Monday, March 31, 2014

Boulder to Carolina to Prison: The Rocky Path for Rae Carruth

Few stories of criminal activity can compare to the gruesome story of former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth. In November of 1999, Carruth, a wide receiver in his third season with Carolina, was charged with the premeditated, drive-by shooting of his then-pregnant girlfriend Cherica Adams.

Sidelined by an injury a month earlier and nearing the end of his impressive first-round contract from 1997, a frantic Carruth was reportedly becoming increasingly concerned with the potential of financially supporting another child, with which Adams was almost seven months pregnant. The mother of his first son, a child he never saw, was drawing $5,500 each month from his NFL earnings via a positive paternity suit.

After a short time spent on the run from police, Carruth was arrested and stood trial in 2000. Judge Charles Lamm presided over the case in which 7 men and 5 women found the ex-NFLer guilty. Carruth was charged with  conspiracy to murder and attempted murder, among other charges, with a prison sentence no shorter than 18 years and 11 months.
Photo courtesy of

Atypical of professional football players who have previously been mentioned in this series, Carruth was said to have “thrived” during his time at the University of Colorado. He was active as a young professional athlete, volunteering and becoming involved with youth organizations. Selected no. 27 overall by general manager Bill Polian, the young draftee gave little indication of potential legal issues.

 “We had no inkling there was anything like this in his future. We did pretty extensive research on him. It was pretty shocking,” said Polian. Carruth is said to have refrained from attending parties, smoking, or drinking while in college. He kept to himself within the Panthers’ locker room.

Cherica Adams died a month after she was shot due to complications. Today, Rae Carruth sits in the medium-security institution located in Lillington, N.C. His son, Chancellor, is now a teenager and living with the effects of cerebral palsy, caused by a deprivation of oxygen resulting from one of the gunshots.

Gruesome may paint the picture, but tragic sums up the story.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Twitter’s Advertising Potential for TV

Twitter has taken over as the go to social media platform of choice. With over 288 million active users, it is easy to see why. We tweet everything we see, including the television we watch.
But how closely related is a TV audience with twitter?  In a study done by Amanda Kondolojy titled “FOX, Twitter and the Advertising Research Foundation Release Study Examining the Value of Earned TV Twitter Audience,” she breaks down some trends and relationships that can be seen directly between twitter and the active TV audience.
The study showed that TV show viewers exposed to brand tweets are more likely to pay attention to the brand’s on-air advertising. The TV related tweet is likely to catch the attention of the viewer and cause them to tune in or resume watching a TV show or series that they may have lost interest in before the tweet.
Tweets that mention well known brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, and other sporting goods also create a lot of action, as 54% of users then go to look up that product or service that was just mentioned via tweet.
The actors themselves can see the twitter effect from TV as 46% of twitter users admit to following a TV show’s account or the actors themselves if the actors have active twitter accounts. This is also true for sports teams and the athletes that play on them.
Via Lauren Fraser
“Active twitter TV viewers tweet at all hours of the day, while the majority (72%) of TV tweeters do so when they watch the live broadcast, 60% also said they tweet about TV shows when they are NOT watching them, and 58% tweet about TV shows while they watch on time-shifted platforms like On-Demand, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon.” as shown in the study by Kondolojy.  Networks like ESPN use this potential to interact with the user. Hashtags such as #SCTop10 are very common on the show and help the average person vote or nominate a top play for the day. This is also true when ESPN has breaking stories that have related hashtags such as the UNC Academic Scandal that carried the hashtag #UNCwhistleblower. The biggest sporting event in the world, the SuperBowl had an astounding amount of activity on twitter as 24.9 million tweets about the game were sent during the telecast.

Post-Operative Accelerated Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair Rehabilitation Protocols (Weeks 1-4)

Heel Slides3
Russian E-Stim4
An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture is one of the more common injuries for female sports that involve jumping. The ACL, once ruptured should be surgically repaired, if the athlete plans on being extremely active to increase stability.1 Surgical repair involves using either a cadaver graft or a portion of the hamstring, which is held in place by anchors.2 Immediately after surgery, the Post-operative (post-op) phase is one of the most important times of recovery. During the first two days of post-op, the athlete should work on decreasing swelling and pain with ice and regaining their extension capabilities, via passive knee extension exercises like prone hangs or gravity hangs.1 The athlete should work on hip range of motion (ROM) such as straight leg rises. Quadriceps (quad) sets, which are controlled contractions of the quad while the knee is in extension and Russian electrical stimulation (e-stim) can be used to reeducate the quadriceps muscle group. Russian step should focus more on the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscle. The athlete should also work on patellar mobilizations within the first week of post-op. Soft tissue treatment should be done to assist in ROM and to release capsular tightness.2 
Patellar Mobs4
During the second week of post-op rehabilitation, the athlete should work on active ROM for the knee, such as heel slides.2 Heel slides will improve the athlete's knee flexion. For weeks 3 and 4, the athlete should work on strengthening their quad and increasing their ROM.2 The stationary bike can be used to conduct closed kinetic chain exercises during the following weeks.2 At the end of the fourth week, the athlete should have knee flexion of 0-110°.2 For the duration of post-op rehabilitation, some pain is expected, but swelling and increases in temperature should not occur.  This would indicate anti-inflammatory response. .2

1Staerf, D. A., Pastides, P. S., Sarraf, K. M., & Willis-Owen, C. A. (2014). Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction best practices: A review of graft choice. World Journal of Orthopedics, 5(1), 23-29.
2Houglum, P. (2010). Therapeutic exercise for musculoskeletal injuries. (3 ed., pp. 623-625). Greensboro: Human Kinetics.


