about the author

Justin Weiss is the senior sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or doing both at the same time. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald.


‘I thought it was impossible:’ Maddie Norton makes leap from UB to NWHL
Growing up, Maddie Norton spent her days playing street hockey. But she didn’t play ice hockey competitively until the seventh grade. And she didn’t think she had a chance of playing professionally until her senior year of college, when she was starring for UB’s ACHA Division-II women’s club hockey team.
Recruiting roundup: COVID-19 and the NCAA ‘dead period’
COVID-19 has disrupted some of UB Athletics’ normal operations but it hasn’t prevented the school’s coaches from recruiting, within the confines of the NCAA mandated “dead period,” of course. The program’s 16 head coaches have been busy communicating with student-athletes via phone, email and social media. Some teams have filled out their 2020 classes; others still need to add one or two pieces.
Sports mailbag: NFL Draft, COVID-19, quarterbacks
Last weekend, the NFL Draft gave us a much-needed break from COVID-19. But after tasting live sports for the first time in over a month, our palate is even stronger for something — anything — to come out of the sports world. I don’t profess to know what comes next, but I do have the advantage of being around — metaphorically now — UB Athletics as a sports editor for The Spectrum. Here’s a brief look at the state of UB Athletics, and answers to some of your questions:
Meet Cheyenne McEvans, the academic athlete
Cheyenne McEvans was born into a basketball family. So it was hardly a surprise when McEvans asked her parents if she could pick up the sport at age five. It was all she knew at the time, bouncing around between the high school gym her mother coached at and family gatherings, where the only thing her cousins wanted to know was when they could go outside and shoot some hoops.
UB men’s basketball penalized for ethical conduct violation
The NCAA concluded Tuesday that a former UB men’s basketball assistant coach violated NCAA unethical conduct bylaws last year when he “fraudulently created and submitted documentation for an NCAA waiver” to UB’s Athletics Compliance Office, according to a press release from UB Athletics.
Bringing in the Bulls: Recruiting options for men’s basketball
On March 16, UB granted three-star men’s basketball recruit Josiah Freeman a release from his commitment. Freeman’s departure means that the Bulls have filled just 11 of their 13 scholarships prior to the late signing period, which opens Wednesday. UB has added just one recruit to its 2020 class so far: three-star Louisiana point guard Chanse Robinson.
‘It’s been a struggle:’ Coaches adapt to pandemic restrictions
Kristen Maines knew something was coming — she just didn’t know what it was. On March 12, the women’s tennis coach led her team in a scheduled practice at the Miller Tennis Center. But at the same time, leaders from the Mid-American Conference were discussing how COVID-19 would impact their ability to hold future competitions.
UB Athletics adapts to new economic reality
Over the past few months, COVID-19 has sent the global economy into a freefall. On Thursday, the virus found yet another economic victim: Division-I athletic programs. The NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously Thursday to distribute $225 million to Division-I member schools, a 62.5% decrease from the expected $600 million.
Athletic director talks COVID-19 disruptions
Athletic Director Mark Alnutt has led his program to new heights. And now, he’s tasked with guiding it through COVID-19 and the various financial, logistical and communicative hurdles that come along with it.
Draft dreams: Jayvon Graves mulls NBA future
Two weeks ago, Jayvon Graves walked into head coach Jim Whitesell’s office with a surprising announcement. He would be entering his name into the 2020 NBA Draft.