Sports


SPORTS 6/7/24 3:12pm

Sports information directors see Elon athletic department as opportunity for new graduates

Ashlee Brackett ’23 grew up around college sports at a young age with her dad being a Division III softball coach. She said she hoped to be involved with college sports in some way after graduating college. Fortunately, Elon University offers many outlets for their alumni to stay involved, she said. When it comes to sports, the school’s athletic department is one particular place where former students can remain employed for the school’s athletic teams. It is a “well-oiled machine” as described by Assistant Director of Athletic Communications for baseball Gray Aust '22.


SPORTS 6/3/24 12:48pm

Elon athletics feels impact of historic $2.8 billion NCAA settlement

The NCAA and the Power Five conferences have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit by former college athletes. The NCAA and its conferences within Division I will pay $2.8 billion in damages over 10 years to both former and current athletes. They also agreed to a revenue-sharing plan, which allows each Power Five school to share up to roughly $20 million per year with its athletes. This means schools can pay athletes directly for the first time in the NCAA’s 120-year history. The settlement will impact Elon athletics significantly by creating strains on their budget and recruitment opportunities.


SPORTS 4/28/24 2:37pm

Game, set, match: Elon University men’s tennis coach retires after 20 years, leaves behind lasting legacy

Elon University Men’s Tennis Coach Michael Leonard will retire after 20 years of coaching at Elon following the 2024 season. Leonard is the winningest coach in Elon men's tennis history with a record of 295-173 over his 20-year career. He is a seven-time conference Coach of the Year and led Elon to six regular season championships. With a win on April 20 in the semifinals of the 2024 CAA Men’s Tennis Championship, Leonard reached the significant milestone of 300 career wins. Under Leonard's mentorship, the program had 74 all-conference selections, six conference Players of the Year and six conference Rookies of the Year.


SPORTS 4/17/24 3:16am

Elon HealthEU programming supports student-athletes’ mental health

Redshirt freshman Lawson Wheeler is one of two players representing Elon University’s baseball team on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.The advisory committee meets with HealthEU once a month to go over topics such as wellbeing events, Wheeler said. “I think with what they’ve done so far, it’s pretty cool to see how they’re kind of promoting wellbeing for everyone on campus, and for our group,” Wheeler said.


SPORTS 4/12/24 9:42am

City of Burlington serves up new Pickleball facilities

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports nationwide, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, and it's hitting Burlington.The Burlington City Council responded to trends with construction for a new 17-court complex at City Park with a shaded Championship court and ADA compliant courts, as well as six permanent pickleball courts at Fairchild Park. Pickleball has gained media attention nationwide and had a membership increase of 15% over 2023 with the target age range being between 18 and 34 years old. Elon itself formed a club team in fall 2023 that now has nearly 150 members.


SPORTS 4/10/24 8:51pm

Elon University men’s basketball star transfers to University of Portland

Elon University men’s basketball star player sophomore Max Mackinnon announced that he is transferring to the University of Portland in an Instagram post on April 9. After entering the transfer portal in March, Mackinnon found a new home in the Pilots’ basketball squad — who finished this season with a record of 12-21. Mackinnon will be leaving a Phoenix squad that finished the season with a slightly better record of 13-21. Elon will now look to the team’s leader in points per game last year, sophomore TK Simpkins, to spearhead the team’s efforts moving forward.


SPORTS 4/10/24 10:53am

Elon University Dance Team prepares for nationals

The Elon University Dance Team is making its way to compete in Nationals at the National Dance Alliance in Daytona, Florida. The team won first place in 2022 in the Hip Hop division, yet in 2023 placed second. The team hopes to rank at the top for the Hip Hop and Pom Divisions this year. All teams will compete in preliminary rounds of performances and the top 60% will move on to finals. The team will compete this week April 11 to 13 in Daytona, Florida, and the performances will be live-streamed on the Varsity website.


SPORTS 4/2/24 3:58pm

Elon University men’s basketball stars enter transfer portal

Elon University men’s basketball star players sophomores Max Mackinnon and LA Pratt have officially entered the transfer portal. Though this development does not guarantee that they will leave Elon, it grants a release so that other schools are allowed to contact them about playing for their team next season. If both Mackinnon and Pratt were to leave Elon, the Phoenix would be facing a big loss to their offense. In the 2023-24 season, Mackinnon was second-leading scorer with 12.1 points per game. Pratt was also an impactful presence on the floor with 6.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.


SPORTS 3/17/24 9:52pm

Photo gallery: Elon Baseball wins weekend series over Minnesota

The Elon University baseball team hosted the University of Minnesota team at Latham Park over the weekend on March 15, 16 and 17. Elon opened the series with a 2-1 win on March 15, followed by a 6-5 win on March 16. The series then wrapped up on March 17 with a 9-7 loss for the Phoenix. Elon’s Latham Park will host another game on March 19, with a game against East Carolina at 4 p.m.


SPORTS 3/14/24 7:51am

Freshman guard for Elon women’s basketball takes court by storm going into CAA tournament

Going into her first season for Elon University women’s basketball, freshman point guard Maraja Pass didn’t envision herself taking on a significant role for the team. In 29 games this season, Pass has started 19 of her last 23 games. Her 8.9 points and 4.2 rebounds are currently second best for Elon’s women’s basketball, while her 3.7 assists lead the team. Only four other players in the Coastal Atlantic Conference averaged more assists this season than Pass.  The team's first game of the CAA Tournament will be on March 14 at 12 p.m. against Campbell University at Entertainment & Sport Arena in Washington D.C.


