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HBCUs hope gift from NBA star Steph Curry sparks a golf...

Ernie Andrews looks out to the grounds of Washington’s historic Langston Golf Course and shrugs at the fact that fewer young black golfers are coming out to play these days.As a black man and longtime pro at a place that was once one of the few courses in the U.S. where African Americans were allowed to play, Andrews is hoping a gift from NBA star Stephen Curry to re-establish a golf program at prominent and historically black Howard University is the start of an upward trend.“This is a great sport, and we have too much tradition as a people trying to get into the sport to lose it now,” Andrews said.Curry’s gift to Howard in Washington is bringing new attention to golf at historically black colleges and universities and spotlighting the harsh budget constraints that they face in keeping their programs alive.Black colleges and universities are a crucial pipeline to increasing diversity in golf at a time when few African Americans are playing the sport at the college and professional levels.Only about 300 of the NCAA’s more than 10,000 college golfers are black, according to association data. And just three African American golfers are on the PGA Tour: Tiger Woods, Harold Varner III and Cameron Champ.More than half of the collegiate black golfers compete at HBCUs, but those programs are constantly struggling for survival. Only about a quarter of the more than 100 HBCUs have golf teams, said Craig Bowen, president and founder of the Black College Golf Coaches’ Association.Howard abandoned its golf program in the 1970s before Curry, a two-time NBA MVP who has won three championships with the Golden State Warriors, intervened last week. He donated some of his fortune toward a six-year deal to help the school relaunch its men’s and women’s teams for the 2020-21 academic year.Jackson State University in Mississippi made history in 2007 by becoming the first HBCU to compete in the NCAA Division I golf tournament. But the university suspended its men and women’s golf teams a decade later when it faced a budget crisis.Some HBCUs struggle to find black golfers and end up fielding teams with white players, and the programs are among the first to get targeted during budget crunches.“It’s not football or basketball generating dollars, and they don’t want to go out and spend money and actually have to go out and raise money for golf,” said Bowen, who used to coach golf at Chicago State and Benedict College in South Carolina, which are both HBCUs.Many believed that Woods’ barrier-shattering ascent that started with his historic 1997 win at the Masters — at a club that once banned black golfers — would usher in a new generation of African American players on the PGA Tour.But those projections didn’t materialize, in part because of the deep challenges that young African Americans still face when it comes to taking up a sport that requires considerable expense and travel to play at a high level.“A lot of my golf organizations and clubs are really being challenged in attracting young people,” said Debert Cook, publisher of the African American Golfer’s Digest.Curry, who has long been known as a passionate golfer, made the announcement about his Howard donation at Langston Golf Course, one of the few U.S. golf courses to allow African Americans when it opened in 1939. The course was home to the Royal Golf Club and the Wake Robin Golf Club, the nation’s first for African American men and women.African Americans made steady progress in golf after Langston Golf Course was built, culminating with Woods’ domination of the sport in the early 2000s.In 1964, Althea Gibson, a tennis pioneer who also played golf professionally, became the first black woman to play in the LPGA Tour. And Charlie Sifford joined the PGA Tour in 1961 after years of the organization’s whites-only clause that kept out golfers of color.Andrews said young golfers still have to fight the perception that it’s “a white man’s” sport. He hopes that a resurgence of HBCU golf will help bring more African American youth into the sport.Golf is a great way to teach discipline and perseverance, he said, as well as an avenue into the corporate world for students who may not otherwise have a way in.“We use golf, but the real teaching is about life,” Andrews said.

Weather Channel owner Byron Allen wants to highlight climate change’s impact...

When Entertainment Studios chief Byron Allen purchased The Weather Channel for $300 million in 2017, he made headlines and became the first African American to own a general market cable network. But beyond the significance of his business acquisition, Allen says he hopes his high profile investment will generate another important conversation. “As an African […] The post Weather Channel owner Byron Allen wants to highlight climate change’s impact on Black communities appeared first on theGrio.

