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CSUN On Point: March 10th, 2015

Like Our Page: Marketing in the Digital Age

On Point reports on the rise in spending for marketing and advertising on social media.

Guests: Kristen Walker, Dustin Peterson

Early retirement becoming a norm in the National Football League

San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) headlines a growing faction of National Football League players who have chosen to retire in their prime. (Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/MCT/2013)

NFL Free Agency began March 10 but a few notable players made headlines by electing to not sign their next big contract. Among other notable names, Pro-Bowl line backer Patrick Willis retired at age 30, making retiring in ones prime a new trend that gives the power back to the players.

Why would anyone walk away from the game with the potential to earn thousands or millions more on their next contract? Or in Willis’ case why walk away from an already signed contract and a chance to compete for a Superbowl? Willis leaves a role as the 49ers’ primary defensive signal caller to mentor and lead children.

Just last season, former Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall stunned a lot of people by leaving the game even though he was in his prime, citing the desire for a healthy mind and body late into his golden years.

When Hall-of-Fame Lions running back Barry Sanders, and Hall-of-Fame Cleveland Brown running back Jim Brown walked away prematurely, the world couldn’t even grasp the concept, but it seems players are finally catching on.

For a long time, the NFL’s unofficial acronym has been Not For Long, and it seems players are finally understanding that. Players are often reminded the average career is only 3-4 years but rarely are they satisfied ending their playing days before teams stop calling.

While veteran players like Frank Gore and Andre Johnson scoured the market looking for one last payday from a contender while Willis and others retired for physical and spiritual health.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds, retired to the NFL in his prime with four seasons of prodcuctive play totaling 25 total sacks, which was believed to have potentially earned him about $8 million in guaranteed money next season. Worilds, 27, tied for the the team lead with 7.5 sacks last season but chose to walk away to work for his religion as a Jehovah’s Witness.

Meanwhile, former Washington Husky and 8th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft Jake Locker leaves the league after four years and 30 games of struggling to achieve health, consistency and success, with his reasoning being that he, “lost the burning desire necessary to play the game for a living.”

Retirement before 30 is not an entirely new idea in the NFL. Usually players are forced into it once their bodies breakdown enough to betray them or their athleticism leaves them as shells of themselves. Troy Polamalu and Reggie Wayne are perfect examples of great players tossed away by their beloved franchises.

However, with so much public discussion about the long-term effects of football, football players are finally seeing beyond the dollar signs, rings and dreams. Willis and Worilds choosing other career paths proves high-profile players are finally preparing for life after football.

Former Pro-Bowlers Cortland Finnegan (31) and Maurice Jones-Drew (29) further supports this new way of thinking. Leaving the game able-bodied outweighed the prospect of a few hundred thousand dollars for another season with wear and tear and chance to make a NFL roster.

The NFL will always be a revolving talent pool as collegiate players continue to pursue NFL dreams. One only has to look at the NFL’s first-ever veteran combine where 100 NFL veterans will try their luck at catching one last look from an NFL team. Still, the fact that many players are leaving before their final curtain call is a new phenomenon that will continue to live on.

NFL teams are going to have to adjust to the trend of players selecting life over NFL dreams. No longer are rings and money going to be enough for a veteran to sacrifice their bodies or an even more priceless commodity, their time. Instead, maybe players will finally start managing their money smartly in preparation for their next venture after football.

Rather it is players like Worilds and Willis deciding when their prime is over or players like Locker deciding when they are finally ready to accept not living up to draft hype and prestige, the career longevity of an NFL athlete can once again be decided by the players.

The student and the student-athlete, is there that much of a difference?

Photo by Trevor Stamp

On the wall of the Matadome, CSUN’s athletics arena, are the images of multiple student-athletes, who thanks to their visibility and recognition on campus, may seem larger-than-life, or different, from a typical student at CSUN.

However, school officials believe that student-athletes at CSUN differ very little from students who do not compete in sports.

“They have to take classes,” Dr. Elizabeth Adams, Vice President of undergraduate studies, said, referring to student-athletes. “They have to do everything else that you would have to do in a class”

Adams, works diligently to help provide regular students, as well as student-athletes, with the resources and assistance they need to succeed in the classroom.

The school is very assiduous in monitoring the academic help that student-athletes receive, in the form of the Matador Achievement Center (MAC). Although the MAC is specialized for student-athletes, Adams asserts that the same type of help is available to regular students.

But what really separates the Matador Achievement Center from other learning centers other than it is directed to student-athletes, is the ratio between staff and tutors to students.

