Oregon State WBB welcomes former Adidas marketing director to mentor students

Oregon State WBB welcomes former Adidas marketing director to mentor students

Being a women's basketball player at Oregon State University has gained another perk, and this one will have lifetime benefits.

Oregon State has partnered with branding expert Jeremy Darlow to help mentor students develop marketing plans while in school and beyond, head coach Scott Rueck announced Thursday. The goal is to guarantee success beyond basketball for all of his student-athletes. 

“I am excited to launch this exclusive partnership that will provide our athletes an incredible opportunity for personal development,” Rueck said. “Jeremy Darlow is one of the best branding minds in sports and having him work with our students in person, on campus, every week, gives each of our team members an unparalleled opportunity to learn from him, and to shape and build their personal brands. Our program is dedicated to helping our students grow on and off the court and prepare for life beyond Oregon State, and this partnership is another reflection of that vision.”

Darlow is a leading brand consultant, former director of marketing for Adidas Football and Baseball, marketing professor, and author of the best-selling books “Brands Win Championships,” a branding guidebook for college sports programs, and “Athletes Are Brands Too,” an athlete’s roadmap to building a stronger personal brand. Over his career, he has worked with and built marketing plans for some of the most heralded athletes such as Aaron Rodgers, Von Miller, Dak Prescott, Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Lionel Messi, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Now, he's taking his talents to Oregon State.

Both Barlow and head coach Scott Rueck joined Ron Callan on the Talkin' Beavers podcast this week to discuss the announcement.

“I graduated from Oregon State in 2003, and when I left one of my goals was to one day come back and help the university build its brand – both as a school and an athletic department,” Darlow said. “In a way, now I get to live out that dream. More importantly, now I get to help these individual student-athletes build their brands. I want every single player on this team to leave with their own marketing plan – a road map they can follow for the rest of their lives.”

Darlow plans to be on campus every week at his alma mater helping athletes develop and define their personal brands while in school, and learn skills that will help them beyond basketball. 

The Darlow Rules course teaches college athletes how to build personal brands that set them up for success in life, regardless of what happens in their athletic careers. By the end of the course, students will have built their own brand marketing plan, employing the same planning techniques used by Darlow over the course of his extensive career in sports marketing.

Current and former Beavers seemed hyped about the announcement.

Oregon State, Pac-12 prioritizing player safety above everything

Oregon State, Pac-12 prioritizing player safety above everything

Earlier this week the Pac-12 unanimously agreed to delay all fall athletics into 2021, including college football, canceling the fall all-conference college football season scheduled to begin on September 26. 

In wake of the conference's decision, Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes and head football coach Jonathan Smith held a press conference to take questions about the school's predicament due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan]

Barnes stated that the conference made the decision due to advice from an advisory medical group to call the fall athletic season earlier than some pundits may have wanted. How much thought went into the decision? "Enough information that was concerning enough to make that decision," according to Barnes. 

Additionally, the conference wanted to give the athletic directors clarity for when athletics can begin. That date? January 1, 2021 is the earliest a Pac-12 athletic competition can be played. 

If the pandemic appears to be in a better place by the end of 2020, then January 1 will be the absolute soonest the Beavers will be back on the field. If that's the case, Barnes and Smith stated that they would need six weeks of full-contact workouts ahead of their first game. Therefore, a fall camp could begin as soon as mid-November.

With the January 1 target in mind, Barnes said that while playing out all fall, winter and spring sports in a few months may be hard logistically, Oregon State wants to play when safe, including a delayed football season.

We have not canceled football. - Scott Barnes

Until then, Jonathan Smith and the Beavs will continue to better their craft. Smith stated that the majority of the team wanted to continue training and practicing, so the rest of this week will be as originally scheduled, with future weeks of training being changed due to the delayed schedule. 

As for how Oregon State has handled the virus? Smith had nothing but glowing things to say, even agreeing with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who said that he believes student-athletes are safer on campus with their precautions than they are in their hometowns. 

