Archive - February 2016

  1. Column: Female Athletes More Successful at Work Than Non-AthletesFebruary 25, 2016

    A 2014 survey of college graduates found that female athletes were more successful post-graduation than their contemporaries who were non-athletes. The survey of 30,000 college graduates was commissioned by Purdue University President Mitch Daniels and conducted by the Gallup-Purdue Index. The primary goal of the survey was to determine the value of a college education. One key finding of the survey was that being involved with a mentor, a community or a long-term project while in school was important to future success. After the survey was published, the NCAA hired Gallup to dig deeper into the numbers as they related to student-athletes. The results of their work were released last week.

  2. Column: NASCAR Adopts Charter ModelFebruary 18, 2016

    The 2016 NASCAR season begins with the Daytona 500 on February 21 but every race team has already registered a win. Last week the sanctioning body and the team owners’ group known as the Race Team Alliance (RTA) announced a new charter system modeled after the franchise system that exists in the four Major League team sports. The announcement qualifies as big news in an industry where the folks who own the cars, hire the drivers, solicit the sponsors and take all the risks have never had a semblance of financial security. NASCAR is wholly owned by the France Family, now in its third generation of controlling the sport with an iron fist. They make the race rules, discipline the drivers, award the races and allocate the purses, all without any input from those who are most affected by those decisions.

  3. Column: NFL Facing Pension WoesFebruary 11, 2016

    The NFL generated an estimated $12 billion dollars this year, far and away the most of any professional sports league in the country. But despite that embarrassment of riches, the NFL is facing a decidedly American problem: a substantial funding gap in its pension plan. According to league and union officials the players’ pension plan has only 72% of the assets necessary to cover liabilities owed to former and current players. Experts generally consider a funding ratio of 80% or more to be satisfactory. But the deficit in the NFL plan pales in comparison to many pension plans, including a number in the public sector.

  4. Column: MLB Encourages Expanded Ballpark NettingFebruary 4, 2016

    In December during the annual Baseball Winter Meetings MLB announced new guidelines designed to extend ballpark netting. The recommendations follow a season during which a number of serious injuries at ballparks around the country garnered extensive publicity. MLB’s new policy is not a mandate. Teams are “encouraged” to extend the netting from behind home plate a distance of 70 feet down each foul line, or to the ends of the dugouts nearest to home plate. The guidelines also apply to MLB spring training facilities and Pat O’Conner, President of Minor League Baseball, said he hoped MiLB clubs would comply as well. A number of MLB and MiLB teams have already indicated their intention to do so. Critics have voiced their displeasure with the new guidelines, claiming MLB didn’t go far enough. First, they say the policy should be mandatory and second, that the netting should extend to the outfield side of the dugouts, if not further.