Petitions begin circulating against new DePaul arena

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Much has been made of the proposed new DePaul basketball arena located in Chicago’s South Loop, but now the backlash is hitting closer to home for the university as faculty and students of DePaul have circulated petitions around Chicago that have reached the attention of school President Dennis Holtschneider.

Holtschneider will have to contend with a faculty petition that includes 24 signatures — including the head of the math and English departments — and a petition from a DePaul graduate that features over 1,000 signatures, including three-year starter and junior forward Cleveland Melvin, according to a report from DNAinfo Chicago.

A group of DePaul students and alumni protested outside the faculty council meeting, passing a petition stating that it is unjust for the city to fund part of the stadium while closing 50 public schools.

“It is completely against everything I learned here,” said Erika Wozniak, a DePaul graduate who now teaches at CPS’s Oriole Park Elementary on the Northwest Side. “The education that I got, this happening is completely contradictory.”

Wozniak started the petition, which has gained more than 1,000 signatures.

During Wednesday’s protest even one of the team’s basketball players, junior forward Cleveland Melvin, signed the petition, but refused comment.
DePaul is expected to contribute around $70 million — or around half — of the arena’s costs, with the McPier bond fund footing the other half of the bill according to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.

But as WeAreDePaul.com’s Steve Newhouse notes in a fact vs. fiction column on the proposed South Loop arena, DePaul will recoup some of those losses thanks to arena naming rights and advertising within the new arena.

Obviously, there will continue to be backlash both publicly and within the university as the mess of public and private funds are sorted out as people will continue to ask why a new basketball arena is necessary in light of rising tuition costs at DePaul and 50 school closures for Chicago Public Schools.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: NBCSports.com top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State