Rebels spoil the party

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Nov 302002
 
Authors: Reed Saunders

The CSU Rams were crowned the Mountain West Conference champions after Saturday’s game with UNLV, but their performance was anything but championship-caliber.

UNLV ran all over the Rams’ defense and the Rebels’ defense stood strong in clutch situations as CSU dropped a 36-33 decision at Hughes Stadium.

The loss ended CSU’s hopes of becoming the first team in school history with a perfect conference record. And even though the Rams were presented with the Mountain West championship trophy and Liberty Bowl invitation following the game, the mood was hardly celebratory.

“It’s just a shame to go out like this,” said Doug Heald, one of 13 Ram seniors who played their final home game at Hughes Stadium. “We wanted to make history today, go out 7-0, but we didn’t do that.”

Fellow linebacker Drew Wood agreed.

“You don’t want to end like this,” wood said. “There’s really nothing left to say. We played like (crap) and that’s the way it goes.”

The Rebels’ success was keyed by an explosive running attack, which exploited the CSU defense for 390 rushing yards — the most allowed all season by the Rams.

UNLV also used big plays to stun the Rams. The Rebels ran off three rushing plays for 50 or more yards and 10 plays for 10 or more yards. For a CSU defense that usually prides itself on not giving up big plays, each long run was a dagger into their confidence.

“They did some great things, but we didn’t do our job and it hurt us,” Wood said of a defense that surrendered a season-worst 575 yards of total offense. “We just weren’t ready to play as a defense. We didn’t play well at all.”

The blame for this loss could also be shared by the CSU offense. Even though the Rams did rack up 450 yards of total offense themselves, the Rams had five possessions inside the UNLV 25 yard line where they were forced to settle for field goal attempts — one of which was wide left.

“We needed to get the ball in the end zone. We’re kicking too many field goals and that’s the difference in the game,” said CSU tight end Matt Bartz. “I’m going to put the blame on the offense for not putting the ball in the end zone.”

Despite the loss, the Rams will move on to the Liberty Bowl Dec. 31 to take on the Conference USA champion.

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Rams sweep Falcons

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Lee Miller

With three top-seed teams safely into the second round, the Colorado State Rams and the Air Force Falcons took the floor to close out the first round of the Mountain West championship tournament.

That’s as dramatic as it got.

The Rams let the Falcons hang around for the first two stanzas of the first game before rattling off an 11-5 run to win the first game of the match.

The Rams would control the flow of the next two games and finish Air Force’s season with a 30-24, 30-19, 30-21 victory.

The win sends the Rams to the second round where they will get a tough match against BYU, with who they split their regular season matches.

“The Falcons threw us off with some lineup changes early in the first game, and I think they came out a little more sharp than we did,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said. “But we recovered pretty quickly and Katie Jo (Shirley) took over after that from the blocking standpoint.”

Shirley had one of her best performances of the season, posting 10 kills and 10 block assists to earn her first career double-double. Fellow middle blocker Michelle Knox also had 10 kills and hit .500 on 16 swings. As a team the Rams put up 14 blocks in the match to tie BYU for the tournament best.

“We’ve been really working on our blocking for the last two weeks in practice and I think we applied what we’ve been practicing to the game tonight,” Shirley said.

The Rams were never behind by more than three points in the match and held the Falcons to a .040 hitting percentage.

Air Force got a team-high eight kills from middle blocker Tiffany Bishop and libero Jaime Beatty led the team with seven digs.

“I felt like we were well prepared going into this match,” Air Force coach Penny Lucas-White said. “We changed some things around to stop Tess (Rogers) and were pretty successful at it. Michelle and Katie Jo were just too much.”

Brigham Young earned its chance to redeem last Saturday’s loss against the Rams by sneaking by the UNLV Rebels in five games (26-30, 32-30, 33-31, 16-30, 15-11).

Lindsey Metcalf led the Cougars with 17 kills and Carrie Bowers had nine blocks in the victory.

In October, the Cougars beat CSU at Moby Arena in a five-game thriller. The Rams avenged the loss last weekend in Provo with a three-game win.

