Archive - December 2015

  1. Column: Biggest Sports Stories in 2016December 31, 2015

    While we savor the waning days of 2015, it’s not too early to look ahead to the most notable sports business stories to follow in 2016. For the second year in a row I hit mostly winners last year, with one notable, embarrassing exception. The winners included high expectations for Rob Manfred in his role as the new baseball commissioner; the evolving ways we consume sports, in-venue and outside the facility; the expanding use of analytics which has revolutionized how we watch and analyze sports; the pursuit by states, notably New Jersey, to adopt sports gambling; how social media expands the opportunities for fans to engage with teams, players and sponsors; and the economic impact of NCAA rule changes on intercollegiate athletics.

  2. Column: Pete Rose's Fantasies Are OverDecember 24, 2015

    Pete Rose’s quest for reinstatement by Major League Baseball is finally, mercifully, over. On December 14, in a decision as clear and emphatic as it was transparent, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred denied Rose’s application for removal from baseball’s permanently ineligible list. While not everyone agreed with Manfred’s decision, even Rose admitted that he couldn’t disagree with the Commissioner’s reasoning. Rose has been lying about his gambling habits throughout his 26-year exile from baseball after being banished from the game by then Commissioner Bart Giamatti. And true to form, he lied on his application for reinstatement and again during his face-to-face meeting with Manfred in September. Old habits die hard.

  3. Column: Should Students Be Funding the College Arms Race?December 17, 2015

    It takes lots of money to field college athletic teams. But few college athletic programs are generating their own funding. To support their programs, college athletic departments have received $10.3 billion in student fees and other subsidies in the past five years, with student fees accounting for nearly half that total. Those numbers come from a joint study conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Huffington Post. The study reviewed financial data submitted to the NCAA by 201 public schools in Division I (most private schools are exempt from filing such information). The authors of the study found that students at some schools pay as much as $1,500 annually to help finance athletic programs.

  4. Column: Arizona Diamondbacks Surprise Baseball WorldDecember 10, 2015

    With one swipe of a pen, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a franchise altering move, one that also sent reverberations throughout the baseball industry. One day after unveiling a new line of uniforms, Arizona shocked the baseball world by signing pitcher Zack Greinke to a six-year, $207 million contract. Greinke, this year’s runner up for the Cy Young award in the National League, spent the last three years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, amassing a 51-15 record. Greinke and teammate Clayton Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young winner, led the Dodgers to the playoffs in all three seasons. At the end of this season, Greinke exercised an opt-out clause in the six-year, $147 million contract he signed with the Dodgers in 2012.

  5. Column: Should High School Football Be Eliminated?December 4, 2015

    With the traditional Thanksgiving Day games behind us and only a handful of teams remaining in the playoffs, now may be an opportune time to ask: Is it time to eliminate high school football? Two University of Minnesota doctors have answered that question in the affirmative. Doctors Steven Miles and Shailendra Prasad have come out in favor of eliminating football in the nation’s schools in an effort to reduce the pressure on students to play a sport fraught with danger. They made their recommendation after examining studies of football-related concussions on adolescent brains.