will be back in action to continue league play March 26 as they take on the Troy Trojans at Troy.


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

South Alabama cricket team active at South JENNA MUNDAY Staff Reporter


ricket, a sport dated back to as early as the 13th century, is a rapidly growing sport that is played in countries all across the world. The game is played with a bat and ball and involves two competing teams of 11 players. The two teams take turns at batting and bowling (pitching), and the main goal is to score more runs than your opponent. The cricket club has been an organization at the University of South Alabama since the 1990s. However, when Nilkumar Patel came to South, he had the passion to transform the organization further into a sports club. “I have been playing cricket since I was 12, but I never imagined that I would continue to play the sport in Mobile, Ala.,” Patel, the cricket club president, said. “Once I got here, I

became motivated by my passion for the sport and by the existence of American College Cricket to form this sports club.” Patel formed the official team in 2012 to be eligible to compete in American College Cricket matches. Since then, the team has competed regularly in regional and championship games. Apart from the team’s success, individuals on the team have also made a name for themselves. In past seasons, Patel has been given the honor of being named “a player to watch” by American College Cricket, and current captain Falah Syed contributed to the team’s success in the national championships with his outstanding batting performance. “It feels amazing to be recognized for all of the hard work I have done in the past few years for the South Alabama Jaguars,” Patel said. “Seeing the cricket club grow is a dream

come true for me, and I am elated at the team’s success.” The South Alabama team has competed against other experienced college cricket teams, such as the Auburn University team, with whom they’ve played in many home and away games. The season thus far for the cricket club has been very successful, as they have qualified for the semifinals at the Southwest Regionals in Dallas and also for the Super Eights in the American College Cricket National Championship in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. For the Super Eights, South Alabama took on West Virginia March 15. Unfortunately, the team didn’t qualify for the semifinals. “The team can improve in all areas,” Patel said. “Batting, fielding and bowling could all use improvement, but to do so, we need a proper training facility on campus.” Since the new season for cricket

starts in the summer, there are no current games scheduled for the Jags. Instead, the team is taking their time off to work toward getting an on-campus field and training facility that will give players time to practice for games. Getting an on-campus facility would also allow other universities to play South Alabama on our own turf, thereby contributing to the growth and success of the club and the University of South Alabama. Officer elections for the 20142015 season of cricket will take place in mid-April. Mass emails will be sent out soon with more information regarding officer elections. Those interested in playing cricket, or just learning more information about the game, may contact any of the cricket club officers or Randy Hunter in the Rec Center. No experience is required to be a part of the club, but only the top 14 will be chosen to compete.

So much for bracketology Ready to burn your NCAA Tournament bracket? Don’t wory, we already have. ALYSSA NEWTON

Sports Editor


his year I decided to bite the bullet and finally do it: I filled out a NCAA Tournament bracket. I printed out a blank bracket and filled out my picks for the 2014 tournament. I filled it out, rethinking every single pick that I wrote down. In my bracket I chose Virginia, Wichita State, Arizona and Florida making it to my final four. After a little stats research and cheating off of experts and ESPN, (you did it too) I chose the Florida Gators to take the tournament. After an hour or so of overthinking a bracket full of teams I honestly didn’t watch a lot of during the season, I summitted it to Yahoo! and the Warren Buffet $1 billion bracket challenge. I thought I had a pretty decent bracket, that is until the very first big upset of the tournament. With a Dayton upset against Ohio State the term “March Madness” sud-

denly made more sense than ever before. I, along with millions of other billion-dollar hopefuls, tweeted the cliche “Ohio State owes me a million dollar tweets” after their loss killed our brackets early on. We have watched as one by one Cinderella teams have taken down top-seed teams, destroying all of our once-thought perfect brackets to the point where we might as well cheer them on to go to the ball. So if you are ready to tear up, burn or use your bracket to wipe your tears away, you aren’t the only one. So go to your local sports bar and have a few with your buddies. Make a bunch of noise when the few teams you have left going to your final four squeeze out a win you thought would be won by a landslide. But overall don’t let the competition control you or you might not have friends by the end of the tournament. Here’s to hoping March doesn’t drive you too mad.

