Opinion / Editorial

Jon Jones is the UFC King

By: Gavin Coombs

Jon Jones is undeniably one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time, maybe even the best heavyweight UFC fighter of all time. 3 years ago, Jon Jones had to take a break from the UFC for over three years for potential doping violations. Many people were wondering if he would ever come back or not.

On Sat, Mar 4th, Jon Jones came back and reminded the world who was the true UFC king.

The first thing Jon Jones did when he came out: the man was literally slapping himself in the face. He looked like he was trying to amp himself up to kill someone and that is exactly what he did. Jon Jones entered the ring and you could instantly tell that Cyril Gane, his opponent, was afraid.

I think the thing about Jon Jones is that he wins the fight before it even starts. One case that shows this is that before Jon Jones was about to fight Francis Ngannou, before his break, Francis literally left the UFC because he was scared to fight Jon Jones.

Jones is an absolute freak of nature and he showed that in this last fight. Jones came back from his 3 year break from the UFC and absolutely swept the floor with Gane. The first bell rang and Jon Jones looked like an absolute monster. I thought the fight was going to be close, but I was completely wrong. Jones flipped Gane and put him in a choke hold and that was the end. Games tapped a little over then a minute into the fight and Jones won the fight. Jones continued to dance around the floor after the fight like he just had a birthday party.

I don’t think there is anyone else in the UFC who can come back from a 3 year break and continue to be the best UFC fighter of all time no matter the opponent. Gane wasn’t a small dude either; he is probably bigger than Jones and he still got put to bed like a baby. Luckily I had a bet of $50 against my dad and neither one of us are huge UFC fans. Before the fight even started though me and my dad thought it was going to be an even fight. That quickly changed as soon as Jones started slapping himself in the face. That’s when we knew this dude was crazy in the head. My dad quickly realized that he basically gave away $50.

This fight didn’t last too long and this fight just proved that Jon Jones is the KING of the UFC. He had 3 years off and came back and still won the HeavyWeight title. Overall no matter what happens to Jones and wherever he is, he is an absolute killer and monster of a fighter and person. I don’t even know if it is debatable anymore that he is the best UFC fighter in the world. He has shown it time and time again and he will continue to show the world. He still has yet to lose in a fair fight. The one time he lost was from disqualification and many people think that it shouldn’t have happened. If that doesn’t prove that Jones is the KING of the UFC I don’t know what can prove to you that he is.

Hazardous Golf

By: Anthony Crisafulli

Golf has been played for hundreds of years, evolving with the times and the people. Golf has many famous features, the green grass, the long clubs, and the sound the ball makes on a perfect hit. 

But there’s one thing that is universally noticed by all who watch golf: it’s boring to watch!

Golf may be fun for the athletes involved, but the spectators have next to nothing to look forward to. There’s no action, no fierce competition visible to the eye when I watch. I can’t tell who hates who, and I should know. If a sport wants to be watched and wants to be fun, it needs action and emotion. The big problem is how to make golf more exciting to watch without changing any rule.

But I think the answer is rather simple. Dangerous and uncomfortable locations.

It’s a genius idea, the best part of golf for spectators is the beautiful terrain, and the nice green. So what if you push its environment to the extreme, you get golf in its most exciting and purest form. 

Whenever a golfer hits his or her ball into the water in Florida we know what they are thinking: I hope there are no alligators in the water ready to death spiral them. But I’m not the first person to have the idea to put a golf course somewhere dangerous. There are actually a lot of dangerous golf courses in the world. The Lost City Golf Course, in Sun City, South Africa, is dangerous for its 13th hole, where it has the world’s most dangerous type of crocodile on the planet: the 15-foot-long Nile Crocodile. Needless to say, it is waiting for any golfer to hit their ball nearby, so it can say hi. But that’s not the only dangerous golf course in South Africa.

