Category Archives: NEWS

ESPN Layoffs are Not a Good Sign For Sports Reporting Industry

Trey Lower, Staff Writer

As a sports broadcasting major here at Wingate, my lifelong dream has been to be an announcer for ESPN. Whenever you think of sports, you ultimately think of the channel, and I always had a path in place to get there.

However, as the years have progressed and the broadcasting industry continues to change, my goals have forcibly changed along with it. Last week, ESPN announced that in a cost-cutting maneuver, it would lay off 100 employees, most of whom were seen on ESPN on a regular basis.

The company took a beating on social media because of it, as fans soon realized many familiar faces were leaving the network. Longtime reporters Dr. Jerry Punch, who served ESPN for 30 years, and NFL reporter Ed Werder, who spent over 15 years at the network, were among the major layoffs.

ESPN gutted its entire team of NHL writers in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and also significantly diminished its analysts and writers for both the NBA and MLB. So, why did the layoffs happen? Simple. People are cutting the cord on cable, plus a change in direction at the company has led to significant money loss and cost-cutting measure had to be taken.

ESPN is one of the most expensive channels you pay for on your cable bill, charging nearly $5 a month by itself. Add in the fact that the programming at the channel has begun to lack significantly in terms of content, and people just are not interested in watching ESPN anymore.

I scrolled through twitter most of the day when these layoffs were happening, gauging reaction from the average viewer, as well as from the ESPN employees. The average fan appeared disgruntled with not only the cost of paying for ESPN, but that lack of content as well.

Shows like First Take and Around The Horn have become mainstays on the network, and the greatest show in the history of the planet, Sportscenter has drifted away from highlights and become more of a news show, similar to what you would find on CNN or FOX. This aggravated the viewers and turned them away.

ESPN2’s midday viewership was so bad, that the company resorted to re-runs of shows from earlier in the day and even earlier in the week. In addition, most tweeters were mentioning that they usually only watch ESPN for the live sports; and because of the change in content they simply didn’t need to watch the other programming anymore.

In addition, technological advances have also begun as the Worldwide Leader’s downfall. As more and more people begin streaming events on their phone or tablet, the less a television is needed.

The addition of WatchESPN several years ago, an app that allows you to watch ESPN wherever you may please, has been among the catalysts in the rise of streaming sports events. In 2016, Twitter teamed up with the NFL to live-stream Thursday Night Football, and in 2017 Amazon will take over this service.

Additionally, ESPN has since combined the WatchESPN and the ESPN apps, into one app, to make it simpler for the avid sports fans to keep up. It’s because of this shift in technology that ESPN simply doesn’t need some of the same employees around anymore.

The journalism industry continues to change, and many believe that these layoffs by ESPN are simply just the beginning. It is believed that ESPN will eventually turn into a service similar to HBOgo, where there is a certain price to pay each month to watch the channel’s content. As for me, I still have my dreams of being a great sports broadcaster, but the changing industry has certainly cast a darker cloud over my future, and all aspiring sports broadcasters futures.

Photo Source: Worldsoccertalk.com

Edited by: Brea Childs

Gary Hamill Reaches 25 Years as Head Coach for Wingate University

Maggie Smith, Staff Writer

At 24 years old, most people are still figuring out what they want to do in life. At 24 years old most people have big dreams that seem impossible. However, for some 24 year olds, like Gary Hamill, a career is put before them and they go with it.

coach-hamill
Credit by Wingate University Athletics

25 years ago, Gary Hamill, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, came to the United States to attend the College of Charleston on a soccer scholarship. Hamill’s soccer career as a player was cut short after three years due to an injury. Thanks to some connections, Gary Hamill was offered a position at Wingate University as an assistant coach, where he would finish up his degree while coaching.

Throughout his 25 years here, Gary Hamill has held many positions. In his earlier years, he ran intramural’s, then later served a couple years as an Assistant Athletic Director. He also oversaw the compliance and all the Olympic sports. In the 90’s he spent three seasons as both the head men and women’s soccer coach.

