SMU Student-Athletes: What Happens When Summer Comes

April 14, 2011 by · Comments Off 

SMU student-athletes

By Logan May

TJ Nelson, 19-year-old SMU soccer player, is on a full scholarship and receives a stipend every month throughout the school year to meet his financial needs.

He never worries about the cost of groceries, running out of gas money, or having to turn down an offer to go out to dinner on a Friday night.

The monthly “allowance” is a big advantage of being a student athlete on a full scholarship. The stipends are distributed before the first of every month from August to May for $1,415. But what happens when the summer months come and there is no stipend?

Student athletes come to a crossroads when the summer months arrive, and they, in turn, must look for alternatives to make up for the income that they no longer receive.

“You need a game plan for your money,” said Raymond Durham, former CFO of CellStar Company. Durham also recommends saving at least 10 percent of each month’s stipend as well as applying for a summer job to cover necessities and extra expenses.

So, let’s say an athlete lives at the Carlyle Apartments off University. Rent costs about $650 if you live with a roommate in a two-bedroom apartment. Utilities usually range from $60 to $100. If you need groceries weekly, that may cost another $300 for the month, and gas money may cost you $100 per month depending on how much you drive. This totals about $1,130 just for one month.

If an athlete saves $200 per month for September to May, that would equal $1800. This is a good start for the summer, but may not suffice.

Here are some potential choices for summer income:

Work camps:

The SMU soccer program hosts a number of summer camps throughout June and July. The coaches hire current SMU women and men soccer players to work the camps. A typical income for a week of camp is about $500, just enough to pay a month’s rent. With about 3 camps per month, this is a wise investment.

“Working camps is the best way to make money because I’m getting paid to play soccer all day,” says Nelson.

Save Your Money:

Another avenue to take is to save a bit of each stipend to put back for the summer. Junior football player, Taylor Thompson, puts $200 away each month in order to pay rent in June and July.

“I don’t necessarily want to get a job, so I make sure I am smart throughout the school year,” says Thompson.

Summer School:

There is one more beneficial choice, summer school. This allows student-athletes on full scholarship to receive a stipend throughout the summer. This should not be the one and only choice for summer income since not all athletes are guaranteed a spot for summer classes.

So if you are a student-athlete weary of the long summer with no financial support, it is wise to start looking now for a summer job or alternative to meeting your financial needs.


April 6, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By E’Lyn Taylor

Former SMU players showcased their talents for SMU Pro Day at Ford Stadium on April 4. Sixteen scouts and coaches from the National Football League watched as Youri Yenga, Justin Smart, Peter Fleps, Bennie Thomas, Sterling Moore, Aldrick Robinson, Patrick Fleming, Matt Szymanski and Chris Butler performed NFL standard drills.

Check out our photo slide show of pro day:

SMU ‘Stangs Fall to Santa Clara Broncos in CIT Semifinals

March 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Erica Penunuri

SMU’s run in the College Insider Tournament came to a halt Friday night as the Santa Clara Bronco’s advanced to the finals with a 72-55 victory over the ‘Stangs.

SMU experienced an unexpected turn of events as their lead scorer, Papa Dia, fell victim to an ankle injury early on in the game.

Junior, Justin Haynes blocks a Santa Clara player from stealing the ball at the CIT Semifinals at Moody Coliseum on Friday. (PHOTO BY LAURA MURPHY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The Broncos capitalized from there on out and displayed a strong performance in the heated game.

Moody Coliseum held an eruptive student section as fans cheered on the team more fervent than ever and supported their favorite boys.

The ‘Stangs struggled to execute their usually solid offensive performance and loss to key plays; such as Kevin Foster’s four-point play with 2:14 left.

Jeremiah Samarrippas dodges a Santa Clara player during the CIT Semifinals at SMU Moody Coliseum on Friday. (PHOTO BY LAURA MURPHY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Foster gave the Broncos the 66-54 dominant lead that eventually carried them over to a victory and into the CIT Finals.

The Broncos play East Tennessee State on Saturday.

SMU finished the season with 20 wins under their belt – the first since 1990.

Mustangs Fall Short In C-USA Tournament To Rice

March 10, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By: Erica Penunuri

The SMU Mustangs (17-14) played the Rice Owls (14-17) Wednesday in the Conference USA tournament opening game.

The ‘Stangs last met the Owls two weeks ago with a solid victory here at home. Unfortunately, it was the Mustangs that came up short this time with an agonizing final score of 58-57.

Before the match, the ‘Stangs sat at 7th seed with Owls not too far behind at 10th.