The Legends Golf Course Safari in South Africa may outshine its counterpart. It has the toughest par 3 in the world, located on the top of Hanglip Mountain. You take a helicopter ride to the top when there you shoot the ball down the side of the mountain to the bottom. It’s so high it takes 20 seconds for the ball to land, and only one person has recorded par on this hole.

Camp Bonifas Golf Course in South Korea is only a quick drive away from the North Korean border, and in the surrounding golf course, you can tell what remnants from the Korean war remain. Surrounding a par 3 is an actual minefield. Landmines surround the area, so any golfer that loses his ball needs to be extra careful when looking.

Dangerous locations are what golf needs. So many more people would watch it if they were risking something for the match. If I heard that Tiger Woods was about to tee-off in a minefield, or was on top of a mountain, I’d watch that, and so many others would too.

Does the NFL Really Drug Test Their Players “Spontaneously?”

Gavin Coombs, Kaylyn Lopes, Anthony Crisafulli, Aizik Durand

(10:57 11/15/22)

It’s common knowledge that the NFL has endeavored to make their sport as fair and fun as possible for fans and players to enjoy. The league has many ways of cracking down on areas of the game that could create unfair advantages for some players or teams. One of these areas is drug use. Some players use drugs to gain an unfair advantage over opponents by enhancing the athlete’s body beyond what was physically possible when completely natural. The NFL tracks and maintains fairness of the sport by making players take drug tests. 

(Photo Credit: San Francisco Chronicle)

These tests are designed to be completely random for all players and personnel, thus making sure that players who are taking banned substances don’t have the chance to stop right before the test so that they can pass. But this system of random testing of players creates many questions, who is choosing who is tested? Does this make sure it’s truly random? Who is in charge of all the drug testing across the league? What are the official drug testing rules?

The NFL started random drug testing in 1987 on October 13th, and since then has expanded and tweaked the rules to create a more effective and fair system. The NFLPA’s one website has the drug policies ready for anyone to read, and in it explains the three basic reasons behind the banded use of performance-enhancing drugs. These being unfair advantages, and adverse health effects sends the wrong message to younger people. The actual policies and how they are carried out are explained in a 44-page rule book, and these 44 pages help answer quite a few questions. The first is who oversees all of the random drug tests for each team. The person who chooses who is picked, tells the players they are picked, and sees the actual testing is an Independent Administrator on Performance-Enhancing Substances (“Independent Administrator”) picked out by both parties involved. Both parties involved would be the NFL and the NFLPA. Both sides will agree on a person to be this Independent Administrator who will then get to work on their job, and their job is quite expensive.

During preseason, regular season, and postseason the Independent Administrator uses a random generator to pick 10 players from each team’s roster, practice squad, and reserve list to be randomly tested for PED. The total number of players for each team that can be tested is about 70 on average, this means that the chance of any one player being randomly tested every week is 7%. Players will be required to provide a specimen whenever they are selected, without regard to the number of times they have previously been tested consistent with the limits set forth in the Policy. When just looking at this policy it seems to achieve its random testing, but some players and members of the media don’t view the testing to be so random, some view the random testing as a way to specifically pick out players to test based on performance.

(Photo Credit: Akron Beacon Journal)

In the beginning of the 2021 season, Myles Garrett, a Defensive End for the Browns, was “randomly” drug tested 3 times in the first 4 weeks. Myles Garrett brought up the idea that he was tested on purpose because each time he gets drug tested he had a sleeveless undershirt that showed his arms. On a Twitter post Myles Garrett said, “I go sleeveless for one game and they hit me with a “You got a random drug test in the morning”. Myles was suspicious of this “random” drug test and a week went by and he was hit with yet again another “random” drug test. “I go sleeveless TWO TIMES and get “randomly” drug tested BOTH times… I’d try 3 for 3 but they can miss me with the blood draw, #sleevelessMylesretired.” This brought up the attention of fans and media on the random drug testing, and Myles Garrett is not the only player to believe that they were deliberately testing them.

