• Notre Dame Hockey to Join Big Ten in 2017

    by Jason Gonzalez March 2016

    The Big Ten Conference will add a boost of brand-name power and massive national reach to its fledgling hockey conference by welcoming Notre Dame as a single-sport affiliate member after next season. The three-year-old hockey conference has endured sagging ticket sales and mediocre results and support throughout its infancy. Conference deputy commissioner Brad Traviolia told the Star Tribune on Tuesday that adding the Fighting Irish in 2017 will inaugurate a new era of Big Ten hockey. "We're looking at it as a step that will assist our schools and help us become even more competitive nationally," Traviolia said. "We felt that affiliation membership is a mutually beneficial way to grow Big Ten hockey. We're going to be better off as a hockey conference for it."

  • Virginia Tech Baseball Stadium to Get $10-18M Upgrade

    by Mark Berman March 2016

    Virginia Tech's ballpark is getting a makeover - and a new name to help pay for it. Athletic director Whit Babcock said Monday that Tech plans to spend $10 to 18 million to upgrade English Field, the 27-year-old home of its baseball team. To help fund the expansion, Richmond-based Union Bank & Trust will pay Tech $3.5 million over the next 10 years for the naming rights to the ballpark. The facility will now be known as English Field at Union Park.

  • Postseason Wins Mean Bonuses for College Hoops Coaches

    by Steve Berkowitz March 2016

    The coaches who have led men's basketball teams to the NCAA Sweet 16 have combined to earn $2,115,001 in bonuses. And there is plenty more to come. Here is a look at what already has been earned and what is still available: Indiana's Tom Crean

  • Lawsuit: KU Was Indifferent to Sexual Assault

    by Luke Ranker March 2016

    A new lawsuit against the University of Kansas asserts the school was "deliberately indifferent" to sexual assault and failed to stop harassment of a rape victim." Daisy Tackett, a former student-athlete, also takes aim at the school's rowing coaches, saying she wasn't allowed to participate in team activities after reporting the attack. A university spokeswoman called the claims "baseless." A lawsuit Kansas City, Mo., attorney Dan Curry filed Monday in Douglas County District Court seeks "compensation and redress" under Title IX, a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination and mandates the investigation of sexual assaults.

  • Inquiry of Tennessee Player Yields No Charges

    by MJ Slaby March 2016

    A nearly three-month investigation led to no charges against a former University of Tennessee football player who was accused of sexual assault but not identified in a federal Title IX lawsuit, a review of records shows. The Knoxville Police Department case file on a Sept. 20 incident between the then player and female student included 50 pages of documents, six videos and an audio recording. The News Sentinel obtained the file Monday through the Public Records Act.

  • New Rules Make NBA Leap Easier on College Players

    by Nicole Auerbach March 2016

    In the least surprising news of the week, Ben Simmons has declared for the NBA. He almost certainly will be drafted No.1 or 2 in June's draft. But for most of the NCAA underclassmen who will consider going pro in the coming weeks, there is far greater uncertainty. There always has been; each year, news outlets make lists of the talented players who end up going undrafted as an example of poor decision-making and the intoxicating allure of the NBA giving way to the reality of playing in the Development League or overseas. To those deeply invested in the sport of college basketball, many of those disappointments -- or gaps between players' dreams and reality -- could have been avoided. And can be avoided, as long as those players get better information about their actual draft stock.

  • Weighing Player Discipline Against Legal Risk

    by Knoxville News-Sentinel March 2016

    Butch Jones hasn’t hesitated disciplining players involved in sexual assault cases. But the Tennessee football coach might be less apt to take swift disciplinarian action in the future. So might any other coach or university. They could run the risk of ending up in court. And the stakes could be high. We’ve already seen athletes sue schools after they were dismissed over sexual assault allegations. It’s not farfetched to think a coach could be sued, too.

  • After Criticism, Selection Show Could Get Revamp

    by Jim Carlisle March 2016

    It wasn’t exactly a shining moment for the NCAA Tournament Selection Show last Sunday on CBS. The expansion from one hour to two wasn’t received well. Not only was the bracket revealed in a glacial manner, it was leaked on Twitter before the first hour was even over. TV viewers didn’t stay with the show. It had a 3.7 big-market overnight rating, which was down 5 percent from last year. In fact, according to SportsBusiness Daily, it was the worst overnight rating for the Selection Show since at least 1995, when it went from 30 minutes to an hour. The biggest rating since then was a 6.5 in 1998.

  • Opinion: New York Should Model College Hoops After Philadelphia

    by Mike Vaccaro March 2016

    There are the way things are, and the way we wish they could be. New York City is a pro sports town. That's non-negotiable. Occasionally it will find a college basketball team to wrap its arms around - the 1971 Fordham Rams, the '85 St. John's Redmen - and back in the day the Big East Tournament could occasionally dwarf everything in its path for three days in March. But since the gambling scandals of 1951 and 1961, there has been little pretense about the city's fiercest devotions. That doesn't mean college hoops should just blindly accept its place as a cute little footnote. It's a big city, after all, and Knicks fans still have room in their hearts to root for the Yankees and Giants, and Jets fans care just as fiercely about the Rangers and the Mets when the calendar says so. College basketball can be relevant around here. It just isn't right now.

  • Coach's Son to Leave Lobos Basketball Over Threats

    by Geoff Grammer March 2016

    As has been suspected and talked about around the UNM men's basketball program for several weeks, sophomore guard Cullen Neal will leave the team coached by his father. In a prepared statement, the third-year UNM student who is expected to earn a communications degree in June, making him eligible to play immediately elsewhere, announced he enjoyed his time as a Lobo but it was time to pursue his basketball career with another team. However, neither he nor the program will say why he made the decision. "I grew up around the Lobo basketball program and thoroughly enjoyed playing here, especially being able to play in the famous PIT! (sic)," Cullen Neal said in the news release. "I was blessed by being a part of a Mountain West championship and participating in the NCAA Tournament my freshman season. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to play for my father for two seasons and will miss that in the future. Leaving my teammates, coaches, and all the support staff weighs heavy on my heart. I will miss all of them. I consider Albuquerque my home, and I love the University of New Mexico. I want to thank our great Lobo fans who have encouraged me and supported our team."