We Are The Champions, My Friend!

Well, CIAA 2015 is in the books! And I must say, it was a great tournament this year! I had fun covering the games, talking to coaches and players and seeing all the excitement. 

On the women's side, the Lady Trojans of Virginia State University grabbed their first CIAA championship since 2002. Now, VSU had a chip on their shoulder from last year when they were bounced out of the tournament on a controversial call at the buzzer. That chip surely showed itself as the Lady Trojans bounced teams out all week long, including the 4-time CIAA champion Shaw Lady Bears. 

I was particularly impressed with the play of VSU's Tiffanie Adair. On the regular season Adair averaged 13.8 ppg. In the tournament, she averaged 11.7 ppg including a huge game against Elizabeth City State where she recorded 21 points and 13 rebounds. Adair was also named the tournament MVP. 

Congratulations to the Lady Trojans and good luck as they advance to the NCAA Atlantic Region Tournament. 

For the men, the Livingstone College Blue Bears recorded their second consecutive championship. The Blue Bears gave zero doubt all week as to who the reigning champions were and that they were there to take home the title again. 

As a team, I have to say that I am impressed with Livingstone (the JCSU alum in me cringed a bit with that statement). The impressive play of players such as Eric DuBose, Eric Mayo, Daryl Traynham and Ty Newman, who was named tournament MVP, was impeccable. The Blue Bears cannot say there was one player that led them to the promise land as it was truly a team effort. Every night there was a different "takeover man" for the team and it played an essential role in their success. 

I will say Traynham had a huge, huge part in the championship for the Blue Bears. Coming off of the bench he put up 23 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. For a player who averaged 8.8 ppg in the regular season to put up numbers like that is a serious thing. 

What may be better for Livingstone is that three of the four aforementioned players will be back next season to defend their title. 

Congratulations to the Blue Bears on their outstanding season and good luck as they enter the NCAA tournament. 

It's That Time of Year Again...

Well it is upon us! #CIAA is here ladies and gentlemen and I believe it will be a good one!

It was a very interesting season as there were co-champions in both men's divisions; Bowie State and Virginia State for the Northern Division and Winston-Salem State and Livingstone for the Southern Division. The CIAA's tie-breaker policy determined that Bowie State and Winston-Salem State would hold the No.1 seeds in their divisions. 

For the women, Lincoln and Virginia State are co-champions of the Northern Division and the tie-breaker policy determines that Lincoln will hold the No. 1 seed this week. Shaw will remain the Southern Division champions.

As I slightly discussed in this post, the Lady Blue Bears of Livingstone had to forfeit 18 of their wins on what was an undefeated season. After a bunch of changes and nullifications, the Lady Blue Bears finished the season with an overall record of 6-10 and 6-4 in the Southern Division. They hold the No. 3 seed in the South and I for one am very interested to see how it plays out for them since a paper record means exactly DIDDLY!

Anyway, games begin tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10 am at the Time Warner Cable Arena and I will be in the building! Unfortunately, not all day because I have to work my "real" job but I will be there joining the HSRN Family! You can listen/watch the games at either TheCIAA.com or HSRN.com!

Be sure to follow @PumpsNPenalties on Twitter for updates, pictures, videos, etc throughout the week, too!

View CIAA 2015 Men's Bracket here.

View CIAA 2015 Women's Bracket here.



It's Unfortunate...

As I stated on Twitter earlier today - the JCSU alum in me may not like this post. Oh well, my inner self will get over it. 

This past weekend it was reported that the Livingstone College women's basketball team had to forfeit 18 wins on their season as they have been using the talents of an ineligible player. The Lady Blue Bears, who would be 22-1 when the weekend ended, were nationally ranked and looked as though they would be the top seed in the upcoming CIAA tournament. Because of the findings the women fell to 4-19 (suffering their first actual loss to JCSU on Sunday) and are now tied for third place in the southern division of the CIAA. 

Now, as I mentioned before Livingstone has/had a player, Kyra Crosby, who was deemed ineligible and because of this all of the games she played in were forfeited. Crosby, who was a transfer to Livingstone from Georgia State, averaged about 15 points per game for the Lady Blue Bears. Yesterday, Crosby sent an email addressed to the CIAA Commissioner to Winston-Salem Journal's John Dell. The email pretty much states that she would like to appeal the decision made for several reasons.

First, it reports that there were administrative errors on Georgia State's part as they provided Livingstone with an incomplete tracer which would have led the college to believe Crosby was an eligible player. With that being said it turns into how Livingstone's compliance officer should have requested more information regarding her eligibility, which they did not. Or they believed whatever information was received was all they needed, which is was not. The third thing the email states is that Shaw University provided the CIAA with information on Crosby's eligibility but it doesn't seems to be 100% clear as to how they would have obtained said information because (of course) Georgia State is saying they did not provide Shaw with it. Behind that point it's been reported that Shaw had this information used against Crosby since December and chose to share it in January "which displays a strategic attempt on Shaw’s behalf to force LC to forfeit more games than necessary."

So, here's what I'm gathering from all of this: somebody messed up. But it doesn't sound like it was Crosby. Or the other young women on this team. So now, I'm back to the point of my last post why are we punishing the "kids"?

Like I said above, Crosby was averaging around 15 points per game which according to any stats (all of which Crosby has been removed from) she was the leading scorer. But the stats also show two other players that average double digit scoring. So my question is - who is to say that even if Crosby never happened to Livingstone that  they would not have won those games? I mean, they won four without her! And what happens if the Lady Blue Bears come out and still win the CIAA tournament without Crosby? Then what will they say? Should've let them keep their wins?

