Current status: Brett Bodner is going to be up all night writing this editorial. Does this have any impact on the world around me? I think not.

Social media is slowly taking over the lives of the millions of people who use it on a daily basis. It seemed like a good idea at first, but now looking at what it has turned into, it clearly is one of the worst things ever invented.

“Hand over your data, your life, your … soul. And enjoy eternal life in the social media universe,” said a recent Chicago Tribune article in regards to Facebook. However I say take back your life and get off Facebook.

Facebook forever changed the scene of social media when it broke out onto the scene in 2004. It gave people the opportunity to make their own profiles and to add people as “friends” so you can then see their profile. Twitter also came about five years ago and is very similar to Facebook’s statuses.

Facebook leaves nothing to the imagination anymore. You can discover so much personal information about a person just from going on their profile. People disclose almost anything over Facebook and Twitter. Phone numbers, addresses, relationship status, job status, it is all out there for the world to see.

To make things worse, people post statuses as if what they’re doing is the most important thing in the world at the moment. For example, one tweet I just read on twitter read “Spending a night in reading. Perfect end to a long and satisfying day. #winning.”

Comedian Lewis Black talked about Twitter in his last stand up special Stark Raving Black, “Where do you get the massive ego to think anybody gives a s*** what you’re doing!? If you’re describing what you’re doing then you’re not doing it!” and he could not have said it any better.

Currently there are over 750 million people that have Facebook accounts and according to BBC News, 200 million people have twitter accounts. In other words, Facebook has as many users as the United States, Canada, Russia, and Mexico population combined.

That is an absurd number of people.

When did we as people become so narcissistic that we feel that need to broadcast our lives on social media platforms for the world to read about?

The Chicago Tribune article also reported that Facebook had big changes on the horizon where you will be able to watch music videos, shop, and read the newspaper all from your Facebook account. When you are doing all of these things, your friends will be able to see what exactly you buy when you’re shopping and what songs your listening too. Basically your life is going to be broadcast even more.

My advice, let’s get out of this social media phase before social media is not just a place where our lives are seen through tweets and status updates, but instead are run by social media outlets.

Tweet this; @world get out while you still can.

Food stores were rushed, power was knocked out, tornadoes, heavy rain, and high winds all passed through the tri-state area over the past few days. Considering the unfortunate fact that I work in a food store and live along the coast of the Jersey shore, I got to witness all of the madness from the storm, including feelings of widespread panic, fear, and even a little bit of excitement. I thought the entire weekend was entertaining and decided to document it. I’ve broken the weekend into three parts (pre-storm, the hurricane, and the aftermath).

Now let’s start at the beginning of all of the craziness.

Not only was New Jersey hit with an earthquake last week, but forecasts soon called for a category 3 hurricane to hit on Saturday evening. Now at first I thought it was going to be the same old story with the media blowing it way out of proportion. Every time there is a threat of a big storm people rush to the food stores to get “necessities” and make life hell for the employees. On Friday (the day before the storm), I had the luxury of working an 8 hour shift in grocery and in my four years of being with the company (I’ve decided to leave the store I work at anonymous for this article), I swear I have never seen a scene like the one I witnessed on that day.

I’ve seen the usual holiday shoppers and snow storm shoppers, but nothing compared to the crowd the hurricane threat brought out. Hundreds upon hundreds of people came in and out of the store, ransacking the “necessity” items, which usually include bread, milk, eggs, and juice. However this storm made people make a run for additional items including flashlights, candles, batteries, soup, for some reason chef boyardee, tuna  and last but certainly not least bottled water. Every single case of water we had was bought this past weekend. When we would roll full pallets of it out to the aisle people would follow us, swarm and grab all of the bottled water they could leaving nothing but the plastic the pallet was wrapped in. I swear it was as if we were selling water that promised eternal life.

People ran and rushed through the store, as if the world was coming to an end. They would ask myself and fellow employees frantic questions like “Do you have any more batteries!?”. Unfortunately towards the end we sold out of batteries and flashlights too so we had to tell them we didn’t have anymore and they would harshly answer “How can you not have flashlights!” Maybe because we’re not a f***ing hardware store. If only I could have said that.

