LAMAR’S NEW A.D. MAY BE DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD
I guess it’s lucky that I’m not an alumnus of Lamar University,
because whatever annual donation I give to my alma mater (McNeese University) would be stopped cold until the new athletic director (Marco Born) turns around and goes back where he came from (Louisiana Tech).
Born is like the new sheriff in town who walks down the middle of the street with both guns a-blazing hollering “Thar’s a new sheriff in town and I’m gonna change things so that we’re better than most places around here.”
Born’s bags were still unpacked when he was handed an e-mail about a catcher on the Lady Cardinals softball team alleging that she was forced to eat meat on Friday during Lent, which violated her religious beliefs, on the team’s road trip, although none of her teammates would verify her allegations.
The catcher involved, Paige Holmes, started 22 of Lamar’s first 23 games and then played in only seven of the team’s final 33 games. It looks to me like sour grapes initiated the e-mail which suggested Lamar’s coaching staff be removed.
Almost immediately, Born informed Lamar head coach Holly Bruder she was put on administrative leave but would not reveal why he was taking this action.
Bruder and her assistant Allison Honkofsky were asked to sign a document resigning from the university, but both flatly refused. Bruder, 40,
was fired and escorted from the property by the campus police.
Lamar threatened to fire Honkofsky, 31, if she didn’t resign and sign a settlement agreement, but backed off and agreed to keep her on the payroll until August 31 when she turned down their offer, according to her attorney Cade Bernsen.
Bruden was scheduled to have her appeal hearing this week while no date has been set for Honkofsky’s hearing.
Born came to Beaumont with a reputation for fundraising which may prove to be difficult because many financial supporters of Lamar are upset with him because he never gave Bruder or Honkofsky any reason for their dismissals.
In another exhibition of Born’s sharp hatchet, Assistant Media Relations Director Pat Murray also was fired last week following a “bad performance” evaluation.
Although Murray reportedly requested a meeting with Born four or five times, he was not officially given a reason for his dismissal. But it was pointed out that one his duties was main media contact for Lamar softball. He probably is aware of the railroad job involving the softball coaches.
Born came to Lamar to strengthen the athletic program but has already decimated the women’s softball program that was reincarnated by Holly Bruder six years ago.
And after hearing about the turmoil with the athletic director, team members and new recruits have already decided to transfer to a tyrant-less school.
Other Lamar head coaches had better watch their backs because Born may not like the names Tic or Harmony with the basketball program or may find some flaws in the tennis program that just won the Southland Conference tournament and earned a berth in the NCAA Tourney.
After all, Born was reportedly a standout tennis player at Middle Ten- nessee State, which gave him his first real job.
I don’t dislike Marco Born, just the manner in which he has conducted his job, so far.
It just looks like to me that Lamar University has hired a “Born loser.”
KWICKIES…I got to see sports history made by traveling to Delta Downs Saturday to watch (and bet on) the third rung of horse racing’s Triple Crown Belmont Stakes. A $10 across-the-board wager on Justify plus a $10 exacta ticket on the winner and runner-up Gronkowski would have earned the smart bettor $489.50 for that $40 wager. Justify became the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown out of 23 who won the first two legs, and only the second to do it undefeated. I just took a shot at throwing Gronkowski into my exacta to honor my fellow countryman from Warsaw.
The Houston Astros used a seldom-called balk on Texas Rangers’ reliever Keone Kela in the ninth inning to score what proved to be the winning run 8-7 and give the Astros a sweep of the four-game series at Arlington. The Astros, 42-25, used the sweep to regain at least a share of first place in the AL West Division with the red-hot Seattle Mariners. After a well-deserved day off Monday, the Astros travel to Oakland for a three-games series and then play a three-game weekend series at Kansas City.
The New York Mets blanked the New York Yankees 2-0 concluding another Subway Series. The last time the Mets shut out the Yankees was in 2002. It also was the first time the Bronx Bombers had been blanked this season.
Dustin Johnson regained his spot as the world’s No. 1 golfer by winning the St. Jude Classic in Memphis last weekend. The powerful Johnson used rounds of 67-63-65-66–261 for his second PGA Tour victory and 18th of his career. His six-shot victory bagged a winner’s check of $1.18 million as a warm-up for this weekend’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. which begins tomorrow (Thursday). Johnson tees off at 12:47 p.m. with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas.
JUST BETWEEN US…Earl Thomas sort of tricked the Seattle Seahawks when he said last weekend that he was not coming to the mandatory three-week minicamp without having his present contract extended. The six-time Pro Bowl safety from Orange is on the final year of his contract which expires at the end of the upcoming 2018 NFL season. However, the Seahawks’ management didn’t think Earl would be a holdout. It’s not unusual for a star NFL player to be offered a contract extension right after the previous season and playoffs conclude. But the Seahawks didn’t do that and now are guessing about what Earl will do. He can play out this season and become a free agent to sign with whomever he chooses, get his extension and remain a Seahawk until he retires (which he claims he prefers) or demand to be traded before the season begins.