Monthly Archives: September 2022

Ime Udoka: The Franchise and the Media

By Sarafina Napoleon

Sarafina Napoleon is from Nigeria and is a first-year graduate student in Sport Administration at BGSU. As a journalist for 9 years, she brings a wealth of experience and insight to the Maxwell Media Watch.

September 24, 2022

After a terrific first season as head coach of the Boston Celtics, Ime Udoka finds himself in unfamiliar territory. A territory that might be a tipping point in his career, and he is on the verge of losing everything, and the big question is: Is there a way back for him?

September 21, 2022, will be a day to forget for the ex-international as the news of his consensual sexual relationship with an unnamed staff member of the organization made it to the media. As reported by ESPN, his relationship with the staff member was “considered a violation of the organization’s guidelines;” hence he will have to face the music.

Udoka is out of the entire 2022-2023 NBA season due to suspension, with the franchise releasing an official communication late Thursday. According to unconfirmed reports, his assistant Joe Mazzulla will likely serve as interim coach for the 2022-23 NBA season.

It is imperative to state that before this saga, Udoka had been a huge part of the success story of the Boston Celtics since he joined the team after stints with the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, and Brooklyn Nets. His Celtics’ team recorded wins last season over the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat to win the Eastern Conference title. He guided them to the NBA Finals but lost in Game 6 to the Golden State Warriors, becoming the fifth coach in the last 25 years to make the Finals in his first year. He also secured a fourth-place finish in Coach of the Year voting. After a stellar outing last season, the fans had high hopes. They looked forward to a new season expecting the team to continue from where they left off last season, but this time it will be without head coach Ime Udoka.

It is important to note that we do not regularly see a coach’s lengthy suspension in the NBA. Last season, Mike Batiste of the Washington Wizards was handed a two-game suspension for entering the stands. In 2013, Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd faced a two game suspension. Still, an entire season suspension of an active coach has never happened recently and possibly in the history of the NBA.

There are also reservations about the media’s role in bringing to light the coach’s relationship with the unnamed staff member and how he has been portrayed.

Furthermore, are the Boston Celtics innocent of how they handled the issue?

One pertinent question to ask is how the information got to the media. Who leaked the information? Couldn’t such seismic news be dealt with internally?

Another angle to consider is the need to conceal the identity of the “unnamed staff member” while revealing coach Udoka’s, more without hesitation. Why is the coach alone facing the repercussions of an action that two adults carried out?

The club released an official statement that only captured Udoka’s punishment. Why? Is cheating not wrong on all levels and unfair to the partners of those involved? Still, a season suspension and the possibility of getting fired for breaking a code of conduct termed “Consensual” is absolute madness and arguable.

The role the media played in the reportage of the incident cannot be overlooked. It was at no point stated or reported that Udoka coerced the staff member into the relationship, so why did the media report it as a criminal incident? The coach committed an offense against the franchise owners and his fiancé Nia Long, not a crime against the government. The problem with the media reportage of the incident is that it has largely swayed how the franchise chose to deal with it. One could also argue that the media coverage of the incident could be about the color of his skin, which is my perspective as a Nigerian. Would the media come for his head if it were a white coach? Your guess is as good as mine.

Carlos Alcaraz: The Future of Men’s Tennis

By Kalen Lumpkins

Maxwell Media Watch


At this year’s French Open, third-seeded Alexander Zverev won a four-set thriller against sixth-seeded Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7) to advance to the semi-final for the second year in a row. In the post-match interview, Zverev was asked what he said to Alcaraz when they greeted each other at the net after the match concluded.

“I told him at the net, ‘You’re going to win this tournament a lot of times, not just once,’” said Zverev. “I hope I can win it before he starts beating us all.”

Fast-forward to this year’s U.S Open, and Carlos Alcaraz is beginning to do just that.