Hamill said at one point he was even named the Head Tennis coach at Wingate, although he had never actually played a match in his life.“I actually read about it in the U.S.A. Today London Edition that I was named head coach.” said Hamill. He said he was only the coach for three weeks until they hired someone else. “I’m undefeated as a Tennis Coach.” Hamill jokingly said.

The 15 out of the 25 years that he’s been here, he has served as the Associate Athletic Director. Throughout his career he’s held multiple positions while coaching, but for the last 5 years he has only held the position as head coach of the men’s soccer team. “Like a lot of people, in the early days you do what you need to do to be an ultimate team player.” said Hamill about the many responsibilities he’s had.

When Hamill first arrived at Wingate he was the assistant coach of the men’s team for only three short weeks. After just three weeks he moved up from assistant coach, and was named the Head Coach of the Wingate University men’s soccer team, at the young age of 24. Not only was he beginning his coaching career, but was a full time student as well, as he was finishing up his degree. “It was extremely difficult.” said Hamill.

In 1994, Hamill lead the team to their first Conference Championship title and graduated in the same year…talk about a good year. Hamill said his transition from being a player to becoming a head coach at the young age of 24 was “quite difficult.” Hamill also said, “it helped me learn how to build relationships, and the importance of players.”

Hamill said the transition from player to coach was tough because he was only 24 years old and had players only three years younger than him on the team. Although some were younger than him, he said that they respected him. “People respect somebody if you have a knowledge of something. If I would’ve had no knowledge of the sport and was winging it, they wouldn’t of respected me.” Hamill said.

He had aspirations to become a coach before coming to the United States, and took coaching courses in Ireland. “I thought that that was a good career choice for me at 16 or 17” said Hamill. When offered the opportunity as head coach, Hamill said he “saw it as an opportunity to first and foremost build a successful program.”

On December 3,  2016 Gary Hamill’s 25 years of building a successful soccer program paid off. Hamill and the Wingate University men’s soccer team won the DII National Championship. Hamill described his feeling after winning the national championship as “a feeling of excitement that a lot of years and a lot of hard work was right in front of me.”

Hamill said the excitement and jubilation of being national champs hit him a month later, and he finally had the same reaction of excitement as his players did right after the win.“I obviously have so many years of dedicating myself and trying to get them to that point, that once it had all settled down, it took a month before the realization that we actually did pull that off” said Hamill.

Hamill said that for the last decade he has believed the national championship was a possibility. “In the course of a decade, we’ve lost six times to either the national champions or the runner up, but the ultimate goal was always to win the national championship.” said Hamill. He also said that in the last four to five years they have came very close.

Hamill credits the University as factoring role in helping the men’s soccer team make it to the national championship. “I think we have all the resources that we need, like the institutional support scholarship wise, the facilities, and the school itself.” said Hamill.

Hamill has witnessed the growth of Wingate University over the last 25 years.“The University as a whole has grown so much and that has helped us recruit students” said Hamill.

When it comes to recruiting players that fit the successful program Hamill has built, he said his recruiting philosophy is to recruit players based on personal characteristics. “I truly believe you can’t honestly coach a team unless you know their individual linkup,” said Hamill, “I like to think that I know every single player as a person and then I know how to put them together as a team.”Some important personal characteristics that Hamill looks for is work ethic, confidence, and good academics.

Although winning a national championship seems like one of the biggest accomplishments a coach could dream of, Hamill said one of the biggest aspects he’s obtained through coaching is “the stupid satisfaction of seeing people grow and develop from young teenagers into nice young men.”

Hamill said that he doesn’t know his winning percentage, nor does he care. “I think that having an impact on people’s lives is massively important…that’s what I want to be remembered by…the impact I’ve had in helping people” said Hamill.