When the rush had come to an end Saturday and the first signs of the hurricane began to surface, the store looked like it had been robbed. The water aisle, bread aisle, soup aisle, milk case, and the ice machine lay barren with no product in sight. It was something I had never seen before and just goes to how panicked everyone was over the storm. A panic which the media always seems to create with the slightest threat of a storm…even though this time  there were several people who were and are still being effected by the storm. More on that in part 2.

On the home front, my mother was just as paranoid as all the customers in the store. When I came home from work Saturday, every single outdoor decoration had been packed into our garage. The garage was so packed that you couldn’t even move around in there. She had also gone to the food store and bought lots of food and “storm needs” like batteries (a 48 pack of AA batteries I should add).

We had enough food to last weeks, a battery operated radio sit ready to go on the living room table, candles were placed in several of the rooms, and the brita was all ready to go in preparation for the hurricane.

All we could do was sit and wait, until eventually Irene arrived…

We are a day away from the annual “Punk Rock Summer Camp” known as Warped Tour. This will be the 17th year the tour will be taking the country by storm and as usual, there are several great bands booked to play.

Last year was the first time I attended Warped Tour and it was one of the best concerts I’ve been too, despite the fact that after being in the hot sun all day, I felt like death at the end of the day. Last year I got to see some great bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Four Year Strong, I See Stars, Set Your Goals, Sum 41, Alkaline Trio, Reel Big Fish, Emarosa, and Andrew W.K. This year is set up to be just as good, if not better than last years’ line up.

However, one of the problems with Warped tour is the fact that sometimes you can not always see all of the bands you want to see. This is mostly due to bands having the same set time. For example this happened to me last year as I was forced to choose between Alkaline Trio and Parkway Drive because they were both playing at the same time. So, for this year I figured I’d list my Top Five Bands I think anyone attending Warped Tour should go see and I’m praying that there are no conflicts with set times.

As promised, here are the Top Five Must See Bands on this years’ Warped Tour and they are in no particular order.

1. A Day To Remember:

  • I’ve seen these guys live twice and over the past 3 years they have been my favorite band. Now they may not be the best sounding band live (they sound much better on recording in my opinion), but the way they put on a show is something that everyone should experience. They come out with tons of energy, have the crowd sing along with them, and of course their synchronized head banging during breakdowns.  All of this motivates the crowd to move around and have a good time. This is going to be their third time on Warped Tour and their first time ever being on the main stage. The honor of being on the main stage is well deserved as this band has been doing nothing but blowing up over the past few years. The balance of pop punk and post-hardcore draws in people This is the one band on the tour that you do not want to miss and I believe they are probably going to have the biggest crowd draw out of all the bands who will be playing. If you don’t believe me, check this guys out for yourself and I guarantee it will be worth your while.
  • Set List: First and foremost, any ADTR fan will never be satisfied with their set list on Warped Tour. They have numerous great songs, but because they only have a half hour of show time they don’t get to play them all. However with that being said, the set lists I’ve seen from them so far aren’t too disappointing. They take the stage with the jaws theme playing in the background and they go right into “I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of?”. Best part about opening up with this song on the tour is that just like the recorded version, Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada joins lead singer Jeremy McKinnon on stage during the screaming breakdown. From here the rest of the set list varied. “A Shot in the Dark” was played second recently, but earlier they played “The Danger in Starting A Fire.” Some other songs they play are “All Signs Point to Lauderdale”, “All I Want”, “Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End”, “My Life For Hire”, “2nd Sucks”, “Plot to Bomb the Panhandle”, “Have Faith in Me”, and they close with “The Downfall of Us All.” They have also played “Heartless”, “Sticks & Bricks”, “You Be Tails, I’ll Be Sonic” and “Why Walk on Water When We’ve Got Boats”. So it looks like it depends on what they’re feeling that day. Since they’ll be in Jersey, I wouldn’t be surprised if they busted out “NJ Legion Iced Tea”. Overall pretty good set list, just not as good as it could be when you seem them headline a show.
  • Stage: Teggart Main Stage

