Archive for category: Features

By Jordan Novack, Contributing Writer                 Link to Original

The Quinnipiac Athletics Hall of Fame held a ceremony to induct the Class of 2014 on Saturday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center, honoring six individual athletes and two tennis teams.

The newest members were enshrined in front of a gala of friends, family and peers.

The first inductee of the night was former men’s basketball bigman Bill Romano. Romano was a four-year starter during his time at Quinnipiac and rewrote the record books on the court. Upon his graduation, he was Quinnipiac’s all-time program leader in points, rebounding and points per game.

During his speech, Romano reflected on the growth of Quinnipiac athletics and the basketball program since his time on campus.

“My freshman year, in 1998, the locker room was so small we could barely fit an entire team in there,” Romano said. “I remember looking around and saying to myself, ‘wow this is similar to a middle school or high school locker room.’ Now look at this palace in which we play in today.”

Jared Grasso, Romano’s teammate and “best friend,” was the next to be inducted into the Quinnipiac Hall of Fame.

Grasso was a four-year member of the basketball team, who, upon his graduation, was the second player in school history to accumulate 1,000 points and 400 assists.

Grasso talked about his best memory at Quinnipiac, the NEC Championship game against Central Connecticut.
“[It was] the best basketball atmosphere I have been a part of in my entire life,” Grasso said. “I really felt proud to know how much work we put in when everyone said we weren’t any good, or we weren’t going to win any games. We were only two bounces away from being in the NCAA tournament in that last year.”

Former women’s basketball player Ashlee Kelly was inducted after Grasso. Kelly currently serves as an associate head coach for the Iona College women’s basketball squad, while Grasso is an associate head coach for the men’s basketball team.

While on campus, Kelly was one of the most decorated players in the history of program. She was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Year in 2002-03, becoming women’s basketball’s first student-athlete to win the honor. Kelly averaged 13.5 rebounds per game during that season, leading all of Division I basketball.

Kelly’s most glowing support came from Senior Associate Athletic Director Bill Mecca, who hosted the ceremony.

“I’ve never seen someone compete at a level that high day in and day out,” Meca said. “She is arguably the best women’s basketball player to ever wear a Quinnipiac jersey.”

The fourth inductee came in the form of Stephanie Petrycki. A four year member of the tennis team, Petrycki is currently Quinnipiac’s all-time leader in career wins (165), career singles victories (84) and career doubles victories (81). She was named the “Most Valuable Performer” of the tennis team in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Petrycki spoke of how her time at Quinnipiac changed how she perceived tennis as a team sport.

“You grow up going to tennis tournaments, you always did it as an individual,” Petrycki said. “You meet people, and you make friends and stuff, but you are really by yourself. But coming here, you become part of a real team… It was probably one of my favorite parts of being [at Quinnipiac].”

The final individual inductee of the night was the voice of Quinnipiac, Bill Schweizer. Schweizer is a broadcast veteran of 44 years, and has worked on seven Olympic broadcasts and handled play-by-play for both the National Football League and Major League Baseball during his career. He is entering in his 20th year at Quinnipiac, serving as the play-by-play announcer for the Bobcats’ ice hockey and basketball teams.

In a conversation following the ceremony, Schweizer described the two fondest memories he’s had during his time at Quinnipiac.

“[Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey] went on the road to Cornell for a three-game series, and Cornell never loses at home,” Schweizer said, talking about the 2006-2007 season. “Quinnipiac swept them in two games, and both games the atmosphere was unbelievable. Two of my favorite games of all time were those games.”

And he has a special memory for basketball, too.

“[The 2002 Men’s Basketball Team] came out of nowhere and got to the NEC championship game against Central, only being four years into Division 1, playing on ESPN,” Schweizer said. “The atmosphere that night in the gym at Central was unbelievable. It was sold out and the whole house just shook.”

The first team to be inducted was the 1996-97 women’s tennis team. The team went 16-2 overall, and went undefeated in NE-10 play (10-0), winning the regular season and NE-10 tournament championship title. They were the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II tournament that year.

The final inductee of the night was the 1996-97 men’s tennis team. The team went 18-1 and was undefeated in NE-10 matches (9-0). The team won two consecutive Northeast-10 regular season and tournament titles to close out the team’s Division II history.

The Quinnipiac Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1971, and currently has 133 players and 10 teams

By Jordan Novack, Contributing Writer                 Link to Original


Fifth-year senior Taylor Healey has been on a collegiate roller coaster ride in every sense of the term. She faced all-time lows when she was forced to medical redshirt her freshman season due to an injury, then experienced the best of times as she was named Quinnipiac Women’s Soccer Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons.

Now a recent injury is forcing her to miss all of her final season. She has experienced it all.

Growing up in nearby Milford, Healey enjoyed major success at Lauralton Hall High School. She was named First Team All-State in 2010, as well as Third Team All-New England.

Healey committed to Iona for the following fall, but then realized she made a mistake.

