UNG’s VanHorn Nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

Sports, Team FYN Sports, University of North Georgia

Renee VanHorn

INDIANAPOLIS — Former University of North Georgia women’s soccer player Renee VanHorn was selected as the Peach Belt Conference’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year, it was announced on Tuesday.

The women’s soccer player from Marietta, Georgia, emerged from the field of nine PBC players who were among the initial list of 585 nominations submitted by NCAA institutions at the Division I, II and III levels. Her selection as the conference’s nominee was made by the league’s Senior Woman Administrators.

VanHorn graduated in the Spring of 2019 with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Finishing her undergraduate career with a 3.73 GPA, she was named to the PBC All-Academic Team three times and the Presidential Honor Roll three times as well, earning a gold, silver and bronze scholar. She was also awarded the Women of UNG Leadership Recognition Award in 2018 as one of the top ten student leaders at North Georgia.

On the field, she was named All-Region three times and All-Conference twice, leading the Nighthawks to a regular season championship in 2017. She was also named the PBC Player of the Week three times and the Nighthawk of the Week five times.

The Top 30 honorees, comprising 10 women from each division, will be named by the Woman of the Year selection committee in September. The selection committee will then narrow the pool to nine finalists – with three from each division – in early October. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2019 Woman of the Year.

The 2019 Woman of the Year will be named, and the Top 30 honorees will be celebrated, at the annual banquet Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.

The NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991.

Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter: All about the money

All of TeamFYNSports, Sports

For years, there has been a great debate on whether or not college athletes should receive compensation from companies for using their likeness on products. Last week California lawmakers took steps to ensure that this compensation happens, with a bill at the state level that would allow college athletes to receive money for use of their name, image and/or likeness. The bill passed the State Senate by a vote of 31-4.

Although the bill wouldn’t have any effect until 2023, the legislation received an immediate response from NCAA President Mark Emmert. According to USA Today, Emmert implied in a letter to chairs of two State Assembly committees that if the bill became law as it is currently written, then California schools could be potentially prohibited from competing in NCAA championships. Such a possibility would be a huge blow to the state, which is home to 23 NCAA Division I schools, four of which are in the Pac-12.

So here we go again- another back-and-forth between the almighty NCAA and everyone else. In my opinion there are excellent points from both sides of the argument here, many of which I plan to explore throughout this post.

The NCAA and California lawmakers are going head-to-head over a bill that would allow college athletes to receive compensation for the use of their likeness.

Let’s start from the athletes point of view. If I were in their shoes I would be flattered at first to know that a company believed me talented enough to feature in a video game or on a t-shirt. But everything goes back to the money. And after I found out that they were making a significant profit off of my hard work, I would want my slice of the pie.

Such was probably the thoughts of athletes Sam Keller and Ed O’Bannon when lawyers representing them filed separate antitrust suits against the NCAA in 2009 concerning video games. O’Bannon ended up securing at $40 million settlement with the video game publisher, Electronic Arts.

And while I’m considering this point, besides the fact that companies don’t want to have to share with anyone they don’t want to, why shouldn’t an athlete get paid for using their likeness? Anytime a company wants to use an actor or actress for one of their ads, they have to pay up. I don’t see a difference, other than potentially the age and where they are at in their careers.  The way I see it, the only thing keeping student athletes from receiving payment is the rules of the NCAA. Hence the conflict between the association and the current bill in California.

EA Sports’s NCAA Football is an example of a video game that used the likeness of college athletes. NCAA ended their deal with Electronic Arts (EA) in 2014. Credit: USA Today

At the VERY LEAST, companies should secure consent from athletes when using their name and/or likeness. And it should come directly from the athlete, even if there are other arrangements that have to be made with the school and/or NCAA. Even if the NCAA controls permission for companies to use an athletes image, I personally believe the athlete should at least be notified and consulted.

Anyone who disagrees with the above point of view probably does such because of the impact it can have on college athletics as we know it. As much as I hate to admit it as a recent college graduate, the whole point of college is to get an education. Sports should be an added benefit, however recruiting has become such a big deal in our nation that often sports become the ultimate priority and education falls to the wayside.

With that being said, we all know the perks that come with going to a D1 college on an athletic scholarship. It’s not like all of the athletes who appear on video games and other products are destitute. In many instances they’re treated like borderline royalty at the colleges they attend, with priority class registration, great dorm locations and tutoring on a whim. And for those who have the potential to go pro, there are even more programs to help assure hefty contracts come draft day. Long story short- many of these athletes who complain about not getting paid also have it MADE. I imagine that if you got right down to it with the board of the NCAA, they would say the same thing.

So speaking of the colleges, where do they fit into all of this mess? And better yet, why does the government care?

