Lijit Ad Wijit

Friday, June 25, 2010

Baseball's assistant, Smith, to move on

Mount St. Mary's assistant baseball coach Eric Smith has resigned from his post with the program to pursue other endeavors. Smith made the decision after the Mount's season ended this year and informed his players Wednesday.

Smith, class of 2007, coached for three years after completing a record-breaking career that will stand as one of the best in Mount history. The first baseman graduated as the school's all-time leader in hits (198), runs (127), RBI (139) total bases (304) and number of times hit by a pitch (33). In 2008 senior Josh Vittek surpassed Smith in all of those categories except for times hit by a pitch. Smith was serving in his first year as an assistant coach in 2008 as the Mount won the Northeast Conference tournament.

A three-time second-team All-NEC selection, Smith also ranked third all-time in home runs (21), games played (173) and at bats (581). He was fourth in batting average (.341) and sixth in doubles (37) when he graduated.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BREAKING: Burrell will follow Brown to Holy Cross

One-time Mount signee Justin Burrell, a Potomac (Va.) High School point guard, has committed to play at the College of the Holy Cross after he attends one year of prep school in the upcoming academic year, according to a source.

Burrell was supposed to enroll at the Mount this summer and join the men's basketball team in the fall as the heir apparent to Jeremy Goode. But after Milan Brown left the Mount for Holy Cross, Burrell received a partial release from Mount head coach Robert Burke and reopened his recruitment.

That recruitment ended today when Burrell gave a verbal commitment to become a Crusader in 2011 after attending Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Va., this year. Ironically, this is also the prep school Donte Morales, the other prize recruit of Brown's incoming Mount class who de-committed, attended before re-committing to UNC-Wilimington once Brown left.

Burrell was a Washington Post All-Metro Second-Team selection and was expected to compete with junior Lamar Trice for the starting point guard position this fall. Replacing Burrell and Morales, and joining original signee Jeff James of Bowie, Md., are Julian Norfleet and Josh Castellanos.

Women's first assistant Pierce to Army

Former Mount women's basketball first assistant Jada Pierce will be leaving the program after one year to join the staff at Army. Pierce informed the players in a meeting recently of her new opportunity at West Point. If memory serves me correctly, head coach Bryan Whitten will now look to fill his first assistant position for the fourth time in as many seasons. In his tenure Whitten has seen a number of his assistants take jobs at higher level programs, or higher positions. Expect Denise King and Lisa Steele to move up one spot each from second and third assistants, respectively, while Whitten looks to bring in a young coach to serve as the third assistant.

The will be more changes before the summer is over as a couple other departing coaches must first inform their players before the news is made public.

Monday, June 21, 2010

AOL's newest employee - me

Remember that disastrous interview I had in Washington, D.C.? I must have recovered somewhat nicely and done well in the other two interviews because I got the job.

I'm happy to announce that as of 4:51 p.m. today I am officially an employee of AOL as the local editor of Patch Bel Air. While I will not be working with Cabbage Patch Kids, I will be running the Web site, which will launch in September. The site will cover all the goings-on in Bel Air - town hall meetings, schools, sports from multiple high schools and a community college, A&E in the area, etc.

At the outset of my job search I was seeking an all-sports post and was willing to take $20,000 without benefits. But when my friend and fellow class of 2009 graduate Michael Sorrentino ( informed me of this opportunity with AOL I threw my hat in the ring. The more the process progressed the more excited I became despite my debacle in the district.

I'll have control over my own news Web site that covers sports as well as a number of other things. I've done plenty of news reporting in the past so going outside of athletics does not concern me. Additionally, I'll get a chance to do some multimedia photography and video work that has been the weak part of my journalistic arsenal.

The job is essentially a 24/7 on-call type - in case there's a fire, car accident, perfect game, etc. - but I look at that as an exciting challenge, on top of the fact that the position is well-compensated, especially for my first full-time job. Not only does the salary dwarf what I would have had to settle for at an entry level sports job, but I'll get benefits as well as some new toys. Namely a MacBook and my first Blackberry (send me your BBMs!)

