D-Wade excels at basketball, gift giving

By   |   Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 - 3:01 PM   |   1 comment

Because former Marquette player Dwyane Wade is sort of an adopted son to Indiana fans now, I thought  I’d comment on this story, which you’ve probably already seen. The gist of it is that, well, Wade gave somebody a house (and various accouterments) for Christmas.

To be totally forthcoming, I’ve been critical of the sort of coverage that sometimes springs from athletes giving. So many of the stories strike me as hollow and sappy. Because I tend to believe that much is expected of those to whom much is given. Wade buying somebody a house is like the Average Joe giving his $500 a year to United Way or his church; Wade’s last contract was worth a reported $63 million over four years (which probably isn’t bad for a guy averaging 29 points, 7 assists and 2.2 steals per game). That’s not even taking into account his endorsement deals.

But something about this just struck me as …. right. Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s the tough financial times, or maybe it’s all the talk we’ve had this year of the markets falling and bailouts needed and “wealth redistribution” suddenly becoming the same as socialism and jobs lost and so on and so on…. but this one hit me differently.

I’ve been around big-time sports long enough to know it’s not the place to find inspiration. But Wade’s message got through to me, even if it was a comparatively small gesture by him that will embolden me for just a few days before I lapse back into the world of people who compare cars and houses and watches and rings as a way of measuring themselves.



A message from all of us at the Scoop

By   |   Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008 - 1:22 PM   |   6 comments

 

Happy holidays.

 

 



Cast your vote for the top IU sports stories of 2008

By   |   Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008 - 10:49 AM   |   6 comments

Late this week, we’ll be publishing two lists of our Top 10 Indiana sports stories of the year, with one list from voting by our H-T sports staff and one list from voting by readers.

You can access an online ballot to vote for your Top 10 by clicking here.



3 additional IU football players named in probable cause affadavit

By   |   Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008 - 1:01 PM   |   26 comments

2:30 UPDATE: The probable cause affadavit for Lazell McClellon, which gives the details from the police report on this robbery, is linked at the bottom of this post.

—————

H-T reporter Marci Creps has filed an update on the investigation of the robbery last week in which IU football player Cortez Smith was charged. Here’s her report. She will have a longer story on this situation tonight on HTO and in the H-T tomorrow.

By Marcela Creps 331-4375 | [email protected]
December 23, 2008

Three additional Indiana University football players have been named in a probable cause affidavit filed in the case of an apartment robbery reported last week.

Formal charges were filed Monday charging Courtney “Cortez” Smith with robbery resulting in bodily injury and burglary in connection with the Dec. 17 incident. Smith plays cornerback for the IU football team.

A second suspect, Lazell C. McClellon, of Detroit, was formally charged Monday with robbery resulting in bodily injury, burglary, resisting law enforcement and battery resulting in bodily injury.

The robbery occurred Dec. 17 at an apartment in the 500 block of Muller Parkway. Two men called police to report they’d been robbed of a variety of items including iPods, cell phones and a quarter ounce of marijuana, according to the affidavit.

In the affidavit, the victims stated that Dennis Zeigler was visiting the home when the burglary occurred. Both men stated they were suspicious of Zeigler’s actions during the robbery as he crawled on the floor and shut the door.

Zeigler is an offensive lineman for the Hoosier football team.

According to the affidavit, police later interviewed Zeigler who told them he helped set up the crime for Smith and McClellon.

After the crime, Zeigler told police, he joined Smith and McClellon in a nearby apartment occupied by Darius Johnson and Jarrell Drane according to the affidavit. Johnson and Drane are also members of the IU football team. Johnson is a linebacker and Drane is a safety.

According to the affidavit, McClellon was staying with Johnson while he was in town.

Although Zeigler admits to helping in the crime, he currently faces no criminal charges.

Stay with HTO for further updates.

1223_mcclellon.pdf



Later that night (not the day after)

By   |   Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008 - 6:29 AM   |   19 comments

The man who checks tickets and IDs last at the Indianapolis airport — that is, right before you put your shoes on a conveyor belt and walk through a device that beeps if you’re part metal — is a jovial sort, as one would expect you would have to be if your job consisted of briefly interacting with thousands of people each day.