Players like AJ Brown and Mathew Judon both don’t believe that the testing is random, both have been randomly tested after great games, AJ Brown was tested after a 3 TD and 156-yard receiving day, and Mathew Judon was tested after a 3-sack game against the Colts. Both players took to Twitter to express that nothing seemed random about being tested after huge games. It’s impossible to tell if these are random or are chosen, but we can guess based on the numbers what the chances are for such good players to be tested so often. When looking at AJ Brown and Mathew Judon it can be brought to truly random chance, as many players across the league had great games with no testing, but many have, so there’s no telling the truth. It’s much easier to find when looking at Myles Garrett’s situation in 2021. The chance of Myles Garret being tested once in the first four weeks was about 28%, the chance of being tested two times in four weeks was .49%, and the chance of being tested three times in four weeks is .0343%. This does seem extremely improbable, but it was bound to happen to  one player eventually, but it’s not known how many      other players this has happened to, due to not many players talking about when they get tested. But the chance of a player as good as Myles Garrett being tested this often is extremely unlikely. 

Looking at NFL players’ own personal situations with the random testing gives a good reason to look back into the rule book even deeper, trying to find much more than the basic information presented before. Some information is that there is a limit on the number of times a player can be randomly tested in a year, that number being 24 times. A limit on the number of times a player can be tested seems really strange for multiple reasons. Why would you impose a limit on keeping the integrity of the sport in keeping it fair, unless it seemed like there was a limit on how fair it was to randomly test players? 24 times would be 24 weeks of being tested, which would take up almost half a year of being tested, and when the chance of being randomly tested in one week only being 7%, the chance of a player hitting that 24-per-year limit is extremely unlikely. So then we ask why to make the limit so high, a limit so high no player should ever reach it. 

(Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

The NFL random drug testing policy has a limit for the number of times a player can be tested randomly, and yet that limit is basically impossible to reach as a player, so why have a limit? This has a feeling, as a rule, put in place because the NFL and NFLPA understood that players and media would have a problem with the idea of being randomly tested too many times, so a limit was put in place to ease the fear, but the limit was impossible to achieve, so the problem still remains but people no longer focus or fear that as much. It has the feeling of a deterrent, a rule put in place to push aside fears while the problem remains. Most of the drug testing questions have been given some answers, but almost everything can be brought all the way to the top of the league, to the people that make all the decisions in the NFL.

The Commissioner of the league and the executive Committee, have 32 representatives, one from each NFL club. It’s here where all of the decisions are made and start, and it’s very important to know what the goal of almost everyone there is, to make the sport more enjoyable and more profitable. It’s important to keep this in mind, because it’s impossible for us to understand the exact reasons for decisions made. When looking at the idea of profit, testing players based on performance would make sense, and if they are, this creates a competitive advantage that can create problems for the league. This could affect the number of people that watch the league, which would affect the amount of money they make. The fairness of the games makes them more enjoyable and more profitable for owners, but this doesn’t change the randomness of the drug tests, this only gives a look into the heads of owners. Finding out if testing is truly 100% random is impossible, but based on the information seen it’s most likely that most of the testing is random, but sometimes a player is picked based on performance. This isn’t a problem in itself, the problem is the lack of transparency from the league. They intentionally make the rules confusing for anyone trying to find out the truth of it all, if they just confirmed that some players are chosen due to performance than people would be more likely to understand, but that is a gamble. No matter what the NFL does people will have a problem with it, either they’re not transparent, or they’re hiding if it’s really random, no matter what people will question. The best they can do is make it as fair as possible for every person involved in the league.

Illegal Recruitment And How Coaches Are Abusing The Gray Areas

By: Jacob Glidden, Craig Cyr, Liv Foley 

Illegal recruitment happens all the time in the NCAA in many different ways. Money Payments, Educational Aid, and just straight up buying things for players are all ways coaches have broken NCAA rules. NCAA coaches take advantage of player eligibility and most of the time, their players don’t even know what they are getting themselves into. NCAA coaches have found gray areas and loopholes in the rules that they’ve used to their advantage. 