"I do [agree with Trevor Lawrence] and I think it's been proven over the past couple months that we've had them here. We've been so successful of avoiding any type of outbreak or for that matter positive test... It is really safe here and if you went across our roster comparing it to the areas they live in I [do] believe it is safer [on campus]."

Later in the conference call, Barnes and Smith were asked about if the Big 12 and SEC's decision to play a college football season "in any sort of shape or form," would look bad on the Pac-12 and negatively impact recruiting.

"You said 'in any sort of shape or form,' that's not what we're looking for," responded Barnes. "We're looking for the safety of our student-athletes. That is a primary concern so we stand by our decision and crippling through a season with any number of positives or worse is not what we're looking for."

"I think that would echo in our recruiting talks," added the Beavers head coach. "When we sit down with not just the players themselves but the families that we're always going to take the utmost caution and always be putting their health and wellness first and foremost and I think parents would be very comfortable sending their sons our way."

If the college football season does indeed begin in January, Barnes isn't sure fans will be in attendance. He stressed that the program will continue to follow health and safety guidelines given by health officials and prioritize the safety of the student-athlete above all else.  

Whether or not Beaver nation will get to see the new team in-person anytime soon remains unknown. Until then, we all eagerly await for the day Oregon State and the rest of the Pac-12 gets the go-ahead to compete on the field, safely. 

Sydney Wiese honors Breonna Taylor, others through Say Her Name movement

Sydney Wiese honors Breonna Taylor, others through Say Her Name movement

After overcoming the coronavirus this offseason, Los Angeles Sparks guard Sydney Wiese is tearing it up on the court. 

The former Oregon State standout and Sparks fourth-year guard poured 17 points on the New York Liberty on Tuesday night, helping LA improve to 6-3 in the WNBA Bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

Wiese, a career 3.6-points-per-game scorer, has been a sparkplug as of late for Los Angeles. She’s shooting 66.7% from the field and 3-point range in the past three games. 

But Wiese is on a mission to do more than win a championship this year, as she told Talkin’ Beavers host Ron Callan this week. She, like many of her WNBA counterparts, want justice for Breonna Taylor. 

Her name is on the back of our jerseys this whole season and her story, it’s still fresh… the theme has been arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor and we’re still waiting for action to be taken. It’s sort of mind-blowing to me that there still hasn’t been action. There hasn’t been any type of proceeding to lead to action. But we’re going to continue to say her name. I love what we’re doing because each week we learn a new story and we bring another name to light. – Sydney Wiese

This week, WNBA players will be wearing Michelle Cusseaux’s name on the back of their shirts, according to Wiese. Cusseaux was killed in August 2014 after police officers were sent to her apartment as part of a court-ordered mental-health pick up. 

According to police, she wouldn't open her door, so they had to force their way inside. Sergeant Percy Dupra said Cusseaux was holding a hammer above her head in a way he deemed threatening and ultimately shot her in self-defense.

Wiese and the WNBA are determined to keep the “Say Her Name,” campaign going and fighting for the justice of Black women like Taylor and Cusseaux. Hearing these women’s stories and talking to their family members were truly life-changing for Wiese. 

It hits really deep. It makes it very real. And we’re learning different stories each week and we want to make sure that we are using this time to shed light on their stories and continue to get as much justice as we can, even though we can’t get their lives back.” – Sydney Wiese

Listen to the full Talkin' Beavers Podcast here.

Mikayla Pivec turns a moment into a movement with Selfless Servings

Mikayla Pivec turns a moment into a movement with Selfless Servings

Mikayla Pivec may not be living in the Oregon State community anymore, but she’s letting the city of Corvallis know it’s still close to her heart. 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the former Beaver created a project to give back to the community and support Corvallis physicians, caregivers and other healthcare workers on the frontlines.  

As Pivec told Talkin’ Beavers host Ron Callan, the group, dubbed Selfless Servings, was created by Pivec, Amanda Tran and Siew Sun with a mission of reducing physician burnout by providing meals to the healthcare workforce. 