“It’s hard to play someone again a week later,” Hilbert said. “During (BYU’s) match earlier tonight we were saying that we’d like to play them because it will draw a bigger crowd and I think our team naturally gets fired up to play them.”

In the earlier matches Utah knocked off Wyoming 32-30, 30-20, 30-25 and San Diego State beat New Mexico 30-23, 30-23, 30-27. The Utes and the Aztecs will play at 4 p.m. today.

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Rams play for all the MWC marbles

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Jason Graziadei

This one’s for all the marbles.

The Mountain West Conference championship is on the line this weekend, and one team will walk out of Hughes Stadium with the title. Needless to say, Saturday’s 4 p.m. showdown between the 20th-ranked CSU Rams (9-2, 5-0 MWC) and the New Mexico Lobos (6-5, 4-1 MWC) is arguably the most important game either team will play this season.

For the Rams, there’s more at stake than just the MWC title. At 5-0 in conference play, the Rams could not only clinch their second MWC championship in three years, but also secure the first undefeated conference record in school history.

“This is what you play football for,” said Chris Pittman, the Rams’ leading receiver. “If you can’t get up for this game, you shouldn’t put on a uniform. There’s just so much excitement coming into this game. To be able to do what no CSU team has done and go undefeated in conference, that’s an honor. Everybody’s anxious and ready to go.”

For the Lobos, a win Saturday would mean at least a share of the MWC title, but more importantly, would assure New Mexico a bowl berth. After struggling through their non-conference schedule, the Lobos have emerged as the only serious threat to the Rams’ run at an undefeated conference record.

New Mexico’s only loss in the MWC, a 38-31 overtime loss to Air Force early in the season, is a distant memory, and the Lobos come into Saturday riding a three-game winning streak. Last week’s 20-16 victory against Brigham Young was the Lobos’ first victory in Provo in 31 years, the last win coming in 1971 when current head coach Rocky Long was the Lobos’ quarterback.

Long expressed the dilemma of facing the two-headed monster that is Ram quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt and running back Cecil Sapp.

“You can fill up the inside gaps and make it hard for Sapp to run, but then you leave yourself wide open up for the option play, which is Van Pelt’s key,” Long said Tuesday at his weekly media luncheon in Albuquerque. “You go into the game trying to slow both of them down. Not very many people have been able to do that.”

Long’s Lobos are certainly on a roll coming into the game, but the Rams are on an even longer streak, having won five straight games. Even more impressive is the fact that CSU has blown out their last three opponents by a combined score of 117-43.

“I definitely feel like we’re the best team every time we step on the field and that we should’ve been blowing people out the whole year,” said Rams’ tight end Matt Bartz who leads the team with four receiving touchdowns. “I think that we’re a better team than New Mexico and if we come out and play like we can from the start, we’ll have another blowout.”

Junior linebacker Drew Wood shared Bartz’s take on the game.

“We’re going to come out firing and we’re going to look to bury them like we’ve been burying everyone else,” Wood said. “Our team realizes this is the game, and if you can’t get fired up for this one you need to go home.”

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Ackerman: Are you ram enough?

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Jon Ackerman

I love my family, I really do. And I miss them. A little.

But not nearly enough to miss a CSU football game. Feel the same way? You should.

Let’s get over the fact that we just plain got hosed with our schedule. First, we only play five of 13 games at home, and then they tell us the last two are sandwiched into Thanksgiving break.

Now that wouldn’t be a problem if CSU were a top 20 team and a school with 77 percent in-state students. Oh, wait – we are.

Yet getting fans to these last two games looks to be a problem. If you ask me, Saturday’s game against New Mexico – a.k.a. the Mountain West Conference championship – should have been sold out weeks ago. Instead, if you get a ticket for Saturday (which, embarrassingly, there are plenty of), they’re begging you take one for the last game.

Until Miami or Ohio State or Oklahoma makes a visit to Fort Collins, winning the league championship at home appears to be our only justification for rushing the field. Granted, a win over a 6-5 team is really no reason to tear down the goal posts, but we’ll take any chance we can get.

