Paul Steinbach
Paul Steinbach (paul@athleticbusiness.com) joined the Athletic Business staff in November 1999, and now holds the title of senior editor. His work covering college athletics and sports facility operation has garnered several regional and national journalism honors, including a Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award. He is a 1989 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and currently resides with his children Jack and Libby in his hometown of West Bend, Wis. In his spare time, he enjoys mowing patterns into his backyard ballpark — the naming rights to which are still available.
  • Friday, January, 19, 2018
    Emmert: NCAA Basketball Reforms Coming Next Season

    NCAA president Mark Emmert on Thursday addressed the bribery scandal that rocked men's basketball last fall, implicating assistant coaches at several Division I schools and prompting the firing of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.

    Speaking to a packed room at the Indiana Convention Center during the NCAA's 2018 convention, Emmert said changes are coming to college basketball by next season, and that the association must own its problems and embrace change.

    "Scandals that call into question our commitment to academic integrity make whatever praise we have of our highest graduation rates ring pretty hollow. And we have to recognize that we can't dance around those things. We can't make excuses for them," Emmert said. "How do we respond? Well, I think first of all, by not retreating from it. By not getting under our desks."

    As reported by ESPN.com, the independent Commission on College Basketball plans to report findings and issue recommendations to the NCAA board of governors April 25. The governors will then direct the Division I Board of Directors and the Division I Council to draft legislation, with the intent to pass it in August. Said Emmert, "We've all made a commitment to have meaningful change, not trivial change, in place by tip-off 2018."

    Among the steps the NCAA is taking is the creation of the association's first formal strategic plan in 14 years. Society in general is more cynical today, according to Emmert, and the association must confront that fact, beginning with basketball. An FBI investigation of the scandal — which centered on coaches receiving money to direct recruits to attend schools with Adidas-sponsored basketball programs — is ongoing.

    "What we saw with that FBI investigation is Exhibit A for demanding action," Emmert said. "A coach, allegedly, who takes a bribe in order to steer a student who has placed his trust in that coach — to steer that young man to a financial adviser who is going to bilk him out of money is disgusting.

    "It's corrupt. It's just wrong. And it feeds all the cynics."

    Insisting that "the core values of college sports are worth protecting," Emmert reiterated that the NCAA must not cower from its critics. "The reality is that some of the criticism is justified," he said. "We've got to look those problems straight in the eye."

     


  • Thursday, January, 18, 2018
    Bank Underwrites Tech's $25K Court-Storming Fine

    Cory Newsom's trip to United Supermarkets Arena last Saturday turned out to be quite costly, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

    Newsom, president and CEO of Lubbock, Texas-based City Bank, announced yesterday that the bank would cover the $25,000 in fines levied against Texas Tech after fans stormed the court to celebrate the Red Raiders' 72-71 win over second-ranked West Virginia. The Big 12 Conference deemed the university's post-game safety protocols insufficient during the post-game chaos, which led to a WVU player striking a Tech fan.

    “It was an unfortunate incident that happened, but I think it was for all of the right reasons,” Newsom said, as reported by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “The fan support was there. Watching the fan support was so exciting. We love our university; we love our team. We just felt like this was our chance to stand up and support them."

    Newsom described the game-day experience as electric. “While we support Texas Tech in its efforts to make certain game-day operations provide a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone involved, we also understand the outright excitement and spontaneity that a breathtaking victory over a highly ranked team can have on a university’s students," he said. "We see it at universities across the country on a weekly basis. Supporting your team is a big part of the college experience.”

    Newsom added that he agrees with the way in which Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt handled the matter, which he feels is the exception and not the rule at Tech events, stating, “We know he has reviewed Saturday’s situation and has made the necessary adjustments to assure that the safety of players, officials and fans will not be compromised."

    Hocutt thanked Newsom for his support. “We’re very appreciative of City Bank stepping forward in this generous and supportive way for Texas Tech athletics,” Hocutt said. “It’s sincerely appreciated. I think they’re stepping forward in this particular situation because of the excitement and support Texas Tech basketball has created this season.”


  • Tuesday, January, 16, 2018
    Harris Reprimanded, Tech Fined After Court Storming

    The Big 12 Conference on Monday reprimanded both West Virginia forward Wesley Harris and Texas Tech for Saturday's court-storming incident at United Supermarkets Arena.

    The Red Raiders' 72-71 victory over the second-ranked Mountaineers prompted fans to pour onto the court from both endlines at the final buzzer. It was the first top-10 win in Lubbock for Tech.

    Bumped by fans amid the chaos, Harris spun and hit an individual with his forearm, knocking Brooks Jennings' cap off. Jennings is the son of former Red Raider standout and assistant coach Bubba Jennings. Tech was fined $25,000 for mishandling the post-game environment, as reported by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

    "We must ensure that a safe environment is provided for players, coaches, game officials and fans," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. "Although the post-game environment did not live up to our expectations, Mr. Harris intentionally striking a fan is contrary to the conference's sportsmanship standards."

