Paul Steinbach
Paul Steinbach joined the Athletic Business staff in November 1999, and now holds the title of senior editor. His work covering college athletics and sports facility operation has garnered several regional and national journalism honors, including a Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award. He is a 1989 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and currently resides with his children Jack and Libby in his hometown of West Bend, Wis. In his spare time, he enjoys mowing patterns into his backyard ballpark — the naming rights to which are still available.
  • Monday, June, 30, 2014
    End-to-End Practice Courts Afford K-State Flexibility

    When one thinks of multi-court gymnasiums, a boxy side-by-side configuration typically comes to mind. The two-year-old basketball training facility at Kansas State University, designed by Kansas City, Mo.-based Populous, instead features two courts placed end to end.


  • Wednesday, June, 11, 2014
    Adding Warmth, Sound-Dampening to an Aquatic Center

    MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects has been introducing wood to indoor aquatic environments for 20 years — starting with decks, then moving to wall cladding and ultimately ceilings.


  • Monday, May, 12, 2014
    Roll-Up Doors Flood Wellness Center Pool with Fresh Air

    In recreation centers, roll-up doors made of metal are typically used to allow for easy transport of equipment between indoor and outdoor activity spaces, or to close off storage areas or point-of-sale operations.


  • Monday, May, 12, 2014
    Spectator Venues Are Realizing the Benefits of Downsizing Seating Capacity

    You don't build the church for Easter Sunday," the saying goes, and the same applies to the sizing of today's sports cathedrals — the stadiums and arenas at the highest levels of competition — many of which are recognizing the strategic benefits of downsizing their seating capacities.


  • Tuesday, May, 06, 2014
    LED Technology Poised to Revolutionize Outdoor Sports Lighting

    As the idiom suggests, the difference between night and day is dramatic — particularly when viewed from a literal illumination standpoint. High noon on a sunny day will introduce 8,000 foot-candles of light to the earth. By comparison, a moonlit night — one bright enough to read a newspaper by — produces three one-hundredths of one foot-candle. Thus, turning night into something resembling day for sports participants, fans and live television audiences is not a task to be taken lightly.


  • Wednesday, April, 23, 2014
    Wages, 'Jiggle Test' Cited in Bills Cheerleader Suit

    Perhaps following the lead of their counterparts in Cincinnati and Oakland, five former members of the Buffalo Bills cheerleading squad, known as the Jills, have sued the team, as well as the Jills' current and former management companies.


  • Thursday, April, 17, 2014
    NCAA Leans Toward Unlimited Feeding… Now What?

    The NCAA legislative council approved Tuesday the removal of rules limiting Division I member schools as to what and how often they can feed student-athletes, satisfying sports nutritionists who had long lobbied for such action. Still, the decision caught Dave Ellis, a past president of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association, by surprise. He feels the NCAA was likely swayed by University of Connecticut men's basketball player Shabazz Napier's oft-quoted admission earlier this month that he and his teammates frequently experience "hungry nights."

    "The NCAA needs a 'W' on the student-athlete welfare front," Ellis told AB via e-mail Tuesday night. "Maybe we had a little influence, too. It's all good. A historic day for fueling."

    The question remains as to what schools will do with this new feeding freedom, which still must gain NCAA board of directors approval April 24. Those athletic departments with sufficient resources will certainly take advantage of one more means to gain a competitive edge — or at least keep pace — with rival schools in recruiting and on the field. "We do need to see if the ADs follow through," Ellis says, cautioning that the new ruling "could get pushback from member institutions."

    Reached for further comment today, Ellis adds that the ruling has the potential to draw several athletics administrators (beyond registered dietitians, if a given school even has one) closer to the training table — from marketers seeking cost-efficiencies from vendors to development officers linking donations to expanded food supplies. "Where there is no Sports RD, you simply have overworked people saying, 'Who is going to manage?' At financially overstretched schools, you have people saying, 'How are we going to pay?' " Ellis says. "At schools where you have a Sports RD, they are saying, 'Let's get started and here is a first step. Here is how we are going to get more for our money, and here are our priorities over the next three years.' "

    Regardless of their given circumstances, all athletic departments should be thinking along the same lines, according to Ellis. " 'Longterm, here is what we are going to do out of our own dining hall so we can better meet the needs of our athletes who compete and eat on weekends and holidays and during late hours,' " he says. "It becomes a simple exercise when someone in athletics shows some vision and leadership on a fundamental underpinning of student-athlete welfare versus flinching like the sky if falling." 

     


  • Tuesday, April, 15, 2014
    Design Details: Auto Garage Salvaged as Swim School

    Adaptive reuse is viewed as a key factor in the rejuvenation of historic or older structures and land. But there's another "green" aspect of the process that makes adaptive reuse resonate even more with facility owners: It can save money. Case in point is Splash Swim School in Walnut Creek, Calif., which was constructed for a cool $1 million.


  • Tuesday, April, 08, 2014
    U. of Alabama MAC Is a Transparent Showpiece

    By design, multipurpose activity courts are confined spaces — their dasher systems often relegated to out-of-the-way reaches of a recreation center's footprint. In some cases, MACs are completely enclosed rooms of floor-to-ceiling cinderblock. Not so at the University of Alabama's Student Activity Center at Presidential Village, where the MAC — and the activities it accommodates — is on full display. Glass dashers standing eight feet tall surround most of the synthetic playing surface lined for basketball, hockey and soccer, with netting extending to the rafters to keep projectiles in and out. Convertible goals can be recessed for soccer or brought into the field of play for hockey (with glass added to close off the rink end walls).


    The MAC is situated as one of three courts in an otherwise hardwood gym on the center's second level. It's the first element visitors see as they reach the top of a monumental staircase. Says Dave Larson, senior vice president and director of design for Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TMP Architecture Inc., "We wanted a transparent element that wouldn't break up the flow of the space visually."


    This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Design Details"


  • Wednesday, April, 02, 2014
    Social Media Revolutionizes Campus Rec Marketing

    As the literature on the bulletin board went unnoticed, Chris Butler could see the writing on the wall.


  • 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.


  • 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.