Nov 212014
 

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By Valerie Strauss
November 21

An anonymous letter sent to the University of Virginia student newspaper takes credit in the name of unnamed students for vandalizing a fraternity house that has been at the center of a Rolling Stone magazine story about a gang rape that allegedly occurred there. What’s more, the students who took responsibility for the vandalism said they would “escalate” and “provoke” the university until its demands are met.

The fraternity house of the university’s Phi Kappa Psi chapter was vandalized early Thursday, with windows broken and the words such as “SUSPEND US” spray painted on the walls. The Rolling Stone article tells the story of a freshman who alleges that she was gang-raped by seven male students at the fraternity house in 2012. The story says that she told university officials but did not press charges after being discouraged by friends.

The student Cavalier Daily reported that the letter, sent by a “John Doe” and signed by “the students who vandalized the Phi Psi house,” said university authorities should carry out:

“An immediate revision of University policy mandating expulsion as the only sanction for rape and sexual assault.”
“The immediate suspension of UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi chapter, and a thorough review of the entire fraternity system.”
“A thorough overhaul of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Board and the resignation of Dean Nicole Eramo.”
“The immediate implementation of harm reduction policies at fraternity parties, such as policing, University supervision, or permission for parties to be held in safer environments such as sorority houses.”

The fraternity’s university chapter said in a statement Thursday afternoon that it had “no specific knowledge of the claims” in the Rolling Stone article but took the allegations seriously and was voluntarily suspending its Fraternal Organization Agreement with the university, which effectively stops all fraternity activities. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said that the university will investigate the rape allegations made in the article and review policies and procedures involving sexual assault on campus. University President Teresa Sullivan said in a statement that she had asked the Charlottesville, Va., police to investigate the allegations of the 2012 rape.

The anonymous letter claiming credit for the vandalism at the frat house also said:

“We applaud the bravery of those who have shared their stories, and we promise that their bravery will not be in vain. This situation is just beginning. We will escalate and we will provoke until justice is achieved for the countless victims of rampant sexual violence at this University and around the nation.”

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Nov 202014
 

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By Mike Huguenin
College Football 24/7 writer
Published: Nov. 19, 2014 at 03:07 p.m.

East Carolina’s Justin Hardy is getting ready to break the FBS career receptions record. Actually, he’s getting ready to smash it.

Not a bad ending to a college career for a guy who began his as a walk-on at ECU only after he was able to get out of a scholarship he had signed with Division II Fayetteville (N.C.) State.

Hardy has 346 career receptions, four away from breaking former Oklahoma star Ryan Broyles’ FBS record of 349 (set from 2008-11). Hardy has four games left in his senior season; given that he’s averaging nine receptions per game, he conceivably could finish his career with somewhere around 380 receptions — and 400 isn’t out of the question, considering that twice this season he has had at least 14 receptions in a game.

Asked if he could fashion a dream scenario for the record-setting catch, Hardy told College Football 24/7 via phone on Tuesday, “I hope it’s a touchdown so I can keep the ball.”

Hardy (6-foot-0, 193 pounds) already has accepted an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, and NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks — himself a former NFL wide receiver — has called him “a legitimate big-time prospect based on his performance, production and skills.” Hardy has been used in a variety of roles by the Pirates, lining up in the slot and out wide. Brooks noted that “Hardy’s speed and quickness make him a tough matchup on the outside, but the Pirates will also go to him on an assortment of screens and quick passes designed to get him the ball in space.”

So how would Justin Hardy start a scouting report on Justin Hardy? “Great pass-catcher. Knows how to get open.” He also said his route-running ability is a big positive.

All this is heady stuff for a guy who was a 160-pound quarterback as a high school senior in Vanceboro, N.C. Hardy had been a wide receiver before being moved to quarterback as a senior, and he said he wasn’t necessarily happy with the move to what he considered his second-best position. “But having the ball in my hands every play, can’t really complain,” he said.

No FBS or FCS school was interested in a 160-pound quarterback, even though Hardy sent videotape of himself playing wide receiver to a number of schools, including East Carolina, whose campus in Greenville is about 30 miles from Hardy’s high school. Thus, he signed with Division II Fayetteville State.

But new ECU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley — who arrived from Texas Tech with new Pirates coach Ruffin McNeill — came across Hardy’s highlight tape and was impressed enough to call him. After some discussion, Hardy was able to get out of the scholarship with Fayetteville State. Still, there was no scholarship offer from ECU, which meant he had to walk on.

No problem: He adapted quickly to the “Air Raid” offense Riley brought with him from Texas Tech, and after redshirting as a true freshman in 2010, he received a scholarship in 2011 and immediately became a big producer.

