• Study: Concussions May Lead to Smaller Brain Volume

    by May 2014

    A new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests college football players with concussion histories may have smaller brain volumes and slower reaction times than players with fewer years of experience.

    The study, conducted by the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR), looked at 25 college football players that already had a history of concussions and compared them to 25 college football players who had not suffered concussions and 25 non-football-playing control participants. Researchers then measured brain function using an MRI machine, while the participants took computerized cognitive tests.

    According to the research, the 25 college football players with previous concussion history had the smallest hippocampal volume when all three groups were compared. 

    The hippocampus is the brain region responsible for regulating emotion and storing and processing memory. The results may indicate that this region of the brain is particularly sensitive to mild traumatic brain injuries. 

    Beyond the impact that traumatic brain injuries can have on the hippocampus, the football players with more football experience also experienced slower reaction times than younger players. While the study itself could not provide any answers to this question, the researchers believe that the physical and psychological stressors that college athletes experience during their careers could be a factor. 

    Due to the small sample size, the study cannot make any definitive claims, but the researchers hope that it will serve as a starting point for further research into the effects of concussions on young athletes.

    “Other studies have evaluated the effects on older athletes, such as retired NFL players, but no one has studied 20-year-olds until now — and the results were remarkable and surprising,” the Director of Cognitive Neuroscience for LIBR, Patrick S.F. Bellgowan, told the University of Tulsa. “Our next step is to assess what caused this difference in hippocampus size.”

  • UW Students Decry Simultaneous Rec Center Closings

    by By Pat Schneider , The Capital Times May 2014

    Student leaders at UW-Madison say athletic department officials did not disclose the full picture of their plans for campus facilities when students threw their support behind a March referendum that approved a $223 million upgrade of recreational sports facilities.

  • Team Credits Sports Psychology for NCAA Appearance

    by Super User May 2014

    The Charleston Southern softball season began like all others, with virtually no one expecting the Buccaneers to wind up in the NCAA tournament for the first time. But as the big bus pulled out of a CSU parking lot Wednesday, few members of a traveling party bound for an NCAA tournament regional in Knoxville were surprised. They visualized this.

  • Penn State Still Feeling Sandusky Scholarship Pinch

    by Joe Juliano; Inquirer Staff Writer May 2014

    For the first time since the NCAA imposed sanctions on Penn State nearly two years ago, the Nittany Lions have a full complement of 25 scholarships to give to the incoming freshman class of 2015.

  • Fight Over NCAA Voting Power Could Dilute D-I Changes

    by George Schroeder, @GeorgeSchroeder, USA TODAY Sports May 2014

    By August, the NCAA's Division I board of directors is expected to approve a revamped governance structure, with the goal of vastly increased autonomy for the SEC, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences, allowing them to provide athletes with unprecedented benefits and resources.

  • Coach Bashes 49ers Draft of Former USF Player, Resigns

    by JOEY JOHNSTON; Tribune staff May 2014

    Hans Straub, the University of South Florida football strength and conditioning coach, was forced to resign Tuesday after a firestorm erupted over a Twitter message he sent Saturday that criticized a former Bulls player who was taken in the NFL draft.

  • ACC Asserts Hoops Power with Prime-Time Title Game

    by May 2014

    Take that again, Big East. The ACC took another stride toward asserting itself as the dominant conference in college basketball, announcing Tuesday at the league's spring meetings that next year s men s basketball tournament would conclude with a Saturday night championship game for the first time in 34 years.

  • Opinion: Allocate Funds for Recruiting Background Checks

    by Mike Casazza May 2014

    It seems like we've spent a lot of time lately discussing and thus debating the recruiting and the retaining of West Virginia basketball players. What we can agree on is recruiting is the essence of a program and retaining is an element that can facilitate staying power. Schools know this. The WVU athletic department's 2012-13 equity report shows the Mountaineers spent $1,312,757 on recruiting. That's a lot of money, and it figures to increase as the Mountaineers enjoy the financial fruits of their associations with the Big 12 and IMG College and they find ways to improve everything under the athletic department's roof.

  • Parents Want Son to Lose Football Scholarship, Study

    by Ken Sugiura; Staff May 2014

    With size, strength and a taste for punishing ball carriers, Georgia Tech defensive end Jabari Hunt-Days would seem to have a reasonable shot at a pro football career. Hunt-Days' parents, though, are willing to risk it in order for their son to learn a broader lesson. Calvin Days, Jabari's father, said it's his and his wife Paula's wish that his son be released from his scholarship until he proves he is serious about his schoolwork.

  • Balloon Accident Claims U. of Richmond Athletics Staffers

    by Jonathan D. Epstein; News staff Reporter May 2014

    The family of former Nardin Academy star swimmer Natalie M. Lewis struggled Sunday to grapple with her death in a hot-air balloon accident, after the last of three bodies from the Virginia disaster was recovered. "Obviously, it's terrible news," said a family spokesman. "Everybody's just trying to do the best we all can." Virginia State Police notified the family early Sunday afternoon that the body of the third victim, a woman, had been found at about 11 a.m. It was discovered about 100 yards north of where the second body was found 24 hours earlier, the family spokesman said.