Articles matching tag: College Sports
- Column: How College Sports Dodge TaxesJanuary 11, 2018
When Alabama beat Georgia for the National Championship it put an end to the 2017 college football season. What will continue is the tax dodge engaged in by college sports programs around the country. Historically, college sports were viewed as merely ancillary to the educational purpose of universities. The concept was akin to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 1922 that granted MLB an antitrust exemption because, according to the Justices, baseball wasn’t “a business.” Both decisions may have made sense decades ago when revenues were generated primarily from ticket sales, but they seem absurd today. NCAA Division I sports programs generate an estimated $8 billion a year and tickets represent only a fraction of that total. That’s more income than the NHL and the NBA – approximately $4.5 billion and $6 billion, respectively - generate.
- Column: The Hidden Finances Of Military Sports ProgramsNovember 30, 2017
If you want to know how much U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis earns, you can look it up ($207,800 annually). However, try to find out how much coaches at U.S. Military Academies make and you run into a steel curtain. Mattis’ salary – like any government expense - is a matter of public record. Athletic department budgets at our military academies are not. At first blush, the distinction seems inexplicable. Service academies are public institutions funded by taxpayers. Yet Army, Navy and Air Force athletic departments refused to divulge basic information - such as coaches’ salaries and contract terms - to USA Today. Why the secrecy? What it boils down to is the military academies don’t believe they are subject to public records law when it comes to athletic department budgets. Not everyone agrees.
- Column: Harvard Punishes Wrong IndividualsNovember 10, 2016
Harvard University recently suspended the men’s soccer team for the remainder of the season after it was revealed that the 2012 men’s soccer team published a “scouting report” on their counterparts on the women’s team. The nine-page report had nothing to do with the women’s soccer ability; it was based on their sexual attractiveness and perceived sexual interests. In an email announcing the suspension to Harvard student-athletes, athletic director Robert L. Scalise said, “We strongly believe that this immediate and significant action is absolutely necessary if we are to create an environment of mutual support, respect, and trust among our students and our teams.” While the goal of his message is certainly important, the action designed to accomplish it - suspending the team - was wrong on a number of levels.
- Column: NCAA Sleaze Dominates Final FourApril 14, 2016
When the Villanova Wildcats beat the University of North Carolina Tar Heels on a last second basket to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, it prevented one of this year’s two Final Four teams with dirty laundry from taking home the National Championship trophy. UNC had beaten Syracuse, the other recent NCAA miscreant, two nights earlier to advance to the final game. Syracuse, like the University of Connecticut three years earlier, advanced to the Final Four after sitting out the tournament the previous year. The Huskies were banned in 2013 for falling below the Academic Progress Rate threshold, a complicated and totally meaningless formula contrived by the NCAA to pretend that student athletes were obtaining an education while they were actually in college to play sports. One year later, the UConn men’s basketball team celebrated the school’s fourth national championship.
- 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.
- Column: Sex Scandal at University of LouisvilleOctober 28, 2015
The University of Louisville (U of L) is clearly prioritizing winning basketball games over honesty, integrity and ethics. In June, the U of L signed its men’s basketball coach, Rick Pitino, to a 10-year contract extension that kicks in next season. The 62-year old Pitino will be paid an average of $5 million per year in guaranteed salary plus $7.5 million in retention bonuses if he stays through the 2015-16 season. Pitino could also earn $250,000 per year in academic bonuses and an additional $500,000 in any year his team wins a national championship.
- Column: Video Gaming Goes CollegiateAugust 17, 2015
Given a choice, most parents would probably prefer that their children spend more time playing sports and less time playing computer games in the hopes that the former may lead to a college scholarship. Now, the latter may also lead to a free education. Robert Morris University (RMU) in Chicago and the University of Pikeville (UPike) in Kentucky are the first institutions of higher learning to offer scholarships for what is commonly known as eSports, what laymen refer to as playing computer games. Competitive gaming on the professional level has been around for decades but the collegiate version dates to 2009 when students at Princeton challenged their counterparts at MIT to a match of StarCraft. Around the same time a student at the University of California San Diego started his own team and the two groups decided to form a league which they named the Collegiate Starleague (CSL).
- Column: Coaches vs. Medical Personnel - Who Rules?July 19, 2015
With colleges on the cusp of pre-season football practice, there’s an off-field battle worth keeping an eye on: Coaches vs. medical personnel. Head coaches at a majority of the big-time college football programs insist on hiring, supervising and firing the doctors and athletic trainers that attend to their student-athletes. Not surprisingly, medical practitioners don’t believe the practice is in the best interest of the student-athletes. Two years ago, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, joined by five other medical groups including the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, issued a public statement along with a set of recommendations against the practice. In their words, “Freedom in their professional practice is ensured when neither the team physician nor the athletic trainer has a coach as his or her primary supervisor, and no coach has authority over the appointment or employment of sports medicine providers.”
- Column: Colleges Need to Rearrange Their PrioritiesMarch 15, 2015
Readers of this space know that yours truly will never be elected president of the NCAA fan club. I have taken the NCAA to task on a number of occasions and anyone with a passing familiarity with how the governing body operates knows there is no shortage of things to criticize. I have railed against complex and inconsistent rules, exemplified by the incomprehensible distinction between a plain bagel and one smeared with cream cheese. Not too long ago providing the former to a student-athlete was considered acceptable but the latter was considered a violation of the Bylaw that prohibits additional benefits to student-athletes. Mercifully, that mind boggling and idiotic distinction has been eliminated. Another frequent complaint is that the NCAA has repeatedly chosen to maximize revenue in lieu of protecting the welfare of student-athletes. And don’t even get me started on such topics as a lack of transparency and due process.
- Column: NCAA Sanctions Syracuse BasketballMarch 9, 2015
“The Emperor has no clothes.” From Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairy tale Although Andersen wrote his fairy tale in 1837, he could have been referring to Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim. Boeheim has acted the part of an emperor throughout his 37 years at the helm of Syracuse’s successful basketball program. But the Emperor has finally been unclothed. Last week the NCAA Committee on Infractions issued its long awaited report that chastised Syracuse for committing a number of major violations, including academic fraud, extra benefits, illegal booster activities, and ignoring its own drug policy so basketball players wouldn't miss games. Nor did the governing body spare Boeheim. From the report: “During the 10-year period of violations, the head basketball coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance within his program and did not monitor the activities of those who reported to him as they related to academics and booster involvement."