2. The Devil Wears Prada:

  • I feel a little funny listing them here because I’ve never actually seen them live in concert before. However, every time I talk to some one who has seen them live, all they do is rave about how incredible they are live in concert. I’ve watched videos of them playing live on YouTube and if in person is anything like the videos that I have watched, then they are definitely a must see. Mike Hranica runs around on stage like a mad man, as does the rest of the band. They play with an incredible amount of energy and the crowd appears to feed off it. Mike Hranica supposedly kills it on vocals and is one of the few screaming vocalists who actually screams every lyric live. I’m definitely excited to see them in live for the first time this summer when Warped Tour rolls into Oceanport on July 24. People say that they are one of the few bands out there who sound better live than they do on CD. I guess I’ll just have to see for myself in a few weeks.
  • Set List: From set lists I’ve seen thus far, it looks like they’re playing 9 songs which isn’t too bad considering all the bands at Warped only get about a half hour of playing time. TDWP open up with the end breakdown of “Lord Xenu” and go right into “Danger: Wildman”, which I think is going to be crazy live. From here they play “Dogs Can Grown Beards All Over”, “Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?”, “Anatomy”, “Escape”, “Outnumbered”, “Dez Moines”, and  ending with”Assistant to the Regional Manager”.  The Devil Wears Prada will be releasing a new album on September 13 called “Dead Throne”. TDWP will be playing one of the songs off that record on Warped as a special sneak peek to all fans who attend. They play their new song “Born to Lose”  (Seen below) towards the end of their set. Now this set list is not set in stone. It is just what they have played on the tour thus far. Personally I’m hoping they add “Reptar King of the Ozone” or “Big Wiggly Style”.
  • Stage: Teggart Main Stage

3. Set Your Goals

  • These guys were one of the bands that stole the show at last year’s Warped Tour and I expect them to do the same this year. Their dueling vocals sound great live, as does the band as a whole. Last year the crowd went wild for these guys and there was loads of crowd surfing going on. SYG comes into this years Warped Tour with some brand new material after their June 28 release of their brand new album “Burning at Both Ends”. Although there are many mixed feelings about the album, I have to say that I love the album. However, if I had to choose I would still say “Mutiny!” is their best album to date still.
  • Set List: So far on this years Warped they have played two new songs of the record, “Certain” and “Exit Summer”. “Certain” is a song that I can listen to on repeat all day and not get sick of it. I’m pretty excited to see it performed live, as well as “Exit Summer” which is what they open up their set with. In addition to these two new songs, Set Your Goals goes on to play fan favorites like “Goonies Never Say Die”, “Mutiny!”, “The Fallen”, “Summer Jam”, “Echoes”, and “Gaia Bleeds (Make Way for Man). These guys are not a band you want to miss out on. They put on a good show and like many pop punk bands, they are really fun to see live.  If you don’t get a chance to see them on Warped, they will be hitting the road with New Found Glory when the tour ends.
  • Stage: Advent Clothing

4. The Wonder Years:

  • The Wonder Years are a band that are slowly getting bigger and bigger, and this years Warped is going to increase their popularity even more. This pop punk band from Pennsylvania has the reputation of bringing it when they play live. Sadly, I have never seen them live before but based on their sound, song writing, and things I’ve heard about their live performance, I felt the need to list them in my top 5 to see at Warped. Like many of the bands on Warped, The Wonder Years have just released a new album titled “Suburbia: I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing”. The album has been doing very well since it’s release and because the band has been having a good number of success lately, they will be on the cover on next months Alternative Press. I’ve been wanting to see these guys for a while and I know they won’t disappoint when I finally see them live tomorrow.
  • Set List: After taking a look at some of the set lists, I have to say I’m a little disappointed with it. The set list is dominated with songs off “The Upsides” and “Suburbia: I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing”. They play “Local Man Ruins Everything”, “Washington Square Park”, “Coffee Eyes”, “Melrose Diner”, “Logan Circle”, “My Last Semester”, “You’re Not Salinger. Get Over It.” and my favorite “Don’t Let Me Cave In”. I was hoping they’d play “Bout  to Get Fruit Punched, Homie” or “My Geraldine Lies Over the Delaware”. I’m hoping there’s a chance they play the latter when they come to Monmouth Park because it is a song about new jersey and it would be fun to have the audience yell “FUCK Route 9″. Guess I’ll just have to see how the set list is when they play tomorrow.
  • Stage: Nintendo 3DS