“After speaking to [Head Women’s Soccer Coach David Clarke] and doing two overnights, I realized this was the far better fit for me,” Healey said. “School-wise and soccer-wise, I am very happy with that decision. I would not have liked it at Iona.”

Although she had a tumultuous freshman year, including an ankle injury and appendicitis that affected her, Healey bounced back and blossomed into one of the all-time greats at Quinnipiac.

The defender considers last season to be her best yet as a Bobcat, calling it her “personal highlight.”

“[She earned the Player of the Year award] for a consistency of performance, determination and for possessing every other quality you look for,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. “She brings it to the field for 90 minutes.”

There’s one part of her game, in particular, that makes Healey proud: her toughness.

She mirrors resiliency and toughness after her role model, professional soccer player Abby Wambach.

The team watched a documentary about Wambach during the preseason, paying close attention to the tenacity she played with.

“I am the type of player who doesn’t leave a game without an injury. I go into everything and don’t second guess,” Healey said, comparing herself to Wambach.

In Healey’s sophomore season she suffered a head injury, one that would eventually need 37 stitches.

“She needed plastic surgery, but she was still attempting to stay on the field,” Clarke said. “Considering she was ambulanced to a nearby hospital, the toughness she showed by attempting to keep playing gave a true reflection of Taylor, both as a person, and as a player.”

Despite the tough persona she possesses, Taylor openly admits how she isn’t afraid to cry.

One example of this would be during a game against Central Connecticut State University during her sophomore year. Healey scored the game-winner on a volley from a corner.

“My coach had been joking during the week that ‘Taylor has no left foot,’” Healey said. “During the game I scored a volley off of my left foot, and I was so happy that I was literally standing on the middle of the pitch crying.”

Unfortunately, Healey’s career at Quinnipiac looks like it will end on a low note.

During the preseason, she tore two ligaments in her ankle and has been in a boot for the last five months. As she prepares for graduation in the winter, she spends three hours a day in the training room and rehabbing.

“Since [my career] was taken away from me before I had a chance to finish it, I am going to attempt to play overseas,” Healey said. “I don’t know how realistic that may be but I am going to try.”



By Jordan Novack

Currently in London, an army is under fire.

The Yid Army, the proud fan base of one of England’s top-tier soccer teams, Tottenham Hotspurs, has come under scrutiny from not only the English Football Association and opposing fans over its nickname and cheers, but also from local police.

Three fans were charged earlier this year with using the word “Yid,” a term often considered offensive, at the team’s matches. Although the charges later were dropped, magistrates said that the ruling would not impact future cases in other circumstances, according to The Guardian

This problem is not just affecting the United Kingdom. The legendary Dutch team, Ajax, has encountered similar issues with its fan group, The Super Jews.

Fans of both clubs historically incorporate Stars of David into their banners and posters, and many supporters adorn them selves in Israeli flags with their club’s logo on it. Others have something written in Hebrew on their shirts and jerseys. During matches fans from both clubs also infamously use songs in Hebrew, such as “Hava Nagila,” as fight songs.

“Many times in the stands of White Hart Lane, you see people with Israeli flags and Stars of David. It is fantastic,” said Rolfe Jones, president and co-founder of the L.A. Spurs, the local branch of the Tottenham fan club.

From the beginning, both Tottenham and Ajax gained reputations as “Jewish clubs” due to their locations in predominantly Jewish regions. Amsterdam was referred to as “Jerusalem West” during World War II, and De Meer stadium, Ajax’s original home arena, was located in eastern Amsterdam, where most of the city’s Jews lived. In the case of Tottenham, many Jewish immigrants to London in the 19th and early 20th centuries settled in the East End of London, where Tottenham played their early home games. Today, many Jews still prominently support both teams.

“The terminology was used almost as a banner of pride, and as a way to differ from the other North London clubs,” explained Grant Simmons, an Encino resident and avid Tottenham supporter. “Yiddo Army had nothing to do with religion, but was purely location-based.”

Over the last two years, officers have begun arresting fans at Tottenham games for “Yid” chants or for signs, as well as opposing fans with hatful chants and hissing noises — a reference to the sound of gas at death camps — and were charged with knowingly committing a hate crime.

“English soccer for a long time would feel anything said in a stadium was fair game, and unlike how they would act in real life, while in the last few years people have become held to a higher standard,” Yahoo! Sports soccer writer Martin Rogers told the Journal.

“You have thousands of fans singing in unison, and when it is to support their team it can be a beautiful thing, and not on many occasions, but sometimes the songs and chants can turn vicious and hurtful.”

The Community Service Trust (CST) in the United Kingdom, an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the British Jewish community, released a statement on its website condemning the behavior.

“Clearly, any effort to rid the game of anti-Semitism has to start by focusing on the anti-Semites,” it said. “People chanting about Hitler or making hissing noises should be arrested, charged and banned for life. There are some good examples of clubs taking this sort of action, and others where the punishment has been far too weak.”

