Chemical accident at the NES building leaves student injured – July 1
A small chemical explosion on the third floor of the Natural and Environmental Sciences Building sent graduate chemistry student Gerald Rowland to the hospital for second-degree burns.
Rowland was working late attempting to concentrate a liquid by heating it when the glass container holding the compound broke and sparked a chemical fire.
Graduate student Matt Cross, who was working in a lab near Rowland, described the accident.
“I had my music up real loud,” Cross said. “I just heard the worst screams of my life. I ran over, and I saw black smoke just billowing out.”
According to Cross, firefighters who first arrived on the scene were apprehensive about entering the building and stood outside for about two hours before entering the building.
Rowland was doing work for chemistry professor Jon Antilla, who after the accident decided to institute a curfew in an attempt to avoid any more late-night accidents. Rowland was released from the hospital the day after the accident.
ELI students arrested – July 5
The oft-troubled English Language Institute was in the news again when two of its Saudi Arabian students were arrested for boarding a school bus bound for Wharton High School.
According to Director of the Central Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations Ahmed Bedier, Shakir Mohsen Alsidran and Mana Saleh Almanajam got on the bus because they wanted to see what an American high school was like. In an attempt to immerse themselves in American culture – an opportunity the pair said the ELI doesn’t afford its students – the pair, one clothed in shorts and a black trenchcoat, boarded the bus at the corner of 42nd Street and Fletcher Avenue.
ELI officials said there are many opportunities for ELI students – who are not USF students – to expose themselves to the American way of life.
The two were not prosecuted for their adventure, but the State Attorney’s Office mandated that they write an essay about their ordeal.
USF gets live bull – July 10
Local businessman John Massaro and several members of the Tampa community have joined forces to do the impossible: get USF a live mascot.
The new mascot will be Rocky, a Brahman bull that should grow to around 2,500 pounds.
Rocky was originally slated to make an appearance at the first football game of the 2006 season, a Sept. 2 matchup against McNeese St., but that seems to be a tentative date.
Rocky will more likely be around for the 2007 football season.
According to Tom Veit, the associate director of athletics, there are issues the Athletic Department wants to address, like safety and logistics.
“It’s going to happen,” Veit said. “We just need to make sure we cover all the bases.”
Jones drafted by Hawks – June 29
Maybe the most surprising story of the summer was former Bulls center Solomon Jones not only being taken in the NBA Draft but becoming the highest-drafted USF player in history. Jones was picked 33rd overall – in the second round by the Atlanta Hawks.
Jones, pictured at center, averaged 13.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game his senior season, became the first USF player drafted since Curtis Kitchen, who was drafted in the sixth round in 1986 by the Seattle Sonics.
Jones was projected to be a late second-round pick name but instead was drafted before Texas’s P.J. Tucker, West Virginia’s Kevin Pittsnogle and Mike Gansey and Villanova’s Allan Ray.
Third suspect indicted in Stem murder – June 1
On Feb. 9, the USF campus was rocked by the murder of former student and University employee Ronald Stem. It was the first murder to occur on campus since 1994, and was made all the more troubling when the list of probable getaway cars was narrowed down to a white sedan or a black SUV.
On April 6, University Police stated that it had identified all the individuals involved in the killing. Two suspects were indicted that day. On June 28, 17-year-old high school student Rashad Jamel Taylor was charged as an adult with first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery. A fourth indictment has yet to occur.
Grad assistants get new classes – July 20
Graduate assistants were surprised over the summer when a memo was sent out describing a new policy that changed their minimum required hours from nine to 12. Along with their own classes, graduate assistants normally teach around two classes a semester. There are roughly 1,600 graduate assistants at USF.
Anticipating some dissent, The Graduate School at USF, which is housed in the Behavioral Sciences building, created two optional seminars, which Associate Dean Brent Weisman described as “non-intrusive,” to help grad assistants fulfill the required hours.
Weisman and graduate school Dean Delcie Durham said the new policy allows students to graduate faster and helps them compete in the job market after graduation.
But some grad assistants weren’t as enthused with the new requirement and the non-credit seminars.
“I think it’s a little disingenuous for them to say, ‘We want graduate students to get out of here faster, so we’re going to offer two courses that don’t count toward graduation,'” said third-year graduate assistant Andrew Herrman in a July 19 interview.
Cardieri resigns after 21 years
Baseball coach Eddie Cardieri resigned in a close-doors meeting with Athletic Director Doug Woolard and Senior Associate Director of Athletics Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy.
Cardieri had been head coach at USF for 21 years – the longest of any other USF coach – and had a career record of 731-546. But it was the Bulls’ four straight losing seasons including last year’s 23-35 record that may have sealed the deal for the venerable coach.
Shortly after Cardieri’s resignation, USF hired former Louisville and University of Tampa coach Lelo Prado to replace Cardieri.
Prado signed a five-year contract with an annual salary of $95,000. Cardieri, in his 21st season, made $63,220.
Cardieri’s two sons, Nick and Joel, are both scholarship baseball players.
USF area gets ‘senior zone’
In response to complaints from residents of John Knox Village, the length of road stretching from Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and 46th Street on Fletcher Avenue will become a “senior zone.” Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair spearheaded a proposal to install the zone, which will reduce the speed limit to allow safe entry and exit for the residents of the senior community.
This zone is the first of its type to be adopted and developed in the United States. Although it’s unofficial, the proposal is for the speed limit to drop from 45 mph to 30 mph.
Three baseball players selected in MLB Draft – June 8
Three USF baseball players were selected in the 2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Casey Hudspeth and Chase Lirette, both pitchers, were drafted during the first day of the two-day draft. Hudspeth was taken by the Houston Astros and Lirette by the Toronto Blue Jays. Brian Baisley (left), a catcher, was drafted by the New York Yankees on the second day. During his three years spent at USF, Hudspeth recorded 23 wins and 275 strikeouts. Lirette recorded 137 career strikeouts while at USF.
Softball makes historic run, falls short at Super Regional – May 28
The good news was that after posting a record of 50-25 and a conference record of 17-3 and going undefeated in NCAA Regionals, the USF softball team earned a trip to its first ever Super Regional in school history. Bad news, they received the 16th seed in the Super Regional round and had to travel to California to face No. 1-seed UCLA – the holder of 11 NCAA softball titles – the most in the NCAA.
UCLA, who has outscored its regional opponents 23-2, swept the Bulls 2-0, 3-1.
On (date) it was announced that a $3 million donation from long-time USF supporters Frank and Carol Morsani, will help build a new softball stadium.