Thursday, November, 08, 2018
Exterminator Shines Light on Stadium Rodents
Stadium operators have a rodent problem. There are the rodents they can see (mice) and the ones they can't (rats), and there's a good chance they don't want to acknowledge the existence of either. But the truth, according to Lary Adkins of Fort Worth, Texas-based Pest Boys, is that just about every open-air stadium in America is infested, and operators are going at the problem all wrong — if at all. Adkins has experience ridding Texas Stadium (the former home of the Dallas Cowboys) and The Ballpark at Arlington (now Globe Life Park, the Texas Rangers' home) of rodents, and he currently works with clients as diverse as Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark and Texas Motor Speedway. AB senior editor Paul Steinbach asked Adkins to shine a light on the pest issue.
Monday, November, 05, 2018
ESPN: Athletes More Likely to Be Named in Complaints
Collegiate student-athletes are about three times more likely than other students to be accused of sexual misconduct or domestic violence in complaints made at Power 5 conference schools, according to an analysis of by ESPN's Outside the Lines.
The network program sought data from all 65 Power 5 schools, with 32 providing some or all of the information requested. The Title IX complaints spanned the past six years and covered allegations of sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, sexual coercion, stalking or retaliation.
On average, about 6.3 percent of Title IX complaints against students — whether the complaint resulted in a formal investigation or not — included an athlete as the person accused of wrongdoing. Athletes were named in such reports more often than might be expected considering they represent, on average, just 1.7 percent of total student enrollment at the universities.
W. Scott Lewis, co-founder of the Association of Title IX Administrators and partner with The NCHERM Group consultants, said it can be helpful to know whether a student involved in a Title IX complaint is an athlete, a member of the Greek system, ROTC or any other affiliation so school officials can detect patterns and formate responses. "You're supposed to — when you're dealing with a student — understand the context of that student's experience," Lewis said, "regardless of the action they've been accused of."
Kansas State University did not have an existing report about complaints against athletes but compiled the data for Outside the Lines anyway. "If we don't know this, we should know this," said Jeff Morris, the school's vice president of communications and marketing. "We should all be paying attention."
Friday, November, 02, 2018
Court: Widow Can Sue Notre Dame Over Concussions
The Ohio Supreme Court said this week that it wouldn't stop the widow of a 1970s-era football player from suing Notre Dame and the NCAA over concussions suffered during her husband's playing days, claiming they led to his disability and death.
According to an Associated Press report posted Wednesday at Indystar.com, Steve and Yvette Schmitz filed a lawsuit in 2014 alleging Notre Dame and the NCAA showed "reckless disregard" for player safety and failed to protect players from concussions. The lawsuit says the Cleveland Clinic diagnosed Steve Schmitz with a brain disease related to numerous concussions. He died in 2015.
The NCAA and Notre Dame argued too much time has passed to allow the lawsuit to proceed, but the Supreme Court ruled it couldn't say the couple missed the two-year statute of limitations without more facts, and returned the case to the trial court.
Wednesday, October, 31, 2018
Sports Complex Extension Enhances Exterior Circulation
Cutting corners is sometimes a good thing.
Monday, October, 29, 2018
Bill: Require Sexual Misconduct Training for Coaches
A lawmaker in Michigan has introduced a bill that would require all of the state's coaches, assistant coaches and athletic trainers of grades K through 12 to undergo training on sexual misconduct.
State representative Tim Greimel, a Democrat from Auburn Hills, introduced House Bill 6452, which would incorporate the SafeSport online training program or an equivalent program on sexual assault awareness approved by the Michigan Department of Education.
According to the Holland Sentinel, the U.S. Center for SafeSport began operations in 2017, in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal that ensnared Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, with a mission devoted to make athletes’ well-being the centerpiece in sports, protecting athletes from bullying, hazing, sexual misconduct or any form of emotional or physical abuse.
If the bill, which has been referred to the committee on law and justice, becomes law, the training would have to begin within seven days of an employee's hire date. Current employees would have to complete it within 30 days of the bill being signed into law. All employees would have to provide a certificate of completion to the school district, with failure to do so would resulting in immediate termination.
Friday, October, 26, 2018
Report: Maryland Football Culture Flawed, Not 'Toxic'
An eight-week external investigation into the University of Maryland football program, prompted by the June death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and commissioned by the UM Board of Regents, took issue with the culture fostered under head coach DJ Durkin, but stopped short of deeming it "toxic," as several players have described it.
