Michael Gaio
Michael Gaio joined Athletic Business in 2012, originally serving as social media manager and eMedia editor before becoming marketing director. Prior to AB, Michael worked in the athletic department at Baylor University where he documented every move of Robert Griffin III and the rest of the Bears for the university's website and a local TV affiliate. Michael, a native of Plymouth, Minnesota, is the lone Vikings fan in the AB office and a proud graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. Get in touch with him on Twitter, @MichaelGaio.
  • Thursday, April, 23, 2015
    San Francisco Nears Smokeless Tobacco Ban at City Fields, Including Giants' AT&T Park

    San Francisco officials are on the verge of spitting out a rule that would ban smokeless tobacco from ball fields throughout the city, including the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park.

    If the ban is approved, AT&T Park would become the first major league ballpark to ban smokeless tobacco. It’s a move welcomed by Major league Baseball.

    “As we have repeatedly and publicly acknowledged, MLB has long supported a ban of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level," the league said in a statement, "and we intend to comply with all applicable laws regarding the use of smokeless tobacco on the field in all of our ballparks.”

    As the Los Angeles Times reports, The ban still needs to pass a second Board of Supervisors vote and be signed by Mayor Ed Lee.

    “San Francisco will send a simple and strong message,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who introduced the ordinance. “Tobacco use in sports will no longer harm our youth, our health.”

    Bans against smoking have become commonplace in this country, but rules against smokeless tobacco are not as widespread.

    According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, 1,203 municipalities in the United States have enacted 100% smokefree laws and all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums have rules that limit or completely prohibit smoking. The same cannot be said about smokeless tobacco.

    Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Howell, told the L.A. Times he chews a can of smokeless tobacco each day. However, he’s still in favor of the San Francisco ban.

    "I'm for it,” he said. “It should be enforced. It's common sense. It's a filthy habit. I do it. Maybe it will help me quit," Howell said. "I've tried to quit every off-season. It's mainly more cutting back than quitting.”

    But he may not speak for all major leaguers.

    Per the L.A. Times:

    The Major League Baseball Players Assn. declined to comment on the legislation.

    During the last round of collective bargaining, management sought — and the union rejected — a ban on smokeless tobacco. Such a ban is in place in the minor leagues, where management can implement changes unilaterally.

    The union argued that it would not be appropriate to ban a product that remains legal and widely available.

    However, management and the union agreed to forbid the use of smokeless tobacco in televised interviews and player appearances, to restrict players from carrying tobacco products in their uniforms, to develop and implement educational programs to demonstrate the health risks of tobacco use, and to provide resources to any player wishing to quit.

    The Campaign for Tabacco-Free Kids estimates about 535,000 children ages 12 to 17 start using smokeless tobacco each year.

  • Wednesday, April, 22, 2015
    Carson City Council Approves $1.7B NFL Stadium

    The Los Angeles area is doing everything it can to lure an NFL team (or three) back to the country’s second-largest media market. On Tuesday, the area took another step toward that goal as Carson City Council approved a new football stadium in a 3-0 vote.

  • Tuesday, April, 21, 2015
    Video: Fan Behind Plate at PNC Park Injured by Foul Tip

    Monday’s Cubs-Pirates game was delayed 23 minutes after a scary incident in the second inning. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro fouled off a 90-mile-per-hour pitch from Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett and the ball hit a woman standing behind home plate.

  • Wednesday, April, 15, 2015
    Video Emerges of Argyle Athletic Facility Collapse

    Two workers have died in the construction of a new athletic facility for Argyle High School near Dallas. Now video of the structure’s collapse that killed 36-year-old Julio Ledesma has been released.

  • Friday, April, 10, 2015
    Lauren Hill, Inspirational Student-Athlete, Dies at 19

    Lauren Hill, the cancer fighting, layup making college basketball player who captured the hearts of our nation, has died.

  • Thursday, April, 09, 2015
    Milwaukee Bucks Unveil First Renderings of New Arena

    The Milwaukee Bucks and their design team released new renderings detailing what the layout will look like for the new multi-purpose arena and entertainment district they plan to build in downtown Milwaukee. The proposed site sits between Fourth Street and Sixth Street from State Street to McKinley Avenue. 

  • Wednesday, April, 08, 2015
    HS Athletic Facility Construction Halted by Deaths

    After two deaths in one week, Argyle Independent School District near Dallas is halting work on a new high school athletic facility.

  • Tuesday, April, 07, 2015
    Post-Game Plane Crash Kills Illinois State Assistant

    Illinois State associate head coach Torrey Ward and deputy director of athletics Aaron Leetch were among those who died early Tuesday when a private plane crashed in central Illinois. Authorities now say seven people were on board, all of whom died in the crash.

  • Friday, April, 03, 2015
    The AB Extra: April 3

    We dive into the second edition of The AB Extra with some Final Four coverage, an April Fools Day tweet gone wrong and heroics from two YMCA lifeguards. Today we begin with this heartwarming display of sportsmanship in women’s college basketball.

  • Thursday, April, 02, 2015
    Indiana to Alter Controversial Law, NCAA Pleased

    With the men’s Final Four just two days away, one of the biggest story lines has had nothing to do with basketball. Instead, the spotlight has been on host-state Indiana and its controversial “religious freedom” law, which is being amended just one week after its introduction.

  • Monday, January, 26, 2015
    UCF’s Stadium Beach Club as Goofy as It Is Unique

    Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include comments from UCF's assistant athletic director of communications, Andy Seeley.

    The University of Central Florida made news Monday with the announcement of its new “East Side Club,” a beach lounge that will be built in the middle of the school’s football stadium seating.

  • Friday, May, 30, 2014
    Blog: Six Facilities That Left Me Floored

    When I was invited by Regupol America to tour several athletic and fitness facilities earlier this month, I had no idea what I was in for. Working for AB, we know how important the right kind of flooring is — it impacts everything from acoustics and aesthetics to cost and usability — but it takes getting out of the office and seeing the details up close to really understand how flooring can make an impact.

  • Monday, March, 17, 2014
    News and Notes From the IHRSA 2014 Trade Show Floor

    There’s nothing like attending a good trade show, especially in the fitness industry. The equipment, the innovation, the music, the energy, the people… Whether it’s our show or IHRSA, I consider attending these shows to be one of the perks of my job.

  • Monday, February, 10, 2014
    Blog: Don't Let Sexual Orientation Define Sam

    "I'm not afraid to tell the world who I am. I'm Michael Sam: I'm a college graduate. I'm African American, and I'm gay," he said. "I'm comfortable in my skin."

  • Friday, December, 13, 2013
    RG3's Best Qualities Transcend Football

    A man best known for his athletic accomplishments does his best work off the field.

  • Tuesday, October, 29, 2013
    Blog: 9 Social Media Dos and Don'ts for Student-Athletes

    A professor of mine in journalism school at Missouri once said (actually, he tweeted): "Social media is like a gun. Smart people will use it as a useful tool, not-so-smart people will shoot themselves in the foot with it."

  • Thursday, October, 10, 2013
    Blog: The Wussification Has to Stop

    First there were youth sports leagues that stopped keeping score for fear of someone having hurt feelings. Then there's the football league in California that does keep score, but penalizes the teams that win by too much. Now, it appears we've reached a level of softness even Charmin can't match.