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(Updated) Report: Former UA wide receiver to work out for Cleveland Browns

By George Thomas Published: April 18, 2015

According to a report from the Dawgs By Nature blog, former University of Akron wide receiver Zach D’Orazio will work out privately for the Cleveland Browns in the near future.

D’Orazio, who passed on his final year of eligibility with the Zips, played primarily in the slot during his college career.  At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, he has the size to play in the NFL in the same position.

D'Orazio is a local product - playing for Cuyahoga Heights High School.

What, however, is intriguing is D’Orazio’s background.  He’s the son of a coach and arrived at UA as a quarterback.  When current Zips coach Terry Bowden and his staff arrived, they converted him to receiver in one of their savvier moves.

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Zips basketball: UA officially welcomes Daniel Utomi

By George Thomas Published: April 16, 2015

From a UA athletics news release:  

 University of Akron men's basketball head coach Keith Dambrot announced on Thursday that Daniel Utomi (Houston, Texas) has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Zips in the 2015-16 season.

Utomi joins Peter Agba (Greensboro, N.C.), Emmanuel Olojakpoke (Houston, Texas) and Josh Williams (Akron, Ohio), who signed NLI's in November.

"I view Daniel as a Brett McKnight-type of player," Dambrot said. "He is big, strong and can score from anywhere on the floor. You don't average 27 points per game in Houston if you are an average player."

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Zips football: Youth football clinic before spring game

By George Thomas Published: April 16, 2015

From a UA athletic department news release:

Zips' Football will host its annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 18, at 1 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field. Admission to the game and parking are FREE.

Free parking will be available in Lot 9, south of the stadium directly behind the videoboard.

The festivities kick off at 10 a.m. with a Youth Clinic (for kids in Grades K-6) in the Louis and Freda Stile Athletics Field House. Youngsters will run drills with Zips student-athletes and get to meet head coach Terry Bowden. To register, click here. Password is CLINIC.

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Zips basketball: B.J. Gladden announces transfer via Twitter

By George Thomas Published: April 2, 2015

Thank you Akron for everything. I've learned alot and grown as a man here but i am officially transferring next year. #AllGloryToGod ��

When contacted by regarding the transfer UA coach Keith Dambrot said that nothing is official yet. 

Gladden played 9.7 minutes per game, averaging 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Guess Zips fans will have to see how it plays out.

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Conference commissioner saying 'no' to state of Indiana

By George Thomas Published: April 1, 2015

Mid-American Conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced on ESPN that his conference would avoid doing business in Indiana because of the state’s recent passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"The Mid-American Conference will not schedule any more meetings or championships in Indiana until this current matter is brought to a sensible and appropriate conclusion," Steinbrecher said in interview.

The conference has one member school in Indiana, Ball State in Muncie.

The MAC holds its basketball tournament in Cleveland and its championship football game in Detroit, but holds its president’s meeting in Indianapolis.  

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Zips basketball: Center Pat Forsythe earns recognition

By George Thomas Published: March 27, 2015

From a University of Akron athletic department news release:  

Akron Zips junior center Pat Forsythe has been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I All-District Second Team, the association announced on Friday.

The honor is the first NABC All-District honor for Forsythe and the eighth by a Zips' player since 2004.

Prior to the Mid-American Conference Tournament earlier this month, Forsythe was named Third-Team All-MAC.

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Zips basketball: UA to face Kansas State in WNIT

By George Thomas Published: March 17, 2015

The University of Akron women’s basketball team will play the Kansas State Wildcats in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in Manhattan, Kan. Thursday at Bramlage Coliseum.  Game time will be announced later Tuesday.

It will be the first meeting ever between the Zips (22-8) and Wildcasts (18-13).

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Zips basketball: Women's team headed to WNIT

By George Thomas Published: March 16, 2015

The University of Akron women’s basketball team is among six Mid-American Conference program to receive an invite to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament it was announced Monday night.

They will not know who their opponent is until later into the night.

A red-hot Eastern Michigan team ousted the Zips in the third round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament last Thursday.  The team recorded a 22-8 record for the season.  UA is one of 35 teams that won at least 20 games over the season in the field of 64.

It is their second appearance in the WNIT, the last coming in 2013. Other MAC participants include Ball State, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Toledo and Western Michigan.  Also, the Horizon League’s Cleveland State University made the cut.

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Zips football: QB battle will be a wide-open affair

By George Thomas Published: March 16, 2015

This is just my observation, but Terry Bowden saying that the quarterback competition is wide open this spring is the equivalent of telling former Kent Roosevelt standout Tra’Von Chapman that it’s his to win.

Chapman, a former Pitt recruit before a skirmish with the law and eventual Ashland quarterback, showed all the talent in the world at Roosevelt.  He could make the throws.  He’s got legs and he had plenty of football I.Q.  Maturity or lack thereof may have been his biggest enemy.

“I think without a doubt with Tra’Von Chapman having been ineligible last year and him being eligible,” Bowden said. “I believe the position deserves to be wide open.”

Practical reasons exist as to why Chapman will get his start.  A lot has to do with the inconsistent play from starter Kyle Pohl and his backup Thomas Woodson.  Both passers failed to complete anywhere near 60 percent of their passes in Bowden’s offense.  In fairness to Pohl, however, he missed a couple of games after taking a hit to the head and didn’t seem as effective for several games after.

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Zips basketball: Men's team passes on post-season

By George Thomas Published: March 15, 2015

University of Akron men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot announced Saturday that his team will not accept any post-season play.

The Zips lost to eventual Mid-American Tournament champion Buffalo Friday night, and Dambrot said then that his team would likely pass on post-season play.

“After evaluating our current position, I feel it is in the best interest of our players and our program not to play in the postseason this year,” Dambrot said. “We have several players nursing injuries and have missed a lot of class time over the past few weeks. We would like to thank the postseason tournament committees for their interest in having us continue our season.”

Dambrot said Friday that other post-season tournaments didn’t have the same allure.

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