NCAA Tournament Facts: Chances of having a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 March Madness winners get to keep the winning court.

Follow us for news, updates and play-by-play tweets: @USAVGSports Austin Karazsia @AKarazsia32


Shamelessly jamming to Taylor Swift to mentally prepare myself for my microecon test.. #letsgo Jordan Surenkamp @Surenkamp_ Went 14-2 on my bracket yesterday..bracket went down the drain today..Might as well just start rooting for Cinderella making it to the ball. Drew Dearman @Dewski72_ Touche Warren Buffet. It’s like Las Vegas, you’ll never beat the house. Blair Johnson @BlairBear_2 Infielder True dedication to school is when you have to turn down a beach trip with your teammates to meet with your group to write a paper.. #torture Bud Collura @BudCollura Third baseman What tv in 2014 doesn’t have an HDMI plug in... Little rocks hotel if you are wondering. Ross Metheny @ RMetheny15 Former Quarterback When was the last time we had the court stormed on us? Derek Westbrook @thedwestbrook25 Track and Field Best. 21st. Birthday. Present. Ever. Yes it is a Despicable Me fart blaster

$2.5 billion is illigally bet on March Madness each year.

Follow us on Twitter @USAVGSports





Impotent sanctions send an unsuitable message

By Ryan Wallace Contributing Writer


should begin by saying that I’m not much of a fan of Barack Obama. To any regular reader or any of my long-suffering Facebook friends, this is no surprise. Even so, we as Americans elected him to represent us on the international stage. I would gladly take dealing with the nauseating idol-worship he in-

spires in his followers if it meant that America was respected by its allies, feared by its enemies and treated with the deference our military presence and free ideals demand abroad. The president will be out of office in just a few years. Our international reputation, however, will bear the marks of his tenure long after he has begun his next career as a speaker and fundraiser. So I wish I could fill this space with (perhaps begrudging) congratulations on his handling of foreign policy, but they would be undeserved. This week, the president placed sanctions on several Russian and Ukrainian political figures, freezing their assets in United Statescontrolled banks and restricting them from traveling to the U.S. It is a move that may have been appropriate immediately after Russia began displaying their expansionist proclivities toward the

Crimea region of the Ukraine, but like telling a dirty joke, timing is everything. In Obama’s case, his announcement came after he and Secretary of State John Kerry gave Russia a deadline to withdraw from Crimea or face penalties. What is the point of issuing such limp-wristed proclamations when it is clear we are not willing to intervene militarily (a decision I support)? The news of the sanctions certainly didn’t seem to ruin Russia’s evening borscht; one of the targeted officials referred to the sanctions as a “badge of honor.” Even more telling, the Russian stock market, which had suffered a precipitous decline the week prior, surged upward in the wake of the announcement. The problem, at its core, is the same image of weakness that has plagued Democratic presidents since JFK. This was not caused by the current Crimean crisis,

but by the president’s previous behavior in his six years as our leader. In particular, the ineffectual response to the Benghazi embassy attack in Libya showed that Obama lacked the stomach to demand accountability for lost American lives and property. This, of course, followed the infamous “reset” of foreign policy relations with other countries upon his assumption of office in early 2009; a policy that reflected his and his advisers’ lack of comprehension that many of the world’s countries, and certainly a large number of the most powerful ones, will never pass up a chance to take advantage of perceived American weakness. After Obama set a strict “red line” policy threatening action if Syria’s government did not halt their war against their own citizens, he failed to follow through with any meaningful action. Instead, the lead in Syria was

taken by the very same Vladimir Putin, whose Russia now feels the freedom to act like a bully. The result was a weak treaty, parts of which Syria has already begun to ignore. As I said, I support the decision not to spend precious American blood and treasure intervening in a situation that is as ethnically driven as it is politically. If a majority of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea would rather be Russian citizens, that should be for Ukraine to sort out. But what Obama CAN control is the perception of America abroad, and his continuous toothless posturing is absolutely not helping in that area. I am willing to give Obama far more credit than usual for at least getting half the answer right. The question now becomes: can Obama create a strong international image? Putin certainly has.