“It is true that we have a higher ratio of staff and tutors per athlete than for everybody else,” Adams said. “But it’s against NCAA rules and CSUN rules to provide special services for athletes that students don’t get.”

As Adams mentioned, it is imperative for CSUN to comply by NCAA and university policy, which is why the school goes through extensive lengths to make sure they do right by the NCAA, institution and the student-athletes.

“We have a whole compliance office, and they train all of my staff,” Adams said. “They train all the tutors, all the mentors to make sure they know the rules—both CSUN rules and NCAA rules—to make sure nothing’s done improperly.”

The staff is made known of these NCAA and university regulations through NCAA-sponsored rules seminars, Big West conference seminars, and training within the university.

“I feel confident that our professionals are aware, and knowledgeable, and practice the NCAA regulations,” Dr. Tina Kiesler, CSUN’s Faculty Athletic Representative, said.

Despite the university’s confidence in its faculty and preventative measures, there is still a copious amount of rules and regulations that may be unknowingly violated. Consequently, the university regularly checks and examines situations pertaining to student-athletes to make sure there is no wrongdoing.

“There are a lot of NCAA rules,” Kiesler said, referencing the compliance office’s involvement. “And some violations are more or less major than others, and we have discussions back and forth on whether there’s reports of violations, whether we need to report those if we have concerns.”

But when asked about the any possible academic improprieties within athletics, Adams declined to comment.

“I can’t talk about the basketball issue,” she said.

The “basketball issue” Adams is referring to is an investigation of the men’s basketball program that the university initiated in November, due to a possible violation of team rules and university policies.

“I’m not at liberty to talk about ongoing investigations,” Adams said.

As of March 4, the university hasn’t publicly addressed the investigation since November.

Regardless of the investigation and what it may mean for the men’s basketball program moving forward, Adams believes that CSUN has done right by their student-athletes, regular students and the university as a whole.

“CSUN has been an institution that has really committed to academic integrity for a long time,” Adams said. “And that’s part of our athletics culture as well”

In spite of the black cloud that hangs over the basketball program, university officials assert that there is nothing but fairness in the realm of academics and athletics.

“I know the perception is out there, but we can’t give them [student-athletes] special treatment.”

Furthermore, the notion that the quality of help or education in the Matador Achievement Center is any better is a fallacy, according to Adams.

“There’s nothing that happens in the MAC that another student doesn’t get or couldn’t get,” Adams said.

Kiesler also highlights the fact that student-athletes utilize regular student resources as well.

“I don’t think that the Matador Achievement Center provides extra help,” Kiesler said. “Actually, and a lot of our student athletes use our services available at the other departments on campus.”

Another reason for CSUN’s inclination to provide athletes with more personal help is because of student-athletes’ complicated schedules.

“Because they’ve got to balance so much, travelling, playing, going to class, it’s important that we provide really specific tutoring to them, so it functions a little differently than the LRC,” said Adams.

Simply put, the traditional tutoring offices are not open when student-athletes are available.

“Often, but not always, those offices are closed at times when the student athletes can take advantage of them,” Kiesler said of more traditional and open tutoring centers across campus

Although institutions like the Matador Achievement Center may make it seem like the university goes the extra mile to help student-athletes, Adams and Kielser vehemently believe that all students are on an equal playing ground.

“This is not a school that treats athletes differently,” Adams said. “Other than they have to go to games.”

ICYMI: Highlights from Men’s Basketball Big West Quarterfinal

Senior Stephen Maxwell tries to get a hand in front of UC Davis' Corey Hawkins shot during the Matadors' qurater final game on March 12. (Raul Martinez / Staff Photographer

CSUN Men’s Basketball crashed out of the Big West Quarterfinals Thursday afternoon against UC Davis 71-67. Here are highlights from yesterday’s game, and you can find the recap here.

Fitness Fridays: the benefits of pole dancing

Natalie Haskell practices her routine at 24th Street Theatre/Sierra 2 for SacPolemento, Sacramento's first annual pole dance and aerial arts showcase. Haskell owns Exotic Pole Fitness By Natalie in Marysville, California, and she has been pole dancing for five years. (Morgan Searles/Sacramento Bee/MCT)

When people think of ways to stay healthy, many consider working out to stay in shape and decrease the chances of health related medical issues. People will often look for fun, new ways to stay in shape outside of simply going to the gym. As an up-and-coming form of exercise, pole dancing is making its way into the mainstream forms of fitness.

Many people are skeptical about taking a pole dancing class due to the negative stigma that is associated with it. When the media covers nothing but the sensual side of pole dancing, it’s hard to blame people for feeling this way.

Pole dancing is a full-body workout and includes cardio resistance training as well. It’s the full package!