At least those of us who stick around.

Seriously, why would you go home before Saturday’s game? And why wouldn’t you get back up here before the next Saturday’s game, against UNLV to close out the regular season? Your family will be there all week. Your parents will still try to impose a curfew and you’ll still stumble home at 3 a.m. The sooner you go home, the sooner you deal with them.

Why not stay up here, party crazy for the game, and go home in time to watch the Broncos don their new unis on Sunday? There are no tests to worry about, no projects due. And then come back Saturday morning for the UNLV game, with all day Sunday to do some work.

We want a new stadium, but the only way that’s gonna happen is if we put Hughes Stadium over capacity as often as we skip class.

This is looking to be the best CSU football team ever. Wins in these last two games make the Rams the first CSU team to ever finish the year unbeaten in league. Another win in the bowl game, and the Rams are the first CSU team to ever win 12 games in one season. All that will surely put them better than No. 14 in the nation, which is the highest ranking a CSU team has ever ended the year with.

Don’t you want to be a part of that?

“Hopefully we can get a good turnout this weekend, I’d love for it to be packed,” wide receiver Chris Pittman wishes. “So hopefully the students stay an extra day or so. At least for this game.”

That’s sad. The best wide receiver on one of the best teams in the country not sure if he’ll have good fan support at one of the biggest games in the school’s history.

His teammate seems to be a little more optimistic.

“We played over Thanksgiving before, and even if it’s not a packed house you know there’s going to be drunk people yelling and screaming,” linebacker Drew Wood said.

This is true, but there won’t be nearly as many drunks as there could be.

I’m excited to see my family, I really am. I haven’t seen them in a couple months. So I told them to come up here.

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Women’s basketball to host tournament

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Luke Cornish

While most other students are at home and eating turkey the CSU women’s basketball team will be preparing for the Rocky Mountain Coors Invitational.

After a disappointing exit from the preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the Rams will look to make amends by winning the four-team, two-day tournament.

Instead of continuing in the WNIT this week, the Rams have been preparing for the tournament. The first game is on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. and by that time the Rams will have had 12 days away from the action.

“I’d rather be playing games,” said first year head coach Chris Denker.

The Rams will face the Davidson Wildcats the day after Thanksgiving to start the tournament. Then, depending on the results from the first games, the Rams will play either Xavier or the University of Louisiana-Monroe in either the championship or consolation game the next day.

CSU will be trying to correct the errors that cost them the game against Southern California in the WNIT last weekend.

“We have plenty of stuff to work on,” Denker said. “We need to work on our defense.”

The Rams have faced the Wildcats only once before, when Davidson came to Fort Collins during the 1996-97 season. The Rams won that contest, securing a 102-75 victory and will be looking to repeat the feat.

The Rams dropped from No. 18 to No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll following their 1-1 record after the first two games of the season.

The Wildcats are led by senior forwards Bethany Schott and Leah Uhernik. Uhernik is making a return to the court after missing 2001-02 season with a torn ACL.

This will be Wildcats’ coach Annette Watts second season at the helm. She likes to play high intensity basketball and her teams come out to play the full 40 minutes.

“We like to run the ball, utilize full-court press and do a lot of different things,” Watts said.

They will have to pull out all the stops if they hope to upset a bruised Ram team in their home arena at an elevation that will leave the North Carolinians gasping for air.

“We know what we’re up against and we know it’s going to be tough,” Watts said.

The Wildcats have a tough start to the season, traveling to Chapel Hill Friday to play in-state rivals the North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in March.

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Men’s basketball on the road for Thanksgiving

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

Having played three games in four nights, CSU’s men’s basketball team now faces the daunting task of playing on the road during Thanksgiving break.

“That’s part of the routine of being a college basketball player,” head coach Dale Layer said. “That’s the price you’ve got to pay to play Division-I basketball.”

Coming off a championship performance in the Dell Black Coaches Association tournament, where they outscored their opponents by an average of 19 points per game, the 3-0 Rams now turn their attention to next week. The team faces Texas A&M-Kingsville Nov. 25 at Moby Arena followed by a two-game road trip.