What makes a gray area in recruiting a gray area? A popular example of a gray area is coaches getting “tutoring” for their players that are struggling in class. However, this tutoring isn’t the traditional tutoring; there’s no helping. The players don’t get help, they get it done for them. Another gray area is offering money to ‘help the family’. Some coaches will literally give the players and their families money to go to their college. And what kind of kid would turn that down? Also, most kids probably won’t see that this is a problem. Kids trust their coaches and rely on them to be honest, even when sometimes they’re not.  (Photo Credit: Yahoo News!)

John Calipari, a coach that coached many different college basketball teams, is one of the many coaches who suffered the consequences of “the gray areas”. Calipari is most known for his time in Memphis, and for when he had an entire season voided.

In 2007-2008, a few hidden broken rules broke the surface. Allegations of Calipari paying for travel expenses and promoting a player cheating on his SAT’s to ensure he was accepted into the school and onto the team. 

The allegations on Calipari included the improper spending of over $2,000 in travel costs for the brother of the student athlete, Derrick Rose. Another allegation was an improper phone call with a mother of a prospective student athlete. 

  Another coach that has been fined and had allegations against him was the Tennessee football coach, Jeremy Pruitt. In July 2022, Pruitt was accused of paying mothers of two prospects about $9,000. His wife was also accused of paying a prospect’s mother over $12,500 to help with the mother’s car payments. Pruitt was fired in January 2021 once these allegations were found. Pruitt was charged once it was discovered he gave illegal benefits totalling almost $60,000 to prospects, players and their families to help sway them in staying or going into the program. Overall, Pruitt was charged with 18 violations of the NCAA rules.

      The Florida football program violated NCAA recruiting contact rules on two occasions, and the head coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance.

(Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

The head football coach, an assistant coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the assistant coach and head coach had impermissible in person contact with a prospect.  When they met with a prospect’s high school coach while the prospect was in the room.  At that meeting, the Florida coaches expressed an interest in recruiting the prospect.  Leading up to that visit, the head coach sent the prospect texts about his upcoming visit to the high school and his interest in recruiting the prospect. NCAA rules were violated because (off campus recruiting) contacts are not allowed until after a football prospect’s junior year of high school. The violations were Level II. The punishments for the program are as listed.. 

  • One year of probation.
  • A $5,000 fine.
  • Reduced fall 2019 evaluations from 42 to 21.
  •  Reduced football evaluation days by 12 for the 2018-19 academic year.
  • Restrictions on all recruiting telephone calls with football prospects from April 15 through May 31, 2019.
  • A reduction in the number of football official visits during the 2019-20 academic year by one and in the number of unofficial visits during the 2019-20 academic year by 14.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the head football coach. During that period, the head coach is prohibited from all off-campus recruiting activity during the fall 2020 evaluation period and a four-day off-campus recruiting ban during the fall 2021 contact period.
  • The university banned the head coach from recruiting for the first 10 days of the January 2020 contact period.
  • A 30-day off-campus recruiting ban for the head coach during the fall 2019 evaluation period.
  • The university ended the recruitment of the prospect.
  • The university will not recruit any prospects from the high school in Seattle from the 2019-20 through 2020-21 academic years.
  •  A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff during the spring 2021 off-campus recruiting period.
  • A 30-day off-campus recruiting ban for the assistant coach in October 2019 and a three-day off-campus recruiting ban for the January 2020 contact period.
  • One-on-one rules education for both the head coach and assistant coach regarding NCAA contact and evaluation rules.

          According to the agreement, members of the coaching staff also had impermissible contact with approximately 127 prospects when seven non-scholastic football teams visited the campus and toured the football facilities on their way to a tournament in Tampa. This was made a Level III violation. The NCAA needs to be more knowledgeable about the coaches and their whereabouts for the sake of the stability of sports. With major punishments for the violations committed, we believe the NCAA rules will have a bigger impact on recruiting over time.

