Emily Attwood
Emily (emily@athleticbusiness.com) joined the Athletic Business team in 2011, a natural transition from her previous work at PFP (Personal Fitness Professional), a B2B fitness industry brand, and Inside Wisconsin Sports, a consumer sports publication. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Emily continues to enjoy living in the city with her husband Derek, making cheese, drinking beer and biking to work, except during winter, when she doesn't enjoy much of anything.
  • Friday, January, 16, 2015
    Former NCAA Chair Admits to Not Reading Freeh Report

    According to new court documents released this week, former NCAA executive committee chair and Oregon State president Ed Ray did not read the Freeh report before sanctioning Penn State’s football program. The report was the primary piece of evidence used by the NCAA to hand down sanctions. 

    RELATED: Did Emmert Deceive PSU Over Death Penalty Threat?

    The revelation comes from court documents filed as part of the Paterno lawsuit, Ray admitted to only reading the executive summary and press accounts. From the documents:

    Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers: You reviewed the Freeh Report at or about the time it came out, I take it.

    Ray: Actually, it was -- I think I did not go through the detailed report until after the agreement was reached. Remember, the report came out on the 12th. I went to Hawaii on, I don't know, the 14th. So, I may have looked at the executive summary when it came out, and certainly read press accounts, but I don't believe I read or was able to download and get a copy of the full report until after I got back, which would have been around the time of the press conference [announcing the Consent Decree], or sometime shortly thereafter.

    Sollers: Did not have the Freeh Report sent out to you in Hawaii?

    Ray: No. No.

    Sollers: Do you recall when you got back--

    Ray: So let me be clear about that. When I went to Hawaii, I didn't even know that we were going to be having any conversations about the Freeh Report. So I had no sense that I needed to prep for anything.
    We went on either the 14th or the 15th, at this point I can't remember. And then we had this conference call on the 17th. So no, I didn't have the Freeh Report. 
    And then I came back on, I think the 19th or 20th, traveling from there, probably on the 20th, and then the 21st we had this phone call [approving the Consent Decree]. So I didn't have a lot of time to prep for anything.
     

    "These are extraordinary circumstances," Ray said at a news conference announcing the sanctions. "The executive committee has the authority to act on behalf of the entire association in extraordinary circumstances. And we have chosen to exercise that authority.

    The NCAA has been under increasing criticism as of late for its handling of the Sandusky scandal, especially with new information coming to light as part of the lawsuit filed against the NCAA by the Paterno family. 

    Read the entire Paterno lawsuit filing here. 

    The scrutiny has also prompted a meeting of the Penn State board of trustees to discuss joining a lawsuit filed by state senators set for trial next month. The board is meeting today (January 16) to discuss and vote on a resolution to join the suit, which alleges that the NCAA had no authority to hand down its punishments.

     

     


  • Wednesday, January, 14, 2015
    E-Cigarette Blamed for Gymnasium Explosion, Fire

    Police say an electronic cigarette is to blame for an explosion at Sparks (Nev.) High School that caused minor damage to the gymnasium floor and led to a code-yellow lockdown and an evacuation of 150 students Monday. A teacher saw the fire shortly after 10 a.m. and quickly reported it to school police and administration, evacuating all students from the gym and those in nearby classrooms to the football field. 

    "From what the teacher told me there was a small explosion and then a ball of fire," principal Kevin Carroll said

    Streets surrounding the school were blocked off while an investigation of the explosion took place, and parents were also notified of the event after the incident.

    "Our number one priority is student safety,” said Carroll. “I have a solid admin team. I have faith in our school police department that we are a very safe school and we do everything we can."

    Students elsewhere on campus reported hearing announcements about a bomb threat, and classrooms were placed on lockdown for approximately 90 minutes. “I just heard that they found something in the gymnasium," said one student. “Some of the students were saying they heard a loud pop, but I didn't know until it all happened."