The 5-foot-11 guard and all-time program leader in career rebounds (1,030) says Selfless Servings’ goal is to “bring in donations first in the community and then use those donations to 1, feed healthcare teams, and 2, help small businesses who are struggling to retain some revenue.”

Selfless Servings had an initial goal of raising $10,000, which they have since surpassed, thanks to a recent donation. 

“The community has been super generous,” Pivec said. “We just got an official $5,000 donation from the Clark Foundation, which is awesome and we’re super happy about that… so we’re excited to continue providing meals and continue supporting local healthcare workers and healthcare teams.” 

It’s positive to see Pivec using her platform to help the Corvallis community during challenging times. 

The No. 25 overall pick in the WNBA Draft recently chose to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season when the league’s return to play was still up in the air. She has since signed with CD Promete overseas in Spain. 

Listen to the full Talkin' Beavers Podcast here.



CB Jaylen Martin commits to the Oregon State Beavers

CB Jaylen Martin commits to the Oregon State Beavers

The dam continues to get stronger.

Unrated Florida 5A All-State cornerback Jaylen Martin has committed to Oregon State as announced via his Twitter Friday morning.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play this sport and receive these blessings,” wrote Martin. “Also, I’d like to thank my coaches and people who helped me along the way throughout this process. I want to thank my family and friends for supporting me. With that being said, I will be COMMITTING TO OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY!!!”

The 6'1," 163-pound prospect held offers from Washington State, UCF, Iowa State, Kansas, and more. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan] 

Martin is the ninth commitment for Oregon State in the 2021 class that will be smaller than most class sizes due to a lack of graduating seniors last season. 

[RELATED]: Meet the 2021 Oregon State Beavers recruiting class so far

The Beavers have the No. 12 composite recruiting class in the Pac-12, No. 94 nationally, but if you rank it by average recruit the Beavs rank No. 9 in the Pac-12. 

You can watch his junior season highlights here.

Why former Oregon State guard Mikayla Pivec opted out of 2020 WNBA season

Why former Oregon State guard Mikayla Pivec opted out of 2020 WNBA season

Mikayla Pivec’s legacy at Oregon State will be talked about for years to come.

The 5-foot-11 guard and all-time program leader in career rebounds (1,030) was a spectacular leader both on and off the court throughout her four-year campaign in Corvallis, Oregon.

It’s why the Atlanta Dream couldn’t pass her up with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft.

Five weeks after the selection, Pivec decided to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season, which was still up-in-the-air at that time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dream PR stated her absence was due to personal reasons.

Pivec joined host Ron Callan on the latest episode of the Talkin’ Beavers Podcast to discuss the decision further.

The best decision for me and my basketball future was to opt out this season. Still love the Dream organization and have the opportunity to stay in training camp next year, so excited for the opportunity when the time comes. — Mikayla Pivec

Instead of joining the Dream down in the ‘Wubble’ as the WNBA season has restarted at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, Pivec has signed overseas with CD Promete in Spain. 

The Promete Sports Club is a Fundación Promete project consisting in the design of an educational environment in a defined and specific environment, such as a sports club considered as an ecosystem, with the aim of investigating and experimenting with the operational implementation of the principles of the new paradigm.

César Aneas, coach of the LF Endesa Promete Campus, has also had an impact on how complete Pivec is. "She is a very talented player who dominates many facets of the game, very capable of scoring, but also of generating and assisting," 

No surprise that coaches take note of how versatile Pivec is and something that her former collegiate head coach Scott Rueck loved about her too:

For now, Pivec will take her talents overseas and Beavs fans will have to wait until 2021 to see Pivec sport the Dream attire in the WNBA.

Listen to the full Talkin’ Beavers Podcast here.

Oregon State football, JUCO DE Alex Lemon elect to part ways

Oregon State football, JUCO DE Alex Lemon elect to part ways

With Oregon State heading into head coach Jonathan Smith’s third year leading the program, recruiting has seen an upside. However, on Monday, it took a big hit.