Edited by: Brea Childs

My Vantage Point of History: The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump, 2017

Nick Vaughn, Staff Writer

Washington, D.C.- inauguration_1Last Friday was not your average day. Normally, Fridays at school would include me attending classes or having a grilled cheese at lunch with my friends or if I am at home you could catch me simply going about my daily activities.

Last Friday, however, was not that kind of Friday, because I had the honor of attending the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. As I woke up that Friday morning and I looked out my window to see a cloudy and rainy Washington, D.C., I couldn’t believe that I was actually there.

One moment I will never forget was walking from the metro and seeing the beautiful Capitol dome get closer and closer. As my friends and I were going through the gates, pass security, and then to our seats, it hit me. We had a front row vantage point to history.

I was sitting there thinking while the Marine Band played and as the former Presidents and First Ladies walked out onto the Inaugural platform, “How am I here?”

During that moment, I began to reflect on my last year. I had felt pretty lucky. Lucky to be able to not just watch history on television like I have done for years which inspired me to get involved in the first place but to witness history first hand. To live the history that would be talked about centuries from now.

In the past year I had the opportunities to attend a Presidential Debate in the primaries; the Republican National Convention; where the now President accepted the nomination; and now on January 20, the Inauguration.

One of the most vivid moments of my experience was when President-Elect Trump was announced and walked out on the platform, then all you could hear was the voices and cheers of Americans from all walks of life, backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, and religions behind me. It felt like there was a heavy force against my back, that kept me from standing still.

The swearing-in and speech was absolutely incredible to see and hear. Plus, to have friends beside me, and all around me, made it all the more incredible.

The line in President Trump’s speech that I loved the most was, “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” In order to produce results for our country and we will, we must work together.

At the close of what was a beautiful ceremony with a few drops of “good luck” rain, we ended by praying for our country. Afterwards, it was time to head back and prepare for the Inaugural Ball that evening.

It wasn’t until we arrived at the ball, that I realized how massive the crowd actually was. The Ball was absolutely spectacular. It was everything I thought it would be and more. I met many journalists, celebrities, and politicians. It was also special to see old friends there and make some new ones as well. My favorite run-in of the night had to be meeting CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper. As a matter of fact, we took a selfie that absolutely made my night.

Another great moment was when the band played “Hail to the Chief” and the President and the First Lady emerged, the huge crowd was electrified. I remember being so close and seeing all those phones in the air taking pictures and videos, mine included and thinking to myself, “just enjoy the moment.” So for two minutes I completely put the phone away and took in the moment of history before me. As the President and the First Lady danced to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, my all time favorite song coincidentally, I felt so honored to be there.

On a personal note, I learned a lot this weekend. About myself and the future, things I knew before, but needed reminding of in some way. I was reminded that if you work hard and keep pushing through hard times, as we have all experienced, it will look up and things will turn around. As for now I’m going to enjoy the moment.

In closing, I ask of my fellow students and Americans who are not supportive of this President a simple task: Give the President a chance, because he is our President. Support him when you think he’s right and fight back when you think he’s wrong. Pick up the mantle of leadership. Get involved in either party you agree with and try to change things for the better however you view.

Always remember America’s best days are ahead of us.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Video Game Review: Battlefield

Students takes an in depth look at a Video Game

Danny Stueber, Staff Writer

              The last two Battlefield games, Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline, were missteps in the franchise with shoty online play and bugs galore that really left a sour taste in the mouth of many fans. Then, earlier this year, EA announced the next game would be Battlefield 1, a war game taking place during World War 1 respectively.

Many people were skeptical if something considered to be the worst war in history could be made into a game with respect and dignity while still being fun. After many hours with the single player and the multiplayer, I can say that the people over at Dice who made this game did an excellent job on all those fronts.

The campaign, while short, really shows the respect the war deserves. You play as five different people all living out different situations throughout the war. It shows how normal everyday people were thrown into this horrible event and how they had to cope with it.

