Sunday, July 01, 2007

There Is Good News in Sports Again!

Good News In Sports is back. I’ve consolidated Good News In College Sports and Good News in Pro Sports into one blog covering stories from all over the sports world that you can truly enjoy reading. No steroids, police blotters, or contract holdouts here. Only people who are making a positive difference by their actions or example. Check it out at

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Going on Hiatus

If you've visited here recently, you've noticed this blog has not been updated for a while. I have made the difficult decision to put this blog on hiatus while I work on a non-sports related project that is requiring too much of my time to keep up with things here. I don't know when I'll be back, but it won't be ahead of August. Check back then for an update.

Thanks for visiting Good News In College Sports.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Women's Hoops Team at Army Wins V Foundation Award

The Army women's basketball team was named the recipient of the seventh annual V Foundation Comeback Award, presented annually by the V Foundation for Cancer Research in collaboration with ESPN. ESPN will make the official announcement Tuesday evening between the semifinal games of the men's National Invitational Tournament.

The annual award is open to men and women collegiate basketball student-athletes in all NCAA divisions. It is awarded to an individual or a team who has accomplished a personal triumph in the face of true adversity, be it in health, life or moral dilemma.

Just 17 days after Army's Cinderella run to its first Division I NCAA Tournament appearance, the Army women's basketball team suffered a devastating loss when 28-year-old head coach Maggie Dixon died suddenly last April. The 2006-07 squad faced a daunting emotional challenge not only to follow in Dixon's footsteps, but to keep her memory alive while still moving forward.

Army head coach Dave Magarity, who served as the associate head coach to Dixon on the 2005-06 Army team, took over the reins of the program this past season and led the Black Knights to a 24-6 season record, setting a school record for wins at the Division I level.

Click here to read more about how the Army women overcame tragedy and put together an outstanding season in this release on the Patriot League official website.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

C of C's Hedley Receives Scholarship Grant

The Family Circle Cup Community Outreach program is all about making a difference in the community. In 2002, the tournament started a scholarship grant at the College of Charleston for female student athletes who not only excel on the playing field, but off as well. Every year $5,000 is donated to an outstanding female athlete who is a well-rounded student, and whose accomplishments include giving back to the community. The scholarship winner is selected based on a number of criteria including academic accomplishment, volunteerism / community involvement, financial need, and athletic accolades. This year’s winner is sophomore Katie Hedley, a member of the College of Charleston’s Women’s Cross Country and Track teams.

Click here to read about this special student-athlete in the press release on the Southern Conference's official website.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Syracuse Salutes Athletics' Comunity Outreach

From the Syracuse official athletic website:

The Syracuse athletics department’s ‘Cuse Cares Community Outreach program and senior football student-athlete Kelvin Smith will be recognized for their commitment to engagement with the community and Scholarship in Action with the 2007 Chancellor's Awards for Public Engagement and Scholarship in a March 26 celebration dinner in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center's Goldstein Auditorium. It marks the 10th consecutive year that Orange student-athletes have earned the CAPS Award.

“We ask our student-athletes to be extraordinary on and off the field,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. “Community service is an area in which we strive to be the best. There are numerous hours and substantive areas that our coaches and student-athletes commit to yearly. We are proud of their service and their commitment to this community and beyond.”

The ‘Cuse Cares program is one of 14 University programs that will be recognized for service in the community. SU student-athletes participated in more than 1,200 hours of community service projects since the start of the 2006-2007 academic year in a variety of activities that enriched the lives of children, elderly, homeless, and many more individuals.

Smith, a four-year starting linebacker for the Orange football squad, developed and implemented a leadership skills group at Dr. King Elementary School with eight African-American boys. Smith designed and conducted the workshops with the children in the areas of creating leaders, leadership and health, leadership in sports and the rhythm of leaders.

Throughout the year, Syracuse student-athletes dedicated time to school fundraisers, youth clinics, Boys and Girls Clubs activities, preparing gifts during the holiday time for children, and Winterfest activities for kids. Student-athletes also spent many hours reaching out to young refugees in the area.

At the annual SUccess By Six kickoff at the Dome student-athletes from six teams collected 400 books and more than $300 for area children before a basketball game. Ten Orange teams participated in the annual Dollar Days at the Dome and raised more than $7,100 for the United Way.

Student-athletes also participated in many fundraising events, including the Breast Cancer walk-a-thon, a walk for kidney disease, and the Relay for Life at the Carrier Dome, and assisted in projects that benefit underprivileged individuals, including serving breakfast at the Rescue Mission and volunteering at the Oxford Homeless shelter. In addition, student-athletes visted with residents at The Oaks retirement center, the Ida Benderson Senior Center and the pediatric units at local hospitals, and participated in the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics and cheering on the athletes competing in their winter game events. Other activities include participation in Take Back the Night, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, activities at Head Start, and reading books for a reading awareness program at a local middle school. The annual Shooting for A’s program, an academic enrichment program which features opportunities to participate in group sports and meet student-athletes, begins next month.