Bel Air, of course, is 25 minutes from my hometown of Pylesville, Md., which is smaller than Emmitsburg to give you Mount people some perspective. (Seriously, my hometown is smaller than Emmitsburg. No traffic lights.) So there are the obvious benefits of home-cooking opportunities and free laundry, which is why I selected an apartment without a washer/dryer for $55 less. Plus there is a laundry room next door and I'm going to be on the first floor - how clutch is that? And the kitchen counter is in the form of a bar, which looks into the main room where I'll be playing SportsCenter while I make my world famous egg sandwiches in the mornings. Basically I love where I'll be living in downtown Bel Air. (If you're wondering why I don't just live at home I have two good reasons: 1. You have to live in the town in which you're working so that you can cover something on short notice e.g. a car accident or fire. 2. My dad never turns the air conditioning low enough at night and I always wake up on the verge of a sweat outbreak at 2 a.m.)

So what will this mean for my outside writing? For starters I'll no longer be able to freelance for ESPNRise, which is disappointing, but justified. I have a few more stories in the works that I'll finish before I start with Patch, but my Disney days were short-lived (for now.) As for "Mount U", I plan to keep writing as long as time permits. While I cannot use AOL-issued equipment for non-AOL work, and I also can't do anything that takes time away from my AOL work, I'll still have this laptop along with my Mount connections. That being said, my new (paying) job is obviously the top priority. But I still hope to attend some basketball  games (and perhaps some other sports as well, gotta love your Mount tennis) or at least watch them online when I'm not covering a Board of Education meeting.

I should also mention that I'll be granted a freelance budget to hire contributers for their work. Not sure how this will work yet, but after my two years as managing editor of the Mountain Echo I'm not concerned. My training, and first official day, is next Monday, June 28. I will travel to either Dulles, Va., New York City or Chicago, though I do not know which one yet (and I don't get to choose.)

Although I am a Harford County native, feel free to throw me any Bel Air connects or advice and I'll be sure to listen. Hopefully I can stay strong with this blog while taking a big step forward with my career. As always, thanks for the support.

Search for softball coach on schedule

More than 70 applicants have applied for the vacant softball coach position at Mount St. Mary's with more applications being received at human resources on a daily basis.

Athletic Director Lynne Robinson has been in contact with returning players and their parents as well as some of the incoming freshmen recruits and their parents.

A source reports that Robinson's original deadline of Aug. 1 for finding a new coach is still expected to be met. The position became vacant when Larry Alvis was fired on May 22.

Saturday, June 19, 2010 announces Norfleet, Castellanos, as final two signees

As some of you saw and commented, the final two players of the incoming recruiting class have been announced on

We already knew that Jeff James would be coming after signing when Milan Brown was still the head coach. Now Josh Castellanos and Julian Norfleet have been added to the class of 2014 recruiting class.

Norfleet, from Virginia Beach, was the player I was hinting about in my Dorsett post when I said "I do, however, think that at least one of them will be used and as I get more concrete information on the subject I'll post it." At that point I knew he had been offered but had not heard whether he accepted.

A close friend of his high school coach told me that Norfleet will be able to fill in at point guard when necessary, a la Jean Cajou, and added that he is both a shooter and a scorer. Evidence of Norfleet's shooting ability lies in his Virginia State Beach District tournament record of eight 3s made in a game, which was set during his junior season.

We've had a shooter in Will Holland and scorers in Jeremy Goode, Kelly Beidler, and when necessary Jean Cajou. Hopefully this fills the void of having a player who must be defended beyond the perimeter as well as on the drive. The closest thing we have to that now is Cajou, although his shooting percentage went down last season, and Pierre Brown.

Pierre Brown was 16-for-36 - 44 percent - from 3 last year and as the strongest and most athletic returning guard on the team has the ability to drive and score. Expect a much bigger contribution from Pierre Brown - likely a starter at small forward - this season. had this to say about the left-handed Norfleet on June 4:

"Landstown (Virginia Beach, VA) 6-foot-2 guard Julian Norfleet has had a host of interest from Division I College Basketball programs, most notably East Carolina, UAB, VCU and St. Francis of PA."

With interest from a CAA school and two Conference USA schools, it appears that we got someone who fell through the cracks in some ways.

As for Castellanos, I know little about him other than what is listed in the press release. Only Norfleet is listed on Rivals, with no rating, and ESPN and neither play is listed on Scout. I do know, however, that Castellanos signed with the team Tuesday*, so my bad on letting that get by. An interesting note on Castellanos is that his high school teammate, Orlando Parker, signed with Wagner.

*I received my job offer Tuesday and have been looking for an apartment/moving some stuff from Emmitsburg since then.