SPORTS 3/13/24 10:58am

An analysis of Elon University's athletic budget

As a private institution, specifics about Elon University’s athletic budget aren’t public; However, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act — passed in 1994 — requires universities and colleges to make gender equity information about their athletic programs available. This is to give prospective students a chance to judge a school’s ability to have equitable opportunities for both its male and female student-athletes. As a result of this, it is possible to analyze Elon’s athletic budget from a broad perspective. According to Elon professor of sport management Alex Traugutt, Elon’s athletic budget is in a good place right now due to their spending and return on investment.


SPORTS 3/9/24 2:44pm

Elon University’s sport management LLC fosters lasting relationships

When Senior Max Casey applied to live in Elon’s sport management living learning community during his freshman year, he thought it would be a good way to meet like-minded individuals. He didn’t think much of the decision, and he didn’t expect to forge relationships that would define the rest of his time at Elon. Max lived in the LLC in 2020 when pandemic restrictions prevented his hall from participating in many of the LLC’s activities and opportunities. Despite this, Casey said he was grateful for the connections he was able to make through the LLC.


SPORTS 2/29/24 10:49pm

Elon University men’s basketball wins penultimate game

Elon University men’s basketball team with a balanced scoring attack beat William & Mary 76-71 on Feb. 29 in Schar Center. With a potent offense and tough defense down the stretch, Elon eventually prevailed over William & Mary despite trailing for the majority of the game. Winning their penultimate game of the season boosted their record to 13-17. Elon’s next game will be Senior Day at 1 p.m. on March 2 against Monmouth University at the Schar Center. It will be their final regular season contest before traveling to Washington D.C. where they will compete in the CAA Tournament starting March 8.


SPORTS 2/19/24 7:23am

Online sports betting comes to North Carolina in March

Starting in March, sports wagering in North Carolina will be undergoing a historic transformation. After being signed into law in June 2023 by Gov. Roy Cooper, House Bill 347 will be put into effect on March 11, and online sports betting will be legal for those 21 and older in the state for the first time ever. After almost 40 states legalized online sports betting, North Carolina has joined the rest of the country. Sport management professor David Bockino said he always expected for the state to eventually legalize sports betting.


SPORTS 2/15/24 10:57pm

Elon University men's basketball pulls off upset against Delaware

Elon University men's basketball team pulled off an incredible upset against the defending Coastal Athletic Association champions, defeating Delaware 73-67 on Feb. 15 at Schar Center. It was an upset no one saw coming with Elon missing star player graduate student Rob Higgins and coming off a brutal loss at Towson on Feb. 12.  The win was Elon’s first win against Delaware since 2019, and represents a turning point for the program. Elon will play next at University of North Carolina, Wilmington at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17 in Trask Coliseum.


SPORTS 2/12/24 12:21pm

Elon sports management professor sees diversity grow within industry

Khirey Walker has seen a lot of change within Elon University’s sport management department since coming back as a professor. The former Phoenix defensive lineman graduated from Elon in 2011 before returning in 2022 to teach sport management. One aspect that has particularly grown in the general field of sport management is the number of increasing opportunities for Black professionals. Walker said he’s starting to see more organizations apply a bigger emphasis on diversity. Even though Walker has recognized the current progress being made, he believes there are also additional ways to further expand the chances for Black people in that particular arena. 


SPORTS 2/8/24 11:05pm

Elon University men’s basketball poor shooting, rebounding proves fatal in loss to Stony Brook

The Elon University men’s basketball team couldn’t find much success shooting or rebounding in their 79-64 loss to Stony Brook at the Schar Center on Feb. 8. Elon couldn’t get it going from the jump. Sophomore Max Mackinnon’s turnover on the first possession of the game was a foreboding sign, it would seem. The Phoenix struggled from the field in the first half, going an abysmal 29% from the field. Early in the first half, Elon went on a five and a half minute scoring drought where they went 0-8 from the field — along with an air ball to add salt to the wound.


SPORTS 12/11/23 1:02am

Second half surge proves not enough in Elon University men’s basketball 82-73 loss to UNCG

After fifth-year guard Rob Higgins cut University of North Carolina Greensboro’s lead to three with 36 seconds to go, it looked like the Elon University men’s basketball team might overcome a 24-point deficit and pull off a miraculous comeback win. Yet, an errant pass by graduate student forward Zac Ervin with 33 seconds remaining all but ensured Elon’s loss, as the Phoenix went on to fall 82-73 to the Spartans Dec. 10 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The Phoenix now look to a home matchup scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 15 against Bridgewater College at Schar Center.


SPORTS 12/2/23 8:06pm

Big first half guides Wingate over Elon University women’s basketball

The Elon University women’s basketball team was defeated at home in a Saturday matchup against Wingate University. With an efficient first half, Wingate was able to build a big lead going into halftime, which would ultimately pave the way to a 72-53 victory and be Wingate’s sixth win of the season. Offensively, Elon started the game on a 6-0 run and although Wingate responded with a 7-0 run of their own, a three pointer by sophomore guard Regina Walton helped them reclaim the lead at 9-7. 


SPORTS 12/1/23 10:11am

Elon University men’s basketball dominates on historic night

The Elon University men’s basketball team made history and along the way defeated Warren Wilson 127-56. It was apparent from the tip-off that Division III opponent Warren Wilson was outmatched. Elon started the game 8-0 thanks to a hot six-point and four rebound start for junior Sam Sherry. Shortly after, Elon went on another 8-0 run. A few minutes later, the Phoenix went on a 7-0 run. It was scoring run after scoring run, Elon had a permanent hot hand. The Phoenix will next play at Radford at 2 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Dedmon Center. 



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