The team has played tough so far this season using both its inside and outside forces to keep opponents off balance, and the Rams plan to continue to use that strategy next week.

“Weve got to control the tempo and keep our opponents out of the paint,” said senior forward Brian Greene, who was named the BCA tournament MVP after averaging 21 points per game. “If we show we can pound the ball inside and be effective, that will get our outside guys some open looks.”

The key outside threat for the Rams, senior guard Andy Birley, had his shot falling during the tournament – hitting 10 of 18 three-point attempts – and is not looking to slow down.

“Myrole on this team is to be an outside threat,” Birley said. “That is what the team needs me to do.”

After Monday’s game against A&M-Kingsville, the Rams travel to Southern Illinois University for a Nov. 28 game against a team that went 28-8 last season and reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

“You have to play better on the road, especially against a team like Southern Illinois,” Layer said. “These games will test us in a way we haven’t been tested yet.”

The Salukis of SIU have four starters returning from last season’s team, including leading scorer and team leader Kent Williams.

“We beat them last season in Moby,” Layer said. “They open this weekend so we haven’t had a chance to see them play, but we know they are an extremely tough opponent.”

Following the Nov. 27 match-up and a Thanksgiving Day break, the Rams head to Alltel Arena at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 30 to face an experienced Trojan team that returns all five starters from last season’s 18-11 team.

The Rams should have some added pop to their rotation with sophomore guard Freddie Robinson expected to return as early as Monday, Layer said.

“We played a tough three games in four nights and are still short-handed,” Layer said. “We are anxious to get some guys back soon.”

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Teachers should embrace their biases

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Mary B. Vogl

I enjoyed Ashley Wheeland’s recent column “Teaching what it is that we know,” in which she makes the point that teachers cannot always “hold their views away from what they teach.” I feel that teaching is at its best when the instructor can be open in the classroom about his or her own beliefs, while making the students feel comfortable enough to challenge or even disagree with them. Recently I attended courses with Professors Wilkins-Wells and Bernasek in which they said things to the effect of: “This is how I see it. Other scholars think X and Y, but for these reasons, I disagree with their theories. You may think otherwise.”

This seems to me a much better approach than hiding one’s true opinions in an effort to be “objective” or “neutral.” We professors need to encourage students to be less fearful to enter into dialogue with us in the classroom and during office hours. What makes us stay in this crazy profession is the opportunity for intellectual exchange and lifelong learning – from our students.

Mary B. Vogl

Assistant Professor of French

Foreign Languages & Literatures

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Some Jewish people oppose Zionism

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Peter Halseide

In the opinion posted by Steven Shulman in Monday’s paper, he writes “Hostility to Zionism itself is inherently anti-Semitic since it rejects Jewish sovereignty over a small sliver of the Middle East…”

However, readers may be shocked to find out (as I was) that many Jewish people themselves oppose Zionism. My limited research for this letter has shown that there are in fact many Jewish movements, groups and organizations that hold the position that any form of Zionism is heresy and that the existence of the so-called “state of Israel” is illegitimate (to paraphrase a quote from JewsNotZionists.org).

I realize we need to be careful on both sides. I am not commenting on Shulman’s critique of “Zionist conspiracies” to “govern the United States or the Middle East.” I am just making the point there are lots of people opposed to Zionism not just “anti-Semites.”

The land of Palestine is rich in history and conflict. Many Palestinians in the area are Christians, and they too suffer with others in the occupied areas. At a time when many Americans are glad to have the strong hand of the United Nations involved in Iraq, it is a helpful reminder that the UN, acting on the same wished of the world issued resolution UNSCR 242, among others, which requires both the “withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied” in 1967, and the “acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Thus far the UN resolution has been ignored by Israel.

International recognition of both a Jewish and Palestinian state may be helpful to bring peace in this region. It does not follow that one is “anti-Semite” if one supports a Palestinian state.