So all three class of 2014 recruits have first names beginning with the letter J. Excuse the corniness and simplicity of my suggestions, but should we call them the Blue Js? The 3 Js? I think we have a lot of options here. Please give better suggestions and I'll put a poll up.

Norfleet on ESPN:

Rating of 80/100, No. 194 shooting guard in his class.

The commentary for non-ESPN insiders: "April, 2009: Julian is a lefty combo guard that is athletic and extremely quick with deep shooting range. He is clearly one of the best shooters/scorers emerging in the 2010 class. Offensively he is equally effective off the dribble or catch and shoot. He consistently knocks it down from 23 feet"

Justin Burrell is rated 74 and the No. 194 point guard in his class. Keep in mind the distinction between their positions. Also note that ESPN is the worst of the recruit rating services.


I like the enthusiasm on the  new staff, but let's not put them above the old staff - it's apples and oranges. Clearly I have allegiances to Brown's staff, but to say that Burke's guys will be better recruiters is jumping the gun. Brown inherited a 3-24 team and the players he brought in got better and better each year with the most successful class being the one that just left.

I do agree with, John, though, that we have great potential connections with these guys so I'm looking forward to who they can sign this fall and next spring with a full recruiting season under their belt. What looked like a potentially disastrous rebuilding year has turned into a cautiously optimistic one since Burke's hiring.


Here is a YouTube gallery of Norfleet. Would love to get some more info/highlights on Castellanos, so please let me know if you have something and I'll gladly give him equal pub.

Go to the 1:06 mark for the beginning of commentary on Norfleet and the 1:40 mark for the first comments from Norfleet himself:

Highlights featuring Norfleet:

Music is whack in this one. And why would someone include a bank 3 (1:18) in a highlight tape?

Love the competitive side that comes out in this one (and the music is way better):

Probably the most professionally produced and in-depth one:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BREAKING: Dorsett to round out Burke's staff

Ahmad Dorsett is expected to be hired as the final member of Mount basketball head coach Robert Burke's coaching staff in the near future, according to a source.

Although Dorsett has not been officially hired as of early Thursday, it appears that a deal is in place to bring him to Emmitsburg.

Dorsett's most recent stop has been as an assistant coach at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md., where he served for the 2009 - 2010 season.

This move would round out the coaching staff hand-picked by Burke in his first year as an NCAA Division I head coach after serving as an assistant coach at American.

While no members of the staff have been officially announced by the school, the lineup under Burke is expected to be as follows, via the reports of this blog:

Assistant coaches: Matt Henry, Mike Farrelly, Ahmad Dorsett. Graduate assistant: Sam Atupem.

The pending hiring of Dorsett means that no member of Burke's staff will have previous Divsion I coaching experience as Henry previously served as the Director of Basketball Operations for the Georgetown Hoyas while Farrelly worked for the New Jersey-based Hoop Group. Dorsett coached at Longwood University for a time, but during the school's transition period from Division II to Division I.

It should be noted that no member of Milan Brown's staff - Brion Dunlap, Kevin Robinson Jr. and Dan Engelstad - had previous Division I assistant coaching experience before coming to the Mount.

Additionally, Brown (Howard) and Dunlap (Old Dominion) played on the Division I level while Farrelly (St. Joseph's, as a walk-on) and Dorsett (George Mason) did the same. All four also played for a team that made at least one NCAA Tournament appearance.

Another notable aspect of this hiring is the fact that Dorsett is black. Like it or not, the Mount, like most schools, needed at least one black coach on staff. That statement is not to be confused with the proclamation that Dorsett is a token hire, which is clearly not the case. He is more than qualified and will be great addition and potentially the cornerstone of Burke's assistants.

Dorsett made an NCAA appearance as a member of Jim Larranaga's George Mason squad in 1999 and was a team captain in his final three seasons. For one season before joining the BSU Bulldogs he was an assistant at Division II Mount Olive College. He has previous head coaching experience on the high school level and, as mentioned previously, also served as an assistant at Longwood University.

What this also means, quite obviously, is that Greg Paulus will not be brought on staff. Reports were the Paulus initiated contact with Burke, not the other way around, and was given serious consideration for a position on Burke's staff as recently as this week.

To summarize, Henry brings experience from a successful Big East program as well as a familiarity with Burke from his days as an assistant under John Thompson III.

Dorsett won a conference championship at the Division I level, has served as an assistant on various college levels and has head coaching experience, albeit on the high school level.

