Looking Back at Callaway’s Career as a Spartan

Rashad Callaway led the '10-'11 Spartans to a record-breaking start. | Photo courtesy of UT Sports Information

Three years ago, he was a freshman point guard under heavy fire. The University of Tampa was coming down hard on him, and his parents were pushing him to transfer.

At the time, Rashad Callaway was accused of sexual misconduct and facing expulsion from the school. Both he and the female involved in the incident were intoxicated, according to past coverage in The Minaret. The woman told her side of the story in a letter to the editor soon after she attempted to push the case into the legal system.

Legally, all charges were dropped. Callaway, along with his coaches, still preach his innocence. But the school proceeded to take conduct actions.

Michael Gilmer, judicial coordinator in the UT Office of Student Conduct, said the policy for sexual misconduct has changed a lot over the past few years.

Due to the fact that the Conduct Board is not a legal entity — it is an “internal educational” extension of the university — it is under a completely different set of guidelines when it comes to the hearing process.

“The legal process deals with evidence in a ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’ fashion,” Gilmer said. “We act after a preponderance of information and determination of responsibility being more likely than not. The goal of the conduct process is to educate students and keep the campus as safe a place as possible.”

Callaway was found guilty by the school of sexual misconduct. He appealed his sanctions of expulsion, resulting in a lessening of the punishment. He was suspended from housing until the following fall semester.

It’s now three years later and Callaway, 21, is a week away from graduating.

“All in all, the experience was just humbling,” he said. “It just lets you know that stuff like this in life can happen. I’m glad that I’ve stayed here for another three years and that I faced everything that happened my freshman year.”

Three years later, he has put his name in the Spartan record books. Callaway has become the face of UT basketball, leading the team in scoring each of the past three seasons. The point guard finished his career fifth on UT’s all-time scoring list, second in three-pointers and second in assists. Overalll, Callaway will walk away from UT in the top 10 of 17 career record categories.

A native of Bayonne, N.J., Callaway has a large family and a unique background. He was raised with seven brothers and sisters, five of which still lived in the house while Callaway grew up. His parents were both athletes; his mother ran track and his father played basketball.

Callaway said his dad worked on ball-handling skills with his sons a lot because he was never good with the dribble. He had a great shot, though.

Bayonne is a middle class suburb that exposed Callaway to many races and lifestyles, especially since his dad grew up just north of where they lived, in a much poorer community.

During his senior year at Bayonne High School, his family suffered a great loss.

Callaway’s older brother, Al-Jabbar, died at 32 due to what the family thinks were complications from his epilepsy. Callaway said his brother had become very devoted to his Christian faith, and it began to clash with his daily reliance on medicine.

“He got very into God and started asking questions like ‘Why do I gotta keep taking these pills?’ Callaway said.

“We think he got to the point where he was just like ‘I’m not gonna take these pills and whatever happens happens,’ and he left it in God’s hands.”

Callaway said that when Al-Jabbar passed, a full bottle of pills was found in his residence, although the prescription had been filled more than two weeks before.

Callaway and his family are Christian. He said he prays before he goes to sleep every night.

The rest of this article can be found here, where it was originally published in The Minaret.

Beyond the Rinse Cycle: The Story of Spartan Jerseys

While most UT teams have jerseys that last multiple years, the JV baseball team jerseys have an unknown lifespan. The JV players’ jerseys are passed down from varsity baseball players. | Illustration by Mike Trobiano

Adrian Bush is sometimes up until 3 a.m. after games. He collects the jerseys, shorts and socks from the University of Tampa men’s soccer team and then takes them on a journey back to his home.

He spot cleans some stains, turns the shirts inside out and tosses them into the washer. Afterward, he dries them too. And in 2006, Bush was inducted into UT’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Not, of course, for his laundry prowess alone; he is also the University of Tampa men’s soccer head coach.

Uniforms, and jerseys in particular, are an important subject at UT. Buying new ones and getting the used ones washed is a topic that each coach in their respective sport has to tackle at some point every year says UT’s Associate Athletic Director, Gil Swalls.