Not only is pole dancing a great workout, but there are also always new moves to try and improve on. Unlike the gym, where the moves and exercises are constant on every machine, pole dancing offers a way to maintain variety in each class. There are thousands of combinations of spins, still holds, body lifts, drops and poses. It is hard to imagine how someone can get bored when there are so many new things to try on the pole.

The excuses most commonly heard for not trying pole dancing are “I have no upper body strength,” “I’m too weak” or “I’m not sexy enough.”

Ladies and gentlemen, in the words of Kevin Hart, “You’re going to learn today.”

Pole dancing builds upper body strength. You do not need to have Superman arms and a model status figure to take a pole dancing class. Pole dancing is so welcoming and accepting of people of all shapes, colors, ages and sizes. Pole dancing classes are even offered for kids!

Many articles and blogs have been posted as to why pole dancing has helped people gain confidence and lose weight in a fun, healthy way. With body weight training and constant cardio, pole dancing is an exciting, healthy way to get in shape.

With video tutorials and competitions posted on YouTube, this is even a workout you can do at home.

Pole dancing can challenge some of the fittest athletes that partake in mainstream sports, such as rugby and gymnastics.

So, forget the negative stigma that is attached to pole dancing because as many videos and articles have shown, it is actually a full body workout and not just about the sexualized dance that many make it out to be.

Women’s basketball: CSUN books trip to second straight Big West Final

Senior Janae Sharpe fights her way up to the basket for the Matadors in their semifinal game against UC Davis on March 13. The Matadors defeated the Aggies 61-47. (Trevor Stamp / Multimedia Editor)

There was last year when CSUN put down a team at the Big West Tournament semifinals for the first time in the season. And then there was this year, when they did it again.

CSUN defeated the University of California, Davis down 61-47, for the first time in the season, allowing a shot at the championship tomorrow. The win echoes last year’s semifinal face-off against the University of California, Irvine — a team they were unable to beat in the regular season.

“Obviously we knew it was going to be a challenge,” said CSUN head coach Jason Flowers, who acknowledged the irony of the semifinal game.

Davis proved troublesome for the last-year’s all-around conference champs this season, despite being a lower-seeded team.

Davis seeded fifth in the tournament and kicked out the University of California, Irvine in 80-71 the first round March 10. The following day, they took out the once formidable California State University, Long Beach 70-67.

But CSUN was the trouble team’s final stop for the season.

Stubborn woman-to-woman defense from the Matadors kept the University of California, Davis Aggies corralled during the first half of the Big West Tournament semi-final game.

The Matadors obvious team organization proved effective in shutting down the Aggies main offensive components.Flowers deployed two of his smaller quicker guards to hold off Davis’ five-foot-10-inch point-guard Brianna Salvatore.

The defense plan worked to the point of working Salvatore into a corner and leaving her with no other option than to throw away the ball to avoid a five-second violation.

In other instances, they drove her to the back court. CSUN’s man-to-man full-court press kept Davis outside the arc and unable to drive.

CSUN offensively struggled against the high-risers Davis setup in the key and CSUN’s little guards like Ashlee Guay had trouble with the drives.

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“My heart was there in it but I was playing too fast,” Guay said. “It doesn’t matter, it’s not a one person game.”

In the second half, Davis managed to work their way into the key and close in on CSUN.

So in response, CSUN brought in the artillery that saw threes from Guay, Cinnamon Lister, and forward Randi Friess.

CSUN’s biggest problem was keeping Davis from retrieving the rebounds and making good off them. Davis brought no long game, despite being one of the best three teams in the conference, and wasn’t deadly from anywhere outside of the arc. When they could chisel themselves in the key and hand it off to the six-foot-three-inch center Alyson Doherty or pass to one of their tall forwards — CSUN felt it.

“Everywhere we looked, there was two of them,” UC Davis head coach Jennifer Gross said.

But despite the push from Davis, they couldn’t manage to adapt to CSUN’s adaptation. In a last ditch effort, Davis initiated a full-court press in the final few minutes, but it couldn’t prevent the inevitable.

“I think our team this week just showed a lot of Aggie Pride.” UC Davis forward Salvatore said. “I think that we really competed.”

The win put the Matadors at an eight-game winning streak and less than a day away from facing the toughest team in the conference.

“There won’t be any excuses for our group tomorrow,” Flowers said.

CSUN will face the University of Hawai’i Saturday in the final game of the tournament.

Hawai’i has proven no laxing matter over the season. They took an initial hit to CSUN, and California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in the first two conference games of the season, but maintained a consistent winning streak since then.

With the semi-final victory over Fullerton Friday afternoon they solidified their shot at the Big Dance.