    The athletic directors from both schools issued their own statements.

    "We admittedly did fail to meet our expectations Saturday in efforts to secure the floor and allow West Virginia to exit without incident," Tech AD Kirby Hocutt said. "We have the utmost confidence in our game-day operations staff, including police and security, to provide a safe environment for everyone at the United Supermarkets Arena. We have a plan to ensure the safety of the teams, officials and fans. This plan has been executed many times in the past without any incidents. We will make the necessary adjustments to continue to ensure that all in attendance have an excellent experience at all of our events."

    WVU's Shane Lyons stated, "I want to thank the Big 12 Conference and Texas Tech for the positive and open dialogue all three parties engaged in during the last two days. As I said before, this situation involved court security, player safety and post-game emotions, and all three had to be taken into account. We will revisit with our student-athletes to again reinforce our expectations regarding sportsmanship issues across all sports. The Big 12 has issued its reprimand. We accept it, and I consider the matter closed."

     

     

     


  • Monday, January, 15, 2018
    Big 12 Reviewing Court-Storming Violence at Texas Tech

    While a manifestation of the level of excitement surrounding college basketball, fans storming the court after major victories has been a topic of concern at the conference level for at least the past dozen years. At issue is safety of not only players but the fans themselves, as jubilation can quickly turn to chaos.


  • Friday, January, 12, 2018
    Donors Target Longhorn Student-Athlete Mental Health

    Julia Hickman and Cecil Reynolds are long-time University of Texas women's basketball season-ticket holders and Longhorn Foundation donors. They are also both mental health professionals who have taught at the collegiate level, a fact that makes their latest pledge to UT athletics all the more meaningful.

    Representing the largest one-time donation in UT athletics history, the couple's $20 million gift will fund the future Cecil Reynolds and Julia Hickman Center for Student-Athlete Brain & Behavioral Health.

    "Both of us being in the mental health field, we've gravitated to brain and behavioral health, and we observe that student-athletes have the same mental health issues," Reynolds states on the Longhorns website. "It's compounded because of the stress dumped on them. It's a whole different level of stress, because of the schedules, expectations and demands."

    According to the site, "The center will provide administrative oversight, structure and support to implement an integrated, athlete-centered model of student-athlete mental/behavioral health services that emphasizes education, prevention, assessment, treatment and self-care for current and future Texas student-athletes. Additionally, the center will work to integrate clinical services and prioritize participation in research initiatives that focus on athlete brain and behavioral health interventions and outcomes."

    "We continue to learn that having a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body," said UT vice president and athletics director Chris Del Conte. "This generous commitment will help our student-athletes for generations to come."

    It was a generation ago that Hickman attended a women's basketball fantasy camp at Texas. "I was totally hooked," she said. "It was the most fun I'd ever had in my whole life. I started buying season tickets, and I sort of dragged Cecil, my son and my mom to basketball games. Cecil fell in love with it too."

    Reynolds added that the new center will empower student-athletes to take care of themselves in ways beyond the physical. "We want to make it an expectation to ask for help. It should be no different than treating a sprained ankle," he said. "If you're having an issue that's emotional or behavioral, the expectation should be that you step forward and do something about it."


  • Thursday, January, 11, 2018
    Brett Favre Champions Padded Fields in New Doc

    The trailer to a new mini-documentary titled “Shocked: A Hidden Factor in the Sports Concussion Crisis” concludes with Brett Favre stating, “Now I’m thinking, wow, if I only knew.”


  • Tuesday, January, 09, 2018
    Not Everyone Declaring Alabama National Champion

    Launched as part of the 2014 season, the College Football Playoff was supposed to end debate over which NCAA Division I team is crowned national champion. It’s a debate that had dawged (sorry, Georgia) the sport for decades.


  • Tuesday, January, 09, 2018
    Bringing 360-Degree Reviews to Coach Evaluation

    As a former human resources specialist with a Ph.D. in organizational behavior, Milan Larson is well versed in the psychology of employees in the workforce. When the head softball coach at the University of Northern Colorado asked him about the concept of a 360-degree performance review process and how it might help her team, Larson, now a UNC business professor, looked online for a model specific to sports and couldn't find one. So he wrote one himself — a months-long process that involved talking to hundreds of athletes, coaches and parents at all levels of sport, ultimately yielding a 45-question survey. To date, four UNC coaches have used it to gain feedback on their programs from their student-athletes, as have numerous high schools in Colorado. Other collegiate programs and sports organizations have followed suit since Dare2Coach was officially launched one year ago. AB senior editor Paul Steinbach asked Larson to explain how the review process works.