You see the struggles of a man who used to be a chauffeur now being made to drive tanks, an experimental technology at the time and you play as a woman trying to stop the invasion of her home by enemy forces wanting to drill for oil in the first time in history for all their war machines.

You never feel like the time period is being disrespected or if anything is a joke. You feel for the characters and the situation they are all thrown into. The campaign also serves as a tutorial of sorts for the main attraction, the multiplayer.

You learn how to drive the tanks, fly the planes, wear the body armor, ride the horses, shoot, and stealth all from the different stories and with how demanding some of those things are it was a smart way of doing so.

My one complaint is that it was really short. Each story is only around an hour long and as a result you never can get to invested with any of the characters. When each story ended I was left wanting more and to know what happened to them which is never a good feeling, especially 5 times in a row.

The multiplayer is as strategic and fun as ever for the battlefield series and unlike Battlefields that came before it, this one had no bugs and bad connections through my hours of play. The massive maps all feel different and allow you to try any of the classes till you know what fits you best.

The old weapons of World War 1 are still fun to use compared to today’s and because a lot of them were experimental it shows even more strategy along the lines of not being sure if you should try to reload now or not, if you should throw the mustard gas to run the enemy out of hiding, etc. it is fun while being true to what I feel the battles were like at the time.

My one complaint for the multiplayer function is the unlock and progression system is just bad. Sometimes when you level up you get some war bonds which can be used to buy new weapons and equipment but it’s never enough from one or two levels. Even after you buy a weapon, you have to make sure your class is a high enough level to use it which is separate from your player level.

I was level 5 and bought a shotgun to use with the assault class but I needed that class to be level 3. Because I like all four classes even after many hours of play, the assault class was not even level 2 yet so I was stuck with wasted money and the same weapons for even longer. It’s very disheartening and does not feel like you are accomplishing anything as a result.

Battlefield 1 is my favorite in the series. The gameplay is fun, it feels good to play, the stories are a great learning tool as well as appropriate for the time period the game portrays, etc.

I will mention however, that if you buy this game on an Xbox One, it is slightly darker for some reason than the PS4 version. I tried it on a 1080p tv and a 4K monitor and it was always darker than the other console for some reason. The PS4 version looks better but the online components handle better on the Xbox so, whichever is more important to you should help in your purchasing decision.

Battlefield 1 is not my favorite shooter this year but it was my biggest surprise. If you’re sick of every shooter being the same these days, pick this game up and I promise you will have fun.

The City of Charlotte recovers after the Keith Scott Shooting

Journalists discussed their coverage of protests at SPJ meeting 

Celestia Rene Randolph, Staff Writer

It was a restless atmosphere to begin with, but phones chirping with the tweets of mourners and activists, became the loudest to pierce through the tense atmosphere. Insistent that they receive answers regarding the shooting of Keith Scott.

A local of Gaston, South Carolina and father of seven, protesters and supporters of the “Black Lives Matter” movement kept the city of Charlotte swarming with activity distinctive of a tragedy rather than the typical buzz of city life.

Reporters for The Charlotte Observer, Journalists, and photographers rushed into the center of the action, seeking answers and gathering what information they could from witnesses. The evening of September 22, 2016 became a zoo of hostile activity, demanding acknowledgment on a global scale.

Last Thursday, the local branch of The Society of National Journalists met at a venue downtown to discuss their involvement in the riots. The panel of speakers, accomplished reporters and photographers, recounted their own emotional experiences, the events as they personally witnessed them, and the intercession of the media from both in and outside of Charlotte.

Panel speaker David Sentendrey, digital journalist for FOX 46 television, was the first to recount his feelings on the subject of the protests, and the spiking emotions of African Americans in downtown Charlotte.

At the SPJ event, he recounted his most memorable interview with an individual. Sentendrey approached a very vocal group of young men, singling out a young man from amongst them to attempt a tentative discussion with.

