Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 5

It’s Sun Belt tournament time! March Madness is officially here (though you could easily debate it was here a week ago when ‘The Team Down South’ game into the Sports Arena and the Panthers scored a 17-point victory to earn their second-straight conference title.

That conference title is the subject of the Men’s Basketball Number of the Game, but before we get to that, here is today’s important information.

The Panthers will face UL Lafayette on Saturday in a rematch of last year’s championship game at 2 p.m. ET from Lakefront Arena. If you were not able to make it to New Orleans, you can either watch the game on ESPN3 or listen to 680 The Fan as Dave Cohen and Brandon Leak call the action. Free audio is also available on GeorgiaStateSports.com and the GSU mobile app.

The InsideGSUSports blog has presented the Number of  the Game all season and we plan to continue it for several weeks to come (you know where are heads are at).

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Today’s Number of the Game:

5

With the win last week, Georgia State has won five conference regular season titles in school history, with all of them coming since the 1999-2000 season. Over that same stretch, the Panthers have had six 20-plus win seasons, not a bad little stretch over the last 15 years.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog on Sunday (yes, we plan to be playing tomorrow) as the Panthers look to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001.

–Mike Holmes

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Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, Men's Basketball

Celebrating Athletic Trainer Month

During the month of March, athletic trainers across the country will be recognized for their commitment to helping people prevent injuries and stay healthy and active. Athletic trainers are health care professionals who are highly educated and dedicated to the job at hand. Athletic trainers can be found in high schools and colleges, corporations, professional sports, the military, performing arts and clinics, hospitals and physician offices.

At Georgia State, we are lucky to have an excellent staff of full-time and graduate assistant athletic trainers who take care of all of our student-athletes year-round. Fans may only see them on the sidelines at games, but this group can also be found at every practice as well, arriving early to give treatment to the student-athletes and staying late to make sure they are ready for the next game.

This year’s theme is “We Prepare-You Perform. “It focuses on the varied ways athletic trainers prepare for anything and everything so their athletes, patients, performers, etc., do not have to worry about anything but performing at their best.

Show your support by “liking” the National Athletic Training Month 2015 Facebook page or tweet a favorite moment where your Georgia State Athletic Trainer prepared you to perform. Pictures are encouraged. Make sure you add the hashtag #natm2015.

Please join me in saluting the following athletic trainers for providing quality health care for our athletes & employees every day.

Bob Murphy, Associate AD of Sports Medicine and Nutrition

Jessica Peters, Sr. Head Athletic Trainer

Dinika Johnson, Head Athletic

Kasi Bussell, Assistant Athletic Trainer

Brandon Dobo, Assistant Athletic Trainer

Amanda Hawkins, Assistant Athletic Trainer

Tim Adams, Athletic Trainer

Celeste Brown, Athletic Trainer

Camille Harris, Athletic Trainer

Charles Kistleriv, Athletic Trainer

Erin Murphy, Athletic Trainer

John Travnick, Athletic Trainer

Billy Lutz, Athletic Trainer

Matt Cooksey, Athletic Trainer

We appreciate each and every one of you. Join me in applauding these heroes and in celebrating national athletic training month!

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Athletic Trainer, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports

Inside Compliance: New Enforcement Process

On the second Wednesday of every month (or a day late this month), a member of the Compliance staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming Monday: Communications

Prior to 2013, the NCAA incurred an increasing amount of criticism that served to weaken the credibility of the organization’s enforcement practices.  Detractors claimed the system failed to incentivize institutions and their personnel, particularly coaches, to encourage compliance with NCAA regulations.  They argued that the inconsistent results of infractions and the lack of predictability regarding penalties undermined the entire process.  Partly in response to these concerns, in August 2013, the Association instituted sweeping changes to the process by which alleged infractions are processed.  This legislative reform sought to enhance fairness, and allow institutions more input and control regarding the enforcement process.

Before detailing the modifications to the enforcement process, it is necessary to examine the framework of the previous system.  Prior to August 2013, the NCAA’s enforcement mechanism classified violations as either “major” or “secondary.”  Secondary violations were infractions that “intended to provide only a minimal recruiting or competitive advantage.”  Secondary violations were subdivided into Level I and Level II depending on their seriousness.  Examples of Level I violations under the old system include engaging in impermissible contact with a prospective student-athlete (PSA), and providing impermissible transportation during a PSA’s on-campus visit.  Level II violations were considered minor infractions and, therefore, processed at the conference level rather than through the national office.  An example of a Level II violation would be an institution failing to adhere to size restrictions of printed recruiting materials.  Under the previous enforcement structure, a major violation was classified as any infraction that was not isolated or inadvertent.