“This year's nominations are remarkable, clearly demonstrating that civic engagement is not simply something students do, but has become an essential part of who we, and SU, are,” said Pamela Kirwin Heintz, the director of the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tucker Wins Senior CLASS Award

Described by his coach as a college basketball player that “epitomizes the pure student athlete,” Wisconsin forward Alando Tucker is the 2006-07 winner of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for men’s basketball. The award, selected by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans, is presented annually to college basketball’s outstanding NCAA Division I senior student athlete.

Tucker put together a brilliant senior season at Wisconsin, earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors in a powerhouse conference that was among the nation’s toughest. He averaged 19.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while leading the Badgers to a 30-6 record and top ten national ranking. By pouring in a school-record 716 points as a senior, Tucker became Wisconsin’s all-time leading career scorer with 2,217 points.

While he clearly excelled on the court, Tucker also has exemplified the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award off-the-court criteria with character, the classroom and the community. The communications major has a 3.5 GPA in his major and expects to graduate in May 2007. He serves as the men’s basketball representative on the Wisconsin’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was the school’s delegate to the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Conference last year.

Click here to read more about this outstanding student-athlete and the Senior CLASS award from the official press release.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Classic Good News: Princeton's Martin Eichelberger

If Martin Eichelberger was only known for his athletic accomplishments at Princeton, that would be a good resume. He was all-Ivy League football and lacrosse player and, in 1967, led the Tigers to their last Ivy title in lacrosse until 1992.

Eichelberger, now a pediatric surgeon, founded Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization devoted to reducing unintentional childhood injury. It has promoted numerous safety initiatives, ranging from promoting car child safety seat use to sports injury reduction. Since its founding in 1987 the United States has experienced a 45 percent reduction in fatalities from childhood accidents, and Safe Kids can claim much of the credit for this reduction.

As Chairman Eichelberger has raised more than $80 million for Safe Kids, testified before Congress, and made dozens of media appearances. Safe Kids Worldwide now comprises more than 600 grassroots organizations in all 50 states and 16 countries.

Click here to read about Dr. Eichelberger's journey from star athlete to a world leader in the efforts to keep kids safe in this installment from the Ivy at 50 series.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Arkansas State Athletes Host Annual Senior Citizen Prom

From the Arkansas State official athletics website: The press release was previewing the event, which happened yesterday.

The Arkansas State University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is proud to announce its 3rd Annual Senior Citizen Prom - Masquerade Theme will be held on Thursday, March 29, at the Convocation Center from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Senior citizens are encouraged to come out and dance to the smooth sounds of the ASU Jazz Band from 5:00-6:00 p.m., show off their artistic ability by making masquerade masks and interact with ASU student-athletes. Bingo will get underway at 6:00 p.m. The evening will conclude with the crowning of the 2007 King and Queen.

“The Senior Citizen Prom has grown tremendously in just two years,” said ASU Associate Athletic Director Melanie Richardson. “The first year we had about 75 seniors, last year there were over 200 seniors and this year we are expecting 300-plus seniors from around the Jonesboro area to attend the prom. ASU’s student-athletes would like this event to be the premier event for senior citizens living in the Jonesboro community. The prom has been a big success and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience for our student-athletes and their guests.”

To accommodate the growing number of participants, the prom will be held at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark. Guests may enter through the yellow entrance and admission is free for all seniors 55 years and older. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

How great is this? Way to go Indians.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Book Review: "Cinderella: Inside the Rise of Mid-Major College Basketball:

They say timing is everything, and Michael Litos’ timing couldn’t have been better when he embarked on a project to chronicle a season in mid-major D1 college men’s basketball. The inspiration came to Litos while he was sailing on a 42-foot catamaran in the Caribbean, which is where I usually get most of my good ideas.

Following one of the cardinal rules of writing, Litos stuck to what he knew; the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in his book “Cinderella: Inside the Rise of Mid-Major College Basketball” (Sourcebooks, Inc; 2007, 275 pp.).

Click here to read the rest of the review on my home page, The CourtMaster Rules on College Sports.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Women's Hoops Also Pitches In to Help Habitat for Humanity

I recently posted a story about athletes at Tulane University helping out with a Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans in conjunction with the men's NCAA basketball tournament being in town. Not to be outdone, the NCAA is also lending a hand in Cleveland for a similar project tied in with the upcoming women's Final Four.

More than 60 volunteers will participate in the construction of the house in Cleveland. The NCAA and members of the women’s basketball community, including Division I women’s basketball alumni, conference coordinators of officials and the WBCA have joined together for the build. Expected to participate alongside student, NCAA and community volunteers are coaches from Auburn University, Boston College, DePaul University, University Notre Dame and Rutgers University.

“Our women’s basketball community is pleased to have the opportunity to leave a footprint and legacy behind in Cleveland,” said Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice president for Division I women’s basketball. “This is a meaningful project for all those involved and we hope by our involvement, we will make a difference in the lives of a family in the city that is serving as our host.”

Click here to read the release on the NCAA's official website.