“At first” He said “The guy was agitated and aggressive towards me, the White reporter with a live feed recording device, but after a few minutes, realized my sincerity and began to open up.” The young man expressed his concerns, fears, and the feelings of inferiority he had adopted from a society that convinced him “his skin was ugly”.

The speaker was moved by the youth’s frankness, and viewed the war claiming Charlotte as something more than a destructive feud over injured pride and social prejudices, but instead, understood the conflict to be the reflection of sentiments generations of subtle, as well as direct, insults bred within the community.

While stories similar to Sentendrey’s, occurred in separate rings of the ever expanding circus, unfortunately, it was the haunting images of violence and destruction in the city that earned a world spotlight. While the situation gained awareness rapidly, mostly due to the live streaming professionals covering the story posted to social networks, the two nights of fame brought with them mixed results.

Ryan Pitkin, an editor for Creative Loafing, a news source which reviews the local arts, dining, and public events of several major cities, emphasised the role of social media in the chaos of the riots and protests. By raising awareness through the spread of viral rap videos or “Am I next?” slogans, Twitter and Facebook ensured that no one could miss out on the action, and broadcasted the feelings of protesters to a concerned public, however the more publicity the violence attracted, the more it escalated the intensity of the aggression.

Pitkin distinctly recalled jarring images of rioters resorting to “throwing rocks, and water bottles and 2 x 4 boards” and stripping an officer whose head has been struck by a brick, from “throwing pebbles” and “ripping up grass”.

As reporters from outside of the local sphere flooded in, they attracted extremists and careless youth depending on the attention. At the Thursday night meeting, Bruce Hensly, a major public relations figure, questioned whether or not the media’s continued attention “poked the bear”,and milked the dramatic story for far longer than they should have; he shared his concern for those in his profession, saying that while “it was good for news, it was a nightmare for ‘PR’ representatives, and devastating to Charlotte’s image.”

Speaker Katie Peralta, Journalist for the Observer shared that for those of her profession, it did “make for a good story”, however, she did not believe the extended coverage affected the riots and the increasingly aggressive protests. “Imagery did so much more for a story”, she said, as she told the assembly how the media provided movements a way to express their beliefs.

“It is a representative’s duty to cover a community’s response to systemic racism.” Her memories of the emotional African Americans she had seen gathering together, and the sight of an elderly Black reverend seated on a curb, weeping for his city, motivate the young woman to inform as many Americans she can of the passions of the minorities of the Charlotte area.

By the third night, the situation became controlled, as a curfew was instigated, police units were organized and able to contain the riots, and facts of the Scott case were opened to the public. The noise which had grown far beyond the state of North Carolina died as suddenly as it came.

Reporters and journalists for major networks returned to their big cities and left Charlotte behind, and took the public eye with them. The city is recovering, and though the nation has shifted it’s focus to election controversies, and has already begun to forget the expressions of desperation and fear it observed in Charlotte, NC.

However, the images and moments active SPJ members experienced will remain with them, hopefully to be circulated to their readers and followers on Twitter

Edited by: Sara Gunter

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Presidential Debates

The COMM 220 News Writing class spent this afternoon asking people: “Are you going to watch the presidential debate on Wednesday? Why or why not? Did you watch either of the first two? If so, what did you think?”

Class member Christina Kroeger talks with Wingate student Crystal Fuller: 

 

Mary Maye is an administrative assistant in the School of Business:

marymaye

Here are notes from her interview with Jackson Kaplan and Delaney Smith:

mayenotes

Kyle Brodt, Tariah Harrell and Andrew Elliott got this reaction from freshman biology major Reagan Thomas: 

Here’s what political science professor Dr. Jake Wobig had to say:

 

Mary McClenby of Wingate works in the Klondike. She said she did not watch the first two debates, but will watch Wedenesday’s debate to learn about the candidates’ ideas about the issues.

mccclenby

And one more:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”und” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://twitter.com/KeithCannon”>@KeithCannon</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/mlV6BXqtTL”>pic.twitter.com/mlV6BXqtTL</a></p>&mdash; Celestia Randolph (@tia_randolph) <a href=”https://twitter.com/tia_randolph/status/788123889587122176″>October 17, 2016</a></blockquote>
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Wingate students can watch Wednesday’s debate on big-screen TV starting at 9 p.m. in Ames Turnout in the DPC.

