Walking around campus on the day of the University of Connecticut Involvement Fair, you could definitely tell which students had already attended. Their arms were full of multicolored fliers and scraps of paper, buttons, pens and stickers.
When wide receiver Kevin White was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft, he was supposed to become a superstar the franchise could build around. But White injured his shoulder in the Bears’ season opener and will be placed on injured reserve for the third time in three seasons.
White will have surgery on his shoulder blade which was fractured when he was tackled by Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley in the fourth quarter. The play ended White’s game at two receptions for six yards and will most likely end his season as well.
The story of Kevin White is extremely unfortunate. A 6-foot-3 body with a 4.35 40-yard dash time and 23 reps on the combine bench press, he was a highly-rated NFL prospect coming out of West Virginia. He was considered to be a project-type player, since he only had two years of experience in the Big 12.
Before attending West Virginia and proceeding to catch 109 passes for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns in his senior season, White went to school at Lackawanna College. His grades weren’t high enough for a Division I scholarship and junior college gave him an opportunity to prove his worth while focusing on academics.
White eventually got everything together, and after two years at Lackawanna, he received offers from Texas Tech and West Virginia. He worked his way into the NFL; his story is a great compelling one about a kid who almost dropped out of junior college.
But White has only played in five games in his first three NFL seasons, with 21 receptions for 193 yards and zero touchdowns.
The media certainly hasn’t helped White’s image. Besides the normal pressure placed on a high draft pick, White has been heavily doubted because of his inability to stay healthy. This offseason, a story surfaced, saying White was watching film of his West Virginia days because he lacked confidence in himself. White denied this was the reason for the film session and tweeted out a response.
(Print only) “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see..” White tweeted in early August.
(Online only) https://twitter.com/mrkevinwhite/status/892733307397582848
White’s contract will end after this season and he’ll be a free agent without much game film to back him up. If he gets back to full health after the surgery, some team is probably going to take a chance on him by signing him for cheap.
High draft picks bust relatively frequently, but they usually get the chance to perform. Trent Richardson could be considered the biggest bust in recent memory; Richardson showed for years that he wasn’t an NFL-caliber running back. White hasn’t had much of an opportunity to prove his worth to Chicago’s fans, and yet he still get criticized by the entire country.
Personally, I believe White will have a decent run in the league. It’s hard to come back from three straight years of injuries, and maybe I’m just a sucker for a good story, but I think a new team will serve him well.
White may never live up to his draft pedigree. But a new city, a fresh start with no expectations and maybe even a new training staff will help.
Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After dealing DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, the NBA’s most turbulent franchise is trying to undergo a major reboot.
The Sacramento Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2006 and have been in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons. A rotating door of ineffective head coaches and rumors of relocation have plagued the Kings for the better part of a decade.
But quietly, the Kings have been making all the right moves this offseason. Moves that aren’t going to make the Kings championship contenders overnight but give the franchise a sense of direction that it has lacked over the years.
Any successful rebuild needs stability in the head coaching position and the Kings seem to have finally found their man. Dave Joerger is one of the most underrated head coaches in the league and is back at the helm for his second season with the Kings. Before coming to Sacramento, Joerger spent nine years with the Memphis Grizzlies and became head coach in 2013. Memphis made the playoffs in each of Joerger’s three years as head coach. This includes the 2015-16 season where the Grizzlies were forced to dress 28 different players due to injury.
He is a coach who gets the most out of his players and does such a good job of it, he would probably still be in Memphis if he didn’t manipulate his way out of town. Despite officially being “fired,” the Grizzlies didn’t want to lose him. After Joerger asked the Grizzlies’ front office for permission to interview for other positions, general manager Chris Wallace’s hand was forced and Wallace fired him, citing a lack of commitment to the future.
Joerger eventually signed with Sacramento and, while it hasn’t paid immediate dividends, the pairing still has a chance to be a match made in heaven. Joerger has the chance to help mold something of his own creation and the Kings finally have some stability on the bench after having five different head coaches since 2012.
That stability is going to be crucial for Sacramento because this roster has some very young pieces.