At the start of the U.S Open, tennis fans from around the world would gather into their designated courts to watch their favorite players do what they do best. On the women’s side, most were there to see Serena Williams’ last rodeo play out. On the men’s side, there was no Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer for the fans to marvel at, but there was one legend that always is the fan favorite every time he steps on the court.

Rafael Nadal.

The King of Clay opened as the overwhelming favorite to win his third Grand Slam of the year and 23rd Grand Slam overall. Nadal had not lost a Grand Slam match all year coming into the U.S Open (Nadal withdrew from the Wimbledon semifinals due to injury), and he was on a mission to make 2022 his year.

As the 2nd seed Nadal cruised to the quarterfinals, the 3rd seeded Carlos Alcaraz followed.

Alcaraz beat the people that he should have in the first three rounds (Sebastien Baez, Federico Coria, Jenson Brooksby) decisively in straight sets. The combination of his killer forehands and spacing were too much for his opponents to handle and were stunning to watch. Still, all eyes were on Rafael Nadal’s journey through the tournament. 

Then came the Round of 16, where Alcaraz faced 16th seeded Marin Cilic. And to put it lightly, Carlos Alcaraz put on a show for Arthur Ashe Stadium. Cilic and Alcaraz went back and forth hitting each other with long rallies and killer serves. Alcaraz’s game is comparable to the likes of Roger Federer: his serves, backhands, forehands, positioning among other techniques. There’s one aspect of Alcaraz’s game, however, that makes him in a league of his own and such a joy to watch. 

His effort.

During their match, Marin Cilic learned how hard it is to not only get the ball away from Alcaraz, but also how to keep it away from him. Multiple times during the match, Cilic would make an amazing forehand winner only for it to not be a winner at all, as Alcaraz would sprint to the back of the court and hit a forehand winner of his own. Cilic would find out that Alcaraz was simply too much to handle, as Carlos Alcaraz would beat Marin Cilic in a five-set thriller to advance to the quarterfinals. The breakthrough that Alcaraz needed, however, happened before he would even step on the court that day.

Earlier at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the tennis world was shaken up as Rafael Nadal was defeated by the 22nd seeded American Frances Tiafoe, which is seen as the upset of the year. The day before, the top seed Daniil Medvedev was handled by the controversial Nick Kyrgios.

With the top two seeds out of the way, all eyes were now on the highest seed remaining: Carlos Alcaraz. The Spaniard would decisively prove, however, that he could handle the bright lights.

With the plays and overwhelming efforts that were present in his Round of 16 match (like this sensational behind the back shot), he would come back from a 2-1 set hole to defeat John Sinner 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the U.S Open Semifinals. His opponent in the semifinals would end up being one of the most anticipated matches on the tournament.

Alcaraz’s opponent: Frances Tiafoe, the man who ended Rafael Nadal’s U.S Open run.

Tiafoe was making history himself, becoming the first African American since Arthur Ashe to make the U.S Open semifinals, and he had no plans to make his match with Alcaraz his last of the tournament. Alcaraz, however, had other ideas.

Frances Tiafoe experienced what Alcaraz’s prior opponents did: his relentless drive and effort. Alcaraz pulled rabbits out of his hat all match, scoring points that seemed impossible, bringing the Arthur Ashe crowd to its feet to the point where they could barely sit down. Alcaraz would beat Tiafoe 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-3 to make the U.S Open final.

Before the tournament, people already had their favorites coming into the tournament. Going into the final, everyone had become a Carlos Alcaraz fan.

Alcaraz would defeat 5th seeded Casper Ruud in the U.S Open final 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3 to win his first Grand Slam title. The ovation Alcaraz received after the match point was astounding. The crowd there were amazed by his near perfect U.S Open Tournament, the plays he made and most importantly: the effort he put in.

The victory makes Alcaraz the youngest No.1 in ATP history. At 19, he is like Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer, who won their first major at 19, 20, and 21, respectively. Alcaraz is nowhere close to finished, based on his interview after his U.S Open win.