Hardy had 64 receptions in 2011, 88 in ’12, 114 last season and has 80 through nine games this season. Despite his success this season, Hardy was not one of the 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation’s best receiver. He said he was disappointed he wasn’t on the list, but “life goes on.”

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill was a little more pointed during his weekly Monday news conference: “That’s the most idiotic thing I have ever heard in my life, that they would not put that young man on there.”

Hardy has caught at least two passes in each of his 45 career games, and his large hands — he sometimes wears gloves sized 3X — help him latch on to balls. He has had 14 career 100-yard games and 13 games with at least 10 receptions.

Hardy professes to know that he would succeed in this offense from the first day he was on ECU’s practice field. “There was a new coach, but we ran the same offense in high school,” he said.

He said he was a big fan of Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice while growing up, and prepared for his first season in ECU’s offense by watching cut-ups of Texas Tech’s offense featuring receivers Michael Crabtree and Wes Welker; Riley had served as Mike Leach’s wide receiver coach with the Red Raiders before moving to ECU. These days, Hardy says he watches tape of players such as Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, along with tapes of the Indianapolis Colts’ and San Francisco 49ers’ offenses. “But I’m looking at the receivers,” he admitted.

He will get an opportunity to join those NFL receivers in April. His draft status ultimately will be determined by how he performs at the Senior Bowl, at the NFL Scouting Combine and at his pro day, but he will be drafted; the question is how early. He said he will begin training for the combine as soon as the season is over, though he doesn’t know where he will train yet; ECU seems likely to play in a pre-Jan. 1 bowl, though there is the possibility the Pirates’ postseason game could be Jan. 2 or 3.

Broyles, the guy whose record he is going to break, was a second-round pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2012 draft. Broyles (5-10, 188) and Hardy are roughly the same size, and they are two of just six players to reach the 300-receptions mark. The others: Houston’s Tyron Carrier had 320 (from 2008-11), Purdue’s Taylor Stubblefield had 316 (2001-04) and Marshall’s Josh Davis (2001-04) and Western Michigan’s Jordan White (2007, 2009-11) each had 306.

Hardy said he is committed to continuing to work hard wherever he ends up. “I hate losing as much as I love winning,” he said.

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Nov 202014
 

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By AARON BEARD

AP Sports Writer
November 20, 2014

Justin Hardy is close to completing a remarkable climb at East Carolina: from walk-on receiver to the all-time receptions leader in college Football’s Bowl Subdivision.

The fifth-year senior needs four catches — less than half his weekly average — to set the record Saturday against Tulane.

“I really don’t think about it,” he said. “The more I think about it, the more I’d probably be like, ‘Well, I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that.’ I can’t get away from the game.”

The 6-foot, 188-pound Hardy entered the year needing 84 catches to break the record of 349 set by Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles in 2011, well within reach considering he had 88 catches as a sophomore and 114 as a junior.

Hardy, who may not be the most athletic player on the field, has a knack for getting open. He’s also benefited from playing in a pass-heavy attack.

He has had four games with at least 10 catches, including his 15-catch, 188-yard effort last week at Cincinnati. He has 80 catches for 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns for the Pirates (6-3, 3-2 American Athletic Conference), ranking third nationally in receptions per game (8.9) and eighth in average yards receiving (111.3).

He’s been a vital part of East Carolina’s offense, so much so that normally good-natured coach Ruffin McNeill has been vocal with his displeasure that Hardy wasn’t a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award presented to the nation’s top receiver. AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco weighed in Wednesday, too, issuing a statement saying Hardy deserved to be included and that “anyone who has seen Justin play this year would have to conclude that he is among the best receivers in the nation.”

No one has to sell Tulane coach Curtis Johnson on Hardy’s potential. The receiver had career highs of 17 catches and 230 yards receiving in last year’s meeting.

“I know the NFL scouts are very high on him,” Johnson said in a statement provided by the school. “He’s a terrific receiver.”

Hardy was an overlooked recruit with one Division II scholarship offer from Fayetteville State out of West Craven High, a school that runs the spread offense about 25 miles southeast of the ECU campus in Vanceboro.

He ended up as a preferred walk-on at East Carolina, which needed receivers once McNeill took over in January 2010 and installed the spread. He worked on the scout team that first year, earned a scholarship the following season and has been in a leading role ever since.

Once the season ends, the question is whether Hardy’s success will carry over to the NFL.

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks said teams will watch to see how Hardy adapts to running routes for pro-style offenses during postseason all-star games and the scouting combine. But Brooks — an analyst with NFL Media that includes NFL.com, NFL Network and other league ventures — said “there’s certainly a place” for Hardy in the league.