The post-August 2013 enforcement structure made significant changes to the violation component of the NCAA’s enforcement process.  The classification of violations as secondary or minor was abandoned in favor of classifications identified by Levels I through IV.  Under the new violation structure, Level I violations involve a “serious breach of conduct” and are intended to encompass the most severe rule violations – examples include academic fraud, failure to cooperate with an NCAA investigation, unethical conduct, failure by a head coach to monitor the activities of assistant coaches, and cash inducements to student-athletes.

Level II violations encompass infractions that result in a moderate recruiting or competitive advantage.  Examples include providing impermissible benefits that are more than minimal but less than substantial, an institutional failure to monitor (unless egregious) and systemic violations that fall short of a lack of institutional control.  Level III violations involve behaviors that are isolated or limited and provide only a minimal recruiting or competitive advantage, or impermissible benefit.  Examples include off-campus contact with a PSA during a dead period, and using impermissible recruiting aids such as game-day simulations.  Level IV violations, or “incidental infractions” are violations of a technical nature that do not affect a student-athlete’s eligibility to participate in competition.  Similar to secondary violations under the old enforcement structure, Level IV violations are adjudicated at the conference level.  An example is inadvertently failing to sign a squad list.

In addition to redefining the tiers of alleged violations, the NCAA also developed a new penalty structure aimed at producing more consistent results.  The Association’s new enforcement structure consists of six core penalties: postseason competition bans; financial penalties, including postseason revenue; reducing athletic scholarships; limiting recruiting activities; issuing show-cause orders, which direct member institutions to take action against a particular staff member, coach or booster; and probation.

The new structure includes a framework that allows for the prescribed penalties to be adjusted depending on aggravating or mitigating circumstances.  Examples of aggravating factors include a history of major (Level I and/or Level II) violations by the institution, a lack of institutional control, and unethical conduct.  Conversely, examples of mitigating circumstances include timely self-disclosure of the violation, undertaking corrective action, and fully cooperating with the NCAA investigation.

One major consequence of the revised enforcement structure is the increased scrutiny of head coaches.  A new provision creates a presumption that the head coach is responsible for the actions of his or her subordinates.  Therefore, not only can head coaches be suspended for committing violations, but they are also subject to suspensions for violations committed by their assistant coaches and other support personnel.  Although this policy has proved controversial, the NCAA’s intent was to hold head coaches accountable for maintaining control over their athletics program.  It should be noted that suspensions are not automatic; rather, all instances are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Another major takeaway of the new enforcement structure is the emphasis on the shared responsibility of all representatives of NCAA member institutions.  Institutions are charged with undertaking whatever actions are necessary to appropriately monitor the conduct of its constituents to ensure compliance.  The new enforcement structure imposes an affirmative obligation on institutions to assume responsibility for compliance, take corrective action and cooperate with the NCAA enforcement staff.  It is clear that the bar has been raised in terms of the extent to which an institution must now engage in these efforts to meet and properly fulfill its compliance responsibilities.

To date, Georgia State has never committed a major violation.  The responsibility to continue this unblemished record falls not only on the compliance staff but also on each and every GSU student-athlete, coach, institutional staff member, booster and representative.  Collectively, every individual associated with Panther athletics must make every reasonable effort to ensure compliance with NCAA rules, and, in doing so, continue to uphold the integrity of the University.

–Compliance

Posted in Compliance, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, NCAA

Emerging Leaders Seminar Worth the Trip

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At the end of January, Georgia State sent a group of five from the athletics department to Indianapolis to participate in the NCAA’s Emerging Leaders Seminar. Among the 200 young athletics administrators and coaches – across all three NCAA divisions – at the start of their professional careers were GSU graduate assistants Bree Hicken (academic support), Thomas Howard (facilities), Gina Knutson (facilities), Rishawn Marshall (academic support) and Tyler Rosenberger (compliance).

The purpose of the seminar, according to a NCAA release, was to build “leadership awareness and a broadened perspective of intercollegiate athletics.” The hope was to gain valuable insight to help structure the next steps in their careers.

From the sounds of it, despite many being leery at the start, the goal was met – and even exceeded.

