UMASS AMHERST

UMass says it's hired a men's basketball coach. The announcement comes almost a week after the school's last pick backed out of the job.

If it all goes smoothly this time, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach Matt McCall will take the job. He's led the Chattanooga Mocs for two seasons now, earning a 48 and 18 record. His team made it to the NCAA tournament last year, losing in the first round.

McCall, who's 35 years old, arrives at UMass with fewer years of head-coaching experience than the school's first choice -- Pat Kelsey of Winthop University.

A promotional graphic used by UMass in the two days between Pat Kelsey agreeing to become the new head basketball coach -- and when he backed out of the deal.
Screen Shot / Email from UMass Athletics

No word yet from UMass on whether it will try to force Pat Kelsey to pay a $1 million buyout contained in his agreement with the school.

Kelsey signed a letter of intent  last week to lead the UMass men's basketball team, but backed out of the job just a half-hour before an introductory press conference Thursday afternoon.

UMass Athletic Director Ryan Mamford told reporters he didn't know if or when the university will get that money.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts reacts when the conversation turns to Senator Mitch McConnell during her annual Springfield Office Hours at City Stage, Monday, March 20, 2017, in Springfield, Mass.
Jessica Hill / The Republican

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news.

What made The Short List this week?

A promotional graphic used by UMass in the two days between Pat Kelsey agreeing to become the new head basketball coach -- and when he backed out of the deal.
Screen Shot / Email from UMass Athletics

Pat Kelsey has backed out of an agreement to take over the men's basketball program at UMass, citing personal reasons.

UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said Thursday that Kelsey asked to be let out of his contract that was signed Tuesday, making clear that it was for "very personal" reasons.

Kelsey said in a statement released by the university that he is sorry and felt welcome while on campus.

Kelsey was scheduled to meet with reporters on Thursday, but UMass abruptly canceled just before the press conference was set to begin.

The campus of UMass Amherst.
File photo / The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hate groups are on the rise in the U.S. and they increasingly see college campuses as prime recruiting ground.

UMass Amherst and Holyoke Community College are just two of dozens of college campuses to have been targeted by white nationalist propaganda in recent months. But finding the right way to respond to these groups can present a challenge to college administrators.

Daniel Lieberman
UMass Amherst

Daniel Lieberman, a paleoanthropologist and biology professor at Harvard University, spoke about his work studying human athletic behavior and performance as part of the Center for Research on Families’ Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series. He said in developed countries there is currently an “exercise paradox”: Although humans evolved to become athletes, few in these countries are adequately physically active. This, Lieberman said, was because we evolved both to be athletes, but also to avoid unnecessary activity.

Journalists: Members Of The Opposition Party?

Feb 27, 2017
Shaheen Pasha teaches international journalism at UMass Amherst.
UMass

Commentator and journalist Shaheen Pasha has a rule in her house. Her kids are never allowed to tell each other to shut up. It’s not just a matter of politeness, she says. Shutting people up can be dangerous.

As a child, my Pakistani immigrant mother taught me no one has the right to silence another person. She told me to respect a person’s voice even if you disagree.

Dennis Childs, associate professor of African American literature and an affiliate faculty member of the department of ethnic studies and critical gender studies at the University of California, San Diego, spoke about the past and present incarceration of the poor and people of color as a continuation of the modern practice of slavery in the U.S.

He currently serves as director of UCSD’s African American studies program, and faculty advisor for Students Against Mass Incarceration, a student-organized prison abolitionist organization.

When Not-Bad People Obey Not-Good Orders

Feb 17, 2017
Shaheen Pasha teaches international journalism at UMass Amherst.
UMass

Commentator Shaheen Pasha has a passport full of stamps from Muslim nations as well as European countries and far-flung Asian destinations. It’s always been a source of pride to have been able to see the world. Now it’s a source of concern.

Franklin Odo is the John J. McCloy Visiting Professor of American Institutions and International Diplomacy at Amherst College. As part of the UMass Amherst History Department’s Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series: “The U.S. in the Age of Mass Incarceration”, Odo talked about Japanese Internment during World War II, the subsequent redress, and how Japanese Americans have been affected by discrimination.

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