David Nelson


Attitude paramount to Weiland’s success

Becca Weiland dove into the cold pool in the Jean Freeman Aquatic Center, and then slowly inched her way toward the water’s surface. As her head broke the water and her arms swung 180 degrees in typical butterfly fashion, the 22-year-old senior swimmer took in a breath and shined a smile. And Weiland has more than just her swim performance to grin about. She landed a job as a graduate assistant at St. Cloud State that begins next season.

Column: “A Year of Readiness” is a stupid idea

The shootout, the 35-second shot clock and forcing freshman student-athletes to sit out their first year at school are well-intentioned concepts, but each one is as asinine as the next. Last Thursday, a report from the University of Maryland’s student newspaper — the Diamondback — said Big Ten officials are discussing the implementation of “A Year of Readiness.” Essentially, the plan would put a mandatory redshirt on freshmen.

Column: Gophers should retire Zahui B.’s number when her Gopher career ends

Amanda Zahui B. should be the last women’s basketball player to wear No. 32 at Minnesota. Call it insane to say a redshirt sophomore’s number should be retired when her career ends, but in two years, the decision to retire her number won’t even be arguable. The month of February produced some unbelievable moments for the Swedish export. On Feb. 8 against Michigan State, Zahui B. became Minnesota’s all-time leader in blocks — a record number that will continue to grow with each passing swat.

Column: 'What have you done for me lately?' mentality alive and well

When Minnesota-Duluth head women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller exited Ridder Arena Saturday night, it might have been the last time she ever sets foot in that building as head coach. Miller, who amassed five national titles and 15 NCAA tournament victories over 16 years with the Bulldogs, learned last December that UMD could no longer afford her services.

Frost best coach at U

Hall & Oates blasted from the locker room following the Gophers 2-0 victory over Minnesota-Duluth in which they captured the 2015 WCHA regular-season title. Brad Frost stood in the hallway with a grin that stretched across his face, elated that his team is once again the conference’s best.

Facilities necessary evil for recruiting

Since when do inanimate objects help win national championships? It’s a vital question to ask as talk emerges about teams seeking upgraded practice facilities. These facilities are put on a ridiculously high pedestal at times. But, unfortunately, these complexes are simply a necessary evil in the sports world. Last week, the Gophers received a nice $6 million gift that will help fund a basketball facility.

Minnesota Vixen team on the rise

The sound of squeaky shoes echoed off the walls of the Bethany Global University gymnasium on Saturday morning as players began stretching. Though the practice was just beginning, beads of sweat were already falling from Minnesota Vixen players’ brows as they filtered into their position drills. University of Minnesota student Nikki Graf was among them.

Gophers deliver at Minnesota Challenge

Many of Minnesota’s top athletes rested over the weekend in preparation for the upcoming Big Ten championships, but senior Jimmy Rafter had a meet to remember. The entire Minnesota bench stood on its feet for Rafter’s last race as a member of the Gophers. The mass of yellow and white chanted his name as he prepped himself for the starting bell of the 200-yard backstroke. Rafter swam his way to a sizable lead, but he halted himself at the wall after the first 100 yards of the race.

Column: Don't blame Lucia for woes

Don’t expect me to join the #FireLucia movement anytime soon. It’s easy to say that head men’s hockey coach Don Lucia shouldn’t be fired following last weekend; the Gophers won their third game in their last four. But even before Minnesota went on this nice little run, the idea of firing Lucia seemed a bit outlandish. When a team underachieves and disappoints, the head coach becomes an easy target for fans to blame for the season’s woes.

Column: Education lost in athleticism

Wednesday, college football fans across the country will flip on their television screens to see if some of the big-name college football prospects will head to their favorite teams. This day is one full of wonder and excitement for many, but is disturbing — on far too many levels — for someone, like me, to enjoy. Teenagers will go before crowded audiences of reporters, photographers and camera crews to announce where they will be continuing their education. Because college is still about furthering education, remember?