- Friday, October, 16, 2015
Light Punishment, Lingering Questions at Ref-Hit Hearing
Football players and coaches representing San Antonio’s John Jay High School who were involved in the blindside hit on a referee during a game Sept. 4 were handed their punishment Thursday during a third hearing held regarding the incident.
SI.com reports that head coach Gary Gutierrez received two years probation and a reprimand. Senior defensive back Michael Moreno was given a one-year suspension. Sophomore linebacker Victor Rojas, received an indefinite suspension. Video of the Rojas knocking referee Robert Watts to the ground and Moreno spearing him has been viewed 11 million times on YouTube. The players have been assigned to an alternative school for 75 days.
Questions remain regarding what motivated the attack. The players have claimed on national television that Jay defensive backs coach Mack Breed ordered the hit. Breed took responsibility after the game, but later claimed he wrongly took the blame to protect the players. Faced with a possible three-year suspension, he was suspended for the remainder of the year and handed two years probation. He resigned in September.
At Thursday’s hearing, Breed denied the players’ allegations that he ordered the hit out of frustration over officials’ calls, player ejections and alleged racist remarks made by Watts. However, Breed did admit to saying “to no one in particular” and away from players, “That mother------ needs to pay the price.”
The Texas Association of Sports Officials announced that a private investigator found no evidence that Watts uttered any racial remarks, despite multiple Jay players claiming the opposite.
Results of an investigation by police in Marble Falls, where the game took place, are expected next week. Prosecutors will then decide whether to pursue criminal charges.
- Friday, October, 16, 2015
Bullets Left at Stadium Gate Prompt Season Cancellation
Mount Pleasant (Pa.) Area Junior Football League has cancelled the 2015 season — its 50th — following the latest in mounting threats against league officials, coaches and referees, allegedly made by parents. On Tuesday, ammunition shells depicting the names of league officials in permanent marker were found at the gate of Hurst Stadium, a playing field used by the league.
Parents of football players and cheerleaders told Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV a fistfight among parents occurred at a game earlier this season, and another game had to be rescheduled due to an unspecified threat. Shouted comments from the stands included criticism of players’ weights. The league serves children ages six through 14.
“I have no idea where it’s coming from, but it’s got to stop,” parent Stephanie Spallone told reporter Kelly Brennan. “The kids have more sense than the adults here.”
“It’s a feeder league,” added another parent, Robyn Josey. “They will eventually all play for the Mt. Pleasant Vikings together as teammates, as friends, and that’s what is sad about the whole thing.”
A league statement to parents said, "Decisions of this magnitude are not done lightly; rather they are done with the advice of the state police, FBI, school administration and league officials. We hope that as parents you will agree with this decision and try to cooperate with everyone involved to bring forward the person or persons responsible for these actions. The league's future and our children's continued participation in future seasons is what is in jeopardy."
- Wednesday, October, 14, 2015
Ten Tips for Maximizing the ABC Expo Experience
Canvassing an exhibition as large and diverse as the Athletic Business Conference & Expo — with its 260 vendors encompassing everything from sports architecture to team apparel — can be a time-management challenge, if not outright intimidating. It doesn't need to be. AB asked frequent ABC visitors to put on comfortable shoes and walk us through their tricks of the trade show floor. Here's what we learned:
- Thursday, October, 01, 2015
Nebraska Adventure Center Supports Exterior Climbing Wall
"Everybody keeps pushing the edges on these buildings," says Al Oberlander, principal and COO at Des Moines, Iowa-based RDG Planning & Design.
- Tuesday, September, 15, 2015
Survey Reveals Security Practices at Public Rec Centers
In May 2013, the City of Philadelphia Commission on Parks and Recreation released a report titled "Safety in Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Centers." The 15-member commission's work was spurred by a spate of security-related incidents — ranging from shootings and robberies to trespassing and vandalism — in the city's rec facilities during the summer of 2011.
- Wednesday, September, 09, 2015
ABC Speakers Describe Their Educational Sessions and Expectations
The 2015 Athletic Business Conference & Expo hits New Orleans, Nov. 19 -21 — representing ABC's second visit to the Crescent City in four years. But as popular a destination as New Orleans has proven to be, it's the educational opportunities that will have hundreds of attendees descending upon the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to learn about industry trends affecting today's athletics, fitness and recreation professionals. AB touched base with a handful of this year's session leaders — from first-time presenters to individuals with decades-long ABC speaking resumes — to find out what attracts them to ABC, and what attendees can expect to take away from New Orleans.
- Thursday, August, 06, 2015
Fitness Bridge Helps Market Rec Center’s Offerings
Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont., sought to connect the David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre to an existing student association building next door, but needed to preserve vehicular circulation between the two structures.
