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July 23, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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July 23, 2015

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SPORTS SECTION 2 CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, July 23, 2015 P Media says it's EWU; coaches pick MSU FROM NEWS SERVICE REPORTS It may not count in the conference standings, but Sept. 19 will be an intriguing day in the Big Sky Conference football race. Eastern Washington :: :: University and Montana State are the split-vote ~i!~!i~i!~~i!i~~~~!i~i!~~i~i!iiiii~i~!ii!i~iii~i~i!i~i~i~iii!i~i~ii!~~~i~i~i~i~~ii~i~i~i~iii~i~i~!~i~i~iiii!~i~i~i~i~i~!i!i!i!~iiii!~ii!~!i!~i~ii!i~~iiiiii~ii!iii~iiiii~iiiiiii~iiiii~i~i!i~i~ favorites to win the con- There was a differ-a 134-133 edge in total ference title in 2015, and ence of just 12 points points. Montana received will play each other in a in the media poll andone first-place nod and non-conference game at one in the coaches poll. had 121 points. Roos Field on Sept. 19. Eastern received 17 first- The Eagles closed The three-time de- place votes and 553 total the 2014 season ranked fending conference in the media poll, while fourth in FCS, marking champion Eagles were MSU also received 17 the fourth time in five selected to win the con- No. 1 votes and had 541 seasons the Eagles have ference title by the media, total points. Montanaended the year with a while the conference's and Idaho State were a top four ranking. East- head coaches picked distant third with five ern has also spent time Montana State. The picks first-place votes and 446 at No. 1 in four of the were released July 20 at votes apiece, last five seasons (2014, the Big Sky Conference The coaches gave both 2012, 2011, 2010), and Football Kickoff in Park the Eagles and Bobcats was high as second in City, Utah. six votes, but MSU had 2013. continued from page 1 "We're the only FCS school in the from his role as an as- country that has beaten a Power-5 siStant athletic director at Conference in the sports of men's and Baylor University in Waco, Texas in 2007,1eadership in women's basketball, volleyball and Eastern's a etic program football over the last two years," ing Wendy Schuller and "We're the only FCSRenovating Roos has the women's basketball school in the country that been a topic lately with team, which earned a has beaten a Power-5 the proposed Gateway WNIT berth and scored Conference in the sports Project. a huge win at Florida this of men's and women's "Here's what I will past season, basketball, volleyball and say, yes, it is on the fore- Chaves said Wade football over the last two front," Chaves said. "The Benson in volleyball is years," Chaves said. Two president (Mary Cullinan), poised to bring the pro- of those huge wins came when she had her investi- gram back to prominence in football at Oregon State ture, she alluded to the fact now that a recent battle in 2013 and men's bas- that's something we need with cancer is behind ketbaU this past season at to continue to run that him. Indiana. ground ball out." "And coach (Chad) From the t ne Eastern The Gateway Project Bodnar, in one year, did entered the BigSky Confer- has been estimated to cost a tremendous job (with ence in1987 they only won $60-$70 million, would soccer)," Chaves said. "It four football champion- add permanent seating, should be exciting mov- ships through 2005. "Now donor suites, other athletic ingforward." we have four in the last five and student amenities, The sports success at years," Chaves said. "So but would be funded pri- Eastern in recent years that's pretty special." vately. has been unprecedented. With teams appearing "I think we're kind of solid, what about facili- there to be able to think ties? through a couple different Eastern's two main ath- thoughts of how we could letic facilities, Roos - for- potentially move forward markable year/' EWU merly Woodward Field with that, so stay tuned," President Mary Cul- - is nearing 50, and the Chaves said. linan said. "I'm incred- Phase and Reese Court is P a u l D e l a n e y ibly proud of our stu- 40-years-old. With some can be reached at dent-athletes." cosmetic surgery each is pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. still looking pretty nice. com. was a moving target. "Between interim ADs and permanent ADs I was the fifth one in four years," Chaves said. "That's not good for anyone." Just as the leadership has stabilized in recent years, so has the coaching landscape. In both marquee head coaching positions - foot- ball with Beau Baldwin and Jim Hayford in bas- ketball, both have inked deals that go a long way toward keeping them in Cheney, and Eastern in the yearly championship conversation. After guiding East- ern to the 2010 Football Championship Subdivi- sion national champion- ship, Baldwin's name has surfaced for a variety of coaching openings, most recently in 2014 at Oregon State. But Baldwin signed a new deal this past Janu- ary that runs through 2019 and appears to have the Bill Chaves I kind of financial security of those opportunities that to keep him at Eastern for we will all be excited for the immediate future, him," Chaves said. Chaves said he didn'tHayford, who guided think Baldwin was inter- Eastern to only their sec- ested in the lateral move ond-ever NCAA tourna- to another FCS school, ment this past spring, also such as Montana who has received a contract mentioned him as a candi- extension as he enters his date to fill the vacancy left fifth season here. by retiring Mick Delaney. Other coaches and But if the right opportu- sports at Eastern have nity arises, "It will be one enjoyed success, includ- resi 'S continued from page 1 Every Big Sky school averaged at least a 3.06 ish in academics. East- team GPA. Idaho State ern had the conference's was first at 3.35 fol- second-best grade point lowed by EWU at 3.34. average (3.34), was sec- Out of 161 teams from ondintheNCAA'sAca- the 11 full members demic Progress Rate (not including Idaho, (APR) and had 34 All-Cal Poly and UC Davis), Conference student ath- 134 of them had at least letes with a 3.0 GPA a 3.0 GPA. Last year it or better to also rank was 127 out of 160. second. "It really was a re- continued from page 1 what would have been a routine press conference. Riley Curry made another appearance in other post- game events. Stephen Curry isn't the only athlete to. bring his family to the stage. Professional athletes such as Tim Duncan, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose bring their kids with them to the podium after games. One of the criticisms from the media lies with the significance of family appearing at press events. ESPN's Brian Windhorst said he didn't have a prob- lem with athletes bringing their children to special events like an All-Star weekend or a champi- onship game but they shouldn't bring them to a regular season game -- or in Curry's case, game one of a division champion- ship series. Another argument is that it's harder for the me- dia to ask athletes tough questions - you know, the ones where we ask about their thoughts on losing a game and what they will do to come back - if their family is present. One suggested reason for the practice is agents encourage athletes to bring their families alongside them during games and press events in an effort to make them appear more human and appeal to the public. With athletes like Curry, we observe por- tions their personal lives and get to know them better. If they make the news often or have cameras fol- low them around for a reality TV showwe see alot more - perhaps too much -- of these lives. Are children that much of a distraction during press events? If they are screaming and throwing a tantrum in front of the cameras and media, it can be distracting, as well as embarrassing for the par- ents. Elliot's daughter was getting fussy, but it was mostly due to Ferraro un- intentionally putting his microphone in front of her face. An athlete who brings their children to an event is more likely going to pay more attention to their kid and less to the cameras. In their world, their child comes first. Reporters may also have to answer any questions a child has for them, which is fine by me. Honestly, I'd rather talk with a child after a game than an angry par- ent. I also think children iS i can add something extra to press events. During : ..... normal events, athletes .... G and coaches will give the "we gave it our 100 percent" or "we'll do bet- ter next time," stock an- swers. Kids can bring some humor and emotion to what would be a normally boring press conference. I do agree with Wind- horst on something. If an athlete accomplishes a great feat such as win- ning a world champion- ship or breaking a record, shouldn't their family celebrate with them? 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