College athletes in America may be allowed to profit from their...

TUNE IN TO a college football match in America, and you might think that you were watching a professional rather than an amateur sport. The biggest stadiums routinely fill over 100,000 seats. Corporate sponsorships are common. Television broadcasts are supersaturated with ads for expensive pick-up trucks and beers. All told, America’s college athletic departments brought in a combined $18.1bn of revenue in 2017, up from $9.8bn in 2007. Despite the popularity of their output, college athletes receive no remuneration. The National College Athletic Association (NCAA), which governs college sports, has long forbidden its players to receive any compensation. These ordinances have always been controversial. But after years of legal challenges and intense public scrutiny, the NCAA’s clampdown on paying jocks is at last starting to crack. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor's Picks. On September 10th California passed a bill which would allow athletes at colleges in the state with lucrative sports programmes to hire agents and earn money on the side through sponsorship deals or autograph sales. The bill still needs to be signed by the governor, and would not come into effect until 2023. Similar legislation is being considered in other states and at the federal level. Some lawmakers would like to go one step further. Senator Bernie Sanders, a presidential candidate, put it plainly when he tweeted: “College athletes are workers. Pay them.” Yet treating athletes as employees could create complications. Title IX, a federal law, prevents colleges from discriminating between students by sex. Would this mean that colleges would have to pay their female basketball players as much as males, for example, even if the men bring in more revenue? Richard Borghesi, an economist at the University of South Florida-Sarasota, has written a pair of papers looking at how much top athletes would make if they were paid according to their ability to generate revenue for their colleges. In addition to ticket and merchandise sales, college athletes also play a role in soliciting donations from rich alumni. Taking these factors into account, Mr Borghesi estimates that the top 10% of football and 16% of basketball players would be paid around $400,000 and $250,000 a year respectively. The NCAA opposes California’s efforts. The association notes that college athletes already receive compensation in the form of scholarships, and argues that any further remuneration would jeopardise the integrity of what is meant to be an amateur endeavour. The NCAA has also threatened to ban Californian colleges from competing in national championships. Although the NCAA’s objections may have been valid at some point, they make little sense today. The two most lucrative college sports, American football and basketball, are highly competitive. Many universities are willing to bend over backwards to enroll talented players. And the argument that university athletics remains amateur would hardly earn passing marks in even an introductory college course. ■

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A New Jersey woman meeting a man from the internet texted...