Newly decided innocents still serving prison sentences

By JORDAN KNOX Contributing Writer


n 2012, the state of Colorado adopted Amendment 64, which decriminalizes the possession of an ounce or less of recreational marijuana and began commercialized sale in January 2014. The amendment also made it legal for people ages 21 and older to obtain a license to sell marijuana. Fifty-nine stores throughout the state are now taking part in the selling of marijuana. So far, these stores have sold a total of 14 million dollars worth of recreational marijuana, and the state has earned $2 million through taxes. Before marijuana became legal-

ized, many people in the state of Colorado were convicted of marijuana-related charges, but because the state has made it legal for recreational use, the Colorado Court of Appeals is looking to reverse charges made against these people. From January to September 2012, 6,422 people were charged with marijuana-related crimes. After Amendment 64 went into effect in December of that year, only 1,194 people from January to September 2013 were convicted. With so few people being convicted of marijuana-related crimes since Amendment 64 was approved and with so many still in prison for crimes committed prior to the amendment, it would make sense to allow those who were previously convicted a chance to have their sentences reversed. Keeping people in prison because of a law that is no longer in place is illogical. Possession of marijuana has been deemed acceptable by the constituency of Colorado, so why should previous offenders have to fulfill their sentences. Judge Gale T. Miller stated that the new amendment “applies ret-

roactively to defendants whose convictions under those provisions were subject to appeal or post-conviction motion on the effective date of the amendment.” This means that Amendment 64 exonerates only those whose appeals were being processed when the amendment went into effect. While many people are praising the new amendment, there are still some who are hesitant to accept it. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers disagrees with the appeals court’s decision and will likely plea for change to the Colorado Supreme Court. The problem that many people have with reversing marijuana-related convictions is that the law as it stood was broken, and someone should serve prison time for that. However, this argument neglects the difference between good and evil and the intended purpose of the penal system to punish and rehabilitate evil doers. Breaking the law does not make you evil, and possession of marijuana is no longer perceived as evil. Therefore prison is not a place for people convicted only of marijuana possession.



VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

Inhumane fishing on campus may destroy population By TRAVIS JOHNS Contributing Writer



Travis Johns displays his humanely caught fish.

n last week’s edition of The Vanguard, there was an article about spring bed fishing for largemouth bass and the possibility of catching a trophy bass during this time period. This is nothing short of true and can be a great experience for someone who has never had the opportunity of catching a big bass. However, there are certain things to avoid while doing it, and I would like to add a few things onto the article and offer my advice on the subject. Bed fishing for spawning bass is a very complex activity and has a chance of being very detrimental to a population of bass, especially in ponds, if done wrong. An example of this can be found on South Alabama’s campus. The ponds at South Alabama are home to a small population of largemouth bass and offer a great opportunity to see the fish on bed, or swimming around, and occasional catch and release oppor-

tunities. In the spring of 2013, there was an epidemic of people coming from off and on campus and snagging bass off their beds. Snagging is the act of taking an exposed hook and snatching it across the fish in order to catch it. Snagging is against the law in many places and seen as a terribly unsporting act. This had a direct and devastating effect on the bass population in the pond. If you do decide you want to try and catch the bass of a lifetime, I want to stress a few important things. First, never, under any circumstances, keep a spawning bass. It only hurts the population of fish, and it isn’t worth it. Second, always return the bass to the bed you caught it from. Gently release the fish, and try not to have it out of the water for more than 30 seconds. Third, a picture is worth a thousand words. As I previously said, don’t keep the spawning bass. Sure, it may be the biggest one you’ve ever caught, but mounting it won’t