    After identifying the cause of the fire, investigators deemed it unintentional, the result of two students playing around with an e-cigarette. 

     


  • Wednesday, January, 07, 2015
    Translucent Panels Bring More than Daylight to Facilities

    No athletic or recreation facility built in the past 15 years has been designed without consideration for LEED or other sustainability measures. Chief among the design elements is daylighting, a function that earns points for sustainability while saving on operational costs. Glass is usually the first element that comes to mind when daylighting is mentioned — from basic windows and skylights to large expanses of glass curtainwall — but glass is not the only way to achieve such an effect. Translucent panel systems can bring natural lighting into a facility, while leaving out some of the common disadvantages associated with glass.


  • Friday, January, 02, 2015
    Study Pits Army Fitness Training Versus CrossFit

    Whether we're for or against it, most of us can agree on one thing: CrossFit workouts are tough. Really tough.


  • Wednesday, December, 17, 2014
    Sayreville AD Suspended Amid Hazing Investigation

    The Board of Education voted on Tuesday night to suspend the Sayreville High School athletic director amid an investigation into the hazing scandal involving its football program. The football team's season came to an abrupt and early end in October following allegations of harassment, bullying and sexual assault. 

    The board voted 8-0 to suspend athletic director John Kohutanycz with pay, effective December 17. The school's football coach, George Najjar, has been suspended since October, though four assistant coaches suspended at that time have been reinstated. 

    At Tuesday night's meeting, the board also approved the hiring of one of those assistant football coaches, Michael Novak, as the school's new strength coach, a position Najjar held until his suspension. The move was a controversial one among board members, some of whom felt that Novak should not have been considered for the position because of his connection to the football hazing investigation. Said one board member in a written statement, "I voted no on appointing Michael Novak as strength and conditioning coach because I don't believe that any of the football coaches should be returning to any coaching position at this time."

    Seven players have been charged as part of the ongoing investigation, though no coaches or administrators have faced charged.

     


  • Friday, December, 12, 2014
    AD Reassigned as Iowa Braces for Her Partner's Lawsuit

    Pending a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by her partner, an athletic administrator for the University of Iowa has been reassigned. Jane Meyer, a senior associate athletic director, has been reassigned to the school’s facilities management office, where she will assist with construction contract quality and compliance. 


  • Friday, December, 05, 2014
    New Transgender Athlete Policies Approved in Minn., Va.

    Following successful votes by their respective high school governing bodies, transgender student-athletes at high schools in Minnesota and Virginia will be able to participate in sports based on their identified gender. 

    "I applaud the Minnesota High School League's decision to pass a proposal that tells trans students in our community their identities matter just as much as everyone else's," said Congressman Keith Ellison in a written statement. "At a time when so many transgender students are bullied and harassed in the schoolyard, the MSHSL's decision recognizes their dignity and humanity on and off the playing field. All trans students are asking for is to be treated as human beings and I stand with them."

    READ MORE REACTION

    The policy has been getting a lot of attention in Minnesota over the past few months, delaying a vote initially planned for October after more than 10,000 emails were sent to league officials voicing opinions on the issue. Once again, supporters and opponents of the policy packed the meeting room for this week's vote, holding signs expressing their opinions. The new policy, approved by 18 of 20 board members, specifically addresses the participation of students born male but identifying as female participating in girls' sports, as state law already allows for girls' participation in boys' sports.

    "We would not want to take away that privilege from anyone, but the answer is not to say that you should be given special privileges above and beyond everyone else," said Autumn Leva of the Minnesota Family Council, which submitted a petition with more than 5,000 signatures opposing the policy. "The answer isn't to say we're just going to completely ignore physical realities, especially in the world of physical sports." 

    The new policy in Virginia amends one passed by the Virginia High School League last February that included the requirement that students must undergo gender reassignment surgery before being allowed to play for a team matching their identified gender. The requirement was viewed as too strict and unobtainable, since reassignment surgery is rarely approved for those under the age of 18.