5. Of Mice & Men:

  • A lot has changed for Of Mice & Men since playing last year’s Warped. The band is no longer lead by lead vocalist Jerry Roush, but instead  founder and former frontman Austin Carlile has returned to the band and with him came a new rhythm guitarist Alan Ashby. Clean vocalist Shayley Bourget made the move to bass guitar in order to accommodate the addition of Ashby. Although all of these changes have occurred over the past year, the band is as strong as ever. Carlile is one of the best lead vocalists in the scene and sounds just as good live as he does in the studio. The band released their second album this past June called “The Flood”.
  • Set List: On this year’s Warped they will be playing several songs off this new record, which include “Still YDG’N”, “Let Live”, and “O.G. Loko”. They also play some stuff of their self-titled first album, like “Farewell to Shady Glade”, “They Don’t Call It The South For Nothing”, and the emotional tribute to Carlile’s mother “Second & Sebring”.  I stopped by their set for a minutes last year, but did not stay because I knew Roush wasn’t as good Carlile when it came to being the frontman of the band. However now with Carlile back, the band has been drawing huge crowds and supposedly they put on a fun and crazy show. From videos I’ve seen, the band sounds really good live and is very comparable to the way they sound in the studio. This year will definitely be worth seeing Of Mice & Men for their entire set.
  • Stage: Advent Clothing

Honorable Mention: Here are other bands you should check out on this year’s Warped tour.

Enter Shikari – Saw them at last years Warped and they were phenomenal. They have one of the most interesting sounds of any band in the scene, as they combine hardcore with electronic. They go absolutely crazy when they play live and are all over the stage. Lead guitarist Rory Clewlow has even made appearances in the circle pits during their performance. If you get the opportunity to set their set, definitely do so. You will be surprisingly satisfied with what you see. See the video below if you want an example of how these guys are live. Enter Shikari can be seen on the Advent Clothing Stage.

The Word Alive: First saw them/heard of them when I saw them open up for A Day To Remember last fall, and I’ve been listening to them ever since. They combine metalcore with a little bit of electronic mixed in, but not quite like Enter Shikari. The Word Alive are heavier and scream a lot more. They put on a good show when I saw them and they have some really good breakdowns in their songs. I expect to see a Wall of Death during their set and I’m pretty excited to see them play “2012” live. If you haven’t heard of these guys check them out on the Advent Clothing Stage.

Asking Alexandria: Speaking of having a good year, Asking Alexandria has been getting bigger and bigger as well. They released a new album titled “Reckless & Relentless” and even had an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. AA is slowly turning into one of the biggest bands in the scene, but there were a few factors keeping them out of the top 5. For one, lead singer Danny Worsnop does not have the best reputation for live performances. The guy loves alcohol and sometimes he has too much of it before the show and it has an effect on his singing performance. The band supposedly puts on a good show when things like this don’t happen, but from what I hear seeing this band is like a wild card and you never know which band you’re going to see. On that note with songs like “A Lesson Never Learned” and “The Final Episode”, this band has the capability of putting on a good show and having a crazy crowd in front of them. We’ll just have to see which Asking Alexandria shows up tomorrow on the Teggart Main Stage.

August Burns Red: These guys are the definition of heavy. Although they take the stage to a Christian sounding choir, what ensues after this is nothing short of metalcore. There are no clean vocals here, as lead singer Jake Luhrs screams every lyric to all their songs. Mosh pits and circle pits are going to be seen throughout their set, and I’ve already seen videos of fights breaking out. Christian ideals and themes may be the main idea to their lyrics, but don’t think for once that the crowd is going to be like something you’ll see in church. I saw these guys this past November, when they co-headlined the Fall 2010 AP Tour with Bring Me The Horizon. I only knew a few songs then, but I was impressed with what I saw. So if your into lots of breakdowns and moshing then check out August Burns Red on the Teggart Main Stage.

The Dangerous Summer: Just heard of these guys this past week and I have not been able to stop listening to them. “The Permanent Rain” is one of the best songs I’ve ever hear and they are just a really chill band with an alternative rock feel. These guys are slowly becoming more known and when a band has good songs it’s only a matter of time before they break out into the main scene. Want to see what I’m talking about then check out the video below and check these guys out tomorrow on the Nintendo 3DS stage.

Less Than Jake: These guys are legends of Warped Tour and usually punk/ska bands have fun sets when they play. I saw Reel Big Fish play last year and they put on a really fun show, so I’m expecting to see  close to the same with Less Than Jake. One thing I know for sure and that’s that there will be plenty of “skanking” going on during their set, as well as some covers of TV theme songs (ex. Spongebob). So if you’re looking to see a fun band and maybe take a break from circle/mosh pits, check out Less Than Jake on the Teggart Main Stage.

