- Friday, December, 11, 2015
Parent Strikes Coach Over Away-Game Bus Policy
Parent-on-coach attacks — verbal and physical — are all too common in high school and youth sports, but Thursday saw a rare if not unprecedented scenario unfold in Amory, Miss.
A boys' basketball game between Amory High School and visiting Hamilton was stopped and cancelled before the first quarter ended based not on what was transpiring on the court, but rather because Hamilton's girls' basketball coach was enforcing school policy. A Hamilton parent, upset that her desire to personally transport her son home from the game was being denied, struck Sue Verner, who had informed the parent school policy dictates that all team members ride the bus home from away games. Verner was reportedly "knocked out cold" and transported to a local hospital. The Amory gym was quickly cleared.
As a result of the altercation, Heather Thomspon, 36, is expected to be arraigned today on charges of simple assault on a school official — a felony — after she turned herself into police Thursday night. Verner was treated for a fracture under her left eye and a gash above the other, and released from Gilmore Regional Medical Center in Amory, according to CBS-TV affiliate WCBI.
- Tuesday, December, 08, 2015
Why a Northern High School Opted for an Indoor Practice Facility
The tour — the story — starts in a decades-old gymnasium. It was while assessing this modest space in 2006-07, with its original bleachers and hardwood court badly in need of refinishing, that administrators at Hamilton High School began to think big. Enrollment had doubled since the school was built in Sussex, Wis., in 1963. Athletics participation had increased by 33 percent, six sports programs had been added, and interior training space was at a premium. Track athletes were running hurdles down terrazzo hallways. Cheerleaders were doing stunts over library carpeting. Field sports participants in this evolving era of year-round specialization had no place to practice off-season, as Wisconsin's winters rendered the outdoors off limits.
- Thursday, November, 19, 2015
ABC 2015: In the Shadow of the Valley of Death
Louisiana State University treated 60 Athletic Business Conference & Expo attendees to an all-access tour of the Baton Rouge campus’s expanding recreation and athletics facilities Wednesday, culminating in a ground-level view inside Tiger Stadium, known by local fans and visiting SEC rivals alike as Death Valley.
- Wednesday, November, 04, 2015
Vapor Wake Dogs Are Advancing Gameday Bomb Detection
The Chicago Cubs had already shut out the visiting San Francisco Giants, 2-0, on Aug. 9 when postgame stragglers were ordered to evacuate Wrigley Field. Chicago Police, who reportedly receive dozens of bomb threats every week, got word that Wrigley had been targeted and swarmed the ballpark with officers. Only after bomb-sniffing dogs had their run of the grounds was an "all clear" issued.
- Thursday, October, 29, 2015
Two-Sided Display Cases Lend Transparency to Lobby Spaces
By definition, display cases should be highly visible, but few capture that concept better than the type seen at the University of Alaska Anchorage's Alaska Airlines Center.
- Wednesday, October, 21, 2015
ABC Trade Show a Must for Long-Time Exhibitors and Newcomers
Matrix brand fitness equipment will be on display this Nov. 19 and 20 at the 34th annual Athletic Business Conference & Expo, just as it has been for eight previous years. What keeps the company coming back?
- 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.
- Wednesday, November, 30, 2016
AB Show 2016: The Magic of Orlando
There’s something about Orlando, Fla., that stirs the nostalgia in this AB Show-goer. It’s where the conference and expo (as it used to be known) was held my first eight years at Athletic Business, and it has been there another four times since. In all, Orlando has served as the annual home away from home for AB roughly half the time in our show’s 35-year history.
- 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.