Alex Lemon, the nation’s No. 2 JUCO SDE (strong-side defensive end), according to 247Sports’ Class of 2021, and the Beavers have agreed to mutually part ways.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive end from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, chose Oregon State over offers from Auburn, Florida, LSU and Oklahoma amongst others. 

He committed to Oregon State on June 23, 2019.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guests Oregon State men’s basketball guards Gianni Hunt & Jarod Lucas].

According to Andrew Nemec of the Oregonian, Lemon had some academic trouble that was unlikely to qualify him during the 2019-2020 school year. At the time, Lemon also stated personal situations and family matters kept him from joining the team in 2019. 

“I still plan on signing with Oregon State - it’s possible. But because of some personal situations with my family I won’t be graduating until next winter,” said Lemon.

The Beavs return one of the best linebacker groups in the Pac-12 conference, led by Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Avery Roberts and Omar Speights. The secondary will take a huge step forward as well with the addition of Laney College JUCO transfer Rejzohn Wright, the brother of Nahshon Wright.

Lemon would have been a big addition to the defensive line, which returns junior Isaac Hodgins and redshirt senior Jordan Whittle that ranked No. 10 in 2019 in rushing yards allowed per game (169.5).

The line also may welcome redshirt freshman and Auburn transfer Charles Moore who joined Oregon State in November. However, the nation's No. 6 DE in the 2020 recruiting class again entered the transfer portal in April, but he remains on the Beavers spring football roster. It's unclear, but unlikely, he'll be joining Oregon State this fall. 

Beavers Jaydon Grant says Pac-12 is 'rushing football back [for] money'

Beavers Jaydon Grant says Pac-12 is 'rushing football back [for] money'

Hundreds of Pac-12 college football players demanded their voices be heard Sunday morning when they released an open letter to their conference via the Player's Tribune titled "#WeAreUnited."

Inside, they made demands including the ability to receive payments, safety during the coronavirus pandemic, and greater racial justice policies. If the conference decides to not comply, they threatened to sit out the 2020 college football season which the Pac-12 has slated to begin on September 26 during a pandemic.

Among the initial 12 players to organize the movement was Oregon State cornerback Jaydon Grant, who also tweeted his stance on the issue.

The redshirt junior told The Athletic  that "the only reason [the conference is] rushing football back is the money." 

“We saw this as a social justice issue. Because, when you look at how much they need us, the only reason they’re rushing football back is the money. I mean, it’s inevitable. And when you’re talking about risking our health and safety in a time of such uncertainty during a pandemic — and then we’re not receiving the same benefits from having the season that the ones forcing the season to go on have — then you really start to realize how much we’re being exploited collectively as college athletes.”

In the open letter, the players are demanding 50% of each sport's total revenue be evenly distributed among the athletes in that sport and "the freedom to secure representation, receive basic necessities from any third party, and earn money for use of our name, image, and likeness rights."

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State men’s basketball guards Gianni Hunt and Jarod Lucas].

This isn't the first time Grant has stood up for what he believed in this summer. 

In July, he helped organize a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in West Linn where he played high school football.

Then, along with other Beaver student-athletes, he launched a new platform at Oregon State called Dam Change, which brings awareness to issues of systemic racism in today's society.

"Dam Change is important here at Oregon State to unify the institution and community in the fight against racism and inequality," Grant said in a release. "We believe Dam Change will serve to ensure that all student-athletes have a pleasant experience at Oregon State regardless of the color of their skin."

Now, he's among the movement asking for the Pac-12 to help fight racial injustices in the community.

They want to use the platform of college athletics to benefit Black students by forming a permanent civic-engagement task force comprised of players from each school, experts of their choice, and university/conference administrators to address outstanding issues such as racial injustice in college sports and in society.

Also, they demand that 2% of all conference revenue be funneled to a fund directed by players to "support financial aid for low-income Black students, community initiatives, and development programs for college athletes on each campus."

