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, 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 University Scholarship in Action 

Mark Emmert, the new president of the NCAA, plans to endorse a system for collegiate athletics that disallows players to play one year and head to the NBA. Instead, Emmert wants a system in which the age limit is removed (which is what kept players like Carmelo Anthony from going pro right out of high school) with players being forced to decide whether they wish to declare for the NBA draft or go to college. If they choose to go to college, they are not allowed to play in the NBA for either three years or when they turn 21, whichever comes first. In the face of the new rule, players are pushed to make the decision sooner, and are locked into that decision for at least three years.
Bethlehem Schoals and Tom Ziller of Fanhouse.com write on the racial dimension of this issue in the following way:

 

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Institute for Black Public Policy

University of Alabama coach Nick Saban has made a serious mistake in terminology. During a recent press conference, Saban was asked to respond to NCAA investigations involving one of his players, Marcell Dareus. Dareus allegedly attended a party that was sponsored by a sports agent, which would be an NCAA violation.
Saban then referred to sports agents as "pimps," complaining about how they are determined to undermine the sanctity of college sports by giving the athletes money or expensive gifts. In light of the fact that Saban felt the need to use such harsh language, I thought I might help him to assess what it truly means to be a pimp.
A pimp is someone who does the following:

 

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Jeremy Green, son of former NFL coach Dennis Green, has been arrested in Connecticut on a charge related to child pornography. Jeremy Green is also an ESPN analyst. He was picked up Thursday around 5 p.m. in a Southington hotel. He is charged with possession of child pornography, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He is being held on $750,000 bond and police are not releasing details of the warrant, which is now sealed. He has worked with ESPN since 2005.
Jeremy’s father, Dennis Green, was one of the most successful African American coaches in the history of the NFL. His 1998 run with the Minnesota Vikings led to a 15-1 record for the team, and the most points scored by any NFL team during any one season. The team made it to the NFC Championship game that year, led by Randy Moss and other great players the team had that year.

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