“I think from a scouting perspective, you’re looking for guys who are kind of blue-collar workers, guys who are unafraid of putting it down on the practice field to earn their spot in the league,” Brooks said. “… You’re getting a guy who understands what it’s like being a role player in the league and sometimes those guys end up being the best players on your team because they’re willing to wear multiple hats and really thrive doing multiple things.”

Hardy has generally deflected questions this season about the record chase. He said he’ll just focus on doing his job Saturday, then move on with a record he’ll savor more after the season.

“I probably won’t even think about it,” he said. “Once gametime starts, it’s like I’m locked in. I don’t hear anything else outside of what I’m doing.”

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Nov 202014
 

Roy Alton Briley
Obituary

Roy Alton Briley passed away on November 17, 2014 at his home in Stokes, North Carolina. Roy was a native of Pitt County, having spent most of his life in the Bethel area. He was born on 7/8/1939 to Becton and Luberta Briley, both of whom preceded him in death. Roy loved fishing and after retirement from East Carolina University spent most of his time outside just enjoying nature. Along with his parents, Roy was preceded in death by his son, Roy Briley, Jr., brother, Larry Ray Briley, 2 sisters LulaBelle White and Paulette Briley. He is survived by two sons, Earl Briley and Billy Ray Briley, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, brothers JB, Charlie, and Randy Briley and sisters Essie Mae Manning, Edith High, and Stella Kent, and numerous nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, November 22nd at 2 pm at Friends In Fellowship Christian Church 962 Jack Jones Road Winterville, NC. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Friends in Fellowship Christian Church.

Published in The Daily Reflector on Nov. 20, 2014

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Nov 202014
 

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By MARY ELLEN

MIAMI HERALD / TIMES TALLAHASSEE BUREAU
November 20, 2014

TALLAHASSEE — A lone gunman who opened fire inside the library at Florida State University was shot and killed by campus police early Thursday morning after he wounded three people, authorities said.

The gunman, who was not identified, walked inside the entrance to FSU’s Strozier Library about 12:30 a.m. and opened fire, striking three people, Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David Northway told reporters at the scene. Victims were not identified.

Minutes later, FSU campus police confronted the gunman just outside the library building and commanded him to surrender. The gunman ignored the command and fired at least one shot at police officers. FSU police then shot and killed him. Tallahasee Police are handling the investigation.

“As FSU police officers were coming to the call they heard word that they had one victim who was shot,’’ Northway said. “The initial report indicates that as the officer got to the area, they located the gunman near the entrance of Strozier Library and he was challenged by the police officers to drop his weapon. Instead of complying with their commands, the gunman in turn fired a shot at the officers and they returned fire, killing the suspect.”

The three shooting victims, who were not identified, were rushed to nearby hospitals. The extent of injuries or whether the victims were students was not known, Northway said.

FSU President John Thrasher canceled all classes scheduled for Thursday. He had been in New York City at the time of shooting and was returning to the campus.

The scene inside and outside the five-story library building was chaotic in the moments following the sound of gunfire as students scrambled for safety in the freezing temperatures and nearly three dozen police officers surrounded the area. Police said some students were evacuated to an adjacent building.

The library made an announcement that was recorded by a student cellphone video, as reported by Fox Tampa Bay:

“There has been a shooting in the library. Stay where you are. We will be coming to each floor clearing, and taking care of anybody,” the voice said. “If anybody has a victim; if anybody has a shot, call 911 with your cell phone. If you have not been shot, or you don’t know if someone was armed, do not call 911,” the instructions continued.

Suspected Gunman Dead After Overnight Shooting On FSU Campus
CBS Philly

Witnesses who were inside the crowded library at the time of the shooting told the Miami Herald they heard about five to seven rapid-fire gun shots after hearing the first burst of gunfire. Police said they could not confirm how many shots had been fired by the gunman.

Allison Kope, 18, of Cocoa Beach, said she was studying at the library, which was packed with FSU students, when she heard a loud sound “like a bookcase falling” and later heard someone say “there’s a gunman.”

She said students then started filing out the doors of the library to go outside. Once outside, she said she heard several rapid-fire gun shots.

Austin Bari, 18, of Plantation, said he, too, heard a loud noise before learning from another student that there was a gunman in the building. “I heard a little bang and thought something dropped and then someone said there’s a gun,” he said.

He said the fire alarm went off as students and others rushed out of the library.

“I grabbed all I could and then I heard seven to eight rounds [of gunfire] go off. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!”