“It was actually really impressive. It was really inspiring,” Hicken said. “It helped you see other people in these roles and learn ‘This is where I started from, this is where I am.’

“We know we’re here for the student-athletes, and to hear other people say the same thing and have the same passion, it makes you want to be part of that group.”

Going into the three-day conference, Knutson had no idea what to expect. She wasn’t sure it would be worth the time. She too came away with a much broader appreciation for her career choice.

“It was phenomenal. We met so many great people from all over the place,” Knutson said. “Everyone had their own experience, own story, and learned off other people’s experiences.”

Both Hicken and Knutson enjoyed the DiSC personality test that helped them understand how to deal with others better. The idea of better understanding what other areas do outside of their specific path also resonated.

“We may be in facilities, but we need to know, learn how communications does things every day, how marketing works, all the areas,” Knutson said. “It’s important to know the whole globe of athletics and how others work in order to be successful. They showed us how you want to try to understand everyone else’s issues.”

Seems they showed them how to be better leaders in college athletics.

–Jerry Trickie

Posted in leadership, NCAA

Inside Ticketing: Postseason Tickets

On the second Monday of every month, a member of the Ticketing staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming Wednesday: Compliance

2015 Georgia State Basketball NCAA Postseason Ticket Request

Are you interested in attending any NCAA postseason basketball tournament rounds Georgia State may play in? Click here and follow the instructions to fill out your ticket request form today!

Panther Athletic Club donors and/or Men’s Basketball season ticket holders will receive first priority. Send your ticket request form via email to tickets@gsu.edu or fax (404-413-4030). Requests must be received by Friday, March 13.  

Should Georgia State not get selected to the NCAA Tournament, please check www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for post season information.

–Tyler Wilcher

Posted in Basketball, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball, NCAA, Tickets

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 12

This is it. One more regular season game for all the marbles as they say. Georgia State vs. Georgia Southern. GSU vs. GS. Panthers vs. Eagles. #StateNotSouthern vs. #SouthernNotState. And if the whole in-state rivalry wasn’t enough, let’s throw in that the winner earns the Sun Belt regular season championship, No. 1 seed in the conference tournament next week and will know that they will get to play in the postseason.

If you have your ticket already, we look forward to seeing you in the Sports Arena this afternoon. If you don’t, you can still watch on PantherVision HD or listen live to Dave Cohen, Rodney Turner and Brandon Leak call the action on 1340 The Fan 3 or on the GSU mobile apps.

It has been a remarkable season. I thought long and hard about the many different numbers that I could use today, but came up with the only one that I really thought that mattered.

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Today’s Number of the Game:

12

What does the No. 12 represent? That is the number of Georgia State Panthers who will dress today and so for the final regular season game, I thought I would give them one more shout-out.

Your Georgia State Panthers (by class): Ryann Green, Ryan Harrow, Curtis Washington, Jalen Brown, Markus Crider, R.J. Hunter, T.J. Shipes, Kevin Ware, Isaiah Dennis, Carter Cagle, Jordan Session and Corey Tobin.

These 12 players have helped put together another special season for the Panthers and deserved at least one last round of applause.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog next Saturday as the Panthers open up the Sun Belt Conference tournament in New Orleans.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 83

Georgia State concludes its stretch of three-straight games on the road facing UL Monroe in a battle of first-place teams on Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Fant-Ewining Coliseum. The two programs, along with Georgia Southern, enter the final two games of the season tied for first-place with the Panthers hosting Georgia Southern on Saturday.

Make sure to listen to tonight’s game on 1340 The Fan 3, WRAS-FM 88.5 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen calls the action.

As much as it has been a remarkable season, it really has been an incredible four years under head coach Ron Hunter. The team has already secured its third 20-plus win in four seasons and when you put it all together, it leads to our number today.

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Tonight’s Number of the Game:

83

A Georgia State win tonight would be No. 83 in the last four years and would tie for the best four-year stretch in program history, accomplished twice. Senior Ryann Green has been a part of those 82 wins entering tonight, one shy of Donnie Davis and Lamont McIntosh who were the only two players apart of each 83-win stretch.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog on Saturday for the final regular season Men’s Basketball Number of the Game as the Panthers return home to face Georgia Southern.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 559

Georgia State continues its stretch of three-straight games on the road facing Troy on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. ET in the Trojan Arena. The two squads have alternated wins and losses over the last 10 games, a trend the Panthers will look to snap to remain no more than a game out of first-place in the Sun Belt with the two leading squads, UL Monroe and Georgia Southern on the horizon.

