Byline: Lindsey Willhite Daily Herald Sports Writer
Rarely does a victory on the basketball court mean far more away from the floor.
But in a roundabout way, DePaul's Feb. 3 upset of then-No. 3 Cincinnati stands as the turning point that is ironing out a lingering problem the school's minority students have with members of the Chicago Police Department.
For more than 18 months, African-American students -including some basketball players - complained of unwarranted harassment from the department in tony Lincoln Park.
"There were concerns about the issues of being shadowed and being harassed," said Cindy Summers, DePaul's dean of students and associate vice-president for student affairs.
School officials began working with the local alderman and the police's district commander in September 1997 in an effort to eliminate the practice. According to Summers, they teamed up to initiate a CAPS (Community Alternative Policing Strategies) program on campus.
Nonetheless, 20 incidents of harassment were reported to DePaul's Student Affairs office between October 1998 and February 1999.
"We've had some successes," Summers said, "and we've had some setbacks."
Then came DePaul's shocking win over Cincinnati - and the on-campus party that carried into Sunday morning. Not long after midnight, an emergency call box was pulled outside Sanctuary Hall - the townhouse-like dorm one block north of Alumni Hall where most of the basketball team lives.
"There were a ton of students outside partying, at least 50 people outside the townhouses," said DePaul sophomore Nicole Sutcliffe. …