And Farrelly played for a St. Joseph's University program in the pinnacle of its success with two future NBA starters. Additionally, he appears to have been a prominent member of the Hoop Group staff for three years.

Interestingly enough, the makeup of Burke's program very closely mirrors that of the one Brown employed in his seven years as the Mount head coach. In addition to the fact that all of the returning players were Brown's recruits, Burke and Brown are also fairly close in age and both employed three young assistants for their staff. This may continue the cycle of comfort and trust between the players and their young coaches, and hopefully lead to a smooth transition to the Burke era.

It appears that Burke took a very reasonable amount of time - 41 days - to compile a staff with great potential. Although there are a number of question marks entering his first season as head coach in Emmitsburg, it does not appear that he has created any additional reasons for significant skepticism than would have already existed with any new coach.

Follow Dorsett on Twitter


The final piece of the puzzle that many of us are eagerly awaiting to take shape is the use of the remaining two scholarships. I agree, Richard, that it could be best to eat the two scholarships and use them with an entire year of recruiting as opposed to picking up a borderline player late in the process. I do, however, think that at least one of them will be used and as I get more concrete information on the subject I'll post it.

Additionally, I know very little of the upcoming schedule; a tentative one does not even exist as of a week ago. I'm not saying there are no non-conference games on the docket, just that there is not an actual piece of paper that lists them all yet that has been made available.


Lastly, and probably least importantly to you all, is that I verbally agreed to take a job on Tuesday. I'll write a post on it when I get a chance for anyone who is interested. Thanks for all your support and reading.


Tweet of the Night during the first half of the NBA Finals from Michael Jordan's son, Marcus: "@SASBMJ NO ONE...And I mean NO ONE should EVER com par kobe Bryant to my dad an say that he is anywhere near close to my dad He's jagging this game"

And hopefully no one compares Marcus's grammar to that of a fourth grader. Twitter or not - he would lose.


Interesting fact: My dad turned 50 yesterday - along with Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". Who else had a birthday yesterday? 2Pac Shakur (the best rapper of all-time), Phil Mickelson (best left-handed golfer of all-time) and Dana Collins - a fellow class of 2009 graduate, who pole vaulted for the Mount track team. I'm glad to know that my dad is in good company for birthday celebrations even if 2Pac couldn't make dinner!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BREAKING: Burke hires Hoop Group's Farrelly / Bye bye Burrell

According to a source, head coach Robert Burke has selected and hired Mike Farrelly, formerly a Hoop Group employee, as an assistant coach.

Farrelly has been a Director of Hoop Group ELITE for three years after coaching stops at Wilkes University as well as his alma mater, St. Joseph's University, according to the Hoop Group Web site. Farrelly was a three-year member of the Hawks team from 2000 - 2003 that featured Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic and Delonte West of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In Farrelly's time the team won two Atlantic 10 championships and made two NCAA tournament appearances.

This leaves the door open for one more assistant to join Burke's staff. According to an additional source, one of the four previous candidates mentioned on this blog was contacted recently about the vacant positions, although the source asked that that person's identity not be revealed. Since that person was not hired today, nor were they informed that they were out of the running for a position, it seems that Burke is on the verge of filling out his staff. As it has been 39 days since Burke was hired, this has been a perfectly reasonable amount of time to select a new staff as I explained earlier this month.

Farrelly, who turns 29 July 13, appeared in 31 games in three seasons with the Hawks.


One additional note involving one-time Mount signee Justin Burrell. It appears all but official (although it may be official by now) that the Mount staff has given up on retaining the point guard, who will likely take his talents to prep school and explore options outside of Emmitsburg.

Other recruits have been seen visiting campus although it is unclear whether any additional offers have been extended.

Monday, June 14, 2010

New FNP World Cup post/My weekend

Well the weekend didn't go as expected. Finishing bogey, bogey to miss the match play playoff cut by two was not the game plan for the Maryland Amateur. The only positive is that I got to watch all the World Cup matches, including USA - England. Here is my post for the Frederick News-Post about watching the game at Bushwaller's:

Still have a good bit of other information for you that I'm tying together. Expect a few posts of more substance sometime this week. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Away for the weekend?

If I don't write any posts for the rest of the weekend it's because I'm playing well in the Maryland Amateur at Congressional.