CSUN and Hawai’i will face off for the final time this season Saturday 3 p.m. at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

“We’ve been preparing all year for this game,” CSUN senior center Camille Mahlknecht said. “We’re ready for tomorrow, just going to be the same intensity and team effort as today.”

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Professional Boxing: A glimpse back at past fights and future bouts

  • Boxing returned to primetime television this past Saturday and averaged 3.4 million viewers, solidifying it as one of the most watched boxing matches in close to 20 years, according to USA Today. NBC showed a trio of fights, one being a dreadful co-main event in Adrien Broner vs. John Molina. Broner simply outclassed Molina, a one-punch knockout artist over 12 one-sided rounds. For those tuning in and not familiar with the sport, they probably changed the channel or further indicated the notion that boxing is boring.
  • The main event saw Keith Thurman retain his WBA Welterweight title over 12 rounds vs. Robert Guerrero. Thurman consistently whacked Guerrero with hard power punches until finally knocking him down in round nine. Guerrero beat the count, but ate a lot of leather until the round ended. The 10th stanza saw Guerrero battle back and take the fight to Thurman after being nearly stopped in the previous round, but it would not be enough as Thurman would go on to win the fight via unanimous decision, in what turned out to be the best fight of the night.
  • In the final bout of the night, Abner Mares, a former champion in three different weight divisions scored a dreadful 10-round unanimous decision over fringe contender Arturo Santos Reyes in a Featherweight match. Mares has not looked like the fighter he once was prior to getting knocked out in the first by Jhonny Gonzalez.
  • IBF Flyweight champion, Amnat Ruenroeng outboxed two-time olympic gold medalist, Zou Shiming to cruise to a unanimous decision in a dreadful fight on HBO. Despite getting knocked down in the second round, Ruenroeng used his height and length to keep a solid distance from Shiming to win the fight in boring fashion. This was only the 7th professional fight for Shiming, who is already 33-years-old. He was put on the fast track by his promoters probably due to his age. Shiming is currently the most popular boxer in China, which up until a few years ago was an unexplored market in the boxing business.
  • The non-televised undercard had Middleweights Glen Tapia stop journeyman Daniel Dawson in the 3rd round. Tapia is a young, exciting fighter and cemented that fact in 2013 against James Kirkland, when he was knocked out in six, brutal rounds.

Upcoming fights

  • Thursday: HBO will show junior lightweight prospects including the undefeated Francisco Vargas of Mexico against Australia’s Will Tomlinson. The winner of this fight is expected to head to a title shot, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael. Expect a good scrap between two solid up and coming fighters.
  • Friday: Spike TV will show former IBF Welterweight champion, Shawn Porter against the rugged journeyman, Roberto Garcia. Porter is expected to bounce back from his loss to Kell Brook, which saw Brook take the IBF belt via majority decision.
  • Saturday: HBO’s main event will show WBA, IBF and WBO Light Heavyweight champion, Sergey Kovalev defend his titles against former world champion, Jean Pascal. Kovalev is an undefeated knockout artist hailing from Russia. His 85% knockout ratio is amongst the highest in boxing. If you’re to watch any fight this weekend, it would be this one.

 

  • The undercard will have Ukrainian Heavyweight prospect, Vyacheslav Glazkov against former Cruiserweight champion, Steve Cunningham. Cunningham is in the twilight of his career an at a disadvantage fighting against naturally bigger fighters than himself. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a stoppage. Also on the undercard is Light Heavyweight prospect, Isaac Chilemba of South Africa against Russia’s Vasily Lepikhin.

If you can for whatever reason only watch one card on Thursday, Friday or Saturday I would highly recommend you watch the HBO card. It is almost guaranteed to be a blast.

Cultural history of the Jews of Spain visited in lecture

In almost every educational institution there are Religious Studies that allows students to learn about different religions including Jewish culture, but there isn’t a lot of focus on Sephardi Jewish studies in North America.

In fact, very few people are educated in the Sephardic Jewish studies where they can teach its history, according to Director of the Sephardic Education Center, Rabbi Daniel Bouskila- who stopped by CSUN today to talk about the history of this very small, but rich culture.

Bouskila has heard a lot of people complaining about the narrative in American universities being so Ashkenazim and European-based while the focus on the Sephardi side is barely ever touched upon. He said the narrative of any university system comes down to the understanding of investing a lot of money and assigning what person will do research, write books, and where would this research take place.

“If a university decided to endow millions of dollars in Sephardic studies and brought many Sephardic professors and students and encouraged twenty people to get PHD’s in the next ten years, that university would create a different narrative,” said Bouskila.