So be prepared for some warm weather, a slight chance of rain, maybe some moshing, and basically a whole lot of fun at Warped Tour 2011. I’ll see you there.

Editor’s Note: When my grandfather Frank “Murph” Bodner passed away this past March, there were many things running through my head. I felt both sadness and regret, as I felt I could have been closer with him, which I still do feel. However, after reflecting on what had happened, the bigger picture came into view. The following passage is what I would have said had I given a eulogy on the day of the funeral.

As you all know, I wasn’t exactly the greatest grandchild to Poppy. When my parents divorced 13 years ago, the closeness I had experienced with both sides of the family changed greatly. Since I lived with my mother, I grew even closer with her and her side of the family. I saw my father every other weekend and I didn’t always get to see Poppy. This was something that I take some blame for, but I know the closeness factor is not all on my hands.

When I heard the news that Poppy had passed, I felt complete shock, disbelief, and regret. I felt in these past couple of years, I could have taken it upon myself to form a stronger relationship with him and my father’s side of the family. However, I was never able to do this and I felt terrible because of it.

However, it was during this time of being upset with myself for not being closer with him that I realized something.

Despite the fact we weren’t as close as he was with Billy and Brittany, I knew that he still loved me as much as he loved them. In high school, I played three years of baseball and Poppy showed up at pretty much every home game. When I would struggle or go through slumps, he would be the first one there to offer a helping hand and let me know what I was doing wrong and how I can fix it. Whenever I would spend time with him we would always sit and watch sports on TV. Whether it was baseball, horse racing, college basketball, football, etc, we would always watch it. Pop was a big reason as to why I love sports as much as I do. Sometimes when I was over he would even put on hockey for me because he knew I liked it, even though he was not a big fan of it.

Another thing he did was encouraged me to get good grades in school. When I did receive good grades and I’d tell him he always answered with a “That-a-way” and it made me feel happy. No matter what happened over the years I always felt that I made him proud.

Something else that made me feel some comfort and solace was seeing several old pictures of him holding me as a baby with a big smile on his face. It just showed the love that was there, as he showed to many of you who are here today.

Even though I may not have had the same strong bond many others did with him, I still loved him just as much as everyone else did. He was the only grandfather I ever knew and I’m very grateful for all the time spent with him when I was little right up until the times I saw him in recent years.

Pop, I am very sorry that I wasn’t there more but I believe that I’ll see you again one day and that we can make up for lost time. I feel like there is so much about him I didn’t know and that there is so much about me that he also didn’t know. I hope one day to get that opportunity.

Thank you so much for everything over the years and for being my #1 fan for me in high school. I will always love you and I’ll keep you in my heart always.

Post Script: For now I can walk away with a lesson out of all of this. Time here is very short and precious. I hope I can learn from this and try to re-build relationships on my father’s side of the family including a relationship with my own father, which has been bumpy over the years to say the least. I have aunts, uncles, and cousins who I barely know. If I could change this I would and it’s not too late to. So far I’ve done a lousy job of trying to do this, but I know that it can be done. It just takes a little more effort on my part and I believe that I will one day make this happen. Only time will tell.

PPS: I wanted to publish this a while ago, but I figured Father’s Day would be the perfect time to do so.

After taking two years off to work on side projects, the Foo Fighters are back in full swing with their new album “Wasting Light”.

Up until this point, lead singer and guitarist Dave Grohl had been busy working on his side project Them Crooked Vultures and drummer Taylor Hawkins had been off playing in his three piece cover band, Chevy Metal. Hawkins also helped out Slash on his solo album that was released last year.

In August of this past year, Grohl, Hawkins, bass player Nate Mendel, and lead guitarist Chris Shiflett, went back into the studio to record their seventh studio album. The band was also joined by former rhythm guitarist Pat Smear, who once again became a full time member of the band.

This reuniting with Smear allowed the band to capture some of their old sound that fans fell in love with back in the ‘90s. Since they were inspired to go back to their old roots with this album, the band decided to record it in Grohl’s garage studio. This is a place he says is “ballad free”.

The new album was highly anticipated and when it was released on April 12, fans were not disappointed.