Look for some assistant coaching shakeups across multiple sports for the Mount in the coming days. Details soon after I return from Bethesda.

Rookie Mitchell seeks professional title in Puerto Rico

When Central Connecticut State defeated Mount St. Mary's' in the 2007 Northeast Conference semifinals, it meant the end of the Mount's season. What then-redshirt sophomore Markus Mitchell did not know is that it was also the beginning of a strong friendship with a future teammate.

While the Blue Devils' 2007 NEC Player of the Year, Javier Mojica, would lead his team past Sacred Heart in the title game three days later, and subsequently into the NCAA tournament, Mitchell had to watch from his room in Sheridan. Three years and a long plane ride from that March, Mitchell and Mojica are once again playing in the semifinals. This time, though, they both wear the same jersey in Puerto Rico's Baloncesto Superior Nacional league.

"Our team is unique for a professional team in the fact that we hang out a lot, all get along and are genuinely friends. Reminds me of college in a way," Mitchell wrote via Facebook message.

Mojica, a member of the Puerto Rican national team, however, is not Mitchell's only former college foe turned close friend and teammate on the Vaqueros de Bayamon squad. Ray Barbosa was on the UMBC Retrievers' team that often scrimmaged the Mount in the preseason and Mitchell says he frequently discusses past encounters with Mojica and Barbosa.

"We often talk about our battles in college and all three of us were also able to play in the NCAA tournament so we talk about that experience, too," wrote Mitchell, who has citizenship in Puerto Rico and would be eligible to play for the national team if selected.

While Mojica and Barbosa already won the title last year, Mitchell hopes to join the party with seven more postseason victories. Tied at one game apiece with the Cangenjeros de Santurce, Mitchell's Cowboys (English translation), who finished the regular season 23-6 to earn the No. 1 seed, tip off tonight at 8 p.m. EST in a pivotal game three. Games are played every other night for the rest of this round, a format Mitchell said he "loves."

The former CCSU and UMBC players may be familiar to the Mount community, but there are some other names in the league that any basketball fan could recognize. Former NBA players Mitchell has faced in the BSN include Antoine Walker, Marcus Fizer, Alondo Tucker, Peter John Ramos, Devin Green, Lee Nailon and Mike Sweetney.

As for former college players there is A.D. Vasallo, who played for the Virginia Tech team that narrowly escaped an upset from the Mountaineers in 2008.

"We [definitely] should have beat them," wrote Mitchell, who briefly discussed the game with Vassallo. His team faced the Cowboy's in the quarterfinals, where Mitchell exacted a bit of revenge with the series victory.

Walter Hodge, a former Florida Gators point guard, won a national championship in his freshman and sophomore seasons in Gainesville and, along with former Georgetown star Sweetney, is on the Crabbers (also English translation) squad that Mitchell's team is facing in the semifinals.

Then there is former Michigan star Robert "Tractor" Traylor. The McDonald's High School All-American in the same class as Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter and Paul Pierce is a starting forward for the Cowboys and has been a mentor to Mitchell.

While the former Mount post says he only averages about 10 minutes per game as the team's second-younger player, he does make the most of them thanks in large part to the mentoring provided by Traylor. After leading the Wolverines to an NIT title in his sophomore year and a Big Ten tournament title and NCAA tournament appearance the next, he was selected  sixth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks to begin his seven-year NBA career.

"I go up against Tractor every day in practice and he's constantly teaching me on little things I can do to become a better player," Mitchell wrote. "I think he's going to be the league defensive player of the year."

Also on Mitchell's team is the reigning finals MVP, Christian Dalmau, who Mitchell thinks will be tabbed as the league's overall MVP this season. Dalmau also plays on the Puerto Rican national team.

But first the Cowboys, who have more league titles than any other team, must worry about reaching the championship series. That quest continues in tonight's semifinals matchup. The league's Web site is here and can be somewhat translated into English if you Google search "Balencesto Superior Nacional" and click "translate this page". Results should be up at some point after each game. The site notes that the game is available on DirecTV, but I can't find it anywhere, so if you figure that out please comment.

Regardless of tonight's outcome, or that of the entire series, Mitchell is taking a positive look at his first professional season.

"I gained the confidence of my coaches and teammates so my rookie year up to this point has been a great success," Mitchell wrote. "[I] hope it will end with a championship."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

No staff? No problem - be patient

Any alarm due to the lack of announcement of coach Robert Burke's staff is still largely unwarranted due to a couple factors both internal and external.