If we want to be cynical about it, we could say that colleges want to win championships. And without some of their star players, their chance of winning diminishes. If an athlete gets busted for doing something like accepting money for an autograph, for example, then there ya go. I know that the bill in California primarily focuses on the use of an athlete’s likeness, but if that is allowed then one can assume the rest will probably shortly follow.

But if we don’t want to be cynical then colleges probably see the wisdom in letting athletes accept a part of the money that is made off of their own name. Goodness knows that athletic programs probably receive money from the use of their logos and names.

As far as why the government is getting involved, there’s not a lot of thought I have on that, but I will say I am interested in seeing how this situations pans out. Sounds like enough legislators agree that college athletes deserve compensation if their name or likeness is used, so only time and more news updates will tell what ends up happening in this government/NCAA showdown.


Renee VanHorn Nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

Team FYN Sports

INDIANAPOLIS – A record 585 female college athletes have been nominated by NCAA member schools for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award, and former University of North Georgia women’s soccer player Renee VanHorn is one of the athletes.

A senior from Marietta, Georgia, VanHorn graduated in the Spring of 2019 with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Finishing her undergraduate career with a 3.73 GPA, she was named to the PBC All-Academic Team three times and the Presidential Honor Roll three times as well, earning a gold, silver and bronze scholar. She was also awarded the Women of UNG Leadership Recognition Award in 2018 as one of the top ten student leaders at North Georgia.

On the field, she was named All-Region three times and All-Conference twice, leading the Nighthawks to a regular season championship in 2017. She was also named the PBC Player of the Week three times and the Nighthawk of the Week five times.

The nominees competed in 23 different sports across all three NCAA divisions, including 262 nominees from Division I, 131 from Division II and 192 from Division III. Multisport student-athletes account for 144 of the nominees.

Next, conferences will select up to two nominees each from the pool of school nominees. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees – 10 from each division.

The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from the Top 30 and announce the nine finalists in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.

The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual award ceremony Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.

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No. 1 Softball Opens NCAA Regional Play With 5-2 Win Over King

University of North Georgia
5/10/2018 | Softball | Box Score
DAHLONEGA – Kylee Smith threw 6.2 innings of one-hit softball as the top-ranked University of North Georgia softball team advanced in the NCAA Southeast Regional with a 5-2 win over eighth-seeded King at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.

Shelby Hammontree jump started the offense in the second inning with a two-run blast to left field before Marley Stowersdoubled the lead with a bases clearing double with two outs to give the Nighthawks a 2-0 lead.

With two outs in the fifth, North Georgia struck again with a pinch-hit RBI single to left that plated Kaylyn Anthony all the way from first after a Tornado error to give UNG a 5-0 lead.

King did get on the scoreboard in the seventh with a two-run homer from Katelyn Davidson, but Smith came back in the game and sat down the remaining King batters to preserve the win.

– Smith (31-2) struck out seven batters and hit one without allowing a walk or more than a hit in the fifth inning, a double by Erin Roper.

– Stowers finished 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBI, and Anthony was 3-for-3 with two runs scored to lead North Georgia at the plate.

– North Georgia improves to 5-0 all-time against the Tornado, 2-0 in NCAA tournament play.

The Nighthawks will take on the winner of No. 4 Coker and No. 5 Queens tomorrow at noon, while King will play the loser of the Cobras/Royals contest at 2:30 p.m. in an elimination game.

No. 21 Women’s Basketball Overcomes Slow Start for 70-65 WinOver Lakers

Team FYN Sports, University of North Georgia

MORROW, Ga. – Trailing by 13 early, the No. 21 University of North Georgia women’s basketball team fought all the way back and hung on late for a 70-65 win over Clayton State Monday night at The Loch. The Nighthawks have won 11 straight games and are two wins away from clinching a spot in the Peach Belt Conference tournament.

The Lakers jumped out to 12-3 lead in the first four minutes and extended that lead to 20-7 before the Nighthawks started chipping away. UNG cut the lead to just one at the half for a 34-33 score after two quarters.

North Georgia took its first lead of the night with 6:06 to play in the third period, 37-36, but the Lakers stretched their lead back out to six through the third. The Nighthawks went on to outscore Clayton State, 25-14, in the final period to claim the road win.

Amber Skidgel came alive in the fourth quarter to lead the Nighthawks in scoring with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including three baskets from distance.

Julie McKie scored 12 points, all of which came from the free throw line. For the Lakers, Abreylin Rackley led the way with 18 points, 12 of which came from behind the arc.

– Only three other times has North Georgia had a winning streak go 11 games or longer since the 2001-02 season, including two 15-game winning streaks.

– UNG went 30-of-36 from the free throw line in the game. The 30 made free throws ties the fifth-most made free throws in a single game in the NCAA era.