“Right now, I’m enjoying the moment. I’m enjoying having the trophy in my hands,” said Alcaraz. “Of course, I’m hungry for more. I want to be at the top for many, many weeks. I hope many years.”

There have been comparisons with Alcaraz to the big three (Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic) with how his career has started, but there is one thing that stands out compared to everyone else.

The effort.

Carlos Alcaraz has the potential to be the greatest tennis player to ever hold a racquet. It is too early to tell, admittedly, because he is only 19. However, if there is one thing that should be taken from this article, its that Carlos Alcaraz will be a name that will be known for years to come.

Believe the hype.

Most Valuable Player

By Ryan Harless

September 16, 2022

Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interest but is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.

In the world of baseball, the Most Valuable Player award is one of if not the most sought-after award. It goes to the player who has the best numbers on the field in each respective league. There have been many debates in the past decade over if the award should include pitchers as there is already an award for the best pitcher in each respective league, that being the Cy Young award.

But in recent years there has been a phenom who has thrown a wrench into baseball tradition and how we think of its players. Shohei Ohtani is a twenty-eight-year-old who plays for The Los Angeles Angels. What separates Ohtani from literally EVERY other player in the MLB is the fact that he is an elite power hitter who is in the top five in home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage. He is also an elite starting pitcher who is in the top five in ERA and strikeouts.

Enter Yankee outfielder Aaron Judge, who is currently on pace to break the all-time Yankee single season home run record. He also has a current slash line of .307/.410/.677 which are unreal numbers to have along with fifty plus home runs. Judge is having a career year and one that in any other time period would all but guarantee him a unanimous MVP award. But is he the most valuable?

I think that if we are looking at players strictly on stats for MVP voting you cannot give the award to anyone but Ohtani. Sure, Judge is having a massive year offensively and putting up numbers we haven’t seen since the days of Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire. But right now, Ohtani has scored 80 runs on offense and has only given up 40 earned runs as a pitcher. With Ohtani, you’re not only getting a far above average starting pitcher, but a starting pitcher who will more than cover the runs they give up at the plate!

In the 2021 season when Ohtani won his first MVP award, he negated the earned runs he gave up just with his home run count alone. He had insanely tough competition in the MVP race that year too as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was in major contention to win the first triple crown in MLB since 2012. But Ohtani still won unanimously.

Shohei Ohtani is a generational talent that we may never see again. It’s unfortunate for anyone else in the American League that puts up good numbers, but Shohei is, by far, the Most Valuable Player in all of Major League Baseball and will continue to be until he chooses not to.

Ons Jabeur: From 2007 (Junior) US Open Debutant to 2022 Finalist

By Sarafina Napoleon

Sarafina Napoleon is from Nigeria and is a first-year graduate student in Sport Administration at BGSU. As a journalist for 9 years, she brings a wealth of experience and insight to the Maxwell Media Watch.

September 10, 2022

Ons Jabeur advanced to semifinals with win over Caroline Garcia

It was yet another win for Africa on September 9th, 2022, when Ons Jabeur booked a US Open final spot, becoming the first African Woman since 1968 to achieve such a feat in the professional era. It’s been a terrific 2022 for the Tunisian, making consecutive Grand Slam finals, but many people are unaware of how the journey started, thanks largely to the scant media coverage she has received. It’s been 17 years of constant hard work, perseverance, and the desire and will to get to the top.

Born in Ksar Hellal, Tunisia, Ons started playing tennis at the age of three and played on the ITF Circuit in 2007. Two years later, in 2009, she made her first junior Grand Slam debut at the US Open but couldn’t get past Britain’s Laura Robson in the first round. She eventually won the Junior Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2011 and became the first North African Woman to win a Grand Slam tournament at the junior level. Then came 2012; at 17, she was handed a wildcard at the Premier 5 Qatar Open in February, where she made her WTA main-draw debut but lost in three sets to No. 103 Virginie Razzano from France.