WARNING! College Athletes Please Use Common Sense In a Digital World

By Lyndsee Reed, Allie Cameron & Gavin Lemos

The sports world today as we know it is ever changing.  With the media and internet becoming such a major part of athletics, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up.  We always tend to be interested in the latest story or newest scandal to reach our screens.  And while it all may seem like a great tool, at times it can also be a major liability.  This turned out to be the case recently for the college athletes of the Wisconsin women’s volleyball team.  Where a seemingly harmless celebratory photo at the time, found the media stream and turned into a considerable issue.  Highlighting the vital pitfall that our actions can lead to significant consequences.

The spotlight follows any successful athlete. It’s that shadow of eyes and media that seem to know your every move.  While more intense in the professional arena, college athletes can experience it as well.  That spotlight lately has been following the University of Wisconsin’s girls volleyball team.  And not in the way one would think.  In 2021, the Wisconsin Girls Volleyball team defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the NCAA Big Ten championship. Following their success, the players took topless team photos and videos in their locker room in celebration.  Those very photos almost a year later were leaked to the public through tiktok and twitter.  At the moment it is unknown how or why they got leaked to the public, but the outcome is still the same. While no players have

(Photo Credit: NCAA Getty Images)

been suspended or penalized by the university itself, their punishment has been the effect it’s portrayed on their image as women college athletes.   

The University of Wisconsin is a highly ranked university that is known for its graduate programs: School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Business, School of Medicine and Public Health and Law School. While having one of the ten largest research institutions in the country, that’s not what’s trending on social media. 

The University of Wisconsin has released a statement addressing the leaked nude photos, and has said that the players are not being investigated. They also stated that the team will be provided with resources to support their well being. “The unauthorized sharing is a significant and wrongful violation of the student-athlete’s privacy, including potential violations of university policies and criminal statutes,” the statement said (badgerhead.com). 

The University of Wisconsin is more concerned with the student athletes’ wellbeing and safety. After these pictures were leaked, and the gained public attention it received shows the increased vulnerability of student athletes who are always under the spotlight Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment University of Wisconsin Chair Dani Rosen stated, “I think it shows how clearly alive and well that culture is of cyber sexual [at UW] is… I also don’t necessarily think it matters that they were student athletes. I think what matters is that they are students” (badgerhead.com). Rather than pointing fingers and blaming the players for these nude photos being taken and released, they are trying their best to keep them all safe.

The girls in the picture faced the consequences that these pictures are now out in the world, and now they can’t do anything about it. The school and administration are working together to ensure the safety of their students from any act of violence, or sexual predators. UWPD Executive Director of Communication, Marc Lovicott said in a statement email, “I can confirm our department is involved and investigating,” as the case hasn’t been closed (badgerhead.com).  

While no one blames anyone from the Wisconsin volleyball team for the photos being leaked we have seen time and time again that college athletes don’t realize that the things they do have consequences. In Wisconsin’s case the consequence of taking the photos is embarrassment but it could have been much more. 

  (Photo Credit: NY Post)

In the case of the Bethany College men’s golf team they took a page out of Golf Digest’s spread of the 2004 UCLA team and posed in the buff for an unofficial team photo, with just golf clubs covering their man parts, and it didn’t sit well with the team’s coach, who also happens to be the religious school’s athletic director. He suspended every player for three tournaments for their actions.

Paul Donahoe was destroyed after a nude photo of him showed up on a pornography website. Coach Manning immediately kicked the national champion off his team. He later got his NCAA eligibility revoked for accepting money for the pornographic photos. It was then reinstated after he returned all the money he accepted.

While many athletes keep their nose clean many do not and that goes for college students in general, they need to be more aware of what they do and what they record. Time and time again we see students facing consequences for things they never even thought would get them in trouble and it needs to stop.

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