  • Friday, January, 05, 2018
    AB Today 2017: Our Top 10 Stories of the Past Year

    Deregulation and legal action. Out-of-control training and recruiting practices. These were topics that drew much of our readers’ attention in 2017.  AB Today has compiled a list of the top stories that broke in this space over the past year. Here are the 10 that garnered the most page views, in ascending order:


  • Tuesday, January, 02, 2018
    Exterior Stair Complements Novogratz Athletic Center Aesthetic

    Because the Novogratz Center for Athletics at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, N.Y., has a second-floor multipurpose gymnasium that holds up to 624 people, code dictated three separate points of egress. To complement the building's main staircase and an interior utilitarian stair, designers at Jack L. Gordon Architects moved the third staircase outside the building footprint, thus creating a sculptural solution that satisfies the code requirement. Shielded from the elements by a roof and sidewall that mimic the faceted exterior of the building itself, the switchback stair remains visually open to an outdoor terrace and field. "We opted to take the third stair and turn it into an architectural statement rather than just box it within the building," says Jack Gordon, who estimates the approach saved 30 to 40 percent when compared to the cost-per-square-foot equation of another interior stair. "It reinforces the overall aesthetic of the building and provides an economical solution to another means of egress off of that floor."


    This article originally appeared in the November|December 2017 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Exterior stair complements Novogratz center aesthetic." Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.

     


  • Friday, January, 05, 2018
    AB Today 2017: Our Top 10 Stories of the Past Year

    Deregulation and legal action. Out-of-control training and recruiting practices. These were topics that drew much of our readers’ attention in 2017.  AB Today has compiled a list of the top stories that broke in this space over the past year. Here are the 10 that garnered the most page views, in ascending order:


  • Wednesday, November, 30, 2016
    AB Show 2016: The Magic of Orlando

    There’s something about Orlando, Fla., that stirs the nostalgia in this AB Show-goer. It’s where the conference and expo (as it used to be known) was held my first eight years at Athletic Business, and it has been there another four times since. In all, Orlando has served as the annual home away from home for AB roughly half the time in our show’s 35-year history.


  • Monday, November, 10, 2014
    Get to Know Your Peers When Attending ABC

    This is a story about a conversation Lou Holtz and I never had.


  • Tuesday, August, 12, 2014
    Robin Williams Drew Attention to Inaugural Augie’s BASH

    Robin Williams possessed the kind of frenetic magnetism that dared you to look away. For me, it wasn’t possible. The actor/comedian’s larger-than-life persona was tailor-made for a movie screen.


  • Thursday, January, 17, 2013
    Blog: The Tangled Webs of Lance Armstrong, Manti Te'o

    The twisted tales of Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o are now intertwined. Heroes to many, these athletes have lived lies before our eyes, and now those lies are unraveling within the same week.


  • Monday, December, 03, 2012
    Blog: The Life and Death of Rick Majerus

    The first time I saw Rick Majerus in person, he was sitting in seldom-used end-court bleachers that had been wheeled into position for a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Class C basketball sectional at my high school alma mater's field house. I was there to cover a game for my hometown newspaper, The West Bend News. Majerus, an assistant coach at Marquette at the time (this was the mid-'80s), was there to scout Kohler, Wis., phenom Joe Wolf, who would eventually attend North Carolina.


  • Friday, August, 17, 2012
    Blog: Cheer These Pro Athletes for Giving Back

    Assuming your membership in the Latrell "I have a family to feed" Sprewell Fan Club has expired, may we suggest a couple of options.


  • Sunday, January, 17, 2010
    Blog: Still Believing, 34 Years (and Counting) Later

    Editor's Note: AB Senior Editor Paul Steinbach authored this piece in January 2010, but with February 22nd marking the 34th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice and the U.S. men's hockey team facing off against Canada on Friday, the message still rings true.

    For nearly 30 years now, the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team has been an off-and-on obsession of mine.


  • Thursday, December, 10, 2009
    A Choice to Make

    There's precedent for a Catholic institution sticking with a coach despite his pro-choice stance on abortion. Rick Majerus is in his third season heading the St. Louis University men's basketball program after admitting during a TV interview at a January 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign rally that he is "pro-choice, personally." But will a Catholic institution hire a pro-choice coach? Somehow, during speculation that University of Cincinnati head football coach Brian Kelly is next in line to bear the Notre Dame football cross, the rumor spread that Kelly, an Irish Catholic who decades ago campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, is pro-choice. But no one seems to know for sure. "I searched online media archives all day today trying to find one reputable media reference to Kelly's stance on abortion," read a Tuesday post by Brooks at sportsbybrooks.com. "I found none."


  • Wednesday, November, 11, 2009
    Hit 'Em Straight

    When the AB editors dedicated our July issue to best environmental practices in the athletics, fitness and recreation industries, we managed to overlook one egregious hazard to our planet's health: golf balls.