However, the statement also said: “If Spurs fans did not sing about being ‘Yids’ then it is likely that there would be much less anti-Semitism in football grounds than there is. It is part of the dynamic of football crowds that if one set of fans sing about a particular part of their identity, opposing fans will twist it back against them,” he said. “When Spurs fans sing about being ‘Yids’ it encourages opposing fans to think that ‘Yids’, and therefore Jews, are a subject that it is OK for them to sing about too, but in an abusive way.”

When contacted for comment, the local branch of the Anti-Defamation League said its views mirror those of the CST.

In September, the English Football Association also made a statement, decreeing, “In light of the historic and contemporary use of the term, The FA considers that the use of the term ‘Yid’ is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer… use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offense, and leave those fans liable to prosecution and potentially a lengthy Football Banning Order.”

Despite then-manager Andre Villas Boas claiming that the club would cooperate with the league, the term remains very much in use to this day.

Meanwhile in Amsterdam, Ajax and its fan base, the Super Jews have been targeted for its “Jewish” identity, as opposing fans have started using harsh anti-Semitic chants at matches, such as “Ajax, all aboard. Next train to Auschwitz.”

Los Angeles resident and Ajax fan Peter Erickson spoke about how he felt the issue with anti-Semitism isn’t the Super Jews, but the opposing fans — who also have been gaining the attention of authorities.

“The Ajax fans act out of a respect for the culture and a love for the club,” he said.

By Jordan Novack and Brett Warner, Contributing Writers                Link to Original

Recent comments attributed to Donald Sterling, the Jewish owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers who was banned for life from the team by the league’s commissioner on April 29, have been denounced as racist by numerous area Jewish organizations, some of which have received tens of thousands of dollars from the embattled owner.

A search of public records, made available through the website, indicates that from 2010-2012, the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation gave at least $10,000 to groups like The Jewish Federation, Jewish Vocational Service of Los Angeles (JVS) and the Museum of Tolerance.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance, supported NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s actions.

“There’s no place in America for this kind of racism,” he told the Journal. “We believe the action to ban him for life is correct, and we will not accept any donations from Donald Sterling in the future.”

The museum received three donations of $10,000 between 2010-2012, according to

The NBA commissioner’s action “is what should happen whenever someone makes anti-Semitic or racist remarks, as millions of people are touched by this view,” Hier said.AP_donald_sterling_2_jt_140510_16x9_992

Federation CEO and President Jay Sanderson made it clear in an April 29 phone interview with the Journal that his organization would not consider future donations either. It received $10,000 in 2012.

“Donald Sterling is clearly not a member of the Jewish community,” he said. “He has chosen to make small gifts to a large number of organizations. … We are appalled and abhor the comments Sterling made. We condemn Sterling for his comments, and we plan on not accepting his gifts in the future.”

On April 27, a recording was released in which the billionaire Sterling — who grew up in Boyle Heights and is a member of Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills — allegedly is having a conversation with his girlfriend and he asks her not to bring black people to basketball games. In the recordings, the man tries to justify his controversial comments by saying that in Israel, blacks are “treated like dogs.”

The NBA’s commissioner placed a lifetime ban upon Sterling, as well a fine of $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. Silver said at the time that he would do everything in his power to rally the NBA governing body into forcing a sale. Since this story broke, several of the Clippers’ major sponsors, including longtime partners CarMax and State Farm, have either suspended or terminated their deals with the team.

An April 28 statement from JVS Board President Jim Hausberg and CEO Vivian Seigel described the reported comments from Sterling as “deplorable” and “indefensible.”

“We are shocked and stunned by the blatant racism of these alleged remarks, particularly from Mr Sterling, who has been a supporter of many non-profit organizations and understands the tragic consequences of discrimination and anti-Semitism,” it said.

The organization received a total of $30,000 from the Sterling Foundation between 2010 and 2012, and used the funds to support work with at-risk, foster and probation youth, according to the statement, which did not comment on the possibility of future donations.

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust received identical gifts that were spent to provide free Holocaust education, according to a statement from its board. Looking ahead to the potential of future donations, the statement asked the question: “If funds that have already been committed to charity cannot be distributed to organizations that are committed to fighting bigotry, how else should they be used?

“Perhaps Mr. Sterling and his family will choose to make amends … by redoubling his donations to organizations that combat the very corrosive disease from which he obviously suffers. That would seem to be the appropriate way forward from this debacle.”

In all, the Donald T. Sterling Foundation has made donations to at least 10 Los Angeles Jewish organizations over the last three years, according to

  • Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles: $50,000 (2010).
  • Beit T’Shuvah: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Guardians of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Jewish Vocational Service of Los Angeles: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Los Angeles Jewish Home: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Museum of Tolerance: $10,000 (2010); $10,000 (2011); $10,000 (2012).
  • Creative Arts Temple: $10,000 (2012).
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles: $10,000 (2012).
  • Temple of the Arts: $10,000 (2012).

image credit abcnews