Cool under fire: UW’s Stave no stranger to spotlight

first_imgRedshirt freshman Joel Stave was impressive in his first start against UTEP Saturday, completing 12 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown.[/media-credit]Joel Stave knows about being in pressure-filled situations.Last April, the Badgers’ redshirt freshman took the stage in front of a large audience at the 2012 “Buckinghams,” a formal event that showcases student-athletes’ talents off the field and honors success academically and athletically.Playing and singing a rousing rendition of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” on the piano, Stave showed the cool and collectedness any student who was ever forced into taking piano lessons by their parents knows is necessary to succeed at a recital.In fact, it’s that same confidence Stave has transitioned to the huddle that has impressed center Travis Frederick.“He’s the same player no matter what the atmosphere or what the tension,” Frederick said. “If it’s third and long or first and ten or you’re losing by three or you need a touchdown, they just scored, he’s the same guy. He always just comes to the huddle, he’s very calm, he calls the play and goes and plays.”Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has taken note as well.“He’s been pretty steady to be honest,” Canada said. “He’s a guy that has some pretty good poise about him. If you want to play you got to be that guy.”So maybe it comes as no surprise Stave has already eased his way into the starting role at quarterback for the Badgers. Replacing embattled redshirt junior Danny O’Brien in the second half against Utah State less than two weeks ago, Stave has been a sound game-manager under center so far for a Wisconsin team in desperate need of consistency on offense.Stave is quick to point out he’s benefited from Frederick’s experience in the trenches, as the redshirt junior center helps point out blitz pickups and looks the quarterback doesn’t initially recognize.“That helps out a ton, him making calls and stuff,” Stave said. “If it’s something that I’m not completely sure on, if he makes the call, I can trust in what he’s doing and once he makes it I can see what he’s thinking. He’s really smart, knows what he’s doing and I have a lot of faith in him.”And although Badger fans may have found renewed faith in Stave in the starting role after his performance against UTEP – 12-of-17 for 210 yards passing and a touchdown – the golden-haired quarterback will face his first true test this Saturday night on the road at Nebraska.But Stave gained experience last season traveling with the team and watching former UW quarterback Russell Wilson play in the tough environments of East Lansing, Mich., and Columbus, Ohio, in primetime matchups and how he kept composed under such straining conditions.“That really helped, just seeing how Russell responded and stay[ed] composed,” Stave said. “Seeing him out there, it looks like a lot of fun. Obviously it doesn’t look easy with all the crowd noise and everything, but you just have to block that out and stay focused.”One way Wisconsin prepares itself for road tests is by practicing with the Camp Randall speakers blaring crowd noise, deafening the players to stimulate hostile environments. The noise was already audible Tuesday, as the college football mecca echoed loud cheers and screams. Stave knows as a quarterback he’ll have to be louder and make an emphasis on communication.Yet Stave has never played a game at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium, where a fanbase packs the seats that finds football more a religion than a sport.The last time Stave was the starting quarterback in a road game? Try 2010, as a high school senior in Wisconsin leading Whitnall High School in a playoff game against top-seeded Franklin High School.“I wouldn’t guess it’s going to be as tough (to play at) as where we’re going this week, but it was really windy so it wasn’t an easy place to play,” Stave joked. “None of [the high school road games] were super tough. No place with 90,000 people right on top of you. I don’t know, Greendale was kind of tough to play.”The looseness Stave exhibits is contagious. And while he appears eager and thrilled to have the chance to perform on national television, including a chance for a friend who lives in Florida to watch him, Stave attributes a part of his ability to block out nerve and anxiety to his performance under the spotlight as a musician.“It does kind of make you try to block out everybody else and just focus on what you’re doing, regardless of if you’re playing football or if you’re singing in front of people because that’s obviously something that is not super comfortable for me,” Stave said. “I mean, I feel a lot more comfortable playing football than I do singing to a group.”So the quarterback really feels more nervous about performing than he would, say, starting on the road in Nebraska?“I’d say so,” Stave said.Somebody mentions that there isn’t much of a chance of getting hit while playing the piano.“That’s true,” Stave laughed. “But I mean, a voice crack or something in front of a lot of people would be pretty bad.”Follow Nick on Twitterlast_img read more