prove anything except you killed a healthy bass. Take a picture (hold it close to the camera, it’ll look bigger) and let it go. Fourth, the South Alabama ponds, while having fish in them, need to be fished as lightly as possible. Try to let this spawn end before heading out to try to catch a bass. The population needs a little more time to recover. Spring is a great time to catch a nice bass, but please, remember to always catch the fish in a sporting manner and release it. Snagging a fish and keeping it for dinner is a good way to guarantee that future generations won’t get the opportunity you had to catch a nice fish. With what occurred last year, I just wanted to make sure that people were out fishing with respect, not only for the fish but for future generations. It is our job as anglers to preserve our ponds and rivers for others. We at the University of South Alabama Bass Team try our best to always preserve our fisheries and hope that others do the same.

Spotify damages new generation of music lovers By CURRY BEEKER Contributing Writer


ne of my favorite albums of all time is Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” I clearly remember panning it the first time I heard it. The beats were complex, and the rhymes were dense. West discussed all of the issues plaguing his life. So a little Internet research was necessary to truly understand the scope of the album and shed some light on Yeezy’s dark perspective of life. The plethora of samples was awe-inspiring. An epic, relentless soundscape played in my ears, and I was overwhelmed. But each time I listened, I identified more and more with the album, growing to appreciate what a work of art the album was as a

whole. In an era where LPs are meant to contain three hit singles and seven or eight filler songs, music listeners, especially those of us who love music for the freedom of expression it once stood for, find themselves in a crisis. You don’t need to be able to read sheet music, know how to play an instrument or even know how to sing to have a hit on today’s radio. All these maladies of melody are further exacerbated by the advent of Spotify and Beats Music. These “premium” streaming services offer unlimited downloads, unrivaled portability and help with discovering new soundtracks to accompany your life. While logic would suggest that unlimited downloads and weekly recommendations might prompt a listener to expand their

horizons and try new genres or at least expand their musical palates to avoid being cut down by the latest single from Pitbull and Ke$ha, Spotify and Beats Music merely advance the agenda of Top 40 radio. Because with more than 20 million songs to choose from, we find ourselves looking for the next catchy song we’ll play nonstop until we hate it in two weeks, rather than discovering artists who challenge us with their arrangements and lyrics. Just like record executives, who reportedly identify a hit within 30 seconds of a song being played for them, I find myself downloading many albums a week, but only listening to a minute or two of a few songs, only to remove the album from my selection of playlists without ever listening to it in its entirety. With all of these downloads available for

one price, Spotify gives me the artificial feeling that I should spend less time listening and more time looking for new music. I should be “digging through the crates” for the next cool songs rather than falling in love with one new album. I should be enjoying the beat and not caring about the quality of the lyrics instead of asking for craftsmanship, quality and dedication to passion. What’s even sadder is how closely these services mirror our generation. Fast food, fast Internet, fast songs. We want what’s easy; avoiding work because we’d rather benefit now than experience delayed gratification from putting in some effort every once in a while. While this hints at a bleak future, it’s not too late to change our values, one song at a time.

Do you think that college athletes should get paid? Why or why not? ZADORA EDWARDS No because being an athlete or in

LAUREN GODFREY I’d say yes, but band members and

any extracurricular activity is a choice, and they already get scholarships, room/board, extra help for studies, etc

cheerleaders should too, and not an insane amount. The practices and games limit your ability to get a job and they’re always traveling. They need money to live off of

TYLER WHITAKER I’d say yes but there is a limit. I think absolutely none of the cost should come from students who are there for a degree not a game. BRYAN BLACKWELL Cost of living only for all D 1 atheletes

LEE JACKSON I believe that they should be able to take To post your answers to the next JagPulse, be sure to follow us on Facebook.

sponsorships from companies but not paid money by the school

NICK GRONDIN no, they’re paid in scholarships already.


VOL. 54, NO. 10 / MAR. 24, 2014

March 24, 2014 Vanguard  
March 24, 2014 Vanguard  

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