• Pace-of-Play Clock Shortening Most MiLB Games

    by Glenn Jordan May 2015

    The Eastern League is experimenting with a pitch clock this year in an effort to speed up games. Is it working?

  • Athletes-as-Employees Model Would Alter ND Approach

    by Paul Steinbach May 2015

    The University of Notre Dame is the latest school to express that it would withdraw from the current setup of big-time college sports in the event student-athletes are deemed to be employees, according to athletic director Jack Swarbrick, who appeared as a panelist at a Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Sports meeting Tuesday.

    "Notre Dame's just not prepared to participate in any model where the athlete isn't a student first and foremost — that's the hallmark for us," Swarbrick told USA TODAY Sports. "If the entire model were to move toward athletes as employees, we'd head in a different direction. Our president has been clear about that. I'm not articulating a unique position."

    It's one that's not unique to Notre Dame, either. Northwestern University president emeritus Henry Beinen, a Knight Commission member, expressed a hope that Northwestern athletics would likewise seek a different approach to athletics, if the National Labor Relations Board concludes that an employer-employee relationship exists. The NLRB is deliberating the March 2014 ruling of regional director Peter Sung Ohr that Northwestern's scholarship football players are employees of the university, a ruling that included an order that Northwestern players vote on whether or not to unionize.

    "If we wound up with a business where you wound up paying the players to play, I think alumni would have a different view [of college sports]," Beinen said. "I think the faculty would be unaccepting of it, at least at universities like Northwestern and Stanford and maybe Notre Dame, Rice, Duke. … We haven't gotten there by a long shot. Will we? I don't know. I hope not."

    After appearing at a Congressional hearing on the Northwestern unionization effort last May, Stanford University athletic director Bernard Muir told USA Today Sports, "If [Stanford's athletes] are deemed employees, we will opt for a different model."

    Speaking at Tuesday's meeting, NCAA vice president Kevin Lennon reiterated the associations long-standing position that student-athletes are amateurs. “Amateur status, as defined by being college eligible, is compromised when they use their athletic skill for pay,” Lennon said. “The introduction of pay may lead some — not all, but some — to not take full advantage of these educational opportunities that are available to them in their college years.”

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  • Coaches Divided on NCAA's Graduate Transfer Rule

    by Ken Sugiura; Staff May 2015

    On the balance sheet for graduate transfers, Georgia Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory is running safely in the black. The NCAA rule that allows athletes with eligibility remaining to transfer without having to sit out a season if they've already graduated brought Gregory his starting center for the 2014-15 season (Demarco Cox) and his likely starting shooting guard for next season (Adam Smith).

  • NFL Owners Vote to Move PAT Kicks to 15-Yard Line

    by Lindsay H. Jones, @bylindsayhjones, USA TODAY Sports May 2015

    The most boring play in the NFL will get slightly more interesting. League owners at the spring meetings approved multiple changes to the point-after attempt Tuesday.

  • Hockey Labor Law in Washington Spares WHL Teams

    by Jim Camden, (509) 879-7461 May 2015

    Te bill affects all players between 16 and 20 years of age who play for a team in a regional, national or international league. It specifically answers a complaint with the Labor Department about young WHL players in Spokane, Seattle, Everett and the Tri-Cities.

  • The AB Extra: May 15

    by Laura Godlewski May 2015

    This week's AB Extra features new plans for an abandoned outdoor stadium in Miami, the reopening of the 'world's most dangerous theme park', and a classy move by the Baltimore Orioles regarding the cancelled and rescheduled games due to protests in the city. Happy Friday!

  • Editorial: School Fails at Tracking Academic Eligibility

    by Editorials May 2015

    Rarely do you get do-overs in sports. A team or player implicated in cheating will get penalized after the fact - consider Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady and deflategate - but you can't go back and replay the game.

  • Brady Goes on Offense; Goodell to Hear QB's Appeal

    by Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports May 2015

    Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appealed his four-game suspension Thursday, three days after the NFL issued the ban following Ted Wells' report on the Deflategate scandal that found it "more probable than not" the two-time MVP was aware he was using underinflated footballs during January's AFC Championship Game.

  • Child's Injury Raises Questions About Rec Center Oversight

    by Laura Godlewski May 2015

    A Georgia mother is upset after she says her child was injured while playing on faulty equipment at a county recreation center. 

    Hilary Logan’s 11 year-old son J.J. was playing near a foam pit at the Tucker Recreation Center in DeKalb County when he fell into the foam pit and bumped his head. 

  • New Baseball Complex Comes Up Short for Teens

    by John Martin May 2015

    Some youth baseball tournament games scheduled for the new complex at North Green River and Heckel roads have had to be moved because its fields were not built for players 13 and older.