The overall sound of the album resembled their first two albums, which in my opinion were their best up until the release of “Wasting Light”. After giving it a few listens, I believe it’s fair to say that this one is up there with their self-titled album “Foo Fighters” and “The Colour and Shape”.

The album kicks off with the song “Bridges Burning”. The song basically starts off with some strumming of the guitar and then the rest of the band kicks in, bringing with it a ton of energy. The song is loud and fast and Hawkin’s drumming really keeps the song moving in a fast tempo. It is definitely one that is going to get the crowd moving when they play it live.

The second track on the album is the first single off the record called “Rope”. The song features a catchy guitar riff and chorus, with a booming conclusion to end the song. Rolling Stone says the song “has a chopped surge that evokes mid-Seventies Led Zeppelin, then straightens out for a later-vintage payoff.” I would have to agree as most Led Zeppelin songs start off slower but towards the end of the song it speeds up and has a sort of “in your face” ending.

One of the most interesting tracks on the album would have to be the fourth one, which is titled “White Limo”. The song sounds like something that came straight off an old Metallica record. It’s fast, heavy, and Grohl screams most of the song, which is uncharacteristic of the band as of late.

A special guest appeared on the album, which had most Foo Fighter fans (as well as many rock fans) excited. For the first time since the early ‘90s, Grohl teamed up with former Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic who played bass on the song “I Should Have Known.” Novoselic wasn’t the only Nirvana presence, as producer Butch Vig, who produced Nirvana’s breakout album “Nevermind”, produced “Wasting Light”.

In addition to reaching out to some Nirvana roots, the album does not fail to deliver on the other tracks on the album. Songs like “These Days”, “Arlandria”, and “Back and Forth” can easily be radio hits in the future. Even songs I wasn’t too crazy with on the album like “Miss the Misery” and “Dear Rosemary” were still decent enough to listen to.

The way the album ends is near perfect as well. The song “Walk”, which happens to be my favorite on the album, is a great way to close out the album. The song sort of resembles everything the band has been through over the years, while in a way declaring that they’ve been through some stuff but they got through it and now they are back. The album ends with the lyrics “Learning to walk again I believe I’ve waited long enough. Learning to talk again, can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?”

Whether you are a Foo Fighter fan or even just a rock fan in general, you have to check out this album. I promise you it will not disappoint. The band still features some great guitar riffs and Hawkin’s drumming is still up there with the best of them in rock and roll today.

It’s been almost four years since the Foo Fighters released an album (not counting their “Greatest Hits” that was release in November 2009), but it is safe to say that they are back and are once again ready to rock the world.

Probably the story I worked on the hardest throughout the year at Monmouth, so I figured I’d share it on here. Enjoy.

Head Basketball Coach Dave Calloway announced that four of his players – juniors Will Campbell, Matt Pritchet, Gary Cox, and first-year student Jordan Davis – were suspended for the remainder of the season due to academic reasons on Tuesday, January 4. All four athletes had GPAs below the minimum 2.0, which is required of all athletes by the NCAA in order to be eligible.

“We hold our players to certain academic standards. Playing basketball for Monmouth is a privilege not a right. It is up to them to learn from this experience and to be more responsible in the classroom,” said Calloway.

Currently, the team is playing with eight players. Their record is 6-18 overall, having gone 2-10 in NEC play. While the team suits up night after night and have been praised for their efforts, but the team has gone 1-9 and have lost five of these games by three points or less since losing the four players.
The Department of Athletics Office stated the players’ grades are not where they need to be in order for them to be eligible to play here at the University.
Tony Graham, who has been covering Monmouth Athletics for the Asbury Park Press since 1983, said he has never seen anything like this happen at the University in all the years he has covered the Hawks. “I’ve seen multiple suspensions happen at other schools throughout the years, but to see it happen at Monmouth is unprecedented,” said Graham. “There had to be some sort of fumbling of the ball that occurred. Whether it be on the athletes or athletics, somebody missed something.”

University President Paul G. Gaffney II also discussed how he regrets losing players due to academic reasons and how it is unusual here at the University. “I regret losing members of any team, but academics come first. We, and they, need to work hard now to get them on a good academic track. Men’s basketball has, over the years, had a model academic record when compared to peers and national averages,” said Gaffney, who himself was a member of the track team as an undergraduate at the U.S. Naval Academy.