As another tie-in, you can bid on a mini Fender guitar (think Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) decorated in the Women's Final Four logo that will be signed by the head coaches from all the participating teams. All proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity.

Click here to check it out and place a bid.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cameron U Athletes Pitch In On "Extreme Makeover"

ABC's television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" recently visited Lawton, Oklahoma, the home of Cameron University, and the school's athletic teams lent a hand.

The project was for the benefit of the local Westbrook family:

The Westbrook Family had suffered through two crippling injuries and was in need of something positive. Mr. Westbrook had served our country overseas, but had lost the use of his legs when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Upon his return home to Oklahoma, the family was involved in a car accident leaving one of the Westbrook sons without the use of his legs, just like his father. Such tragic events are always hard to hear of, so think what it must be like to live through. No family deserves that.

One group of volunteers who worked their hearts out to provide the best for the Westbrook Family, was the Cameron University Athletic Department and their numerous student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. The Cameron Aggies compete at the Division II level in ten intercollegiate sports (baseball, softball, volleyball (women’s), cross country (men’s), and men’s and women’s basketball, tennis, and golf) and each squad represented CU and the City of Lawton by helping out at the Extreme Makeover site.

“Part of our responsibility to our student-athletes and to our community is to give something back,” Cameron Athletic Director Jim Jackson said. “By teaching our student-athletes the importance of community, they will have a better foundation and will hopefully get involved (in their community) wherever they go once they leave Cameron.”

Click here to read more about the project and the athletic department's deep committment to community service on the Cameron official athletic website.

Thanks to Double-A Zone for the tip.

Monday, March 26, 2007

National Football Foundation Launches New Program

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the establishment of three fellowships with Play It Smart, the NFF’s highly successful youth development program that has changed the lives of thousands of at-risk student-athletes over the last nine years.

“In establishing these fellowships, the NFF will further strengthen its ties to the college community,” said NFF President Steven J. Hatchell. “Each year, we will select the best and the brightest from the college ranks, providing them with a dynamic opportunity to develop their skills in the world of sports business and philanthropy. It’s a program that we take great pride in launching, and we know that these positions will quickly become some of the most sought-after and coveted in all of sports for launching a career.”

A two-year post-graduate commitment, The NFF Play It Smart Fellowship Program will prepare participants for leadership positions in their chosen fields. Fellows will enhance their professional skills as they gain first hand experience carrying out Play It Smart’s mission of helping student-athletes take responsibility for their futures. Launched in 1998, more than 20,000 student-athletes in 85 cities have benefited from Play It Smart over the past nine years. Play It Smart fulfills its mission by financing the hiring and training of Academic Coaches who work with high schools in underserved communities.

Click here to read more about this program and the Play It Smart program.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

March Madness Not Confined to Division I

If you don't believe that, you should have seen yesterday's Division II national championship game between Barton College and defending champion Winona State, who came into the game with an old-school UCLA-like 57-game winning streak.

From the AP game story:

Anthony Atkinson scored 10 points in the final 39 seconds, including a layup at the buzzer, to give Barton College its first NCAA Division II title with a 77-75 victory over previously unbeaten and defending champion Winona State.

Barton ended Winona's two-year, 57-game winning streak and survived a review of the final play by the officials.

"I was just thinking about the next play," Atkinson said. "I got a bucket, then another and the next thing you know, the game's over."

It's hard not to think there was some destiny involved. Barton won nine, count them, nine, overtime games this season.

Click here to read the entire game story on

Here's more information from the Barton College official athletics website.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Being a 6'7" Women's Hoops Player Requires Growth

Alison Bales is a senior center on Duke's #1 ranked women's basketball team seeking the school's first national championship in that sport. She is the third leading shot blocker in NCAA women's history, which might seem like a "duh" for a woman who stand 6'7."

Stop and think for a moment. How difficult do you think it is being a 6'7" female college student when you're NOT on the basketball court? Bailes appears to be handing that challenge quite well.

"I think Ali has grown more as a person and a player than anybody I've ever coached," (Duke coach Gail) Goestenkors said. "And I've seen great growth in so many people. But the confidence that she now carries herself with -- on and off the court -- is remarkable."

"It's not a big deal to me anymore," (Bales) said. "With everything that my height has given me, it's a blessing. I'm a daughter, a sister, a teammate, a friend, just a regular college student."

I suspect she's not giving herself enough credit with that last statement.

Click here to read Michelle Voepel's feature on, "With family, coach's support, Bales blossoms into star."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Northwestern and UMass' women's lacrosse teams took the field today to play the first Annual Brain Tumor Awareness College Lax Challenge.

The inspiration was a young girl named Jaclyn who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005. The Northwestern befriended her on their way to winning the national championship. The relationship continued and I'm happy to say that this event was not a memorial--Jaclyn is far from being healthy but closer than she was two years ago.

Click here to read the feature, "'Friends of Jaclyn' step up to raise funds, awareness."

Here is a link to the "Friends of Jaclyn Foundation."