Rice’s Rsalan Kazemi led with 24 points and 13 rebounds as the team held off the ‘Stangs in the final moments of the game.

Teammate Connor Frizzelle also contributed 12 points and Tamir Jackson 11. The Owls now advance to play No. 2 seed Tulsa in a quarterfinal contest on Thursday.

Senior forward Mustang Papa Dia, who was recently named C-USA Defense Player of the Year, led SMU with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Teammate Collin Mangrum hit 12 poitns and Jeremiah Samarrippas 11.

There were impressive last efforts made by the Mustangs when Mangrum created a steal putting the ‘Stangs a point away with 33 seconds on the clock. However, the final opportunity was missed as SMU struggled to get it in the bucket within the final moments.

TCU Vandalism Lines Ford Stadium

March 2, 2011 by · 10 Comments 

By E’Lyn Taylor and Aida Ahmed,

TCU vandalism spray painted in the breeze way of SMU Ford Stadium facing the Morrison Bell Track. (PHOTO BY E'LYN TAYLOR / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

UPDATE 3:23 P.M. SMU spokesman Kent Best told the Daily Mustang that a total of 15 to 16 sections inside the stadium were vandalized, as well as an SMU golf cart. He confirmed that there are cameras outside the stadium but after SMU Police checked the footage, they found that the vandalism was not caught on tape. Police say there are still no leads but that they will be watching the area very carefully.

UPDATE 10:20 P.M. SMU Police logged the incident in their daily report log on Feb. 28 stating that a staff member reported spray paint on walls inside gate four. The incident occurred some time over the weekend.

Could some Texas Christian University fans be out for revenge this week?

Orange spray paint graffiti with messages of “TCU” and “TCU Frogs” covers a significant portion of the breezeway of Ford Stadium. The messages cover doors, an ice machine and the pavement inside the stadium. The initials “C.J. & T.M” are also spray painted on the walls of the breezeways. The vandalism starts at the visitor main entrance to the stadium and continues on to the Loyd All-Sports Center.

There is no information on when and how the culprits vandalized the stadium, but one student athlete said he saw the vandalism Tuesday.

Andrew Ward, the assistant director of Facilities and Operations for the SMU Mustangs, said they are looking into the incident.

“The vandalism is under investigation and we are getting people to come clean it up soon,” Ward said.

This is not the first football vandalism incident between the two schools. A large ‘M’ sat on the TCU home field several years back.

SMU spokesman Kent Best said that the last incident of TCU vandalism was in 2007, when someone spray painted ‘TCU’ around Ford Stadium.

SMU Police Chief Rick Shafer could not be reached for comment.

For more pictures look below:

‘Stangs Topped by Tulsa

February 20, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The SMU Mustangs (16-10, 7-5) were defeated by the Tulsa Hurricanes (15-11, 8-4) Saturday afternoon 74-66.

Tulsa’s Jordan Clarkson scored 17 points shooting 6 for 9 from the filed, leading the Hurricanes past SMU.

Senior Papa Dia puts the ball up for a two-pointer. SMU lost to Tulsa 74-66 on Saturday. (PHOTO BY KATHERINE BRUCE/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Tulsa led the majority of the game by as many as 13 points and it wasn’t until the final three minutes that SMU was able to close the gap 64-61. SMU ended with as many as 19 turnovers.

“We turned the ball over way too much…. We are better than that,” said head coach Matt Doherty.

Mustang Robert Nyakundi lead with the game-high of 22 points, Papa Dia followed with 18 and Mike Walker 10.

This defeat snapped their three-game home winning streak and makes this their second loss out of their past 8 games.

This close game challenged SMU enough to break a school record. SMU hit 7 three pointers, setting a new school record for three-pointers made (220) in a season (record was 215 in 2006-2007).

Also, freshman guard Jeremiah Samarrippas hit a career-high of 6 steals.

SMU will be hosting Rice on Wednesday at 7p.m. in Moody Colliseum.

Mustang Basketball Brings Home a Solid Victory

February 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Erica Penunuri

It has been over a decade since Mustangs men’s basketball last defeated the Houston Cougars. Wednesday night’s game disrupted that curse as the SMU Mustangs (16-9, 7-4 C-USA) brought it big with Papa Dia posting 27 points, defeating the Houston Cougars (12-12, 4-7 C-USA).

SMU started strong and ended strong in shooting 62.5 percent in the first half and taking a 39-32 lead into the second half.

The ‘Stangs were able to maintain their lead with Junior forward Robert Nyakundi boosting the score with 16 points and putting the Cougars through an 8 minute scoring drought.

