• New Preseason Football Practice Guidelines Considered

    by Ernie Clark August 2016

    Double sessions of preseason practice have represented a rite of passage for generations of high school football players. Two-a-days are underway this week at many Maine schools under strict guidelines regulating the length of practice sessions, protective equipment used, amount of contact allowed, and recovery time -- all designed to help players cope with the mid-August heat. "The biggest concern with preseason is acclimatization, acclimatization not only to the heat but also re-acclimatization to the sport," said Chris Sementelli, program manager for MaineGeneral Sports Medicine in Augusta and a liaison to the Maine Principals' Association sports medicine committee. While double sessions remain the norm at many high schools, some programs have veered away from the tradition for reasons that have less to do with Mother Nature and more to do with changing demographics and competing demands.

  • HS Under Investigation for Possible Practice Violations

    by Rick Ryan August 2016

    The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is looking into possible football practice violations by Class A power Wheeling Central. The possible violations in question involve players wearing pads during the first week of practice, which began Aug. 1 for high schools in West Virginia.

  • Study: Most NCAA Violations Involve Big-Money Sports

    by Eric Olson August 2016

    Big-money sports football and men's basketball were involved in 83 percent of NCAA Division I major infractions cases from 1953 to 2014, according to the first study of its kind released Tuesday. Probation and public reprimand and censure were the most common penalties.

  • Opinion: Despite Dangers, Kickoffs Belong in NFL

    by Paul Woody August 2016

    Nothing about football is safe. As players have gotten bigger, stronger and faster, the game has moved from a collision sport to something close to a car wreck on almost every play. The NFL constantly tries to make the game safer, but it borders on a losing proposition. Players give little thought to their bodies or future once they take the field.

  • Indiana to Experiment with 40-Second Play Clock

    by Gordon Engelhardt August 2016

    Indiana will be guinea pigs for the rest of the country, using a 40-second clock similar to what is used in the college ranks. For years, Indiana used a 25-second clock. Once a play was over, the umpire spotted the ball for play and signaled for a 25-second clock to begin, counting down to the next snap.

  • Opinion: Petty Transfer Rules Need to Be Overhauled

    by Jeff Schultz August 2016

    Head coaches leave for other jobs in the middle of contracts all the time. The players? They're stuck. Because scholarships tend to be a one-way contracts

  • NCAA Accepts Mizzou Sanctions, Adds Probation Year

    by Topeka Capital-Journal August 2016

    The NCAA infractions committee panel's findings over what it said were roughly $11,400 in improper inducements and benefits given to players and a recruit by two boosters was released Tuesday, nearly seven months after Missouri admitted NCAA violations dating to 2011.

  • Olympics an Opportunity for NCAA Athletes to Cash In

    by Steve Berkowitz August 2016

    Kyle Snyder couldn't get much more than an athletic scholarship from Ohio State this past school year, when he won an NCAA wrestling title for the Buckeyes as a sophomore. But he did get paid by somebody else to wrestle. In addition to $50,000 for winning a world championship in September, USA Wrestling has been giving Snyder $1,000 a month to cover training expenses -- both without running afoul of NCAA rules. "We dot the I's and cross the T's," said USA Wrestling national teams high performance manager Cody Bickley, who added that his organization discussed Snyder's situation with members of Ohio State's athletics compliance office and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee staff. "You don't just write an NCAA athlete a check. They have questions on how it works. We made sure that Ohio State understands what the NCAA and the U.S. Olympic Committee has offered up." What they've offered is an opportunity for world-class athletes in Olympic sports to keep playing for colleges even as they receive outside benefits worth hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Did Youth Soccer Teams Tank to Advance in Tourney?

    by Jason Scott August 2016

    Two soccer teams raised eyebrows as they competed in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships last week, when it appeared that they played to a scoreless draw on purpose in order to advance.

  • Payton: Kickoff Rule Will Bring More Returns, Not Fewer

    by The Buffalo News August 2016

    New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is skeptical of the new touchback rule working the way the NFL intended in an attempt to cut down on injuries during kickoffs.