khalil wheeler-weaverPatti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via Associated PressA woman who was found dead at a New Jersey nature preserve in 2016 had asked a man days earlier whether he was a serial killer, authorities testified in court on Thursday.Khalil Wheeler-Weaver has been charged with murder in the deaths of three women and with trying to kill a fourth. He has pleaded not guilty.At his trial, authorities testified about his phone records and internet search history, which showed that he had Googled date-rape drugs less than two hours before Sarah Butler, 20, asked if he was a serial killer.They said Butler's grieving family and friends later found her conversations with Wheeler-Weaver and created a fake profile to lure him to a meeting, where the police were waiting.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.When Sarah Butler, 20, agreed to meet up with a man she talked to on the social-media network Tagged on November 19, 2016, she messaged him asking, "You're not a serial killer, right?"Unbeknownst to Butler, the man she was speaking with had Googled date-rape drugs less than two hours earlier.Butler was found dead 10 days later in New Jersey's Eagle Rock Reservation, hidden underneath a pile of leaves and sticks, the North Jersey Record reported.Those details were in testimony from police officers on Thursday at the trial of Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, who has pleaded not guilty to three murder charges and one attempted-murder charge.Prosecutors allege that Wheeler-Weaver waged a killing spree during the fall of 2016, strangling and asphyxiating Butler, as well as Robin West, 19, and Joanne Browne, 33. They've also accused him of trying to kill a fourth person, identified only by the initials T.T.khalil wheeler-weaverGeorge McNish/NJ Advance Media via Associated PressAccording to the North Jersey Record, authorities in court on Thursday detailed a slew of disturbing internet searches Wheeler-Weaver had made, including "How to make homemade poisons to kill humans" and "What chemical could you put on a rag and hold to someone's face to make them go to sleep immediately."Wheeler-Weaver also searched for "police entrance exam practice test," apparently to learn about how to become a police officer, they said.Story continuesThe police said that they tracked Wheeler-Weaver's phone and that it placed him at the address of an abandoned building that was set on fire and was where West's body was found in September 2016.Prosecutors said the phone records also showed that Wheeler-Weaver drove away but circled back so he could watch the firefighters put out the blaze.khalil wheeler-weaverPatti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via Associated PressBut prosecutors said last month that his one "fatal mistake" was choosing Butler as a victim. They said the woman's grieving family members and friends found her online conversations with Wheeler-Weaver and created a fake Tagged profile to lure him to a new meeting.This time, the police were there to meet him. Wheeler-Weaver was arrested on December 6, 2016."Sarah's friends and family are the heroes of this case," Adam Wells, an Essex County assistant prosecutor, said in court, according to the North Jersey Record.Read more:The brutal ambush of 9 American Mormons in Mexico is part of a surge of violence that could propel a new crisis at the US borderA 21-year-old woman was charged with manslaughter after her boyfriend's suicide. Experts fear it's a 'slippery slope' that could even endanger crisis line workers trying to help.Text messages and phone records show pregnant Colorado woman murdered by her husband told friends before her death that he had 'changed' and didn't want another babyA teen will spend 3 months in federal prison after stealing a lemur from a zoo, stuffing him in a drawer, and abandoning him outside a hotel

Officers who killed Stephon Clark receive permission to return to duty

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 26: Sequita Thompson, (C) grandmother of Stephon Clark who was shot and killed by Sacramento police, cries during a news conference with civil rights attorney Ben Crump on March 26, 2018 in Sacramento, California. The family of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers, have hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent the Clark family in a wrongful death suit against the Sacramento police department. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)In a disappointing but not surprising turn of events, the two Sacramento officers who fatally shot Stephon Clark will not face federal charges and are now free to return to duty.In a statement released Thursday, the Sacramento Police Department outlined how it had conducted what it believed to be a thorough investigation of the officer-involved shooting of an unarmed Black man that took place on March 18, 2018, and concluded that the use of deadly force in the case was lawful.READ MORE: Stephon Clark’s children awarded multi-million dollar settlement from City of SacramentoBack in March, after a nearly year-long investigation, the California attorney general’s office also declined to issue state criminal charges. At the time, Attorney General Xavier Becerra said there was significant evidence to corroborate that the officers had reason to believe their lives were in danger when Clark began advancing toward them holding what they thought to be a gun. But despite this belief, investigators only found a cellphone.“Although no policy violations occurred in this incident or in the events leading up to it, we are committed to implementing strategies that may prevent similar tragedies in the future,” Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said in a statement. “Our internal investigation concluded that there were no violations of department policy or training. The officers involved in this case will return to full, active duty.”That same day of this announced, the FBI also came to a similar decision, saying it didn’t find enough evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against the officers.READ MORE: Prosecution rests in Amber Guyger murder trial while defense team now prepares to get the former Dallas officer offREAD MORE: California governor signs ‘Stephon Clark’s Law’ changing use of deadly force by police rules for policeIn January, Clark’s family – specifically his parents, grandparents and children – filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Sacramento, seeking damages in excess of $20 million.The suit also names Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, the two officers who gunned Clark down in his grandparents’ backyard back.“Both Officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet did not give [Clark] a verbal warning that deadly force would be used prior to shooting [Clark] multiple times, despite it being feasible to do so and they did not issue appropriate commands to [Clark)],” reads the 31-page suit filed by attorneys Dale Galipo, Brian Panish and Ben Crump.Thursday, Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark, posted on Facebook that he was in a meeting with federal and local authorities, stating, “These people have failed when it comes to (accountability).”

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