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Welcome to O. Henry Pun-Off Day!

The O. Henry Pun-Off is a yearly spoken word competition that takes place every May at the O. Henry Museum in Austin, Texas.

Started in 1978, the Pun-Off gathers fans of wordplay to celebrate the pun, which English poet and literary critic John Drydencalled "the lowest and most groveling kind of wit."[1] The event has been organized and run since 1990 by Austinite Gary Hallock. A support group of former and current contestants was formed in 1990 to formalize the unwritten rules of the competition(s) and provide guidance and support for future events. Under the umbrella title of "Punsters United Nearly Yearly" (a.k.a. PUNY) this collection of loosely knit wits continues to be the public face of the event through its website, Yahoo Group and Facebook page.

Participants in the annual event compete in one or both of the two areas of punning prowess: Punniest of Show, which features individuals performing a 90-second prepared piece filled with puns; and PunSlingers, which pits individual punsters in head-to-head bouts of spontaneous punning on a randomly selected variation of traditional topic themes.


SU News



Syracuse basketball announces non-conference game with familiar foe (PS; Carlson)

The Syracuse men's basketball team announced that it will play Cornell next season on Dec. 1, adding another game to the Orange's non-conference schedule.

The teams have played 123 times in their history. Only Colgate has played Syracuse more frequently than Cornell. Syracuse has won the past 38 games against the Big Red. The last time Cornell came within single-digits was 2005. Syracuse won last year's game 77-45.

Cornell could return its three leading scorers from last season, along with Jimmy Boeheim, the son of Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. The game will also likely include a meeting of brothers with Buddy Boeheim suiting up for Syracuse as a freshman next year.

The Big Red's leading scorer from last season, Matt Morgan, has entered his name in the NBA Draft but has not hired an agent. He has led the Ivy League in scoring in each of the last three seasons, including an average of 22.5 points last season.

Cornell went 12-16 last season and 6-8 in the Ivy League.

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More Madness: ACC to propose 72-team field (espn; Adelson)

The ACC plans to propose legislation to expand the NCAA tournament field from 68 to 72 teams, commissioner John Swofford said at the conclusion of the league's spring meetings in Amelia Island, Florida.

Swofford said the men's basketball coaches endorsed the proposal, citing more postseason opportunities for football teams compared to basketball teams.

"The idea of having two First Fours, if you will, maybe geographic," Swofford told reporters in Florida, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. "That's such a quick turnaround. You could have one maybe in Dayton and one in the western part of the states. But we will be proposing that."

Miami coach Jim Larranaga told ESPN that expanding the tournament field would be good for several reasons, including "unreasonable" travel for West Coast teams to Dayton, Ohio.

"There are always bubble teams that could have and should have been invited that could go on a big run that don't get invited," Larranaga said. "... Sixty-eight of 351 Division I teams make the field. That's 19 percent of the teams. Seventy-two teams would make it 20 percent. That is not a huge increase when you compare it to how many football teams make it to a bowl game."

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ACC officials face busy summer with looming deadlines for transfer rules, Rice commission (orlandosentinel.com; Murschel)

John Swofford had hoped for a quiet summer, but unfortunately for the commissioner of the ACC, that doesn’t appear to be in the forecast.

Two of the biggest issues facing college athletics this summer center around amending the NCAA’s transfer legislation and the fallout from the Condoleezza Rice-chaired Commission on Basketball report that called for widespread changes to the college basketball model.

The proposed changes include amending NBA eligibility rules to end the one-and-done era and the NCAA taking over the summer recruiting tournaments that played a big role in a sprawling FBI corruption investigation.

The transfer rules and Rice commission legislation face looming deadlines and have widespread implications for ACC schools.

“It’s a very eventful time in college athletics,” Swofford said Thursday following the completion of the league’s annual spring meetings. “People in college athletics are not going to have a nice relaxing summer some might have thought.

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How do Carrier Dome renovations compare to other schools' new or planned stadiums? (PS; Mink)

Syracuse University and its fans are shelling out more than $100 million to renovate the Carrier Dome over the next four years, a substantial financial commitment to a building that has badly fallen behind peer athletic venues.

The renovations announced earlier this week feature a permanent roof, a new videoboard and improved lighting, Wi-Fi and sound. The changes, scheduled to be completed by 2020, enable Syracuse football, the only major-college football team to play its home games in an indoor stadium, to feature unique pregame and halftime entertainment.

But they also fall short of a growing, financially beneficial trend in college sports -- the addition of premium seating that serves as a spigot of cash for athletic departments and further takes the financial burden off multi-million dollar facility upgrades and other department needs.

A review of recently completed or planned stadium renovations across the country shows premium seating, such as luxury suites, loge boxes and club seats, are as much a priority for athletic departments as any other new stadium upgrade.

It is one Syracuse has not mentioned in the first phase of its renovations, which will also include air conditioning, new restrooms and new concession stands by 2022.

University officials have indicated a desire to do more, which likely includes the enhancement and addition of premium seating and amenities, but with no timetable for a second round of renovations, it appears it will be at least five years before any headway is made.

"There is an appetite to continue to do more," Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack said, "and we have a menu that our teams work from, and it's all designed to enhance the fan experience."

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Other



House of the Week: Syracuse's former Oak Knitting Mill transforms into modern lofts (PS; Hernandez)


When Joe Gehm and his partner Tim Lynn toured Syracuse's vacant Oak Knitting Mill building at 102 W Division St., it was clear to them that the previous owner had taken care of the structure.

"The original brick and massive wood columns were stunning," said Gehm.

The look of the building combined with the continuing investment in Franklin Square made this an ideal project for them.

This building will be one of the stops on the Downtown Living Tour on Saturday, May 19.

Oak Knitting Mill was opened by businessmen Charles E. Crouse and Adolph G. Velasko. They opened the mill in February 1900 producing knit underwear for ladies. Reproductions of underwear ads and photos of the founders can be seen in the tenant lounge area.

The Oak Knitting Mill was a certified historic redevelopment project which entails precise design requirements from the State Historic Preservation Office.

Gehm and his partner worked hard to preserve many elements of the original structure like the exposed brick, hardware, and wooden beams. Bricks stamped with the name "Onondaga" can also be found in the structure.

The design team took care to leave signage from the factory painted onto the beams such as "Be Clean and Tidy In Your Department" untouched.

All apartments feature granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, tall ceilings, nine-foot tall windows, and a washer and dryer.
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