 

 

Top 5 games of 2015

Danny Stueber, Staff Writter

2015 was a great year for games. It was so great, in fact that I have had to think about this list for quite some time. Now, this list is just, in my opinion, the best games of 2015 and includes only games I have played.

Therefore, Halo 5, Madden 2016, etc. have had much critical praise but since I never touched them they will not find themselves on this list along with many others. So with no more explanations needed, here are my top 5 games of 2015.

  1. Rocket League

As a child I loved soccer, I played all the way through middle school. Then I got tired of it and soon dropped it. It wasn’t until 2015 when soccer was reinvented through the game Rocket League, that my interest came back.

Rocket League hit the gaming world hard with it’s easy to learn controls, fun overall progression and matches, and its imaginative take on the sport. Months and months later this game is still popular and it’s the first sport game to get my attention in a very long time.

  1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

In my opinion, The Witcher 2 was not a good game. I did not find all the systems and the gameplay fun at all and was done with it day. However, years later I did enjoy Witcher 3. I picked it up based on the overall love for it in the game community, hoping that I would like it more than its predecessor.

Now being over 50 hours in and still nowhere near done, it is one of the best open world games I have ever played. The side stories are engaging and I care for the characters. It’s as if I didn’t even need to know what occurred in past games to understand the plot. I love this game and will probably be playing it as you read this.

  1. Splatoon

When Nintendo, the family friendly game company every child grew up with, announced a shooter everybody was skeptical. Not only is it the best shooter of the entire year, it is also my favorite shooter of all time.

The point is not to kill others but to cover the battlefield with as much ink as possible with weapons ranging from guns to paintbrushes and that is enough of a change to reinvigorate the shooter genre. Also the music is like nothing you have heard before, the gameplay is addictive. Yet, I am still playing it over six months later, whereas I dropped Star Wars Battlefront and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 within a month. Splatoon ruined them for me.

  1. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

I have always loved the Metal Gear series and knowing that this is supposed to be the last game in the main series, I couldn’t have asked for more. There are game changing open world setups where you can accomplish your missions in any way you can think of.

This game was everything I wanted and probably made me the saddest of any piece of media this year when those credits rolled and I knew it was something I could never experience for the first time again. It’s probably the best controlling game I have ever handled.

  1. Bloodborne

156 hours. 4 different plays. Hundreds of enemies slain and thousands of gallons of blood spilled. I have not been able to put the game down yet. The gothic London setting, the intense combat, the cool weapons and enemy design.

I have never seen a game like this before and it surprises me how much I love this game, because I usually don’t like Dark Souls games from the same developers. I have spent many late nights enveloped in this game world and this might be the first game in my life where I forgot to breathe at times from how intense the battles would become. Not only is this my top game for all of 2015, it is in my top list of games for all time.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)

  • Guitar Hero Live (loved the reinvention of the franchise compared to Rock Band 4 taking the safe route)
  • Tales From the Borderlands (best Telltale game since The Walking Dead)
  • Fallout 4 (very fun but was just to similar to Fallout 3 to me to make the list)
  • Mortal Combat X (my favorite fighting game besides Super Smash Brothers)
  • Until Dawn (best choose your own adventure/horror game in years)
  • Undertale (an amazing game)

 StUeBs13 = Xbox Live ID

StUeBs_13 = PlayStation ID

Edited by Brea Childs and Shea Murray