Most of the educational Sephardic teachers come from Israel and although their religion was not suppressed or discriminated against in anyway in America, it would still make a great impact to have more Sephardic temples and places where Jews can practice . According to Bouskila, Sephardic Jews are considered the minority in the Jewish community because their community has such a small population in America.

During WWII, Jews were being defined by their ethnic bloodlines for the first time ever and began to be separated from one another. According to Bouskila, this had many Jews decide to move to different countries to avoid the Holocaust and while a lot did migrate to America, not many Sephardi Jews did.

Most of the community traveled to other parts of Europe such as Spain, Portugal, and France, They also traveled to Northern African countries such as Morocco and Algeria, which is where Bouskila’s parents are from. He learned Jeudo-Arabic from his parents and sang different prayers in the language which was surprising to some attendees.

“There were a lot of things that (Bouskila) was saying that I didn’t know about,” said Michelle Saxe, an Orthodox Jew from Israel. “I’ve lived (in Los Angeles) for over 15 years and have not learned about the Sephardi side and was excited to learn and go to this lecture when I heard about it. It was very enriching and I was happy to be learning.”

Bouskila said his goal is to educate people and to inspire them to learn about the Sephardic culture.

“I always tell people ‘The Messiah will come when there will be Sephardic studies courses in universities,'” said Bouskila.

The Sephardic Jewish community is very small and in order to expand it, educational institutions, such as CSUN, have taken part in creating lectures such as this one to teach the history and principles of the Sephardic Jews.

KCSN News: March 12th, 2015

The Sundial presents KCSN’s Evening News Update for March 12th, 2015. Here are the headlines:

  • Exide is closing its Vernon battery recycling plant after decades of toxic pollution.
  • The California Department of Education reports that fewer school districts are experiencing financial difficulties.
  • Grandparents and other relatives are often the first stop for social workers looking for a temporary home for a child that was abused or neglected.
  • It is being recommended that homeowners replace grass with drought tolerant plants to avoid water rationing.
  • The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have not developed a system to merge electronic health records.
  • There is a campaign to expand criminal background checks to all commercial gun sales.

AppJam competition offering up to $5000 in prize money

The Information Technology department is sponsoring a contest to see which students create the best mobile app.

CSUN AppJam 2015 allows students to put their designing and coding skills to the test, as they compete to make the greatest app in the competition.

“The competition, spearheaded by Information Technology, began with the recognition that app development is a growing field that presents many entrepreneurial opportunities for students,” said Deone Zell, Senior Director of Academic Technology.

Participants can win up to $5000 in prize money, and those pursuing a related career could add this to their résumé.

There are two categories to participate in: Student life or student finances. According to the online application, the student life category includes apps that help student succeed in any aspect of CSUN life. The student finance category includes apps that help students manage money and banking.

Students can compete individually or in a group of at least three. Teams of graphic designers, designers, or business developers can work together, and their app will be judged based on innovation, relevance and user experience.

“My partners and I are aiming for an app that will fulfill characteristics in both categories of lifestyle and finance,” says third year accounting major Alec Tejuco.

Each team must also make a two minute video describing their app and how it works. The video and their app will be presented at the AppJam showcase on April 30 in the Oviatt Library’s Ferman Presentation Room.

The top three apps will be recognized at the following award ceremony, where winners can receive $1,500 for third place, $3,500 for second place, and $5,000 for first place.

The competition is open to all students, regardless of prior design, coding or programming experience. It allows up to six team members, and other options such as which platform your app is for.

The deadline for the application is April 1, and there will be a kickoff event that day at Sequoia Hall 104.

“AppJam would be a way to bring student together to work in an inter-disciplinary setting as teams to learn about app development, and compete for prize monies at the same time,” Zell says.

For more information, visit the IT department website.

Matador News: March 12th, 2015

Two police officers are shot in Ferguson; the Secret Service is under investigation; President Obama and hot weather come to Los Angeles, and Matador News reporter Sara Vong reports on “The Drowsy Chaperone”, coming to CSUN next week.

Anchors: Noemi Barajas, Bianca Gallegos, James Lindsay and Jenny Vuong
Producers: Stephanie Stanziano, October Primavera and Joanna Guzman

Matador News: March 11th, 2015

A helicopter crash off the Florida coast kills 11; a new study connects IQ to drinking and Matador News reporter Kelly Hernandez has the latest on CSUN’s Grad Fest.

Anchors: Jordan Saucedo, Cristal Canedo, Ashton Smith and Jennifer Guzman.
Producers: Jessica Atkins, Teresa Barrientos and Anna Akopyan