Thursday, April, 30, 2015
Biometrics Gaining Steam in College Rec Centers
Modernizing existing athletic facilities has become a priority for many colleges and universities as they compete for the all-important student dollar. Campus recreation centers in particular have evolved into recruiting anchors for those schools, but despite consistent investments in facility amenities, many rec centers have been slow to replace their older access-control methods with more modern options like biometrics, which matches finger, hand or iris scanning with a member's profile.
Wednesday, April, 22, 2015
Reflecting On My 2014 as I Turn Forty
One of the best (and worst) parts of working in the athletics, fitness and recreation industry is personally witnessing how many of my readers have gotten better with age. At the 2014 Athletic Business Conference & Expo, the exhibit hall was packed with veteran single-digit-body-fat attendees testing the latest and greatest in fitness equipment. Even Fast Company cofounder and keynote speaker William Taylor tweeted that it was the fittest audience he'd ever addressed.
Tuesday, April, 21, 2015
College Athletic Departments’ Role in Investigating Sexual Assaults
The case of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston received as much media attention for the manner in which it was handled as it did for the star player involved. Erica Kinsman met Winston at a nightclub in December 2012, and after doing a shot with the then freshman quarterback that she believes was spiked, she found herself in a cab going back to his apartment where the alleged rape occurred.
Monday, April, 20, 2015
Blog: Living in the Wild, Wild ISC West
Being a first-time ISC West attendee, I had been warned to prepare for a “monster.” Boasting more than 1,000 exhibitors and close to 30,000 attendees, ISC West is the largest security tradeshow in the United States, and last week, I went toe-to-toe with the “monster” in Las Vegas. Yes, in a town built on gambling and taking risks, I was going to a show built on mitigating or eliminating risk.
Monday, April, 06, 2015
How to Protect Against Rioting at Your College
Joe Monroe, chief of police at the University of Kentucky, has gotten used to protecting the streets of Lexington from rioting fans. He's had to do so frequently over the past few years as the school's men's basketball team, led by head coach John Calipari, has made four Final Four appearances the past five years. Last Saturday night, after the previously undefeated Wildcats were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Wisconsin, fans took to the streets of Lexington (yet again). Monroe and his campus police team (yet again) had to protect the community and keep the peace in collaboration with city police. Monroe, who teaches special-event planning for NCS4 and Texas A&M, shares his experiences while providing advice to other campus safety professionals in this Gameday Security exclusive interview:
Monday, April, 06, 2015
Blog: Madison Prepares for the Best, and Worst, Tonight
There was never any doubt that chaos would reign supreme across the streets of Lexington, but those that bleed Kentucky blue (and many that don't) expected that chaos to come tonight after Kentucky completed its perfect season with a victory over Duke. Instead, that time frame was accelerated to Saturday night when John Calipari's McDonald's All-Americans fell to Bo Ryan's Wisconsin team 71-64 in the NCAA men's basketball national semifinal.
Friday, March, 27, 2015
Blog: Destroying the Student-Athlete — A Cautionary Tale
For far too many college athletic programs, acting in the best interests of the student-athlete is pure fiction. From academic fraud to sexual assaults, colleges and universities have frequently failed their student-athletes by putting their best interests ahead of the student-athlete's. These failures extend beyond what is making national headlines, and can happen at the most unlikely of institutions — in my case, a Catholic university.
Friday, February, 27, 2015
Poll: Handling Sexual Assault Incidents
In the wake of numerous stories on sexual assaults by athletes at all levels AB is investigating the topic for a story in an upcoming issue. We'd like your opinion. Please weigh in below.
Monday, February, 23, 2015
Blog: Misfiring on Active-Shooter Preparation
Two years ago, while picking up my oldest daughter from school, I was overwhelmed with anxiety, fear and one all-consuming thought: Get her home.
Monday, February, 23, 2015
Developing Better Evacuation Plans Through Simulation Modeling
Penn State University's football home opener on Sept. 6 provided little in-game drama last year — the Nittany Lions comfortably beat Akron, 21-3 — but plenty of pregame drama. The weather forecast called for potential lightning storms that day, creating a headache for athletic officials concerned about the safety of spectators both in the tailgate areas and Beaver Stadium. In preparation for the coming storm, Penn State shared with the public its evacuation plan, which included designated shelter areas and evacuation routes, to ensure everyone understood instructions in advance.
Tuesday, December, 09, 2014
Blog: The Day I Became a Sports Security Evangelist
Life-changing events can happen at any time, and when you least expect it. It's common for events early in your personal life to shape you — I won a young author's contest and a big race in elementary school, which ultimately lead to me becoming a writer and runner. But to have it happen on a professional level, nearly 20 years into your career no less, is fairly uncommon. But that's exactly what happened when I attended the 2013 NCS4 Conference in Orlando just two weeks into my tenure at Athletic Business. To say the conference had a profound impact on me would be an understatement. The reality is this — Gameday Security™ exists because of that NCS4 Conference.
