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Jeff Vorva’s Extra Point: Coyne and her teammates looking for extra coin and threaten boycott

 

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Food for thought for those who aren’t very hungry:

Every time I’ve seen Kendall Coyne, she was smiling.

The Palos Heights native, Sandburg graduate and hockey legend who won a silver medal in Olympic play in 2014 is a great example of an athlete who loves what she is doing and seems to love using her celebrity status to talk to grade school and high school kids about staying positive.

If she has had any frustrations in her career – and let’s face it, she’s human so that’s bound to happen – she never let on publicly.

But now, Coyne and her USA Hockey teammates are in the middle of a controversy that is serious – serious enough where they have threatened to boycott the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships that are set to take place March in Plymouth Mich., over money. The players do not feel they are being paid enough for all the hours of practice they put in.                        

USA Hockey is reportedly looking for a new group of players to replace Coyne and her 22 teammates in Plymouth.

Left wing Hilary Knight is doing the heavy lifting when it comes to speaking for the team but last week Coyne showed her support by tweeting: “US WNT will not play in 2017 World Championship due to stalled negotiations over fair wages and support from USA Hockey.’’ She then added #BeBoldForChange.

Earlier this week, the players and USA Hockey were supposed to meet and as of this paper’s deadline, there was no news on a settlement. The players are seeking a four-year contract with compensation during non-Olympic periods.

If USA Hockey decides to play hardball and holds this possible boycott against the current team in the future, that could spell trouble for Coyne and her teammates.

Not to be overdramatic, but is this the last we see of Kendall Coyne in a USA uniform?

I hope not. Hopefully egos will be put aside and some meaningful negotiations will take place.

The Fitz blitz

Orland Park native and Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald had a ton of fun cheering on the Wildcats’ men’s basketball team in their historic two-game run in the NCAA Tournament. It’s the first time the team ever made it to the big dance.

During the opening-round game against Vanderbilt on Thursday, Fitzgerald actually went down on the floor and led cheers in front on an NU section. He was also shown on social media in the Wildcats locker room going bozo and yelling and screaming in joy and pumping everyone up.

Perhaps to outsiders, it may seem a little like he’s acting like a goofball but for those who know him, this is pure Fitz. The Sandburg graduate fell in love with Northwestern when he played football for the Wildcats and is super pumped when good things happen to the school.

It’s kind of cool to see that.

I can’t imagine any other college football coach in the country that would lead a crowd in cheers at a basketball game.

Never said this before…

I have used all of these words in a sentence before, but not in this order:

The other day I was listening to Northwestern’s men’s basketball team playing in the NCAA Tournament on the radio and during a commercial, I switched to listen to the defending World Series champion Cubs.

Coming up

Just a few things coming up in our friendly sports section…

Thanks to St. Xavier University’s women’s basketball team’s deep run in the NAIA Division II Tournament and Moraine Valley qualifying for the National Junior College Athletic Association, we had to put a few things on hold.

Unless some giant-size news busts wide open in the next few weeks, we are looking at running a look at spring sports next Thursday, March 30. On April 6, we will announce our athletes of the year in boys swimming and boys and girls bowling. On April 13, we will announce our athletes of the year in boys and girls basketball.

Also on April 6, Jim Kirby’s hunting column will run – we have gotten some good feedback from his March column. And on April 13 Tim Cronin will debut as a golf columnist who will mostly cover the local scene but will also have some thoughts on the national scene as well.

 

 

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