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Stanford Wins First NCAA Women’s Title Since 1992

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The Stanford Cardinal Women’s Basketball Team won against the University of Arizona’s Wildcats. This was also the first time the Pac-12 teams were playing each other.

What We Know:

  • Stanford University played the University of Arizona at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday night. The team has not won any championship since 1992. The title ties them with Baylor University for the third-most wins in women’s basketball history. CNN reports that the two institutions are behind the University of Connecticut, which has 11, and the University of Tennessee, which has 8.
  • The team was spearheaded by coach Tara VanDerveer, who has been with Stanford since 1985. She is the one who has overseen each of the Stanford Cardinal’s wins. These include 27 Sweet Sixteens, 21 Elite Eights, and 14 Final Fours. After a 29-year hiatus, they returned to the winner’s circle this year.
  • They ensured this year nothing would stop them, not even a pandemic. From Nov. 29- Jan. 31, nine weeks of their season, they had to relocate due to California’s COVID-19 regulations. They faced tough games against teams like the University of South Carolina’s Gamecocks in the Fina Four. However, they affirmed they were staying in the game.

“This is a dream come true for our team. I think it’ll probably hit me tomorrow,” exclaimed VanDerveer.

  • It was a very close game. According to NPR, there were times where the Wildcats had the upper ground, especially as Arizona attempted multiple times to steal the game from Stanford. Additionally, CBS Sports claimed the Wildcats had the best defense for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s tournament and forced the Cardinal into 21 turnovers. It wasn’t until almost the end that Stanford made a comeback.
  • Haley Jones, NCAA’s most outstanding player, ensured that the Cardinal would finish with 17 points and eight rebounds. Lexie Hull made an input with a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double. Cameron Brink brought in 10 points, six rebounds, and three blocks.
  • The Wildcats did have a chance to win the championship. In the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Aari McDonald, Arizona’s star player, made three of four free throws needed to reduce Stanford’s lead to one point. The Wildcats also received a ball off a shot clock violation from the Cardinal. However, McDonald missed the last-second shot. Stanford won the game 54-53. McDonald stated she was proud of her teammates. They accomplished a lot that many didn’t believe they could, despite losing.
  • The game was also a memorable one for the University of Arizona. It had been their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005. It was also their first time playing in Final Four and championship games. The rancor between the teams remained friendly, although the Wildcats lost to Stanford 0-3 this season. Cardinal senior guard Kiana Williams said the team was great to play.
  • Stanford’s win comes after a year of bombshells for the NCAA. Last month, they were criticized by Cardinal performance coach Ali Kershner. She pointed out on Instagram the disparities between the men’s and women’s March Madness facilities. Additionally, the Supreme Court had a hearing last week in which they had to determine if the organization was illegally “fixing” Athlete compensation. Players were upset that the association was attempting to impose restraints on education-related compensation. Currently, a majority of the justices agree with the students’ concerns, as they are skeptical about the NCAA’s claims that payments for things outside of the court will compromise the integrity of amateur competitions. A final decision on the trial, known as Shawne Alston v. NCAA, No. 20-512, will be made in June.

As expressed, the tournament and season were historic ones. This year alone, teams either ended their season early or opted to cancel it due to the pandemic. However, Stanford stayed and won the first NCAA Women’s tournament in two years; the NCAA canceled the 2020 event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black Alerts and the host of Boss Mornings and Unmuted Nation. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

Crime

Classes canceled at Howard University as US Government investigates ransomware cyberattack

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Howard University officials along with leading cyber experts are trying to assess what has been compromised in an active ransomware, cyberattack on the HBCU campus. Officials have deemed the attack criminal.

What We Know:

  • Monday, the university issued a statement to faculty and students that “the service disruption was caused by a ransomware cyberattack against the university.”
  • Classes have been canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Students have been notified that online and hybrid classes will remain canceled and only essential staff will be allowed on campus. All in-person undergraduate, graduate, professional, and clinical experiential courses will resume as scheduled on Wednesday.
  • A ransomware attack can be triggered by simple, everyday activity. Opening a unintended link inside of can lead to a cyberattack.  Computer, tablet and phone users are encouraged to change their passwords and security questions regularly.

Howard University is home to several notable high profile Black alumni such as Chadwick Boseman and Phylicia Rashad.

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Education

Howard University installs Chadwick Boseman’s name on College of Fine Arts building

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The “Black Panther” star is seen as an “icon in his own right who has left an immeasurable legacy for the next generation,” the university said.

What We Know:

“Yesterday, the letters were installed over the now official Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts,” the school said in a tweet Friday. “An icon in his own right who has left an immeasurable legacy for the next generation. Thank you Mr. Boseman.”

  • Howard University first announced in May that it would rename its performing and visual arts school after the ‘Black Panther’ star who also happens to be an alumnus of the school.
  • Boseman graduated from Howard in 2000 with a bachelor of arts degree in directing. During his time at the school, Boseman led a student protest against the absorption of the College of Fine Arts into the larger College of Arts & Sciences, according to the university.

In 2018, the year Boseman rocketed to international fame as King T’Challa in the Marvel cinematic universe, the university announced that its performing and visual arts school would return to its independent status.

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Education

Education Department Will Erase $5.8 Billion in Loans For Borrowers With Disabilities

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The Department of Education (DOE) announced it would eliminate the outstanding loans of over 32,000 borrowers with significant, permanent disabilities. It will also remove barriers that block future students from qualifying for this relief.

What We Know:

  • The DOE’s declaration erases approximately $5.8 million in debt. In addition, NPR writes that it symbolizes a “significant step” toward improving a “troubled debt relief program meant to help borrowers with disabilities.” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona confirmed this statement when the Education Department revealed its decision, stating it would remove a major barrier for disabled students.

“Today’s action removes a major barrier that prevented far too many borrowers with disabilities from receiving the total and permanent disability discharges they are entitled to under the law,” Cardona said.

  • Despite the program’s intention to wipe student loans of those who cannot work due to disabilities, those who qualified for the program needed to apply for relief. Under the new plan, students will obtain automatic relief when identified through a data match with the Social Security Administration. The next match will take place in September.
  • In addition, the Department of Education said it would propose to eliminate the three-year income monitoring period. Officials will stop sending requests to borrowers for income information during the aforementioned years. Furthermore, the DOE will consider removing it entirely during the upcoming negotiated rule-making.
  • Disabled students and advocates believe this will bring change to the program. Persis Yu, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, said the vote is “long overdue.” However, Yu hopes the Education Department will review the eligibility criteria to determine when someone holds a disability discharge.

Yu added that Social Security’s match does not identify some qualified borrowers.

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