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Lynn Swann resigns as athletic director, Folt announces

first_img“Each sport has a different ebb and flow, but right now all of our fall sports are really set, they’re all going, things are going really well, things are in a really good situation,” she said. “And in a few months, we’re going to start looking to winter sports, and we’re going to be doing more recruiting and more building, so in a way this is a very good time because it allows me to select an athletics director that’s going to be the person all those new people will want to meet.” Both Folt and Roberts said they’re excited with the direction of the department. “Being on the Committee on Infractions, [has] allowed me to do is see what the cutting-edge issues are with sports today, so I can bring that information back to my colleagues at USC, and we can take actions that are going to have us be avoiding problems in the future,” Roberts said. Folt said Roberts’ experience as a student-athlete at UC Davis, understanding of collegiate athletics and legal background make him a well-qualified candidate. Folt also stated that special adviser to the president Dave Roberts, who currently serves as the NCAA’s Vice Chair of the Committee on Infractions, will fill the athletic director role in the interim. He has been the vice president of athletics compliance at the University since 2010.  Swann’s resignation comes four days after a Los Angeles Times report revealed that USC alumnus B. Wayne Hughes Sr., founder of self-storage company Public Storage and a good friend of Swann’s, donated almost $400 million to the University from 2010-15, just before Swann took over as athletic director. The article also reported that Swann was given “a seat on the corporate board of a Hughes company, American Homes 4 Rent, and directorship on the board of Hughes’ charity,” and that Hughes donated over $165,000 to Swann’s 2006 campaign for governor in Pennsylvania. Roberts told the Daily Trojan that his first step will be to talk to coaches, administrators and student-athletes in the coming weeks to find out what the department can change and improve. He said his ultimate priorities are to set things up for the next athletic director and ensure that student-athletes have the best experience possible. Folt also announced the members of a search committee that will be in charge of finding a permanent replacement. The committee is chaired by Trustee Suzanne Nora Johnson. “Lynn has been a leader on and off the field at USC for nearly five decades, and he will forever be a valued member of the Trojan family,” Folt wrote in an email to the USC community. It includes alumni representative Bill Allen, Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Crisp, Faculty Athletics Representative Alan Green, Academic Senate President Rebecca Lonergan, Provost Charles Zukoski, Board of Trustees Chairman Rick Caruso and trustees Jeff Smulyan and William McMorrow.  Folt added that the committee will include two student-athletes yet to be named. She told the Daily Trojan that she is drawing on positive experiences from including two students on her provost search committee. President Carol Folt announced Monday that Athletic Director Lynn Swann resigned from his position. Swann had served as athletic director since 2016. “I think you probably know by now that I always start from the students and think about the student-athletes,” Folt told the Daily Trojan. “And, as we look forward to the next athletic director, having that strong perspective of student-athletes is really important … I couldn’t have a person better poised to think about what are the things that an athletic department needs to be to be a great athletic department in the next year, five years, 10 years.” Swann, a former USC wide receiver, came under fire for multiple scandals in the athletic department during his tenure. His resignation comes just months after USC’s involvement in the college admissions scheme, in which the FBI found that former senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel and former water polo coach Jovan Vavic received bribes to falsely identify prospective students as recruits, and two years after the FBI arrested former men’s assistant basketball coach Tony Bland for his role in the college basketball bribery scandal. With all the problems that happened under Swann’s supervision, some were surprised at the timing of the decision. Folt said there is no single appropriate time for a dramatic overhaul due to the ever-changing nature of the athletics department. Lynn Swann served as athletic director since 2016, presiding over various athletic scandals including the Operation Varsity Blues admissions scheme. (Tal Volk/Daily Trojan) “I think the main reason I decided to [include student-athletes] is that my experience has always told me that when you can involve students in decisions that are very pertinent to them, you’re going to get a much better outcome,” Folt said. “So I’m looking for an athletic director that is really helping us build a very strong student-centered focus.” Amanda Sturges contributed to this report. “Our Athletics Department puts our student-athletes first by pursuing excellence with integrity,” Folt wrote in her announcement email. “We will build on the traditions and strengths of our exceptional athletics program.”last_img read more