Last, the players want to form an annual "Pac-12 Black College Athlete Summit with guaranteed representation of at least three athletes of [their] choice from every school."

Despite Grant's leadership among the Pac-12 players making these demands, he tweeted that this isn't about the coaching staff at Oregon State. He actually gave credit to Jonathan Smith and his staff for doing "a tremendous job throughout this entire pandemic in creating the safest possible work environment." 

On June 15, Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Dr. Doug Aukerman held a press conference via Zoom for media members to ask questions about the school's protocol surrounding the coronavirus ahead of voluntary workouts beginning that week.

[RELATED]: Oregon State football to begin testing, voluntary workouts this week

Athletes began workouts in the brand-new, 20,000 square foot facilities in groups of ten. Two groups could workout at the same time but in different sections of the facilities and all of the athlete's workouts must be confined to their specific section. All strength and conditioning staff will wear masks and gloves while in the facilities. When a group completes its workout, then the area will be cleaned before the next group of student-athletes uses the facilities. 

Each athlete needed to pass a temperature test before entering the facilities and masks are required to be worn by all student-athletes and staff members while on Oregon State's campus.

When asked about if anyone had considered not returning to campus, Barnes said he couldn't recall anyone deciding to stay home rather than come back to Oregon State. 

Two weeks later, the athletic department reported that one athlete tested positive but declined to specify what sport the student-athlete played. 

[RELATED]: Oregon State reports a positive test for COVID-19 among athletes

But, Oregon State obviously has been doing its best to put the safety of the student-athlete at the top of the priority list. 

On Friday, the Pac-12 unveiled a new, ten-game, conference only schedule for each team that will begin on September 26. 

[RELATED]: Oregon State Beavers release new 2020 college football schedule

Will it get played? We'll see.

Oregon State Beavers release new 2020 college football schedule

Oregon State Beavers release new 2020 college football schedule

Less than a month after announcing a move to a conference only schedule for the 2020 College Football Season, the Pac-12 has released the 10 game slate for the Oregon State Beavers this fall. 

The Beavers are slated to play five games at Reser Stadium, and five away, with the opener scheduled for Sept. 26 at home vs. California.

The Beavers and Bears last met on Nov. 19 when Oregon State held onto a 14-point lead to beat California 21-17. 

The conference opponents from Oregon State's original schedule carry over to the revised slate. The only additional add for Beavers is Colorado, whom they last faced in 2018.

We also know that the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry game, previously known as the Civil War, will take place on October 17. 

Going into 2020, the Beavers expect to make a bowl game for the first time since 2013.

Let’s take a preview of each game of the revised schedule for the Beavers:

Week 1 (9/26) — Cal Bears

The Beavers defeated Cal 21-17 last season in Berkeley but the Golden Bears were without starting quarterback Chase Garbers who went undefeated in seven games that he started and finished. Head coach Justin Wilcox always has defensively sound units that will test Jonathan Smith's offense. 

Week 2 (10/3)— UCLA

Chip Kelly returns to Corvallis for the first time since 2012 as the Bruins' head coach. Despite getting the victory over UCLA last season in Los Angeles, Beaver fans are anxious to get a victory over Kelly in Reser Stadium. Kelly's sophomore season at UCLA was an up-and-down 4-8 season, and he needs to turn it around to stay off the hot seat in Los Angeles. The Bruins have also had seven players enter the transfer portal. 

Week 3 (10/10) @ Utah

The Beavers will get to truly test their progress when they travel to play Utah: a team that destroyed them 52-7 last season in Corvallis. The Pac-12 South champion Utes physically dominated the Beavers in all facets of the game, and this game will test whether Oregon State's strength and conditioning program is paying off. The Beavers have not defeated the Utes since 2013.  

Week 4 (10/17) — Oregon

The Beavers defeated the Ducks in 2016 in what would be Mark Helfrich's last game as Ducks head coach, but since then Oregon has dominated. However, last season, the Beavers had the ball with two minutes remaining down just seven points with backup quarterback Tristan Gebbia. Gebbia should have multiple starts under his belt when the Beavs host Oregon.