The Kings are bringing in the best Rookie class out of anyone in the NBA this season. De’Aaron Fox has a chance to be an elite point guard in this league. Fox is lightning fast and seems to have a competitive fire that Joerger was able to help harness so effectively in Memphis. He ate up other top prospects like Lonzo Ball defensively, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up having a better NBA career than most of them too.
The Kings also received great value for trading back to 15 and 20 in the first round. Justin Jackson, the 15th pick, has the long range shooting potential scouts go crazy for and Harry Giles, the 20th pick, has injury concerns but his potential is more than worth it for the Kings. If Giles stays healthy, we will probably look back on Giles as the steal of the 2017 draft.
Bogdan Bogdanović is coming over for his first NBA season but an All-Euroleague First team selection in 2017 gives hope that he can contribute in some role immediately.
While everyone was so quick to pencil in New Orleans as the winners of the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Buddy Hield more than deserved his spot on the All-Rookie team. After the all-star break, Hield shot .480 percent from the field, up the .392 percent he shot while with in New Orleans.
Sacramento has also done a fantastic job of bringing in veterans to help manage the locker-room and support Joerger.
Zach Randolph was one of the patron saints of grit and grind in Memphis. Randolph will likely set the example for the kind of hard-nosed play the Kings will want to instill going forward.
Vince Carter signed with the Kings for a hefty price tag, but his influence in the locker room might be priceless. These young players grew up worshipping Vin Sanity. If Vince Carter is still playing hard at age 40, they aren’t going to think about his $8 million contract. They’re going to try their hardest to not disappoint their boyhood heroes.
George Hill is also going to be the perfect tutor to help Fox adapt his game to the NBA. Hill is still a very capable point guard, helping guide the Utah Jazz to 51 wins last season. Fox and the King’s second round pick, Frank Mason, should split time sharing the backcourt with Hill.
The Kings aren’t going to be world-beaters in 2017. There’s still going to be bumpy stretches and they’re almost certainly going to lose a lot of games. But that’s okay. It’s better than throwing new head coaches at the wall every season to appease your superstar and see what sticks.
Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com. He tweets @OfficialBrett.
Deemed the “world’s most persecuted minority," the Rohingya people of Myanmar (formerly Burma) are the victims of what the United Nations defines as ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar government. Government officials claim insurgents are to blame for the spike in violence, as nine Myanmar troops were killed October of last year. However, human rights groups note abuses carried out by the Myanmar Army border on a systematic genocide.
So whose responsibility is it to call for peace and justice for the Rohingya people? It is ironic and disappointing that Nobel Peace Prize laureate and State Chancellor of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, either remains silent or does not directly acknowledge the plight of the Rohingya. Even though Suu Kyi does not hold power over her government’s military, she has not spoken up against its brutality. Fellow laureates like South African social activist Desmond Tutu are criticizing Suu Kyi’s adamancy to remain mum about the issue, rightfully stating that “silence is too high a price.” Even the international public recognizes Suu Kyi’s lack of action is unacceptable; there are several Change.org petitions calling to revoke her Nobel Peace Prize and title.
Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken to foreign government leaders on rare occasions. Most recently, on Sept. 5, she engaged in a telephone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey is one of the first countries to directly send aide to the Rakhinae state in Myanmar, where the Rohingya mainly reside. During the conversation Suu Kyi stated “we make sure that all the people in our country are entitled to protection of their rights." It is difficult to agree with the Myanmar Chancellor’s statement when the Rohingya have been denied citizenship for 35 years and are not a recognized ethnicity by Myanmar’s 1982 Citizenship Law. Being stripped of citizenship leaves the Rohingya people stateless and without the right to vote, practice their faith, or even move, so how can those individuals who are not recognized as people of Myanmar be safe from the government?
Some of the heinous crimes committed by the Myanmar Army include killing children, rape, torture, and arson. In the past two weeks alone the United Nations approximates 270,000 Rohingya have fled military aggression in Myanmar to neighboring nations like Bangladesh. However, even those fleeing are targeted; Amnesty International reports the Myanmar Army is planting “internationally banned antipersonnel landmines” along the neighboring Bangladesh border. With the Myanmar military’s breaking of international regulations exposed, one would expect the White House to promptly express its criticism; however President Trump has failed to release a statement. There is no need for United States military intervention when America has the power to stop the military aggression through shaming the Myanmar government alone. President Trump has an opportunity to add a much needed highlight to his foreign policy portfolio. A single statement of denunciation of the Myanmar government by President Trump may not only trigger neighboring countries to provide more aid efforts but perhaps even a ceasefire and solution. A direct phone call to Aung Suu Kyi by the President, not a United States ambassador, may even persuade her to publically condemn the vicious Myanmar military crackdown.
