Media & Technology: Sports Media
SEC Network Debuts Today, Impact Could Be Huge
by Brad Senkiw August 2014
When the Big Ten became the first conference to create an entire television network to itself in 2007, programming reached 16 million viewers in its inaugural season. The SEC Network, which made its historical launch Thursday, is set to be in nearly 90 million homes — which matches where the Big Ten is seven years later. The SEC also joins the Pac-12 and Texas’ more-criticized-than-viewed Longhorn Network, even though the SEC, which prides itself on being ahead of the curve, waited a while before going out on its own.
Winners, Losers from Week that Changed College Sports
by Naples Daily News (Florida) August 2014
Football games don’t begin for about three weeks, but college sports has its first winners and losers of the season. Two major decisions in about a 30-hour period Thursday and Friday shook the landscape. First, the NCAA granting governing autonomy to the power conferences was seen by some as creating a new, über-class of 65 schools. A gated community of programs, so to speak.
Spurs Hire NBA's First Paid Woman Assistant Coach
by Rexford Sheild August 2014
Coming off a 2014 NBA Championship, the San Antonio Spurs added to the depth of their coaching staff with the hire of Becky Hammon as an assistant coach. But this isn't an everyday-type of hire. Hammon, the former WNBA star who is finishing up her 16th year in the league, will be the first woman paid to serve as an assistant coach in NBA history.
More Players' Names Could Emerge in Biogenesis Fallout
by Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports August 2014
Just when you thought Major League Baseball had finally recovered from last summer's drug scandal, along came Tuesday's wake-up call. Tony Bosch, former director of Biogenesis, was among 10 people arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids to professional and high school athletes. It came on the first anniversary of MLB suspending 13 players for using performance-enhancing drugs procured from the South Florida anti-aging clinic.
Redskins' Owner Snyder: Aid to Tribe 'Is Not PR'
by Erik Brady, USA TODAY Sports August 2014
Daniel Snyder said Monday that he was moved by what he found on visits to Indian Country and said that's why he started a foundation to help tribes on reservations across the country. "It's sort of fun to talk about the name of our football team, because it gets some attention for some of the people who write about it who need clicks," the owner of the Washington Redskins said on ESPN 980, the radio station he owns. "But the reality is no one ever talks about what goes on on reservations." Snyder told Chris Cooley, a former Washington tight end who conducted the interview from the team's training camp in Richmond, Va., "What I did see that got me and touched me and really moved me, and I think you know, because you've visited a lot of reservations yourself, is the plight of Native Americans. Things that people don't talk about."
Did Biogenesis Founder Bosch Reach Teens with Steroids?
by Andrew Brandt August 2014
Today marks the one year anniversary of Major League Baseball's largest suspension sentencing, where more than a dozen players' seasons were halted due to their doping ties with Biogenesis.
Bon Jovi Pens Open Letter, But Bills Fans Aren't Buying It
by Jerry Zremski; News Washington Bureau Chief August 2014
Jon Bon Jovi tried showing Buffalo a little love over the weekend, but in response, Bills fans seem to be collectively screeching: "You give love a bad name." A day after The Buffalo News published an open letter to Bills fans in which Bon Jovi said the Toronto-based group he fronts would be committed to keeping the team in Buffalo, it was clear that many Bills fans looked at the shaggy-maned rocker's missive as nothing but a shaggy dog story. "At no point in his nice letter does he say he's not moving the team from Buffalo," said Matt Sabuda, president of the Buffalo Fan Alliance.
Soccer Draws Top Yankee Stadium Crowd in '14
by Rexford Sheild August 2014
The New York Yankees are synonymous with success at the MLB level, but it was a different scene at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, as the stadium hosted two of the top international soccer teams -- Manchester City and Liverpool -- in front of a packed house.
Ohio State's Meyer: Football Playoff Poses Travel Burden
by Tim May, The Columbus Dispatch July 2014
If Ohio State has a dream season, it could be a nightmare scenario -- financially -- for many players' families, coach Urban Meyer said, and he wants that addressed.
TCF Bank Stadium Switches to Grass for Soccer Match
by Rexford Sheild July 2014
When the Minnesota Gophers' TCF Bank Stadium opened in 2009, it joined the growing list of collegiate and professional stadiums sporting synthetic turf. But this weekend, the stadium will be sporting a more natural look when it hosts a soccer matchup on Saturday featuring two of the most premier teams from Europe. Manchester City, champions of the English Premier League this past season, will face off against Olympiacos, winners of the Superleague Greece, as part of the the second annual Guinness International Champions Cup tournament.
Workers are busy installing sod over the existing synthetic turf, creating a playing surface more akin to what the players are accustomed to. "Because you end up running 7, 8 miles in a soccer match running on [synthetic] turf is not good for your legs," tournament spokesman Harrison Raboy said. "They play on grass, and that's the most natural playing surface for soccer."
University of Minnesota athletic department spokesman Dan Reisig noted the sod used is a bit thicker than what you normally might see in a backyard, and the process of installing the grass was, as Reisig called it, a "pretty significant effort." After the field is installed, it requires delicate care, including mowing the grass to the preferred length, putting patterns on it, and painting and watering it.
Despite the effort involved, the installation will not be a permanent fixture. The Premier League match will be followed by another featuring North America Soccer League members Minnesota United and Ottawa Fury, with tickets being valid for both contests. The stadium will return to its natural playing surface of synthetic turf on Monday, and some of the grass used for the match will be repurposed with the rest of it being recycled.
The tournament takes places in 13 cities and 12 stadiums in both the United States and Canada. TCF Bank will not be the only stadium hauling in natural grass and redoing its playing surface; Michigan Stadium is bringing in that same type of thickened sod to host Manchester United and Real Madrid. Steve Bush, owner of Bush Turf, said in an interview with Mlive.com's Michael Niziolek that the initial layer of sod is like "thick landscaping fabric" and once that is laid down, truckloads of sod are moved in. However, the difficulty with this is that Michigan Stadium only has one tunnel through which to shuttle the sod.
When you look at the grand scheme of turning the whole field around for an international soccer "friendly," there has to be some sort of validation for such a laboring process, and there certainly is in Michigan's case. When the game gets underway on Saturday afternoon, it is estimated to be one of the most-attended soccer matches ever, with the stadium holding over 109,000 spectators, which will greatly assist local businesses as well as Ann Arbor's economy. Not to mention, there could be some positive, residual effects for Detroit's economy, but there have been no projected gains yet.
The third and final synthetic-turf stadium among the 12 tournament hosts is California Memorial Stadium, home to the Cal Bears, which also changed its playing surface to grass when Real Madrid played Inter Milan on July 26.
Rexford Sheild is an intern with Athletic Business.