Internally it is OK because we know that Matt Henry and Sam Atupem are already here to help. Externally, I'd like to share information regarding other schools in our conference that underwent recent coaching changes.

First let us take a look at the situation at Wagner. Dan Hurley was announced as the school's new head coach on April 5. Eight days later he hired is brother, Bobby as an assistant. I'm sure that wasn't much of a search process. Seventeen days later he brought Bashir Mason on staff before rounding out his assistants by adding Luke Murray on May 3 - 28 days later. So Hurley, who already had his brother in his back pocket, took 28 days to fill out his staff.

Robert Morris's Mike Rice recently moved on as well as you may have heard (although you wouldn't know if you clicked this link listing RMU's coaches at the time of this post), opening the spot for Andrew Toole, who was announced for his new role May 11. As an already existing member of the staff, he was able to retain Robby Priedgen, who was not asked to follow Rice. It took 15 days - May 26 - for Toole to announce Matt Hahn as his first outside assistant. And as of right now, 25 days later, his final assistant has yet to be named.

As for Quinnipiac's Tom Moore and his staff acquisitions in 2007, the details are not as easy to find but still help prove my point. Moore was announced as the new head coach on March 29 of that year, and while two of his assistants - Sean Doherty (Moore's long lost twin) and Eric Eaton - apparently had been on staff for weeks, they were not announced until May 10 - 41 days later. The third member of his staff, Scott Burrell, was not announced until JULY, according to his bio. So assuming he was hired at the earliest possible date of July 1, that would mean a 92-day window between Moore's hiring and the rounding out of his staff. With an NEC title game appearance last season and coach of the year honors in the conference, I'd say Moore's plan worked out just fine. (Burrell and Doherty are still on staff while Eaton is not.)

Which brings us back to our situation at the Mount. Burke was announced as head coach on May 6. Although Atupem still hasn't been officially named to any position, he has been around the whole time and aided Burke since his first day on the job. Then there's Henry, who has been around the office for weeks and I believe - although I cannot say for sure - that I saw him in the ARCC after the press conference. If that was the case, then he has been around for the duration of Burke's tenure as well.

Burke did not have the luxury of keeping anyone from the old staff as they all followed Milan Brown to Holy Cross, but he was fortunate to have Atupem - a strong link to the program who has great familiarity with it as well - stick around. Then he wasted little time in bringing in Henry. While it would be nice to have an official announcement on these things, it seems that we may have to wait until the entire staff is in place. That means the announcement could come tomorrow, or if it goes anything like QU's process in 2007, July - we do not really know.

Multiple assistant coaching candidates report as recently as Wednesday that they still have not heard a yes or no in regards to their hiring. It has been 32 days since Burke was announced, but at this stage of the college basketball season cycle that is not as long as it sounds, as evidenced by recent staff searches in the rest of the NEC. We know the whole staff will have our support when its named, even if it may be a little longer before we know who exactly we are supporting.


Shoutout to Kevin Kalis, Mount class of 1999, for the beer and round of Long Island Ice Teas at Ott's last night.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tom Thumbs Down: Part II of II

Read Part I of Tom Thumbs Down from yesterday.

All this talk about the interview process and you’re probably wondering who exactly had a chance at this job. Well these were the six finalists who were brought to campus for interviews:

Robert Burke, Brion Dunlap, Jamion Christian, Martin Inglesby, Pete Strickland and Gary Nottingham, who was the head coach at Glenville State College in West Virginia during the time that Powell served as GSC’s president.

Those who doubted my belief that Powell has more confidence in Burke now than he ever did in Milan Brown, that Burke would be given more to work with, and that Brown was set up to fail has never been more evident than it is now.

Consider that Burke’s salary will be approximately 125 percent of what Brown made in his seventh season at the Mount. That’s right; Brown clawed his way to a six-figure salary needing a conference championship and the school's first-ever NCAA tournament victory just to “earn” a five-year contract extension.

Now all Burke had to do upon his selection was walk in the door and sign the papers and he was granted thousands upon thousands more in salary to go with his initial five-year contract.

(I’d like to see someone who works in the school anonymously comment on that.)

This undoubtedly will mean higher salaries for the three assistants on his staff (in the neighborhood of $50,000 each) when it is named.

And when it is named, an additional paid position akin to a graduate assistant thats existence was never granted for Brown will be occupied by Sam Atupem.