Week 5 (10/24)— @ Washington

Oregon State will get their first look at head coach Jimmy Lake and the new-look Washington Huskies up in Seattle. The Huskies have replaced their starting quarterback, running back, three offensive linemen and offensive coordinator. If the Beavers win, they'll end an eight-game losing streak to Washington and win in Seattle for the first time since 2008. Last season, the Beavers offense got shut-out and they'll need a better performance to leave Husky Stadium victorious.

Week 6 (10/31)— BYE

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

Week 7 (11/7)— Arizona

Head Coach Kevin Sumlin and the Wildcats will travel to Corvallis looking for revenge from a 56-38 defeat in Tucson last season. This could be a make-it-or-break-it season for Sumlin, who has underperformed as Wildcats head coach despite inheriting Khalil Tate. 

Week 8 (11/14)— @ Stanford

Expect the Cardinal to look different than last season as 14 players have entered the transfer portal, including starting quarterback KJ Costello. David Shaw always had Stanford as a threat to win the conference but last season was a rare misstep finishing 4-8. If the Beavers can win this game, they'll snap a 10-game losing streak to the Cardinal and win for the first time at The Farm since 2006.

Week 9 (11/21)— Washington State

The Beavers will look to avenge their 54-53 loss that left them a yard away from their first bowl game since 2013. Additionally, Oregon State is on a six-game losing streak to the Cougars. However, following Mike Leach's departure to Mississippi State, the Cougars will be transitioning to the run-and-shoot offense ran by new head coach Nick Rolovich. His last stop, Hawai'i, defeated the Beavers last season. 

Week 10 (11/28)— @ Colorado

The last time the Beavers played Colorado was back in 2018 where the Beavers won 41-34 in OT. Former Colorado Head coach Mel Tucker left to take the same position at Michigan State, so the Beavs will take on new head coach Karl Dorrell.

Week 11 (12/5)— @ Arizona State

Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards has his team trending in the right direction. Arizona State just signed seven of the top 30 recruits in California, more than the entire Pac-12 South combined. Given that three top-rated California recruits last season started for the Sun Devils, expect some of this newly-ingested talent to make an impact immediately. Among the returning starters is sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels, who impressed as a freshman, especially in their upset win over Oregon. Daniels finished his freshman season with 2,943 yards and 17 touchdowns with just two interceptions.

The Pac-12 Football Championship Game will be a home-hosted game to be held on either Dec. 18 or 19. The plan is for the championship game to be played in Las Vegas starting 2021.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State men’s basketball guards Gianni Hunt and Jarod Lucas].

Former Beaver Nick Madrigal gets called up by White Sox for MLB debut

Former Beaver Nick Madrigal gets called up by White Sox for MLB debut

Another Oregon State Beaver is getting his shot at the majors.

The White Sox have officially called up second baseman Nick Madrigal, according to Jeff Passan on ESPN.com.

The move was made prior to the series at Kanas City. The White Sox purchased Madrigals’ contract from the Schaumburg training facility and designated right-handed pitcher Kelvin Herrera for assignment.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State men’s basketball guards Gianni Hunt and Jarod Lucas].

Madrigal, 23, entered the season rated by MLB.com and Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in the White Sox organization. He also is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 2 second-base and No. 40 overall prospect in baseball, and by Baseball America as the Best Hitter for Average and Best Defensive Infielder in the Sox system.

During his two seasons in the Sox minor-league system, Madrigal is a career .309 (194-628) hitter with 34 doubles, five triples, four home runs, 71 RBI, 51 walks, 43 stolen bases and just 21 strikeouts in 163 games.

Madrigal will not have a chance to accrue a full season of MLB service. He will, however, be on track to ultimately qualify for arbitration after the 2022 season as a Super Two player.

We Will see if Madrigal's success in the minors can translate to the majors.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State men’s basketball guards Gianni Hunt and Jarod Lucas].