“I remember one year, the baseball team had their white [uniforms] turned pink because someone did something wrong,” Swalls said. “They had to buy a whole new set. They weren’t going to wear them pink.”

They probably wouldn’t wear them dirty either. Whether it’s a manager, a student with work-study or the coach himself, Swalls says the laundry finds a way of getting done.

Coach Bush says he’s probably the only coach in Division II soccer to wash all of his team’s game jerseys.

“When I wash them, I know they’re gonna get done the right way,” Bush says. “If we’re winning, I’ll keep washing them. If we’re losing, I’m not going to wash them anymore.”

For a school that gives each sport a set lump budget for all costs, it’s important to make sure the cleaning process is done correctly, so as to not ruin any items, and not have to buy more than absolutely necessary; a problem that occurs when players don’t return the jerseys after visiting home as well.

“With the Jamaicans, we end up getting jerseys stolen.” Bush says smiling. “Because they like to take them back to Jamaica and prance around in them.”

Coach Bush asked that a request be made for the return of UT jerseys from his Jamaican alumni.

UT’s newest coaching hire, Coach Rory Whipple, is the winningest coach in Division II lacrosse. He’s helped start four separate lacrosse programs and he says he has no intention of getting into the laundry business.

“I’ll tell you one thing; I’m not doing it,” says Whipple. “If I get an assistant coach or something, maybe they’ll do it.”

As he’s begun building a varsity team from scratch, uniforms haven’t exactly been at the top of his priority list. He mentions that he has to have a team before he can worry about equipment. But the department is pushing for at least the beginnings of a list, so it can purchase some items on the Spring 2011 budget. After all, lacrosse uniforms aren’t cheap.

Whipple says that they may spend close to $10,000 between home and away clothes for more than 50 players. The jerseys last longer than most sports, though. Because of a relatively short schedule, the coach says one set can last a player four years or more. He hasn’t come to a conclusion on whether or not he’ll let graduating seniors take their jerseys with them. He’s got a bit of time to mull it over though, since the program isn’t set to start playing until Spring 2012.

Coach Schmidt is among the ones who have it a little easier after games. Not only is he not doing the laundry, but his players aren’t either. Men’s basketball is living luxuriously, gifted with a manager, Max Carroll, who’s in charge of cleaning the game and practice gear, among his other duties. Schmidt says a previous manager also ran into the pink jersey problem, but emphasized that it wasn’t Carroll.

Coach Schmidt says that men’s basketball uniforms for the entire team cost about $5,000 per set and must be bought approximately every two years. His policy on seniors taking their jerseys is more about luck than anything.

“That just depends on if they ask at the right time,” Schmidt says.

The team donates old jerseys to youth basketball organizations in need after they’re no longer game-usable, says Schmidt. As well as being environmentally friendly, the act is one that helps the community. Although many Spartan sports may be receiving thousands of dollars to doll out for new uniforms, that doesn’t mean they all are.

Freshman Matt Bailey has experienced uniform nightmares that would make a varsity superstar shiver. Formerly a player on UT’s Junior Varsity baseball team, Bailey shares a room with varsity catcher Ryan Messina. The two men’s clothing stories couldn’t be more far apart.

Messina explained that Varsity baseball received new uniforms this season. On a whole, they got to pick numbers, and received freshly pressed jerseys. Pitcher Shawn Ferris and outfielder Andrew Jones share laundry duties for the team, but they volunteered for the job and now get paid through the university, says Messina.

Bailey says that J.V. isn’t so lucky. It’s common knowledge that they receive the hand-me-downs from the varsity squad, but the conditions of the uniforms they receive aren’t always up to Major League Baseball standards.

“It sucks,” Bailey says, in reference to wearing the used clothes. “I had a hole [in my pants] in my crotch, the size of a baseball. It was bobby pinned together.”

“Didn’t it have ducks on it?” Messina chimes in.

“Yeah, it was like a diaper pin with ducks on it,” says Bailey, cringing at the memory. “I have no idea [who’s uniform it used to be], they handed it to me and it was like, still dirty from last year.”

