- 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."
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.
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.
- Friday, December, 05, 2014
New Projects: Wilmington Center for Sport Sciences | Armed Services YMCA
- 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
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.
- Tuesday, November, 11, 2014
Halloween Parties Lead to Suspension of 45 Athletes
The winter sports season is off to a bad start — and the fall season a bad finish — at Tahoma High School in Covington, Wash., where 45 student-athletes have been suspended from playing sports after attending Halloween parties where drugs and alcohol were present.
Police responding to a noise complaint discovered one of the parties. According to the King County sheriff's office, dozens of students were present, including many in school letter jackets. Those involved in the parties included 14 football players, four girls’ soccer players, two boys’ soccer players, two softball players, four wrestlers, seven baseball players and 12 cheerleaders.
According to a letter sent to parents, “Student-athletes who attended the parties will forfeit a portion of their athletic season, including any athlete whose team is currently involved in post-season play. The investigation to determine whether additional students attended the parties is continuing.”
Suspensions for those involved will range from one quarter to one half of the sports season, with those student-athletes not currently in season serving their suspension when the season begins.
"Our student-athletes are well aware of the Tahoma School District Athletic Code and the consequences of these poor choices,” said principal Terry Duty. “We hope this will be a lifelong lesson for our entire school, both those who choose to attend the parties and those who elect to do the right thing and not attend."
Officials are also investigating alleged threats made online against students who reported the parties to authorities. "School officials also are aware of negative comments on social media that name individuals or groups of students and blame them for reporting the parties to school authorities,” read the letter to parents. “School officials take all threats seriously and are investigating any threatening language directed at students or staff. Appropriate disciplinary actions have and will continue to be sanctioned.”
- Wednesday, November, 05, 2014
Designing the Modern College Football Practice Facility
Recruiting the best athletes is only part of staying ahead of the competition in college athletics; schools also need to have the resources to train the best athletes.
- Monday, November, 03, 2014
New Projects: Anderson University | Kent Recreation Center | Mesa High School
- Friday, October, 31, 2014
Flood-Ruined Pauley Pavilion Court Restored
When there are nine inches of water on your hardwood court, who do you call first?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014: A water main burst under Sunset Boulevard, near the University of California-Los Angeles, spewing an estimated 20 million gallons of water across the campus and flooding numerous buildings, including Pauley Pavilion, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, J.D. Morgan Center and John Wooden Center. Emergency response was immediate, though it took city workers several hours to contain the leak.
- 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.