• Ex-Coach Won't Face Charges for Exposing Self to Team

    by Eli Francovich July 2017

    No criminal charges will be filed against a Spokane high school football coach accused of placing his penis inside a hot dog bun in front of players at a leadership camp last summer. The Shoshone County Prosecutor's Office declined to file charges on June 21. At least three football players claimed that while former Ferris High School football coach Jim Sharkey was grilling hot dogs and hamburgers at the camp along the Coeur d'Alene River near Cataldo, Idaho, he turned toward them with his exposed penis inside a hot dog bun. Sharkey's coaching contract was not renewed by Spokane Public Schools in late March. He had coached the Ferris Saxons since 2006 and won a state championship in 2010. In 2016, the team went 5-5.

  • Saban Sounds Alarm on Talk of Earlier Signing Day

    by Andy Berg July 2017

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban is concerned high school seniors might skip their final prep seasons to avoid injuries once they’ve signed with a college team.

    Just last week Saban was asked by CBS Sports for comment on the way Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey’s bowed out of last year’s bowl games, presumably to avoid injury before entering the NFL draft. Saban said he’s worried about more of the same from high school players if the NCAA were to move up its signing day. 

    "Same thing will happen in high school if they make the signing day before the season," Saban said. "It will take a few years, then some kid will say, 'Hey, I'm going to Notre Dame. I'm not playing my senior year.'”

    Saban may not be completely off base in his concerns.

    This year’s recently approved early signing day will be held Dec. 20, 2017, for the 2018 recruiting class, which means players still need that final high school season to prove themselves. The existing date in early February will remain.

    The NCAA said that the new earlier signing date would allow those recruits who have their minds made up to commit earlier and thus not be hassled by recruiters as they’re completing their senior year.

    University of Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said he thought the new date was a good thing for players and teams. "If you can sign them and that part would be done, it would be good,” Chryst told “No one’s fighting the early signing in the discussions I’ve been a part of."

    SBNation pointed out that the earlier signings could have some drawbacks for players. Most coaching changes happen in December and January after some prospects will have signed early.

    Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, said he’s not a fan of having any specified signing day.

    “I'm not sure that a signing date is exactly what we need in today's environment,” Bowlsby said during a recent press conference, which was reported by SBNation. “I have asked coaches, athletic directors, conference commissioners repeatedly over the last 12 months why we have a signing date. It seems to me that, if we have 70 percent of the student-athletes, the prospects that want to commit relatively early, that one date is not all that important. The only answer I've ever gotten is ‘because we've always had a signing date.’”

    Bowlsby said he thinks players should be allowed to sign as early as spring. “I think you could end up with a signing window, where you would say, ‘OK, we're going to do visits in April, May and June, we're gonna go to camp,’” Bowlsby said.

    Check out Saban's comments on early signing dates from October of last year: 

  • Ex-Coach in Settlement Talks Over Age Discrimination

    by Jim Baumbach July 2017

    The age-discrimination lawsuit filed in March by longtime Garden City High School baseball coach Rich Smith is on hold while the two sides engage in settlement talks, according to a court filing.

  • HS Teams Forced to Scatter During Field Construction

    by Randy Whitehouse July 2017

    The fall sports season is little more than three weeks away, and Lewiston's teams are preparing for a vagabond existence as construction of their new fields continues. Lewiston athletic director Jason Fuller is pleased with the progress of the project, which broke ground in late May and includes three new fields (two with artificial turf) and a track. "Obviously, they've gotten a lot of work done in a short period of time, and I'm feeling very positive about the direction we're going," Fuller said. Subgrade work is nearly complete for the project, which also includes a new elementary school. Fuller hopes the fields will be completed in time for the start of the 2018 school season.

  • Transgender Wrestler Hits YouTube to Oppose Texas Bill

    by Andy Berg July 2017

    The transgender wrestler who won the Texas state girls' championship but identifies as a boy is hoping to take down a proposed “bathroom bill” in his home state.

  • Texas HS Completes Design of $48M Athletics Facilities

    by Andy Berg July 2017

    A school district in Texas is going big with its new athletics facilities.  

    Prosper Independent School District, in Prosper, Texas, has completed design on a $48 million, 12,000-capacity stadium and natatorium complex.  

    According to a post on the Prosper ISD website, the project, which was designed by the architectural firm Huckabee, was approved and will be funded from a $710 million bond issue that was passed nearly 10 years ago.

    The project was scheduled to be completed about seven years ago, but the economy turned sour and the district had to put it off. The district says now is the time. “Since we are not opening any new schools this year due to the uncertainty of public school funding, we have a window to insert these facilities that are needed and long overdue but do not carry any significant staffing costs as do schools,” read a statement on the completion on the design.

    The Prosper ISD website says the district continues to grow about 100 percent every five years, identifying itself as one the top five fastest-growing school districts in the state of Texas out of 1,100-plus school districts.

    “We have designed a facility that will meet the needs of PISD for many years to come while engineering it in a way that comes in at price tag $15 million to $20 million less expensive than recent similar projects in the metroplex and across the state,” the website states.

    Prosper ISD New Stadium from Huckabee on Vimeo.

  • HS Stadium on Track for Football Opener

    by Joe Sirera July 2017

    Smith High School's stadium renovations remain on track for the Golden Eagles' Aug. 18 football opener.

  • States Mandate Face Masks in High School Softball

    by Courtney Cameron July 2017

    The Missouri State High School Activities Association has updated the softball manual for the 2017 season with a new mandate that all pitchers wear a protective mask during play.

  • Parents Question New Athletics Participation Fee

    by Joe Sirera July 2017

    Some parents still have significant questions and concerns about the new athletics participation fee enacted by...

  • Embezzlement Charges Against Ex-Football Coach Dropped

    by Alicia Petska July 2017

    Burt Torrence, who resigned last year after a decade with the school, had been facing multiple counts of felony embezzlement, embezzlement of public funds and obtaining money by false pretenses.