    RELATED: AIA Approves First Out Transgender HS Athlete

    While the new policy removes this restriction, students must still meet a variety of criteria before their participation on a particular sports team is approved. Students must submit a personal statement affirming their gender identity, as well as testimonies from family or peers, and must demonstrate that they have begun some type of hormone therapy. 

    The materials must then be submitted to the VHSL district committee, which will review the materials and make a recommendation to VHSL’s executive director. If the request is approved, a student is immediately eligible to begin participating in a sport. If denied, a student can appeal the decision.

    In Minnesota, students must submit statements from parents and healthcare professionals, leaving the decision up to the school's activities director, though appeals will be conducted by an independent party. The new policy will take effect beginning with the 2015-16 school year. Private schools will be exempt from the policy under state and federal law. The MHSL’s approval of the new policy brings the number of states with some type of policy addressing transgender student participation in high school activities to 33.

    RELATED LINKS:

     


  • Friday, December, 05, 2014
    New Projects: Wilmington Center for Sport Sciences | Armed Services YMCA

    Breaking Ground


  • Tuesday, December, 02, 2014
    Designing Tracks for Recreational Users

    A staple in any modern recreation center is the walking or jogging track. It is typically found elevated around the gymnasium, offering the user views of the activity below — a sensible arrangement, but not necessarily the best, depending on the size of the facility.


  • Tuesday, November, 18, 2014
    New Projects: Campus Crossroads | Xavier University | Southlake Community Rec

    Breaking Ground

    The University of Notre Dame begins construction this month on Campus Crossroads (pictured), a $400 million project that will add three academic buildings and premium seating onto Notre Dame Stadium.


  • Wednesday, November, 23, 2016
    AB Show 2016: Thankful for the Chance to Share Ideas

    Nothing helps transition back into office life after the whirl and excitement of another Athletic Business Show quite like a three-day workweek (apologies to our audience in Canada!). But even as I look forward to a day of good food and family, I’m reminded of some of the new ideas shared among recreation professionals at a revenue roundtable seminar hosted by Jeff King and Ken Ballard of Ballard*King Consultants.


  • Thursday, November, 17, 2016
    AB Show 2016: A Recreation Rundown

    An abundance of sunshine made up for the slight chill in the air as AB Show attendees boarded the bus to University of Central Florida. Undeterred by the 7:30 am start time, the mix of tourists hailed from as far as Hawaii (5 hours behind) and Taipei (13 hours behind!) and was excited to see what Central Florida had to offer.


  • Monday, November, 14, 2016
    Letter from the Editor: Our Military Fitness Problem

    This article appeared in the November | December issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Tuesday, October, 04, 2016
    Letter from the Editor: Facilities Worth Talking About

    This article appeared in the October issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Tuesday, August, 30, 2016
    Letter from the Editor: Preparing for the Year to Come

    This article appeared in the September issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Thursday, July, 07, 2016
    Letter from the Editor: Eat Your Veggies

    This article appeared in the July/August issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Monday, June, 06, 2016
    Passing the Torch in Facility Design

    This article appeared in the June issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Thursday, May, 05, 2016
    At the moment...

    I can't think of a recent issue of Athletic Business that captures the feel of our industry quite as comprehensively as this one. No, we don't have any momentous, industry-changing topics this month, but what we do have speaks to the current environment of athletic, fitness and recreation professionals.


  • Thursday, March, 31, 2016
    Our Common Ground

    This article appeared in the April issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Wednesday, September, 16, 2015
    Blog: Quantifying the Impact of Parks and Rec

    The National Park and Recreation Association's annual convention is underway this week in Las Vegas, Nev. After arriving Monday afternoon and getting my first taste of life in the City of Lights, I caught a brief glimpse of the sun and the strip before steeling myself for a day of windowless sessions in overly air-conditioned rooms.