• Technology and Social Media Alter the Future of Heisman Trophy Campaigns

    by Michael Gaio December 2013

    As gutsy coaching calls go, this one ranked right up there with any in the career of Baylor University's Art Briles. What set this one apart, though, was that it was made away from the football sideline.

    Briles' decision to give Baylor's athletic communications staff the green light to pursue an all-out Heisman Trophy campaign for a then under-the-radar quarterback named Robert Griffin III would change the school forever and rewrite a marketing playbook for other schools with Heisman hopefuls.

  • RG3's Best Qualities Transcend Football

    by Michael Gaio December 2013

    A man best known for his athletic accomplishments does his best work off the field.

  • College Athletics Officials Adamantly Against Pay for Play

    by Paul Steinbach September 2013

    The Division IA Athletic Directors' Association, a record 120 members of which met this week in Dallas, released a statement Wednesday relaying a unified "rejection of the 'pay-for-play' model" of student-athlete compensation.

  • OSU, WVU, LSU in Damage Control as Expose Released

    by Paul Steinbach September 2013

    As journalistic bombshells go, Tuesday's release of the first in a five-part Sports Illustrated expose into past improprieties in the Oklahoma State University football program was widely regarded as a dud. That said, both Oklahoma State and West Virginia, the school at which one of the implicated former OSU coaches now works, were in full damage control as of Monday. OSU athletic director Mike Holder addressed the media, stating, "I apologize to all of the athletic directors in the [Big 12] conference for what's about to happen, what's about to be said about a member institution. That reflects on everyone, all of our brothers and peers." Holder, who has been in Stillwater since 1966 as a student or university employee (he became AD in 2005), went on to say, "I really feel like that at 65 years of age, everything that I've done until now has prepared me for this moment in time, so I just hope to make everybody proud at the end of this process." (He later said that his apology should not be taken as an admission of wrongdoing by OSU athletics.) A proces is under way at WVU, as well. A university source told The Charleston Gazette that an in-house investigation into the accusations against Mountaineers assistant coach Joe DeForest, who SI sources claim paid players performance bonuses while at OSU during a period spanning 2001 to 2007, will be done "quickly, but thoroughly" and will focus solely on his tenure at WVU.

  • 'Transformative Change' Coming to College Athletics

    by Michael Gaio July 2013

    The days of the NCAA as we know it are numbered -- at least according to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. Last week it was SEC commissioner Mike Slive taking a few subtle jabs at the NCAA. Yesterday, Bowlsby took those comments one step further.

  • High School Sports Network Coming Soon

    by Michael Gaio June 2013

    First there was ESPN, the first network devoted to 24/7 sports coverage. Then came conference-specific networks at the college level: The Big Ten Network, the Pac-12 Network and soon, the SEC Network. Even individual colleges have their own networks.

  • Sand Volleyball Closes In On NCAA Championship Status

    by Paul Steinbach May 2013

    Louisiana State University announced Wednesday that it will begin sponsoring varsity sand volleyball next spring, making it the 32nd Division I school committed to the sport - more than doubling the 15 schools that competed last year during collegiate sand volleyball's inaugural varsity season.

  • Hope (for Humanity) Springs Eternal at Spring Games

    by Paul Steinbach April 2013

    There's a lot of humanity at college football spring games in 2013. The University of Kentucky drew 50,831 to its game last Saturday. That's 30,506 more fans than had ever seen the Wildcats scrimmage before, and that places Kentucky second in the current spring game attendance rankings. But not for long. Alabama, which tees it up tomorrow, has averaged 86,089 fans per spring game during the six-year Nick Saban era.

  • America's Oldest Ballparks Go Hollywood for '42'

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor April 2013

    In the new Jackie Robinson biopic 42, which opened Friday, Brooklyn Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese (played by Lucas Blake) does his best to put Robinson - portrayed to near-perfection by 30-year-old Chadwick Boseman - at ease in a hostile ballpark environment during his 1947 rookie season as the first African American player in Major League Baseball. "Maybe tomorrow, we'll all wear 42," Reese says. "That way, they won't be able to tell us apart."

  • Get Ready for AB Facility Madness

    by Michael Gaio March 2013

    An outstanding home facility can make all the difference in college hoops. Take Missouri, my alma mater, for example: A perfect 17-0 at home; a painfully disappointing 2-8 on the road. Ouch. And these days, facilities are more impressive than ever as they become a major weapon in the recruiting arms race.