Archive - November 2015

  1. Column: Jeff Gordon RetiresNovember 26, 2015

    If there was any justice in sports, Jeff Gordon would have been hoisting the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship trophy at the end of the Homestead race on Sunday. Instead, Gordon settled for a sixth place finish which left him third overall in this year’s series. Gordon announced in January that 2015 would be his last season of racing. And despite the lack of a Hollywood ending, he had a career for the ages. He won four overall championships - fourth most in Cup history - in his 23 years of racing in NASCAR’s top series. Gordon finished third on the sport’s all-time wins list – behind only Richard Petty and David Pearson – with 93 victories. He won more than a third of the scheduled Cup races in the 1996-98 seasons, an impressive record of dominance that is unmatched in the modern era of racing.

  2. Column: Missouri - Sports Overthrows Its CreatorNovember 18, 2015

    Most of us are familiar with the economic impact of collegiate athletics. After the recent incidents at the University of Missouri, we also know the political ramifications athletic teams can have. University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe along with R. Bowen Loftin, the chancellor of the flagship campus at Columbia, resigned last week after a series of protests over racial events on campus that were not addressed to the satisfaction of a number of students. The issues at Missouri began on September 12 when the president of the Missouri Students Association claimed he was called a racial slur. Five weeks later, after several more racially related incidents and demonstrations, a group of black students calling themselves “Concerned Student 1950,” demanded Wolfe’s resignation.

  3. Column: MLB Hot Stove League - More Sizzle Than SubstanceNovember 11, 2015

    The Royals’ victory over the Mets in the World Series signals the official end of the 2015 baseball season. Now fans in need of their baseball fix can turn their attention to the hot stove league, the off-season maneuverings where teams try to improve through trades and free agent signings. In today’s media-centric world, trades don’t normally generate the same buzz and expectations of a free agent signing. Most of the time, players involved in trades are younger than the typical free agent. Many are Minor Leaguers who have yet to make their mark in the majors and are therefore known only to baseball insiders and savvy fans.

  4. Column: Food Is The New Recruiting ToolNovember 4, 2015

    Most U.S. households would be aghast if their food budget increased 145% in one year. But that’s exactly what happened at a number of colleges this year after the NCAA lifted restrictions on feeding student-athletes. The restrictions, which limited meals to one training table per day, were implemented in 1991 in an effort to preserve competitive balance among schools. Of course, competitive balance was then, as it is now, a sham. Institutions with athletic budgets of $30 million or less compete against behemoths like the University of Texas with an annual budget of $165 million. Limiting the food expense was either a way to hold down expenses or an opportunity for schools to divert money to other uses, for example, coaches’ salaries. In the latest USA Today salary survey of football coaches, the top 35 earn $3 million or more per year.