March Madness ratings grow


The second round of the NCAA tournament showed higher ratings than last year’s coveted March Madness tournament. It is off to the best ratings in 23 years.

According to Nielsen ratings group, Turner and CBS Sports saw a three percent growth from last year to 6.0 nationwide household ratings this year.

Coverage of the first full day of games made NCAA tournament history as there wereNCAA-March-Madness-Live-iPad-app four overtime games. One game that took place during the day was No.11 seed Dayton’s upsetting No. 6 seed Ohio State.

This was a game where many predicted Ohio State would win by a considerable amount. Viewers, who might not have watched the entire game, may have tuned in during overtime. Games between noon to 4:45 pm saw a 12 percent increase from last year.

The NCAA has made games more accessible via the web and mobile devices which may have boosted the ratings. The overall tournament average rating is up eight percent from last year.

UM women’s tennis under media radar


With five Top 10 finishes in the last six seasons and nine straight Top 15 finishes, the UM women’s tennis team is overlooked and deserves more news media attention.

People might not know this, but the Miami’s women’s tennis team is actually the most consistent athletic programs at UM.

UM womens tennisHaving covered its matches for two weeks, I actually had the chance to analyze the team closely.

Even though the team does not receive the media attention that it should, the women go out and support each other with minimal crowds in attendance.

Players are seen rooting each other on during the match to give their team a boost. The passion that these female athletes put into their sport is amazing.

It definitely is a fun environment to be around, and I would encourage members of the UM community to come out to matches.

Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews is an elite recruiter who is the all-time winningest women’s tennis coach in UM history. She is a superb motivator and teacher. Back when she played college tennis at UCLA, she made it to a #1 ranking in doubles and #13 ranking in singles, both in 1996.

When people think UM coaches, the first names that come to mind are Al Golden and Jim Larranaga. But if people would actually look at the women’s side, you have successful women coaches like UM basketball coach Katie Meier and Coach Tews.

Some people might find tennis boring, but if you actually go to a UM match, it is quite exciting. The goal is to one day get the stands filled with fans. The Neil Schiff Tennis Center is comfortable and capable of holding approximately 1,200 spectators.

Last weekend, the UM women’s tennis team held a kids clinic that brought out the largest crowd of the year, somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 people. It felt good to see this great tennis program receive this type of fan support. Not only was there a kids clinic, but there was free food.

President Donna Shalala was in attendance. She spoke about Coach Tews and the women’s tennis program.

“Coach Paige is amazing! The quality of the program shows. This demonstrates two things, first class athletics as well as academics,” Shalala said.

The team has to do whatever it takes moving forward to get fans to attend the matches. Maybe the marketing department can post flyers around campus and advertise through social media sites mainly for students to attend games. People just do not know how good this team really is.

Another way to get fans to the matches is by giving away free shirts and coupons to other events that they attend on campus. Maybe give students or fans who attend the games a free milkshake coupon for a baseball game. I guarantee some people will come to the matches just because the milkshakes are good.

To give the team more media access, UMTV could cover women’s tennis more or maybe The Miami Herald can write stories on the team or cover the matches. It seems like women sports are not promoted as much as men’s sports, which is unfair to these athletes. These girls are actually really good and deserve to be supported.

Right now 40th ranked Kelsey Laurente is playing consistently and climbing up the rankings in singles competition. She plays with so much energy and brings excitement to the court. If I could write a scouting note on her, I would say she has an amazing backhand and attacks the ball with powerful hits on every play.

Coach Tews talked about Kelsey’s play as of late.

“Kelsey is stepping up and taking a leadership role on this team.”

On another note, the doubles team of Clementina Riobueno and Monique Albuquerque are ranked 24th in the nation. They are 8-1 this season and could end the season in the top 10 rankings.

The 20th-ranked Canes host 56th-ranked Boston College tomorrow at noon. Hopefully fans will come out to support the most consistent athletic program at UM.

Be sure to follow UM women’s tennis @HurricaneTennis for the latest news on the team.

