ESPNU will debut “40 Minutes of Hell,” the latest installment in the new SEC “Storied” documentary series on February 11 at 9 p.m. The film explores the rise, fall and re-birth of a legendary coach and a time when the state of Arkansas was at the epicenter of American culture.
In the early 1990’s, Arkansas had a lot of success. Bill Clinton, former governor, was sworn in as president of United States while the University of Arkansas became one of the top college basketball teams in the country. The man behind the Razorbacks’ success was head coach Nolan Richardson. His “40 minutes of hell” playing style turned up the pressure for an entire game aiming to eventually break down opponents. It was an approach that embodied Richardson’s personality.
Richardson grew up in El Paso, Texas, and endured segregation that he carried with him into adulthood. When Richardson became a coach after his playing days at Texas Western University, he looked for players who could execute his intense full court system. After a successful run at Tulsa, Richardson in 1985 became the first African-American head coach in the Southwest Conference when he took over the Arkansas men’s team. By the early 90s, as Arkansas moved to the Southeastern Conference, the coach had turned the Razorbacks into a powerhouse, culminating in the 1994 national championship. But what happens when the pressure becomes too great even for the one creating it?
As Richardson struggled to keep winning at the level achieved in the early-to-mid 90s, he was under scrutiny. By 2002, his anger over criticism was palpable and he was dismissed. He fired back with a wrongful termination lawsuit. In 2009, after years of division, Richardson and his players were invited back to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their championship run. The hiring of Richardson’s former assistant coach Mike Anderson has only further strengthened the once severed bond between the coach and his school as both sides work toward a path of healing.
Boyle, Pierce, Robinson named ECAC All-Stars
Three Temple football standouts – senior offensive lineman Pat Boyle, junior running back Bernard Pierce and senior defensive end Adrian Robinson were named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Football Bowl Subdivision All-Stars. Pierce was also named the 2011 ECAC Offensive Player of the Year.
The ECAC will honor its team of 27 FBS All-Stars on February 16 at the annual ECAC Awards banquet at the Lexus Club at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Pierce, a three-time All-MAC selection, became Temple’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (53), total touchdowns (54), points scored (162), and 100-yard rushing games (nine), while setting records for rushing TDs in a game (5 at Maryland) and points scored (30 at Maryland). Last week, Pierce announced that he would forego his senior season to enter the 2012 NFL draft.
Temple’s Wyatt, McCarthy named Players of the Week
Khalif Wyatt, Temple junior guard, was named the Atlantic 10 Conference and Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Week. Wyatt, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged 25 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.0 assists in leading the Owls to a 1-1 week. Temple upset No. 5 ranked Duke and lost to Dayton.
Temple’s Kristen McCarthy and George Washington’s Tara Booker have been named the Atlantic 10 women’s basketball Co-Players of the Week. McCarthy was also named the Big 5 Women’s Basketball Player of the Week. She averaged 18.5 points in a 2-0 week for Temple, including a 64-52 victory at Western Michigan and a come-from-behind, 56-55 win in Temple’s A-10 opener at Richmond.
Black college notes
Malik Alvin, former Simon Gratz basketball star, has been named the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Newcomer of the Week. Alvin plays basketball for Shaw University. He equaled his season high with 28 points in Shaw’s CIAA opener against Virginia State.
The Don Hansen’s Football Gazette named Tim Hume, Cheyney University defensive end, All Super Region One Defensive Player of the Year. Beyond Sports Network as a Division II second team All-American also recognized Hume this past week.
Earlier this year Hume was named the PSAC Defensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award (Division II Lineman of the Year). Hume led the conference in tackles for loss with 21.5 and led the Wolves with 6.5 sacks. He also had 62 tackles.
Ramaan Ansley, former Engineering and Science star, helped Saint Augustine’s College win 43 Division II All-Atlantic Region awards from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) this week. The men’s team had the second most all-region honors (26) among NCAA Division II men’s teams and the Lady Falcons earned 17 all-region honors.
The ex-Public League standout participated in the 100 meters and was a member of the 4x100-meter relay team. Ansley runs for legendary track and field head coach George Williams, who brings the Falcons to the Penn Relays each year.
