UConn’s 100 Wins is About More Than Talent

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Last night, with a win over the South Carolina Gamecocks, the University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball Team extended its already epic win streak to 100 wins. That 100th win encompasses more than two straight years of victories, the vast majority of which were earned by beating opponents by 40 or more points. It surpasses the team’s old streak of 90 games by a nice round number of 10 and beats the longest win streak by a men’s college  basketball team by twelve. The Huskies have weathered injuries, close calls and changes in talent to reach this unprecedented mark. It’s truly awe-striking.

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GLADIATHER® LAW: DEVOS & WOMEN IN SPORTS

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By now most of you are aware that last week the Senate held it’s confirmation hearing for President Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.  By a lot of people’s standards, DeVos’ performance was cringeworthy.  She avoided agreeing to uphold federal laws that protected disabled students, supported guns in schools to protect students from grizzly bears and revealed that she wasn’t knowledgeable in basic concepts about educational standards.  She provided little clarity about the tone she would set for the Department of Education and while it’s not immediately apparent, that also means there’s little clarity about the direction of women in sports. How could DeVos and the Department of Education possibly influence women in sports? For that answer I’m bringing you another installment of GladiatHer® Law.

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The Women of the College Football National Championship

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In the weeks leading up to the College Football National Championship we’ve heard and read a TON about the offenses, defenses, coaches, players and percentages of the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide. And rightfully so, the teams are setting us up for a National Championship for the record books. These men have worked extremely hard for the opportunity to play for a National Championship, so they deserve all the coverage they get. But there are some people we haven’t heard much about who have also played important roles in getting these teams to the National Championship. There are many, many people behind the scenes who work to help keep the machines that are Clemson and Alabama football running smoothly and successfully. They’re in recruitment, development, athletic training and management and without them, victories aren’t possible. Unbeknownst to many, a number of these crucial positions are held by women. In preparation for tonight’s showdown on the gridiron, we thought it only fitting to give a shout out to just a few of women who’ve help bring Clemson and Alabama to Tampa Bay, FL.

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WOMEN OF TROY TAKE THE CUP

USC Football defeats the Colorado Buffalos 21-17 on October 8th 2016
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In addition to being a Bison, I’m a Bruin through and through.  As such, I tend to refrain from giving rival schools much attention or credibility; I like to act like the Pirates and the Trojans really don’t exist.  But as much pride as I take in being a graduate of Howard University and the University of California Los Angeles, School of Law, I also take pride in giving credit where credit is due.  So it gives me great, great pleasure to give the women of the University of Southern California a huuuuuuge shout out for being members of the best athletic program in the country.

usc_football_colorado_mcgillen_2016_4786USC Football defeats the Colorado Buffalos 21-17 on October 8th 2016

Remember way back in January when I talked to the legendary Candace Parker about how legendary she is and about the Capital One Cup? It was great. Be sure to check it out.  As a reminder, every year Capital One awards a Cup and a large chunk of scholarship money to each of the best men’s and women’s Division-I college athletics programs in the country.  A few days ago, on October 8th at the Colorado v. USC game, about 200 Women of Troy took the field to claim the Capital One Cup and a fat scholarship check in the amount of $200,000 for being the best student-athletes for the 2015-2016 season.   Points toward the Capital One Cup are based on final standings of NCAA Championships and final official coaches’ polls, so these ladies really are the best student-athletes the country has to offer.

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Congratulations to the Women of Troy and thanks for showing us what it looks like to be gladiators and GladiatHers® at the same time! Keep up with the current standings for the Capital One Cup here and follow the Women of Troy here.

Images by John McGillen.

GladiatHer Grads: Jacqueline McDevitt & Her Phan Cave

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I really need you all to understand that there are some pretty amazing woman who have played college sports. Legitimately amazing. Jacqueline McDevitt is one of those amazing women. She’s gone from lacrosse novice to expert coach and business owner in a matter of 10, short years. In following her passion for sports and branding, she has developed an ingenious way for sports fans across America to better enjoy their coveted tailgates. Check out what she shared with GladiatHers.com. Continue reading

Beyond the Accolades: How Pat Summitt Changed My Life

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Over the next several days, you’re going to hear and read powerful stories about the late, great Patricia Sue Summitt. Family, friends, former players and coworkers, sportswriters and fans will all be sharing touching, personal moments from the life of the winningest basketball coach in NCAA Division I history. TV stations and online and print publications will remind you about her 1,098 wins, 8 national championships and 7 NCAA Coach of the Year awards. You’ll hear astonishing facts about her 38-year, Hall of Fame career as a basketball coach at Tennessee.  For instance, you’ll likely hear how the Lady Vols made 31 consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and how every last one of her players who completed her eligibility at Tennessee graduated. That’s right, she made it rain in wins AND degrees.  You’ll read amazing quotes from her about competition, faith and perseverance.  You’ll undoubtedly learn about how she fought Alzheimer’s type-dementia with the same fervor that she fought on the basketball court.  You’ll hear some really wonderful  things about this woman.  And since you’ll hear all of those great things from other people, I decided that you didn’t need to hear them here, again.  Instead, I decided to share how Pat Summitt, a woman who I never met and who didn’t have the slightest idea about what GladiatHers™ is, changed my life.

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WHO ARE THE 20 AT 20?

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Yesterday, right before the epic game that was the Lynx v. Sparks’s Battle of the Undefeateds, the WNBA named its 20 Greatest and Most Influential Players in League History in honor of its 20th anniversary. The list was announced on Sports Center on the anniversary of league’s inaugural regular-season game that was played on June 21, 1997. While the league has some growing to do, it’s amazing what its players have been able to accomplish over the last 20 years, so the list is befitting. When you try to narrow down twenty years worth of talent and influence into a short list of 20 people, there are bound to be some who are disappointed. But when I look at the list that the WNBA and its affiliates came up with it’s clear that each and every woman deserved to be recognized. My only disappointment was that not enough people were aware that the list even came out. So to bring a little more attention to these ladies’ esteemed careers, I give you brief overviews of each of the WNBA’s Top 20 at 20’s careers. Enjoy!

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