• Politics Continue to Intrude on High School Sports

    by Andy Berg October 2018

    The country’s partisan discourse continues to impact high school sports, as a pair of politically charged incidents hit prep campuses over the past week.

  • Colgate Swim and Dive Team Suspended for Hazing

    by Andy Berg October 2018

    Colgate University’s men’s swimming and diving team has been suspended from competition for the fall semester due to allegations of misconduct.

  • Report: NCAA Serves Baylor Notice of Allegations

    by Paul Steinbach October 2018

    Fort Worth's Star-Telegram reports that the NCAA has served notice of allegations against Baylor University, noting that former head coach Art Briles failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and that there also existed a "lack of institutional control" regarding a sexual assault scandal that has rocked the university for many months.

    According to Fox 4 in Dallas, roughly 125 sexual assault cases reported to the school between 2011 and 2015 — many involving football players.

    The NCAA opened its investigation in June 2017 and submitted its report to Baylor approximately three weeks ago, the Star-Telegram reports. The school has 90 days to respond. After Baylor issues its response, the NCAA has 60 days to reply.

    The NCAA typically considers whether the university has taken steps to resolve the issue. Baylor has said it has put in more than 100 measures to update its Title IX compliance and modernize how it addresses sexual assault claims. Depending on whether Baylor agrees with the NCAA in its initial conclusion, the school could offer self-imposed penalties.

    According to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, Baylor was advised to consider a one-year ban from postseason play for the football team for 2018, but Baylor officials vehemently deny a bowl ban has ever been considered.

    Star-Telegram sources also indicate that while the NCAA is finished with its investigation, it could potentially include any information that emerges from depositions given by former Baylor officials in the Jane Doe Title IX case against the university. Those depositions include ones of former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw and former board member Phil Stewart, both of whom delivered testimony that indicated BU had dysfunctional leadership with conflicting agendas. Both men suggested the investigation of the school conducted by the law firm of Pepper Hamilton was not only insufficient, but it was also controlled by a few members of the board to deliver an outcome it wanted.

    Multiple sources at Baylor said that during the school’s process of deciding whether to fire or maintain Briles in the the spring of 2016, several members of its board of regents wanted the school to find NCAA violations committed by the football program just to avoid paying Briles the bulk of his contract. Fired in May 2016, Briles agreed to a total compensation of nearly $18 million.

  • How North America Landed the 2026 World Cup

    by Jason Scott October 2018

    The excitement of this year's World Cup is behind us, but North American soccer fans and venue operators can keep their fervor fresh as Canada, Mexico and the United States prepare to jointly host the event in 2026.

  • Player Assaulted on Field Suffers Concussion

    by Andy Berg October 2018

    The mother of a Burleson (Texas) High School football player is questioning whether the punishment fits the crime after her son was violently assaulted during a Sept. 13 game.

  • HS Places AD on Leave for Saying ‘Girls Ruin Everything’

    by Andy Berg September 2018

    The athletic director at Soddy-Daisy (Tenn.) High School made it very clear that he doesn’t like girls and thinks they pretty much “ruin everything.”  

  • MTSU Mulls Contract Changes After Meyer Scandal

    by Andy Berg September 2018

    Middle Tennessee State University is mulling new language in its contracts that would allow the school to hold coaches accountable for not reporting incidents of sexual and domestic abuse.

  • Mayor Rescinds Recreation Department Nike Ban

    by Paul Steinbach September 2018

    A switch regarding the swoosh. Ben Zahn, the Kenner, La., mayor who last week banned his parks and recreation department from using taxpayer or booster funds to purchase Nike apparel for nine youth playgrounds has changed his mind amid political and legal pressure.

    Zahn issued his directive Sept. 5, two days after Nike launched an advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of the company's "Just Do It" campaign with controversial former NFL quarter Colin Kaepernick as its focus. In the ad, Kaepernick, a divisive figure ever since sitting or kneeling during the national anthem before games beginning in August 2016 to protest racial injustice, is pictured with the caption, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

    The ad prompted personal boycotts of the Nike brand across the country (even though sales have spiked since the ad's debut), but Zahn's ban drew national attention. That is what he regrets most, stating that his directive "placed Kenner in a false and unflattering light on the national stage." He rescinded it on the advice of the city attorney in the hopes of "bringing this city back together."

    According to The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, two critics of the original directive voiced their satisfaction in its reversal. 

    "I was completely against the policy. I support inclusion and social justice," said Jefferson Parish Councilman Mark Spears Jr., generally an ally of Zahn's in his previous time on the Parish Council. "I have been in communication with Mayor Zahn to voice my disapproval with this policy and am grateful the policy has been rescinded."

    "We're pleased the mayor reconsidered his divisive stance and rescinded this unconstitutional policy," said Alanah Odoms Hebert, the executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. "The reversal of this ban is good news for the people of Kenner and all Louisianians, who have a constitutional right to express their political views free from government censorship or discrimination."

    When Zahn was asked if he sought legal advice before issuing the ban in the first place, he stated, "There was consulting, but the city attorney at that point was understanding the motivation, what I was trying to do, and the Legal Department has stood behind that. But of course now we are seeing where this is going and we wanted to stop."

  • Christian Gym Ads Removed from HS Football Field

    by Andy Berg September 2018

    A high school football field has become a battleground for the fight over religion in schools.

  • Southern Illinois University Rethinks Activism Policy

    by Andy Berg August 2018

    Southern Illinois University is walking back a new policy that would have made any political activism by student-athletes in uniform grounds for dismissal.