Andy Berg
Andy Berg (andy@athleticbusiness.com) joined Athletic Business as Executive Editor in May of 2017. Andy brings 10 years of B2B publishing experience to AB. In 2008, he began as an associate editor for Advantage Business Media’s Wireless Week brand, which covers the wireless communications industry. From there, Andy took over the executive editor position at Wireless Week and CED Magazine. In 2015, Andy moved within Advantage Business Media to become Editorial Director for the company’s Manufacturing vertical, which is comprised of seven brands positioned across the manufacturing sector.
  • Wednesday, July, 26, 2017
    Report: U.S. Obesity Drives Fitness Market

    While the United States is most certainly not the fittest country on the planet, Americans are buying more fitness equipment than any other nation.


  • Tuesday, July, 25, 2017
    Saban Sounds Alarm on Talk of Earlier Signing Day

    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 SBNation.com. “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: 


  • Monday, July, 24, 2017
    South Alabama Football Training Facility Collapses

    The University of South Alabama Jaguars football team won’t be holding workouts in their new practice facility anytime soon.

    USA athletic director Joel Erdmann announced Saturday that the Jaguar Training Facility, which began construction this spring, had completely collapsed. No one was injured in the accident.

    Bob Lowry, media relations director for the school, confirmed the collapse in a statement. "At approximately 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, the structure of the Jaguar Training Center, a covered athletics practice facility that is under construction on the University of South Alabama campus, fell within the construction limits of the site. No workers were present in that area at the time,” Lowry said.

    The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.

    WKRG.com, the local CBS affiliate in Mobile, Ala., reported that Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc. of Mobile is the project architect. The school is weighing options, including whether to try again with the current plans or completely redesign the project 

    Workers began installing the building’s frame last weekend. According to a report from AL.com, USA officials had hoped to open the facility late this year.


  • Friday, July, 21, 2017
    Transgender Wrestler Hits YouTube to Oppose Texas Bill

    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.


  • Thursday, July, 20, 2017
    Texas HS Completes Design of $48M Athletics Facilities

    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.


  • Monday, July, 17, 2017
    Eight Dead After Riot Erupts at Senegal Soccer Stadium

    Spectator safety continues to be a problem at soccer matches, as eight people were killed and scores more were injured at a Senegal Premier League final over the weekend.

    According to a report from Aljazeera, fans of Ouakam and Sade de Mbour clashed Saturday as they were leaving the game. Police fired tear gas into the crowd, which resulted in a stampede as panic spread throughout the stadium.

    Adding to the chaos, a wall that supported bleacher seating collapsed after police started firing the tear gas canisters into the crowd.

    Matar Ba, the Senegalese sports minister, said a young girl was among the dead and more than 60 other fans were injured and taken to local health facilities. Ba vowed “strong measures” would be taken so that such an event “will never be repeated in Senegal.” The BBC put the number of injured closer to 100.

    The clash between fans apparently began when US Ouakam supporters began throwing stones at Stade de Mbour fans after Mbour scored in extra time to go ahead 2-1. 

    Cheikh Maba Diop, a spectator at the match whose friend died when the wall collapsed, told the Associated Foreign Press, "All of a sudden when the wall fell... we knew exactly that some of our own had lost their lives because the wall fell directly onto people."

    The BBC reported that Senegal’s Football Federation has temporarily suspended US Ouakam until the FSF can decide on sanctions against the team

     


  • Thursday, July, 13, 2017
    Detroit Partners with Schools to Double Rec Centers

    Detroit is set to more than double the city’s public rec centers this summer.

    A partnership between the city of Detroit and Detroit Public Schools Community District will grow the number of public rec centers, which serve children ages 6 to 17, from 11 to 27 locations.

    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the new rec centers are an important part of revitalizing the area.

    “Detroiters all remember when rec centers across this city shut down,” Duggan said in a joint statement with the DPSCD. “If we are going to build a stronger Detroit, we’ve got to focus on creating safe spaces for our youth and opportunities for them to be successful.”

    Detroit shut down 16 recreation centers due to funding cuts from 2006-2013. In order to provide more recreation opportunities for Detroit children this summer, the city approached DPS officials about partnering to provide Detroit youth more options more quickly. The cost of the five-week program is approximately $625,000 or about $40,000 per location for the summer. 

    “When the mayor's team approached us with this concept we moved with a sense of urgency to ensure that as many students as possible continued to have access to a safe and productive learning environment while parents and caregivers work over the summer,” said DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti in a statement. “I believe this is the first of many partnerships between the city and school district to better utilize and share resources to support our students and communities.”

    The 16 new locations will be called “Summer Fun Centers.” Those centers will be in addition to the existing 11 traditional recreation centers. The city has hired 190 “Play Leaders” and supervisory staff to provide adult oversight and structure to the programming. 

