For four years at the Iowa State Daily, I worked as a beat reporter covering four NCAA Division-1 teams, including football, men's basketball and men's and women's track and cross-country. I received numerous writing honors, including a second- and two third-place awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for sports news, feature and commentary writing.
I couldn’t help but wonder why his hands were trembling so much during our regular lunch that day.
I’ve noticed it more and more, ever since. The travel of his food from his plate to his mouth was more like a plane through turbulence than a skater across ice.
He attributed his weak appetite to his erratic sleep schedule. Oftentimes, though, his leftovers would be enough for a full-sized meal to most.
He just hadn’t been himself.
Believe it or not, Miami is not the problem.
And, for that matter, neither is Ohio State, Butch Davis or a rogue booster.
The problem isn't the money, the cars or the free tattoos. Or the hookers. Or the abortions. Although those aren't good, either.
There's a bigger problem at work with all this deceit, scandal and cheating in major college sports than dirty programs or slimy program backers. It's a problem that dates back 24 years.
The hurt was evident on Jake Williams' face.
The senior was quiet, not knowing what to say after the loss, a game in which he had two touchdowns, including a pivotal score in overtime.
Tight end Collin Franklin — the would-be receiver on the botched two-point try at the end of overtime — struggled to describe the scene in the locker room following the Cyclones' 31-30 loss to Nebraska.
Quarterback Austen Arnaud stopped mid-sentence to collect himself on multiple occasions, fighting back tears, after losing in one of his best games as a Cyclone.
The name Lisa Uhl probably doesn’t mean much to most on the ISU campus.
It wasn’t too long ago — 2006-2010, more specifically — she paced around the track wearing cardinal and gold. She set all kinds of school records. She won four Big 12 Championships. She won four national championships.
She went by Lisa Koll then.
KANSAS CITY — They didn't go out without a fight.
The Cyclones entered Wednesday's first-round game with hopes to move on and hopes to spoil Colorado's NCAA tournament chances.
The ISU seniors just wanted to keep playing.
"It was tough. We just kept fighting," said ISU senior Jake Anderson, who scored a career-high 33 points in his final collegiate game, a 77-75 loss to Colorado. "This was my last college game, so I was going to go down swinging, regardless."
The basement was littered with family, coaches, former teammates, close friends and media members from across the state.
All eyes were affixed to any one of three TVs across the west wall.
He wandered around the basement, anxiously greeting all that were in attendance at this, a party for him. A gathering to celebrate his past, and to be there for him as he discovered where his dream would take him next.
"Hey, sit down," his former teammate Diante Garrett said.
"No, I don't want to," he said. "I need to keep moving."
Mike Giles is always thinking about State Gym.
If the plans that line the walls of his office aren't indication enough, maybe his inside-out knowledge of the facility is.
He knows nearly every inch of the 159,000-square-foot facility, even the ones that aren't finished yet.
The crowd that filled the Knapp-Storms Dining Complex described itself as "the community of Iowa State."
There were ISU alumni, faculty members and athletes mixed in with the communities of Storm Street and Ash Avenue, the areas immediately surrounding the proposed site of the Cyclone Sports Complex.
Tuesday night, the community gathered for the second time to discuss the proposed plans with Warren Madden, vice president of business and finance, and Jamie Pollard, ISU director of athletics.