John Ehab, a sophomore from Tampa, told the Associated Press that he was on the library’s third floor when he heard multiple gunshots.

“Everyone heard them,” he said. People took cover in the book aisles to hide from the gunman in case he came onto the floor, Ehab said.

Stephen Moring, 18, of Miami, said he was studying on the first floor, but didn’t hear anything because he had earphones. His friend alerted him to the possible gunman. He said he saw “a guy lying on the floor grabbing his leg and somebody yelled ‘gun in the building.’”

“We all started heading out the door,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we were panicked, but it was a state of confusion.”

“It’s the most scared I’ve ever been in my life,” he said. “It was horrifying.”

At 4:14 a.m., FSU officials sent an alert that the campus was secured and out of danger. They also plan to offer counseling to students on Thursday.

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Nov 202014
 

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November 19, 2014

Chapel Hill, N.C. — Six days after an accrediting organization sent a letter to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill officials regarding its review of an academic fraud investigation, school administrators haven’t acknowledged whether the letter outlines any areas in which it was found to be out of compliance with accreditation standards.

Former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein released a 131-page report on Oct. 22 that showed academic advisers at UNC-Chapel Hill steered student-athletes for 18 years toward classes that never met and required only a short paper to pass.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools put the university on notice when claims of academic impropriety surfaced in 2011, and SACS president Belle Wheelan said her organization considered Wainstein’s report as a new issue.

Faculty Chairman Dr. Bruce Cairns apologized Wednesday to the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees for the black eye the scandal has given the university, and he updated them on the reforms the school has undertaken and how faculty members are responding to Wainstein’s findings.

“We are all still interested in reiterating what it is that we are here to do,” said Cairns, the John Stackhouse Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the UNC School of Medicine. “We want to work with the administration and make sure that all of the issues that would be identified in the accreditation process are identified.”

The university has until early January to respond to SACS, explaining what it’s doing to come back into compliance. SACS will review that plan and determine if it is enough to comply with accreditation standards.

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Nov 202014
 

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November 19, 2014

Regarding the Nov. 16 Point of View “ Time for UNC leaders to get real on cuts”: Sometimes we get what we ask for. The Point of View might have an effect the writers did not intend.

It was authored by Robert Seigel, an associate professor at East Carolina University, and endorsed by other professors. They say they speak as private citizens and not for that great university.

What they are asking for is greater scrutiny of funding for the 16 campuses of the University of North Carolina. They propose outrage, demonstration, much pressure and civil disobedience.

The General Assembly does not set salaries for professors. Instead, it appropriates a lump sum to the Board of Governors with very little strings attached.

The writers probably do not know that North Carolina is fourth in the nation in its state support for higher education at $13,480 per student per year. This does not include the cost of the buildings or grounds. First- and second-place states are Alaska and Wyoming, which are funded by huge deposits of oil and coal. The people of the third-place state, Connecticut, are rich.

If these professors bring this up to public scrutiny, they may get taxpayers wondering why a state that is 36th in per capita personal income is supporting the 16 UNC campuses 32 places ahead of its own wealth.

Personally, I am glad we do. But it is nothing to complain about.

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Nov 202014
 

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November 20, 2014

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a field of study in its mass communications school on public relations. And a number of loyal university graduates are successful public relations executives in this area. In addition, one vice chancellor’s office includes public affairs as one of its duties.

Why, then, would the university run up a tab likely to approach $2 million for outside public relations help that seems focused in large part on dealing with the fallout from the athletics-academics scandal that has unfolded over a three-year period?

There is no acceptable answer to that question. And the university’s statement that the money to pay the public relations experts from Edelman, the world’s largest such firm, hasn’t come from tuition or state money is no justification. This is money under the university’s control, and it’s splitting hairs to say it is or is not public money.

The academic-athletics scandal, with phony courses and academic advisers guiding athletes to them and with administrators failing miserably in oversight, was not a public relations problem.

Kenneth Wainstein, the former Justice Department official who ran a months-long investigation into the scandal following years of stories in The News & Observer, affirmed those stories in his conclusions. There were phony classes. There were university employees sending athletes to those classes to keep them eligible. There were improper grades.

This wasn’t about public relations, about trying to smooth out the rough edges, about “spinning” the story to make it more favorable to the university. This was about honesty. It was about truth. It was about pursuing that truth, even if it proved unfavorable to the university, which it did.

To add to the embarrassment, the university’s leaders harshly criticized whistle-blower Mary Willingham, who had been an academic adviser and dared to speak out. She has yet to receive a deserved apology from administrators.

None of this could have been solved with better public relations. Truth and openness would have cost nothing.

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