“Athletics monitors the academic progress of all of our student athletes through mid¬term grades and MEWS reports, one-on-one meetings, study hall, etc. All of these student-athletes were on our watch list, and many people were working with them to keep them on the right track,” said Athletics Director Dr. Marilyn McNeil. “However, at the end of the day, it is their responsibility to take care of their academic work. This lesson is a hard one to learn, but one that must be learned.”

Outlook reporters invited the athletic department personnel charged with academic student development to comment in this story, but they did not answer inquiries.

Junior guard Will Campbell, one of the suspended players, is saddened by the fact that his season was cut short. “I just feel terrible. I should be on the floor helping my team, but instead I am suspended because I did not want to put a full effort into school. I knew I needed to do my work, but I didn’t take the initiative to do that. I devoted my-self to the gym, but I did not do the same for school. It is no one’s fault but my own,” lamented Campbell. Campbell was also suspended for one game back on November 19 for academic reasons as well.

“The program has been down for a couple of years now, and to only have eight eligible men this season certainly does not help the hopes of turning things around. The team continues to play competitively, but the effects of the suspensions are very clear” said former team manager Charles Kruzits.

Senior guard James Hett and sophomore forward Ed Waite are both feeling the effects of playing without four of their teammates. “It’s tough. We’re all upset about it, but we have to change and we have to try to adjust on the fly during conference season,” said Hett.

“We have fewer guys, but the guys who are able to play can get it done. The last couple games we only lost by two or three points. I think we would be a different team if we did have them, but we don’t. We got to play with the cards we have,” said Waite.

“I’m proud of the players who have been playing. These eight men – three seniors, two juniors, and three sophomores – have played their hearts out and have given it all they have in each game,” said Coach Calloway.

Assistant Sports Editor Ed Morlock covers the Men’s Basketball team and feels that maybe the sea¬son could have had a different out¬come, had the athletes kept their grades up. “The team is playing with great effort on the court, but is still struggling to win games. It gives people the idea to think of what could have been this season, had the suspensions never occurred. With the way the Hawks are playing, no one can say that if they had their full line up they could not be up there with the best in the NEC,” said Morlock.

Professor Matt Harmon, who is the voice of the football team on the commercial TV station and an adjunct professor in the communi¬cation department for over 10 years, feels that the team is faced with, “a very rotten situation.” “It’s unfortunate for the guys who are playing and for the school. It is very disappointing and they could have had more of a chance for a much better sea¬son than the one they are having,” said Harmon.

Not only is this a disappointing situation for the players and the school, but it has also discouraging to other athletes as well. “As an athlete, I feel like athletes should be held to a higher standard and that players should worry more about grades than sports sometimes. It angers me to see athletes like this get full rides to college and then do horribly academic wise and then don’t have the grades to be able to play,” said the athlete, who preferred to remain anonymous. “The athletic department does a lot to help student athletes. It’s a shame to see them [not] take advantage of the opportunity that is given to them.”

According to Calloway, all four of the suspended players are currently working very hard in school so that they will be able to play again next season. They also continue to help out the team by doing service in the community. A few weeks ago, the coach points out, they helped out in an autism clinic, while the rest of the team was playing in a game.

“They’re going to have to learn to be more accountable for their work, even though we will be fol¬lowing them more closely. It is still up to the athletes to be more responsible and to know that services are here to help, but it comes down to the students to do their work. That’s what they need to learn,” said Calloway.

Editor’s Note: The University was not in session when the story initially broke in early January. Assistant Athletics Director for Communications initially declined the paper’s request to speak with sources from Athletics, who felt “it wasn’t appropiate at this time” to cover the issue. At that point, reporters reached out to sources on their own, and this week’s story is the result of the inquiries

The Return

Posted: May 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Back in Black

Hello Everyone,

Now that my sophomore year of college is now complete and I have four months off from school, I’d say it’s about time to get back to work on this site. During the school year all of my writing goes into my school newspaper called “The Outlook”. I’m still trying to figure out a way to link all of my stories from the year onto this site. I may just have to copy and paste it all onto here which could take a little while. In the mean time, I attached a link to the site on the sidebar under links and I’ll attach a link here as well http://outlook.monmouth.edu/. You can click on this link and go through some of the archived issues if you’d like, until I get all of my articles onto the site. Keep an eye out for some new content and I look forward to getting this site up and running again.

Love you all,

Brett