UT sports might have a lot of different outlooks and opinions on uniforms, but on the whole, they recycle and reuse them. They may spend a lot of money on them, but there’s a reason behind it.

“They’re important because you want to look good. You’re representing the school,” says Coach Whipple. “It’s a necessity.”

The players need to look sharp and feel fresh and have nice, new clean jerseys on their backs to perform at their best level. That seems to be the consensus.

Even if it means paying $5,000. Even if it means being part coach and part Laundromat.

This article was originally published here in The Minaret.

Banuelos Has Final Spring Training Tune-up

  • The story of Charleston’s 8-5 loss against Toronto on Saturday was defense. Plays, both tough and routine, in the infield and outfield, were not being turned. It affected the pitcher’s stats and put the offense in a 6 run whole by the 3rd inning.
  •  Charleston starter Brett Marshall pitched just two innings, while surrendering 6 runs and allowing 10 runners to reach safely. The infield can be to blame for at least three of those runners, as they botched a double play (allowing both runners to be safe) and mishandled two ground balls in just the first two innings. Marshall may have been hit, but it’s also a testament to his ability to find the strike zone. He recorded 4 strikeouts to just one walk.
  • Tampa won Saturday’s contest 3-2, led by an effective effort from Manny Banuelos. The ace didn’t have his best stuff, as Toronto made a lot of solid contact, sending a few balls to the deep parts of the outfield. But the defense held up and Banuelos continued to challenge hitters. He ended with a respectable line of three innings pitched and one run allowed on three hits, while recording just one strikeout and no walks.
  • Charleston’s Starting lineup- Slade Heathcott, Anderson Feliz, JR. Murphy, Gary Sanchez, Rob Sedegin, Ramon Flores, Kelvin Deleon, Kyle Roller, Jose Mojica, and Eduardo Sosa.
  • Tampa’s Starting lineup- Abe Almonte, Carmin Angelini, Rob Lyerly, Luke Murton, Taylor Grote, Zoilo Almonte, Kyle Higashioka, Deangelo Mack, Walter Ibarra
  • Josa Mojica had a memorable day for Charleston. Batting out of the nine hole, he went 3-4 with a double and two rbi. Mojica was a catalyst in the late comeback attempt, recording rbi singles in the 7th and 9th innings. Both knocks were well hit line drives and easily scored the runners.
  • Cory Arbiso was key for a Tampa bullpen that only allowed one run over seven innings of work. Arbiso worked the 4th and 5th innings with ease, sandwiching a walk between a pair of strikeouts in the 4th, and getting Toronto out in order in the 5th.
  • Tampa didn’t have a very impressive day at the plate, as none of the starters were able to muster up more than one hit against Toronto. Carmin Angelini did have a busy day on the basepaths though, swiping three bags, and getting caught once on a close play at third. He accounted for one of Tampa’s three runs in the victory.
  • Rob Lyerly [1-4, K], Taylor Grote [1-3, K], Zoilo Almonte [1-3, 2b], Deangelo Mack [1-3, sb], and Walter Ibarra [1-3, CS] all had hits for Tampa on Saturday.
  • Slade Heathcott finished the day 1-3 with a run and two walks, but it was his centerfield play that had the biggest effect on Saturday’s game. Heathcott dropped a flyball that would’ve ended the second inning for Charleston, instead the error gave Toronto two more runs and a runner on second.
  • Jose Quintana, part of the extended Spring training squad, pitched the last 1.2 innings of Charleston’s loss, and did so impressively. He did not allow a hit, induced two weakly hit groundouts and struck out a pair of hitters.
  • Gary Sanchez wasn’t effected by his teammates’ poor defensive showing on Saturday. The Charleston catcher was a wall behind the plate, rarely allowing a past ball, especially with men on base. Sanchez showcased his arm as well, throwing out both runners who attempted to steal while he was in the game.
  •  JR Murphy [1-3, rbi, 2b], Sanchez [1-3, K],  and Rob Sedegin [1-4, K, GIDP] also had hits for Charleston in the loss.

This article was originally published here on pinstripesplus.com.