In summary, Powell is giving Burke more money, more positions, and in turn, a bigger vote of confidence. I have no problem with most of this – I wish he could give Burke more than he already is.

My problem is that Brown was never given any of these benefits.

Was it because he’s not Catholic? I don’t know I’m just asking based on Powell’s comments in the press release:

“Coach Burke was selected for his strong leadership and coaching skills, devotion to Catholicism and commitment to the academic success of his student-athletes.”

Brown certainly displayed the strongest of leadership, great coaching skills and made the graduation of his players a priority in his tenure – but while he is a devout Christian, he is not Catholic.

(For the record the Mount’s president is the only position on campus that requires its occupant to be Catholic, as Powell once informed me. I’m sure that wasn’t counting anyone involved with the church such as the Rev. Brian Nolan.)

I do know that since Burke has not officially announced the hiring of anyone for his staff yet, there are only two minorities in the Mount athletic department. They are both assistant coaches for women’s basketball, which means that head coach Brian Whitten chose them and Powell simply signed off on the decisions.

But as we learned from the press conference, as well as from my interview about his sister-in-law (from this story; definitely read it), Powell makes all the hiring decisions:

Nobody gets offered a job at Mount St. Mary's until they get a letter from the president offering a job. There's only one person who's allowed to offer people jobs and that's me,” Powell said in January 2008.

So then we should give him credit for all the black professors he employs. Let’s count them:

Susan Samples…


That’s it. Scroll down to the “D” section of this page and click on each department, then click on faculty, and she is the only black professor you will find. (I don’t know who J. Michael Harpe is in the education department, but I’ve never heard anyone refer to him as a professor, let alone seen him on campus.)

The funny thing about Samples is that she was hired before Powell, which logically means that he could not have hired her.


My concern beyond basketball is the legitimate problem with diversity at Mount St. Mary’s. 

We have two black coaches and one black professor – neither of which was chosen by Powell – and we’re about to give a white, Catholic coach significantly more money and resources than we gave a black, non-Catholic coach?

As a white, Catholic alumni of the Mount, I’m offended. I am embarrassed to be associated with a school that gave me so much opportunity and so many memories, but is run so exclusively.

That which I can do in the meantime is limited; I can wait for Powell’s contract to expire on June 30, 2012 and I can refrain from donating any money to the Mount. When I’m older, less poor and the school is no longer run by Powell I plan on donating.

I’ll donate to the men’s golf program (if it still exists), to the men’s basketball program, which will hopefully still be run by a successful coach Burke, to the communications department and to other aspects of campus that shaped my career.

But to arrogance and selfishness? The only thing I will give to those causes is my vehement disapproval. 


Please be sure to vote in the new poll on the top of the page on whether Powell should resign.


Multiple attempts were made to contact Powell via telephone (where he was not reached as I later learned he was in New York for business) and via e-mail. He accepted an e-mail request one week ago, May 26, for an interview regarding the contents of this piece but did not subsequently make himself available.


An excerpt of an e-mail I received from an employee in the Mount's communications department at 2:16 p.m. this afternoon:

"...would you stop by my office so we can talk about a few things?"

I wish I had the time.

At 3:03 p.m., literally seconds before I was about to post this, I received another e-mail from one of Powell's assistants regarding the scheduling of our interview for which he would not soon be available. I politely responded that I no longer needed to speak to Powell since our schedules were not able to align in time.

No-el, No-el

The glimmer of hope that coach Robert Burke might land Levi Noel as his first recruit was extinguished last night.

Noel, a 6-foot-5 forward, whose high school coach says he can play 1 through 4, has committed to Eastern Illinois of the much more highly-regarded Ohio Valley Conference.

Whether he has actually signed, I'm not sure, but that would be a formality at this point.

Look no further than his Facebook profile picture for proof.

If that were not enough, one of his friends writes on his wall at 9:47 p.m. last night to, among other things, congratulate him on choosing Eastern Illinois. Noel responds by, among other things, thanking him.

Other than the nearly lost hope of landing Justin Burrell, I do not know who the Mount is recruiting for next year although there have been recruits making visits.

Two things I would expect to see are Burke using his international ties to land someone late and for Burke to continue hunting down a point guard other than Burrell.

As of right now the Mount has three scholarships to give for the incoming class and only one of them is taken by Milan Brown's recruit Jeff James of Bowie High School.