Tag Archives: Troy Gaulden

NCAA proposes $2,000 increase for athletes

by Troy Gaulden

NCAA president Mark Emmert‘s proposal to increase grants to student-athletes by $2,000 has been approved in order to cover the full cost of attending college.

LSU chancellor Michael Martin disagrees with the proposal | Photo by Troy Gaulden

According to Louisiana State University chancellor Michael Martin, each conference will now vote on the matter, and it is expected that most will accept the proposal.

But Martin, a former chancellor at New Mexico State, disagrees with increasing student-athlete grants, because not all schools can afford to do so.  Martin says this will widen the gap between the haves and have-nots.

“I’m not sure that the $2,000 serves a particularly good purpose for those of us who can afford it, and it most certainly will have a negative impact on those who can’t,” said Martin.

Also, with conference realignment and television network deals, the landscape of college athletics is shifting.  The Southeastern Conference added Texas A&M and the University of Missouri, a move that Martin backs.

“Both Texas A&M and Missouri are AAU universities, which means that they are academically very highly regarded.  They both have strong traditions in the sports we play.  They are within reach of our smaller teams being able to travel successfully there.”

LSU chancellor Micahel Martin on SEC expansion:

LSU FACES brings human remains back to life

by Troy Gaulden

The Louisiana State University Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory provides a unique perspective of the human face.

LSU FACES Imaging Specialist Eileen Barrow works on a clay facial reconstruction | Photo by Troy Gaulden

LSU FACES assists law enforcement agencies with the recovery and identification of human remains while running a Louisiana missing and unidentified database.

The lab consists of seven women and several graduate assistants.  The imaging specialists use the actual skulls from victims, tissue markers and clay to reconstruct faces.  In addition, Photoshop is used to give the faces a more realistic look.

According to Mary Manhein, Director of LSU FACES Laboratory, you do not need a degree in forensic science specifically to get a job as a forensic investigator.  Manhein suggests that students who are interested in the field should get a graduate degree, because forensic science is a very popular and competitive field.

LSU currently offers forensic science courses to graduate students and graduating seniors, but that is about to change.  According to Manhein, the LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology will offer a general education course in forensic anthropology (ANTH 2014) in the Spring 2012 semester.

For a timeline of other FACES lab events click here.

Mary Manhein on facial reconstruction:

LSU Tennis will stay dry with a new facility

by Troy Gaulden

Although the tennis courts in “Dub” Robinson Stadium were recently resurfaced, the LSU tennis program still sits behind the curve being the only Southeastern Conference school without indoor tennis courts.

LSU rendering of the future tennis facility | Photo by Troy Gaulden

“We’re constantly recruiting, but so is everyone else.  There’s more and more schools that are competitive that are getting in on the same recruits, and you’re going to have to have something at least equal to what your competition has,” says LSU Men’s Tennis coach Jeff Brown.

“I watch the weather channel more than you would believe during the season.  When we have bad weather we don’t have a place to practice, and it makes it awfully tough to gain cohesiveness and consistency with your practices,” says LSU Women’s Tennis coach Tony Minnis.

Things are about to change for LSU tennis in the next two years.  The coaches will finally get their “umbrella” with fundraising underway for a state-of-the-art tennis facility.

“It’s going to be very beneficial.  It’s been a long time coming, but we’re really excited about what’s happening coming up soon,” says Minnis.

According to LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, the future tennis facility will cost around $10 million and will be on LSU’s south campus.  The facility will feature six indoor courts and 20-30 outdoor courts.

LSU Shaq statue will drive recruiting

by Troy Gaulden

With the recent unveiling of a statue bearing the likeness of Shaquille O’Neal, the LSU basketball program took a step forward with recruiting.

The Shaq statue sits in front of the basketball practice facility | Photo by Troy Gaulden

After finishing at the bottom of the Southeastern Conference for the past two seasons, the program is looking to turn things around.  It all starts with recruiting.  A statue of arguably the most well-known athlete to ever sport purple and gold is a great start.  This is more than just a statue to LSU.

Along with the statue of Shaq, the LSU basketball practice facility keeps LSU in the running for recruits.  Shaq even took note of the LSU basketball program’s overall improvements over the years.

“I spoke to the team last year, and I was like, listen, you guys got everything you want here.  You may think you have everything, but I didn’t have any of this, and I made it.  You know you guys have computers and internet, practice facilities and study halls and stuff like that.  My message to them was to take advantage,” says Shaq.

The 900-pound bronze statue was sculpted by Hanlon Sculpture Studio and sits in front of the basketball practice facility.  Alleva says visiting recruits will definitely be impressed by the statue.

LSU is cheering for Chico

by Troy Gaulden

To help pay for LSU Cheerleading associate head coach Chico Garcia’s medical expenses, LSU Cheerleading established Cheering for Chico, a website that shares updates on Chico and allows anyone to post to Chico.

T-shirt design by Tiger District

Also, T-shirts can be purchased through the website, with all proceeds going toward Chico’s fund.  LSU spirit director Pauline Zernott says they are striving to raise around $150,000.

Although Chico is currently hospitalized, he still manages to coach the LSU cheer squad with the use of FaceTime on an ipad.  The cheerleaders aren’t surprised by Chico’s determination.

“It definitely shows how strong of a person he is, and you know it takes a very strong-willed and determined person to sit there and know they might not be able to move or might not be able to walk for a few months or years even.  But, that hasn’t stopped him from what his ultimate goal is and that’s making us better as a squad,” said LSU cheerleader Courtney Begnaud.

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division, the 19-foot boat struck a private pier, severely injuring Chico.  Chico is currently paralyzed from the chest down after suffering a spinal cord injury in the cervical region.  There were four others on board.  Two people were released from the hospital, and two children remained hospitalized.  The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

UPDATE (Oct. 5):

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, charges were filed against Jack Riffle for his involvement in the boating accident.

Riffle was charged with driving a boat while intoxicated, reckless operation of a moving vessel and four counts of first-degree negligent injury.

Chico is still paralyzed from the chest down.  He is currently in the Shepherd Center, a rehab hospital in Atlanta that specializes in spinal cord injuries.