He told me, as I handed him my materials, that I was lucky to be getting out. Before I could reply he explained to me that a massive ice storm was headed to Indy. He’d watched the radar on the Weather Channel, and the storm was shaped like a triangle with the point stabbing this fair city and promising a miserable few days of travel just when so many people had so many places to go.

I smiled and scanned for an open lane. If I’d had the time, I would have told him that I’m not lucky to be getting out. I’m lucky to be getting home.

That was the overwhelming feeling I had after Indiana lost to Northeastern: that the kids would be lucky to get a day or two away from it all. Simply put, they mustered very little desire on Monday night. And so they were doomed. Really, it was a first: Indiana had lost only to teams that could outclass it in some tangible way. The Hoosiers hadn’t yet lost because of anything close to resembling a lack of effort.

We all wondered how they would come out of a nine-game break, one that began after Kentucky tamped out the Hoosiers with a furious early run. There was an interesting dichotomy to the week: while the players took finals to show their professors how much they had learned, they got back into coach Tom Crean’s classroom for the first time since games began. They had a few days to concentrate on themselves and not whatever gameplan Crean had crafted for the next opponent.

During a 12-3 run to begin the game, those of us not privy to practice had to assume that the Hoosiers had flourished last week. That, having weathered a tough early schedule and emerged a .500 ball club, they had come to understand that hard work pays off and had therefore pushed to meet every one of Crean’s challenges, which were no doubt numerous.

Then Northeastern methodically pulled ahead simply by avoiding unsteadiness. The Huskies were far from flawless. They had neither a prolific offense nor a truly stifling defense (though it was certainly good.) They just soldiered on, as some of Indiana’s players passed up good shots and others lofted bad ones in the general direction of the rim.

Later — actually almost a full 45 minutes after the final buzzer — Crean attributed the loss to lack of focus and will, and said that he’d seen it coming in practice. And he said some variation of the general theme for the year, which is that he didn’t have an answer for why it had gone the way it had gone. Nobody did, he said, because nobody has been through it before with a team this young.

It is important to empathize with the people you cover, I think, because only then can you hope to share the experience with readers. Though we aren’t able to watch practice (I wish we were, given the historic nature of the season and the desire of many fans to be able to follow the season as a growing experience instead of a quest for wins as they usually would) and are generally kept away from having any genuine interaction with the players, it is impossible not to feel the weight of the season. There’s been so many changes of direction, with each turn leading to what surely must be the right path until it, too, curves sharply or dead-ends completely. So many bursts forward up over the mountain and so many mountains after the mountains.

I didn’t bother going to sleep after the game, knowing I’d have to get in the car at 4 a.m. to head to the airport. And so the game replayed in my head. But all my thought went for nothing (which I suppose is not unusual); I couldn’t figure it out, couldn’t develop a theory, couldn’t come up with questions I’d ask Tom Crean at the next press conference. All I could think was that the players were lucky to have a few days to step away, maybe even to get home.

Minutes ago, Malik Story and Jeremiah Rivers walked through the B terminal. Upon reaching his gate, Story turned to Rivers and extended his hand, and Rivers met it with his. He held on for a second without breaking stride and said nothing. He just kept on walking.



Northeastern at Indiana: Discuss it here

By   |   Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 - 4:21 PM   |   20 comments

[8 P.M. UPDATE]

Steven Gambles is dressed and apparently has been cleared to play tonight.



Will Alston stay or will he go?

By   |   Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 - 1:30 AM   |   3 comments

[2:10 UPDATE]

Kevin Alston has decided to turn pro, his father Larry confirmed today. More details to come.

————–

One quick soccer note to get the week started. One of the biggest offseason impacts on the 2009 Hoosiers may be the decision of junior defender Kevin Alston.

Coach Mike Freitag said Alston is high on the board of many in the MLS, and with new guaranteed multi-year contracts for early entries and six-figure salaries, it will be a tough decision. “Right now, I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance he could go to the pros early,” Freitag said.

Alston, who was scheduled to head home following exams and talk with his family, was first team all-Big Ten this season and a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division I All-Great Lakes Region team.





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