Thursday, October, 25, 2018
Michigan Coach Quits After Sex with Gymnast Uncovered
In the latest episode to heap embarrassment on the sport of gymnastics, an assistant coach has left the University of Michigan program after he was discovered having sex in public with an 18-year-old member of the women's team.
Scott Vetere, 39, a former 10-time All-American gymnast at Michigan, was arrested Oct. 8 after police discovered him performing a sex act on the student-athlete in a car outside an Ann Arbor apartment complex. Vetere was charged with "committing an indecent or obscene act in public" and arraigned last Friday. The female gymnast was also arrested on the same charges. According to the Detroit Free Press, indecent or obscene conduct in public is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine under Ann Arbor city code.
"Mr. Vetere was immediately suspended the day we learned about the incident (Oct. 10)," Michigan's associate athletic director for external communication and public relations Kurt Svoboda told the Free Press in an email. "He resigned from his position Oct. 15 during the disciplinary review process."
"We are confident this was an isolated incident and that with his departure, it will not be repeated," Svoboda said, as reported by M Live. "We do very thorough background searches for every employee here."
Athletic department policy bans coaches from having romantic relationships with athletes. Vetere's bio page has been removed from the university's athletics website.
A member of the Wolverines' 1999 national championship team, Vetere coached on the Michigan men's team from 2005 to 2009 before joining the women's program as an assistant.
Tuesday, October, 23, 2018
SIU Edwardsville Guarantees Hoop Win or Next Visit Free
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has a seemingly novel approach to customer satisfaction lined up for the 2018-19 basketball season. The school is offering "Guaranteed SIUE Win" tickets for its single-game ticket sales, meaning one ticket is good for admission to as many games as it takes for the Cougars to post a victory.
Monday, October, 22, 2018
Plea Agreement Reveals Extent of Youth Coach's Abuse
A plea agreement filed Thursday in federal court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, revealed that a prominent youth basketball coach had engaged in the exploitation and physical abuse of hundreds of boys over several years, the Associated Press reports.
Greg Stephen, 42, was a coach and co-director of the Iowa Barnstormers, an Adidas-sponsored traveling program that has produced several Division I college basketball players, since 2008. The program serves boys ages 9 through 17. Stephen preyed upon former players, their friends and other athletes. A hard drive containing folders named for 400 different boys, each containing explicit photos and videos, was discovered after police were tipped off in February by Stephen's brother-in-law, who discovered a recording device while remodeling a bathroom at Stephen's residence. Stephen used devices intended to look like a towel hook or a smoke detector to secretly record boys showering in his home, in his lake cabin and in hotel rooms while the Barnstormers traveled to American Athletic Union tournaments or NBA games.
Following his arrest in March, Stephens' attorneys argued that the evidence should be suppressed since it was obtained through the brother-in-law's unlawful seizure of the device, but a judge rejected that argument earlier this month. In addition, Stephens offered the excuse that the videos were compiled to track players' physical development, but the eventual plea agreement admits he "committed sexual acts and sexual contact" on an unspecified number of boys. These acts included recording players while they slept with their pants pulled down, while Stephens touched the boys with his hands and in at least one instance his mouth. In one case, Stephens allegedly had given an 11- or 12-year-old boy medication that made the boy drowsy in advance of Stephen's abuse.
When not traveling with the players, Stephens would pose as girls to coerce the boys to share photos and videos of themselves masturbating.
According to the AP, Stephen faces a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 180 at sentencing, which hasn’t been scheduled. He has been in custody since his arrest and will remain jailed pending sentencing. The agreement notes that the potential sentence he faces will be lengthened due to the number and age of victims, the fact that he engaged in sexual acts and contact with multiple boys, and that he had supervisory control over them.
Thursday, October, 11, 2018
Climbing Gym Design Continues to Evolve
Climbing gyms are quite literally popping up all over the country — from Manhattan to San Francisco and points between, such as Pittsburgh, Memphis, Milwaukee and Salt Lake City. In Englewood, Colo., just outside of Denver, an old Sports Authority complex has been converted for indoor climbing. In Durham, N.C., a big box built for Walmart and never filled became a commercial climbing destination. "On the renovation side, there's this push toward all the dead strip malls," says Adam Koberna, president of Walltopia USA, a climbing wall manufacturer. "Everyone is popping roofs on the dead retail."
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.