- Thursday, July, 23, 2015
Product Spotlight: Locker Rooms
- Tuesday, July, 21, 2015
Budget Woes Take Toll on Brooklyn's Basketball Courts
In an effort to find out why it was so hard to find a decent place to play basketball in New York City, Wall Street Journal writer Stu Woo personally visited all 172 of Brooklyn’s public courts listed on the Parks and Recreation Department website this spring, and found that only a third of them were in good shape. “The rest had problems that varied from the annoying, such as bent or missing rims, to the ankle-breaking, such as cracks so wide that weeds actually grew out of them,” Woo writes at WSJ.com.
Woo wasn’t surprised, having conducted a similar review of Manhattan’s courts in 2013 (NYC boasts 1,800 courts in all). But, he writes, parks officials were disappointed to learn of the widespread problem while explaining that shrinking budgets make it hard to keep up with repairs. According to Woo’s report, the parks budget in the 1960s was 1.4 percent of NYC’s total budget. The current year’s $400 million parks budget is only half a percent of the city’s budget, and that amount is already spread thin among labor, gardening, playground equipment, recreation centers, pools, restrooms and other sports courts.
“We’re underfunding parks relative to New York City’s history and relative to where other big cities are today,” Parks and Recreation Committee chairman Mark Levine told Woo. “Your survey reveals, in pretty stark ways, the unmet needs of the system.”
Parks and Recreation Department commissioner Mitchell Silver added that Brooklyn’s reliance on recreational basketball is unique. “What makes Brooklyn different is that other boroughs have a lot of large parks. Brooklyn has a lot of small parks,” he told Woo. “Open space in Brooklyn is basketball.”
Parks are inspected twice annually by a team of 300 full-time inspectors. In addition, a hotline fields roughly 150,000 parks-related complaints (though off-leash dogs are among the most typical targets). But awareness is only the beginning, and court repairs don’t come cheap. A rim replacement runs $100, and a rim and backboard is $550. It costs $3,000 to paint a basketball court with a sports coating, and up to $150,000 to both resurface and repaint.
- Tuesday, July, 21, 2015
How Lock Technologies Are Simplifying Shared-Use Operations
Combination padlocks, keys, bolt cutters -- they're all getting harder to find in athletics, fitness and recreation locker rooms these days. That's because code-based mechanical and electronic lock technology has made life easier for both locker users and facility managers, if a little less lucrative for local locksmiths.
- Monday, November, 10, 2014
Get to Know Your Peers When Attending ABC
This is a story about a conversation Lou Holtz and I never had.
- Tuesday, August, 12, 2014
Robin Williams Drew Attention to Inaugural Augie’s BASH
Robin Williams possessed the kind of frenetic magnetism that dared you to look away. For me, it wasn’t possible. The actor/comedian’s larger-than-life persona was tailor-made for a movie screen.
- Thursday, January, 17, 2013
Blog: The Tangled Webs of Lance Armstrong, Manti Te'o
The twisted tales of Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o are now intertwined. Heroes to many, these athletes have lived lies before our eyes, and now those lies are unraveling within the same week.
- Monday, December, 03, 2012
Blog: The Life and Death of Rick Majerus
The first time I saw Rick Majerus in person, he was sitting in seldom-used end-court bleachers that had been wheeled into position for a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Class C basketball sectional at my high school alma mater's field house. I was there to cover a game for my hometown newspaper, The West Bend News. Majerus, an assistant coach at Marquette at the time (this was the mid-'80s), was there to scout Kohler, Wis., phenom Joe Wolf, who would eventually attend North Carolina.
- Friday, August, 17, 2012
Blog: Cheer These Pro Athletes for Giving Back
Assuming your membership in the Latrell "I have a family to feed" Sprewell Fan Club has expired, may we suggest a couple of options.
- Sunday, January, 17, 2010
Blog: Still Believing, 34 Years (and Counting) Later
Editor's Note: AB Senior Editor Paul Steinbach authored this piece in January 2010, but with February 22nd marking the 34th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice and the U.S. men's hockey team facing off against Canada on Friday, the message still rings true.
For nearly 30 years now, the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team has been an off-and-on obsession of mine.
- Thursday, December, 10, 2009
A Choice to Make
There's precedent for a Catholic institution sticking with a coach despite his pro-choice stance on abortion. Rick Majerus is in his third season heading the St. Louis University men's basketball program after admitting during a TV interview at a January 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign rally that he is "pro-choice, personally." But will a Catholic institution hire a pro-choice coach? Somehow, during speculation that University of Cincinnati head football coach Brian Kelly is next in line to bear the Notre Dame football cross, the rumor spread that Kelly, an Irish Catholic who decades ago campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, is pro-choice. But no one seems to know for sure. "I searched online media archives all day today trying to find one reputable media reference to Kelly's stance on abortion," read a Tuesday post by Brooks at sportsbybrooks.com. "I found none."
- Wednesday, November, 11, 2009
Hit 'Em Straight
When the AB editors dedicated our July issue to best environmental practices in the athletics, fitness and recreation industries, we managed to overlook one egregious hazard to our planet's health: golf balls.