Derek Wetmore


U favors men’s sports

University of Minnesota athletics spending has favored men over women in areas that show a lack of dedication to Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in education. But few eyes are watching to catch issues like those at the University, where men’s sports get almost three times the financial support as women’s. Those who do feel there is a problem are often afraid to speak up. The school made plans to improve in 2008, when a University subcommittee raised gender equity concerns, but the problems have gone largely unresolved.

After herpes outbreak, horses recover on campus

University of Minnesota equine specialists have been working to curb an outbreak of a highly contagious virus that can hinder brain and spinal cord function in horses. Five of seven horses on a central Minnesota farm have shown symptoms of the potentially fatal equine herpesvirus1, which damages blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord.

Terror trial now in jury’s hands

A jury will now deliberate the fate of the first man to go to trial in the FBI’s investigation into al-Shabab recruitment in Minneapolis. The court heard closing statements Wednesday in the trial of Mahamud Said Omar, a Minneapolis man charged with helping local men travel to Somalia to join the terrorist group.

Jury hears another witness in terror trial

A federal court heard the continued testimony of a Plymouth, Minn., man Wednesday in the trial of a local man charged with assisting Somali terrorist group al-Shabab. Kamal Said Hassan is the prosecution’s 13th witness in the case against Mahamud Said Omar. Omar is charged with helping a group of men travel to Somalia in November 2008 to fight Ethiopian forces. He’s the first man to go to trial of the 18 men charged in the FBI’s investigation. Omar faces five charges: three counts of conspiracy and two counts of aiding terrorists.

Families testify in terror trial

A jury heard from family members of al-Shabab fighters Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of helping Minneapolis men return to their native Somalia to fight with the terrorist organization. The government spent Wednesday building the case that the men who left for Somalia didn’t have ample resources to make the trip on their own. It alleges Mahamud Said Omar organized and helped pay for the men to go to Somalia to fight. The court heard emotional testimony from family members of three men who were allegedly recruited to fight in Somalia.

Coach Wilson calls it a career

Gary Wilson jokes around habitually. The sarcastic coach calls one of his former assistants “Big Head,” his 93-year old mother a “piss-ant” and is usually ready with a playful insult. But student-athletes, coaches and administrators closest to him say that beneath his extroverted, humorous layer is a compassion for others. Wilson “loves to goof around, but when it’s a serious matter, he’s a rock to everyone,” said Merrily Dean Baker, the athletics director who hired Wilson to the University of Minnesota in 1985.

Alumni association CEO headed to Cal-Berkeley

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association will lose one of its leaders this October. Phil Esten, who has served the University of Minnesota Alumni Association for the last two-and-a-half years as president and chief executive officer, will take a new job as an associate athletic director at the University of California, Berkeley, the UMAA announced Thursday in a release. Esten joined the UMAA in 2010 as CEO, only the seventh in the organization’s 108-year history. Esten’s base salary for 2011 was $202,916.

After NIT loss to Stanford, Gophers fans eye next season with heightened hope

NEW YORK — As the water of the Gophers season circled the drain before the last few seconds mercifully ticked off the clock in the team’s NIT championship game, fans got testy. There were jeers directed at head coach Tubby Smith from the opposite sideline. There was also at least one staunch defender who stood up for the coach from a spot behind the bench, cursing out the cat caller while giving a one-finger salute.

Gophers thrashed in NIT championship

NEW YORK – The Gophers' season ended with a whimper Thursday when they dropped their season finale at Madison Square Garden. No. 3 seeded Stanford defeated Minnesota 75-51 to win the NIT championship. Despite the shellacking, second place in a second-tier tournament was an accomplishment considering where the team was a month ago. Then, Minnesota was in a tailspin after dropping six straight conference games and was already on the outside looking in of the NCAA Tournament and possibly even the NIT.

Gophers lean on Hollins entering championship

NEW YORK – The Gophers men’s basketball team, under head coach Tubby Smith, has stumbled across the finish line in its last two seasons. This year, however, the team got a chance it wasn’t afforded last year — an opportunity to play in a postseason tournament and extend its season. Minnesota will play Stanford for the NIT championship Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. For head coach Tubby Smith — whose team is winners of six of its last seven — playing in the NIT finals is a great luxury. Winning it would mean even more.