Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s Thursday, April 19th.
On this date: Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez killed himself in prison (2017); in the final game of the 1998 regular season, Chicago’s Michael Jordan scored 44 points in a win over the Knicks, securing an NBA-record 10th career scoring title. He averaged 28.7 points per game; the St. Louis Rams took Ohio State tackle Orlando Pace with the first pick of the 1997 NFL draft; on that same day, Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields were married (1997). They divorced less than two years later; in a fight dubbed “The Battle of the Ages,” heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield beat 42-year-old former champ George Foreman in 12 rounds (1991); and the very first Boston Marathon was run. There were 15 runners (1897).
Happy birthday, Spike Owen (57). And Maria Sharapova (31).
How ’bout them Horns?
How we cover Texas athletics comes easy to us. We write about the athletes and the coaches, we write about the wins and the losses, and we wonder why things can’t be better. Sometimes we write about good things and sometimes we write about not-so-good things. We cover UT as a program and as a culture, as entertainment, as a brand and a business.
But what we don’t do a good enough job is cover the other side of major college athletics. You can’t be a student-athlete without the student part. It’s easy enough to dismiss major college athletes as being strong on the field but not necessarily so strong in the classroom.
On Wednesday night, Texas honored its top student-athletes at the annual Academic Awards Presentation at the Erwin Center.
Consider this: There were 263 UT student-athletes who earned spots on the Spring 2017 Big 12 commissioner’s honor roll, including26 who came in with perfect 4.0’s. There were 295 student-athletes who made the Fall 2017 honor roll, with 20 having a 4.0 GPA. And, since UT held this awards presentation in 2017, a total of 330 student-athletes have combined for 1,642 hours of community service.
Seven UT athletes received the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award, which is the Big 12’s highest academic honor — sophomore Trevor Carr (football), junior Jak Holbrook (junior), junior Paige Hooper (soccer), senior Randel Leahy (softball), senior Jake McKenzie (baseball), junior Remedy Rule (women’s swimming and diving) and redshirt junior Erica Wright (softball).
Football’s Anthony Wheeler, men’s track and field’s Fabian Jara Dohmann, volleyball’s Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani, men’s cross country’s Connor Hendrickson, women’s basketball’s Ariel Atkins, men’s tennis’ Leondardo Telles, men’s golf’s Scottie Scheffler, soccer’s Nakia Graham, men’s basketball’s Joe Schwartz, rowing’s Sara Neaves, men’s swimming and diving’s Jonathan Roberts, women’s basketball’s Olamide Aborowa, football’s Chase Moore, women’s track and field’s Ariel Jones, football’s Philipp Moeller, and women’s cross country’s Gabby Crank all received individual academic or community service awards as well.
But back to sports.
OTHER NEWS FROM WEDNESDAY
Baseball wins again: One night after Jake McKenzie’s herculean nine-position game Tuesday night at home against UT-Rio Grande Valley, No. 21-ranked Texas rolled past Texas Southern 10-2 in Sugar Land. Andy McGuire hit a home run and Michael McCann went 3 for 3.
McKenzie, perhaps not surprisingly, was given the night off. He earned it ($).
Seymour shines: Senior sprinter and hurdler Pedrya Seymour was named the Big 12’s women’s track and field athlete of the week on Wednesday. She notched wins in both the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter relay at the Texas Invitational on Saturday.
A recruiting loss to the Aggies: Converse Judson’s DeMarvin Leal, the top-rated defensive prospect in the state for the 2019 class, committed to Texas A&M on Wednesday night. The Longhorns had once been considered the favorites to get him. Here’s Mike Craven’s story on that.
And the Dallas Morning News scored a phone interview with Connor Williams. The Texas tackle could be the Longhorns’ first first-round pick in, well, quite some time.
Around the Horns
Football: Former Horns defensive end Lamarr Houston is visiting the Oakland Raiders this week; the Raiders took him in the second round of the 2010 draft and he never missed a game in four seasons with the team. Here’s the Oakland Tribune story.
Volleyball: Texas has received a commitment from Class of 2020 prospect Reilly Heinrich, a 5-5 libero from Leander Rouse. She’s just now finishing up her sophomore year.
Men’s tennis: No. 15 Texas (14-5, 2-1 Big 12) plays at Texas Tech (18-8, 0-3) at McLeod Tennis Center in Lubbock tonight at 6. The Horns are coming off Big 12 sweeps at home last weekend over No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 14 Oklahoma. Sophomore Christian Sigsgaard, who won two singles matches and a doubles match last weekend, was this week’s Big 12 men’s player of the week.
Soccer: Texas announced its 2018 fall schedule on Wednesday. Besides regularly-scheduled conference matches against NCAA quarterfinalist Baylor and rival Oklahoma, the Horns will play at North Carolina — which has won 20 national championships and was a third-round NCAA qualifier last year — on Aug. 26.
Around the Big 12
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