Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Reporters' Notebooks

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Getting players to open up is not easy, but that is never a problem for a DJ at KRUI, the University of Iowa's student-operated station (registration, so story is in comments).

Travis Downey, Starkville Daily News: Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom will reinstate six players who were involved in an off-campus incident involving a member of the Starkville police department.

Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Big East had only four bowl-eligible teams in 2006, but now will be asked to fill five — and possibly six — bowl slots.

Mike Triplett, Times-Picayune: How are those Mario Williams jersey sales going? Reebok already has received a record 15,000 orders for New Orleans Saint rookie Reggie Bush's jersey.

Donnie Webb, Syracuse Post-Standard: Mike Paulus, one of the top prep quarterbacks in New York, has made an oral commitment to North Carolina.

Thomas Stinson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: NCAA head honcho Myles Brand sits down and answers a few questions about the governing body (registration).

Kyle Ringo, Boulder Daily Camera: Quarterback Cody Hawkins, the son of Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, will start his college career earlier than planned (registration).

Steven M. Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star: Nebraska's new locker room — part of a $50 million athletic facilities project — should be ready in July. Also, tailback Leon Jackson will return to the team.

Michael Smith, Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky's program has stayed clean in the nearly five years since it went on probation and the payoff is coming soon.

Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin defensive end Joe Monty, who suffered facial fractures in a moped accident, was released from a hospital. Also, the Badgers scored a recruiting win over Notre Dame.


dawizofodds said...

May 3, 2006
University DJ gets Iowa athletes talking

Mike Hlas
Cedar Rapids Gazette

IOWA CITY — Almost two weeks ago, shout-outs flew in flocks across the University of Iowa’s radio airwaves.

Hawkeye football players Marcus Paschal, Charles Godfrey, Ed Miles and Justin Edwards gave all sorts of verbal love to teammates, schoolmates, Hawkeye fans, and family members back in their Florida and Texas hometowns. That was near the end of two hours of on-air conversation between music segments.

This was a Friday night on "Hip Hop Amaza Show" on KRUI-FM, the university’s student-operated station. The program debuted last August, and runs from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays. It is the creation of its host, a 22-year-old Iowa student named Sid Mali, known professionally as DJ Sid.

Hawkeye athletes are much more open and comfortable talking on the radio with DJ Sid than they are, say, at a weekly Tuesday football press conference with the usual middleaged suspects from the Iowa media corps. Unfortunately, we seldom truly dig to get senses of who they are, where they come from and what they care about.

"I get them to express their feelings about how it is playing for Iowa football, what they have to deal with in public," Mali said. "I try to show the other features of their personalities."

It also helps that Mali plays the kind of music Iowa students can’t normally listen to on area commercial radio.

"I play music they like to hear," Mali said. "I try to play unique music that’s meaningful and tasteful, not just any kind of hip-hop. It’s something to motivate college students."

Iowa’s athletics department happily endorses its student-athletes appearing on Mali’s show.

"One time I was walking along in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and I ran into Mr. (Steve) Alford," Mali said. "He told me he loved what I was doing."

Mali got to know people in Hawkeye sports via Iowa athletics trainer John Streif when the two met at an arts festival in downtown Iowa City. Streif, as true a friend as Iowa athletes have ever had, began introducing Mali to coaches and players.

"Sid’s an interesting guy, very energetic," Athletics Director Bob Bowlsby said. "He’s a very unassuming little guy, but very engaging. And he also goes for the sale. He’s not shy about making his show better.

"To stimulate listenership, he’s developed relationships with coaches and athletes. He’s had an amazing array of star-quality student-athletes on his show."

Besides those already mentioned, others who have appeared on "Hip Hop Amaza" include football players Jovon Johnson, Antwan Allen and Lee Gray, and basketball players Doug Thomas and Jeff Horner.

Horner may not be hip-hop’s poster boy, but Mali said he was a great guest and wants him on again.

"I try to make the athletes feel at home and be themselves," he said.

Instead of pursuing insidesports stuff that interests only a small percentage of people, Mali asks players things like what it was like to run on to the Kinnick Stadium field for the first time. Based on the responses of Paschal, Miles and Godfrey two weeks ago, they like talking about it. What was striking was the warmth and depth of their feelings for Hawkeye fans.

Mali helps bring out those feelings with his upbeat energy. He’s happy to host a show, happy to be in Iowa City trying to open various doors. He came here in 2000 from South Africa with his mother when she came to pursue a Ph.D. at Iowa. He graduated from West High and attended Kirkwood before enrolling at Iowa to major in International Studies.

"I want to focus on development and reach out to other countries and help needy people," he said. "But my main interest right now is the music industry."

Tonight, Mali is presenting a hip-hop showcase at Gabe’s Oasis in downtown Iowa City, featuring several local performers who will be seen by some record-company scouts.

"They come to Chicago and St. Louis, but never to Iowa City," Mali said. "I have contacts with them, so why not let God use me to try to help guys who have talent."

Here’s a shout-out for DJ Sid. The guy is all right.

Penn State Football said...

Mike Paulus, one of the top prep quarterbacks in New York, has made an oral commitment to North Carolina.

Wiz, you need to change this to "verbal commitment." Calling it an "oral commitment" makes it sound like he Lewinsky'd somebody to seal the deal. Just my two cents.