How can you punish an entire team for the misfortune of one player? Is it that whole "there's no 'I' in team" thing? Because right now, that's some bull. 

I'm not going to say that I hope Livingstone wins the CIAA tournament because after all I'm still JCSU down to my soul! But I hope these girls do fins some sort of silver lining in the rainfall because this is crazy. 

Crime And Punishment

Alright, let's get straight to the point here. The Jackie Robinson West Little League team was stripped of it's Little League World Series wins and it's Great Lakes regional title today. 

Quick recap so I can rant: apparently the team held players that lived outside of the team's eligible boundary. It was reported that JRW officials secretly changed the boundary lines to "grab star players" and other leagues didn't know about it or sign off on it (as that is required). 

Now, I think this is totally unfair in so many ways. 

First of all, let's not act like these kids, I repeat KIDS, did anything wrong. An adult, whether it was a coach, a JRW representative, a parent or whoever came to a child who wanted to play baseball and said "play here" so that child said "Ok". What did he know? I'm sure the conversation didn't go "this is really cheating but we won't tell if you won't" - they're 12 years old. That's not the kind of thing you tell a 12 year old. And I'm also sure that that 12 year old didn't take a crayon and redraw the boundary line so that he could play for JRW either. To punish a child for something an adult did is absurd. 

Second, the caliber of the punishment is crazy to me. You took away something the kids earned (their wins/championship) AND you've suspended their future tournament privileges. I mean, I've heard of professional teams with punishments not as harsh for way worse things. I can see taking away future privileges but to take that AND something that they earned? Let's be real here, those boys played those games and they won. We're not 100% or even 50% sure that these "extra" players contributed to the wins in a major way. 

But back to these adults. Yes, they were wrong. They cheated. They padded the roster. They should be punished at all costs. It's sad that they felt like they needed to secretly rework the boundary and that they even put the kids in this position. I won't act like nothing at all happened to them - team manager Darold Butler has been suspended from league activity and Michael Kelly has been removed as an administator of Illinois District 4. But the real losers here are the kids, literally. 

And let me say this, this is not a race thing. I don't care if this kids are black, white or purple with polka dots - this is a status thing. These kids are (or maybe I should say were) winners. They made it to the top of the mountain. If we were talking about a team that lost the World Series or even a team that won 2 games in the entire season then this wouldn't even be an issue. (Rather it wouldn't be as big as this all really is right now.)

I get it, cheaters never prosper but did we punish the real cheaters here? In my opinion, no. There has to be more than two adults that did this and yet a group of kids were punished. And the punishment does not fit the crime. Or is that just me? 

The Tech, the Ref and the Controversy....

Alright, I might ruffle some feathers with this one. Don't care.

So last night, the Cavs beat the Clippers 105-94. Not gonna lie, I didn't watch the whole game because I'm "old" so I fell asleep. But thank God for SportsCenter and NBA TV. Anyway, in case you didn't hear a few things happened. First, one of three referees last night was a woman. Second, the Clippers received 5, yes 5, technical fouls. Third, one of the techs, given to Chris Paul, lead to a "controversial" statement made after the game. Now, here comes me!

Here's what CP3 said:

""The tech I got was ridiculous. That's terrible. There's no way that can be a technical. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court. When we did that, she said, 'Uh-uh.' I said, 'Why uh-uh?' and she gave me a technical. That's ridiculous. If that's the case, this might not be for her." (FoxNews.com)

I find it slightly amusing that this sparked a big deal because probably an hour or so ago I read this article about why we should not use the word "female". So it says that a female is defined as the sex of a species that is capable of producing children. And a woman is defined as a human being. So women/ladies/chicks whatever you want to be called don't want to be referred to as "females" because they think it's degrading and that it means the only thing they're capable of doing is having kids? Is that all you're good for? Is that why you're upset? Because the shoe fits and you're wearing it?

As a woman I know that I am much more than a baby making machine so the word female doesn't offend me in the least bit. The word we need to stop praising, calling ourselves or letting men say is the word that is defined as a female dog. And yet, that's what most of you want to be in life. 

Anyway, so the problem is CP3 said "her". But that's what she is - a her. What was he supposed to say? "This might not be the job for that person who is not categorized as a man" - would that have made you feel better?

I mean really, if it was one of the two male refs that made the call and the comment was "maybe this isn't the job for him" would we even be talking about this? No. But because she's a lady she's supposed to get special treatment and we're supposed to stand by her as if she was attacked? Stop it. 

I started this site to show that women/females/chicks/gals/ladies can discuss sports just as any man can. I don't expect people to hold my hand or pat me on my head if I say something incorrect because I'm a female. I expect them to call me out on my stuff because I am a writer and I'm supposed to know what I'm talking about before I say anything. Just as I'm sure that she did what she needed to do to become one of three full-time female refs - she shouldn't (and probably doesn't) need someone holding her hand through "such a huge controversy". I doubt she's even looking at the way it's being portrayed. 

Everything is not an attack on gender like some people want it to be. Just like I'm referring to CP3 as a "he", HE referred to HER as a "HER" - because that's what SHE is! Stop trying to be a strong, "don't take no mess" type of woman and then try to be upset when someone says something you don't like. You either don't take no mess or you cry. It can't be both. 

But that's just my two cents. 


On a lighter note, I love this video by the Lady Gamecocks! So I just wanted to share.