Matt Balasavage signs free agent contract with Baltimore Ravens
Matt Balasavage, Temple tight end, has signed a rookie free agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
Balasavage, a three-year starter for the Owls, played in 12 games in 2011 with nine starts. He received his degree in communications in May 2011. He joins NFL draftees running back Bernard Pierce (Baltimore Ravens), tight end Evan Rodriguez (Chicago Bears) and linebacker Tahir Whitehead (Detroit Lions) as well as rookie free agents offensive lineman Pat Boyle (Detroit Lions), defensive end Morkeith Brown (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), offensive lineman Derek Dennis (Miami Dolphins), linebacker Stephen Johnson (New Orleans Saints), defensive end Adrian Robinson (Pittsburgh Steelers) wide receiver Rod Streater (Oakland Raiders) and offensive lineman Wayne Tribue (Denver Broncos).
Chester Stewart signs free agent contract with Ravens
Quarterback Chester Stewart became the 12th Temple Owl to sign with an NFL team this spring, extending the school record for the largest class.
Stewart signed a rookie contract with Baltimore Ravens, joining former Owl teammate running back Bernard Pierce and Matt Balasavage on the Ravens’ roster. Stewart played in 10 games with six starts as a senior in 2011. He was named the Baltimore Sun/Next Level Player of the Week following a perfect 9-of-9 for 140 yards in the win at Maryland. Stewart earned his degree in criminal justice in December 2011.
NLBM, Rawlings pair up for “Gold Glove” Negro Leagues tribute
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) have teamed to honor the Negro Leagues by bestowing commemorative Rawlings Gold Glove Awards to the league’s best defensive players of all time. The partnership includes a series of events planned to raise awareness and financial support for the NLBM, a not-for-profit organization located in Kansas City, Mo.
A panel comprised of six baseball dignitaries will select candidates for consideration for each of the nine Rawlings Gold Glove Award positions. The selection panel members include: Phil Dixon, baseball historian and author; Monte Irvin, Negro Leagues legend and National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee; Bob Kendrick, NLBM president; Joe Posnanski, senior writer for USA Today Sports Group and MLBAM; Dr. Layton Revel, Center for Negro Leagues research; James Riley, baseball historian and author.
The Negro League Rawlings Gold Glove Award team will be unveiled at the NLBM on June 28. The dynamic double play tandem of Frank White (eight Rawlings Gold Glove Awards) and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (13 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards) will host the ceremonies.
The Temple Owls were well represented in the NFL draft last week. Bernard Pierce, Temple’s All-American running back, was selected in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens. Pierce, former Glen Mills standout from Ardmore, was the 84th pick overall in the draft.
He is the 62nd Temple football player chosen in the NFL draft since 1937. Pierce is the first Temple player to be picked by the Ravens (since 1996) in school history and the fourth Owl to be selected by a Baltimore NFL team, joining Colts’ selections defensive back Anthony Young (1985), running back Mark Bright (1980) and quarterback Steve Joachim (1975).
As a junior, Pierce became the Owls’ all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (53), total touchdowns (54), and points scored (324). He also set the season records for rushing TDs (27), total TDs (27), points scored (162), and 100-yard rushing games (9), while setting game records for rushing TDs in a game (five at Maryland) and points scored (30 at Maryland). He was also named ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and the 2009 MAC Freshman of the Year.
The Chicago Bears selected Temple tight end Evan Rodriguez with the 16th pick of the fourth round (111th pick overall), while the Detroit Lions chose linebacker Tahir Whitehead with the third pick of the fifth round (138th overall) of the draft. That brings the total to three players drafted from Temple.
Rodriguez, who played in the East–West Shrine Game, is a two-time first-team All-MAC selection. He played in all 13 games with 12 starts at tight end. He led the Owls with 479 yards and two touchdowns on 35 receptions.
Whitehead was a second-team All-MAC selection, and the defensive MVP of the New Mexico Bowl. He finished third in team tackling with 70 tackles, a team-best 13.5 tackles-for-loss of 66 yards, five sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Seven Temple players have signed rookie free agent contracts with NFL teams, bringing the Owls total NFL signees to 10, tying the largest class in school history. The players who have reportedly signed: Pat Boyle, offensive lineman, Detroit Lions; Morkeith Brown, defensive end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Derek Dennis, offensive lineman, Miami Dolphins; Stephen Johnson, linebacker, New Orleans Saints; Adrian Robinson, defensive end, Pittsburgh Steelers; Rod Streater, wide receiver, Oakland Raiders and Wayne Tribue, offensive lineman, Denver Broncos.