The Nighthawks will finish a three games in five days stretch with a home game against Columbus State on Wednesday. The game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. and will also serve as Faculty Appreciation Night.

UNG to Host NCAA Cross Country Southeast Regional in November

University of North Georgia
6/25/2018 | Women’s Cross Country
DAHLONEGA – For the first time in history, a NCAA postseason event will be held on the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus as the UNG cross country team will host the NCAA Southeast Regional on November 17 at the UNG Cross Country Course.

The 2018 NCAA regional will mark the 10th time that North Georgia has competed for a chance to race for a National Championship. The Nighthawks have advanced to the championship race once before in 2014.

Prior to hosting the regional, North Georgia will have the Southeast Regional course race ready for the sixth annual UNG Invitational on September 29 on the Gainesville campus. The Nightahwks will look to defend their title from a year ago in the race.

The UNG Cross Country course is is all grass and dirt and is considered “flat and fast.” Per NCAA championship guidelines, the NCAA Regional will be run as a 6K for the women and a 10K for the men. The UNG Cross Country Course is generally set up as a 2K loop. Fans can come to either event as admission is free and open to the public.

6th District Candidate (R) Karen Handel Releases Campaign Video Going After (D) Jon Ossoff


The failed American Health Care Act just changed the entire GA 6th Congressional District race. Karen Handel releases a very good campaign video going after John Ossoff but can Republicans promise to stop Nancy Pelosi’s agenda? And that they are the party that can deliver? Although Handel’s campaign video may have the right message, it may be the wrong time. #BKP explains how the failed bill may be a gift to Ossoff and leaves Republican candidates scrambling to decide which side of the Republican party they are on. Three strikes and the Republican party could lose the House. 



Who is Responsible for Obama Care Now – Republicans or Democrats? Will Republicans Ever be Able to Govern as a Majority Party?


Who is Responsible for Obama Care Now – Republicans or Democrats? How will the failed Health Care Bill affect the elections in 2018? How will the failed Health Care Bill Act will affect the GA 6th Congressional District election? When Obama Care collapses who will the voters hold responsible #BKP thinks that the Republicans now own Obama care, lock stock, and barrel, and 2018 voters will hold Republicans responsible for the collapse. Republicans broke the biggest promise that they made to the American people. They can no longer go back to the well and say they are the party that can deliver.


#NCAA #MarchMadness Time for the #Sweet16


2017 #NCAA #MarchMadness How is your Bracket? Check out #BKP’s picks for the #Sweet16. Don’t miss my upset pick. Who will lose the next #1 spot?

Women’s Tennis Seeded Sixth in NCAA Southeast Region

University of North Georgia
4/24/2018 | Women’s Tennis
DAHLONEGA – After a 14-7 season, the No. 24 University of North Georgia women’s tennis team will be continuing play in the postseason after being seeded sixth in the NCAA Southeast Regional and will head to second-seeded Wingate to compete in the tournament.

North Georgia will take on third-seeded and No. 25 Georgia College in the opening round and the winner will take on the advancing team from the second-seeded Wingate Bulldogs and seventh-seeded Chowan.

On the other side of the Southeast Region, top-seeded Columbus State earned a bye and will take on the winner of No. 4 Queens and No. 5 Tusculum.

The winners of the two sides of the region will advance to the finals, taking place in Surprise, Arizona, May 8-11.

The Nighthawks and Bobcats will battle for a third time this season on Saturday, April 28, at Wingate with the time to be announced later this week.

Three Nighthawks Granted NCAA Degree Completion Award

UNG Baseball
5/27/2017 | Baseball
INDIANAPOLIS – Three University of North Georgia student-athletes have been granted a Degree Completion by the NCAA as announced on Friday. Baseball player Josh Bryan, women’s soccer player Megan Gil and women’s basketball player Kelsey Hutchins were each awarded the $6,000 grant.

The trio joins former men’s basketball player Tanner Plemmons to become the fourth North Georgia student-athlete to earn the honor in the last two years.

The NCAA established the Division II Degree Completion Award Program in 2001 to provide deserving student-athletes financial assistance for them to complete their first baccalaureate degree. Candidates will be students who have exhausted their athletics eligibility and have received athletics financial aid.

The selection process for the national award emphasizes the academic performance of the student-athlete. Other factors considered are financial circumstances, athletic achievement and involvement in campus and community activities.

To date, nearly $4 million has been given to approximately 1,000 deserving student-athletes. Of those student-athletes who have received the award since its inception, 94 percent have earned their undergraduate degree using this program.

– UNG Athletic Communications

LEE GLENN // Associate Athletic Director, External Operations

O: 706-867-3250 | M: 706-968-6232
Website: UNGAthletics.com | Twitter: @UNG_Nighthawks | #HawkEm

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