“I thought we showed tremendous poise in the second half building that lead, great stops on defense and took better care of the ball in the second half,” said head coach Matt Doherty. “We were very, very patient and made them chase and as a result got great shots in the second half.”

The Mustangs have won 6 of their past 7 games and had a season-high of 13 steals – the most ever for the ‘Stangs in Conference USA game. The Mustangs shot 56.8 percent from the field.

The ‘Stangs are fifth in C-USA and look for their 7th win this Saturday at home against Tulsa at 2:00pm.

Coach Doherty’s Lunch With SMU Students

January 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Briana Darensburg

Student fans gathered for lunch with the men’s basketball coach Matt Doherty at the Umphrey Lee ROFC. This is the first of several scheduled ‘Lunch with Doh’ events in an attempt to draw in more fans to the home basketball games. Students enjoyed insight about upcoming games with Coach Doherty and senior basketball player, Papa Dia.

Turnovers Cost SMU Armed Forces Bowl

December 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Ali Williams

SMU’s Pony Express did not come out of the last game of the year with an excess of points as they suffered a 16-14 loss to Army in the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Ford Stadium.

Turnovers in the first half proved key to the ultimate demise of the Mustangs as the completion of two quarters left them down by 16 and without any points of their own. Two of the turnovers were interceptions planted by SMU quarterback Kyle Padron.

SMU quarterback Kyle Padron threw for 302 yards in Thursday's bowl game against Army. (PHOTO BY JULIUS PICKENPACK / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

“He didn’t go through his progressions in the first half quite like he should have,” said SMU Head Coach June Jones. “He did a lot of good things in there today, but you just can’t turn the ball over.”

SMU gained momentum in the second half to score two touchdowns, but their rallying efforts were too late and their mistakes were too many.

“It was a well-fought game. The turnovers obviously were the difference,” Jones said. “We had three and one for seven points, and they had none.”

Nearly a minute and a half into the game, Army’s Josh McNary picked up a fumbled ball from a sacked Padron for a bowl record 55-yard run to the end zone.

“We needed that fast start,” said Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson. “We needed to take advantage of that moment in the game where we have a little bit of an advantage because of our uniqueness, and we did that.”

Not only did the Mustangs give the ball up, but two missed field goals by senior kicker Matt Szymanski also caused SMU to miss out on crucial points. Coach Jones spoke with Szymanski before he took the pivotal fourth quarter kick for the Mustangs, who were behind by two points.

“I took the timeout just to tell him to hit the ball, relax, don’t rush it,” said Jones. “It looked like he rushed it, which is easy to do when you’re a young kid, a lot on the line. But he had enough leg. Just unfortunate it didn’t go in.”

Strong wind and a hasty strike by the kicker sealed SMU’s fate with only four minutes left to go and an inevitable Army possession until the final blow of the whistle.

SMU wide receiver Aldrick Robinson attempts to run the ball in the Armed Forces Bowl. (PHOTO BY JULIUS PICKENPACK / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

SMU’s performance included noteworthy moments that helped them in their close combat with Army.

Margus Hunt blocked Army’s extra point after their second touchdown score in the first quarter. A six minute, 92-yard drive by SMU in the third quarter for their first touchdown of the game set a bowl record.

Wide receiver Darius Johnson, the player with the most receiving yardage, was SMU’s bowl game MVP. He also made a leaping catch to score a second and final touchdown for his team.

“Throughout the season, we persevered. We took some losses early in the season,” Johnson said. “To get to this point has really been a blessing for me, and I know [it] has for my teammates.”

Although the Mustangs lost, they fought back in the second half to make it a close game until the end. Jones said that he is proud of how hard his athletes played and battled back in the second half.

“I think we’re learning how to compete together, play together, all those things that you do, good football teams do,” Jones said. “Now we’ve got to put them together and just keep winning.”

The win for West Point gives them their first winning season since 1996 and their first bowl win in 25 years.

VIDEO: Mustangs Go Black For Bowl

December 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By E’lyn Taylor and Aida Ahmed,

The Mustangs hit the field today with special jerseys for the Armed Forces Bowl as a tribute to the Armed Forces and U.S. Military Academy. The new SMU jersey is black with white lettering, contrasting greatly from the usual red and white jerseys worn in the regular season.

Fans had a lot to say about the Mustangs new look. Hear two SMU fans weigh in on what they think of the black jerseys and if they think they affected their performance in the bowl game.

Black Jerseys For The Bowl from on Vimeo.

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