Considering her struggles at WTA Events at a senior level, it hasn’t been all rosy for Ons. She did qualify for two Grand Slam main draws at the 2014 US Open and 2015 Australian Open but failed to live up to the billing, losing her opening matches at both tournaments. For the first time in 2017, she participated in all four Grand Slam singles events but couldn’t win any of the titles. Her big break came at the French Open, where she won two main draw matches and cemented her place in the top 100 for the rest of the year. In 2017, she competed at all Grand Slam tournaments for the first time in her WTA Career, but she struggled.

A determined Ons kept working hard and digging deep to get to the top, which eventually paid off in 2021 when she won her first WTA Title at the 2021 Birmingham Classic, defeating the Russian Daria Kasatkina in the final. It is also worth mentioning that she got to the Wimbledon championships’ quarterfinals in 2021.

2022 RUN

2022 started with the Tunisian playing at the Sydney International where she got knocked out in the quarterfinals. She withdrew from the Australian Open after picking up an injury at the Sydney International. Jabeur lost in the second round of Indian Wells, but got to the fourth round of the Miami Open, reached the final of the Charleston Open, and went on to win the Madrid Open, making her the first African player to win a WTA 1000 title. Then came the Italian Open, where she had a brilliant run. Still, she wasn’t good enough to win it all as she fell to Iga Świątek in the Final; despite losing the Italian Open final, she reached a career-high world No. 6 in May.

The French Open came with many expectations, but she fell out in the first round against Poland’s Magda Linette but made a career-high ranking of world No. 4 in June at the end of the tournament. Wimbledon saw a different Jabeur who went all the way to the final, defeating Mirjam Björklund, Katarzyna Kawa, Diane Parry, and Elise Mertens in the process. The Wimbledon Final came, which was her first Grand Slam final appearance, making her the first African Woman to reach a Grand Slam Singles Final in the Open Era. Sadly, she couldn’t deliver at the biggest stage, losing to Elena Rybakina in three sets which was a bitter pill to swallow as an African, since tennis experts had picked her to win.

Ons Jabeur vs Iga Świątek: A revenge mission?

September 10th, 2022, will be a day to remember for many. Africans and Arabians who are all looking forward with high expectations. Ons Jabeur will be in action, participating in her second Grand Slam Final barely two months after her first final, which she lost to Rybakina. She faces a daunting task against Świątek, who is yet to lose a Grand Slam final. The Polish player has won in both Grand Slam finals she’s played (French Open 2019 & 2022).

Ons Jabeur is one match away from becoming the first African and Arab Woman to win a significant title, and she can achieve this at the 142nd edition of the US Open. To this point, her accomplishments have been overshadowed by the massive coverage of Serena Williams’ retirement and excitement about rising US stars Francis Tiafoe and Coco Gauff.

The big question now is, Can She win? And if she does, will she gain the accolades deserving of a first-time grand slam winner and the first African-Arab Woman to do so?

Welcome to Fall 2022 Maxwell Media Watch

Writers for Fall 2022 Maxwell Media Watch had their first meeting on Thursday, September 8, 2022 and have already begun working on their first entries. This semester’s writers include a grad student whose media name is Sarafina Napoleon, who penned the first entry about today’s U.S. Open Women’s Singles Final featuring the first African-Arab woman to advance to the U.S. Open final. Forthcoming entries will discuss: Francis Tiafoe becoming the first Black male advancing to the U.S. Open semifinals since Arthur Ashe; WNBA player Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia; WNBA player Sue Bird’s retirement; the rebuild of MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates; and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani’s case to be named MVP.

Undergraduate and graduate students in Sport Management, Sport Administration, Journalism and Communication are welcome to attend Maxwell Media Watch meetings and to write entries that critique media coverage of sports. For more information, please contact Pershelle Rohrer, senior contributor (, or Dr. Nancy Spencer, faculty advisor (