FITNESSGRAM: Encouraging Records Not Slackers

It is spring time in Texas, which means that it is testing season for public school children. FITNESSGRAM is one of the many tests that children will have to complete before they can enjoy their summer vacations. The FITNESSGRAM really holds no true value to students other than a brief moment of bragging rights if mastered. It is still highly thought of by many fitness experts. The authors of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport stated, “Many experts consider the FITNESSGRAM battery to be the most psychometrically sound assessment of fitness available for field-based testing in youth.”1 However, often times kids do not participate to their full potential particularly at the high school level. How can this attitude be changed?

One way to change this is by making the students accountable for their results. Kids should receive an actual grade, or reward of some kind for these tests. Otherwise, students will not see the true importance of trying in the first place. A student being in the Healthy Fitness Zone should mean more than just being added to a statistic. Especially since the Healthy Fitness Zone is for meeting the minimum anyway. “If the student meets the minimum standard, she is said to meet the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ).”2 Instead of meeting the minimum, shouldn’t the students be encouraged to meet a higher standard? As a teacher, encourage your students to go above and beyond and to set a new record for his or her grade. Try keeping a "Wall of Fame" and give your students something to shoot for.

Tune in next week as I discuss some great games to consider for PE class this Spring.  

1 Morrow Jr., J. R., Martin, S. B. & Jackson, A. W. (2010). Reliability and validity of the FITNESSGRAM®, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 81:sup3, S24-S30. Retrieved from

2 Van, D., Kelder, S. H., Kohl III, H. W., Ranjit, N., & Perry, C. L. (2011). Associations of physical fitness and academic performance among schoolchildren. Journal of School Health, 81(12), 733-740. Retrieved from 

Tabata Protocol: High Intensity Interval Training

Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training that is becoming more popular. It is mentioned in fitness magazines and is popular in gyms, sometimes as a part of cross-fit style workouts. It also can be used as a part of home exercise routines. The benefit of this type of exercise is that an intense workout can be completed in a short amount of time. 

Due to the popularity of this exercise, the American Council of Exercise (ACE) funded a research study (2013)1 conducted by Talisa Emberts, John Pocari, Jeffery Steffen, Scott Doberstein, and Carl Foster (2013) to test the effectiveness of Tabata. Emberts et. al explain that Tabata was designed for the Japanese Olympic speed skating team and was developed by head coach Irisawa Koichi. An individual by the name of Izumi Tabata was responsible for testing the workout resulting in the term “Tabata Protocol”2.  Tabata is eight rounds of 20 seconds of intense work (originally on a cycling ergometer) each followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of a four-minute workout. This protocol developed and tested in a study (1996)2 found that Tabata can be an effective exercise to improve cardiovascular fitness.

Emberts et al. (2013) used the Tabata protocol to create a 20-minute, full-body calisthenics workout. The study by Emberts et. al demonstrated that “during a Tabata workout, subjects averaged 86% of HRmax (range of 84–88%) and 74% of VO2max (range of 67–81%)—both of which meet or exceed established industry guidelines for improving cardio fitness and modifying body composition”. Participants in a study done by Michele Olsen burned 13.4 kcals per minute and their metabolic rate doubled during the workout.  These results were presented in 2013 at the 60th annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine and the fourth annual World Conference on Exercise. Ryan Halvorson from IDEA Fitness explains Olson’s research and includes tips for performing Tabata from Olson in the September 2013 IDEA fitness journal3. Some of the tips include using exercises that involve large muscle groups such as bodyweight squats or a stationary bike.

Tabata is high intensity and usually perceived as being difficult. It can be a great exercise for athletes and fit individuals, especially those who may not have much time for working out. Less fit individuals can still follow the protocol using appropriate modifications.

Emberts, T., Pocari, J., Steffen, J. P., Doberstein, S., & Foster, C. (2013). Is Tabata all it's cracked up to be?. ACE Pro Source, Retrieved from

2Tabata, I., Nishimura, K., Kouzaki, M., Hirai, Y., Ogita, F., Miyachi, M., & Yamamoto, K. (1996). Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 28(10), 1327-1330.

3Halvorson, R. (2013). Tabata training proves effective. IDEA Fitness Journal, 10(9), Retrieved from