Monday, October, 20, 2014
Improving Pool Safety with Model Aquatic Health Code
The movie "Jaws" made you afraid to go into the water, but it was the inclusion of the "Jaws" theme music in another "scary" water scene five years later that likely resonated more with moviegoers. But instead of a shark, the object of fear was a Baby Ruth candy bar. Harold Ramis' classic comedy "Caddyshack" — virtually impossible not to quote while golfing nearly 35 years after its release — makes light of the pool safety nightmare known as a Code Brown, but that subject is certainly no laughing matter to pool operators tasked with keeping their aquatic facilities safe and clean.
Thursday, October, 09, 2014
Fan Violence Reaching New Lows
Levi's Stadium is the most technologically advanced stadium in the U.S., so why have people only been talking about what's happened in its bathrooms? The reason is a sickening video that shows a fan apparently telling another fan that a stall is open for him to use. The fan responds with three fast punches that knock that fan unconscious, rendering him partially paralyzed.
Tuesday, September, 16, 2014
The Death of the Multisport Athlete
Friday night lights are back for high schools across the country, and as you read this, many of the nation's top athletes are hard at work on the gridiron preparing for this week's upcoming game. I remember my first experience around a star athlete. I was 11 years old and my oldest brother was attending Wheaton North High School, which at that time was home to Kent Graham, the best high school athlete in the state of Illinois. Kent was a 6-foot-5-inch physical freak and the number-one-ranked quarterback in the nation. He also played safety. He earned three all-conference distinctions in basketball and regularly hit .400 for the baseball team. My dad fondly recalls Kent hitting a home run off my brother in Little League that cleared the lights and still hasn't landed.
Friday, August, 22, 2014
Should Athletes Lose Scholarships Over Social Media Miscues?
One of the debates that has intrigued me recently involves the increasing amount of coaches that are withdrawing scholarship offers due to a high school recruit exhibiting unacceptable or inappropriate behavior on social media. According to this story we published last week, high school coaches in Georgia are applauding University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt for dropping a recruit that misbehaved on Twitter.
Wednesday, August, 06, 2014
Protecting Athletes From Heat-Related Illnesses
No one should forget that deadly week in the summer of 2011 when two high school football players and one high school football coach died from heat-related causes. That following summer, in 2012, athletic administrators were feeling a different kind of heat: parents of the two football players who died in 2011, Isaiah Laurencin in Florida and Don'terio J. Searcy in Georgia, sued their respective county boards, asserting that the coaches pushed the boys too hard. Both schools, Miramar (Fla.) High School and Fitzgerald (Ga.) High School, boast prominent football programs. And it's not just the schools and county boards drawing the legislative ire of angry parents.
Monday, July, 21, 2014
Shaping the Future of Athletics Safety and Security
Editor's note: Look for more Sports Venue Safety articles as we publish a new one online each day this week. Or, view the entire digital issue here.
My first exposures to the issues of safety and security at a sporting event came when I was eight years old. It was at Old Comiskey, back when the Chicago White Sox were "winning ugly" in the American League West. I remember going to at least half a dozen games that year with my father as the White Sox fought for an AL West championship, but that wasn't the only fighting I witnessed. The fights in the stands became as much of a spectacle as the game itself. It got to a point that we never wondered if a fight would break it, but rather when. Though I attended games with my father, a U.S. Navy SEAL and Golden Gloves boxing champion, I never had a complete sense of safety. Still, I was undeterred. I loved going to Old Comiskey and watching the White Sox despite the extracurricular activities.
Tuesday, July, 15, 2014
Tuesday Takedown: Talking Sports Safety at NCS4
I had the pleasure to travel down beautifully boring I-65 to Indianapolis last week for the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security's annual conference, where the superheroes of the sports security world gathered to address the constantly evolving challenge of protecting its venues, athletes and spectators from new and old threats alike. Outside of the Athletic Business Conference & Expo, there is no other conference I look forward to attending more, and this year's show did not disappoint.
Friday, July, 11, 2014
Angry Minority Destroying Social Media
Popular AB contributor Chris Yandle, assistant AD for communications at the University of Miami, wrote a great post for our website in May about our collective love/hate relationship with social media.
Tuesday, July, 08, 2014
Tuesday Takedown: Collegiate Safety Best Practices
NCS4 kicked off its annual conference and expo Monday with the formal introduction of its Intercollegiate Athletics Safety and Security Best Practices Guide. The 100-plus page "living" document is the result of collegiate security and safety leaders brainstorming ideas at NCS4's first National Intercollegiate Athletics Safety and Security Summit last January at the University of Southern Mississippi, according to symposium moderator Paul Denton, chief of police at Ohio State University.