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Expat Voice: Thoughts Set Free in India

first_imgJan Graveson’s first visit to India was in 2001 and she immediately fell in love with the country. The actor and singer from north-east England continued to frequent India before finally shifting in the country two and a half years ago.“My whole life changed during that first trip to Goa, in 2001. I returned with a rucksack and traveled across the country for the next six months,” Graveson, who now lives in Mumbai, tells Little India.Graveson began performing at the age of six, with a desire and determination to excel on the stage. She rose to fame with the popular TV series EastEnders. Her work earned her a host of prestigious nominations, including the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), and a Tony Award nomination for the Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She has also performed on Broadway in New York.Graveson now wishes to collaborate with like-minded artistes in India and share her knowledge and skills with those passionate about performing on stage.“When people from different walks of life collaborate, things happen,” says the 42-year-old artiste, who is affectionately known as ‘Jaani’ in India.A 17-Year Love AffairI traveled to India for the first time in 2001 for a holiday after completing a long stint in a show in London. I was in Goa for a week and fell in love with the place and that altered my life.I visited a Saturday-night market and met an ace guitarist called Elvis Lobo. I was watching him perform when he invited me on stage. I sang with him and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. The experience that I had in Goa had such a massive influence on me that I shifted here and, thus, began my love story with India.Jan GravesonPassion for Musical TheaterIn India, there’s a huge musical scene but it’s more cinematic than theater. The infrastructure for musical theater is not very satisfactory. The genre is getting noticed slowly, and has a long way to go. In a country where people burst into songs and dances quite often, the genre should be given an opportunity.I am in the process of collaborating with some notable people from India to initiate a curriculum to encourage musical theater. I have hosted workshops and masterclasses at the True School of Music, and Bollywood director Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods film school in Mumbai.Exchanging SkillsI am setting up my own theater group in Bandra that will serve as a powerhouse of creative ventures. I cannot set up an infrastructure in India as I feel it is an arduous task, but I can, at least, get the ball rolling and share my skills with people who are willing to learn.When I was in Goa, I set up a school called the Wow Performing Arts, which was predominantly for children and teenagers to learn skills related to performing arts. My theater group in Mumbai will be called Stageworks.Similar, Yet DifferentMumbai is a chaotic city but the energy is amazing. It’s diverse, vibrant and teeming with opportunities for everyone, whereas England is governed by rules and regulations. However, both places are quite similar in their own ways.For instance, if you’re occupied with work, both locations can be fabulous places to reside. However, if you don’t have work, it can get lonely and depressing, since people are mostly busy and keep to themselves. But Mumbai, I feel, has an edge over London as people here are ever willing to help those in need. People in Mumbai are also very accepting of foreigners, unlike those in London who live in their own shells.Freedom in IndiaI love the freedom that India has given me. I like mundane things, like you can park your vehicle without having to pay for it. I can eat anything from anywhere and say anything I want to. There’s freedom of speech here, as opposed to England where voicing opinions can be difficult.However, things in India don’t get done as smoothly as they should. Many things here work by placing one’s trust in the system and by praying that it will be okay.This notion can be difficult to believe for any foreigner living here, as we are brought up being taught that everything has a system and that we have to plan for the future. In India, life is led on a day-to-day basis. It’s beautiful and remarkable how things fall into place despite the lack of a proper system.Caring for AnimalsA lot of people visit Goa and adopt animals. However, once their vacation is over, they desert the animals on the streets and return to their respective countries. It’s very cruel and I feel that there is a need to rehabilitate these animals. I have rescued and rehabilitated over 100 dogs, and have two dogs and two cats in my house in Goa.Life Without WorriesWhile travelling across the country, I visited Varkala, a coastal town in Kerala, with the intention of staying there only for two days. But I ended up staying there for a month. I was sitting inside a temple thinking whether I should leave or stay, when this man came over and put his hand on my shoulder and said: “If you are in control of it, why worry? If you are not in control of it, why worry?” I did not know who the man was, all I know is that his words touched my soul. Those words have stayed with me and helped me tide through difficult times.British Rule in IndiaIn school, all we were told about India was that it is very far and that it rained a lot during the monsoon. I knew that women wore hand-woven saris because my uncle had gifted one to my mother from one of his trips to the country.We were taught nothing about the British rule in India and the atrocities they committed. We were taught utter lies in school. Sometimes, I come across people here who tell me about the terrible things that the British did. Although I tell them that I was not one of those who committed these atrocities, I still feel responsible. One of the reasons for my stay in Mumbai is that I want to do something for the people here.The interview has been condensed and edited.  Expat Voice is regular column on expats in India. Email us at expat@littleindia.com to nominate yourself or another expat for the column.   Related ItemsBritainGoaMumbailast_img read more

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