Media view Sharper as rapist before trial


Former All-Pro NFL safety Darren Sharper pleaded not guilty to a pair of rape charges in a Los Angeles courtroom yesterday. He is being accused of seven rapes in five different states.

While the California case became aired over several media outlets nationally some of these outlets have portrayed Sharper as a rapist before a verdict has even been reached. This media coverage has given a woman claiming to be raped in Miami Beach an opportunity to bring forth charges after accusing Sharper of an alleged rape that took place in 2012.

Miami Beach police are investigating the incident. The police gave a statement on why the woman came forward about the rape charges.

“She wanted to clear her conscience.”

This anonymous woman also does not even remember the date that it took place. She says that it could have happened on Sept. 27 or Oct. 4, 2012, at Mokai Nightclub in South Beach. Why doesn’t she know the exact date? Sorry, but to me this sounds like a girl who parties too much and is unsure of her own activities.

This is a lesson for females: Do not take any drinks from a man. You should buy your own drink instead of giving the man a chance to drug your drink. I am not saying, by any means, that Sharper was right for allegedly spiking drinks, but these incidents could be prevented if these women did not accept the drinks.

Advice for Sharper, knowing that you are a former NFL player, why put yourself in that situation as well. You already have millions of dollars and a broadcasting career with the NFL Network. Why is he chasing females from nightclubs when he should go after a woman who is not thinking about a weekly outing at a nightclub with her friends.

The funny thing is that once an athlete is accused of raping one female, then that’s when several females come out and say they have gotten raped. One side of me feels that this is an effort to get money from an NFL player. The other side of me feels like maybe he did drug them to eventually get what he wanted, sex. If that is the case, then he is less of a man. But who are we as U.S. citizens to judge one’s character before hearing the evidence? We should let the legal process take its course.

Look at the Jameis Winston rape case. A Florida State female student said she was raped by Winston as he was the known frontrunner to win the 2013 Heisman trophy. The news media, especially sports programs, bashed Winston constantly. At one point, a female reporter for ESPN, Heather Cox, asked four straight questions related to the rape case during an interview to take sides with females on the matter. Winston was later acquitted of the alleged rape charge.

This is why a person is always presumed innocent in any court of law before a verdict is reached. If a woman gets raped they should report it immediately and not wait two years to press charges when another woman is accusing him of the same thing.

It was interesting to see that Sharper connected to seven rapes in Las Vegas, Tempe, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Miami Beach.

Before looking at evidence you might say the man is guilty. But you have to know the facts before reporting that someone has committed a crime.

In all of the cases, each woman claimed to have a drink spiked with some sort of drug that eventually knocked them out. Los Angeles prosecutors are saying that the drugs of choice were a zolpidem, generic of Ambien, and morphine.

If convicted, the former two-time Super Bowl winning champ who has played for the Packers, Saints and Vikings could face up to 30 years in prison.

Students should be careful after robbery


Coral Gables Police are investigating an armed robbery that took place Jan. 28 at the University of Miami.

According to police reports, a female student was walking near the University Village when an African-American man aggressively took her iPhone and purse.

Reports of two prior robberies in the span of a month should make students more aware of their surroundings.

Upon hearing of the recent attacks, UM student Jordan Emanuel feels as though students need to be more aware and lack of awareness plays a role in these robberies.

“If we, as students, paid more attention to our surroundings, then we wouldn’t be as vulnerable or such easy targets to victimize,” Emanuel said.

By using electronic devices while walking on and off campus, students are less vigilant. If students would focus on their travel instead of multi-tasking, then they would be aware of potential threats.

Students are advised to call the UM Police Department at 305-284-6666 if they feel threatened in any way.

There are several options available to students to ensure their safety while on campus; options in the daytime include calling the UM Police Department to have a security guard escort them to their intended destination on campus.

Students can also call Safe Ride, a late-night service that drives students anywhere on campus and to residential areas that border UM. Safe Ride can be reached at 305-298-6128 and is available from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. on Sundays-Thursdays.