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.
  • Tuesday, April, 29, 2008
    Abusive Student Sections Drawing Attention from Outside the Arena

    Abusive student sections are drawing attention from outside the arena.


  • Tuesday, April, 29, 2008
    Regenerative Media Filters Considered the Wave of the Future

    With their ability to use media over and over again, regenerative filters are considered the wave of the future.


  • Friday, March, 28, 2008
    Vintage Sporting Goods Expert Discusses the Market

    The leather that you'll see strapped to George Clooney's head in "Leatherheads," the Clooney-directed football movie that opens in theaters this month, can be traced not to the mid-1920s, but to modern-day manufacturer of vintage sporting goods Marv Lubinsky. Founded in 1996, Lubinsky's Past Time Sports specializes in recreating leather football helmets, but also fills orders for throwback baseball gloves, hockey headgear, and basketballs and soccer balls complete with proprietarily "aged" laces. The company, which has appeared at coaches' association trade shows and provided props to several film and stage productions, supplied the "Leatherheads" set with 30 helmets and 60 watermelon-shaped footballs. Paul Steinbach asked the 59-year-old Lubinsky, a longtime dealer of actual antiques, about his busting-at-the-seams business.

    Q: What led to your transition from collector to manufacturer? A: One of my interests has always been sports. I would travel around the country to the big outdoor antique markets, and after buying some helmets for the first time, I was excited to see that they sold quickly and for really good prices. People began to realize that I was the guy who could find leather football helmets, so I had more demand from athletic directors and other sports enthusiasts than I could supply. That's how we got the idea to do a really nice replication job. It took us about two years to research and develop, because we wanted the leather and the padding to look authentic.

    Q: How do you respond to recent calls by the advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that leather not be used in athletics? A: I think animals were placed here to feed us and to clothe us. Leather is an incredible substance, and it has been used in many ways since the caveman days. The NBA switched back to the leather basketball for a reason.

    Q: Do you think it took greater skill to play sports with the type of equipment athletes used 80 years ago? A: I believe the Ty Cobbs and the Honus Wagners had to be better athletes to stop a baseball with those early split-fingered gloves. Those guys had to be more focused, or a 90-mile-an-hour line drive could hit them in the face. The early football, meanwhile, was a lot heavier, and the girth was much larger. Players really had to have a great grip on it to be accurate. You have to take your hat off to guys like Sammy Baugh.

    Q: Will there always be a market for your handiwork? A: It's a niche, but it's important. I have been surprised in meeting with a lot of university representatives and people in the sports business who have lost some of the tradition and the knowledge of who our early athletes were. A lot of universities use our products in fundraising, and I was shocked to go to the University of Illinois and the young man I talked to didn't know who Red Grange was. It was disheartening. I'm the kind of guy who still hears the Notre Dame glee club singing in the background.

    Q: People seem to either love the vintage helmet pattern still used by the University of Michigan, or they hate it. Where do you stand? A: I give Michigan all the credit in the world. I think it's terrific.


  • Friday, March, 28, 2008
    Manufacturers Go Beyond Code Requirements for Bleacher Safety

    Manufacturers have gone beyond codes in attempts to enhance bleacher safety.


  • Friday, March, 28, 2008
    Sports Culture Creates Leeway and Landmines Regarding Sexual Harrassment

    The nuanced culture of athletics brings both leeway and landmines to discussions of sexual harassment.


  • Friday, March, 28, 2008
    Campus Rec Departments Playing Lead Role In Promoting Green Operations

    Campus recreation departments are playing a lead role in promoting green facility operations.


  • Friday, February, 29, 2008
    Founder of BadJocks.com Discusses Hazing

    Founder of the tongue-in-cheek web site, badjocks.com, speaks seriously about hazing.


  • Friday, February, 29, 2008
    New Dress Code Policy Could Help Change Image of Florida State Athletics

    Will a new dress-code policy change the image of Florida State University athletics?


  • Friday, February, 29, 2008
    Eleven States Mandate AEDs, Though Industry Resistance Remains

    Eleven states now mandate defibrillators in health clubs, but plenty of resistance remains within industry ranks.


  • Friday, February, 29, 2008
    Driven by Alternative Fuels, Turf Maintenance Fleets Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

    Driven by alternative fuels, electrical charges or a hybrid of both, equipment in the modern turf-maintenance fleet is chugging toward greater environmental friendliness.


  • 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.