While we wait for the United States President and Nobel Peace Prize laureates to recognize injustice let us, the academic community, urge awareness about the issue. It is important to remain observant of any crimes against humanity because, though it’s not immediately apparent, we are directly affected. It is little a known fact that the greatest influx of refugees to the US are from Myanmar, not Iraq or Syria. If the Myanmar military is already breaking international rules, it’s because the army thinks no one is watching. Why is it that we still can’t, even in this social media generation, recognize a situation that is shaping up to be under the “The World’s Worst Genocides” section of our history books?
Fajar Alam is a contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophomore Donovan Williams had a short-lived tenure as the University of Connecticut football team’s starting quarterback last season, to say the least.
Thrown into the fire late in his freshman year – initially expected to be a redshirt season – by former head coach Bob Diaco, Williams started the last three games for the Huskies, essentially wasting a year of his eligibility.
Seeing that he would not be one of the first quarterbacks on the depth chart ahead of the 2017 season, Williams agreed to make the tough decision and switch positions for the sake of helping the team.
“It was definitely a tough decision initially, because I played quarterback for such a long time, that’s where my heart was,” Williams said. “But I came to the realization that I loved football more. And I saw that I could contribute to the team in multiple ways, and use my athleticism to change positions and contribute.”
Williams talked with new head coach Randy Edsall before making the transition, and it appears to be paying off on the practice field.
“One thing about Donovan, when we made the move…I thought it was something that he really embraced and wanted to do,” Edsall said. “And now you see him doing things as a receiver and you just see him getting better each practice because he’s getting more comfortable with everything.”
In the offseason, Williams worked extensively as a wide receiver and worked on the special teams unit in order to get some playing time and perhaps help UConn with his athleticism. Standing at 6-foot-4, Williams was initially recruited by several FBS schools to play as a wide receiver or defensive back due to his athletic ability.
“A lot of [the adjustment to receiver] just learning all the finer points of being a receiver,” Edsall said. “He’s a really good athlete, he understands things. The other thing where he’s made strides on is special teams. Now we’re able to use him on special teams…on punt and kickoff returns. You just see how much he’s gotten better with each practice he goes through because he’s getting more comfortable doing those things.”
Williams noted that there were some big changes to being a receiver, especially in an up-tempo offense like that of offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
“The biggest thing was just that it was more physically demanding,” Williams said. “As a quarterback, you know, you’re on your feet but you’re not running constantly, especially in this offense. The biggest change is the physical aspect. I love it.”
Edsall attributes Williams’ improvement to his maturity and work ethic on the practice field and expects the work will pay off on game day soon.
“I’ve liked the approach that he’s taken to the position…He’s got a really good work ethic. He wants to be good, he wants to do well,” Edsall said. “You see it on film each day.”
Williams’ value on special teams could be vital to the Huskies, since he can help in special teams coverage and on returns as a blocker. However, he has had to get used to hitting opponents again – rather than the other way around – after many years of playing quarterback.
“Probably like eighth grade, middle school. It’s not that big of a change. Football is football, it’s kind of like riding a bike,” Williams responded when asked the last time he had to tackle somebody. “But you know on this level, everything is much faster so it does take time in practice getting used to it again.”
He will get the opportunity to show off his improved skills at receiver and special teams Saturday when UConn visits Virginia, Williams’ home state, in a non-conference matchup taking place noon Saturday at Scott Stadium.
With New York fall fashion week underway, there are lots of articles online telling you which high-fashion trends will be popular this season and which clothes to buy. But if we’re being honest, as broke college students trying to survive in windy Storrs, these looks aren’t always the most practical.
Some of the most memorable names to grace the “Unplugged” stage include Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi and Kiss. In more recent years, that list grew to include more contemporary pop artists, such as Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey, Lil Wayne and Adele, among others.