Articles matching tag: NCAA
- 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: 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.
- 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.
- Column: A New Day for College CoachesAugust 31, 2015
“The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan. For college coaches, Bob Dylan’s title track to his 1964 album could just as easily apply today. Examples of the changing tide in collegiate athletics abound, the most recent being the termination of Illinois football coach Tim Beckman on the eve of the 2015 season. At first glance, Beckman’s firing could be attributed to his 12-25 record over three non-descript seasons at Illinois. But the decision to fire Beckman had nothing to do with wins and losses. Earlier this year the University commissioned an investigation after allegations surfaced that Beckman and his staff had influenced medical decisions and mistreated players. The coach was let go even before a final report was issued.
- 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."
- Column: College Athletes Unrealistic About Playing ProFebruary 9, 2015
“You can do anything you want to do.” How many of us have heard those words spoken by parents, teachers, coaches and peers? But as I tell my students, those words should be taken with a healthy dose of reality. And that admonition is especially true for college athletes. Why? According to data compiled by the NCAA, far too many college athletes in every sport have an unrealistic view of their chances to play pro. Every four years, the NCAA conducts what it calls a GOALS Study (Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations and Learning of Students in college). The detailed study is a survey of student-athletes in a variety of sports - men’s and women’s - across all three divisions. Student-athletes are asked a broad range of questions about their college experiences including their future expectations to play sports professionally.
- Column: NCAA Admits Defeat in Restoring Paterno WinsJanuary 19, 2015
The biggest news emanating from the recently concluded NCAA annual convention wasn’t the new rules enacted by the Big-5 Conferences, which further distances themselves from the realm of amateurism. As significant as that news was, it took a back seat to the agreement by the NCAA to restore 112 wins to the Penn State University (PSU) football team, 111 of them by legendary coach Joe Paterno. Paterno’s record reverts to its legitimate total of 409-136-3 and restores him to his rightful place as the winningest coach in major college football history.
- Column: NCAA Drug TestsJanuary 13, 2015
The short-handed Oregon Ducks lost to Ohio State 42-20 in Monday’s first ever College Football Playoff (CFP) national championship game. Two Oregon players, wide receiver Darren Carrington and running back Ayele Forde, were forced to sit out the game after failing drug tests mandated by the NCAA. Carrington tested positive for marijuana although Forde’s specific violation is unknown. The players were tested prior to the Ducks’ victory over Florida State in the CFP semifinal game the previous week. As with most things involving the NCAA, their role in the drug testing process is controversial.