by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

Most of us can appreciate, on one level or another, the tremendous achievements of Tiger Woods, Venus Williams and her little sister, Serena. They have all been, in one way or another, a tremendous source of pride for the African American community. Much of the reason we are so proud of them is because they’ve dominated like no other in sports that are not typically played by "us." I am personally more impressed with the Williams sisters than with Tiger, in large part because they’ve made it into a family affair, and seem to more directly embrace the idea of making their success into a "black thing." Tiger, on the other hand, seems to want to make his success into a "Caublinasian thing." I admittedly can’t get with that.


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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

One of my favorite films of all-time was "War of the Roses," starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. In the film, a divorced couple starts down a dangerous and hilarious path of mutual destruction, where the goal of each is to make the other person’s life miserable. At the end of the movie, both parties find that while it was their goal to destroy the other person, they actually ended up destroying themselves. Just for the record, each character dies at the end.

I think about "War of the Roses" when I see the custody battle between NBA star Dwight Howard and his ex-wife, Royce Reed. Of course I don’t expect anyone to end up dead, but it’s already clear that Royce and Dwight have made each other’s lives as miserable as possible. Royce recently called the cops after Dwight picked up her son from daycare at a time when he was not scheduled to do so. Before that, Dwight had filed a lawsuit against Royce for referring to him as a "douchebag" on the TV show, "Basketball Wives.

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

Anyone even remotely familiar with the sports world is well aware of reports that former USC star Reggie Bush is at risk of having his Heisman Trophy taken away from him. The return of the Heisman would likely be related to NCAA violations that allegedly took place within the USC program during the time when Bush played for them. Bush didn’t speak in detail on the issue when he was asked about it.
"At this point, it’s kind of out of my hands," Bush said Wednesday after practice with the New Orleans Saints.
Bush would not confirm or deny whether he spoke with the Heisman Trophy Trust about losing the award. Executive Director Robert Whalen said that no decision has yet been made.


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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

If I were an old man responsible for managing Team USA’s public image, I would be cursing Twitter every day of the week. Apparently, giving young, bold athletes instant access to media was a cruel joke orchestrated by both fate and Mother Nature. At any rate, the latest athlete to embarrass himself with his Twitter account was Danny Granger. Making reference to the fact that deodorant is not as popular in Europe as it is in the United States, Granger said that Europeans smell like "dead donkeys." Here are his exact words:
"i’m dying over here come nobody in europe wears deodorant? guess they didn’t get the memo – smellin like dead joke"

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Coalition for Black Male Athletes, Syracuse University Scholarship in Action  

Maurice Clarrett, the embattled former superstar of the Ohio State Buckeyes, is getting another chance to play football. Clarett just signed a one-year deal to play for the Omaha Nighthawks in the United Football League. This is the first time Clarett has put on a football uniform since spending three and a half years in prison for having a hidden gun and holding up a couple outside a night club.
"I am humbled by the opportunity the Omaha Nighthawks have given me and will dedicate myself on and off the field to prove that I can be a valuable member of the team and the Omaha community," Clarett said. "I am committed to working hard to earn the right for a second chance in football and more importantly in life."
Clarett is now 6-feet tall, 220 pounds, which makes him 10 pounds lighter than he was when he played at Ohio State. The coaches were astonished at his physical shape, giving him credit for keeping himself prepared. He is allowed to be out of the state for 30 days at a time, but his attorneys are hoping that a judge will rule that Clarett can leave the state for the entire football season. He is now 26-years old, meaning that he is at his physical peak.

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I recently read a very interesting story about how so many black athletes are being hammered by the financial devastation of child support.  Their paychecks are getting zapped to nothing, only to buy Coach purses and hair weaves for the women who’ve had their children.  Perhaps the sex was good enough to justify the misery, but I’ve never had sex that good.

New York Jets running back Antonio Cromartie is one famous case of “I’m Bound to be Broke-itis.”  Cromartie, who is 26-years old, has eight children with six women in five different states.  In fact, the Jets had to front Cromartie $500,000 to settle his paternity situation before he even started playing for the team.  There are quite a few other cases worth mentioning, but I won’t waste time laying out the issues.

What I will lay out is an added perspective that might help brothers realize  the utter stupidity of putting themselves in situations that will keep their pockets empty, kill their ability to support a family down the road and possibly lead to incarceration.  Getting caught under the neck of the merciless child support system is an absolutely horrible feeling.  Children are a beautiful gift from God, and we can all appreciate a pretty woman, but if you let this stuff get the best of you, you’re begging for a life of misery.

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Tiger Woods

This is from Sports Illustrated:


Nov. 25: The National Enquirer announces that it is about to break a story that Tiger Woods had an affair.

Nov. 27: Tiger Woods gets in a one-car accident. Details are sketchy.

Nov. 29: Tiger Woods releases his first statement taking responsibility for accident and asks for privacy.

Dec. 1: A woman — not the same as the National Enquirer woman — comes forward to say that she has had a longstanding affair with Tiger. A panicked voicemail with Tiger Woods’ voice is released to U.S. Weekly.

Dec. 1: Tiger Woods releases his second statement, taking more responsibility, asking for more privacy.

Dec. 3: TMZ reports that another woman — third woman so far — had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 6: Radar Online reports that a fourth woman had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 6: The New York Daily News reports that a fifth woman had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 6: The News of the World reports that a sixth woman had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 7: A porn star announces that she is the seventh woman to have had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 8: A second porn star announces that she is the eighth woman to have had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 11: Tiger Woods releases his third statement, taking more responsibility. He says he will step away from golf to "focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person."

Dec. 13: The first company — Accenture — drops Tiger Woods as spokesman. It will not be the last.

Feb. 19: After a two-month absence — during which rumors continue to fly and Woods is photographed at a sex treatment facility — Tiger Woods speaks publicly. He again takes responsibility and says he doesn’t know when he will return to golf.

March 16: Woods announces that he will play at the Masters.

March 17: A porn star releases text messages that she claims were from Tiger Woods.

March 21: Woods gives his first interviews — to the Golf Channel and ESPN — and says he’s done some pretty disgusting things.

April 5: Woods does his first full-fledged press conference, leading up to the Masters.

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