Peder Halseide

Senior

Liberal Arts

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Rodriguez: College lessons not found in class

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Rod Rodriguez

It’s the Friday before fall break. By now, most everyone has gotten into their cars, boarded planes and made the trek home.

For the freshmen, it’s the first time you’ve been home for any extended period of time since you gained your independence just a few months ago. Time to put the bottles away, hide the tattoos and pretend you are the perfect angel your parents always thought you were.

The reality is, we’re not perfect angels. We’re human beings.

College is, for many of us, a time to explore who we are, find what we like and don’t like, and try the things we’ve been saying “No!” to since the D.A.R.E. officers visited our schools so long ago.

I think this frightens most parents; the thought that these beings they raised since birth are out of their control and experimenting with life for the first time. I say that this is what college is all about!

Are we na/ve enough to think that college is all about books, classes and how many times a semester you can wake-up for that 8 a.m. class? What it’s really about is what you are doing between classes.

When I was a freshman (which seems like so long ago), some friends and me were discussing the Clinton and Lewinsky scandal. I mentioned how horrible it was that our president could do something so despicable, and in the Oval Office!

One of the friends I was sitting with was African and taught me more about the world than any book I’ve opened since being at this university. He looked at me and said, “What he did really wasn’t that bad.”

My mouth dropped to the floor. “What do you mean not that bad? What worse thing could he have done?”

“Well, my president committed genocide. Two million of my people are dead because of my president.” Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

I wouldn’t have learned that in Brighton, Colo., the town from which I graduated from high school. Not that I’m dismissing what was happening under the desk of the most powerful man in the world, but being in an environment where ideas could be explored and discussed provided me the opportunity to learn.

It was passing out in the lobby of the ninth floor in Westfall Hall, having proselytizers tell me daily that I’m going to hell and the Wall of Despair (otherwise known as the Justice For All “abortion exhibit”) appear on the plaza that really made the college experience.

Without these things, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn about others, to learn about the world and, most importantly, to learn about myself.

So as we all head back home this week, talk to your parents, talk to you families, about what you learned in college. Tell them about the people you’ve met, the experiences you’ve had and maybe that one time you passed out in the Westfall ninth floor lobby.

Tell them about who you are, what you want to become and what you really think. College is about discourse. Continue those discussions at home; forget about the classroom for a little bit.

Most of all, grow. Learn. Explore. The world is your oyster, whatever that means. Crack it open, dig deep and find that pearl. No matter how it turns out, just remember that college is here waiting for you when you get back, and so is that bottle you hid away in your sock drawer.

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Pretty petunias or professor’s jobs

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Nov 212002
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

It would be nice if we could always have everything we wanted, and the world just cooperated. Unfortunately, that’s now how it works out most of the time. You have to make sacrifices, and work with people to make the world someplace we can all live in.

CSU has to cut a total of $8.4 million dollars from their budget for the fiscal year 2003. It’s a lot of money, and it’s going to require some sacrifices from students and staff to make it happen, but it’s what we have to do for Colorado.

The university has decided to use $2.4 million of reserve funds, impose hiring and spending restrictions for another $2.5 million and get the remaining $3.5 million from other reserves and current revenue.

The hiring and spending restrictions will include facilities management working fewer hours with a smaller staff. They will no longer be cleaning professor’s offices at night, and the budget for landscaping work will be reduced. For the time being, there are no plans to reduce cleaning of classrooms.

Other restrictions will include not rehiring for vacancies that result from retirement or resignation. The administration has no plans to reduce faculty through layoffs.

These are hard times. The struggling economy is making life more difficult for everyone, and CSU is doing its part, as everyone else should be. So maybe professors will have to clean their own offices, or we won’t have such detailed landscaping. Who here came for the pretty petunias? We’re here to learn, to get an education, to do research. The administration is doing everything in its power to not hurt our standing as an excellent undergraduate education and research institution. The janitorial staff is like a valet at an expensive restaurant. It’s nice, but when times are tough, do you cut the valet, or the cook?

Nobody is looking forward to the reductions, but if the administration continues to put as careful consideration into future cuts as they have into these, CSU will continue as a valuable institution of learning.

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