• Foes of Skowhegan 'Indians' Name Vow to Keep Up Fight

    by Doug Harlow, Morning Sentinel June 2015

    Letters have been sent to the state education commissioner, the state Board of Education, the Skowhegan-based School Administrative District 54 school board and to the Maine Press Association. The letters say the same thing: Please stop using the word "Indians" when referring to Skowhegan Area High School sports teams.

  • Could NCAA Benefit from Sports Gambling Legalization?

    by John Harris, Pittsburgh Tribune Review June 2015

    Like their more vocal professional brethren, the NCAA stands staunchly against legalizing sports gambling and largely for the same reason: the integrity of the games. However, unlike the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB, the NCAA has been plagued with scandals related to game fixing during the past two decades.

  • Columnist: JRW Won't Back Down in Little League Fight

    by Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times June 2015

    The Jackie Robinson West champions and their parents sat silently last week as attorney Victor Henderson announced the long-awaited court filing against Little League International.

  • Board of Trustees Says Lady Vols Nickname Not on the Agenda

    by Dan Fleser June 2015

    University of Tennessee Board of Trustees vice chair James L. Murphy III responded to "numerous letters and emails" to him and other board members about considering the issue.

  • Bill Would Create Commission to Oversee College Athletics

    by Stuart Goldman June 2015

    Five members of Congress, including some who have criticized the NCAA’s handling of recent sanctions against Penn State University and Syracuse University, introduced a bill last week aimed at NCAA reform.

    Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) announced plans last Thursday to introduce the National Collegiate Athletics Accountability Act, local and national media outlets reported. The bill is similar to legislation Dent and Beatty proposed in 2013, according to the Huffington Post:

    Like that bill, the new legislation requires concussion testing for all athletes in contact sports, mandates that schools guarantee four-year scholarships to athletes in those sports, and seeks to improve due process rights for athletes and schools accused of NCAA rules infractions. The bill would prevent universities from accessing federal Title IV education funds if they do not comply with these stipulations.

    Related: NCAA's Punishment of Penn State Swift, Severe

    The bill also would create a presidential commission to oversee broad issues of college athletics, such as financial transparency, tax regulations and the recruiting and retention of student-athletes, the Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call reported.

    “Make no mistake about it, the NCAA is a corporate colossus, and it’s high time we take a look at it,” Katko said in a report.

    At a press conference, Rush was most critical of the NCAA, saying it “exploits (athletes’) labor without pay,” according to the Huffington Post. Rush added it is beyond time to reform “the abysmal cesspool that’s called college athletics in America.”

    Dent, who like Thompson is a Penn State graduate, said the bill was born from the NCAA's responses to letters he wrote regarding the NCAA sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, the Morning Call reported. Dent and Thompson said the NCAA did not provide Penn State with due process.

    “The attitude of that institution, their lack of responsiveness and frankly the arrogant way they handled it, is what drove me,” Dent said in the Morning Call. “[The NCAA] had a total lack of regard to people who appropriate public money.”

    Katko represents a district in New York that includes Syracuse. He was critical of the sanctions against the Syracuse University football and men’s basketball teams, including a nine-game suspension of Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim. Katko said the NCAA “went out of their way to humiliate and pound on Jim Boeheim” and added the presidential commission would “take a fresh look at what the NCAA has become,” the Morning Call reported.

    The NCAA had no comment on the bill, according to the media outlets.

    Related: Daryl Gross Out as Syracuse AD, Boeheim to Retire

  • Private/Public Debate in the Spotlight at TSSAA Work Session

    by Chris Thomas June 2015

    The TSSAA discussed five scenarios that would alter the landscape of high school sports in Tennessee, but struggled to reach a consensus on how to level the playing field among its member schools.

  • IHSA Exec's Pay Package Rose 24 Percent in One Year

    by Chris Fusco June 2015

    The governing body for high school sports in Illinois - which has come under scrutiny over the salaries and pensions it pays its staff and over whether it's sharing enough of its income with schools - reported a 24 percent increase in the salary and benefits of its top executive, who plans to retire early next year, newly obtained records show.

  • Opinion: Time for US Soccer to Boycott World Cup

    by Tom Hoffarth, Redlands Daily Facts June 2015

    Your week in review, as long as it's posed in the form of a question: The U.S. attorney general seems to have her hands around the neck of the man who has been re-elected as grand wizard of the world- wide kickball association.

  • Seven FIFA Officials Arrested on Corruption Charges

    by Laura Godlewski May 2015

    The rumors of corruption plaguing FIFA have finally come to a head following the arrest of seven top soccer officials on Wednesday at a hotel in Switzerland. The seven officials will be extradited to the United States on federal corruption charges alleging widespread corruption spanning two decades -- including bids for World Cups and marketing and broadcast deals -- throughout the organization. The charges, part of a 47-count indictment unsealed Wednesday morning in New York, include racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. Sports-marketing executives from the United States and South America were also named in the indictment, accused of paying more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in order to receive media deals during major soccer tournaments.

    “Today’s announcement should send a message that enough is enough,” acting U.S. attorney Kelly T. Currie said in a statement. “After decades of what the indictment alleges to be brazen corruption, organized international soccer needs a new start – a new chance for its governing institutions to provide honest oversight and support of a sport that is beloved across the world, increasingly so here in the United States. Let me be clear: this indictment is not the final chapter in our investigation.”  

    Hours after the arrests were made, Swiss officials announced that they had opened criminal cases related to the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. According to Swiss officials, “electronic data and documents were seized today at FIFA’s head office in Zurich.”

    Read the Department of Justice's Full Press Release

    The seven arrested are connected with regional confederations of North and South America and face up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted of the charges. In total, the indictment charges nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives, six of whom have already entered guilty pleas.

    According to the United States Justice Department, the corruption is linked to World Cup qualifying matches, as well as the Copa America, the continental championship of South America. U.S. authorities suspect that the arrested officials received or paid bribes totaling millions of dollars and that the bribes were agreed to and prepared in the U.S., and payments were carried out through U.S. banks.

    “When leaders in an organization resort to cheating the very members that they are supposed to represent, they must be held accountable,” said Richard Weber, chief of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.  “Corruption, tax evasion and money laundering are certainly not the cornerstones of any successful business. Whether you call it soccer or football, the fans, players and sponsors around the world who love this game should not have to worry about officials corrupting their sport.  This case isn't about soccer, it is about fairness and following the law. IRS-CI will continue to investigate financial crimes and follow the money wherever it may lead around the world, leveling the playing field for those who obey the law.”

    In addition to the search of FIFA’s headquarters by Swiss officials, United States officials executed search warrants at CONCACAF headquarters in Miami Beach. CONCACAF is the North American regional body and reported itself in 2012 to U.S. tax authorities. CONCACAF’s former president left the soccer world in 2011 to avoid FIFA sanctions as a result of a bribery scandal associated with the election for the FIFA presidential position of that year. The former secretary general of CONCACAF left the organization in 2013 and pleaded guilty to charges.

    Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter was not arrested or indicted and is expected to remain president of the organization.

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  • Satellite Camps, Grad Transfer Rules Irk SEC Coaches

    by David Paschall May 2015

    The Southeastern Conference suddenly has gone from dominant to disadvantaged in college football, and league coaches aren't taking that well. SEC coaches had their say Tuesday afternoon as the conference's spring meetings kicked off in Destin, Fla.