    After the five-week pilot has ended, the City and DPSCD will evaluate the approach as a possible long-term solution toward filling the recreation center gap that has existed in many neighborhoods for more than a decade.


  • Wednesday, July, 12, 2017
    Coach Pleads in Sexting Case, Avoids 'Sex Offender' Tag

    Players of Bartholomew McInerney, the former baseball coach at St. Rose High School in Belmar, NJ, can finally move on with their lives.

    McInerney, also known as “Coach Bart,” pleaded guilty to 10 counts of child endangerment, bringing to an end a case that has dragged the St. Rose community through scandal for the past seven years.

    McInerney will not have to register as a sex offender, as he agreed to a low-level fourth-degree offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 25 in Middlesex County Superior Court.

    Prosecutors alleged McInerney encouraged and sometimes paid his players to pleasure themselves, as well as report on their sexual activities through text messages. Prosecutors alleged this was for McInerney’s own pleasure, but McInerney’s lawyers argued that he did it to help the boys abstain from premarital sex.

    McInerney’s lawyer, Edward Bertucio, told the Asbury Park Press, that McInerney wanted to get the case behind him and allow the players affected by his actions to do the same. “He had the best of intentions, but he realized he wasn’t the person to give the advice he was giving.”

    On the stand, McInerney said that the conversations should have been between his underage players and their parents or health professional.

    Allegations of McInerney’s misconduct first surfaced in 2007 after he took a number of St. Rose baseball players to tournaments in Alaska and Hawaii. In 2008, Andrew M. Clark, the first of McInerney’s players to speak to investigators about his coach’s alleged misconduct, was killed after he stepped in front of an oncoming train. Clark’s family sued McInerney, St. Rose and the Diocese of Trenton, alleging wrongful death, and were subsequently awarded $900,000.

    McInerney’s was initially found guilty of child endangerment in 2010. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, but an appeals court threw out his conviction, ruling that a judge had given improper instructions to the jury.


  • Tuesday, July, 11, 2017
    Arlington Reworks AT&T Debt to Fund Rangers' $1B Park

    The city of Arlington, Texas, is getting creative with its finances as it shuffles around some debt to pay for a new $1B Texas Rangers stadium.

    According to a report from the Star-Telegram, which examined documents approved at a June 27 City Council meeting, Arlington is set to use a half-cent sales tax, 2 percent hotel tax and 5 percent car-rental tax to fund up to $500 million of the Rangers' new stadium. The Rangers have agreed to carry the remaining cost.

    Arlington is currently using those tax revenues to pay off the city’s $325 million commitment to AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play. The city will pull back on the accelerated payments it’s currently making to the Cowboys’ facility and use the savings to start construction on the new Rangers stadium.

    AB Stadium Spotlight

    Arlington has $147 million remaining on AT&T Stadium. The plan is to refinance that debt and extend the original payoff date to 2034. The city began paying on the 30-year note in 2005 but was on track to have it paid off by 2021, having already realized $118 million in savings through its aggressive payments.

    The Star reports that the Rangers have agreed to a $100 million buyout price for the stadium should they decide to do so when the lease expires in 2054.

    The city council has also approved the Rangers' proposed 10 percent admission tax and a $3 parking tax on game days to help cover its share of the facility. The Rangers, however, haven’t decided yet whether they will actually implement that revenue stream. Rob Matwick, vice president of business operations for the Rangers told the Star that the team is still “working through” its funding agreements and will make “those decisions soon.”

    The original proposal for the Rangers' stadium had been a 38,000-seat venue, but Matwick said the team may increase that number. “It’s been a give-and-take while we’re in the design process,” he said. “I would say that in the next two months we’ll be much closer to a definitive number. But I expect it to fall in the 40,000-42,000 range.”

    The Rangers currently play at the 49,115-seat Globe Life Park in Arlington, which opened April 1, 1994. 


  • Tuesday, July, 11, 2017
    Video: Dave Castro Talks Bringing CrossFit Games to Madison

    If you’re looking for the fittest people on earth, you could do worse than venturing to Madison, Wis., this August. No, it’s not that beer, cheese and sausage comprise the diet of champions but rather that the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games (Aug. 3-6) have relocated to Madison’s Alliant Energy Center.


  • Wednesday, November, 08, 2017
    Letter from the Editor: Common Ground

    It's an interesting time to be part of this industry. In recent months, sport has again realized its platform as an effective channel for social and cultural debate. Whether or not you feel strongly about protests taking place on the sidelines of NFL games — and those at the college and high school levels — it's hard to ignore that this industry finds itself at the epicenter of a politically charged conversation.


  • Monday, October, 09, 2017
    Letter from the Editor: Never Lose Perspective

    Perspective is everything. It's a phrase that went through my head more than once as we put together our annual Facilities of Merit® issue.