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Kabir Sawhney
Kabir Sawhney is currently a desk editor for the News section. He served as the Managing Editor of Sports last volume.

Bowlsby discusses role of Fiesta Bowl task force

In an interview with The Daily, Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby explained his role on the task force appointed by the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which was charged with investigating the Fiesta Bowl’s improprieties and misuse of bowl funds. Some groups, however, are voicing criticism in response to the task force and its recommendations.

Sawhney: Get rid of pre-season polls

Even so, I still think it’s time to junk preseason rankings altogether. For starters, they are almost always proved wrong—it is simply impossible to predict the season’s results before it even starts. They warp perceptions among fans and the all-important poll voters, who are reluctant to drop a team that doesn’t lose, even if it is clearly inferior to teams below it. Through this mechanism, the preseason rankings deprive deserving teams with low rankings from getting to big-time bowl games at season’s end.

Brinkley tells story of Cambodia’s curse

In an appearance at the Stanford Bookstore on Wednesday afternoon, author and communication professor Joel Brinkley signed copies of his new book, “Cambodia’s Curse,” offering an inside look into the difficulties facing the country and discussing his research for the book.

Sawhney: Ditch the BCS, even if it means going back to the old bowl format

The scare tactic of reverting to the old bowl system wouldn’t be that bad even if it did happen. We might lose the No. 1 vs. No. 2 title game, but that game stopped delivering a controversy-free national champion a long time ago. The bowl season would be just as compelling, and each game would be free to uphold its own tradition—the Rose Bowl could stage its Pac-12 vs. Big 10 matchup every year, without having to host some team from Texas that is going to jump to the Big East. Of course, the BCS will continue to come up with excuses to justify its existence—but now that I refuse to be cowed by the threat of returning to the old bowl system, I’m excited to see what its PR spin doctors cook up next.

BRIEF: Track heads to Pac-10 Championships

The Stanford men’s and women’s track teams will open their postseasons this weekend at the Pac-10 Championships in Tucson, Ariz. The men’s team enters the event ranked at No. 12 in the country, while the women’s team is unranked.

Sawhney: Let players tweet — but monitor them

Still, I like having athletes on Twitter, and I think the fans and the athletes themselves like it, too. The best solution, then, is probably one that combines the speed and connectivity of new media with the controls that existed in older media. Teams shouldn’t kick athletes off Twitter altogether, but instead should require that players put all tweets through their media department before sending them out into the web. Athletes will still get to tweet, fans will get to connect with their favorite players and organizations won’t find themselves unexpectedly embarrassed by the players who represent them.

Conference focuses on women in politics

The Stanford Conference on Women's Political Empowerment brought together some of the biggest names in Bay Area and California politics, including Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren ‘70 from San Jose, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Elaine Alquist, a state senator representing Santa Clara.

Friedman explains context of Arab spring

In a Wednesday evening discussion at Dinkelspiel Auditorium, New York Times columnist and Middle East expert Thomas Friedman explored the causes and implications of the popular uprisings in the Arab world. The talk, titled “Democracy and Energy: the View from Tahrir Square,” was sponsored by Students for a Sustainable Stanford, the ASSU Speakers’ Bureau, Stanford in Government and Hillel.

Pac-12 announces $3 billion TV deal with ESPN and Fox

The conference inked a new 12-year, $3 billion television deal for football and men’s basketball on Tuesday morning with the Fox and ESPN networks, according to Richard Sandomir of The New York Times. The deal will kick in during the 2012-13 academic year, after the current rights deal expires and new conference members Colorado and Utah are fully integrated into the structure of the Pac-12 (the conference is still the Pac-10, but will begin being called the Pac-12 in July).

Sawhney: Explaining the bowl finances

The quantity of “unsold” tickets also includes the tickets that a school kept for its own use. Under current BCS bowl contracts, schools do not get any free tickets; they must pay for every single one that is not sold to a buyer, including the ones they choose not to sell. In Oregon’s case, I am fairly confident that the 1,761 unsold tickets were kept by the school for its own uses, such as the marching band, prominent administrators and alumni and family members of the players (to name a few). Unfortunately for Oregon, it had to pay for the privilege of using these seats, and it ultimately cost it a chance to make a profit on playing in the national title game.

Bring the spring game back to Stanford Stadium!

Yet despite the great experience I had in San Francisco, I still think the game should be moved back to Stanford Stadium next season and for the foreseeable future. If the end goal of having a spring game is to promote interest in Stanford football and get fans excited about the coming season, putting the game on campus is a much better way to achieve those goals.

Football: Shaw showcases 2011 talent

The Stanford football team finished its final spring practice last Saturday with the annual Cardinal and White spring game, held at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco for the second straight year. In a fully live game with 12-minute quarters, the Cardinal team cruised to an easy victory over the White team, 42-3.

StanfordHub connects ASSU candidates to voters

ASSU elections season is usually marked by a flurry of campaign events, designed to help candidates for all elected offices meet and connect with students across campus. However, a new website,, is helping Executive and Class President slates do that online. Students log into the website to put questions to individual slates using their Facebook accounts, and candidates respond directly to their concerns.

Sawhney: Capital One Cup and Directors’ Cup both have their faults

So it appears that the Capital One Cup has completed at least one of its stated missions: prevent Stanford from winning every year by splitting up men’s and women’s sports and creating a tier system to award more points to sports on the basis of “popularity” (i.e. ones arbitrarily chosen by the Cup’s organizers). The other goal—to award schools for being good at football and basketball—seems to be working fairly well, as the two teams atop the men’s standings are Auburn and Connecticut.

Exec Slate Profile: Seldon/Vasquez

Despite a lack of significant ASSU experience, the Executive slate of Tenzin Seldon ’12 and Joe Vasquez ’11 believe that their extensive work with numerous communities around campus makes them ideally suited to become ASSU Executives.

Sawhney: Shut up Geno Auriemma and go coach men’s basketball

For starters, let’s be realistic: the women’s game will not approach the same level of fan passion and interest as the men’s game any time soon, especially when March Madness rolls around. I’m not trying to be sexist or claiming that men’s basketball is somehow intrinsically better than women’s basketball. Auriemma should either quit whining or go where the fans are and coach a men’s team.

Football: Getting in gear

With the scent of oranges from January fading away, the Stanford football team wrapped up its first session of spring practices on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinal completed seven practices between Feb. 21 and March 5. Three of those sessions were open

Elections Commissions completes petition verifications

ASSU Elections Commissioner Stephen Trusheim ‘13 released the results of the petitioning process, which closed last Friday at 4 p.m., in an e-mail to current ASSU officials, candidates and special fees group officers on Tuesday afternoon. All executive slates, senior and sophomore class president slates and Undergraduate Senate candidates received enough verified signatures to appear on April’s ballot.

Several special fees groups fall short on online petitions

Nine of the 16 Special Fees groups required to petition for at least a 10 percent increase in funding from last year fell short of the 695 signatures required to appear on the ballot in April, according to the web site of the ASSU Elections Commission. The final deadline to gather signatures was today at 4 p.m.
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