If you can’t make the trip to southern Alabama, make sure to listen to tonight’s game on 1340 The Fan 3, 1230 The Fan 2 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen and Brandon Leak call the action.

R.J. Hunter has had a remarkable season and is currently among the favorites to earn Sun Belt Player of the Year honors. He has already set nearly every career record this year and with one more 3-pointer on Saturday will tie Shellord Pinkett’s school-record of 240 career 3-pointers. However, it is a single-season number that Hunter now has in sight.

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Tonight’s Number of the Game:

559

R.J. Hunter enters play on Saturday with 559 points scored this season, currently ninth on the single-season scoring list. He is just 76 points shy of Thomas Terrell’s school-record of 635 points. At his current scoring pace (20.0 points per game), Hunter would set the record in the Panthers first game of the conference tournament in New Orleans.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog on Thursday for another Men’s Basketball Number of the Game as the Panthers travel to UL Monroe.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball

Men’s Basketball Number of the Game: 20

Georgia State, which enters play on Thursday night tied for first-place in the Sun Belt, faces UALR at 8:30 p.m. ET at the Jack Stephens Center looking to win its fifth-straight game and for the ninth time in the last 10 games. The Panthers have held its last six opponents under 30 percent shooting, a stretch that has not occurred in the NCAA in the last 18 years, but our number of the game comes from a different direction.

Be sure to listen to tonight’s game on 1340 The Fan 3, WRAS-FM 88.5 or on the GSU mobile apps as Dave Cohen calls the action.

Coach Hunter has brought a new winning mentality to Georgia State. The Panthers have won 81 games in his first four seasons and with three more wins, will establish the best four-year stretch in program history.

As you know, running through the entire season, the InsideGSUSports blog will present the Number of  the Game, a quick number and explanation of its significance before tip-off.

The number will come from a variety of different places, but will always be significant to the team or that specific game.

Tonight’s Number of the Game:

20

Georgia State can win its 20th game of the season tonight. It would mark the third 20-plus win season in the last four years and sixth since 2000-01. To put that into comparison, but the 2000-01 season, the Panthers had never won 20 or more games in a season.

Make sure to come back to the InsideGSUSports blog on Saturday for another Men’s Basketball Number of the Game.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball

Inside Academics: Beyond the Classroom

On the fourth Monday of every month, a member of the Academics staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Monday: Marketing

As important as it is for our student-athletes to succeed in their field of play, it is equally important for them to succeed in the classroom. The Student-Athlete Development staff at Georgia State tries to assist our student-athletes in a wide range of areas, including a couple that we wanted to discuss in this blog.

Career Development

The Student-Athlete Development staff has been working hard to prepare our student-athletes for career development.  Our staff has partnered with the University Career Services to help facilitate resume and cover letter workshops.  We successfully completed multiple workshops in the fall semester which was mandatory for juniors and seniors.  This semester we have two workshops planned and will open these workshops up to sophomores as well.  Our goal is to help each student-athlete establish a cover letter and resume that can be used for upcoming internships, jobs and career fairs.

In conjunction with the cover letter and resume workshops we will also be partnering with Athlete Network for a career forum and fair. The focus of this event is to help prepare our student-athletes for that next step after college. The career forum will include topics such as interview skills, career choices, resume tips and networking.  It is important to start these skills early in your college degree.  You never know the connections you can make during your career as student-athlete.  Employers often seek student-athletes because of their teamwork, leadership, strong work ethic and dedication. Our staff is excited for this event, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25th.

It’s On Us Campaign

This past Thursday Georgia State University promoted the “It’s On Us” campaign which was spearheaded by Athletics. ‘It’s On Us” originated in the White House and has been taken on across college campuses throughout the country. The campaign raises awareness about domestic violence and is a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault.

To help promote awareness a video was created by Georgia State student-athletes, 1913 Society members, Student Government Association, Greeks, President Mark Becker, and several members from the Office of Student Health Promotion. Student-Athletes helped promote the campaign by encouraging other students to take the pledge in the library plaza on campus. SAAC also attended the Women’s and Men’s doubleheader basketball game and promoted the campaign by wearing “It’s On Us.” During half time of the men’s game, SAAC asked audience members to join in and take the pledge.

–Jessica Summey

Posted in academics, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports