LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

MacKenzie Hare was intrigued by lacrosse after watching her twin brother, Connor, playing the sport. She wanted to give it a try but found there were no teams for girls in Bartlett.

"It looked really fun," said MacKenzie, 13, who now travels to Lombard to play on the under-15 state team for the True Lacrosse club.

MacKenzie hopes that by the time she's in high school there will be a program closer to home for girls.

Some coaches in Elgin Area School District U-46 say it's time to create those lacrosse programs.

The district has boys' lacrosse club teams at South Elgin and Bartlett high schools. The independent boards running the clubs are asking the district to take over the programs and provide partial funding and expand them to include girls.

"Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport in America," said William Romans, Bartlett High varsity boys coach.

The Illinois High School Association will conduct its first lacrosse boys and girls state championship series in the spring of 2018 - at least 65 boys' teams and 40 girls' teams must participate in the series. School boards must OK lacrosse as

a varsity sport for their schools to participate in the state series.

Funding challenges

At U-46, lacrosse is self-funded, costing roughly $30,000 per program, said Matt Baker, a former coach for the Bartlett High boys team.

"South Elgin and Bartlett are well-respected in the IHSLA (Illinois High School Lacrosse Association) and made it to the quarterfinals and semifinals last year," Baker said. "Over 25 players that have played in these programs have gone on to play at NCAA Division II and III (levels). It's definitely the next step for a maturing program to take on a girls program."

Students pay more than $500 in fees per season to play. Teams rent fields from local park districts for practice.

Baker acknowledged funding is the biggest roadblock to U-46 running the lacrosse programs, but he said there could be creative funding options.

"You could have a premium fee to offset the initial capital expenses that might be incurred," Baker said.

That could include the cost of purchasing helmets, sticks, goggles and mouth guards.

"It's going to become the 'haves' and 'have-nots,' and that's what I don't want to see just because some districts are willing to pay for it."

Officials say they are researching whether it's feasible for U-46 to fund lacrosse.

Leaders at Indian Prairie Unit District 204 recently decided to switch the independent clubs serving Neuqua Valley, Metea and Waubonsie Valley high schools to district-sponsored programs next year in time to participate in the state championship series. Parents of players will pay for the entire program, including the cost of equipment, uniforms, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and transportation.

IHSA bylaws do not dictate how high school teams should be funded.

"It remains up to the district or high school to decide if they will allow a booster club or parent-supported organization, etc., to fund their lacrosse program or any other athletic program for that matter," said Matt Troha, IHSA assistant executive director and administrator for lacrosse. "They can put together any format they want. It can be parent-funded or pay-to-play."

School districts would be responsible for paying coaches, Troha said.

More competition

Schaumburg High School head girls' lacrosse coach Jake Hughes is hopeful lacrosse becoming an IHSA sport will put pressure on U-46 and Northwest Suburban High School District 214 to start girls' programs.

Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 funds girls' lacrosse programs at Conant, Fremd, Hoffman Estates, Palatine and Schaumburg high schools. There also are co-op girls' teams at St. Charles East and North, and independent teams at Huntley and Hampshire high schools.

"This is a big gap in the geography of where teams are and where we have to go play," Hughes said. "Our conference right now is just five schools in District 211 and Barrington High School. There should be 10 more teams just in this area."

Lacrosse's popularity is growing among girls regionally, and nationwide, said Michelle Sebastian, co-founder of Wheaton-based Illinois Girls Lacrosse Association, which offers leagues, camps, and clinics for girls in kindergarten through ninth grades in several suburban communities, as well as training for coaches.

The Illinois High School Womens Lacrosse Association's DuPage Upstate Eight Conference includes Metea Valley, Naperville Central and North, Neuqua Valley, and St. Charles and Wheaton United co-ops. The Central Suburban Conference includes Maine South and Vernon Hills. The North Suburban Conference comprises teams from Lake Forest, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Mundelein, Stevenson and Warren. The West Suburban Conference includes Downers Grove co-op, Glenbard West, and Hinsdale Central.

Sebastian, a Hinsdale Central graduate and former lacrosse player for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, helped start the girls lacrosse program at Hinsdale Central in 2000. She said at the time most girls went into lacrosse because they didn't make the soccer team.

Today, Hinsdale Central is the only team outside Lake County lacrosse powerhouse teams - Loyola Academy, New Trier and Lake Forest - that has won a state championship in girls lacrosse, Sebastian said.

Opportunities for women to compete in lacrosse at the collegiate level also are growing as many suburban colleges and Illinois universities offer programs - including Elmhurst, North Central in Naperville, Lake Forest, Benedictine University in Lisle, Concordia University in River Forest, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University in Evanston.

As more high schools adopt lacrosse programs, the need for referees and coaches also will increase, Sebastian said.

"It's a really exciting time to be from around here," Sebastian said. "The competition will further increase parity."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

Each year, the Virginia High School League limits state baseball teams to 20 regular-season games. But what if that number were increased?

More than half of the other states, plus Washington, D.C., have game limits greater than 20. Most of those are in the 21-to-30 range.

Some have limits greater than 30. On the high end of the spectrum is Iowa, which has a limit of 40 regular-season games. However, the season there runs from late May until late July, so the colder weather of the earlier months isn't a factor. And much of the season is played after the school year.

There are various factors that come into play with contest limits. But there could be benefits in playing more games.

"I'd love to see more games, because more games ends up making kids a little bit better, in my opinion. That's just strictly my opinion," said Tim Lowery, who recently retired after finishing his 31st year as a head baseball coach and his 11th year at Cosby.

Ray Moore, who has coached at Douglas Freeman for eight years, also would prefer that more games be allowed.

"Personally, I think that the benefits would outweigh the costs," said Moore. "Because it gives the kids more opportunities to play."

At Benedictine, Sean Ryan has plenty of experience with playing more games. The VISAA doesn't set contest limits, and Ryan, the Cadets' coach, generally tries to schedule 25 to 28 games per season. He cited several reasons.

One is the condensed VISAA tournament schedule. To win a state title, teams have to win three games in five days. So Ryan wants his team to play at least three games in a week during the regular season.

Another is player growth.

"The more games they play, the more you can see them develop," said Ryan, who has coached Benedictine for 14 years and recently won his second state championship with the Cadets.

Increasing the contest limit also could increase parity. Moore believes the new pitching limits enacted before this season would have a greater impact if there were more games.

"If you have two or three pitchers and you throw those guys in two games each week, you're going to have to develop a bigger pitching staff, and you're going to have to rely on guys who you may not have had to rely on in the past," said Moore.

Moore said there probably would be more upsets because of matchups in which one team perhaps has its ace on the mound while another team its No. 4 or No. 5.

"And that can make all the difference," said Moore. "The team that's throwing their four or five pitcher might be the better team, but the other team's ace may be able to keep them at bay that day."

Ryan can attest to that. He said that if Benedictine schedules 28 games, most years that schedule isn't necessarily designed to go 26-2.

"It's going to be very hard for us to do that with the level of teams that we're playing, in addition to knowing that there's going to be some games where we're going to have to go a little bit deeper into our pitching staff," said Ryan. "And that's not a knock on our guys, it's just the way things shake out sometimes."

Some see drawbacks to allowing more games. Schools could face additional costs for umpires and travel. And smaller schools, with perhaps less depth, could encounter physical problems.

"When you say contest limits, you got to think not just the big schools in Richmond and up here," said Sal Colangelo, the director of student activities at C.D. Hylton in Woodbridge and the manager of the Bethesda Big Train summer college baseball team. "You got to think of all the schools in the state that don't have the numbers that we have. Not talent, just numbers to come out for their programs."

Colangelo said games can sometimes pile up in a week because of rainouts. He voiced concern about player health with some continuing to play and pitch on other teams after the high school season.

Colangelo, who also coached baseball at Potomac High School and Christopher Newport, was a member of VHSL's Executive Committee from 2014 to 2016. The committee establishes contest limits. However, according to Tom Dolan, VHSL's assistant director for compliance, the limits aren't reviewed annually.

"As proposals come up, they would consider them, but that is not something that they look at unless a school or region has brought forward some kind of proposal," said Dolan.

As far as the factors taken into account for contest limits from VHSL's side, Dolan said a number of things would probably be considered. Among them: measuring the comfortable number of games played in a week against the length of a season and size of a budget.

Moore said he sees both sides. But he said most coaches enjoy competition and want to give players a chance to show what they can do in a game as frequently as they can.

"Obviously, we don't want to overdo it," Moore said. "But a few more games wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for high school baseball."

(804) 649-6823

wepps@timesdispatch.com@wayneeppsjr

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Virginian-Pilot Companies LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)

 

Coming out of Phoebus High four years ago, James Daniel couldn't get a sniff from a big school like Tennessee.

A slight, 5-foot-11 guard, his only scholarship offers were from Howard and Holy Cross.

He chose Howard and made the most of it, leading the nation in scoring two seasons ago by averaging 27.1 points per game. Injured last season, he took a medical redshirt year while finishing his degree in sociology.

With a year of eligibility remaining, he did what an increasing number of college basketball players are doing: He entered the graduate transfer market. The experience was nothing like his recruitment coming out of high school.

"It was totally opposite - very intense," he said. "I probably had 60 high-major offers."

Daniel will play for the Volunteers this coming season, taking his attacking offensive style to the Southeastern Conference. He just as easily could have wound up in the ACC, the Big East or any other power conference.

"It's a testament to my hard work and the dedication I put into my game," he said. "Plus, my head coach (Kevin Nickleberry) giving me that freedom."

Daniel is the beneficiary of a form of free agency available to players who graduate with eligibility left. Originally intended to reward academic high-achievers by allowing them to pursue a master's degree in a program that may not be offered at their undergraduate school, the grad transfer rule has become controversial.

Often, it's less about books than ball, the NCAA has admitted.

"… Data have emerged showing that many transfers... earn few graduate credits and leave school when their athletic eligibility expires," the NCAA published in a study last year on the prevalence of Division I grad transfers.

The study noted that the rule has been most controversial in men's basketball and football due to "high-profile" cases. Grad transfers have been a particularly hot topic in basketball, where the loss or addition of a single player can have far more impact than in football.

"Worst rule in history of college basketball"

Critics have cited the damage done to low- and mid-major programs, which can spend years developing players only to have them poached by bigger schools.

Kentucky coach John Calipari has called the rule "awful for mid-major coaches." Iowa's Fran McCaffery went further, calling it "the worst rule in the history of college basketball."

Advocates, however, say that if student-athletes keep up their end of the bargain by earning their undergrad degrees, they should be free to go wherever they like without penalty, just as coaches can.

Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones, the outgoing president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said the issue of transfers in general has been a "major source of conversation" among coaches in recent years. Grad transfers, which are becoming more prevalent each year, are part of that discussion.

"Coaches get fired," after losing players to larger schools, Jones said, citing Drexel's Bruiser Flint and Cleveland State's Gary Waters. Flint lost star player Damion Lee to Louisville and was fired the next season. Waters lost star players to Michigan State, Louisville and Wichita State over three seasons and resigned under pressure.

Jones said about 25 percent of grad transfers move from a low- or mid-major school to a larger one. About 48 percent transfer laterally, while 26 percent transfer down to a smaller school, usually in search of more playing time.

"Up" transfers are the most controversial, and potentially the most costly for smaller schools.

"Reportedly, there are high-major programs that literally have a board (listing) kids that could potentially come out as graduate transfers," Jones said. "That gets into the whole issue of tampering."

The market is a bit of a free-for-all. Unlike undergraduate transfers, grad transfers don't need a release from their schools before other schools can contact them. They need only declare their intention to leave.

McCaffery told Iowa's WHBF TV he's heard of schools tampering with players on other teams and of middle men looking for money as they shop transfers.

In some ways, the NCAA is a victim of its own success. The increase in grad transfers is in part an unintended consequence of higher graduation rates since the implementation of the Academic Progress Rate, a measuring stick that ensures athletes are progressing toward a degree.

With more students graduating with eligibility remaining, more are leaving. In a list complied this month, the website SBNation.com tracked the status of 123 grad transfers. That's up from 68 in 2015 and just 15 in 2011.

Jones said he's heard from coaches who are rethinking whether to send players to summer school. By not going, they'll slow down their timetable for graduation, making them less prone to leaving.

Tribe coach no fan of the transfer rule

William & Mary coach Tony Shaver said he's reconsidering his approach to redshirting after losing a key player this offseason.

Jack Whitman, a 6-9 forward who averaged 10.9 points and 5.4 rebounds as a redshirt junior last season, graduated and transferred to Kansas. His departure leaves the Tribe, at this late date, with just one returning post player.

Shaver said he didn't want to talk about Whitman specifically. But in general, he's not a fan of the grad transfer rule.

"The only thing I would say there is I think it's a great compliment to our program that schools like Kansas, the best schools in the country, would want the guys we've developed," he said.

"The hard thing is, you spend four years educating and developing these players, and their last year, which should be their best, they're going to play somewhere else."

Whitman, who also heard from North Carolina, was a classic developmental case. After redshirting as a freshman, he averaged 2.3 points in 2014-15 and 3.3 in 2015-16 before having a breakout season last year.

He was one of the first players Shaver redshirted. At William & Mary's level, it's an important developmental tool, he said.

"We're not always going to get the best players out there, so we've got to develop them," he said. "It's a little bit of a body blow to have one leave."

Shaver said he doesn't see the rule as equitable because not all schools can take advantage of it. He's never taken a grad transfer and doesn't see them as a realistic option at a school such as William & Mary with high academic standards.

"If we had one, that young guy has to get into the grad program on his own. We can't help him," Shaver said. "Our grad schools are the real deal so they fill up quickly. All of a sudden in July, you can't say, 'I want to sign this grad transfer.' "

Shaver acknowledges the argument that players who have graduated should be free to go where they like. Still, he'd like to see all transfers be required to sit out a year.

Jones said there's been talk of requiring teams to commit a scholarship for two years when taking a grad transfer. After all, many master's degree programs are two years, never mind that the NCAA reports that just 34 percent of transfers get a master's.

ODU has taken advantage of the rule. In 2014-15, the Monarchs signed George Mason grad transfer Jonathan Arledge. This fall, they'll have Wake Forest transfer Greg McClinton for a year.

Beginning next season, the NCAA will require grad transfers to complete six hours of credit toward a degree in each term. But if a player leaves before earning a degree, it won't hurt the school's APR.

Meanwhile, the NCAA has created a "Division I transfer working group" to study all transfer issues. Jones noted that all sports besides basketball, football and baseball have a one-time transfer exception that allows players to leave without penalty.

He doesn't want to see punitive measures taken against players, but added: "If you just have free agency? My God."

Daniel sees his transfer as a win-win for Howard and for him. He said he was transparent with his coaches, letting them know he was looking to play at a higher level.

Howard received a lot of publicity when he led the nation in scoring, and he's always quick to credit the program for helping to make him the player he became, he said. Nicknamed "J-Bird," he had the green light to attempt 19.4 shots a game as a junior.

"My whole time there, I gave it all I possibly could for the university, and they gave me all they could," he said.

In the end, he had nothing more to prove at that level, he said. At Tennessee, he'll get a chance to chase bigger dreams and pursue a master's degree in higher education administration.

"I can see it both ways," he said. "I could see how some coaches could say, 'You owe me; I've done so much for you.' But a coach can leave any day.

"I think it all works out for the best."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

San Francisco Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland received a six-game suspension and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper a four-game ban for their roles in a bench-clearing brawl Monday, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.

Harper, the leading All-Star vote-getter in the National league, and Strickland decided to appeal and will remain eligible to play until the process is complete.

"It's part of the game, I guess," Harper said before Tuesday's game against the Giants. "It's so crazy that it even happened. I was sitting there talking to my parents this morning at breakfast; it's just crazy that it even happened yesterday.

"After three years, to do that, I don't know what was going through his mind or how upset he was the past couple of years. If he did have a problem with it, he could have talked with me during batting practice and say, 'I didn't like they way you went about it.' That's not human nature, I guess."

Strickland says he has the "ultimate responsibility" for his actions but did not express regret for hitting Harper.

In apparent revenge for a dispute between the two that took place during the 2014 National League Division Series, Strickland drilled Harper on his thigh with a 98-mph fastball in the eighth inning of Washington's 3-0 victory, inciting a brawl.

In that 2014 series, Harper homered twice off Strickland and yelled at him during the second trip around the bases.

Both players exchanged blows Monday as the dugouts and bullpens cleared, and both were ejected.

Related: Harper Charges Mound in Nationals, Giants Brawl

Strickland thinks the bad blood is over between the clubs and he didn't expect the Nationals to retaliate.

"I hope not," he said. "I think it's done."

Harper Charges Mound in Nationals, Giants Brawl
 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Adidas held what is considered the first 7-on-7 national football championship in 2007, and the sport has grown exponentially since. Over the last 10 years, scores of big-time corporate players got into the act, including every major athletic shoe company.

While 7-on-7 has become a common part of the high school football landscape, all-star 7-on-7 events still cause friction among high school coaches, players and event organizers. High school coaches don't want their sport to become like basketball, where AAU events hold more sway with elite recruits than their regular high school seasons and outside parties involved with spring and summer basketball have a major impact on recruiting.

This month, five players from St. Augustine (San Diego) were dismissed from the school's football team because they broke team rules by participating in all-star 7-on-7 events. After two team meetings, the players were allowed to return, but with penalties, including a suspension from the team's first fall game. Then, after discussions with parents, principal James Horne intervened and the penalties were lifted.

One of the four players initially dismissed was wide receiver-defensive back D.J. Justice, the son of former Major League Baseball All-Star David Justice.

"OK, they broke a team rule," David Justice said. "I played professional sports. I understand team rules. Make them clean your office, make them get a trash bag and clean up around the school. Make them run extra. But if you're saying, if they play 7-on-7, they won't be able to play their senior year, you put us in a predicament, because these schools could take away a son's future. The punishment doesn't fit the crime."

St. Augustine coach Richard Sanchez said his rule was there to prevent injury and the influence of outsiders who might not have his players' best interests at heart.

"I allow kids to do camps if it makes sense," Sanchez said. "But with these 7-on-7 teams, you're just letting people into the program to influence kids, and some of these people don't have an educational background. You want to protect your kids, and it's hard to protect them if you don't control the situation."

Sanchez said the scholarship opportunities for 7-on-7 are overblown.

"In the past, these guys who are playing 7-on-7 and get offers already have offers," he said. "These coaches don't look at film in 7-on-7."

College football coaches, per NCAA rules, are not allowed to attend 7-on-7 events. That does not prevent players from sending video to coaches, and the events are well attended by recruiting services.

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) coach Roger Harriott said the all-star 7-on-7 teams can be divisive and effective.

"The truth is participants are procuring actual attention from college coaches by way of various media and recruiting sources that give detailed reports on individual performances," Harriott said via text message.

Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) coach Bruce Rollinson, initially against 7-on-7 all-star events, has changed his mind, with reservations.

"I was in that other camp for years," Rollinson said. "I would say, 'Don't do it. I'm against it. You'll get hurt and then you're going to want us to rehab you because your club coach doesn't have those facilities. You're spending money.' All those things that are still semi-wrong with it."

Then, about four years ago, Rollinson asked his players why they were going against his advice to play in the 7-on-7 events.

"The first answer every kid gave is, 'Coach, we get to play football on the weekends.' I thought about that, and I thought about myself. When I was in high school, I would play football, any day, any night, on the beach, on the street, if someone wanted to play.... The No.2 reason was, maybe we could get some additional exposure, and No.3, they liked the gear they got. In essence, I couldn't fight this battle."

Two years ago, Rollinson began coaching his players in 7-on-7 events as a club team not affiliated with Mater Dei so they could compete as a unit against all-star teams.

"I became part of the parade," Rollinson said. "I've seen everything that's bad about it, but I'm just not going to fight that battle. Why should I be against a kid going out and playing football?"

The Midwest Boom, a 7-on-7 organization that operates in Chicago and St. Louis, won last year's NFA national championship at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and the Pylon national title in Dallas. J.R. Niklos, a former NFL fullback and general manager of the Midwest Boom, said the group usually can win over high school coaches to the advantages of having their players play for an elite 7-on-7 team.

"We've invited coaches to come to our practice," Niklos said. "All of our coaches have coached in the pros or college, so there's a good résumé underneath us. Coaches may have their feelings prior, but then they see our practice, which is highly organized, with stations and individual and group periods. They see how structured it is and the elite level that is at our practices.

"It's not like AAU basketball or club soccer that can fully replace high school sports. We could never do that. It's 7-on-7 -- it's never going to replace high school football. We're a supplement."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Chattanooga Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)

 

The Southeastern Conference continues to wrestle with the NCAA's graduate-transfer rule, with Tuesday's opening of the league's spring meetings in Destin, Fla., providing the latest evidence.

League policies currently penalize programs for multiple years after graduate transfers fail to meet academic benchmarks, but that could be relaxed later this week when SEC athletic directors gather with conference commissioner Greg Sankey. Football coaches took turns Tuesday discussing the issue.

"What is the intent of the rule to start with?" Alabama's Nick Saban said in a news conference. "I think the intent of the rule to start with was based on somebody changing schools for academic reasons. That was the intent of the rule to start with, and now that doesn't matter.

"I've never been in favor of free agency in our league. I wasn't for it last year, and I don't think I'll ever be for it."

The Crimson Tide won the 2015 national championship with Jake Coker at quarterback, and he was a graduate transfer from Florida State. They have used graduate transfers at receiver each of the past two seasons, with Richard Mullaney (Oregon State) totaling nearly 400 receiving yards for the 2015 champs and Gehrig Dieter (Bowling Green) compiling more than 200 yards last season.

Saban also lost a graduate transfer last August when defensive back Maurice Smith played his final season at Georgia, becoming one of four team captains for the Bulldogs. It was an uncomfortable predicament for Saban, who initially blocked Smith's transfer but had to relent once the SEC office gave Smith clearance to switch within the league.

"We would benefit as much as anybody in our league if you could transfer," Saban said. "If Kentucky's got a good player, let's see if we can get him to come to Alabama, but why would we do that? How does that help the integrity of what we're trying to do as a conference?"

The NCAA adopted graduate-transfer legislation in 2005, tabled it in 2006 and then reintroduced it in 2010 through a waiver process. Current Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson became the first prominent player to use the rule, playing the 2011 season at Wisconsin after graduating from North Carolina State, while the SEC experienced a more difficult situation out of the gate.

Ole Miss wanted Oregon graduate transfer quarterback Jeremiah Masoli for the 2010 season, but Masoli had pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary during his time with the Ducks. The NCAA denied Masoli's transfer, citing that the rule was put in place to further education and not to run from trouble, but Ole Miss appealed and won.

The SEC school now under the microscope is Florida, which is reportedly the desired destination for Notre Dame transfer quarterback Malik Zaire. Florida's last two graduate transfers, Georgia Tech linebacker Anthony Harrell and Fordham offensive lineman Mason Halter in 2015, failed to make the necessary academic progress in Gainesville.

Florida received a three-year ban in accepting graduate transfers that runs through 2018, so the only way Zaire could join the Gators is for the SEC to ease its restrictions.

"It's a hot topic," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. "I'm looking forward to these discussions and seeing where we're going with this. I understand everything that goes into it, but I'm more or less going to sit back, and I want to form an opinion based on everyone else and their thoughts."

Sankey said Tuesday night that there is a proposal that would reduce the three-year ban to one year, which would clear a path for the Gators and Zaire.

"If it happens, it happens, and we'll all move forward," Florida coach Jim McElwain told reporters. "If it doesn't, it doesn't, and we'll all move forward."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
All Rights Reserved

Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

 

Player eligibility surely will be a topic of conversation among SEC football coaches when the conference's spring meetings begin Tuesday. But that's nothing new.

The subject has been popping up for several years now. It gained momentum earlier this year when the American Football Coaches Association announced a proposal that would allow players to play in as many as four games in a season without losing a year of eligibility. Under current rules, a player has five years to play four seasons and could lose a year's eligibility by playing in a single game, unless he was injured.

The AFCA proposal is a step in the right direction. But it's not enough.

More and more coaches are speaking out in favor of five years of eligibility. And don't dismiss that as coaching rhetoric. It makes sense.

Making sense doesn't mean it will come to fruition, though. Change is rarely swift in anything as bureaucratic as the NCAA. Nonetheless, there's now a heightened sensitivity to the plight of football players.

Two years ago, the NCAA approved cost of attendance stipends for college players. A few thousand dollars extra a year might not seem like much compared to what SMU was doling out under the table in the 1980s. But every little bit helps.

I never have been in favor of putting college football players on salary. However, I'm very much in favor of helping athletes who play a sport that's so demanding to the practitioners and so lucrative to the programs they serve.

In February, the SEC announced it made $584.2 million in revenue for the 2015-16 fiscal year. That amounted to more than $40 million in revenue for each of its 14 member schools.

Football generated a large percentage of that revenue, mostly through its television contracts. Bowl games, the SEC championship game and the College Football Playoff also added to the conference's riches, as did the SEC Network, which is football-driven.

With so much money coming in, why not give something back? That something doesn't have to be cash.

Students often take five years to graduate anyway. So, given an extra year of eligibility, more student-athletes would leave school with a degree.

Allowing players five years to play five seasons also would improve the game.

Coaches wouldn't have to fret about whether they should risk burning a freshman player's redshirt. Five years of eligibility would translate into greater depth and possibly lower the injury rate as well.

Providing benefits to one sport and not others is always an issue. However, it's important to understand that football isn't like any other sport. You can check the medical and financial data for details.

The sheer danger inherent in the sport separates it from everything else from a risk standpoint. The players take the risks, and the schools get the rewards, which, in the SEC's case, amounted to nearly $600 million this past fiscal year.

That's at least worth another year of eligibility.

Reach John Adams at 865-342-6284 or john.adams@knoxnews.com and on Twitter @johnadamskns.

John Adams

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
June 1, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Digital First Media
All Rights Reserved

The Daily News of Los Angeles

 

Dozens of municipal pools throughout Los Angeles are set to open for the summer season on June 10, just as schools let out and the weather heats up, city officials said Monday.

Two newly renovated aquatics facilities, one in Woodland Hills and the other in San Pedro, will also be reopening for the summer, according to the city's Department of Recreation and Parks.

The Woodland Hills Recreation Center has been undergoing renovation, with the reopening of its pool anticipated some time this summer, said Recreation and Parks spokeswoman Rose Watson.

The World War II-era Gaffey Street Pool in San Pedro, also known as the "Hey Rookie" pool, has been closed since the 1990s. It was originally set to reopen last year, but work was delayed when military tunnels were discovered.

The city's annual Operation Splash, funded with grants from Kaiser Permanente, offers services for low-income children and adults, including free swim lessons and free junior lifeguard training.

Operation Splash is designed to promote water safety and encourage exercise in the community.

Recreation and Parks operates 39 seasonal pools, as well as 16 year-round ones. The city also operates 11 open water facilities year-round.

Dozens of municipal pools throughout Los Angeles are set to open for the summer season on June 10, just as schools let out and the weather heats up, city officials said Monday.
 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

If you've paid any attention to college sports whatsoever, you know that there's a vast disparity between the television revenue brought in by schools in the Power Five conferences and what the Group of Five members get.

But here's a look at a few numbers that emphasize the point. Here's the estimated TV revenue (on average) for each member of a Group of Five conferences for the 2016-17 school year:

American Athletic Conference $2 million

Mountain West Conference $1.7 million

Mid-American Conference $670,000

Conference USA $200,000

Sunbelt Conference $100,000

Alabama football coach Nick Saban will make $11.125 million in salary this season. That's 92 percent of the combined TV revenue for the Sunbelt, C-USA and MAC.

According to documents the Big Ten released to USA Today, commissioner Jim Delany is receiving $20 million in bonuses (over a number of years) on top of his $2.4 million salary (as of 2015).

Delany's bonuses are more than the total TV revenue for each Group of Five conference except the AAC, and they're 91 percent to that league's total. Delany's bonuses are 40 percent more than what the Sunbelt, C-USA and MAC combined make from TV in a year.

I'm not saying Saban doesn't deserve it. He did win four national championships from 2009 to 2015. And Delany has doubled the Big Ten's total revenue (including, but not restricted to, TV money) since 2010 -- up to $483.4 million and rising.

The point is that the gulf between the Power Five and the Group of Five is almost unimaginably wide. It's a miracle if an AAC, MWC, MAC, C-USA or Sunbelt team ever beats a member of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC or Pac-12.

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Virginian-Pilot Companies LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)

 

VIRGINIA BEACH

Dripping sweat and sporting weighted vests, they squatted, pulled and pushed.

The Memorial Day workout was on the whiteboard at CrossFit Oceana off Oceana Boulevard: 100 pullups, 200 pushups and 300 squats, bookended by 1-mile runs.

The gym was crowded and loud as music blared. The reason for all of it was a fallen Navy SEAL, Lt. Michael Murphy of New York, who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2005.

On June 28 of that year, Murphy was leading a SEAL team in Afghanistan when a gun battle broke out with Taliban fighters, according to a biography on the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation website. Gaining position to transmit a call for help, Murphy exposed himself to enemy gunfire and was shot and later died.

"Michael always seemed to do the right thing at the right time for the right reason," his father, Dan Murphy, said in a phone interview last week. Education was important to Michael Murphy, and his family created the foundation in 2007 to award scholarships in his name.

To raise money for the foundation and honor Murphy's memory, CrossFit gyms across the nation have participated in the annual Murph Challenge on Memorial Day.

"I try and remind everyone it's not about Michael. It's about all our fallen," Dan Murphy said. "Michael wouldn't like it if it were all about him."

From ABStudy Pits Army Fitness Training Versus CrossFit

CrossFit began as a way to train people in law enforcement and the military and has spread to the general public because of its effectiveness, said CrossFit Oceana owner Tina Degiorgio, also a longtime chiropractor in Virginia Beach. Every Saturday, gym members participate in "hero WODs," or "workouts of the day" that honor specific fallen service members.

On Monday morning, trainer Sarah Morningstar gathered with the third heat of Murph Challenge participants. More than 100 would complete the challenge by morning's end, with many more at other gyms.

During the challenge, women wear 14-pound vests, and men wear 20 pounds, though anyone can scale their workouts to match their abilities.

"The small amount of pain we're going through is nothing compared to what Michael Murphy or his family felt," Morningstar told the crowd. "While it might be painful, while you might cry - do it."

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Max Crews, 28, said his introduction to CrossFit was with the Murph Challenge a few years ago, when his friend wanted to complete it before deploying to Afghanistan.

"I've been trying to learn more about (Murphy's) story," Crews said. "It's kind of awesome to get together with the community and suffer through this."

Jona Riggle, 35, and Anja Linka, 39, encouraged friends and took photos after completing the challenge.

"Obviously, it hurts when we're working this hard, but what gets me through is … I can suffer through an hourlong workout in remembrance" of fallen service members, Linka said.

Lauren Balogh, 31, walked up with bloodied, calloused hands.

She had several reps to go when the skin started to tear, she said, but she pushed through.

"When I was running back, all I thought was: 'He suffered. I can make it, one more step,' " Balogh said. "It's not just about him, but everyone who's died."

Riggle said despite the pain, she's thankful Americans "are free enough to actually do this," thanks to people like Murphy.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 30, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland, antagonists in baseball's 2014 playoffs, were at the center of an ugly brawl in the eighth inning of the Washington Nationals-San Francisco Giants game Monday.

After getting the first two outs of the eighth with the Giants trailing 2-0, Strickland hit Harper with a first-pitch, 98-mph fastball in the thigh.

The 2015 National League MVP immediately barked at the 6-4, 220-pound reliever, pointing at him with his bat. When Strickland didn't back down, Harper flung his helmet at him, missing badly, and charged at him.

The players exchanged blows near the mound for a few seconds before Strickland was knocked to the ground by a wave of players and coaches from both sides, amid much pushing and shoving.

It took teammates Mac Williamson, Hunter Pence and George Kontos to drag Strickland off the field. Harper remained standing and was ushered to the dugout by teammate Ryan Zimmerman.

The history between them dates to the NL Division Series in 2014, in which then-rookie Strickland served up home runs to Harper and Asdrubal Cabrera in the seventh inning of Game 1, then later said he would throw them fastballs again. In Game 4, Harper again took Strickland deep and took his time rounding the bases while yelling at Strickland. Those were the lone plate appearances for Harper vs. Strickland till Monday.

Harper seems to be on an MVP mission again this year, coming into the game with a .337 batting average, 15 home runs and 41 RBI for the NL East-leading Nationals.

Strickland relied on the standard pitcher alibi: He was trying to pitch inside and "obviously got it in a little too far." He said he didn't expect Harper to charge the mound and had to adjust quickly. "It's go time," he said. "It's just you have to protect yourself and stand your own ground."

Though knowing there might be collateral damage, Harper didn't hesitate and admitted he was startled Strickland hit him.

"When somebody comes at you like that and throws a 98 mph fastball where he did, I wasn't very happy with it and took it into my hands," he said. "A baseball's a weapon, and to be able to use that to his advantage, what do you want to do in that situation? You never want to get suspended or anything like that, but sometimes you just have to go get 'em. You can't hesitate. You either go to first base or go after him, and I decided to go after him."

The Nationals won 3-0.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 30, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Charles Barkley's expertise is in the NBA but his rooting interest is in the NHL playoffs.

"Stanley Cup playoff hockey is the best thing going, and not just now," the TNT analyst told USA TODAY Sports. "I think overtime hockey is the most nerve-racking thing in the world. There's nothing to compare it to."

Barkley insists that running the playoff gantlet in the NHL is more difficult than in the NBA.

"Let me explain it like this: Every broadcaster and sportscaster in the world knew seven months ago that the Cavs and Warriors were to going to play for the championship," Barkley said. "There's not a single person who had the Nashville Predators playing for the Stanley Cup championship."

He said people knew the Penguins, the Predators' Stanley Cup Final opponent, had a chance to make a run, "but most people picked the Capitals to beat them. No one thought the Predators would sweep the Blackhawks."

"You have an idea who can win, but anything can happen," Barkley said. "That's what fascinates me about the NHL playoffs."

Barkley said he has watched almost every Stanley Cup playoff game for the last two months. During Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals, Barkley said he wanted to go back to the hotel to watch the rest of Game 7 between the Penguins and Ottawa Senators. A berth in the Stanley Cup Final was on the line, and he had bet on Ottawa.

The Stanley Cup Final started Monday, and he's rooting for the Predators because their franchise has never won. Barkley's also a fan of Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban.

"It's tough because one of my best friends is (Penguins assistant coach) Rick Tocchet," Barkley said.

Would Barkley like to be on a set with Jeremy Roenick and Mike Milbury someday to analyze a hockey game?

"I'm not that good," Barkley said. "J.R., Wayne Gretzky and Tocchet have taught me enough that I'm not a casual fan. But I'm not stupid enough to go into a booth and pretend that I know what's going on."

Sir Charles is selling himself short, according to Roenick. "He knows sports and he always has an opinion," Roenick said, laughing. "He would have no problem telling Mike and I what we don't know about the game."

If Barkley joined NBC for a game, Roenick said, "It would be the highest-rated hockey program of all time."

For complete coverage of Game 1, which ended too late for this edition, go to nhl.usatoday.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 30, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Tribune Review Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Tribune-Review (Greensburg, PA)

 

DUBLIN, Calif. -- Authorities are investigating a water park in Northern California after a 10-year-old boy veered off a three-story water slide and landed on concrete next to the ride at the park's grand opening Saturday.

Dublin Assistant City Manager Linda Smith said Monday that the slide and a similarly-steep slide will stay closed until further notice.

City and state safety investigators are trying to figure out what caused the boy to fly off the slide.

The description of the Riptide Rider slide on the park's website reads: "Get ready to fly and swirl down seven stories of fun. These slides' unique designs are fast and thrilling with unexpected steep drops and sharp turns. The translucent flume gives spectators a great view of riders zipping through the slide."

From ABWorld’s Tallest Waterslide to Be Torn Down

The boy who was thrown from the Emerald Plunge slide on Saturday was "just shaken up" and had a scratched shoulder that was treated by first-aid workers, a park spokeswoman said after the incident was witnessed and recorded by a Bay Area News Group photographer covering the opening of the park. The photographer saw scratches on the boy's back. The boy walked away from the incident and was helped by a lifeguard and city employee shortly after noon Saturday.

Bay Area residents eagerly anticipated the opening of the The Wave. The facility also has three pools, a water playground and a 2,000-seat outdoor performing arts center. It is expected to employ nearly 200 seasonal employees and cost about $2.5 million to operate in its first year.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 31, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Columbus Dispatch
All Rights Reserved


The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)

 

As swimming pool and water park employees across central Ohio readied for crowds this holiday weekend, they knew they had taken precautions to make the pools as safe as possible for the tens of thousands of area residents who will splash in them this summer.

Now, it's up to the public to do the same. That means staying out of the water if you're sick.

Last summer, central Ohio experienced its largest-ever outbreak of cryptosporidiosis, a highly contagious diarrheal disease, which sickened 1,940 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was tied to several swimming pools and water parks and was spread among people in Franklin and Delaware counties.

It was first detected in July and continued to spread for months. Because the disease typically is spread through feces, and often in swimming pools, health officials expected the outbreak to slow down at the end of summer, when most pools closed. But cases kept popping up, likely spread among family members or in day-care centers or schools, officials said.

About 50 people were hospitalized.

The CDC said at least 32 cryptosporidiosis outbreaks linked to swimming pools or water playgrounds were reported in the United States in 2016, compared with 16 outbreaks in 2014. In Ohio, the 1,940 cases compared with no more than 571 cases for any one year from 2012 through 2015.

Related: Report: Crypto Cases Linked to Pools, Water Parks Surge

Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for Columbus Public Health, said the city is preparing its pools the same way it does every year.

"Pool safety for us is a year-round job," he said. "We inspect our licensed pools on a regular basis to help prevent all types of water-borne illnesses."

Still, health officials were reeling last summer as the outbreak grew.

"I can't even tell you how it started," said Traci Whittaker, a spokeswoman for the Delaware General Health District.

Cryptosporidiosis is caused by a microscopic parasite, which causes infection when swallowed. It also can be spread through human contact.

"Crypto might be found in soil, food, water or surfaces that have been contaminated with the poop of an infected person or animal," said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC's Healthy Swimming program.

Symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and, most commonly, diarrhea. Outbreaks often take a while to resolve because the infection is extremely contagious and has an incubation period of two to 10 days, according to the CDC. An infected person can spread the illness for as long as two weeks after diarrhea subsides.

Columbus pools try to keep chlorine levels higher than the one-part-per-million state requirement.

"We maintain ours at two to three parts per million," said John Gloyd, the city's aquatics director. Nonetheless, "there's nothing I can put in the water that'll kill crypto."

Pools linked to last year's outbreak were forced to hyper-chlorinate the water, a process which cost the city around $100 a pool.

"It's an inconvenience," Gloyd said. "I've got to close the pool [even] if it's a 90-degree day."

The city has been working in tandem with local county and state officials to ensure that pools and patrons alike are prepared. But, Rodriguez said, "We cannot be at every pool 24/7."

Melanie Amato, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health, said the state is distributing educational materials and trying to promote awareness.

Delaware County health officials also have distributed information at pools. "In light of what happened last year, we took an early, proactive approach," Whittaker said.

One of the parks affected by the outbreak was Zoombezi Bay at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

"The first step towards preventing (infection) is for guests to be responsible," said Patty Peters, a zoo spokeswoman.

Peters said Zoombezi operators are checking pool chlorine levels every two hours and are hiring an independent company to test the park's water bi-weekly.

She said the park's water is constantly being filtered through a sanitation system that passes water through intense ultraviolet light to kill bacteria.

The park had implemented the new system in a few of its pools even before last year's outbreak.

"This year, it's now in all of our pools," Peters said.

"It's obviously not instantaneous," she said, and normal amounts of chlorine are not high enough to kill cryptosporidia.

Really, it's up to pool patrons to do the right thing.

"If anyone in the family... (has) any sign of illness," Gloyd said, "I would ask you to stay home."

kbeard@dispatch.com

@QKayK

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

 

May 30, 2017

 

 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Post and Courier
All Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

 

Francisca Dilling has been committed to physicalfitness her entire adult life and has worked out in many differentgyms and studios in the Charleston area for 25 years.

"I began working out at the Ladies Workout Express on Coleman Boulevard when I was a teenager in the mid-'90s, later moved my workouts to the MUSC Wellness Center for over 10 years," says Dilling, who now works full-time at Boeing.

"As I became a working mom of two boys, my time became more limited and precious. My fitness has remained a priority, as it makes me a better person, so I make the time for my daily workout."

Her busy life, Dilling adds, requires that she pick her workouts wisely, focusing on strength, cardio and flexibility. She's found having trainer-led classes is not only the best way to achieve that, but this method also keeps her motivated.

Dilling is like a growing number of people in the area who will go to a variety of studios featuring yoga, barre and fitness, and are willing to spend $200 or more to "fitness snack." The latest gym that caters to this crowd is a sleek new studio on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard called HYLO.

Fitness specialization

Since the early 1990s, the number and variety of fitness clubs and studios in the Charleston area has grown beyond imagination. Back then, there were mostly all-purpose gyms in the area. Those proliferated, then an array of specialty studios hit the market: yoga, pilates, barre, climbing, indoor cycling, martial arts as well as CrossFit and other HIIT (high intensity interval training) gyms.

But one notable trend in the past year is the high-end or boutique studio, which are aesthetically beautiful, almost spa-like spaces that often charge a premium for services.

The opening of HYLO Fitness has raised eyebrows this spring because the club, which features a high-intensity studio on the ground floor and a low-intensity one on the second floor, was built specifically for the facility on land that used to be the Uno Mas Mexican restaurant in Mount Pleasant.

HYLO opened at the same time as two other studios did: Reverb Charleston yoga studio, located in Raven Cliff Co.'s tech-centric Pacific Box & Crate development on King Street Extension, and CycleBar indoor cycling studio in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.

The market for high-end fitness appears strong as Longevity Fitness and Revolution indoor spinning, two studios in downtown Charleston, recently celebrated first and third anniversaries, respectively. Likewise, high-end franchises, such as Pure Barre and Orangetheory, also have flourished locally.

Charleston has gone from a town with a half dozen relatively big fitness players to dozens of all sizes.

National trends

The trend of people willing to spend more money on fitness is happening across the nation.

According to the latest data from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, about one-fifth of Americans are health club members and their average monthly club dues are $54, or 1.2 percent of median household income.

And many patrons, such as Dilling, are fitness snacking, going to several studios and clubs each month. The association estimates that 86 percent of patrons go to more than one studio or club.

That also may be possible because of a wave of budget franchise gyms, notably Planet Fitness, that, as of last winter, had 1,300 locations, including five in the Charleston area, in every state and the District of Columbia. Planet Fitness, which charges $10-$20 a month, has an aggressive goal of having 4,000 clubs in the United States.

More than fitness?

Many local fitness experts echo those on the national level in saying the people who take their health seriously are willing to pay for trainer-led workouts. The believe that it is not only efficient but has a social, even fun, component.

Jennie Brooks, owner of Longevity, is a local - born and raised - who moved to California and was drawn into personal training there. She moved back to Charleston in 2009. After two years of training people at MUSC, she heeded the repeated calls to open her own studio.

In November 2015, she opened Longevity, featuring HIIT training, Pilates, personal training and body work, in a spa-like space on the penthouse floor of an office building on 163 Rutledge Avenue, just a block from MUSC's "horseshoe."

"I wanted to create a place where people can go and feel connected," says Brooks. "People are paying me for more than fitness. They want an experience and community."

Fees at Longevity range from $26 for a group training class to $1,500 a month for a Gold membership.

Lindsay Rodbell, co-owner of Revolution, says the age range of people coming to the indoor cycling studio is 18 to 70, but that the average rider is in his or her 30s. Revolution's rates range from $22 for a single cycling class to $180 a month or 10 rides.

"People are willing to pay the extra cost to go somewhere that's fun and trendy," say Rodbell.

Landis Clayton, a partner at HYLO, moved from Denver to Charleston nearly three years ago to help start the Orangetheory franchises and "realized this is where I wanted to be."

Clayton says the people, including millennials, amateur or aging athletes, professionals, who place a high priority on fitness are willing to invest in it. And she said the same forces that are changing Charleston are impacting its fitness industry.

"Young people are coming in with Boeing, Volvo and Mercedes. And the older demographic is starting to embrace (fitness)," says Clayton.

"It's all about people who prioritize fitness. That's why we're here. This is about the journey, not about the result. We don't do 30-day challenges. We have workout fiends who treat it just like brushing their teeth in the morning. They just want to work out. Some will come in for a high (intensity) class in the morning and a low (intensity) in the afternoon."

HYLO's memberships range from $150 to $190 a month, though Clayton says most are paying about $180.

Those rates are similar to CycleBar's, though, like many boutique studios, it offers a discounted introductory rate.

Bob and Catherine Lee, who also own local Massage Envy franchises, brought the Cincinnati-based indoor cycling business to Charleston and hope to add two more studios to the area.

Bob Lee says that they draw a range of people but noted that "ladies want to get away from Big Box gyms because they feel like they are being watched." The CycleBar has "a movie theater concept" studio.

"It's a nice, dark, secure environment and it's fun," says Lee, noting that CycleBar likes to consider workouts "a party on a bike."

The franchise's Cincinnati Reds red color scheme pairs with a lot of amenities, including theater-like acoustics, vital statistics and a weighted bar (hence the "Bar" in CycleBar) that provides some upper body strength training while riding.

The bottom line

Tracie Long Mathewes, owner and operator of Long Training Studios on St. Philip Street, has been a professional fitness instructor in the area since the late 1980s, starting with The Firm, in which she began making fitness videos.

Mathewes also was involved in arguably the first boutique fitness club in Charleston, which started as V and then was re-named Blue Fish, before the recession and other economic issues closed it down.

"I've seen a lot of things come and go," she says. "But I think the big gym scene is going away and the studios are popping up. Still, I think all the different studios confuse people about what they need to be doing."

Mathewes says what will win in the end is the trainers.

"You can have the coolest name for the coolest class but it won't have legs because no one feels like you're invested in it," says Mathewes. "People are willing to pay more because their chances to succeed are better. It's about accountability."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

 
May 29, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

The former Wayne High School girls basketball coach was disciplined for allowing her husband to coach even though the state board of education permanently denied his permit to do so, the Dayton Daily News found.

Sonya Miller, 48, resigned from the team effective March 30 after district officials issued her a formal written letter of reprimand in January, according to documents obtained by the newspaper using Ohio's public records laws.

The letter of reprimand alleged Miller allowed "a non-board approved individual to serve in the capacity of 'coach' to provide instruction to students that are part of the high school girls' basketball program."

Miller allowed her husband, Robert L. Miller Jr., 50, to attend practices, ride the bus to away games, enter the locker room, meet with the team and sit on the bench, said Derrick Williams, Huber Heights City Schools human resources director, in an interview with the newspaper.

Multiple attempts to reach the Millers by phone were unsuccessful.

The Ohio Board of Education in 2016 permanently denied Robert L. Miller Jr. the required three-year pupil activity permit required to coach.

The denial, which is at the state board's discretion, was based on a 1999 court-martial conviction at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for attempted larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny and other related charges. A permanent denial makes an individual "ineligible to apply for any license issued by the state board of education."

Williams said students were "absolutely not" at risk of harm because of the Millers.

Williams said Sonya Miller had been verbally warned not to allow her husband access to the team. But after administrators received a tip over winter break, they decided to issue the letter of reprimand.

In her March resignation, Miller thanked Superintendent Sue Gunnell and the staff "for the opportunity to lead this group of young women."

"As a professional I am not here to debate the positive vs. negative of the relationship, I recognize this is not the time for that," Miller wrote. "I just would like to thank you, and again I appreciate the opportunity to be a difference maker."

After multiple losing seasons earlier this decade, Wayne was the top Division I girls team in the area the past two years, winning 25 and 20 games, respectively.

The Daily News uncovered additional issues during its review.

Performance reviews for the boys and girls basketball coaches were not executed "with the consistency that they need to," said Williams.

Williams told the newspaper Miller's performance was reviewed in two of three years she coached, but the newspaper's records request only turned up one review in March 2017.

Former Wayne boys coach Travis Trice, who has now taken over the head coaching position for the girls team, was reviewed in 2017, apparently the first time since 2009, according to the records. Williams said reviews should happen annually.

Staff Writer Jeremy P. Kelley contributed to this report.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 29, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Chattanooga Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)

 

An early signing period in college football has gone from proposal to reality.

For the 2018 recruiting cycle already underway, that means a 72-hour signing window beginning Dec. 20, and then the traditional signing date on the first Wednesday in February. It's a great unknown for Southeastern Conference coaches, who typically dominate the recruiting landscape.

"It's going to be different because of the manpower and the hours that it takes," LSU's Ed Orgeron said. "It's a war out there, and now you have two of them. A lot of teams will be practicing for some very important bowls, so you've got to balance your time between the new signing day and the practice and preparation."

Orgeron was asked if he liked the NCAA's new recruiting calendar.

"I have no choice now," he said. "I have to deal with it. It's something that if I could have voted for it, I would not have. It just puts a lot of different strain on your staff."

The biggest plus to an early signing period is that prospects who know where they want to attend can sign and end the recruiting process, yet several SEC coaches envision multiple unintended consequences.

"You're going to have guys having to make an intense decision possibly during the week of their (high school) playoff run," Georgia's Kirby Smart said. "Finals can be during that time. There are going to be a lot of different pressures. You will have the schools they're supposed to go to providing pressure, and you will have other schools asking you to wait and see what happens to a staff or coach and telling you that you can make a more informed decision come February.

"It's a time when we're not used to having that much intensity in recruiting."

Related: New Early Signing Period Approved for College Football

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen wonders if the busier of the two signing days will occur before Christmas. Florida's Jim McElwain believes the earlier period "will call some people's bluff, both from the players' side and the schools' side," and South Carolina's Will Muschamp agrees.

The SEC's spring meetings are this week in Destin, Fla., but the league's football coaches already have been outspoken on this topic.

"I wish we hadn't changed anything in the recruiting calendar," Muschamp said. "This will help us with the young men who are coming to South Carolina no matter what, and if you feel good about your class and can sign those guys in December, you can move forward to some of the other classes, but some of the commitments nowadays are reservations, so you will find out in December whether a guy is committed to you.

"If he's not signing in December, you better rethink your numbers."

SEC coaches are mixed about the early signing date, with Kentucky's Mark Stoops, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin and Hugh Freeze of Ole Miss in favor. Tennessee's Butch Jones admitted he would have preferred it more when he was at Central Michigan and Cincinnati, because he would have encountered fewer February surprises of Power Five conference schools swooping in with a late scholarship offer and snagging a recruit committed to his program.

Smart admits he's not "either way" on the December signing period, adding that he wants to see how this first cycle plays out.

"I think we're dealing in a world we haven't dealt in," Smart said, "which means there are probably things we haven't thought of and repercussions we haven't thought of. It will be interesting to see who handles it best."

Where SEC coaches are in complete agreement is their opposition to the notable change that will occur in the 2019 cycle. Prospects in this 2018 class must abide by current NCAA legislation, which allows a student-athlete to begin taking official visits no sooner than the opening day of classes of his senior year in high school.

Recruits in the 2019 class can start taking official visits during their junior year, beginning April 1, 2018.

"The early signing date is great, but the calendar changing and pushing things up is hard on high schools and hard on high school coaches," Sumlin said. "If we're going to have May and June visits, that's going to be rough."

Said Freeze: "I'm not a fan of the early visits, because you're tripping kids before they've even had a sixth-semester transcript. I wish that was not a part of it."

Alabama's Nick Saban is widely viewed as the greatest recruiter in the sport's history, having assembled top-rated classes nine times in the past 10 years, but even he is moving forward with a lot of concerns.

"I think evaluation is important, and I think the sooner you have to make decisions on these guys, the greater opportunity you have to make mistakes," Saban said. "I still think June is going to be a really important time for a lot of these guys, and the biggest fear of having an early signing date is that it would become the signing date. I don't know that accelerating the calendar and letting these guys visit in the spring is a good thing.

"We talk all about the opportunity we're giving guys early, but we're also eliminating opportunities for some late bloomers."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 28, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

It's the fourth quarter of Paul Krebs' tenure as athletics director at the University of New Mexico, and he would like to run out the clock on his $419,000-a-year job on his own terms.

Krebs has two years remaining on his contract and was asked last week if he was planning to retire. He said in an email "if and when I decide to retire from athletics it will be on my timetable."

That should be now rather than later - especially in light of new details of the Athletics Department's 2015 Scotland golfing junket where it spent $65,000 in public money to pick up the tab for department personnel (Krebs included) and several donors. Add to that the fact the department's response to requests under the Inspection of Public Records Act seeking information on the trip could charitably be described as "stonewallling." A less charitable term would be "coverup."

That makes it game over for Krebs at UNM. Let's hope he does the class thing and resigns, sparing the university more grief. If not, UNM should make the tough decision to pull him. For cause. No buyouts. No parachutes.

Related: U. of New Mexico Allegedly Paid for Golf Trip for Donors

So how did we get to this point in the game?

Krebs has been on the job here for 11 years, and like many college athletics directors is involved in controversy. It's part of the job when you are the top Lobo, when you hire and fire high-profile football and basketball coaches, and when you manage a department with a budget that tops $30 million.

He has detractors, who point to things like his role in the departure of Lobo Legend Rocky Long, his hiring of football coaching disaster Mike Locksley (whose off-the-field hijinks were almost as bad as his 2-26 record) and the fact the men's basketball team has never reached the promised land of the Sweet Sixteen.

Meanwhile, Krebs' department has racked up budget deficits in seven of the last nine years and projects that it will finish about $97,000 in the hole for the coming year. Athletics owes the cash-strapped "main" university an estimated $4.4 million.

But Krebs also has supporters. He made student athletes' grades and graduation rates a priority, resulting in steady gains that put Lobo classroom stats among the highest in the Mountain West Conference. He's been credited with strong coaching hires. Lobo athletics is highly competitive in the Mountain West. And there was this year's new $10 million naming rights deal signed with Dreamstyle.

But the debate goes out the window when you start talking about spending tens of thousands of public dollars for people who don't work for the university to go on an international golf trip. That goes beyond mismanagement and raises the question of whether public money has been misappropriated in violation of internal rules or state law. And that's a line that cannot be crossed.

And then there is the way the information was kept under wraps, eroding the public's trust and raising additional questions of violations of state law. Another line that should not be crossed.

Now, both state Auditor Tim Keller and Attorney General Hector Balderas have announced they are looking into the matter.

The story unfolded in two chapters, with the disclosure three weeks ago that Krebs, then-hoops coach Craig Neal and athletics fundraiser Kole McKamey had gone on the trip courtesy of the public. Those disclosures initially came as the result of a report by KRQE's Larry Barker. Krebs defends the trip as being successful in relationship building and long-term fundraising.

UNM acting president Chaouki Abdallah criticized the spending and said it should have been done through UNM's foundation, which does fundraising.

Then, Krebs went to Abdallah last week to say he had been reviewing notes about the trip and "noticed" UNM athletics had also picked up the expense for three donors, about $8,200 apiece, and that money was never reimbursed as intended. The university said $25,000 has been donated to the UNM Foundation to cover the expense two years after the fact. The school has refused to reveal the source, and the nonprofit foundation does not release such donor information. Under these circumstances, it sounds a bit like money laundering. And restitution two years later doesn't undo the improper expenditure.

As for timing, the donor expense story broke the day before a regents meeting where the governing body raised tuition and continues to grapple with a projected $8.9 million shortfall.

UNM has said Abdallah is considering discipline, and to his credit he has said this isn't how public dollars should be spent and won't be spent that way in the future. But UNM leadership needs to send the message it is serious about being a good steward of taxpayer dollars - and that means a final whistle on Krebs' tenure at UNM.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 30, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Columbus Dispatch
All Rights Reserved


The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)

 

A coroner has ruled that the death of 6-year-old Jude Kraft at Worthington Hills Country Club Friday was an accidental drowning.

The boy's body was pulled from the deep end of the club's pool after a search by Perry and Sharon townships police and the Franklin County sheriff's office. Jude had been reported missing at the country club about 5 p.m.

Dr. Mark Hickman, Delaware County's coroner, reported that there was no evidence of traumatic injury and ruled Jude's death an accidental drowning, according to Perry Township Police Chief John Petrozzi.

A lifeguard pulled Jude from the pool and officers performed CPR to try to resuscitate him, Petrozzi said. Worthington medics rushed him to Nationwide Children's Hospital satellite clinic in Lewis Center in Delaware County, where he was pronounced dead at about 7 p.m.

Carly France, 14, was at the pool on Friday. On Saturday, she was at the Perry Township police station to pick up her items from the pool.

She said that she believes the boy was with a group of friends, but then couldn't be found. She said a girl and two boys jumped into the pool, and the girl said she thought she saw something.

From ABElectronic Surveillance Technology for Drowning Detection

Two lifeguards jumped in, she said, and the boy was pulled out.

"Everybody was crying," Carly said.

The country club's general manager did not return a call seeking comment.

Jude was in kindergarten at Bluffsview Elementary School. His mother is a teacher at Worthington Kilbourne High School.

Petrozzi said in an interview Saturday that the investigation continues. He said he spoke with Jude's parents on Friday but hadn't done so on Saturday.

"We're still looking. We have some video to review. It's ongoing. Once the detectives are done, we will make a final release as to what the results are."

mferench@dispatch.com

@MarkFerenchik

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 30, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
All Rights Reserved

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

CHARLOTTE - Mecklenburg County allows public swimming pools to open for the summer without an inspection - something three other large counties in North Carolina won't allow.

Mecklenburg County does follow state law that allows permits for pools to open without an inspection as long as they are checked within two months.

But officials in Forsyth, Guilford and Wake counties all say they won't let a pool open for the summer without someone checking for such things as exposed wires, proper chlorine levels, adequate safety equipment and proper drains.

More than 350 of the 1,400 public swimming pools in Mecklenburg County and the Charlotte area haven't been inspected so far in 2017, The Charlotte Observer reported.

That number included six pools that were shut down last summer because of safety problems but are on track to reopen without an immediate inspection this year.

"We're investigating that," Bill Hardister, the manager of the Mecklenburg County Environmental Health Division, told the newspaper Friday.

One of those pools, at First Ward Place apartments, was open Friday even though it was closed last summer when inspectors discovered no chlorine in the water, algae and mildew growing on pool walls, and inadequate records on chemical and drain check. It hasn't been inspected since reopening.

The Observer's review found that in 2016, at least 21 swimming pools, spas and wading pools opened without inspection and were eventually shut down or put on notice for major violations. These facilities were permitted to operate for an average of 34 days, the Observer found, before being closed by the county or put on notice for violations.

A county permit allows a pool to operate but the county doesn't track the date it actually opens.

Inspectors are supposed to check various indicators of pool safety, including water quality, pool maintenance equipment, restrooms and locker rooms, pool suction hazards, and life-saving devices on site. Pools with health or safety violations are given demerits, which are weighted by the severity of the problem. Demerits and the type of violation dictates whether a pool can stay open.

In Forsyth County, inspector Ken Bowyer said officials began inspecting all pools before they open for the season 10 years ago.

"We would be issuing immediate suspensions (later in the season) and I would find two, three, sometimes four critical violations," said Bowyer, the manager of the Forsyth County pool permitting and inspections program.

"After a handful of those, we decided if we're going to be serious, we have to make sure there's compliance met on the front end," he said.

Mecklenburg County posts its pool inspections on its website.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 28, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

 

Water-safety advocates see a sad but important lesson in the drowning deaths of a teen in West Palm Beach and a 6-year-old in Port St. Lucie last week: Teach your children to swim. And while they're in the pool, keep an eye on them.

The 17-year-old boy had never learned to swim but went into the pool anyway, family members told West Palm Beach investigators. The 6-year-old's brother and friends didn't notice he was missing as they played in shallow water until they saw him unresponsive in the pool's deepest reaches.

As the summer months unofficially arrive with Memorial Day weekend and children are more frequently around large bodies of water, water-safety advocates are preaching the importance of two things to prevent drownings: supervision and education.

"What's all too common is there's a party or an event where there are lots of kids and adults around the pool, but there's no adult with their eyes on the pool," said Jon Burstein, a communications specialist with the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County. "There always needs to be one designated water-watcher."

According to statistics from the Palm Beach County Drowning Prevention Coalition, 56 people drowned in 2015 in Palm Beach County, eight of whom were under the age of 20.

Anna Stewart, manager of the coalition, said the total number of drownings in 2016 dropped to 47, four of whom were children. She said she had not analyzed why the number dropped so drastically.

The most common drownings of children 4 and younger happen when a child slips out unnoticed through an unlocked door or a door that's ajar and goes into the pool, Burstein said.

"Drowning is silent. It's not like the movies where someone is splashing about theatrically. Oftentimes, kids will just slip under the water," he said. "To that end, you need to have door alarms to ensure children don't slip out, that you know that the child is in the house, and you also need to have gates around the pool."

Drownings of teenagers often stem from a false sense of confidence in their abilities, Burstein said.

"They go in the water, and the ocean is powerful," he said. "They go into the water sometimes unattended. They go into the water sometimes just not knowing how to swim. And sometimes there's false confidence in how far they can go out."

As for adults, Stewart said it's more common than not for their drownings to be influenced either by drugs or alcohol. However, she said, it's equally important for adults to follow logic and reasoning when in the water.

"It's really important to recognize that a drowning can happen to you," she said. "The No. 1 recommendation is that adults never swim alone. If something were to happen, there's no one there to help."

The coalition offers families $50 vouchers good for six to eight swim lessons at any of the 18 public pools in Palm Beach County. Burstein said swim lessons are important in supplementing the adult supervision necessary any time children are around a body of water -- a year-round occurrence in coastal Florida.

"It really doesn't matter what time of year it is. There have been drownings in the first week of January through the last week of December," he said. "Palm Beach County is a very water-rich environment so adults always need to keep in mind the importance of supervision, the importance of barriers around pools and really instill in their children the importance of swim lessons and the importance of safety at beaches."

cmitchell@pbpost.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 28, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Times-World, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Roanoke Times (Virginia)

 

BLACKSBURG - For the first time in more than a decade, the Virginia Tech athletic department operated in the red during the fiscal year ending in June of 2016.

Paying a couple of football coaching staffs during the transition from Justin Fuente to Frank Beamer, severance payments for three former basketball coaches and the rising cost of scholarships helped run the Hokies a $764,000 deficit.

It 's not something athletic director Whit Babcock wants to see often, but that's just the occasional cost of doing business in today's world of college athletics.

"With everything we've got going on and the momentum, we know we can't be in the red very often," Babcock said in a wide-ranging interview with the Roanoke Times this week. "But we're at a point right now of investing and transition, and we felt like it was well worth it."

As for the deficit, the shortfall was covered by surplus funds that were collected in previous years and were being held in reserve.

But the situation underscores the reason Virginia Tech decided to overhaul its fundraising approach for the first time in decades in the last year. The Hokies instituted required giving when purchasing certain football and basketball tickets and began the Drive for 25, a push to more than double Hokie Club membership to 25,000 in the upcoming years.

So far, so good on that front, the AD said.

Virginia Tech's Hokie Club membership has gone up from a little over 10,000 last spring to 13,394 as of Saturday according to the drive's official site. Annual fund giving to Tech's scholarship fund, meanwhile, went from $9.9 million to $16.3 million, Babcock said.

It hasn't happened without upsetting the status quo, however. The additional cost associated with purchasing tickets and seat restructuring has turned off some fans. Babcock said season ticket sales are about 2,000 behind last year's pace at this time. The Hokies sold approximately 36,000 of 40,000 available season tickets last year.

That churn was factored into the Hokies' projections, however, with Tech budgeting a 10 percent loss into next year's numbers just to be safe.

"Have there been some people with our new program that have just said I'm not going to play anymore and leave? Yes," Babcock said. "But we've also had, and I don't think this is a bad thing, people that had maybe six tickets between the 40s and have now dropped to four. It's not good that they've dropped the two tickets, but we've had a lot of donors that are very happy that inventory in the better sections is finally starting to open up."

It's a necessity for an evolving athletic department, however, Babcock said. Tech's athletic budget is projected to rise from $83 million in 2016 to $85 million in the next fiscal year, which would put Virginia Tech ninth among all ACC teams.

Additional costs are on the way, however. Tech, like every other ACC school, will have up-front costs in the range of $5-7 million for studio space, fiber optics and other requirements for the 2019 launch of the ACC's linear network. The goal, Babcock said, is to have that operational by the fall of 2018.

The eventual payoff should be worth it, especially for a league whose average revenue distribution per school of $23.8 million in 2015-16 was lowest among the Power Five conferences, in part because it doesn't yet have networks in place like the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12.

Although the ACC has asked its athletic directors not to go public with any projections - which Babcock abided by - Florida State's athletic director Stan Wilcox reportedly told his school's board of trustees in February that a 2019-20 payout could be in the range of $8-10 million from the network, with future revenues increasing.

That all depends on distribution, and recent layoffs from the ACC's partner for the network, ESPN, led many to call into question if the channel remains full-steam ahead. Babcock said he was reassured at the ACC's recent spring meetings that it is.

"I know ESPN is interested in generating revenue," he said. "People are talking about what they're dropping and losing in subscribers, but the thing they've got to realize is this channel with the ACC is a revenue generator. So if you're in a business that's cutting costs, which they seem to be, and you want to generate revenue, you're not going to back off the projects that create revenue.

"Also, I don't know what TV is necessarily going to look like in two years, but I still believe that sports programming and content has value, because people consume it live, right? Whether you're going to be watching on the big screen, on your phone, Hulu, Sling TV. To me, there is still value because it gets consumed live, and there's nobody I'd rather be partnered with than the best in the country. So while we all pay attention to what's happening at ESPN, I think reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated."

On the field, less restructuring seems needed in the near future. In his three-plus years as an athletic director, Babcock's hired coaches in football (Fuente), men's basketball (Buzz Williams), women's basketball (Kenny Brooks) and wrestling (Tony Robie), with a baseball hire needed now that the school parted ways with Pat Mason last week.

Additionally, Babcock has restructured deals with Fuente and Williams after early success, extending their contracts.

"When you know you have the right ones, if you can try to lock them in for a while and have that security, I think it shows you have their back," Babcock said.

Building projects are ongoing, including a rebuild of the entire seating area at the baseball team's English Field at Union Park and a major renovation to the track team's Rector Field House, which also includes a hitting facility for the softball team. Padded seats are being put into a portion of Cassell Coliseum.

A $16 million project to turn the Bowman Room at the top of the Merryman Center into a nutrition center for all sports is on the horizon. Long term, Babcock is looking into a major renovation at Cassell Coliseum that would bring the concourses and more into this century (something that could cost $40-50 million and might potentially displace the team for a season, though that's far down the road), plus the possibility of cutting a club level into the East side of Lane Stadium.

That's why Babcock wants to improve Virginia Tech's fiscal situation. While the Hokies wait for the ACC network's launch and eventual payday, Babcock's primary focus is on tapping into revenue streams available to Tech right now. Contracts with IMG, Nike, Coca-Cola, Gatorade and others are locked in for a few years. That's why the Hokie Club is such a focus.

"To me, the area with no real ceiling is donors and fans, with 260,000 living alumni and equally as many rabid Hokie fans, I think that's our best opportunity," Babcock said.

"So that's why we've worked hard on the messaging about, 'Hey, it's not just about getting tickets through the Hokie Club.' If you care about the Hokies and our athletic department and our student-athletes, this is the No. 1 way to get involved. And that seems to be resonating with people, but we'll have to keep messaging it for a while."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 28, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Times-World, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Roanoke Times (Virginia)

 

CHRISTIANSBURG - More details are emerging on a major public project that promises to bolster the town 's recreational and athletic opportunities and enhance its standing as one of the New River Valley's retail and dining destinations.

The Christiansburg Town Council recently got another look at a conceptual plan for the Truman Wilson property along Peppers Ferry Road, just west of the town's North Franklin Street retail corridor.

The 60 farmland acres - named after its late owner who lived, farmed and operated a sawmill there - is being reserved for a planned development that will feature three athletic fields, a softball diamond, an amphitheater with a multi-purpose pavilion, four sand volleyball courts, two dog parks, a splash pad and a playground.

A four-lane connector road from Virginia 114 (Peppers Ferry Road) to Cambria Street near the town's recreation center is also envisioned.

The complex is estimated to cost $32 million, but several town council members want to lower that price and lessen the project's financial burden on the town.

"The $32 million estimate from the engineering firm is the highest potential cost and this includes providing access from Peppers Ferry Road N.W. into the park," Christiansburg spokeswoman Melissa Powell wrote in an email that references the future connector road council members hope the Virginia Department of Transportation will help finance.

"The $32 million accounts for $10 million in contingencies, and there are several options council will continue to discuss to lower that price."

While funding plans are undetermined, several council members said they'd like the town to receive outside money for the complex and attract sponsors to help fund operations. Town officials are also hoping to partially fund the complex with revenue generated by the sale and development of two 2.5-acre commercial parcels that would be separated from the park by the future connector road.

Council members said construction of the complex is still at least a few years out as the town is currently placing its priorities on public utility improvements.

They have suggested building the complex in phases and adding the easiest to build and most demanded amenities first.

"We wouldn't have to do it all at one time," said Councilman Harry Collins. "If we're smart and get the right people involved, I think we can make this happen. And we want it to be a signature park for Christiansburg."

Collins said he, like other council members, ardently supports the park, but feels financial constraints.

"I personally would not vote to have a tax increase to build the park," he said. "So we're trying to get outside funds, and I think we'll be successful at that."

Still, Powell said the town will bear the bulk of the project's costs. She said the locality has begun identifying recreation development and streets reserves as potential financial sources for the complex and connector road.

On the connector, Christiansburg could save money in the meantime by simply building an access to the park from Peppers Ferry until VDOT decides to help fund the four-lane road town officials envision, said Councilman Henry Showalter.

"It will give you access to two commercial lots and one of the proposed entrances for the park," he said. "It will be like a cul-de-sac."

The connector, which factors into the complex's cost estimates, has long been sought to relieve traffic congestion by connecting Peppers Ferry to Cambria Street.

The complex's operational budget is also being discussed.

Similar to the town Aquatic Center, budget projections show the town would have to subsidize the complex for at least the first five years. Projections show the complex's revenues will fall short of expenses by $86,196 during the first year and $194,826 by the fifth year.

The complex will make money from sports and amphitheater concessions, league and program fees and athletic field, amphitheater, picnic and central party facility rentals. Revenue is also expected to come from external sources such as sponsors and donations. Revenue for the complex's first year is projected to be $508,270.

Council members didn't express major concerns about the town subsidizing some operations. They pointed to the aquatic and recreational centers on North Franklin Street - both of which don't break even - and to the fact that users and visitors of the town's recreational facilities contribute to the town's economy by shopping and dining in Christiansburg.

Christiansburg's meal tax generates nearly twice as much money as its real estate tax. The real estate tax is often the single largest revenue stream in other localities.

"There are so many things the aquatic center generates that you cannot exactly figure it out," said Councilman Steve Huppert. "There's been several studies on the amount of money it brings in. It generates funds.

"In the future, when Truman Wilson gets going, we're hoping it will also generate money through soccer tournaments... It's in a tremendous location and it has great potential."

The Truman Wilson complex is projected to have a local economic impact of $1.47 million annually, a figure that includes spending at Christiansburg shops and restaurants.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter


 
May 28, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

 

Elizabeth's gut kicked in shortly after basketball season began. Coach Corey Perry was on the phone with her son constantly. Her eighth-grader would walk around the house doing his chores, even the laundry, with coach on speaker phone. Daily. Mom could hear the chatter, and that gave her some comfort -- the conversation sounded all sports, nothing salacious, nothing inappropriate. And yet.

Coach Perry, or CP, as they sometimes called him, seemed to be a local celebrity.

Perry coached her son's team at Howell L. Watkins Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens. He led the school robotics team, too. He was involved in his church and a local travel basketball team.

"He was just really involved in school and extracurricular activities. Kids congregated around him. They were drawn to him."

But Elizabeth's gut didn't like this magnetism either.

What specifically troubled her? "His availability all the time. Need a ride somewhere? He could take you. 'Can I hang out with Coach Perry after school? I'm doing my homework in Coach Perry's room.' Everybody has to have a personal life. Where was his?"

At a basketball game in October 2015, the woman said she attempted a gut check, approaching Watkins Principal Donald Hoffman.

"I had my suspicions. (Perry) had kids spending the night at his house. It was well known. He had access to the school at all hours. He would do clinics with the kids early Sunday mornings," said Elizabeth, who spoke to The Palm Beach Post on condition that her real name not be used to protect the identity of her son.

'This guy seems too good to be true'

But when she had the principal's attention, what she said was much less detailed.

"It was not a formal complaint. I said, 'This guy seems too good to be true,'" Elizabeth recalled.

Nearly two years later, she's not sure why she didn't draw the principal's attention to the specifics. "I guess I assumed he knew."

And, frankly, Elizabeth was conflicted.

She had no proof that Perry had crossed any line. Could she be ruining a man's career -- a man from the projects in Nashville who was legendary for helping poor families and their kids here? Or, as her husband worried, was she setting up their child for retaliation?

Standing in the school gym, Principal Hoffman didn't skip a beat, she said. He assured her Perry was a good guy -- a teacher the school relied upon, the one they would turn to when a troubled teen needed a mentor. He had worked with Perry for years, Elizabeth recalled him saying. Hoffman declined to comment for this story.

Now, Perry is dead.

On the run from federal child pornography charges, Perry shot himself in April when confronted by authorities in his home state of Tennessee.

Elizabeth's son is in counseling for victims of violent crime.

Don't want to bother police

Today, as the hunt for all of Perry's victims continues, Elizabeth wonders whether she could've ended it sooner -- if authorities could have acted on what her gut was telling her in the fall of 2015. Instead, action didn't come until she had laid hands on real evidence more than a year later.

"I give her credit for having the instincts and not letting it go," said Nancy McBride, executive director of Florida outreach for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Your gut is the best indicator that something is up," McBride said.

"A lot of times parents will think, 'I don't want to call law enforcement. I don't want to bother them,'" McBride said. "But this is the call (authorities) need. There's a way to do this, to let us decide."

The center has a national tip line. And a gut feeling is reason enough for them to start asking questions, McBride said. The center has contacts with law enforcement in Palm Beach County and across the country and works closely with them so parents don't have to be the investigators, she said.

In 2016, the center fielded more than 8 million reports of sex crimes against children.

But Elizabeth was unaware of the tip line. It's not something the school district advertises. Indeed, the school system does not conduct any district-wide outreach to parents on what to do if they have suspicions like Elizabeth's, said spokeswoman Amity Chandler.

Elizabeth's one conversation with the principal appears to have gone nowhere. She said Principal Hoffman didn't ask her any questions. There's no record that he sought police or human resources. By her own admission, the conversation was "informal" and not really a complaint.

Elizabeth did know a cop, a friend of hers, but it would be months before an unexpected discovery compelled her to seek his advice.

No policy on sleepovers

The district doesn't have a policy specifically about students sleeping over at teachers' homes, or phone calls with students, texting with students or interaction with students on social media, Superintendent Robert Avossa confirmed.

He said he has asked his staff to look at other districts to see whether they have policies that may be more explicit, but he is cautious.

"I go back to my gut on all of these issues. When you see something that doesn't feel right, you have to say something right away and be specific. Can we have a policy for every situation? No. And I don't have to tell you, if you are a criminal and you want to do something illegal or immoral, a policy is not going to stop you from doing it."

Avossa, of course, is speaking after the fact.

Perry was a lauded teacher. He was his school's nominee this year for the Dwyer Award in science. He had taught at Watkins since 2010, and in the district since 2005.

But the knot in Elizabeth's stomach didn't go away. Neither did Perry.

Elizabeth, an energetic, college-educated mom, had imparted to her son parental wisdom about bad touches since the time he was old enough to tie his shoes.

But now she thought she needed to expand that conversation. Grownups should have their own lives outside of work, she told him. Students and teachers, even mentors, need to set boundaries.

Still, her son was eager to hang with his coach and the crew of boys that circled him.

Eventually, Elizabeth's son wore her down and she reluctantly agreed to let him sleep over -- with the other boys -- at coach's home in West Palm Beach. She spoke to coach about the sleeping arrangements and activities. It was to be a night of video games and basketball. She had her son send pictures from his phone of where they would be sleeping. Those suspicions were on a back burner, but still there.

Her son later told the FBI he spent four nights at coach's home in the course of his eighth-grade year. And the evenings he described to investigators weren't quite as G-rated as he had let Elizabeth believe -- but she wouldn't learn that until after coach was dead.

Talking, texting with coach

When they weren't with coach, they were talking to him.

Elizabeth's son went camping out of town with a friend, and the friend's mom reported the boys were on the phone with Perry at 1 a.m. Both moms thought it was weird.

When they weren't talking with him, they were texting with him.

More than once Elizabeth said she demanded her son hand over the phone on the spot so she could read the text messages. She found nothing out of line. (Later, a search by a pro turned up messages Elizabeth missed, texts that made an investigator's eyes go wide and broke Elizabeth's heart. "I love you" Perry wrote -- a lot.)

While her son finished the year as one of the many kids in coach's clique, Elizabeth and her husband had turned Perry's Pied Piper-like appeal into a sadly prescient adult joke: When Perry would show up at a game with a new kid in tow, her husband would lock eyes with her and say, "another victim."

When eighth-grade ended and their son headed to high school, Coach Perry had trouble letting go. They would cross paths at basketball games.

Elizabeth saw her son backing away from his ties with coach. "But Coach Perry was reaching, almost like he was getting desperate." After one run-in, her son told her that Perry was mad he didn't call Perry after he had a really good game.

"I'm not even in his life. Why does he care?" Elizabeth recalled her son asking.

The teen lost his cellphone and asked mom not to tell Coach Perry when he got a replacement.

"I thought he was trying to avoid the pressure," Elizabeth said. All that basketball strategy was too much.

It wasn't until after Christmas that her son relayed a conversation that truly startled Elizabeth:

"He told me Coach Perry said, 'You're going to leave me before I leave you.'

"That was the first time I heard the red flag. It was very needy, very desperate. (My son) said, 'What does that mean?' And I said, 'To me it sounds like he wants to be more than friends with you.'"

With coach's veneer tarnishing, Elizabeth says her son reconnected with another boy who once was part of coach's circle but who had been ostracized on Perry's order. According to Elizabeth's son, Perry told the boys this young man had "disrespected" coach.

Coach: Girls are 'disgusting'

That disrespect? Connecting with a girl on Facebook, said Elizabeth. Perry told this other boy that girls are, among other things, "disgusting." The shunned boy's mom told Elizabeth she complained to administrators at Watkins about Perry trolling her son's Facebook. The district reports it has no record of any complaints of this nature against Perry.

Once the two teenage boys reconnected, the friend shared a screen shot on his phone that would unravel Perry's career and turn him into a national fugitive wanted by the FBI.

The image comes from a social media app and is a thumbnail photo of a young black woman with the screen name Princess Lala -- her full handle was PrincessLala561. Here, technology made a connection many boys who had befriended "Princess Lala" had not:

Above her coy grin and flirty eyes, the phone pinned an alert from Snapchat identifying Lala as a familiar contact already in the phone: Coach Perry.

The boy showed the screenshot to Elizabeth's son. Her son showed the screenshot to her.

And the now-high school freshman relayed what investigators would later discover: Princess Lala had a habit of friending the boys who knew coach. "She" would send naked pictures and videos of herself and ask the boys to reciprocate. Plenty did.

Elizabeth's son had not accepted Lala's friend request because, he told his mom, he didn't know her.

Princess LaLa comes along

Screenshot in hand, Elizabeth talked to a cop friend who directed her to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Which directed her to the school district. Which pointed her to Human Resources. Which, after two stops, connected her with school police.

The last person she spoke to in HR told her this was clearly a police matter and he was going to have police call her within a day. If you don't hear from someone, call me back, he said.

In one day, Elizabeth had spoken to four people and -- here's the level to which she second-guessed herself -- she thought when they didn't call her back in a day, they were blowing her off because the screen grab wasn't enough.

But on Day 2, an officer called. And that same day, Elizabeth was pulling her son off the baseball field to speak to investigators.

The school district acknowledges that Elizabeth's path wasn't "ideal," said spokeswoman Chandler, who spoke to the mom directly while the investigation was underway.

"Ideally, the sheriff's office would have picked up the phone and called school police. One law enforcement agency to another would be the most direct," Chandler said.

As for the lag from the school board's front desk at its headquarters on Forest Hill Boulevard to an investigating officer, Chandler said, "We're looking at that process because 48 hours seems like a long time when you're trying to report something as a parent."

The full scope of Perry's crimes has yet to be revealed. Perry is dead, but the investigation remains open.

On the strength of their interview with Elizabeth's son and two other teens, now 15 or 16 years old, a judge signed a warrant to search Perry's home and rifle through his electronics.

All three, now in high school, had known Perry when they were in middle school and had spent the night at Perry's home. The two had friended Princess Lala and received photos of her naked, video of her masturbating and requests for them to respond in kind.

Several students ID'd

The search turned up hundreds of photos and videos of naked teenage boys and evidence that Perry was indeed the person behind Princess Lala, according to the criminal complaint unsealed this month.

Among those photos, staff at Watkins Middle identified two of their current students and several others who had moved into Palm Beach County high schools.

Investigators used interviews with five students to persuade a judge to issue a warrant for Perry's arrest on charges of producing and receiving child pornography and enticing the boys to send pornographic images to him.

Even then, Perry had built such a reputation that when authorities gathered the basketball parents to tell them about the charges and Perry's fugitive status, there was disbelief.

"They felt very betrayed, they felt they knew his character," Chandler recalled.

One parent told Elizabeth that her son and family may want to lay low for a while, for fear they might become targets of Perry's supporters, she said.

Even after his death, Perry is delivering punches.

Only when the details of the criminal complaint were released did Elizabeth learn that at a sleepover, Perry handed her son lotion and told him he could use it to masturbate in the restroom. He also told the teen he could watch porn on his computers and issued an open invitation to sleep in Perry's bed, the complaint said.

There's no indication Perry performed sex acts with Elizabeth's son or any of the five victims interviewed in pursuit of an arrest warrant.

When he bolted, Elizabeth braced herself. "I told (my son), he's going to run to a hotel room and kill himself. I was hoping they'd get to him first."

On April 14, they got to him, but they failed to stop him before he pulled the trigger.

When he died, Elizabeth's anguish didn't end. She cried.

"I had so much guilt when he killed himself. I was going to visit him in prison. Maybe it's the Catholic in me, this isn't what I wanted. I knew in my heart he was ashamed, the he didn't want to be this person. That he was going to go there (to prison) and make a difference there."

"That's not how the story ends," she railed one day this month as her son listened in. "I talked to other parents who were mad he didn't pay. But he killed himself. That's not a better ending. I don't hate him."

Then her son spoke. "I do."

sisger@pbpost.com Twitter: @sonjaisger

BE ENGAGED, BE EDUCATED

Get more news every day about Palm Beach County schools at the Extra Credit blog. extracredit.blog.PalmBeachPost.com.

Got a nagging feeling?

Here's a place to turn to

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has a tip line. Nancy McBride says parents like Elizabeth, with a nagging gut or suspicions, can call.

Operators would have tried to get as much information as she had. The incessant talking and texting between her son and Coach Perry -- all that would've been a red flag. "Our analysts will look at all of that," she said. "They should not be afraid to talk."

Call 800-843-5678

Or make a report online: www.missingkids.org/cybertipline

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 28, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.
Copyright 2017 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 The Arizona Daily Star. All Rights Reserved.

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

 



Youth leagues will benefit from $1 million in improvements at the east-side Jesse Owens Park, city officials say.

Separately, anyone younger than 18 years old can swim for free at city pools starting June 1.

City Councilman Paul Cunningham grew up playing soccer and baseball at the park, and he coached his children in flag football and T-ball, he said Thursday at a news conference announcing the improvements and free swimming for kids.

Cunningham, 43, said Jesse Owens Park is a part of his life, and he will be excited to see crews this summer begin working on two lighted soccer fields, resurfacing of the basketball court and expanding the parking lot at the neighborhood park at 400 S. Sarnoff Drive, south of Broadway.

"The park has not received any capital improvements in a long time," said Cunningham, explaining that all construction is expected to be completed in the spring. The park is used by seven youth leagues that play soccer, basketball, football and Little League baseball.

Funding for the $1 million improvements is coming from grants, impact fees, the city's general fund and private donations, said Cunningham.

He also said the city is waiving the fee this summer for youths at its 17 pools, which attract 145,000 children during the hot months. The only pool that will not be free is the therapeutic pool at the Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center.

Waiving the fees is expected to cause a net loss of $40,000.

"The hit is small enough to make the pools free and accessible to youth," said Cunningham, adding that the losses will likely be recouped through private donations collected by possibly two foundations.

Officials also said Tucson Water, which had a surplus in its operating budget, will provide $3.5 million for irrigation systems for parks throughout the city. The upgraded systems will be installed at parks that need it the most, said Cunningham. He said there are more than 100 city parks and about $18 million needed for irrigation systems.

Youth pass changes

Because swimming at city pools will be free for kids this summer, a SummerGo Youth Pass for $45 that offered unlimited rides on city transit and free entrance into city pools, will now offer the bus rides and free ice cream, said City Councilman Paul Cunningham.

The ice cream will be available at the pools from ice cream trucks.

Between 1,000 to 1,500 youth passes are purchased each summer.

For more information about the passes, call 792-9222. The passes are available through Sun Tran and at city neighborhood and recreation centers.

Free city pool locations

Amphitheater - 125 W. Yavapai Rd.

Archer - 1665 S. La Cholla Blvd.

Catalina - 2005 N. Dodge Blvd.

Clements - 8155 E. Poinciana Dr.

El Pueblo - 5100 S. Missiondale Rd.

Fort Lowell - 2900 N. Craycroft Rd.

Freedom - 5000 E. 29th St.

Himmel - 1000 N. Tucson Blvd.

Jacobs - 1020 W. Lind St.

Kennedy - 3700 S. Mission Rd.

Mansfield - 2275 N. 4th Ave.

Menlo - 1100 W. Fresno St.

Palo Verde - 300 S. Mann Ave.

Purple Heart - 9800 E. Rita Rd.

Quincie Douglas - 1563 E. 36th St.

Sunnyside - 1725 E. Bilby Rd.

Udall - 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd.

Credit: Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 29, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Star-News, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

 (Wilmington, NC)

 




WILMINGTON A swing set, a volleyball net and a basketball hoop fill the bare space in Sunset Park Elementary School's third-through-fifth-grade playground area. But that will soon change.

By the fall, a new playground set along with $30,000 of new sports equipment will take over that spot.

Earlier this month, Sunset Park was announced as the grand winner of the 2017 Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes, a program run by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation in partnership with Discovery Education. The award means the downtown Wilmington school will receive a playground set from Playworld as well as a $30,000 grant to put toward sporting equipment and the school s wellness program.

Principal Diego Lehocky still can t stop smiling.

This (grant) is great. We re a good school but a lot of people don t think about us, he said Thursday. This is good lesson for the kids that you can always be a winner. If you keep on trying, you ll eventually win if you keep on putting in the effort.

Sunset Park Elementary is a Title 1 school that qualifies for a 100-percent free or reduced breakfast and lunch program. Lehocky said the school normally doesn t have the money to buy volleyballs, basketballs or toys for the kids to play with, and that winning this grant is inspiring for the students.

He gives credit to music teacher Kathleen Revell for winning the sweepstakes. Revell researched the Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes and kept pushing it.

She started entering this daily, Lehocky said. There s always so many things going on during the day that someone had to push it.

Lehocky said he hopes the new playground equipment helps to promote positive lifestyle choices among students something he sees as a challenge as technology use among kids has increased.

Students would rather sit and play video games on their tablets than go outside and play, he said. Unless the kids are playing organized sports, they are more than likely sitting at home.

Lehocky hopes this grant will help promote healthy lifestyle choices for his students and their parents. He said Sunset Park already promotes healthy minds and healthy bodies in its PE classes and has a small garden outside the school building used to demonstrate how to grow fruits and vegetables.

Lehocky believes this will also benefit the surrounding community, since residents use the school playground on weekends.

The school plans to use the $30,000 grant to purchase another volleyball net, hula hoops, kickballs and another basketball goal.

They also plan to take field trips and bring in speakers to talk to the students about wellness. The new playground is scheduled to arrive late summer 2017.

Reporter Kate Brennan can be reached at 910-343-2023 or Kate.Brennan@StarNewsOnline.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

 

May 28, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
All Rights Reserved

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill opened its response to the NCAA's third notice of allegations with these contentions:

Courses were available to all students in the same manner. No special arrangements were made for student-athletes in violation of NCAA extra-benefit legislation. Student-athletes made up 29.4 percent of the enrollments in the courses.Student-athletes were not treated differently than other students who took the courses. All students who took the courses were required to write one or more research papers. The record shows that each student who took a course turned in work that was evaluated and given a grade for credit.The courses originated in the department and not the Department of Athletics. The origin of these courses was not to benefit student-athletes but arose out of a desire of department chair and professor Julius Nyang'oro and the department's student services manager and secretary Deborah Crowder to assist students with a wide variety of challenges and interests.No one in the athletics department took improper advantage of the courses. There is no allegation that any coach or employee of the Department of Athletics violated a bylaw or directed a student-athlete to take one of these courses.That the issues before this panel were academic in nature and the result of inadequate academic oversight unrelated to the athletics department.

- UNC.edu

RALEIGH - We're headed for a showdown now. There's no way around it. Whatever happens to North Carolina, whether the university is punished by the NCAA or wriggles off the hook, the battle lines have never been drawn more sharply. After five years, judgment is coming.

Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner and chairman of the NCAA's committee on infractions, has said he wants a hearing in August. North Carolina's response to the NCAA's third notice of allegations, released Thursday, makes it clear that the university intends to fight the NCAA's jurisdiction on every front.

That's the tone UNC took with its response to the second notice, back in August, and its resolve has only sharpened in this one, not only continuing to lodge objections over the NCAA's ability to even bring the allegations but going, at times, sentence by sentence to rebut the evidence offered.

Related: UNC to Respond to Latest Notice of Allegations

That's where the divide continues to fall both inside and outside the halls of the NCAA, between those people who believe the scandal at North Carolina had an effect on how competitive its athletics teams were (as the NCAA clearly does, based on the way the allegations were strengthened from the second notice to the third) and those who believe the scandal was merely academic by NCAA standards (as the university continues to posit, an echo of how it hid behind the Martin Report).

The university even indulged in the trendy gambit of blaming the media. So au courant. The blame is placed squarely on a "public narrative for the last six years, popularized by media accounts" for the trouble North Carolina is in with the NCAA.

Presumably, that "public narrative" includes such statements as this one: "Many of these student-athletes were referred to these classes by academic counselors... (who) saw these classes - and their artificially high grades - as key to helping academically-challenged student-athletes remain eligible." That's from the pen of potential future FBI Director Kenneth Wainstein, on Page 2 of a report that the university all but disavows in this latest response to the NCAA.

Related: ACC Commissioner Swofford Addresses UNC Concerns

It remains a cynical defense, one predicated on legalese and semantics and technicalities and straw men ("media accounts"), which is revealing because when it serves North Carolina's purposes to be contrite, as the university was when the Wainstein Report was released or in negotiating with its academic accreditors, the university has no trouble being contrite. When the Wainstein Report is a complication, it tries to lawyer its way out from under it.

Begging for forgiveness with one hand while slapping away the NCAA with the other, it makes you wonder whether the university, collectively, really feels any guilt at all for this cancer that rotted within for so long. Either way, the scandal remains an embarrassing stain on North Carolina's reputation whether it technically violated NCAA bylaws or not.

The NCAA believes it did. North Carolina refuses to entertain the notion.

"The fundamental issue in our case is that NCAA bylaws cover athletics matters, not how academics are managed," North Carolina athletics director Bubba Cunningham said Thursday.

That defiance now has the university at risk of facing harsh penalties, since the scale of the third set of allegations opens the door for pretty much everything in the NCAA's bag of tricks. North Carolina probably could have gotten away with a slap on the wrist had it decided to work with the more moderate second notice of allegations, a watered-down version of the first and third that offered a road map to minimal sanction.

Instead, the university went scorched earth with the NCAA, and in this latest response that position has only been hardened.

With that being the case, some kind of end is in sight. The NCAA will issue its own response to UNC's response in July. An August hearing is likely, with resolution to come months after that.

But the case is going to be heard, finally. The issues, never more starkly defined, will be argued. North Carolina faces the difficult task of winning over an infractions committee that is both judge and prosecutor, but the university's position is clear, even if its conscience shouldn't be, no matter what the NCAA decides.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 26, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

At about 10:57 p.m. on May16, 42-year-old Rick Garrity was exiting Wrigley Field in Chicago when he apparently tried to climb a 36-inch rail on a ramp leading from the upper deck, according to Chicago Cubs and police officials. He fell over the rail, plunged a significant depth and died the next day from his injuries, becoming the latest death from falling at America's big stadiums.

"That is a very tragic event that sadly has been seen far too often over the last several years," said Bob Gorman, co-author of the book Death at the Ballpark.

It's still quite rare: Out of hundreds of millions of fans to attend Major League Baseball parks since 1969, there have been 25 deaths from falling in stadiums, including some involving inebriated victims and suicide, Gorman said.

In this case, the Cubs asserted the rail and its height did not contribute to the man's death at Wrigley. But what if the rail had been 42 inches or higher, as safety experts say they should be? Would that have deterred his actions and the accident?

From ABFan Dies After Falling Over Railing at Wrigley

In December 2015, Major League Baseball recommended its stadiums extend the netting that backs up the home plate area to the near end of the dugouts in an attempt to better project fans from foul balls or flying or broken bats, and a handful of teams have done so. But the questions regarding rail height feed into a classic debate about safety regulations and the responsibility of individuals: Is it worth raising rails or adding other safety measures to sometimes save people from themselves, even if such incidents are rare?

A similar issue is playing out in court in Atlanta over the heights of rails in high seating areas.

MLB has "a responsibility to reasonably address the safety of their millions of loyal fans," said a lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of Greg Murrey, who died after falling from the upper deck at Turner Field in Atlanta in 2015. "Raising the height of rails to 42inches and/or installing netting can be done for a small fraction of the billions of dollars in revenues generated each year by media, corporate sponsorships, and ticket sales."

In that incident, a toxicology report concluded Murrey was legally intoxicated when he died. The Atlanta Braves and MLB said the victim assumed the risk and was responsible for his injuries. They also noted that the rail heights there -- at 30 inches -- exceeded minimum code standards for seated areas.

"Murrey proximately caused his own injuries and subsequent death," MLB's legal response states.

'We're honestly beside ourselves'

At Wrigley Field, Cubs spokesman Julian Green said the rail in question had a height that was "grandfathered in" and "up to code" at the time it was built, though when that was is not clear. The current railing height standard is a minimum of 42 inches in places where there's a fall of at least 30 inches, according to the International Building Code cited by the lawsuit against the Braves.

An exception for this standard at stadiums is in seated areas, such as the front rows of upper decks, where rails are allowed to be as low as 26 inches high to avoid obstructing views from those seats. That's why the Braves and other parks can say they exceed the building code minimums for front-row seats if the rails in front of them are about 30 inches tall.

The incident at Wrigley was in the back of the stadium and not in a seated area -- and it's unknown whether a higher rail there would have deterred it. Details are sketchy because of an apparent lack of witnesses. Garrity's father, Richard, told USA TODAY Sports his son "wasn't a climber" but still doesn't know exactly what happened. Rick Garrity was married with two young children. There has been no official indication that alcohol was a factor.

"Hopefully someday we're going to know what happened," his father said. "We're honestly beside ourselves here, and it's still fresh."

If the Cubs wanted to raise the barrier there to reduce risk, they could, although apparently nothing previously suggested they should have.

"Based on the statistical evidence, there's no reason to increase railings given the incredibly small incidents of problems, and even this one (at Wrigley) doesn't fit the pattern of the very few other problems," said Steven Adelman, an attorney and expert on event safety.

The plaintiffs' attorneys who are suing the Braves see it differently. They argue in court documents that raising the front-row rails to 42 inches would have prevented Murrey's death.

They also cite actions taken by the Texas Rangers, who raised front-row railings at Globe Life Park in Arlington to at least 42inches after a falling death in 2011. In that case, a fan named Shannon Stone fell over a 33-inch rail trying to catch a ball for his son. It cost the team $1.1 million to raise those rails, and the stadium has had no falling deaths since.

Jake Pauls, a building safety consultant and ergonomist, advocates for 42-inch rail heights as a "bare minimum" for safety. That generally would reach the stomach of someone who is 5-9, the average height of an American man.

"In recent years, I have advocated a somewhat higher minimum, based on increasing stature and the age of the science behind the 42-inch criterion, which was in the mid-1970s," he said.

The suit against the Braves says the club and MLB "chose to rely on a 1920s-era building code" that allows rails to be as low as 26inches if spectators are seated. It notes that this was designed mainly for theaters and symphony halls to set railings where they wouldn't impede patrons' views.

'You can bubble-wrap everyone'

Other sports have had similar rare fall issues involving front-row railings, including at a college football game at the Georgia Dome in 2012, when a fan died after falling over a 33-inch railing. Authorities then said alcohol was a factor. But just by virtue of MLB's number of games -- 81 regular-season home games a team -- the league is prone to more accidents.

Despite some falls, the suit against the Braves said "no other baseball team indicated it would follow the Rangers' lead and raise all railings in front of seating sections to 42 inches."

They don't have to, because 26inches is the minimum requirement in those areas, according to the building code. The bigger issue is whether it's worthwhile to make them higher.

It's not uncommon for stadiums to have front-row railings lower than 42 inches, although only a few baseball teams responded to a survey from USA TODAY Sports about rail heights, including three that only would say their stadium meets or exceeds code requirements. They declined to answer questions about whether they were lower than 42inches. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia has ramp rail heights of 48 inches. Rails in seating areas there are 32 inches and angled inward.

In Atlanta, Turner Field had three falling deaths since it opened in 1997, one of which was ruled a suicide. The Braves have a new stadium, SunTrust Park, which opened this year. But the team and the stadium builder didn't return messages this week asking about rail heights at the new facility. Current litigation might complicate their ability to talk about it.

As part of the lawsuit, Braves executive John Schuerholz was asked in a deposition in November if he "wouldn't want to consider what happened at other major league parks in planning SunTrust Park."

"Yeah, I don't know. That's not how I think," Schuerholz replied, according to the transcript.

Schuerholz also noted then that Turner Field's 30-inch rail heights exceeded the minimum code and that Murrey's death was a rare incident. Attorneys for the Murrey family, Michael Caplan and Michael Neff, said they could not discuss the case publicly.

No trial date has been set.

"One can always increase safety measures," said Adelman, the event safety expert. "You always can. It's literally true. Ultimately, you can bubble-wrap everyone and make them sit in their living rooms not doing anything. That's the safest thing of all."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 26, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Ventura County Star
All Rights Reserved

Ventura County Star (California)

 

The freshman year in high school for most students, particularly student-athletes, comes fraught with challenges.

There are tougher classes, the physical workload, social pressures.

The staff at Sports Academy in Newbury Park is offering an intriguing if sure-to-be-debated alternative.

The multi-faceted sports training complex that has become the workout home for all levels of aspiring athletes is launching what it calls a one-of-a-kind preparation program for graduating eighth graders.

They've developed the Personal Development Year.

Just like it implies, the program presents another option in lieu of enrolling at high school immediately after finishing up eighth grade. Instead, the student-athlete participates in a nine-month, five-days-a-week program that offers high-level classroom study, elite sports training and instruction in a wide-array of related topics such as nutrition, biomechanics and sports performance.

Program director Adam Sear, a former standout lacrosse player from Australia, believes the program is unlike any curriculum anywhere.

"Maybe IMG back east (Bradenton, Fla.) is something like this, but certainly I know of nothing like this on the West Coast," he said.

He also thinks it offers crucial instruction at a critical age for teens.

"All the data out there suggests that this period, when you're 13-14-15 years old, is such a pivotal time in a youngster's development," said Sears. "So much is going on, from a physical, mental and personal standpoint, that the transition from middle school into high school can be very hard for kids.

"We think we'll give them all the tools they need to be comfortable and be successful when they settle into high school."

The program offers up a veritable "Gap Year," a concept that does have its critics in today's high school landscape.

Parents do have the option of holding back their sons and daughters for one year (or more) for various reasons before entering high school. Many have their children simply repeat eighth grade.

Critics think it creates an unfair advantage in high school athletics because boys and girls who are held back are older, bigger, stronger.

Sear said he's aware of the criticism but insists the Sports Academy program isn't interested in upsetting the equity apple cart.

"Honestly, the sports development is maybe fourth or fifth on our list of priorities in this program," said Sear. "We're more interested in setting up the student for success in the classroom, and giving them every opportunity to be well prepared and well adjusted in their high school life.

"We want to help them to be confident in themselves and more sure of themselves in social situations because everything is different in high school. We're very much interested in helping along their character development."

Sear said the program is as much for the elite student as it is for the elite athlete.

"They are going to get great instruction in English, history, mathematics and other subjects that will set them up to excel in the classroom in high school," he said.

The development year offering is not inexpensive. The one-year fee is $35,000.

But Sear notes that the program opens up all facets of the Sports Academy services to its students, including yoga classes, sports medicine instruction and therapy, mindset development and every sport available in the 96,000-square-foot facility.

"We're also big on personal mentors," he said. "Every student will receive the personal attention and instruction they need."

The program will begin this year in September and continue until June. The curriculum is scheduled for Mondays through Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Yep, that's more extensive than a year in high school.

"We've got a lot to get done," Sear said with a grin.

A typical day begins with yoga classes, moves onto physical therapy and athletic development and then breaks for lunch. The afternoons will be devoted to academics and personal mindset development.

Sear also said that class size will be restricted.

"No more than 20-25 in any class, usually a lot less than that," he said. "We're geared up for a lot of one-on-one training."

Sear, who received his degrees from the University of Maryland and Stevenson University in Baltimore, said he's proud of the program.

"I wish they had something like this when I was a kid," he said. "I really got involved in the business of sports because I feel like there's an opportunity to help athletes, particularly young athletes.

"Not everyone is going to be a professional athlete, but everyone can have fun with sports and be the best they can be. We want to help them do just that."

Parents and students interested in the Personal Development Year can contact Sear at the Sports Academy.

Loren Ledin is the Prep Editor for The Star. He can be reached at 805-437-0285 or at loren.ledin@vcstar.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 25, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

A former Conestoga High School assistant football coach ousted for allegedly failing to supervise players accused of sodomizing a teammate with a broom handle has filed suit against school officials and the boy's father, five months after assault charges were dropped.

Thomas Batgos, who coached at Conestoga for 11 years, accused the principal, the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District superintendent, and the father of fraud, defamation, and misrepresentation, among other complaints.

He said school officials damaged his reputation and ruined chances for future employment when they posted online a letter to the school community blaming coaches for a lack of oversight shortly after the Chester County District Attorney's Office announced charges against his players in March 2016. He is accusing the boy's father of lying to police about what happened to his son.

Batgos, whom school officials forced out with his colleagues, is seeking at least $50,000 in compensation as well as punitive damages.

School officials blamed the coaches, but Gerard P. Egan, an attorney representing Batgos, said they had not told coaches they were required to supervise players in the locker rooms.

Since Batgos did not work at the high school except as a coach, his routine was to go directly to the football field without entering the school, the suit says.

"They rushed to judgment without all the facts. And in that rush to judgment, they destroyed my client's reputation that he has built up over years of selfless coaching," Egan said. "They looked to cover themselves, their own inadequacies, by blaming the coaches."

Joseph P. Connor III, an attorney representing Superintendent Richard Gusick and Conestoga High principal Amy Meisinger, said: ";It's the district's policy not to comment on any pending litigation."; Court documents do not list an attorney for the father of the boy who accused his teammates of assault.

Batgos' lawsuit, filed last week in Chester County Court, is the latest development in a case that drew negative national attention to one of the nation's top-ranked public high schools for academics.

At a news conference in March 2016, Chester County District Attorney Thomas P. Hogan accused three players, who were 17 at the time, of holding down their freshman teammate and penetrating his rectum with a broom handle.

The players faced charges of assault, unlawful restraint, and related offenses. The case concluded with the former players pleading to harassment charges, an agreement the younger player accepted.A joint statement in January from the District Attorney's Office and defense attorneys announcing the agreement cast the incident in a new light. It said the three accused former players admitted to "briefly" holding down the boy and poking him in the leg with a broomstick after they said he tried to get out of cleaning the locker room with other underclassmen. The boy also signed off on the statement, which did not mention penetration.

Members of the Conestoga community point to the statement and the dropping of the most serious charges as proof that no assault occurred. The District Attorney's Office has stood by its initial account of what happened in the locker room, despite the statement.

School officials last year said their internal investigation found hazing had occurred for years in the Berwyn school, including upperclassmen's placing their genitals on younger players. The incident with the freshman player happened during an act of hazing, they said. Batgos has said no such hazing occurred.

Popular head coach John Vogan resigned, and school administrators removed the other five varsity and junior-varsity football coaches. None of the other former football coaches has sued.

The boy who accused his teammates of assault said it happened in October 2015. At the time, police were investigating the boy for distributing sexually explicit photographs of a female middle school classmate, an incident for which the boy was later removed from Conestoga. The district attorney has said the cases were unrelated.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 25, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Students and faculty at some of Georgia's largest public colleges raised questions and concerns about guidelines released Wednesday on how the state's controversial "campus carry" law will work, particularly a provision that lets people carry firearms while tailgating.

House Bill 280, passed by the Georgia Legislature and signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Nathan Deal, does not allow firearms at athletic events themselves, but does not prohibit them in parking lots where people tailgate.

Tamelonie Thomas, who is attending Georgia Southern University this fall as a graduate student, is extremely worried about the tailgating guidelines, noting many people are drinking alcohol at those events.

"Just imagine adding firearms to that," said Thomas, who's active in a student group that opposed the legislation.

University System of Georgia officials said that after Deal signed the law it would offer guidance to its schools about how it would be implemented. Wednesday, they released a three-page memo sent to campuses largely reiterating some of the restrictions in the law and attempting to answer some lingering questions.

Georgia's law takes effect July 1. The guidelines say the colleges will not allow guns:

| in dormitories or fraternity and sorority houses that are owned or leased by the school.

| in rooms housing classes with high school students enrolled. The guidelines say, "License-holders who want to carry handguns to class will need to visit the institution's registrar or other designated employee, who after verifying their enrollment status will tell them which of their classes, if any, have high school students enrolled. Institutions shall not, however, keep any listing of those who inquire."

| in faculty, staff and administrative offices.

It's a misdemeanor for anyone carrying a concealed weapon to violate those guidelines.

The colleges and universities will not provide gun storage facilities or post signs outside restricted areas, officials announced in the memo.

Law enforcement on the campuses will solely be responsible for enforcing the law, the memo said. University System officials will soon provide training to campus law enforcement officers.

"It is incumbent upon each one of us to follow the law," wrote Chancellor Steve Wrigley. "Students, faculty and staff should not attempt themselves to monitor or to enforce compliance with the statute by those who do carry handguns."

The rules are for Georgia's public colleges and universities, such as the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State and Kennesaw State universities. The law does not affect private institutions.

Ninestatesallowconcealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-four other states allow concealed weapons on campus but give each college or university the option of permitting or forbidding them.

University of Georgia journalism professor Barry Hollander said the guidelines raised additional questions.

For example, the law prohibits firearms in classrooms where high school students are taking college courses. "If I have a concealed weapon permit, can I also ask and learn if there's a high school student in that (my) classroom and I can't carry either?," Hollander wrote in a blog post. "It'll be interesting to see if UGA alters its employee rules to allow us to carry. Last I looked, we could not bring any weapon to campus."

Ja'Quan Taylor, a Georgia Tech student who supported House Bill 280, said Wednesday he's fine with most of the guidelines, but he and others are hoping state lawmakers will eventually make more changes, such as allowing students to carry a firearm in their dorm if they live alone.

"At Georgia Tech, a lot of students are spending time in libraries until 2, 3 or 4 in the morning. It's the only way to protect yourself," said Taylor, chairman of Georgia Tech's Students for Concealed Carry chapter.

Thomas questioned why the guidelines don't allow signs telling where people can carry firearms, saying campuses have signs noting where smoking is not permitted. She also doesn't understand why the University System won't allow its institutions to impose additional restrictions beyond those in the law.

"That is disappointing because different universities have different landscapes," Thomas said.

Wrigley recognized in his letter the strong feelings on both sides of the debate.

"Yet whether you opposed or supported the legislation, it will soon be state law," he wrote, "and I respectfully ask everyone to exercise patience, understanding and respect as we implement it."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 25, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

LOS ANGELES — A Playboy centerfold was ordered to clean up graffiti Wednesday for secretly snapping a photo of a naked 71-year-old woman in a locker room and posting it online with a mocking comment.

Dani Mathers pleaded no contest to misdemeanor invasion of privacy in Los Angeles County Superior Court for the case that sparked outrage over the incident of so-called body shaming.

Mathers, 30, had previously apologized for taking the photo at an LA Fitness club in July and posting it on Snapchat with the caption: "If I can't unsee this then you can't either."

The posting was accompanied by a selfie of Mathers in a tank top with her hand over her mouth as if she's gasping in horror.

The 2015 Playmate of the Year contended she intended to send the photo privately to a friend and accidentally posted it publicly.

Mathers was relieved to put the case behind her and was grateful to be spared a jail term, defense attorney Thomas Mesereau said outside court.

"She really apologizes from the bottom of her heart for what happened," he said. "She never thought this would come out like this. Never intended to hurt anyone."

Under terms of the plea, Mathers will be on probation for three years and must not take photos of people or post them online without their permission. She was ordered to either serve 45 days in jail or 30 days of graffiti removal. She chose the latter.

Defense lawyer Dana Cole earlier argued unsuccessfully that the charge should be dismissed because the woman in the photo can't easily be identified.

Defendants who plead no contest do not admit guilt but do not dispute the charges and are convicted.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 25, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

Retired Judge Peter Handwork is taking over after two other judges asked to be removed from the case.

The Supreme Court of Ohio assigned a visiting judge to hear the case of former University of Dayton football player Max Engel-hart, who is suing the school for alleged hazing that led to his cognitive brain injury. Two local judges had asked to be disqualified due to their ties to UD.

Former 6th District Court of Appeals Judge Peter M. Handwork was assigned to the case by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.

Handwork spent 30 years at the appellate court, retiring in 2013. He earned his law degree from the University of Toledo in 1966, working as an assistant U.S. attorney and then as a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge in 1977, according to Ballotpedia.

Engelhart sued the school in December, claiming that a cognitive brain injury he sustained was due to a "Mad Dogs" or "Mad Caps" hazing ritual.

In January, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Langer asked to be removed from the case. Langer said he teaches and is paid by UD - which could be seen as a conflict of interest. His removal was approved by Judge Mary Katherine Huffman.

Three months after Langer's request, Judge Steven Dankof requested to be removed, writing that, "Judge Dankof has potential conflict of interest with defendants."

Engelhart claims he was forced to chug high-alcohol drinks as part of an initiation to the UD football team more than two years ago.

Defendants include UD football coach Rick Chamberlin, strength coach Jared Phillips and others.

Engelhart, then a 270-pound, 6-foot-1 offensive lineman, woke up Dec. 8, 2014, covered in his own vomit, feces and urine and with a headache later diagnosed by UD's team physician as a concussion, according to the lawsuit.

Engelhart claims he quit football, left the university and has been prescribed a medicine typically given to Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

In his amended complaint, Engelhart claims hazing violations, negligence, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy to cover up allegations of hazing.

Handwork has scheduled a June 1 telephone scheduling conference in the case.

Contact this reporter at 937-225-6951 or email Mark.

Gokavi@coxinc.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 25, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

With a lease now signed, sealed and approved by NFL cohorts for his team to ultimately take up residency at a new stadium in Las Vegas, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis wasted no time pondering another potential layer of the equation: a Sin City Super Bowl.

Davis said during the NFL spring meetings this week that he fully expects to bid on either or both of the next two available Super Bowls -- in 2023 and 2024 -- for the $1.9 billion stadium to be constructed in Vegas.

"Sure. Absolutely," Davis said.

Given his future home's reputation, someone asked Davis to project the odds of getting either Super Bowl.

"One out of 32," he quipped.

But it might not be as automatic as it used to be.

Another matter of business conducted at the one-day league meeting could provide owners with reason for pause when it comes to awarding Super Bowls for stadiums that have yet to be completed.

On Tuesday, the league pushed back its plan to stage Super Bowl LV in 2021 in the $2.1 billion football palace that Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke will build in Inglewood, Calif. Construction delays caused by weather have slowed down delivery of the facility until 2020. Kroenke recently told USA TODAY Sports that there were 32 construction days lost due to heavy rainfall in California.

Tampa, which was the runner-up to Los Angeles for the 2021 Super Bowl, will now host that game while L.A. stages Super Bowl LVI in 2022.

Davis, a member of the Super Bowl committee, acknowledged the risk in awarding the game to sites with projects under construction -- though that has generally worked out in multiple situations, as Super Bowls have often been awarded as a bonus to cities with new stadiums, often in their second year of operation. Minneapolis' new building will host Super Bowl LII this season. "It's something we will talk about," he said of the committee.

The Raiders' Las Vegas facility is scheduled to be ready by 2020.

The NFL could have granted Los Angeles a waiver that would have excluded it from the league's policy of not staging a Super Bowl in the first year of a new stadium's operation.

But Commissioner Roger Goodell pointed to Kroenke's cooperation for pushing back the game's L.A. return.

Obviously, it's a costly delay. Davis, whose defunct joint L.A. bid with the Chargers lost out to Kroenke's deal last year, estimated the price tag of additional labor costs for the Los Angeles stadium will be in the $100 million range.

"It's a lot of money," Kroenke told USA TODAY Sports. "But it's the right thing to do (in pushing back the Super Bowl). The important thing is for L.A. to have a great Super Bowl. This is the best solution."

And maybe a teaching moment, too, for the timing of Super Bowl awards.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 25, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Post and Courier
All Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The NBA All-Star game is headed back to Charlotte in 2019, a couple of years later than anticipated.

The NBA announced that the All-Star weekend will be held Feb. 15-17 in Charlotte and the game will be played at the Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets.

The league had selected Charlotte to host the 2017 All-Star game, but later moved the game to New Orleans because of the state law restricting the rights of LGBT people. However, a compromise was struck in March to partially erase the impact of the House Bill 2 law limiting anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people.

"While we understand the concerns of those who say the repeal of HB2 did not go far enough, we believe the recent legislation eliminates the most egregious aspects of the prior law," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a release. "Additionally, it allows us to work with the leadership of the Hornets organization to apply a set of equality principles to ensure that every All-Star event will proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies.

"All venues, hotels and businesses we work with during All-Star will adhere to these policies as well."

Despite Silver's intentions, the Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign has concerns that no protections for non-discrimination policies for the LGBTQ community have been put in place by the Charlotte or the state.

"North Carolina's discriminatory law prohibits the city of Charlotte from implementing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents and visitors attending the All-Star Game. Nothing has changed that fact," said HRC senior vice president for policy and political affairs JoDee Winterhof.

The NBA is the latest sports entity to return events to North Carolina; the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference also are bringing events back to the state after changes were made to the law.

The now-repealed House Bill 2 required transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings. That's been dropped, but LGBT advocates have denounced the replacement law because state officials took no action barring sexual identity and gender discrimination in workplaces, restaurants and hotels and instead prohibited local governments from acting on their own.

Hornets owner and longtime NBA great Michael Jordan said in a release he is "thrilled" the game is coming back to Charlotte.

"We want to thank Commissioner Silver for his leadership throughout this process and for the decision to bring NBA All-Star back to Buzz City," Jordan said in the release. "All-Star Weekend is an international event that will provide a tremendous economic impact to our community while showcasing our city, our franchise and our passionate Hornets fan base to people around the world."

Jordan asked Silver to keep the city in mind for 2019 after the league moved the 2017 game — hopeful the HB2 law would eventually be repealed.

Silver honored that request.

Hornets COO and president Fred Whitfield represented the Hornets and Spectrum Center in doing whatever he could to help facilitate a resolution, spending time meeting with legislatures and other business leaders in North Carolina.

"From the very beginning I was in engaged to see if we could not only save the 2019 All-Star game, but the NCAA (basketball) regionals and the ACC Tournament, as well as concerts and events in the building," Whitfield said. "We are operators of the building and we felt like we had to get engaged to assist to get some resolution."

Even as talks to repeal HB2 stalled at times, the Hornets continued to move forward with the league's request to upgrade the arena.

The $41 million renovation — $33.5 million of which came from the City of Charlotte — is almost complete, and has included a new scoreboard, new floor and renovations to suites and hospitality areas, among other upgrades.

Charlotte previously hosted the All-Star game in 1991 at the Charlotte Coliseum, which has since been demolished.

Pete Guelli, the Hornets executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, estimates a $100 economic impact for the city but said the reputational effect will be even bigger.

"This city has changed significantly since the last time it hosted a game 28 years ago," Guelli said, "and the opportunity to showcase that on an international stage is incalculable."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

Rosemont's police chief and Allstate Arena's executive director were on the phone with each other Monday night after hearing about the deadly terrorist bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

With 14,000 people coming to Rosemont for Tuesday's sold-out show by pop star The Weeknd, they - along with The Weeknd's management - wanted to make sure every possible safety precaution was being taken.

On Tuesday night, Allstate Arena tightened its security by adding more police to patrol the property and gates, both on foot and in squad cars. Additional undercover police officers mixed into the crowd, both inside and outside, to watch for suspicious behavior, said Pat Nagle, Nagle, executive director of the Allstate Arena and the Rosemont Theatre.

Besides the existing metal detectors at the entrances, the security guards patted down everyone who came into the building, including children. The heightened security might remain in place for future concerts and events.

"We've got to do it," Nagle said. "(What happened in Manchester) is our worst nightmare."

Allstate Arena is just one of the Chicago area venues re-evaluating or beefing up security in the wake of the terrorist attack.

In recent years, security has focused inside the venues. Now, more attention is going to areas outside buildings - vulnerable spots where crowds congregate before and after events.

That's why Wrigley Field plans to add 30 more security cameras around the ballpark, said Julian Green, the Chicago Cubs' vice president of communications. While the cameras are not in response to what happened in Manchester, the Cubs want them so police can have 360-degree views of what's going on outside and around the ballpark, one of Illinois' biggest tourist attractions that's also used for summer concerts.

The Cubs will give the city of Chicago $1 million to buy the cameras. The Chicago City Council is expected to vote to approve the purchase today.

"It's becoming even more important to pay attention to the outside perimeter of the ballpark," Green said. "The world has changed, and as a result of these incidents, every operator of venues and stadiums and ballparks has to be vigilant."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Tuesday saying there was "no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues" anywhere in the U.S. But the Allstate Arena, and other local venues, are taking no chances.

"People for years have dropped their kids off (at concerts), and gone to see a movie in another part of Rosemont, and then came back and picked them up," Nagle said. "It's a very safe building. We'd like to keep it that way."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

Questions, and controversy, continue to mount about a 2015 golf junket to Scotland in which the University of New Mexico used public funds to pay for three employees and three private donors.

This week, it was revealed that UNM paid much of the expenses for the three private donors. The state Constitution's anti-donation clause prohibits state entities from making gifts to private citizens.

UNM also hid the fact it paid for private donors by failing to release that information when it was requested by the Journal several weeks ago. The Journal asked for all travel records pertaining to UNM expenses for the trip. UNM's 43-page response only included expense records for athletic director Paul Krebs, former men's basketball coach Craig Neal and Lobo Club executive director Kole McKamey. Several of the pages were blacked out almost entirely.

When asked whether Krebs faced possible discipline, UNM spokeswoman Cinnamon Blair said that was being considered.

"(Acting UNM President Chaouki Abdallah) is reviewing a lot of things and will look at it in its totality to see if there is need for disciplinary action (against Krebs)," she said.

Now the fiasco has gone national with multiple news outlets picking up the story, journalists opining and even a former Lobo athlete taking to social media to express his displeasure, and distrust, of what's going on.

"You guys should do some more digging. That's just the tip of the ice berg... lol" former Major League Baseball player Jordan Pacheco, a La Cueva High and UNM graduate, wrote on Twitter in response to an article being posted on Deadspin.com.

It had already been reported three weeks ago that the golf trip, which included stays at two resorts and tee times at five historic Scotland courses, had included about $39,000 of public money spent for Krebs, Neal and McKamey (each had family members also attend but paid for those expenses privately).

The trip, Krebs said several weeks ago, was to strengthen relationships with donors, but UNM's acting president said at that time it should have been paid for by the UNM Foundation, the school's independent fundraising arm, and not with athletic department money.

On Monday, a KRQE-TV report revealed that Krebs had stepped forward to reveal public money was also used to pay for the trips of at least three boosters, pushing the total tab for UNM to $65,000 in public funds and also calling into question whether the junket was a violation of the state Constitution's anti-donation clause.

"In reviewing notes from the trip, we discovered internally that the outings for three donors were paid for via UNM athletics," Krebs said in a statement emailed to the Journal on Tuesday. "The original plan was for UNM to not pay for any donors, but due to some late cancellations because of unforeseen circumstances, we had three golf trips that were paid for but would have been unused."

That information should have been released when UNM responded to an April 17 Inspection of Public Records Act request submitted by the Journal. The multi-faceted request sought "documents showing the travel, lodging and other costs associated with (the Scotland trip) paid for by UNM."

UNM failed to respond Tuesday to Journal questions on why it failed to fulfill the IPRA request in apparent violation of state law.

UNM had notified the Journal it fulfilled the request, but left out or redacted any mention of expenses tied to anyone but Krebs, Neal and McKamey. Among the parts that were provided were heavily redacted credit transaction logs and an athletics department Bank of America Card statement that shows just three golf packages paid for.

"While it is two years after the fact, it is a situation that has to be corrected, regardless of the date or time frame," Krebs added in his statement Tuesday. "With that, an anonymous donor has given a $25,000 undesignated gift to be used to pay back the public money that was used for this trip."

That "gift" does not change the original action of using the public money. The KRQE report said UNM received the $25,000 donation last week, more than two years after the trip. Krebs was out of town and declined to provide any other information beyond his statement.

When asked to respond to numerous rumors that he is considering retiring this summer, Krebs said in an email, "If and when I decide to retire from athletics, it will be announced on my time table."

A spokesman for New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas declined to say whether it was looking into whether there were any criminal violations. He said the office "is always concerned about public funds being spent appropriately" but by policy would "neither confirm nor deny an existence of an investigation" into the matter.

The 2015 trip was contracted through Anthony Travel for 24 golfers, but only 13, including the UNM employees, signed up. The penalty UNM paid for not reaching 24 was $13,000 and would have been much higher if there weren't at least 16 golfers.

Several boosters and family members paid their own way. But in order to reach the 16-golfer quota, UNM invited local businessmen and Lobo Club mainstays Paul Gibson, Darin Davis and Raleigh Gardenhire, and picked up their tab.

Krebs in his statement said, "the original plan was to have this reimbursed back, but in reviewing documents it was noticed that this didn't happen."

It is unclear if they were ever asked to reimburse UNM. Emails left with Gibson and Davis on Tuesday were not responded to. Gardenhire was not reached for comment.

Krebs has maintained the trip was a success and generated plenty of revenue, though has yet to disclose how much was raised as a result. He has told other media outlets he estimates that at around $230,000 was generated, but declined to give the Journal an estimate.

"The relationships were strengthened, and I do believe we brought in new money as a result of that trip," Krebs said in an interview with the Journal on April 30. "... I would argue there was a return on the investment on this trip."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
All Rights Reserved

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

As the Milwaukee Bucks' new arena takes form downtown, the team is now looking to put $750,000 toward a project of a different kind.

The Bucks, in conjunction with partner Johnson Controls, will construct a $150,000 "multi-sport complex" at Milwaukee Public Schools' Browning Elementary School and the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, both in Westlawn, on the northwest side of the city.

The team and Johnson Controls will also donate $60,000 annually for the next 10 years toward community programming at Browning and Silver Spring.

"Our partners at Johnson Controls share our vision for the future of Milwaukee and our commitment to ensuring the impact of our downtown development radiates throughout the community," Bucks President Peter Feigin said in a statement, noting the importance of providing a safe haven for youth in the community.

The complex will feature several sports courts and fields and a 200-meter track. Construction is scheduled to be complete before the start of the fall semester.

Currently, the spot for the intended complex is occupied by a concrete lot at Browning Elementary, which is adjacent to the Westlawn public housing complex.

Over 95% of the school's students are economically disadvantaged. Recent test scores show that Browning students are well below MPS averages: only 6% of the school's elementary students test at grade-level math, compared to 15% of MPS elementary students. In English/language arts, 12% of Browning students are on grade level, compared to a district average of 19%.

The new Bucks-backed complex will join other recent revitalization efforts in the neighborhood, including a $30 million federal grant the city received in 2015 to raze and replace nearly 400 units at Westlawn.

"Ensuring that all children have top-notch recreational facilities not only provides a safe outlet for young people, it also reinforces to them that they are a vital part of the future of our city and worth the investment of the time and resources that are necessary for the construction of this multi-sport complex," MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver said in a prepared statement.

The Bucks' unveiling of community service follows years of community pressure.

During a hearing held by the Milwaukee Common Council in 2015, the nonprofit coalition Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground called for council members to vote against the use of public funds toward the Bucks arena.

The council eventually approved a $47 million spending plan for construction, part of $250 million of public funds signed off by Gov. Scott Walker toward the cost of the $500 million stadium.

Common Ground has since advocated for $150 million of public funds to be used to improve MPS athletic facilities and recreational spaces.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

The Atlantic 10 Conference has named Keith Gill, the outgoing Richmond athletics director, executive associate commissioner. Gill remains Richmond's athletics director until June 30.

Gill, who resigned from UR on May 10 after more than four years on the job, will oversee community relations for the A-10 men's basketball tournament, assist with the implementation of the conference's recently adopted five-year strategic plan and continue to represent the A-10 on the NCAA Council.

Gill has 22 years of experience in college athletics. He will work with commissioner Bernadette McGlade on the league's strategic goals and initiatives, as well as community relations and partnerships in Washington, D.C., host of the 2018 A-10 men's basketball tournament at the Verizon Center.

When Gill announced he was leaving UR, he noted the need to spend time with his partner, Tiffany Speaks, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area and has a medical issue.

Related: Richmond AD Resigns After Support Fades

"He is a nationally respected administrator who made a very difficult decision to relocate to Washington, D.C., for important family reasons," McGlade said of Gill in a league release. "I'm looking forward to working with Keith in this new role."

Gill was appointed to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee, and his term begins in September.

"The chance to move back to D.C. and work to advance the goals of the Atlantic 10 is a perfect fit," Gill said in the release.

joconnor@timesdispatch.com(804) 649-6233@RTDjohnoconnor

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

The Braves' planned move of their spring-training home from Disney World to southwest Florida cleared another governmental hurdle Tuesday.

The Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously to approve an operating agreement that spells out the terms and conditions of a new facility for the Braves and a non-relocation agreement that requires the team to hold spring training in the complex for 30 years.

The 48-page operating agreement sets a targeted completion date of Jan. 15, 2019, for construction of the facility, which is to be built in the Sarasota County city of North Port.

Tuesday's 5-0 vote by the county commissioners marked the latest in a series of approvals required for the project to proceed. Before construction begins, two more contracts must be completed among the parties and a portion of the funding must be secured from the state of Florida.

"This is probably step three or four on our march down this highway," Commissioner Nancy Detert said at Tuesday's meeting, which was streamed on the county's website. "When it comes to negotiating, we hope our lawyer beat up their lawyer and we're the winners.... I think this particular stadium will be a particular boon to North Port because it creates a destination in North Port, a reason to go there."

The deal calls for Sarasota County, the state of Florida, North Port, the Braves and a developer to jointly fund the project, which is estimated to cost $75 million to $80 million.

More than $45 million in taxpayer money is involved, including a previously approved $21.3 million from Sarasota County tourism taxes. Approvals of the operating and non-relocation agreements clear the way to apply, probably within the next two weeks, for a $20 million grant spread over 20 years from the state of Florida's spring-training retention fund.

Under the deal, the Braves would make annual payments of $2 million to $2.5 million toward debt service. The team would retain all revenue from its events in the stadium and from the sale of naming rights. It would be responsible for routine operating and maintenance expenses and would split about $11.3 million in capital improvement expenses with the county over 30 years.

Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines called the deal fair for all parties.

"This really had to be a fair deal for everybody involved because nobody really had any leverage over anybody," Hines said. "We want the Braves here -- I do -- but we didn't need them. Don't take that personally, Atlanta, but we had a baseball team (the Baltimore Orioles, who hold spring training in Sarasota).... I think this is a win-win agreement."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Newsday, Inc.


Newsday (New York)

 

A bench-clearing brawl ended Sunday's regional championship game between Suffolk County Community College and Northern Essex Community College and cost one of the teams a trip to the Division III World Series, according to the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association.

Northern Essex, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was leading 8-3 in the top of the ninth inning of Sunday's District F title game when a Northern Essex batter charged the mound after pitch was thrown near his head.

"Both benches cleared like wildfire," said Kevin Foley, the Suffolk CCC director of athletics. "It popped in an instant. There was no warning at all. It just exploded and got out of control immediately. It was mayhem."

After a 15-minute delay, the umpires decided not to resume playing the game. If Northern Essex had held on to win, it would have been the school's sixth straight trip to the NJCAA World Series.

Mark Krug, the assistant executive director for the NJCAA said, "both teams were notified by the national office that they violated the NJCAA sportsmanship policy and cannot participate in the championship event."

Krug added, "Any player involved in the fight including players that left the bench will serve a two-game suspension next season. Both institutions will handle the eligibility of their players moving forward."

Neither Northern Essex CC coordinator of athletics Sue MacAvoy nor assistant athletic director Maureen Saliba returned repeated calls seeking comment.

"It's a tough lesson to learn," Foley said. "But it's in the bylaws of the NJCAA and a precedent was set years ago when a similar incident happened.

"If you leave the bench or the dugout and enter the field it's an automatic two-game suspension," Foley said. "Any players that were caught throwing a punch will get a four-game suspension. The umpires have at least four players from each team throwing punches in the report."

With no District F winner for the eight-team tournament and the NJCAA World Series starting on Friday in Greeneville, Tennessee, Krug said the national office went into its protocol for finding a replacement for the double forfeit.

"It's a time-sensitive matter and we had to move forward and fill that spot and reseed the tournament," he said. "It was a random assignment that we do through a yearly rotation to invite an at large team. This is done when a school can't field a winner."

Surry County CC of Dobson, North Carolina, who won the Region X title, but lost in its Super Regional, accepted the NJCAA invite to the tournament.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Newsday, Inc.


Newsday (New York)

 

The No Fun League is no more.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has responded to increased criticism that the NFL discourages players from having fun by loosening the celebration rules following big plays. Goodell announced Tuesday at the league's annual May meetings in Chicago that players can be more expressive without fear of incurring a penalty.

"We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown," Goodell wrote in a statement aimed at fans. "And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements."

Goodell said that after internal discussions and talks with more than 80 current and former players, celebrations involving the use of the football as a prop, group demonstrations and players going to the ground to celebrate will be allowed. Previously, those celebrations resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Not all demonstrations will be allowed, however. Among those that will still result in a penalty are moves deemed offensive or in bad taste, ones that embarrass or taunt opponents, and ones that mimic the use of weapons.

As a way to make sure celebrations aren't prolonged, the league will adopt the use of the 40-second clock between the time a touchdown is scored and the extra point is attempted.

"In my conversations with NFL players, it was also clear how much our players care about sportsmanship, clean competition and setting good examples for young athletes," Goodell said. "That is why offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalized."

Goodell said there will be further discussions on the topic.

"We know we have more work to do," he said. "We are grateful to the many current and retired players who engaged with us on this topic, and we look forward to ongoing dialogue with them as we continue to work to improve this game we all love."

NFL owners also adopted a rule that reduces overtime from 15 minutes to 10 in the preseason and regular season. The move was made as a way to reduce potential wear and tear on players, especially if they have a Thursday night game following a Sunday game.

Related: Opinion: NFL Should Go Back to Sudden Death Overtime

Some coaches and executives have expressed concern that the reduced overtime would lead to more ties, but the league's competition committee disagreed. The overtime rules will remain the same. Each team will have one possession, unless the team that gets the ball first scores a touchdown or the defense scores a touchdown on the initial possession of OT.

League owners approved a measure that will allow teams to bring two players back from injured reserve during the season. The previous rule allowed only one to return.

Owners also voted unanimously to move Super Bowl 55 to Tampa in 2021, while Los Angeles will host Super Bowl 56 the following year. Los Angeles initially was awarded Super Bowl 55, but because construction of a stadium for the Rams and Chargers won't be completed until the 2019 season, the owners voted to push back the Los Angeles Super Bowl.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

Wheaton College student Ethan Roser, 19, of Mason High School was killed April 22 after being accidentally hit by a hammer during a hammer throw event.

A moment of inattention cost Wheaton College student Ethan Roser his life when he was hit in the head by an errant hammer throw at an April track meet, Wheaton police said Monday.

Detective Andrew Uhlir said Roser, 19, a graduate of Mason High School, was struck when he was standing with two others about 30 feet outside the in-bound landing area for the hammer throw, an event that involves hurling a 16-pound metal sphere attached to a handle by a wire.

From ABWheaton College Student Killed by Hammer Throw

Roser, a soccer player who had volunteered to work at the meet with the rest of his teammates, was in an area marked off limits to spectators, Uhlir said, but that wasn't seen as a risk because Roser's job was to mark where the throws landed and take the hammers back to the safety cage where they were launched.

Uhlir said the official overseeing the event, a Moody Bible Institute professor whom the detective would not name, didn't believe anything was amiss.

"From the official's statement, he saw where these three individuals were, and he felt they were in a safe position," the detective said. "And based on where they were, they felt they were in a safe position."

He noted that the NCAA track and field rule book does not provide guidance about where volunteers should stand during the hammer throw.

Uhlir said that during warmups, two of the volunteers were goofing off with a stick used to mark the throws. Roser was watching the horseplay when the hammer struck him, he said.

Uhlir said the volunteers had been told that they needed to keep their focus on the throwers.

"The training was very brief, however it was very clear what they were supposed to do," he said. "They were definitely instructed repeatedly to pay attention to the cage at all times during the event, even between events, because their job was to grab the hammers and bring them back."

Roser, a freshman transfer student, had actually finished his assigned shift for the meet before the fatal throw but had stuck around to cover for a teammate who was visiting with family members, Uhlir said.

"It was a perfect storm," the detective said.

Roser was not the first person to be killed by an off-target hammer throw. Among the list of victims is an athlete killed at a 1981 meet in North Central College in Naperville, and a sportswriter killed at the 1986 NCAA Division II track and field championships at California State University at Los Angeles.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Digital First Media
All Rights Reserved
Daily News of Los Angeles

 

Nick Francona's name is in the news because, he believes, his story is worth sharing if it saves the life of one military veteran.

Remember that.

Remember that, while Major League Baseball investigates the circumstances surrounding Francona losing his job in the Dodgers' Player Development department. Remember that, while peeling back the layers of a situation Francona said he still doesn't understand.

And remember that, when considering the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2016. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans over 25 years old with a four-year degree is 2.9 percent, higher than the 2.4 percent unemployment rate among all four-year degree holders in the same age group.

From the Dodgers' standpoint, Francona - a 31-year-old Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania - need not be a statistic.

At one point the team offered to extend his contract beyond 2016. Francona declined. He was given the option to transfer from the player development department to research and development. He declined. He also declined to resign. That's when the Dodgers elected to terminate Francona's contract in April 2016.

Francona eventually alleged in legal documents that he'd been discriminated against as a veteran. The case never went to court. At one point, Francona said, he had an offer to settle for $150,000. He declined that, too.

"I wish I had the money - who wouldn't - but the principles are more important," he said.

So what are the principles?

Not only do veterans need help finding work, Francona found that he needed help once he was hired. He even needed help asking for help.

Seeking help

Reluctantly, Francona said, he spoke up.

His mother, Jacque, works with Home Base, a Boston-based nonprofit dedicated to assisting veterans. The baseball allusion is intentional; Home Base was created by the Red Sox Foundation in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and vice chairman David Ginsberg are listed on its board of overseers.

Jacque urged Nick to visit. To Nick, this seemed like a logical step. Before following his father, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, into professional baseball, Nick Francona was a scout sniper platoon commander in Afghanistan. He had attained the rank of captain when he was discharged from the Marine Corps. Four years had passed since his last sniper mission, but Francona still carried the reminders of war with him to work.

Nick acquiesced. He discussed the plan with his boss, Dodgers player development director Gabe Kapler.

Kapler eventually drafted an e-mail to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. In it, he wrote: "... as uncomfortable as some of (Francona's) conclusions are, he can't look at his struggles to feel fulfilled and content any other way he believes they stem from his unresolved issues from his time in combat. He recognizes that it is affecting how he is dealing with people (he believes he has left a 'trail of destruction'). Moreover, he acknowledges now that he has engaged in brinksmanship-type behaviors with coworkers and teammates, at times escalating situations unnecessarily. He affirmatively wants to put a stop to this behavior and is actively taking steps to do so. Further, things have been a bit of a 'blur' for him, and he's struggling to put it all together at the moment."

Francona reviewed the draft first. He didn't challenge this part of the e-mail. He even elaborated to Kapler on the idea of the "blur."

"Some of the numbness is a result of an extreme degree of compartmentalization of what were some fairly significant life events, whether that was being on both the giving and receiving end of extreme violence, or having friends maimed and killed," Francona wrote. "I thought to some degree that the more time and distance I put between myself and certain events, they would just recede and go away. While some memories do fade, some become sharper with time and these are the type of things that you just don't pretend they didn't happen."

When Home Base connected him to a psychiatrist, Francona learned he had physical and psychological needs to address. Some of his issues were connected to concussions ("I got my bell rung a few too many times," he told Kapler). He would regularly wake up in the morning with headaches. Other issues were connected to compartmentalization, a kind of psychological defense mechanism that serves to separate stress-inducing concerns from day-to-day tasks.

According to the Veterans' Affairs website, specific side effects are associated with service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom: "They may see others hurt or killed. They may have to kill or wound others. They are on alert around the clock. These and other factors can increase their chances of having PTSD or other mental health problems."

What happened next

When Francona first discussed visiting Home Base, Kapler encouraged him. So did Friedman. Kapler also suggested that Francona take a leave of absence, but Francona resisted. He wanted to keep working, and he believed he didn't need time off to implement the psychiatrist's recommendations or make subsequent appointments.

It was around this time, in December 2015, that Kapler announced he was returning to his job as Player Development director. Kapler was the runner-up for the manager's job that ultimately went to Dave Roberts; he also briefly considered taking a job on Roberts' field staff.

Francona contends his professional relationship with Kapler began to deteriorate in the weeks and months that followed. Francona said he was surprised when, at a February meeting to discuss a separate issue, Kapler suggested it was in Francona's best interest to quit. But sources familiar with the course of the probe said Francona's recollection of this event has been disputed to MLB's investigators.

In providing evidence of his discrimination charge to MLB, Francona did not hide his professional quibbles, large and small. Francona shared a total of 814 files - text messages, e-mails, voicemails and various documents - with the league. Some of the exchanges are ugly, others cordial. Some came before Francona's contract was terminated, others came after.

Interpreted differently, the facts point to a different heart of the matter: A dispute between co-workers. After rejecting the contract extension, after alleging that Kapler suggested he quit, after he was offered a job in R&D for the same pay, Francona's ultimate desire was to remain in Player Development and build on what he and the department had begun.

Why he could not, or did not, depends on who you ask. MLB's investigation is nearing its conclusion. A decision could come as early as this week.

In a statement, the Dodgers held their ground against the allegation of discrimination: "The Dodgers cannot comment on the specific facts or reasons leading to a former employee's departure from the organization. However, we can categorically state that Nick Francona's departure was not the result of any type of discrimination, and it certainly was not the result of his being a veteran."

The league believes it has made strong inroads with the military community beyond the pomp and circumstance that accompanies nearly every major league game.

In 2008, with the financial support of Fred Wilpon and matching funds from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, MLB established the "Welcome Back Veterans" fund. According to the league, initial funding "supported a variety of nonprofits targeting veterans' greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement." Later funding benefited research that sought treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Meanwhile, Francona said he still wants to forge a career in baseball "under the right circumstances." He's worked with one team as a consultant since leaving Los Angeles.

The legal avenues once open to Francona might still exist. Again, it depends on who you ask.

But remember why Nick Francona's name is in the news.

"Getting tied up in a long lawsuit," he said, "is not necessarily the best approach for policy changes."

jhoornstra@scng.com @jphoornstra on Twitter

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

Rio de Jeneiro A federal prosecutor looking into last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics says that many of the venues "are white elephants" that were built with "no planning."

The scathing report offered Monday at a public hearing confirms what The Associated Press reported several months after the Games ended. Many of the venues are empty, boarded up and have no tenants or income with the maintenance costs dumped on the federal government.

"There was no planning," federal prosecutor Leandro Mitidieri told the public hearing on the Olympics. "There was no planning when they put out the bid to host the Games. No planning.

"They are white elephants today. What we are trying to look at here is to how to turn this into something usable."

Rio de Janeiro spent about $12 billion to organize the Games, which were plagued by cost-cutting, poor attendance and reports of bribes and corruption linked to the building of some Olympic-related facilities.

The Olympic Park in suburban Barra da Tijuca, which was the largest cluster of venues, is an expanse of empty arenas with clutter still remaining from the Games. The second largest cluster, in the northern area of Deodoro, is closed despite plans to open it as a public park with swimming facilities for the mostly poor who live in the area.

Patricia Amorim, the undersecretary for sports in Rio, said highly publicized plans were on hold to dismantle one arena and turn the remains into four schools. The arena was the venue for handball.

"It will be dismantled," she said. "We are just waiting to know whether we will actually have resources to build these schools on other sites or whether we will dismantle it and wait for the resources to come. Our schools need to be reformed, and that's our priority, not new schools."

Nine months after the Rio Olympics ended, the local organizing committee still owes creditors about $30 million, and 137 medals awarded during the games are rusting and need to be repaired.

Former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, the moving force with the International Olympic Committee behind organizing last year's Olympics, is being investigated for allegedly accepting at least 15 million reals ($5 million) in payments to facilitate construction projects tied to the games.

He denies any wrongdoing.

In a statement to AP, the IOC said "Rio had a strong legacy plan in place," and it urged there be no "hasty judgment."

"What we know is that Rio is a better place after the Olympic Games," the IOC said.

It said London was slow using its venues after the 2012 Olympics and blamed Brazil's economic problems for the abandoned venues.

"It is difficult for a country to implement these legacy plans as a first priority when the basic needs of the population need to be urgently addressed," the IOC said.

Organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said more than 100 medals awarded at the Olympics showed signs of rusting. He said many were bronze medals, and many of the tarnished medals had been awarded to Americans.

"Most of the problems were due to handling, poor handling," Andrada said. "Either they fell on the floor or they were touching each other so, it was a problem of handling. Whatever was the problem with the poor handling, it took the gloss off the medal and then you see rusting."

He said the medals would be repaired at Brazil's mint, called the Casa da Moeda.

He said more than 2,000 medals were awarded at the Olympics and said "several other Games had problems with medals."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

It's no secret that Major League Soccer's national television ratings are not good. Last year, national telecasts averaged 188,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1; 247,000 on UniMas; 308,000 on ESPN/ESPN2; and 696,000 on the Fox broadcast network.

MLS trails every other "major" sports league in TV ratings -- MLB, NBA, NHL. Distressingly, MLS ratings trail American TV ratings for the English Premiere League.

Ouch.

And MLS is so far behind the NFL that they don't even exist in the same TV universe. The 2016 MLS Cup drew its biggest audience, 1.4 million viewers, but that was just 1.2 percent of the 111.4 million who watched the Super Bowl. Geez, the meaningless Pro Bowl was seen by five times as many viewers as MLS Cup.

The Powers That Be at Major League Soccer are concerned about this, of course. And it affects Real Salt Lake as well as the other 21 teams in the league because they all share in national TV money.

By the way, RSL's local ratings on KMYU are down a bit this season, which is to be expected. TV ratings in every sport tend to go up when the team is good and down when it's not. RSL is 3-8-2 and in 10th place in its conference.

It's not a secret that MLS is concerned about ratings. Expansion clearly has been aimed at getting in more TV markets.

And the league commissioned an 18-month study into how to improve TV ratings, and these are the recommendations:

Put cameras in the locker rooms before the games.

Allow access to team huddles.

Put microphones on coaches during games.

Increase the number of media "car wash" tours.

Full disclosure: I don't exactly know what a media "car wash" tour is. I've asked around. I've searched the Internet. Nobody seems certain.

It apparently means putting more MLS coaches and players in front of members of the media, hoping more stories will appear in print, on radio and on TV. And that's the only one of the recommendations that makes the slightest bit of sense because maybe more exposure would get some people to tune in. Maybe.

I don't know what the answer is to MLS' ratings woes. There's no quick fix. Americans care more about soccer than they once did, and it eventually will surpass hockey.

But catching up to baseball, basketball and football is a long way off. MLS doesn't even have credibility with all soccer fans, who can see it's not on the level of the EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A.

We've seen the league improve greatly since RSL debuted in 2005. I don't claim to be a soccer expert, but you don't have to be an expert to see that MLS hasn't achieved parity with European leagues Americans can watch on TV.

And I do feel completely confident in saying that putting cameras in locker rooms and team huddles and wiring the coaches for sound is not the answer.

Non-MLS fans won't tune in because of those non-innovative gimmicks. MLS fans won't care -- unless the gimmicks get in the way of actual game coverage. Then fans will be annoyed.

Soccer rarely stops for more than a few seconds. And fans hate when the camera focuses on something other than the game. Like a coach on the sideline.

That's something some MLS teams have yet to learn, although that's rarely true of KMYU's telecasts, which are among the best in the league.

MLS didn't release any figures on what this 18-month study cost. If it was more than 5 bucks, the league overpaid.

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.

It's no secret that Major League Soccer's national television ratings are not good. Last year, national telecasts averaged 188,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1; 247,000 on UniMas; 308,000 on ESPN/ESPN2; and 696,000 on the Fox broadcast network. MLS trails every other "major" sports league in TV ratings
 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The New York Post

 

TRAINER Stephen Pasterino first called his signature class "Thigh Gap Thursday" as a joke.

The founder of Bowery fitness studio Bodies by P had been trying to figure out how to best market his leg- and buttfocused workout, which he claims can give his clients a gap between their legs when they stand with their feet touching - a controversial social-media trend and a near requirement for the scores of models whom Pasterino trains.

"It's now my busiest class," he says. "Every Thursday is packed." Word of the class soon spread beyond his downtown, in-theknow client base, he says. "We put it on social media, and now we have girls around the world who message us and say, 'I just want a thigh gap, how can I get one?'" The thigh gap became a point of obsession around 2013, the year that a book called "The Thigh Gap Hack" was published. Instagram was just blowing up at the time, and the term took off, with scores of women and teen girls tagging their pictures with #thighgap.

Model Cara Delevingne's thigh gap even spawned its own Twitter account from fans.

Even more disturbing, though, were the women commenting "goals" on pictures of particularly hollowed-out legs.

The thigh gap soon became synonymous with body dysmorphic disorder. Instagram disabled the #thighgap hashtag in March 2014, and more body-positive messages have since come into vogue on the site, such as #effyourbeautystandards and #everybodyisbeautiful.

Now, with the popularity of the class, the term has reared its ugly head again.

"None of these girls are happy with what they've got," says Pasterino.

"But I can see where their bodies can go." Given that most attendees are model-like in physique, the messaging behind "Thigh Gap Thursday" is in stark contrast to the "strong, not skinny" ethos promoted by workouts such as high-intensity interval training and CrossFit.

"When you're pursuing something unattainable, it's just going to lead to low self-esteem and beating yourself up," says Kimberly Hershenson, a Midtown-based therapist who specializes in eating disorders. "Working out should be about wanting to be healthy. If your goal is to be fit, toned [and] muscular, a thigh gap is not going to help you reach that goal." Hershenson warns that a class solely focused on the creation of a thigh gap can lead to perfectionism and, in turn, eating disorders.

"Where's it going to end?" she asks. "When you have the biggest thigh gap in the class?" Pasterino, 30, says he's gotten some flak for his social-media posts, which usually include the hashtags #thighgap and #thighgapthursday, along with, bizarrely, #lovemyself and #allbodytypes.

"We get negative stuff like, 'Oh, that's bulls--t.

Body image and stuff,'" he says of the Instagram comments and direct messages he's received.

Despite the blowback, Pasterino insists he's simply giving his clients what they want.

"I'm so focused on butt and thighs because that's what everybody wants. I ask the girls what they want to do before every class, and they all say, 'I want to tone my inner thighs, I want my butt lifted.' " Julia Kudryashova, a 24-year-old former college swimmer who works in insurance, is one such client.

"I've felt so much taller and longer and leaner, and I'm seeing so much definition," says Kudryashova, noting the idea of a thigh-gap workout was "definitely" appealing.

"That's every girl's draw - you have to have a thigh gap!" Pasterino hit upon his method while studying physical therapy. He realized that small, stretchlike movements could target leg muscles that other workouts leave untouched, and that opening up the hips was the key to firing up butt muscles that would otherwise be frozen in place.

After two years of teaching classes - and building up his model client base, which includes Dree Hemingway, Maryna Linchuk and Blanca Padilla - at downtown's modelFIT, Pasterino left to create his own physicaltherapyinfluenced studio, Bodies by P, in May 2016. Classes cost $36.

Most of the women whom Pasterino trains are trim already, but feel like their legs could be slimmer and their stomachs and arms tighter, all in the pursuit of perfection.

"Often, I'm going in and trying to help these girls lose weight when it seems like there's no more weight to lose," he says. "So I say, all right, let's go in and see if we can dig up a few pounds.

And it makes an amazing difference." Take Megan Dalke, a 23-year-old Wilhelmina model who started training with Pasterino in November.

"I noticed within three weeks that my legs looked longer, and not as swollen as they'd usually be [from working out]," she says. "I look like I grew an inch... I swear by it now, and I tell all models, you have to come try it." But despite the lanky limbs on display in his class, Pasterino insists his method works for anyone.

"I need more overweight people," says Pasterino.

"That's something I need to work on."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 23, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

The foundation started by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul A. Allen and his sister, Jody, has given a $9.25 million, five-year grant to University of Pennsylvania researchers to study what happens to the brain at a cellular and network level when someone gets a concussion. The hope is that better understanding will translate to new and more successful treatments.

The research will be led by David Meaney, chair of bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Douglas H. Smith, director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the Perelman School of Medicine. The project will involve 10 faculty members from Penn, Children s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Duke and Columbia Universities, Meaney said.

Meaney said he and Smith already were studying what happens to cells in the brain during a concussion, but the new grant will allow them to take on higher-risk hypotheses that would be harder to sell to more conservative government funders. Even if only one of their ideas works, he said, we could have a very different view of concussions.

The team will be looking at how brain damage caused by concussions affects the way that groups of brain cells communicate with each other, and why some concussion victims have more and longer-lasting disabilities than others. Smith said the group also will be looking at how to recruit the shadow networks of cells that can begin functioning after brain damage. Think of those as driving an alternative route to work when there s a wreck on your usual highway.

Meaney said the team will be studying parts of brain cells called exosomes that are shed into the blood as clues to the molecular state of the brain. They could be a way to track injury and recovery. The group also hopes to use this blood testing to compare concussions with neurological diseases, including dementia. The Penn-led team will also try to develop a brain on a chip technology that would allow researchers to better test treatments. This is a way of seeing how damaged cells respond to treatment in their natural tissue environment.

The researchers hope to identify more quickly which patients will have difficulty recovering and then be able to individualize treatment.

Brain injuries still mysterious, but research is building

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 23, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

This is not your father's NFL.

I get it. You can now watch games on your phone. Players miss weeks while recovering from concussions (sometimes anyway). The crucial play might just be reversed with an instant replay review from the league's Manhattan nerve center. It's the evolution of a brand and game.

But here's a suggestion for NFL owners as they gather for a quickie spring meeting Tuesday: Go back to true sudden death.

Owners are expected to adopt another change to the overtime rule, which would reduce the extra period from 15 minutes to 10, while keeping the two-possession philosophy intact. The alteration is aimed at reducing players' exposure to injury.

Well, fellas, since you're in typical tweak mode -- which often is a good thing, like when it eliminates blows to the heads of defenseless players -- how about some retro-tweaking? The NFL, which adopted the dual possession baloney in 2012, should have never messed with sudden death in the first place. This would be a good time to realize that the OT rule installed in 1974 was good enough.

Never mind the argument that a team can win the coin toss, drive 35 yards and kick a decisive field goal. If you lose the toss and your defense can't shut down a drive for that winning kick, too bad. It's pro football. James Harrison, the ageless Pittsburgh Steelers philosopher/linebacker, does not need a participation trophy. Saying this system now has a "sudden death aspect" is spin.

Who wants this 10-minute proposal anyway? Not the coaches. Two veteran NFL head coaches texted USA TODAY Sports on Monday, declaring that they never wanted to switch from the original OT model. They're willing to live with the coin toss, trust their defense if need be and take their chances.

While there were just 14 occurrences in 83 overtime games since 2012 (16.9%) when teams won the toss and then marched for the winning TD -- as the New England Patriots did in Super Bowl LI -- it's worth reflecting on the period before the adoption of the current system.

In 2011, three of the 13 OT games were won on the first possession of sudden death (23.1%). It happened twice in 19 OT games (10.5%) in 2010.

Yet momentum for re-examining the sudden death format was ignited after league MVP Peyton Manning never touched the ball during the Indianapolis Colts' overtime loss to the San Diego Chargers in a wild-card game after the 2008 season. It was the final game that Tony Dungy coached in his Hall of Fame career. But I asked him about it last weekend, and Dungy prefers sudden death. He knew his defense didn't help the cause with three penalties that preceded Darren Sproles' winning 22-yard TD run.

Bill Polian, the Hall of Fame general manager who teamed with Dungy and Manning in Indianapolis, was on the competition committee then. But before you think he pushed for a new model, think again.

"I voted not to change it," Polian told USA TODAY Sports on Monday even though there was "widespread furor" associated with the revision.

However, Polian respects the reasoning to reduce the time limit and thinks it would result in faster OT pace. The overload on players -- imagine if a team played five full quarters followed by a Thursday game -- fuels injury concerns.

Last season, the Seattle Seahawks defense was on the field for 90 plays in a 6-6 tie with the Arizona Cardinals -- a game that also proved not all field goals are chip shots. The Seahawks showed up flat the next week at the New Orleans Saints as the defense played another 72 snaps.

"That's brutal," Polian said. "To ask players to do that, you're inviting injury."

Which is why true sudden death makes so much sense to me.

I'm guessing Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman would agree, especially after enduring those grinding, back-to-back games last year.

Not quite.

"I would prefer the college style," Sherman said in a text to USA TODAY Sports on Monday.

The college format -- inflated scoring tends to be the result as teams alternate possessions from their opponent's 25-yard line until a winner emerges -- hasn't gained much momentum in the NFL. It would be a radical departure from the league's tradition, as if the two-possession business now isn't enough. It likely wouldn't appeal to your dad, but younger fans might go for it.

Sherman doesn't point to that, however, as reason to consider it. He's also talking safety.

"The college style is still fewer plays," he wrote, "and less field to cover."

Maybe so, but there's still a better fix:

Just go back to true sudden death.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 23, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

A deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert is believed to be terrorism, police said Monday, in an attack that killed at least 19 people and sent thousands of terrified concert-goers running for the exits as chaos unfolded in a Manchester arena.

At least 50 people were injured, and photos from the scene showed carnage as scores of ambulances and paramedics rushed to the area. Grande, who was just finishing her performance about 10:35 p.m. local time, was not among the injured.

The Greater Manchester Police Department reported via Twitter that the agency is treating the incident as a terror attack until proven otherwise. British authorities are focusing on the attack as a possible suicide bombing, according to a U.S. law enforcement official briefed on the matter.

The horrific images from the scene already have drawn comparison to the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, which in particular targeted a concert hall. Those attacks killed 130 people, including dozens trapped inside an Eagles of Death Metal concert in the Bataclan theatre.

Eyewitnesses told local television that the Grande concert was just wrapping up when at least one thunderous explosion could be heard. Manchester Arena holds 21,000 people.

No one had claimed responsibility for the apparent attack as of late Monday. But Rita Katz, a terrorism analyst and co-founder of the Search International Terrorist Entities Intelligence Group, a private intelligence firm in Washington, D.C., said the Islamic State has celebrated the attack on social media.

Witness Kiera Dawber tearfully told CNN there was a "massive, massive explosion" in the arena, followed by a chaotic scene of screams, shouts, and shoes and handbags strewn about. She said about 20 bodies lay on the floor of a hallway. "You could see straight off that they were just dead," she said.

Outside, traffic was at a standstill as people who fled the arena ran through the streets, she said.

Local residents took to the Facebook page of the Manchester police to offer free rides and even their homes to survivors.

In the United States late Monday, police in New York City bolstered their presence at high-profile locations across the city, including Times Square.

NYPD spokesman Peter Donald said the moves were precautionary, and there were no credible threats against New York targets.

The attack appears to have been either in the main hallway of the arena or just outside the building, British Transport Police said. Emergency responders set up a triage area in the arena.

Twitter was abuzz with video of panicked fans running out of the arena. A Grande label representative told Variety there were two loud bangs at the concert.

With many searching for answers, stars took to social media to mourn the victims.

Singer Nicki Minaj said she ached for the victims, tweeting "my heart hurts for my sister, Ariana & every family affected by this tragic event in the U.K. Innocent lives lost. I'm so sorry to hear this."

Grande's tour began in Phoenix in February. After Manchester, Grande was to perform at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 23, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

Austin, Texas A transgender "bathroom bill" reminiscent of one in North Carolina that caused a national uproar now appears to be on a fast-track to becoming law in Texas, though it may only apply to public schools.

A broader proposal mandating that virtually all transgender people in the country's second-largest state use public restrooms according to the gender on their birth certificates sailed through the Texas Senate months ago. A similar measure had stalled in the House, but supporters late Sunday night used an amendment to tack the bathroom restrictions onto a separate and otherwise unrelated bill covering school emergency operation plans for situations such as natural disasters.

Republican Rep. Chris Paddie authored the hotly debated language, saying it had "absolutely no intent" to discriminate. Under it, transgender students at public and charter schools would not be permitted to use the bathroom of their choice, but could be directed to separate, single-occupancy restrooms.

"It's absolutely about child safety," said Paddie, from the East Texas town of Marshall. "This is about accommodating all kids."

His change passed 91-50. The measure formally cleared the House Monday, sending the modified bill to the Senate, which should easily support it. Texas' legislative session ends May 29, but that's plenty of time -- even if the bathroom bill is scaled-back enough to only affect the state's roughly 5.3 million public school students, and not the general public.

"This amendment is the bathroom bill and the bathroom bill is an attack on transgender people," said Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat. "Some people don't want to admit that because they are ashamed, and this is shameful."

A small group of Democratic women legislators went into the men's restroom just off the House floor before debate began in protest. With Republicans enjoying solid majorities in both of Texas' legislative chambers, though, such opposition was purely symbolic.

Houston Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson, one of the House's longest-serving and most-respected members, likened the new language to when restrooms nationwide were segregated by race.

"Bathrooms divided us then and bathrooms divide us now. Separate but equal is not equal at all," Thompson said, drawing floor applause.Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he wants to sign a bathroom bill into law. House Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican from San Antonio, has been vocal in his opposition, warning it could hurt the Texas economy that has been among the country's strongest in recent years.

Top firms, chambers of commerce and lobbyists also have decried the bathroom bill in all forms as bad for business. Many Hollywood actors and music stars have suggested state boycotts, and the NFL and NBA have expressed concerns about it passing — even though Houston successfully hosted this year's Super Bowl.

Since 2004, Texas has hosted more combined Super Bowls, NBA All-Star Games and NCAA men's Final Fours than any other state, and San Antonio is scheduled to host another Final Four in 2018.

Supporters described limiting the scope to schools as "middle ground" and hinted that it could soften the kinds of costly boycotts that hit North Carolina after it approved its bathroom bill last year. The NCAA pulled sporting events and the state faced losing billions of dollars in related economic fallout, though some opposition has quieted since North Carolina lawmakers voted in March for a partial repeal.

Straus said in a statement that the House amendment "will allow us to avoid the severely negative impact" of the original Senate bill, which was closer to North Carolina's original bill.

But Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said "there can be no compromise on discrimination."

"Transgender children aren't bargaining chips for lawmakers to trade, and their safety and dignity are non-negotiable," Robertson said in a statement.

Other opponents promised to fight the amendment in court.

If the Legislature succeeds "in forcing discrimination into Texas law, you can bet that Lambda Legal will be on the case before the next school bell rings," Jennifer C. Pizer, senior counsel and director of law and policy at the national gay rights group, said in a statement.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 24, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.
Copyright 2017 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 Sun Journal May 22, 2017

Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)

 

High school basketball coaches may be subject to an official warning for misconduct during games beginning next season, according to one of several rule changes recently approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Such warnings would be issued for matters involving the head coach or any other bench personnel that are judged not to be major, like an initial coaching-box violation, and would be recorded in the official game scorebook.

Major infractions would be subject to a technical foul, regardless of whether a warning already had been issued.

"Stopping play and making sure that the bench and the coach know that an official warning has been given sends a clear message to everyone in the gym and impacts the behavior of the coach, and in some cases the behavior of the opposing coach," said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials and liaison to the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee, in a news release.

"This change in behavior creates a better atmosphere and, many times, avoids the need to administer a technical foul."

Among other changes, the coaching box will be enlarged from 14 feet to 28 feet and bounded by a line drawn 28 feet from the end line toward the division line. A line drawn from the sideline toward the team bench becomes the end of the coaching box toward the end line.

State associations may alter the length and placement of the 28-foot coaching box.

"The committee thought the restriction of the [14-foot] coaching box limited the level of communication between the coach and players," Wynns said. "Allowing a coach freedom to move within the new box between the 28-foot mark and the end line provides a coach more access to his or her players."

The NFHS also approved a change in the way officials signal a foul against a player. After verbally informing the offender, the official shall use fingers on two hands to indicate to the scorer the number of the offender and the number of free throws.

"This change was made to minimize reporting errors that occur between the officials and the scorekeepers," Wynns said. "Two-handed reporting is easier for the scorekeepers to see and comprehend, and it is less confusing."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 23, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Times-World, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Roanoke Times (Virginia)

 

When Ella Stulce moved to shift into a warrior pose Sunday, she found herself sharing her yoga mat with two curious interlopers: a pair of fuzzy, brown-and-white speckled baby goats causally grazing at her feet.

"They're just so sweet and little," Stulce, 14, said of the diminutive goats that were exploring the field where 40 people had gathered for an outdoor yoga class.

The class, which was also a fundraiser for the therapeutic New Freedom Farm in Buchanan, capitalized on the cuddly new goat yoga craze that has been sweeping the nation.

Started last summer at a farm in Oregon, goat yoga is a blend of meditation and animal life, with the hijinks of the roaming goats delighting the audience.

"It's something interesting, and who doesn't like goats, right?" said Shelly DuQuette as her husband cradled one of the tinier kids.

Sunday afternoon's class, organized by a group of friends who adopted the name Goat Gurus, was held in a field at the New Freedom horse farm and offered a backdrop of mountain views.

The goats, a herd of about a dozen Nigerian dwarf goats ranging in age from 1 month to adults, occasionally meandered through people's legs or interrupted a breathing exercise with a sharp burst of bleating — stirring up giggles among the class.

The setting offered the group a novel way to spend an afternoon outdoors and commune with the friendly farm life, said yoga instructor David Kish.

Hanging out with goats generates a different energy than the pets many have at home, he said.

"It's good to get out into nature and breathe a different air," Kish said.

The 40 slots offered for Sunday's event sold out in less than two days. Nearly 30 others bought observer tickets that allowed them to share in the goat snuggling and join the lunch that followed.

Many said part of the draw for the event was that all proceeds would benefit the nonprofit farm.

Opened last fall, New Freedom Farm specializes in working with rescue horses and with veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Caring for horses can be a healing outlet that helps ease anxiety and build community, said owner Lois Fritz, a Navy veteran who speaks from personal experience.

The 13-acre farm also offers a peaceful refuge for those who now struggle in crowded environments.

Beth Culpepper, a Gulf War veteran who first came to the farm in January, described it as her safe haven.

"I don't know where I'd be without this place," she said. "It's been amazing."

Working with the horses has helped Culpepper find a new, calmer center. The horses themselves all but demand it, she said.

"You've got to settle down, because they feed off your energy," Culpepper said. "If you're not right, they'll walk away from you."

Goat Gurus member Kristen Terra, whose own farm in Montgomery County supplied Sunday's goats, is also an occupational therapist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and has seen patients thrive at New Freedom.

"It's been a really great community resource," she said.

Sunday's event was the first for Goat Gurus, but it is already making plans for more fundraisers later this year.

The New Freedom benefit raised around $1,400. Organizers made sure to set aside plenty of time for visitors to pet the goats and snap a few selfies.

Surveying the scene, Fritz marveled at the unlikeness of the goat-yoga combination.

"But I'm very grateful," she added with a smile as she thanked the group for its support of New Freedom's work.

FOR MORE INFO

To learn more about New Freedom Farm or Goat Gurus, visit them online.

NEW FREEDOM

Website: www.newfreedomfarm.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NewFreedomFarmVA

GOAT GURUS

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TherapyGoats

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter


 
May 23, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
All Rights Reserved

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

As 500 workers on the Milwaukee Bucks arena project launched into a "wiggle in the middle" exercise, a voice rang out from the upper concourse.

"Hey Denver! Turn around!" a concrete finisher hollered down at project superintendent Denver Callahan, who helps lead the early morning gathering from a small platform.

Without missing a beat, Callahan turned and did a quick hip gyration to peals of laughter.

At 7 every morning, before work begins on the most visible and significant addition to the downtown landscape in more than a decade, hard-hatted construction workers from all construction trades gather in the arena bowl.

They stretch. They bend. They squat. And yes, they wiggle.

At a recent session led by Mortenson Construction safety engineer Kyle Fons, the group seemed engaged and followed along, although there were mixed levels of enthusiasm - not to mention mixed success finding their toes.

Though the benefits of such programs are a little murky, it combines business and a bit of fun, and Mortenson, the construction manager on the multipurpose $524 million arena, believes in it.

"It's not just about stretching," said Mel Langlais, safety director, for Mortenson's Milwaukee Operating Group. "It's more of a cultural thing. It's the idea of starting the day together and it gets the tone set for the rest of the day."

Pre-work movement and breathing exercises drew attention in the late 1970s when Japanese automakers initiated them at factories they opened in the United States. Such programs even got the Hollywood treatment, playing a memorable part in the film "Gung Ho," starring a young Michael Keaton. The fitness goals on today's construction sites are much the same, but the benefits extend to a broader awareness of on-the-job safety, Mortenson officials said. That also includes an emphasis on health and wellness in an industry that hasn't been known for such concerns.

Mortenson started daily stretching on its job sites about 20 years ago "and we saw the benefit immediately," Langlais said.

That includes a reduced injury rate and "a huge increase in our culture," Langlais said, adding, "Stretching for 10 minutes is not going to give you super powers."

In leading the sessions, Fons includes reminders that workers can carry with them all day.

"Keep your head on a swivel" and be aware of what's happening around you, Fons preaches.

Mortenson has workers do a second stretching session at midday after their lunch break. Those gatherings are smaller, taking place within the various trades on the site.

"It's a huge investment," Fons said of the time invested per worker in stretching over the course of the two-year project. At its peak later this year, about 800 workers will be on the site.

"It doesn't happen on every job site," said Tony Mayrhofer, business manager for Iron Workers Local 8, which has about 100 members on the arena project.

He said that while some workers are skeptical of the stretching, others don't mind and see benefits.

"If you are able to stretch out before, you're able to get strains and sprains down," he said.

Jury out

There appears to be no concrete evidence linking stretching programs to reduced workplace injuries, said Andy Starsky, an associate professor of physical therapy at Marquette University who teaches a course in biomechanics.

"In general, the jury is out when it comes to stretching and dynamic warmups," Starsky said. "Half of the research says it's helpful and half says it doesn't make much of a difference."

"I'd say it's two thirds physical and I think one third mental," he said.

A 2015 article in the Journal of Safety Research said that although there "is little to no scientific evidence showing that (stretching and flexing programs) work as intended, construction companies continue to implement (the) programs with the goal of reducing work-related injuries."

Stretch and flex programs "should be only one component of a more comprehensive ergonomics prevention program," the article said. "Conducting daily safety huddles at the same time also may enhance worker communication, camaraderie, collaboration and improve safety outcomes."

Starsky said such programs help workers get their brains engaged on what can be dangerous job sites.

"Getting moving certainly fires up the brain," he said. "Getting moving increases muscle temperature and makes them more pliable and slightly stronger."

He added: "Kudos to Mortenson for doing this."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 22, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

Biz Buzz

North Carolina-based Triangle Rock Club is bringing its indoor rock climbing venture to the Richmond area later this year.

The company, which has three locations in North Carolina, plans to open a climbing facility with a yoga studio and a fitness center in the former Richmond Athletic Club building at 4700 Thalbro St., near Staples Mill Road, in western Henrico County.

Triangle Rock Club is purchasing the building through its real estate holding company, which will lease it back to the business, said Joel Graybeal, managing partner for Triangle Rock Club, based in Morrisville, near Raleigh, N.C.

Graybeal said one of the attractions of the building is that it is already equipped and laid out with components that fit their needs.

"In the past year, they have completely redone all of the locker rooms. There's brand new showers, brand new lockers, brand new tile, and that comes with the building. There is a 2,400-square-foot fitness facility. It's mirrored and has all of the black, rubber matting already down. There's already an existing 800-square-foot yoga room," Graybeal said.

The project to convert the space for Triangle Rock Club will be tackled in two phases.

Phase one - refurbishing the existing 24,000-square-foot building and installing climbing walls - will be done by the end of the year. The cost, including to purchase the building, is estimated at about $2.8 million, Graybeal said.

Phase two is construction of a second building - 15,000 square feet with stand-alone climbing walls up to 45 feet high - at a cost of about $1.2 million to $1.4 million, Graybeal said. The facility will feature Walltopia brand climbing walls. There also will be a retail shop.

The first Triangle Rock Club opened in 2007, the second in September 2013 and the third in November 2014. The first and second locations have expanded since opening.

Graybeal left a career in banking in 2011 to work with the company's founding partners, former Marines Andrew Kratz and Luis Jauregui. He said they have not decided on membership rates for the club.

Bruce Perretz of Perretz & Young Architects in Hanover County is doing the architectural work for the climbing facility. M.L. Bell Construction of Hanover County is the general contractor. Financing is through SunTrust Bank.

The building was listed by Matt Hamilton of Colliers International. Triangle Rock Club was represented by Kevin Cox of Porter Realty and Mark C. Boykin of Bob Northern & Co. in the purchase, Graybeal said.

 

TLSmith@timesdispatch.com(804) 649-6572

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 20, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 San Angelo Standard-Times
All Rights Reserved

San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas)

 

SAN ANGELO — A fun and active exercise class can make working out something other than a "must-do" item of the day.

It can be hard to stay active with so many everyday events. I know for myself, with only one child, I stay busy with her after-school extracurricular activities and school events. So being able to get that daily workout in is not always a priority - even though it should be.

As I've mentioned before, the motivation I see from the senior participants at the City of San Angelo's senior centers is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Many attend at least three of our exercise classes each week. Many also exercise in the workout room at Santa Fe Crossing, 702 S. Chadbourne St.

One of the classes that has increased in participation is our Zumba evening class. This hour-long class is offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Our class is open to the public. You'll pay a mere $4 fee per class at the door and enjoy an intense workout.

Stephanie Barnes is the certified Zumba instructor. She has been teaching Zumba at the center for more than five years.

Just before the new year, the Zumba class seemed to be on the decline; we weren't sure if we would still offer it come 2017. But with some help from our Public Information Office, which has posted the class info on the City's Facebook and Twitter pages, and the instructor promoting her class as well, it quickly grew. We have had up to 40 people in a class filling up our largest room, the Station 618 activity room, which measures 3,000 square feet.

The Zumba class is full of energy. The music Stephanie uses a mix of pop, hip-hop and Latin genres of music. The exercise is non-stop, with only small breaks when transitioning to the next song. Sometimes, small hand weights - usually less than 5 pounds - are incorporated. Don't be intimidated by the fast pace of our Zumba classes. Beginners are always welcome to try it out. Stephanie also offers giveaways at the end of class from time to time, handing out free passes for your next Zumba class. If Zumba is not the sort of class you may be looking for, we also offer have a workout room available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. to the public for a $3 fee. With exercise machines available, including treadmills and ellipticals, you can do your own independent workout.

I know sometimes after I'm done with my workday, I'll stay and get at least a 45-minute workout in, even though I am a member at a local gym. The calm and relaxing atmosphere of the workout room at Station 618 makes that workout a lot easier.

We always invite adults 55 and older to take part in the Senior Center fitness program. But if you haven't reached that 55-year milestone, come and try the Zumba class or workout room on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. It's one way to get your exercise in for the day.

Sandra Aguilar is the recreation supervisor for the City of San Angelo's Senior Services program. Contact her at 325-481-2798 or sandra.aguilar@cosatx.us

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 22, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

It appears some of the more drastic cost-cutting measures may not be necessary. At least not yet.

But that doesn't mean the operational budget for Albuquerque Public Schools' athletic department will avoid some reductions for the next fiscal year.

The APS board on Monday night is scheduled to vote on a final budget for next year.

Exactly how much money APS athletic director Ken Barreras will have at his disposal for operational purposes remains a mystery - but, it will certainly not be the $2.1 million he had to run the department for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

How much lower it will go nobody seems certain, including a somewhat flummoxed Barreras.

"Over the last 12 weeks, I think I have 13 or 14 different budget scenarios sitting in a folder," Barreras said. What is known: APS' latest budget projection does not appear to be nearly as dire as what it believed it would be as recently as April. APS is planning for flat revenue for fiscal year 2018 instead of a 2 percent reduction. The district still needs to find over $13 million in savings, about half of what APS thought it would have to shave. "Not the impacts we were anticipating," Barreras said. The APS fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30. Without a firm budget number, there is no way APS can lay out its precise plans for cost reductions, Barreras said in an interview earlier this week.

However, Barreras also believes a recent projection that his department might have to operate with just $1.3 million for the next fiscal year is almost certainly not going to be accurate. The final number, he said, will likely fall somewhere in between - with the obvious hope that it will land closer to $2.1 million than $1.3 million.

Already, uniform money allotments have been suspended. This goes back to a midyear reduction last December.

There will surely be a reduction in monies distributed to APS' 13 member high schools for supplies and equipment. The scale of the reduction depends, more or less, on the final budget. Such a cutback would hit football more than any other sport, but there would be likely financial ramifications for nearly every sport.

The allocations comprised 30 percent of the 2017 budget.

Middle school athletics is most definitely integral to all of this. That was 27 percent of the APS operational budget, and to keep it, Barreras said, APS must find a way to do so at bargain cost.

Other possibilities remaining include discontinuing the use of contract athletic trainers (APS campus athletic trainers would, in that instance, have to pick up the slack) and cutting out travel for C-team level programs.

Once APS votes on a budget, it is forwarded to the Public Education Department for review, and that should happen early next month.

With a flat revenue projection for the next fiscal year, one of the additional pieces to an extremely complex puzzle would be that high school coaches and campus ADs inside the district might not have to face a 10 percent reduction in their annual stipend.

Six of APS high school ADs also are coaches, and those six men would have been facing a double hit of about $1,300 apiece. But the stipends are not part of the athletic department's operational budget.

"What can we look at for the 2017-18 school year that is about reducing expenses and increasing revenue?" Barreras said.Inside

The Journal's James Yodice reflects on eventful 2016-17 sports season for preps.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 22, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Evansville Courier Co.
All Rights Reserved

Evansville Courier & Press (Indiana)

 

Now that legislation has passed enabling the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. to create a tax levy for Bosse Field, the school district will spend a year evaluating what the 102-year-old baseball park needs the most.

The list of possibilities figures to be long, and expensive. It could include electrical work, lights illuminating the field, and the roof covering seating areas.

The General Assembly passed legislation that allows for a levy not to exceed 0.005 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The levy is expected to raise about $300,000 per year.

EVSC officials estimate Bosse Field needs more than $1.5 million worth of basic improvements.

They said about half of the projected annual allotment, $150,000 or so, will be available a year from now. An EVSC board would be established to administer funds collected.

"We want to have a good understanding of the current needs of the facility," said EVSC spokesman Jason Woebkenberg. "So once the funding comes available, there is a plan for the needs available and in one order."

The public school system has owned the ballpark since it opened in 1915. The Evansville Otters have leased the facility since 1995, the longest-running franchise in the Frontier League, an independent professional league. The Otters' first home games of the 2018 season are this weekend.

Bosse Field also is used for high school baseball games and other community events.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke in March said he supports preserving Bosse Field but opposes the EVSC's move to make improvements via a new tax levy.

"My opposition to the tax has not changed," Winnecke said last week. "I'm sensitive to tax increases based on how I know (water and sewer) utility rates have been going and will continue to go for years to come due to the federal mandate and the changes we know we need to make. Having said that, I think there are some possibilities for improvements to Bosse Field that would not allow that tax to be enacted."

One such possibility would be using funds from the city's Jacobsville Tax Increment Financing District to pay for upgrades. The Jacobsville TIF is funding the ongoing North Main Street renovation project, scheduled for completion this year.

"We're not far enough down the road yet," Winnecke said. "We've just had only preliminary discussion with EVSC about what the future would look like, in terms of a potential partnership with the city. We've not had any discussion with City Council leadership to get their feelings on that, we just haven't had time and haven't made it a priority yet."

Winnecke said he recognizes improvements to the ballpark are needed, "we just have to figure out what the right funding source is."

Woebkenberg said the school district is preparing to move forward with renovations to the ballpark using the new levy and could not address other possibilities.

Superintendent David Smith wasn't available for comment last week.

"We know without a doubt (Winnecke) is very supportive of this community, whether you're talking about historic structures or quality of life," Woebkenberg said. "He shares the same goal we do of how to make things better in this community."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 22, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
All Rights Reserved

Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

 

Anybody who was shocked to learn the University of Kentucky sold its soul — uh, I mean the naming rights to its football stadium — to Kroger, please raise your hand.

Hmm... I see exactly... none.

Thought so. This pattern of commercialization has been the norm in collegiate athletics for years.

In the football championship playoffs alone, we have the Northwestern Mutual Rose Bowl, the Capital One Orange Bowl, the AllState Sugar bowl, the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

What's more, the names change so fast, you'd think we were talking Hollywood divorces.

The aforementioned PlayStation Fiesta Bowl is the current name for what used to be — in no particular order — the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, the IBM Fiesta Bowl, the Vizio Fiesta Bowl and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.(As everyone in the Land of Large Orange knows, it was called the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl when Tennessee beat Florida State, 23-16, to win the national championship. But that was so long ago, you'll need to study American history for details. Oops. I shouldn't have brought that up; too painful for Vol fans. Forget I mentioned it.)

Nonetheless, the corporate umbilical is attached up and down the line. Get used to it.

But the Kentucky-Kroger deal marks the first of its kind among Southeastern Conference football programs. It surely won't be the last.

You gotta wonder how these arrangements will affect the game.

Will refs flip the Bradford Exchange Coin at the Pennington Seed 50-yardline before the Nike Kickoff?

Purse their lips around the Acme Thunder Whistle?

Throw the American Cotton Council Penalty Flag?

Come down with Gold Bond Jock Itch?

And when do you reckon these agreements will spread to the classroom? Such as:

"Good American Express Morning, students. Welcome to Rand-McNally Geography 101. I'm your Michelin Professor, Dr. Wilburn Thudpucker.

"We'll be following the Shell Oil Course of Study this semester; which, by the way, is the Ford Fall Semester. Successful completion of this course is required before you can sign up for Rand McNally Geography 102 during the General Motors Spring Semester.

"OK, let's begin. Please open your Pizza Hut Textbooks and turn to Holiday Inn Chapter One. Feel free to take SamSung iPad Notes. Or if you're into retro, Paper Mate Notes."

Ugh. The whole thing nauseates me.

If I can stagger to the Pfizer Medicine Cabinet, perhaps I can get some Pepto-Bismol Relief.

Sam Venable's column appears Sunday and Tuesday. Contact him at sam.venable@outlook.com

What do you think? Are college sports sponsorships out of control?
  • Votes: (0%)
  • Votes: (0%)
  • Votes: (0%)
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:


Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 22, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
All Rights Reserved

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Responding to a question about conflict-of-interest concerns in North Carolina's NCAA investigation, ACC commissioner John Swofford said that peer review has been part of the NCAA's investigative process for "a long, long time."

"I think forever," Swofford said last week, speaking after the ACC's annual spring meetings.

Swofford acknowledged that the ACC is closely following the NCAA investigation at UNC, which responded on Tuesday to the NCAA's third notice of allegations. UNC received that notice after Greg Sankey, the chairman of the NCAA committee on infractions, encouraged the NCAA enforcement staff to evaluate whether the second NOA properly addressed the case.

Besides his role as the infractions committee chairman, Sankey is also the commissioner of the SEC, the ACC's primary rival conference. In a letter last month, the attorney for Deborah Crowder, one of the central figures in the case, called for Sankey to recuse himself from his role as the chairman of the infractions committee.

Sankey refused that request, and wrote that the committee "would fairly decide this case."

This isn't the first time during his tenure as ACC commissioner that Swofford has heard about conflict-of-interest concerns regarding the chairman of the infractions committee. It also happened when Miami joined the ACC in 2004. Back then Paul Dee, then Miami's athletics director, served as the infractions committee chairman.

"I can remember having conversations with him about how uncomfortable that was, at times," Swofford said. "So it's not any different now than it's been. Whether that should be changed in some way actually has been under discussion for a while, multiple years.

"So until someone comes up with a better way to approach that kind of situation, we'll see."

Swofford declined to comment on any other potential concerns with the UNC investigation but, as he has in the past, he did criticize the length of the case. This part of the UNC investigation, which began as an offshoot from the UNC football investigation that concluded in 2012, began in 2014.

"My biggest complaint has consistently been how long these kinds of things take sometimes," Swofford said. "And, unfortunately, we've had several that have fallen into not as long this one, but still lengthy. Because it would help a great deal all the way around if we can come up with a process that brought things to culmination more quickly."

UNC officials are expected to appear at some point in August before the committee on infractions.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 21, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.
Copyright 2017 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 The Arizona Daily Star. All Rights Reserved.

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

 

My former colleague Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News reported last week that Arizona received $28.6 million from the Pac-12 in the fiscal year 2015-16. That sum is similar to the other Pac-12 schools, an annual collection from media rights, and income from the NCAA basketball tournament and football bowl games.

Wilner's report also disclosed that SEC schools were paid $40.5 million and that Big Ten schools were paid $34.8 million from annual conference revenues.

So how does Arizona keep up financially?

Two things happened last week that seem sure to be part of college sports over the next decade. One, the Cleveland Cavaliers will begin wearing a Goodyear logo on game jerseys next season.

By 2020, it's possible all Arizona athletic teams, and those in the Pac-12, will have similar corporate logos on their game-day gear (in addition to Nike, Adidas or Under Armour). The Pac-12 could arrange the sponsorship from someone like DISH (but not DirecTV) for several million per school, per year.

USC is expected to announce it will sell naming rights to the historic Los Angeles Coliseum for as much as $70 million over 15 years. Once that dam breaks, anything goes. In the Pac-12, only Washington — with Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium — has sold naming rights to its football stadium. The Huskies are being paid $41 million over 10 years.

Wilner wrote that, "barring a major new revenue stream, each Pac-12 school will be $12-plus million behind its SEC and Big Ten peers for the final seven years of the conference's media rights deal, which runs through 2023-24."

The math is sobering: Seven years of a $12 million per year deficit per Pac-12 school is $84 million per school over the seven years. That's close to $1 billion during the life of the league's media rights package.

The kicker to this economic gloom is that Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens last week told The Oregonian that the demand for football tickets to Autzen Stadium "softened" even while the Ducks went to the 2015 college football playoffs and deployed Heisman Trophy quarterback Marcus Mariota.

"The buying public has changed," Mullens said. "Sports consumption has changed, both live and through media outlets."

But financial issues are for the suits, right?

Right now, in May 2017, the biggest sports issue in Tucson is whether Rawle Alkins will return to McKale Center for his sophomore season.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 21, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

In less than 100 days, the college football season will open and the NCAA can slip back into its protective cocoon.

Because then it won't be about just scandals and Title IX lawsuits and cover-ups of heinous criminal actions by athletes, it will be about games and rankings and crowds and tailgates and revenue. Especially revenue. College football generates more than $3.4 billion, and Nick Saban's new contract at Alabama pays him $11 million annually, which isn't bad for an amateur sports enterprise that has balked at paying its players more than tuition and a free trip through the sandwich bar.

I bring this up now because Baylor, whose football program generated $38.3 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year, hasn't heard a peep from the NCAA, despite the school's failure to properly respond to a series of alleged sexual assaults that date to 2012.

The NCAA has done or said nothing, even against the backdrop of a seventh Title IX federal lawsuit being filed last week, alleging a former Baylor volleyball player was drugged and gang-raped by eight football players. The suit also contends school officials "enlisted current and former members" of the athletic department to contact her in hopes of dissuading "her from speaking to reporters... and (to) clear Baylor officials of any wrongdoing."

The NCAA has done or said nothing, despite the fact Baylor's board of regents felt compelled last summer to fire university president Ken Starr and football coach Art Briles, and several other athletic department employees, and sanction Athletic Director Ian McCaw, who ultimately resigned under pressure.

(Liberty University subsequently hired McCaw. We'll let Jerry Falwell Jr. sort that out with his god in the afterlife.)

The NCAA has done or said nothing because... why exactly?

Baylor should be slapped with major sanctions. Possibly even the "death penalty." Shelving the football program for a few years would send a needed message in college athletics that enabling criminal behavior for the sake of maintaining a program's national ranking and economic power won't be tolerated.

Baylor should be slapped for the same reason Penn State should have been slapped when its coaches and administrators were found to have covered up the actions of serial child molester and rapist Jerry Sandusky, the former long-time defensive coordinator under the late Joe Paterno.

Many have disagreed with this position. One argument is that benching a program for three or four years penalizes current athletes and coaches who aren't connected with past infractions. But that's usually an unfortunate byproduct of all NCAA sanctions, which often come down after the players (and sometimes coaches) have left.

Another argument: The NCAA's disciplinary powers shouldn't and/or don't stretch beyond what's considered "normal" cheating: academic fraud, paying players, recruiting violations. Those rules are in place specifically to prevent a program from gaining a competitive advantage.

But in what ways do Baylor's and Penn State's actions NOT constitute gaining or maintaining a competitive advantage? Enabling and covering up sickening crimes like those in Waco, Texas, and State College, Pa., are far worse than changing a kid's grade or giving him cash to sign a letter of intent.

School administrators and coaches don't cover up rapes and shield child molesters because they find no problem with rapes and child molesters. They do so to protect programs, keep revenue streams flowing and preserve a power structure that created success.

They do so to win. Baylor has settled

two civil cases involving alleged rape victims. But those are mere specks compared with the Title IX cases. In January, a lawsuit was filed claiming at least 52 "acts of rape" by no fewer than 31 players under Briles. It labeled the football program as having "the most widespread culture of sexual violence and abuse of women ever in a collegiate athletic program."

The most recent suit states that a woman was inebriated (and she believes drugged) when she was taken from a party to somebody's apartment. From "Jane Doe vs. Baylor University": "Plaintiff remembers lying on her back, unable to move and staring at glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling as the football players took turns raping her. Following the gang rape, Plaintiff remembers hearing the players yell 'Grab her phone! Delete my numbers and texts!'"

The suit paints a picture of a system where freshman players were hazed by having them bring females to parties to be drugged and assaulted. It goes on from there. Harassment from players. Threats. Unsympathetic counselors. Unresponsive football employees.

To its credit, Baylor cleaned house and plans to adopt 105 recommendations from the Pepper Hamilton investigation. But that's not enough.

The NCAA is gun-shy. While it decided against hitting Penn State with the "death penalty," it levied significant sanctions, including a four-year bowl ban, $60 million fine and reduction of scholarships. But those penalties were rolled back 14 months later amid the threat of legal challenges that it had overstepped its authority in matters pertaining to non-traditional infractions.

The NCAA has charged Louisville's basketball program with infractions stemming from an investigation that it provided prostitutes to recruits. But the NCAA is justifying that by calling those "impermissible benefits." Cute.

But that kind of dance shouldn't be necessary. I understand the NCAA is an overworked, dysfunctional outfit. There's no excuse for its investigation into academic fraud at North Carolina lasting this long without resolution.

But if college sports' primary body can slap a player or a program for a free warmup suit from an agent but won't come down on a program for something that really matters, what good is it?

Cover up players getting free shoes: probation.

Cover up players drugging and raping other students: silence.

Don't tell me that's what the NCAA is supposed to be here for.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 21, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Newsday, Inc.

Newsday (New York)

 

It's every softball pitcher's worst nightmare.

The ball — 12 inches in circumference and weighing nearly 7 ounces — jumps off the hitter's aluminum bat and heads directly at the face of the pitcher, who starts her windup 43 feet from home plate.

"There is no way of reacting," Central Islip High School sophomore pitcher Haley Lomax said.

Lomax, 15, was hit in the face with a line drive while pitching during a varsity softball game on April 27. She could not get her glove up or duck out of the way.

But she is among a growing number of high school softball players on Long Island and nationwide who are choosing to wear a protective face mask.

The ball ricocheted off Lomax's face mask and grazed the side of her head. She was initially startled, but Lomax was not injured and was able to continue pitching. If not for the face mask, Lomax is certain the damage would have been severe.

"I definitely would have lost a lot of teeth," she said. "I could have got really hurt."

The steel-rimmed masks resemble a football face mask but instead of being attached to a helmet, the mask is held in place by adjustable straps that wrap around the top and sides of a player's head. There is padding around the player's forehead and chin to absorb the impact of a blow.

The face masks are optional, but more and more pitchers — and even some infielders — are choosing to wear the equipment that was virtually nonexistent just a few years ago.

"When my daughter was younger and we'd watch the older girls play, I don't think anybody had masks," said Haley's father, Octavio Lomax, who coaches Little League softball. "Then over the years, you started to see them here and there.

"Now it's become like a piece of the uniform."

Concerns over head injuries

Players said they are wearing face masks to protect themselves from the serious injuries that result from getting hit in the face with a batted ball so close to home plate. There are no statistics available that show the number of players who get hit in the face on Long Island or nationwide, but experts say the incidents are rare.

Newsday and News 12 spoke to five Long Island girls who were hit in the face with a line drive while pitching, including two who were hit this season.

Players and their parents are concerned about the dangers of concussions. There has been increased awareness in all sports about the dangers of head injuries, but experts said there is no evidence to show that wearing a face mask would reduce the risk of suffering a concussion if struck with a batted ball.

There were 36 suspected concussions among the 3,335 girls playing high school softball on Long Island last year, or one for every 92.6 players, according to concussion reports obtained from more than 100 schools via Freedom of Information Law requests and sport-specific participation figures obtained from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, the state's governing body for public school sports.

Line drives to the face were just one of several scenarios that led to a concussion, according to injury descriptions listed on reports obtained by Newsday. Other incidents that led to suspected concussions included players getting hit in the head by a missed fly ball, errant throw or a bat, an on-field collision with another player or a fall to the ground.

Girls were more likely to suffer concussions in soccer (one per 40.7 players), basketball (one per 53.7 players) and lacrosse (one per 68.2 players) than they were in softball, according to numbers compiled by Newsday.

In a series of interviews with Newsday and News 12, parents, coaches, athletic directors and state athletic officials said the increased use of face masks in high school softball can be attributed to several key factors:

- Youth softball leagues across Long Island began mandating that pitchers wear face masks several years ago. Those players are now playing in high school and don't think twice about wearing them.

- Players say they wear face masks because they have been hit in the face by a line drive or they have seen another player get hit.

- There is a concern among coaches that aluminum bats are too lively, creating what is commonly referred to as "a trampoline effect" on the ball. Recent technological advancements have allowed manufacturers to produce bats that are lighter to swing yet more powerful.

- Parents have placed a greater emphasis on the importance of head protection because of increased awareness of the effects of head injuries and concussions.

Too close for comfort

While the basic rules of softball are the same as baseball - both games are played with a ball, bat, gloves and bases - there are distinct differences.

High school fast-pitch softball is a game played by girls in which pitchers stand 43 feet from the hitter and throw as hard as 60 mph using an underhand windmill motion. Baseball pitchers throw overhand and start their delivery 60 feet, 6 inches away from home plate.

Experts say a pitcher's reaction time is similar in both sports because baseball pitchers typically throw harder, but the softball pitcher's proximity to the hitter and the bigger, heavier ball has led to a push for more protection.

"By the time the pitcher strides and releases that ball, they can almost shake hands with the batters," said Octavio Lomax.

Lloyd Smith, a professor at Washington State University's Sports Science Laboratory, has studied the impact forces that are generated when softballs and the modern aluminum bats meet. He said a 70-mph batted ball speed — which represents some of the hardest hit balls on the high school level — would reach the pitcher in 0.375 seconds.

A recent trend

In high school softball, face masks were "unheard of" as recently as a decade ago, according to Carol Bruggeman, executive director of National Fastpitch Coaches Association, a nationwide industry group of coaches on all levels, including high school.

Now, at varsity softball games across Long Island, it has become common to see face masks being worn by the pitchers and infielders.

"A few years ago you were a pariah if you wore one of those face masks, because it was so odd looking," said Dennis McSweeney, Islip coach since 2007. "No one ever wants to be the only one wearing something. But now it's become the fabric of the game for so many players."

Lomax resisted wearing a face mask for years.

"I didn't want to look weird in front of people," she said.

Lomax said her thinking changed when she made the varsity team as a freshman and saw how hard the ball was being hit up the middle.

"My parents were bugging me for a while and then I finally said, 'I need to wear it,' " she said. "I just wanted to be safe."

Now her family has firsthand experience of their value.

"That $39.99 was the best money spent," her father said.

Better safe than sorry

Jessica Budrewicz, a 16-year-old MacArthur High School junior who is among the top pitchers on Long Island, said she has worn a face mask for as long she has played softball.

"My dad always wanted me to wear one," she said. "He always told me it's better to stay safe than sorry."

She has never been hit in the face, but a few years ago she was watching a college game on television and saw a pitcher get hit. She said the image on the screen of the bloody pitcher scared her.

"I was glad I wear one when I saw that," she said.

'It scared her'

Kat Fennell, a Westhampton High School junior, was hit in the head by a line drive during a junior-varsity game two years ago. She suffered a concussion and missed about a month of the season. The experience has stayed with her.

"I didn't know if I wanted to pitch or not after that," she said. "I continued to do it, but I feel like I lost a lot. I became more nervous pitching. I kind of gave up on pitching a little bit. Even though I still do it, I don't want to stay with it as much as I did before."

Her mother, Laura, pitched in college for Colorado State University and then St. John's University. She said she didn't like the idea of pitchers wearing face masks when she first started seeing them a few years back because masks gave players a false sense of security and de-emphasized proper techniques.

Then she saw her daughter get hit and changed her mind.

"I don't think I ever saw a ball come off the bat like it did when it came at her head," Laura Fennell said. "She got her glove up, but she got hit. But the girls really are bigger and stronger now, and the bats today are better.

"It scared her, it really did."

Fennell, 16, now wears a face mask when she pitches.

Focus on the bats

Even though the use of face masks has risen in recent years, experts do not expect them to be mandated on the high school level anytime soon.

The state Public High School Athletic Association debated mandating face masks two years ago, according to assistant director Todd Nelson. He said the discussion was spurred by reports of players getting hit in the head.

The group decided to not require the face masks because the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), which sets safety standards for most athletic equipment, has not developed any guidelines for face masks that do not have helmets attached to them, Nelson said.

Dawn Comstock, a University of Colorado epidemiology professor who has tracked high school sports injuries since 2005, said her injury surveillance data - which she receives from a group of 100 high schools across the country annually - shows that pitchers in softball are not sustaining head injuries at a greater rate than other positions.

Head and face injuries that required surgery represent only 1 percent of high school softball injuries since 2005, she said.

"What I don't understand is the fear that's driving the use of this," said Michael Oliver, NOCSAE's executive director. "I've watched literally thousands of games . . . and I've never seen a pitcher get hit with a batted ball."

Nelson said that instead of mandating face masks, the softball committee has placed a greater emphasis on ensuring that the bats being used are legal. An illegal bat regularly produces a batted ball speed greater than 98 miles per hour during the certification testing process by USA Softball, the sport's national governing body. That threshold was set in 2004.

Before every game umpires are required to check each team's bats to make sure none of them match one of the 47 bats on the USA Softball list of "nonapproved" bats.

"I don't think there's enough data to say that a face mask would protect a kid in the event of a catastrophic injury," said Jim Wright, Whitman High School athletic director and Suffolk County softball coordinator. "It's about the bats. It's not about anything else but the bats."

No time to react

Macy Kane, a senior pitcher at Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, was hit in the face last month and described what she remembers seeing as "a blob of yellow coming at my face." All she could do was turn her head.

"I didn't know what else to do, the ball was coming so quick," she said.

When the ball ricocheted off her left cheek, Kane instantly dropped to the ground and covered her face. Teammates and coaches surrounded her, asking where she got hit.

Somehow, Kane was OK. It just grazed her cheek, she said. She even persuaded her coach to let her stay in the game. Days later she barely had any swelling or bruising.

"I definitely know I was lucky," she said.

Macy said she will start wearing a face mask, but not until she starts playing in college.

Only 19 months ago, Macy's older sister, Brooke, also was struck in the head by a softball while she was pitching for Monroe College in the Bronx. But Brooke's experience was far different from Macy's.

The line drive hit her on the upper left side of her face. She was knocked unconscious and broke two bones in her ankle on her fall.

When she regained consciousness moments later, she was asked if she knew her name. Macy said Brooke gave her roommate's name.

"That could have happened," Brooke said. "I honestly don't remember."

Her concussion symptoms lasted for weeks. Her ankle rehab took months. She didn't play softball for nearly a year. At first she didn't know if she even wanted to pitch again.

When Brooke finally did return to the mound last fall, she wore a face mask — something she wanted no part of before getting hit because it was "uncomfortable. I didn't like it and when I was in high school not a lot of people wore it."

"I'm not playing if I don't wear that now," she said. "Just because you can't even see the ball coming at you sometimes."

She said she still flinches when a ball is hit back at her. She said that if she wore a face mask during the game she was hit, there's no way she would have been hurt as severely.

"I still would have been scared and all, but it wouldn't have taken me out a year like it did," she said.

Their mother, Christina, thinks face masks should be mandatory for softball pitchers at all levels. Brooke agrees.

"All it takes," Brooke said, "is that one unlucky hit."

Softball pitching numbers

- 43 feet The distance between the pitcher and home plate in softball. After releasing the pitch, the pitcher will often be three to five feet closer.

- 60 mph The speed at which some of the top high school pitchers can throw the ball.

- 70 mph The speed at which some of the hardest hit balls come off the bat at the high school level.

- 0.375 seconds The time it takes a batted ball traveling at 70 mph to reach the pitcher.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter


 
May 21, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

CHICAGO — Heavy seniors who want to lose pounds safely shouldn't skip the weight machines or the treadmill, new research suggests.

Experts have worried about recommending weight loss to older, obese people because it speeds up bone and muscle loss, increasing the danger of falls and broken bones. Losing weight plus aerobic activity and strength training improved their health more than dieting plus either type of exercise alone.

The results suggest a combination of exercises is the safest approach, and may have big implications for helping people continue to live independently as they age. Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program for people 65 and older, now covers behavioral therapy for weight loss and some plans offer gym memberships.

"It is the worst of both worlds, being fat and frail," said Dr. Dennis T. Villareal of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who led the study under a grant from the National Institute on Aging.

More than a third of Americans ages 65 and older are obese. Obesity can make the elderly vulnerable to medical problems, but losing weight can worsen frailty by hastening muscle and bone loss.

The study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 141 older obese people who were randomly assigned to a diet-and-exercise program. They scored in the frail range on a standard test used with seniors.

One group did aerobics such as treadmill walking. Another did strength training with weight machines. A third group did aerobics and strength training. All exercised three times a week.

A control group didn't diet or exercise and only attended monthly nutrition classes.

After six months, all the groups — except the do-nothing group — had lost weight, about 19 pounds on average.

The combination and aerobics-only groups built their ability to use oxygen most efficiently, which can increase endurance. The combination and strength-only groups preserved the most lean mass and bone.

Most improved was the combination group with a 21 percent average increase in scores compared to 14 percent improvement in the aerobics-only and strength-only groups."It's never too late to change lifelong unhealthy habits," Villareal said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 21, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

Dennis Lindsey only felt like he'd been living in a construction zone.

Five years ago, the Utah Jazz general manager took a metaphorical wrecking ball to his team's roster and has been rebuilding it ever since.

This past week, however, Lindsey donned an actual hard hat and safety goggles as he surveyed the work on the building he considers crucial to the next step of the franchise's evolution.

"We want the most elite training facility in professional sports," he said. "We have to be great at development."

While crews begin their $125 million overhaul of Vivint Smart Home Arena downtown, the Jazz's practice facility on Salt Lake City's west side is undergoing a dramatic renovation of its own. It's not much to look at now, just a stripped down and dust-covered former office space. But come September, the Jazz expect their practice space to have doubled in size, transformed into what team officials have called a "state-of-the-art basketball campus."

"The growth process for us as a team, as an organization is one that's exciting," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said recently at the Zions Bank Basketball Center. "There's just a unified vision of where we want to go. You can look around and see that demonstrated in any number of ways."

And for a coach that has hung his hat on player development — turning Gordon Hayward into an All-Star and Rudy Gobert into an All-NBA center — the expansion of the training center is perhaps foremost among them.

"This is, in our minds, going to be the pre-eminent performance center in the league," Snyder said. "We want that because that's the best way for our guys to get better. That's what we've been about."

One afternoon last week, the walls were bare and wires hung from the ceiling in the room that will soon house the franchise's business enterprises, putting the Jazz's marketing, corporate sponsorship and corporate ticketing operations under the same roof. Meanwhile, a man in a backhoe was busy digging a 10-foot hole that will one day soon be the Jazz's hydrotherapy area, complete with an underwater treadmill to help players rehabilitate after injuries. (And if you've followed the Jazz in recent seasons, you are painfully aware of how important that could be.)

Jazz officials believe the new expanded facility will streamline business operations, while also improving flow for players. The athletes will soon be able to go from a new covered parking area to a coat drop, then straight into a rebuilt locker room.

As the Jazz expand into the space formerly occupied by Prestige Financial, the facility will nearly double in size, to about 90,000 square feet. The area for sports science will nearly triple in size, officials said, incorporating more of the technology the team has co-opted from its collaborations with the P3 training facility in Santa Barbara, Calif. Their strength training space will now be the largest among the NBA's 30 teams, Lindsey said.

Most of the team's current practice space will remain untouched as the front office conducts pre-draft workouts. Once the draft is over, demolition and construction will begin there, too, as crews build new offices and film rooms for Snyder and his coaching staff.

Other features include a living area and gaming lounge, as well as a full-service kitchen and dining area.

"We need to keep pushing ourselves to be better and to grow," Jazz president Steve Starks said of the renovated facilities. "I think that's attractive to players. Players that are with us and future players. Guys want to see that. They want to see that we're making that commitment."

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 22, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.
Copyright 2017 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 Valley News May 20, 2017

Valley News; White River Junction, Vt.

 

Wells River, Vt. — The Blue Mountain Union High schedule called for a baseball and softball visit from neighboring Oxbow on Friday. Instead, both teams were forced to confront an unbearable dilemma.

A curious, and perhaps hungry, bear cub stalking the Blue Mountain high school athletic fields on Friday afternoon had players and fans alike seeking indoor shelter.

School officials eventually canceled the contests after the unexpected visitor appeared a second time after delaying the games' first pitches.

"We made history," Oxbow baseball coach Shawn French said in a phone interview. "It's certainly nothing I've ever seen before. We shooed it away, but he came back. It's definitely a first."

The bear had been camped out around Blue Mountain for the last few days, according to French.

School recess was canceled on Thursday because of the bear's proximity to the school, and recess was cut short again on Friday as the bear remained in the area.

Friday's Oxbow-BMU baseball game did start after a 30-minute delay when the bear seemed to have retreated.

Before the softball contest could get underway, however, the bear returned and made its way into one of the softball dugouts with seemingly no intention of leaving the scene.

Because of the schools' congested schedules, both will have to bear with not rescheduling Friday's games.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 21, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Buffalo News
All Rights Reserved

The Buffalo News (New York)

 

Nike, a company whose brand is estimated to be worth $27 billion, understands the difference that apparel can make to an athlete. And like any successful business, it knows that the world is full of potential customers. So in its latest market expansion, the brand has turned to the Middle East, where female athletes have begun to come into their own over the last few years.

Related: Nike Releases Hijab Line for Female Muslim Athletes

In March, Nike announced it would release a Pro Hijab for female Muslim athletes in spring 2018. The hijab, which is expected to cost $35, is made of a lightweight, stretchy mesh polyester and will come in gray, black and obsidian. Through several stages of development, the product was tested by a group that included Zahra Lari, the first figure skater from the United Arab Emirates to compete internationally; Manal Rostom, a runner and triathlete living in Dubai; and Amna Al Haddad, an Olympic weightlifter from the UAE.

The move followed Nike's release of an Arabic version of its Nike & Training Club app early last year and the beginning of a campaign featuring five female athletes from the Arab region with the tagline "What will they say about you?" last month.

"There weren't any hijabi athletes to look up to when I was growing up, and I had to be my own pioneer, and now girls today have women like Amna Al Haddad and Zahra Lari to look to as role models, which is so inspiring," Rostom wrote over WhatsApp. "For young girls to see these women and to see this revolutionary shift will change the face of sport for Muslim Arab girls, whether they wear a hijab or not."

Female athletes in the Middle East are a young but growing group. In the 2012 Summer Games, Brunei, Qatar and Saudi Arabia became the last three countries competing at the Olympics to send women. That same year, Egypt's contingent had 37 women, the highest number since it entered the Games in 1912.

The presence of hijabi-wearing athletes such as boxer Arifa Bseiso, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad (who became the first hijabi American to compete at the Olympics for the United States last year) and triathlete Najla Al Jeraiwi has become increasingly common at international competitions. But it was only in 2014 that FIFA, the international soccer organization, lifted its ban on religious headgear. This month, The basketball organization FIBA voted to overturn its ban on religious head coverings.

Beyond bans, there is the issue of comfort. Female Muslim athletes have struggled with finding headgear that will not slow them down or distract them from arduous physical exercise. It was Haddad's difficulty in acquiring a hijab that met her requirements for competition — namely, that it would not shift when she moved and that it would be more breathable — that inspired the Pro Hijab project.

Rostom explained that she usually buys a special two-piece hijab in Kuwait that is made with polyester and cotton. "Cotton is extremely uncomfortable, especially if you are training outdoors or if you are running long distances, and especially when we live in one the hottest countries in the world," she said.

There are companies that manufacture sport-specific hijabs, such as Capsters in the Netherlands and Friniggi in Botswana, but none with the global reach of Nike.

"For us, we come up with ideas, and ways to be comfortable in what we wear, but to have the No. 1 sport and fitness brand in the world facilitate this process for us?" Rostom wrote. "To provide something we can grab and wear in 10 seconds? It's going to change everything."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 20, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 SCRIPPS Howard Publications
All Rights Reserved

Corpus Christi Caller-Times

 

The percentage of children ages six to 12 who were physically active three or more times a week had its biggest drop in five years and is now less than 25%, new data show.

Making matters worse, households with incomes less than $50,000 have much higher rates of inactivity than families making more than $75,000 annually, an analysis by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association and PHIT America found. In fact, low-income Americans are getting more inactive while high-income Americans are becoming more active.

The level of inactivity increased from about 33% in 2012 to nearly 37% in 2016 for families making less than $50,000 per year. Meanwhile, inactivity levels for those earning more than $75,000 dropped from 22% to nearly 19%.

"This is very concerning at several levels (with) long-term implications for societal costs, including health care, but in my view it's basically a moral issue," says Tom Cove, CEO of the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. "There is no reason lower income people in America should be more inactive than others."

Jim Baugh, a former president of Wilson Sporting Goods and founder of the non-profit PHIT America, analyzes the Physical Activity Council's data every year to glean the trends beyond team sports. The increase in inactivity among young people is what he calls the "health care time bomb."

Children who have physical education (PE) in school are two to three times more likely to be active outside of school, Baugh found.

"PE is the grassroots program for all activity in America," Baugh says. "It's the real solution to the health care crisis."

Former National Football League players Herschel Walker and Roman Oben were doing their part recently on Capitol Hill to lobby for legislation that would give adults and children a

financial incentive to be more active. The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act would allow the use of "Pre-Tax Medical Accounts" to pay for physical activity expenses for adults or children.

Walker, 55, won the Heisman Trophy as college football's best player in 1982 and was a member of the 1992 Winter Olympics two-man bobsled team. Oben, 44, played offensive tackle 11 seasons for four NFL teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won Super Bowl XXXVII.

Walker is a business owner, whose holdings include chicken processing plants. Oben is the NFL's director of youth and high school football. They answered questions about diet and fitness, especially for young people.

Q When should young people start trying to get healthy?

Walker: I started in high school doing 750 push-ups and 2,000 sit-ups a day. I didn't bother with the weights. I still don't. So I'd say start as early as you can.

Oben: Playing football (in high school and college), you go through training from an early age. You don't go through all that hard work to make poor health decisions later in life. So health decisions are a habit you get into. Good habits are important.

Q How do you stay fit?

Walker: I expect this is different from what you will normally hear, but this is me: I eat one full meal a day, usually just at dinner time. I may have some soup, salad and bread, and that just works for me, along with my pushups and sit-ups. I've been doing this for a long time and no complaints.

Oben: I played (in the NFL) at about 305 pounds. I am about 6-foot-4. I try to watch what I eat, and if there's something I want that I know may not be good I look for a healthy substitute. And I try to ride the exercise bike for about half an hour each day. That burns calories and helps the heart rate. But it's tough. I'm at about 280 now. I'm trying to get down to my "prom weight."

Q How should a young person choose the best approach?

Walker: You have to find what's best and works for you. Everybody, and every body, is different. So you may have to experiment. For instance, I'm always interested in finding alternatives to red meat. You can really do a lot with chicken, if you don't get stuck on having it one way, like fried, all the time. There are plenty of alternatives to candy, like fruit. So always keep your eyes open for healthy options.

Oben: You'd be surprised what you can do in everyday life that will help you stay active and get fitter or stay fit. You can walk to the store instead of driving. Bike for a longer distance instead of a car. If you see a game of pickup basketball, you can jump in.

Q Any tips that might

surprise high school students looking to get fit or stay in shape?

Walker: Sleep is very important and often overlooked.

Oben: Eight hours of sleep a night is my goal. I find that that keeps my mind clear throughout the day, helps me focus, get done what needs doing. It may take some discipline, especially when you are young. But here's a tip: turn your phone off! Give your mind a break.

Q How should young people reach and maintain their best weight?

Walker: Doing anything other than sitting around is better for your body. Getting some exercise like playing a sport with your friends will help you get to the weight you want.

Oben: The best resource is their schools. They are in schools most of the day and some students get two of their meals there, so trying to (get) their schools to have healthier food options and trying to get physical education back will help them maintain and reach the weight they want.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 20, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

Wright State is eliminating its men's and women's swimming and diving teams as part of the $30.3 million in budget cuts announced at the university board of trustees meeting Friday morning.

The move is expected to save approximately $500,000 annually in scholarships, salaries, travel and facility maintenance. The university will honor the scholarships of any of the 38 swimmers and divers who elect to remain to finish their degrees and coach Kyle Oaks' contract, which runs through March 2018.

"You don't want to do these type of things," Wright State athletic director Bob Grant said. "It's a day you hope never comes. It's painful. It literally makes me sick to my stomach. But when you've got to make these kind of cuts, you've got to be pragmatic about it.

"It's been literally weeks and weeks of ongoing conversations," Grant continued. "Almost from the time Dr. (Curtis) McCray came on board as the interim president, we've talked about any kind of cost-cutting measures. And they're having those conversations with everyone on campus. The budget crisis is real, and I think everyone on campus has taken very seriously the thought that we're going to have to do what's best for the long-term success of the university."

Despite the elimination of swimming and diving, the proposed 2018 budget shows an increase of $1.6 million in funding for the athletics budget.

Grant informed Oaks of the decision Thursday, and Oaks planned to inform the athletes, many of whom have returned home for summer break, Friday morning. Grant also mailed letters to the student-athletes affected.

"It will be hard for them to see this and read this, but we're here for them," he said. "Some will want to transfer, and some won't. We want what's best for them. If they want to stay and not swim and finish their degree, we're going to support the heck out of them. If they want to continue their swimming career and their education someplace else, we're going to help like crazy with that.

"These are wonderful student-athletes," Grant continued. "They're terrific ambassadors for the university. I care about them personally very much, which makes this very, very difficult."

The men's and women's swimming and diving programs have been in existence since 1974, and have competed at the Division I level since 1987. They have combined to win 18 conference championships along with 228 individual and 77 relay titles.

Oaks has coached the men's and women's programs since 2013.

"I think the world of him," Grant said. "He's a first-class individual. He represents us well. I'm personally very, very fond of him, so this was a very painful conversation."

The Raiders have competed at the WSU Natatorium since the program was founded, and the condition of that 44-year-old facility weighed heavy in the decision to cut the swimming and diving programs.

"Our facilities for the most part are wonderful, but any kind of long-term strategic plan we've ever done, we can't seem to find any way to provide a championship-caliber facility for swimming and diving," Grant said. "A new facility would cost millions and millions of dollars, and in our current situation that's not possible."

Eliminating swimming and diving drops WSU to the minimum threshold of 14 intercollegiate sports to remain a Division I program.

Contact this reporter at 513-820-2193 or email Jay.Morrison@coxinc.com.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 20, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Post and Courier
All Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

 

Coastal Carolina University will take no more action against its cheerleading squad after it suspended the team over anonymous allegations of prostitution, drug use and cheating, the Conway school said Friday.

A campus police investigation was formally closed Wednesday without any significant developments since officials in March took swift action against the team, preventing its members from participating in a national competition.

An investigator tracked down the anonymous accuser, but he would not provide more details to further the probe, the police said.

An attorney for some of the cheerleaders said earlier this spring the punishment was harsh and hasty, considering the limited evidence of illegal activity that left most of the claims unsubstantiated. The ordeal brought national notoriety to the young women and the college.

Coastal President David DeCenzo said Friday the school was obligated to take the action.

Related: Coastal Carolina Grapples with Cheerleading Scand

"The university has thoroughly investigated this matter, taking into consideration the mission of the institution and our No. 1 priority and obligation to protect the safety and well-being of our students," DeCenzo said in a statement. "As a public institution with a code of ethical conduct and as a public agency entrusted with public funds, we have a duty to investigate serious allegations. We had no choice."

The Chanticleers cheerleaders are expected to return for the upcoming sports season, with annual tryouts scheduled for late July. A coach will be hired before then, school spokesman William Plate said.

Beyond releasing a one-page supplement to an investigative report, Plate said the university had no further information on the episode and would not answer questions about it.

The accusations emerged through a letter to school officials from someone who considered himself a concerned parent. It alleged some cheerleaders were paying other students to do their homework, using phony identification to get alcohol, buying drinks for underage cheerleaders, posting half-naked pictures on social media, working at strip clubs and being paid for sex.

Investigators gathered text messages between current and former team members who spoke of being paid hundreds of dollars to go on dates with "sugar daddies." Several others also took part or knew about the escort service, but they insisted that it didn't involve sex.

Amy Lawrence, a Myrtle Beach attorney for five cheerleaders, said the university's handling of the episode showed poor treatment of women and a double standard for men facing misconduct allegations.

"Coastal Carolina has chosen again to make a knee-jerk reaction when faced with the fact that they have made the wrong decision," Lawrence said last month. "There has been no evidence or proof of hazing, prostitution, drug use, homework for pay or any other of the accusations made by a nameless coward."

In the brief document that the police filed Wednesday, an investigator spoke of interviewing all the cheerleaders and their coach, resulting in the identification of the letter writer. But the man "refused to be interviewed," the investigator said in the paperwork.

"Unless and until further information is obtained," the document stated, "this case will be administratively closed."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 19, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dolan Media Newswires
All Rights Reserved
 
Central Penn Business Journal 2016

 

The Florida-based fitness chain's studios offer 60-minute workout sessions that are divided into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training.

Franchise locations have been popping up all over the country, including in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas. The Harrisburg-area studio will be the first in the central part of Pennsylvania, but locations already are in the works for the Camp Hill and State College areas in 2018, company officials said.

Construction at High Pointe began this week and the facility is expected to open by mid-to-late July. popping up all over the country tied to the company's monthly membership plans have already launched.

The fitness chain has the support of television sports reporter Erin Andrews, according to the popping up all over the country. It also is the official fitness center of the New York Yankees.

View the full article from Central Penn Business Journal at popping up all over the country. Copyright © 2017 BridgeTower Media. All Rights Reserved.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 25, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

No one can accuse Ria De Kruyf of failing to dream big. Real big. Like to the tune of $3 million to $5 million big.

De Kruyf, the new athletic director at Tierra Encantada charter school and former girls soccer coach at Capital High School, wants to build a facility large enough to house two full-size soccer fields — about 185 feet by 85 feet — as well as a smaller, youth field.

"That is my dream and always has been," she said.

When coaching the lady Jaguars, it was difficult to find practice space, De Kruyf said, especially during exceptionally hot or inclement weather.

"We barely had any space to practice on or to play on," she said. "Every building is occupied for basketball and volleyball. I personally like indoor very much."

She said she needs about five acres, preferably on the south of Santa Fe, outside the city limits, to properly house the 48,000-square-foot facility.

De Kruyf has already been in contact with Pinnacle Indoor Sports, a Prescott, Ariz.-based company that specializes in such buildings, and has determined that costs would be between $3 million and $5 million. That doesn't factor in cost for land, which she is hoping to have donated.

As a matter of fact, De Kruyf is looking to have the entire project develop through a grassroots fundraising effort.

"I've been planning on doing a business plan, but I haven't had the time yet," she said. "The company that builds the indoor pavilions (Pinnacle) does them, but they wanted more than $8,000. I've met with community leaders, the president of the outdoor soccer league, lobbyists and other people who are influential at some point."

De Kruyf knows it's going take a mighty effort from the community to get the project rolling and is hoping that a small start will snowball toward reality.

"I'm hoping to get momentum," she said. "People are waiting to see what's happening. I would love to have people on board helping with the fundraising, connecting out to the community."

The grassroots effort could take as much as three to five years, but De Kruyf said she's determined to see it through.

"I started a website," she said (myroadrunnersoccerpavilion.com). "Hopefully that will really get people started thinking of or donating. It's all to an account, at Century Bank. Hopefully we can get into some people who really want to start fundraising."

With grass at a premium and turf tough to find, the facility she envisions could be used around the clock in all seasons for soccer as well as other sports like lacrosse, rugby and field hockey.

"We need more facilities, especially indoor," De Kruyf said, noting efforts to build additional outdoor fields in the city have been stalled for years. "All the fields in Santa Fe are always occupied. It's always overbooked. I want to get those kids running. I want to get adult leagues in there. Get that thing going nonstop."

The desire is there in the community for just such a facility, she said.

"One of the reasons I'm so passionate about it is I see kids jumping fences just to play soccer on fields," De Kruyf said. "These kids have to play and it's a constant fight over a place to play."

So one way or another, she's determined to make this happen.

"I am not in a hurry," De Kruyf said. "But it is my passion."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 19, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County will not provide a large infusion of money for major renovations to Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena because officials said they will not sell bonds backed by the sin tax.

Instead the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians, along with the Cleveland Browns, will likely split about $7.5 million each year raised by Cuyahoga County taxes on alcohol and cigarettes.

The money won't go far, according to five-year wish lists recently submitted by the Cavs and Indians to the nonprofit Gateway Economic Development Corp, which owns the arena and stadium and enforces the team leases on behalf of the county.

The Indians, for example, want $8.5 million to replace all the seats. The Cavs want $17.7 million to replace the heating, cooling and ventilation systems.

In the past the Cavs have fronted the cost of some sin tax projects and have been reimbursed, which would be an option for that team and the Indians if large sums of sin tax funds are not available, Gateway officials said.

According to the leases, Gateway is responsible for all single repairs or upgrades that cost $500,000 or more.

What happened with the tax funds?

Voters approved the county's latest 20-year tax on alcohol and cigarettes in 2014. The sin tax generates about $15 million a year.

As an advance on the tax, the county in fall 2015 sold $60 million in bonds to finance repairs and upgrades to Progressive Field and the Q, including a new scoreboard for the Indians and a new roof for the Cavs.

Now, about $7 million of sin tax revenues annually goes toward paying the interest and principal on the 10-year bonds.

What money is left?

Todd Greathouse, Gateway's executive director, said about $1.5 million is currently available for capital repairs.

"The well is almost dry and the projects may not go forward unless they self-fund them," Greathouse said.

The Browns, Cavs and Indians now share revenues from the sin tax after a plan approved by Cuyahoga County Council in 2016.

The city of Cleveland, which owns FirstEnergy Stadium, agreed in August 2016 to invest about $10 million there. The Browns, via the city, have requested $23.7 million in sin tax revenue to repair FirstEnergy Stadium over the next 10 years.

The Indians requested their $782,000 toward the $1.2 million cost for suite renovations. The remainder came from savings from other sin tax-funded projects.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 19, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

Some icky news just in time for pool season: Reports of diarrhea outbreaks linked to cryptosporidiosis parasites in pools and water parks increased at least two-fold in two years, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The parasite, called crypto for short and spread through human feces, caused at least 32 outbreaks in 24 states in 2016, compared with 16 nationwide in 2014, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Final numbers for 2016, along with 2015 numbers, will come in a later report, but "we expect them to go up," said Michele Hlavsa, head of CDC's healthy swimming program.

It is possible the increase is linked to better reporting, but it is also possible the problem is becoming more common, Hlavsa said.

From ABDozens of Crypto Cases Linked to Water Parks, Pools

Total cases reported to CDC have increased from about 1 in 100,000 in the early 1990s to about four in 100,000 in recent years, she said. That means an average of 8,000 people a year suffer through up to three weeks of watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and sometimes vomiting - most often because they swallowed contaminated pool water.

Big outbreaks in 2016 included one in Arizona that sickened an entire Little League team and a cluster of outbreaks in Ohio that started in a water park and spread to nearby pools, contributing to nearly 2,000 cases statewide, adding to details published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

But do not be too quick to blame pool operators, Hlavsa said. Unlike other bugs that sometimes spread in pools, crypto is not quickly killed by chlorine. It can survive for up to 10 days, even in well-treated pools. As a result, it is the leading cause of illness linked to swimming facilities.

From ABSeven Steps to Ensure Proper Pool Water Quality

"This is a really tough bug to kill once it gets in the water," Hlavsa said. When an outbreak is detected, operators have to close their pools and treat them with levels of chlorine that would not be safe for swimmers.

So how does the bug get in the water? It hitches a ride in poop - which is found in ahigh number of pools, at least half, according to a previous CDC study. And a lot of that excrement is coming off the bottoms of kids under age 5. One study suggested a park pool with 1,000 unwashed preschoolers could contain 22 pounds of fecal matter, Hlavsa said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 19, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

 

Collin took his swim jersey off for the first time and headed to the starting blocks. His small frame towered above the water as he took his mark. This was his first swim without his swim shirt - this was also his first competitive event.

For the last two weeks Collin has been up at 4 a.m. pacing back and forth in his room, worried about this moment.

He finished the race, hopped out and marched confidently to high fives from his coach, teammates and parents. Then he smiled. Collin is autistic.

Collin's parents are like many in our region: aware of the risks that swimming pools and bodies of water present for their children. Ninety-one percent of deaths among children with autism, as a result of wandering, are caused by drowning.

USA Swimming and the University of Memphis learned more about swimming in 2010 and reported that 70 percent of our minority communities in America and 66 percent of children with limited financial means are not learning how to swim.

Minorities drown at rates five times that of the rest of the population and children who do not start the process of learning to swim by the third grade likely never will. Sadly, African Americans have been denied opportunities to learn to swim due to nearly nonexistent access to pools and swimming lessons. For more than half of the 20th century, it was illegal in Virginia for African Americans to swim in pools for whites only.

***

Five years ago, SwimRVA was born as the Richmond region's aquatics advocate. The mission is to ensure our residents have equitable access to aquatics.

On April 17, 2012, the Collegiate School Aquatics Center (CSAC), owned and operated by SwimRVA, was commissioned for service to the region. Today it realizes over $5 million a year in sports tourism. The facility is a centerpiece of SwimRVA's goals to elevate aquatics in RVA by serving as a catalyst for a community-wide focus on water safety, health and fitness, competitive swimming, and sports tourism.

While working on each of these, we have uncovered incredible opportunities that will enhance the quality of life and strengthen neighborhoods all over the Richmond region through collaboration.

The aquatics community has begun a process of cooperation in a few key areas. The YMCA of Greater Richmond and SwimRVA are providing cost-free learn-to-swim programs for area second graders at 52 of the metro area's 138 elementary schools as part of the Drownproof Richmond Initiative.

The goal is to reach every child by the year 2020. To deploy the regional initiative, SwimRVA partners with Virginia State University, the city of Richmond, and the Hopewell Community Center to reach children in their communities.

Eight of our region's nine school districts are actively participating and sharing a collaborative story. To reach the remaining 86 schools, though, SwimRVA and the YMCA will need support from other organizations for access and, in some cases, new aquatics infrastructure.

***

Four years ago, our three biggest school districts had no high school swim teams, except one at Maggie Walker Governor's School. Today, Chesterfield and Henrico see more than 650 students participate on high school swimming teams because of the united advocacy of parents and USA Swimming Club programs.

The Afterschool Alliance reminds us that the hours between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. are the most vulnerable for teen victimization. High school swimming teams are helping our region stay safe and contribute to the health and well-being of our students. While this progress has been quick and fantastic, we have work to do. We are still missing high school swimming programs in some of our most vulnerable areas.

Swimming pools are big ideas and change agents that serve a community across the age and ability spectrum, and have for decades.

In 1971, the Salvation Army moved the Red Shield Boys Club from Church Hill's 28th Street to its current location at 3701 R Street and was renamed the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club and Neighborhood Center. The facility boasted a pool donated by the E. Claiborne Robins family. Forty years later the pool was no longer usable. SwimRVA teamed up with the Salvation Army to raise $4 million of support from the community, and a newly renovated aquatics center will open this fall to serve the Church Hill community for another 40 years.

Through unique and powerful public-private partnerships our region can realize spaces that are more than just swimming pools. Spaces that can serve students, families, and seniors from every background imaginable for tutoring, communicating, meeting, laughing, exercising, and competing.

Many of you have a positive aquatics story. Is it your grandmother who used water aerobics to recover from hip replacement surgery? Or maybe it is your son who received an athletic scholarship to compete for your alma mater. Perhaps it is your neighbor who fights obesity by staying active in a gravity-free, pain-free, environment.

Too often, however, our aquatic story is one of deficits. Even worse, yours may be a story of loss to the No. 2 leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 14.

Our region, like many others, is healing from bad policies of the past. We are collaborating and creating a new and positive aquatics story. Swimming pools are creating space for Collin, your grandmother, your son and your neighbor to enrich one another's lives and keep RVA active.

Jeff Wiltse said it well in his 2007 book "Contested Waters": "(Swimming pools) offer an informal social space - a meeting ground - where people separated by social differences, large yards and high fences, busy lives, and electronic entertainment can interact and communicate face to face. Municipal pools can humanize relationships between people. They enable the sustained and unhurried interaction necessary for members of a community to meet, forge bonds of friendship, and develop a sense of shared interest and identity."

Swimming pools are more than water and concrete, they are part of the new collaborative fabric that is our RVA.

Adam Kennedy is the executive director of SwimRVA and a tireless advocate for inclusion and opportunity through aquatics. When not wet, he finds every opportunity to talk about the positive energy and spirit that is our Richmond.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
Collin, now a confident swimmer, dives deep at a local pool. Family photo Collin, now a confident swimmer, dives deep at a local pool. Family photo
 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Star Tribune
All Rights Reserved

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

 

The Vikings have been holding training camp in Mankato since 1965, and are under contract with MSU Mankato to continue doing so until 2018. But after unveiling their new Twin Cities Orthopedic Center and "Viking Lakes" complex Wednesday, it's clear the team has the space and facilities to host future training camps in Eagan.

"No final decisions have been made on training camp but once those decisions have been made and finalized we'll let you know, of course," team owner Mark Wilf said at a news conference. "But we've had a great relationship with Mankato for 50-plus years, and we respect them a great deal."

Wilf and the Vikings staff have been touting the impressive nature of their new practice facility and team headquarters, and it's easy to see why. They will have four outdoor practice fields, a 6,000-seat stadium that can expand to 10,000 seats and new administrative offices.

The total project - which will feature retail shops and other ventures - figures to be about 200 acres when completed.

By comparison, the Dallas Cowboys recently opened their state-of-the-art practice complex in Frisco, Texas, and it was heralded as the best facility in the NFL. It cost them $1.5 billion to build and featured a 12,000-seat indoor stadium on only 91 acres.

The Vikings won't say how much their new property will cost, but if the Dallas site is any comparison, it's obvious the Wilf family has made a major investment. But with Forbes magazine's estimate of the value of the franchise in September of 2016 at $2.2 billion - up $600 million (or 38 percent) from the year before - it's clear they can afford it.

"We do have a lot of confidence in our organization and our executive team in executing a vision of what is really making the Minnesota Vikings into a first-class, world-class organization," Wilf said. "We started last year with the opening of U.S. Bank Stadium and now with this Twin Cities Orthopedic Performance Center, it's going to be state of the art as well. We're very excited."

Wilf was asked if the team used any other facilities as a model in the design phase of the project.

"We visited all types of facilities - internationally, college, professional, all different aspects - and we've tried to incorporate the best of all the different places we've visited," he said. "And we have great firms that are helping us build this and create a vision."

More competitive?

Does the new practice facility give the Vikings a better chance to build a winning franchise?

"We hope so," Wilf said. "We're going to give our players the best possible environment to succeed and there's going to be a lot of modernization and upgrades to the space. It's going to be critical. It's a very competitive environment in the NFL, and ultimately our goal is to win championships, so hopefully this will get us there."

So does he think they are building the best practice facility in the NFL?

"We do think so," he said. "We can't wait to be here in March and open it up for our players and for our fans to be able to experience the great Vikings tradition and hopefully build greatness and win championships."

Super Bowl planning

As the Vikings unveiled their new practice facility, they were also deep in their planning to host Super Bowl LII next Feb. 4 - right around the time their new facility is opened.

Wilf said that everything around the Super Bowl preparation is going well, but is also very involved.

"It's a lot of work to host, but Maureen [Bausch, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee's chief executive officer] and the host committee are doing an outstanding job," Wilf said. "We have great corporate support and we know Minnesotans have embraced it. We had 10,000-plus volunteers sign up within the first few days of announcing it. It's going to be a fantastic week to 10 days and a lot of great legacy programs for the community, a lot of great events, and hopefully be a great game. And even better, hopefully, the Minnesota Vikings will be in the game and winning it."

Warren talks costs

Kevin Warren, the Vikings' chief operating officer, said while the team remains uncertain of the total cost of the practice facility, ownership was mostly focused on putting together something positive for the Twin Cities.

"As far as the overall development, it will be a major investment... the Wilfs have decided to do to put their own personal money in to make sure they bring an iconic venue to Eagan and the Twin Cities," Warren said.

He was asked about the overall goal of the project.

"One thing we're trying to do here is to create a development, as the Wilfs said from the day that they bought the team, to be able to pull in the community... to host major events," Warren said. "But bigger than that, to bring all of our employees - we're in five different offices now - under one roof. The most important thing is to develop an iconic practice facility to create the best environment for our players, coaches and staff to work together.

"Right now we're in five different locations, and so it has become increasingly more difficult to kind of work together to get synergies. But with this building, everybody will be here and we'll have a Vikings campus."

Sid Hartman can be heard Monday and Friday on 830-AM at 8:40 a.m., Friday at 2 p.m. with Chad Hartman and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 18, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The New York Observer, L.P.
All Rights Reserved

New York Observer

 

It's no longer acceptable for an exclusive hotel to simply host a slew of sad treadmills in the dingy basement. Now, hotel gyms are taking over as the vacation destination. After all, those truly dedicated to their gluten-free, all-organic lifestyles won't give it all up for an indulgent weekend. Whether gyms are undergoing makeovers true to their location, or places are adding SoulCycle and CrossFit classes, these fitness experiences are far more intense than an exercise bike left unattended.

One luxury hotel overhauling their workout space is Le Méridien, starting in New Orleans. Brooklyn-based designer Dan Funderburgh created custom wallpapers, and George Fleck, VP of Global Brand Management oversaw the redesign of the gyms, focusing on small details. In the New Orleans locale that meant custom toile and vintage boxing gloves.

The detailed décor isn't all that sets the space apart-the gyms also have flattering lighting, inspired by Gropius's Bauhaus Dessau fixtures. "We implement pendant lights that bring in additional materiality to the space, as well as playful pops of color," Fleck said.

"So many hotel gyms around the world are dark spaces with mirrored walls. It seems that design is an afterthought," Funderburgh told us. When he first began designing the wallpapers, he wanted to emulate the whimsical toile prints already found in the hotel. "We wanted to take this design aesthetic and apply it to 'forgotten spaces' within the hotel, like the fitness center," he explained.

From ABBranded Gyms Partner with Hospitality Venues

"Toile de Jouy patterns are traditionally bucolic scenes of pastoral life: working in the field, horseback riding or enjoying the countryside. I wanted to give a wink and nod to this classic French pattern, but translate these physical activities to working out in a gym in modern day," he said, describing a toile character on the treadmill.

While Le Méridien is upgrading their gym, other hotels are developed entirely around them, like the 1 Hotel South Beach: The Wellness Hotel (formerly the Gansevoort), far more intense than yoga at the EDITION. They house the first-ever Spartan Gym-yes, the race your bro dude Facebook friends are always posting photos from. At their gym, people train with ropes and obstacles with Spartan trainers. There's even a SoulCycle.

Christianne Phillips, the Director of Mind & Movement, has heard multiple anecdotes from guests who booked their stays based on the unique fitness facility, with classes at capacity on the weekends and in the morning.

Their "regular" fitness classes also have a twist. Pilates is a hybrid injected with HIIT exercises, and a meditation class immediately follows a Spartan experience. Like other hotels, they embrace their location by hosting boot camp on the beach and yoga on the rooftop.

If you're not quite ready to prepare for a Spartan race, there's always CrossFit. Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort in Antigua, launched CrossFit classes through ICE NYC last winter. "It's been great for guests at all fitness levels-from CrossFit newbies looking to check out the workout to longtime enthusiasts who want to take multiple classes a day," Andrew Hedley, Managing Director at Jumby Bay, told the Observer.

"Often a hotel gym feels impersonal and removed from the locale," Hedley said. CrossFit classes incorporate the local scenery, "whether guests are running along the beach, hoisting tree stumps or doing drills by the dock," so no one has to miss out on a tan.

Equinox is the latest to join the hotel gym craze, with Equinox Hotels launching in 2019 in New York City's Hudson Yards, with a second location set for Los Angeles. They hope to have as many hotels as gyms (of which they have 77). Their first location will house their biggest gym yet, at 60,000 square feet.

Arguably the first to start the wellness weekend trend was Canyon Ranch, famous for their escapes. Thomas Klein, COO of Canyon Ranch, told the Observer, "Canyon Ranch is more than just a place to relax and lose a few pounds; it is a place to make transformative life changes that last way beyond a hotel vacation."Klein believes travelers now value wellness more than ever, and demand similar fitness opportunities to what they find at home, whether they're on vacation or a business trip.

The Canyon Ranch experience is entirely holistic. "Others are adding wellness as an amenity but for us, it is what we do and who we are-and why we are fortunate to experience a 60 percent return rate," Klein said. Canyon Ranch supplies everything from aerial hammock yoga to underwater treadmills.

Next time you're planning a vacation, consider somewhere with an aquatic treadmill, which is far more exciting than the usual dank and dusty gym or a SoulCycle class, which is much more inspiring than a sad, singular spin bike. And at a regular hotel gym, you certainly can't hoist a tree trunk around while tanning.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 18, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
All Rights Reserved

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

GREENSBORO — Construction at Smith High's Claude Manzi Stadium is "a little behind" but can still be completed in time for the start of football season, the architect's project manager said Wednesday.

Chad Volk of Davis Kane Architects, based in Raleigh, provided an update during a meeting of the high school's building advisory team. Jared Skelton, the project manager for Guilford County Schools, said the architects and the county have been "reiterating to the (general contractor) that they need to do whatever it takes" to finish construction at the school's football and soccer stadium by the scheduled completion date of Aug. 1.

H.M. Kern Corp. of Greensboro, the project's general contractor, must complete the work by Aug. 16 to avoid a $3,000 per day penalty under the terms of its contract with Guilford County Schools. Smith is scheduled to open its football season at home two days later, Aug. 18, against Northwest Guilford after playing its entire schedule on the road in 2016 because of site preparation and demolition work at the stadium.

"We're slightly concerned," Volk said. "We're trying to prevent a snowballing effect. They provide us with an updated schedule every two weeks. We've seen the areas where they're slipping, made note of that and requested a recovery schedule today. We're trying to take measures now, and we think there's time left."

Volk said the work is "80 percent right now complete" compared with where the project should be. "We still have six to eight weeks left," he added, "so we think there's still time to make up that difference with good weather."

The project's total budget is $7.7 million, of which $4.7 million is construction and renovation work by H.M. Kern. When asked Wednesday if the project is still on budget, Skelton said, "At this point, yes."

Athletics boosters and other members of the Smith community have expressed concerns about the work at the school, which began with interior renovations that were either not completed on time or to their satisfaction. Among the issues that came up during those renovations and still must be dealt with are mismatched tile in locker rooms, a leaking roof over the wrestling room and problems with the HVAC system in the weight room.

The tile work will begin in June and be finished in July, and the roof and HVAC work should be completed by Aug. 14, Skelton said.

Much of the focus at Wednesday's meeting with Principal Donevin Hoskins, athletics director Rod McCullough and Smith boosters was on Manzi Stadium, where a field house is being built to house locker rooms, concession stands, coaches' offices and a ticket window. Also part of the new construction is a press box atop the home grandstand, with a training room and offices being built under the grandstand. The old press box, which was on the hill behind the visitors' bleachers, was demolished after the 2015 season.

Resurfacing of the running track adjacent to the stadium is also part of the construction work at Smith, and that portion of the project began this week, forcing the football team to move its spring drills to the outfield of the school's nearby softball field.

But the most important piece of the project right now is the completion of the work at the stadium so that the Golden Eagles don't have to play any more home football games on the road.

"The community wants to know specifically what's going on, and they want to know why it's not being done in what they consider a sufficient amount of time," McCullough said. "We're at a point now where we're monitoring things and listening to what they're telling us."

Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraNR on Twitter.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter


May 18, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
All Rights Reserved

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

HIGH POINT - High Point University's president will lead the city's effort to build a minor-league baseball stadium and develop the surrounding area.

Nido Qubein announced Wednesday that by mid-September he will raise $38 million from private donors to build projects that will bring visitors downtown year-round. Those projects could include an events center, a children's museum and a park.

Qubein also said he will lead efforts to secure naming rights for the stadium and attract a baseball team to play there.

Qubein, who will remain at the university that he has led since 2005, has lived in High Point for much of his adult life. He said he agreed to lead the stadium effort after being asked by Forward High Point, the new nonprofit charged with revitalizing downtown. This group also is behind the ballpark project.

"High Point has been my chosen home for nearly 50 years. I am happy here, and I love my city," Qubein said in a statement. "I have no financial interest or stake in this development project in any way. My sole interest is helping High Point thrive."

High Point City Council last month approved a plan to buy four square blocks in downtown and build a $30 million stadium.

The 10-acre stadium property is bordered by North Elm Street, Gatewood Avenue, Lindsay Street and West English Road. It's a few blocks north of the city's furniture showrooms.

The stadium will seat about 5,000 people for baseball games and about 7,500 for concerts and other events. Project leaders say they hope to have it open in 2019.

The city said the project won't lead to a tax increase or affect High Point's bond rating. Media reports say the city expects to recoup the cost of the project through stadium revenues - rental and parking fees, the team's annual lease and naming rights - and increased property taxes collected from new development nearby.

The city has not yet lined up a team to play at the stadium but reportedly has interest from the Atlantic League, an eight-team professional baseball league that's not affiliated with Major League Baseball.

City leaders envision the stadium as a catalyst for other commercial and residential projects in downtown High Point.

Qubein's announcement came at the annual meeting of the High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Contact John Newsom at 336-373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 18, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts)

 

PAWTUCKET, R.I. - On the day the city of Pawtucket and the PawSox revealed how they propose to finance a new baseball stadium, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said she supports the proposal because the deal seems to "pay for itself."

But two groups immediately attacked the plan as bad for taxpayers.

PawSox chairman Larry Lucchino and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien on Tuesday outlined the terms of an agreement for which they're now seeking state support. The deal includes taxes generated at the site over 30 years that the city and state would use to pay down the debt from about $38 million in bonds issued by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency.

Lucchino and Grebien said it would cost $73 million to build the stadium at the Apex department store site next to Interstate 95. But the city and team project another $10 million is needed for the city to acquire the land - either by buying it from the owners or by taking it under eminent domain.

And there would be millions more in interest - how much would depend on the interest rate.

Here's how the team and city have structured the 30-year deal they've proposed:

  •  $45 million from the PawSox for ballpark construction, including an early, $12 million cash outlay and $33 million from revenue generated by the team over the next three decades at the ballpark.
  • $23 million from the state in the form of tax revenue generated in and around the stadium.
  • $15 million from the city, also in tax revenue generated in and around the stadium.

The team has agreed to pay any cost overruns for stadium construction costs, Lucchino said.

Essentially, the team is asking the state to commit about $1.2 million each year and to approve the bonding by the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency.

Much of the financing is contingent upon state General Assembly leaders granting authority for the agency to issue bonds that would provide cash up front to cover stadium construction costs. Plus, the city would create a tax-increment financing district around the stadium to set aside taxes generated by the ballpark and some new development built around it to pay off bonds.

Consultants for the team and city estimated personal income taxes, corporate taxes and sales taxes on construction materials would generate about $3.1 million for the state in 2020 - and additional food, beverage and other taxes would generate between $3.2 million and $3.5 million in the stadium's first five years.

Comparatively, those consultants said McCoy's current operations generate $1.3 million, and similar taxes would generate as much as $1.6 million if McCoy were renovated.

PawSox senior vice president and general manager Dan Rea III called the proposal a "self-supporting project" because the estimates of what a new ballpark would generate in taxes over 30 years is $58.7 million. That's about 2.5 times what the team and city are now asking the state to commit from that anticipated revenue.

State House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello did not respond to a request for comment. Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio said legislators will analyze and review the proposal "and the public will have the opportunity to make their voices heard."

Raimondo said in an interview she's urging state legislators to consider the plan because it's a "much better, much different deal than last time" and would help revitalize Pawtucket.

Raimondo said her analysis includes consideration of the $23 million that legislative leaders will be asked to commit. She weighed that against the $30 million to $35 million estimated for repairs at the 75-year-old McCoy Stadium, the team's current home.

"There was no free lunch on this," Raimondo said, after saying she believes the team belongs in Pawtucket and her job is to protect the taxpayers. Had the team and city now asked for those repairs at McCoy, Raimondo said, "You would have paid $30 million just to patch up an old stadium that's one of the very oldest in the country."

But two organized groups immediately opposed the proposal - the Rhode Island Republican Party and the Stop the Stadium Deal group that organized against the team's failed 2015 proposal to build a new stadium in Providence.

"This proposal is simply a bad idea. Rhode Island taxpayers cannot afford to subsidize a new ballpark," Republican Party Chairman Brandon S. Bell said in a news release, especially when the state faces a projected revenue shortfall for the state budget of about $100 million.

Bell questioned whether Mattiello and Raimondo "really want to explain to the voters how they postponed car-tax relief and pushed for cuts to social services while giving millionaires $38 million to build a new ballpark?!"

The chairman of the Stop the Stadium Deal group, Sam Bell, who is not related to Brandon Bell, said in a release: "The ownership group's plan seems to be little more than trying to pretend that they aren't asking for a gigantic mountain of public money - and hoping that Rhode Islanders are stupid enough to buy it."

Lucchino, though, said the team has learned its lessons, and he urged the naysayers of the past proposal to consider what he called "an old favorite saying of mine" by the late economist John Maynard Keynes.

"And he says, 'When the facts change, I change my mind.' Don't you?" Lucchino asked, urging people to discover "very different facts, very different proposals" between 2015 and now.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 18, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Newsday, Inc.

Newsday (New York)

 

Chaminade was awarded the CHSAA/state Class AAA boys lacrosse championship after the CHSAA sanctioned St. Anthony's for using an ineligible player and canceled Thursday's scheduled championship game.

"It was an administrative violation on our part, not academic-related whatsoever," St. Anthony's athletic director Joe Minucci said. "When I found out that we had an ineligible player on our roster, we self-reported it to the league, which felt it necessary to impose sanctions."

Minucci confirmed those sanctions were handed out during Wednesday's scheduled league meeting. They included the Friars forfeiting all boys lacrosse contests played during the 2017 season and being ineligible for Thursday's scheduled title game. Additionally, Minucci said, the ineligible player was removed from the roster.

"On Saturday, a question was raised to me regarding our roster," Minucci said. "When I was made aware of the ineligible player, we were forthcoming to the league. Both schools are extremely disappointed but we thought it was important to make clear that we do a great job of self-policing and our league does a great job of dealing with internal issues quickly and properly."

St. Anthony's had posted an 11-4 record and was hoping to reverse a 12-6 loss at Chaminade on April 5. "For our purposes and our records, we will be 0-for-the-season," Minucci said.

St. Anthony's was hoping to grab a share of the league and state titles with a victory at home Thursday. "There was a lot of crying and a lot of disappointment among the players," Friars coach Keith Wieczorek said. "I was crying as well. It's an unexpected way for the seniors to end their careers. But we respect what the school and the league decided to do. Still, it's devastating when you see the eyes of the seniors."

Chaminade coach Jack Moran expressed similar sentiments. "The kids were obviously disappointed. We understand the decision, but for the seniors, they've been looking forward to their last high school game all year and then 24 hours before, it's canceled," he said. "When you're a high school athlete and you walk off the field for the last time, win or lose, you never forget it. And that's been taken away from them."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 18, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

A former University of Dayton football player has sued the school and a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct, which resulted in the player being suspended from the university for two years.

Filing anonymously in Dayton's U.S. District Court as John Doe, the player claims he was falsely found to have been guilty for what he says was consensual sex on Sept. 4, 2016. Doe was suspended for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.

The filings name as defendants UD, the anonymously named Jane Roe, the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) and its managing partner, Dr. Daniel Swinton.

The complaint indicates neither the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office nor city of Dayton prosecutors filed charges against Doe.

"A finding of sexual misconduct against a student in academia is the ultimate scarlet red letter for these guys," said attorney Eric Rosenberg, Doe's attorney. "I'm aware of at least three suicides by falsely accused students, and I often take calls from suicidal falsely accused students.

"These students can't get often into community colleges, they can't get into the military, they're academically and professionally done, currently."

Rosenberg wrote that UD violated Title IX by creating a gender-biased hostile environment against males based in part on the school's pattern and practice of disciplining male students who engage in consensual sexual activity with female students.

"This is a really huge problem on college campuses," he said.

The complaint - which, with exhibits, totals 719 pages - said Doe took a polygraph that showed he was telling the truth and that UD did not accept the results as credible.

A UD spokeswoman said the school doesn't comment on pending litigation. They released a statement that read, in part: "We strive to maintain a campus environment that protects the dignity of all persons and is free of sexual harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct."

The statement said the school takes reports of sexual assault seriously and investigates promptly and thoroughly through university police and an internal Title IX process: "We take care to ensure that our polices and processes are in compliance with U.S. Dept. of Education requirements and are fair to all."

The complaint details how Doe and Roe met at a party and played corn-hole before going to Roe's residence and, ultimately, her bedroom.

The versions of what happened after that differ, but both agree they had sex - Doe said it was consensual - and that later, Doe left. That night, two University of Dayton police officers showed up at Doe's residence to question him.

That led to an investigation and, ultimately, to Doe being dismissed from the university. His appeal also was denied. Doe's attorney said his client was not able to ask questions of his accuser and that the gender-biased process led to a false determination.

"Prior to this, he was absolutely in love with the university and loved being there, and his faith in the university was shattered by what happened to him," Rosenberg said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 18, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Star Tribune
All Rights Reserved

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

 

Will Southdale become a place to shop, sweat — and swim?

Life Time is considering adding a fitness center in the space currently occupied by J.C. Penney.

The proposed fitness center would be 120,000 square feet and have a pool on the roof, according to plans submitted to the city of Edina.

Jason Thunstrom, Life Time spokesman, said that the Chanhassen-based fitness company is beginning to consider nontraditional models for new locations. "With the wave of anchor-store closings, we're working with a number of property management groups," he said.

The plan is still short of a number of approvals needed. "It's too early to say if it will be J.C. Penney definitely. It's very preliminary," he said.

Representatives from Simon Property Group, the owner of Southdale Center, said there is a pending deal, but the full picture won't be known for a couple of weeks. Penney's is still operating in Southdale, and the location wasn't listed among nearly 140 stores the Dallas-based retailer is closing in the next several months.

Life Time has recently considered nontraditional locations in other markets. In Oklahoma City, Okla., it took over a former Macy's in Quail Springs Mall. It has a two-level facility under the main floor of Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

Construction on the much-anticipated Blackhawk Park is set to begin this summer, following approval by the Fox Valley Park District Board of Commissioners for a $640,900 bid to R.C. Wegman Construction Company of Aurora.

Located alongside Galena Boulevard between Blackhawk and View streets, the 2.8-acre site is where the original West Aurora High School stood since 1905.

After the building was torn down in 2015, the City of Aurora deeded the land over to the park district late last year in a land conveyance agreement.

Park district residents played a prominent role in planning the park.

A public open house last winter allowed residents to view concept plans and offer feedback. Naming of the park was orchestrated through social media, allowing the public to vote, with Blackhawk resulting as the overwhelming favorite.

The park's highlight design feature will be a centralized, circular "great lawn" area that encourages unstructured play. The northeast section of the park will feature innovative playground equipment, splash pad and a unique shelter reminiscent of the old West Aurora High School that occupied the site for over a century.

An interpretive plaza will offer educational opportunities and environmental awareness, marked by a flagpole at the entrance - the same flagpole location as it was for the high school. The plan also provides an area for public art displays.

"While the focus of park development is on children's play, Blackhawk Park will be appealing to adults as well," said Jeff Palmquist, senior director of planning, research and grants.

Extensive landscaping - including a rain garden adjacent to the splash pad - will buffer the park from nearby traffic and provide natural beauty.

Completion of the park is expected in the fall of 2017.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
All Rights Reserved

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

CHAPEL HILL - Tuesday was the deadline for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and three people involved in the academic fraud scandal to respond to the NCAA's latest notice of allegations.

Greg Sankey, the chairman of the NCAA's committee on infractions and the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, set that deadline in a letter April 14 in which he said there would be no further extensions in the case. If that holds true, a hearing is likely in mid-August.

A UNC spokesman said Tuesday that the university would meet the NCAA's deadline for responding to the latest notice of allegations in the academic-athletic scandal, but the response might not be made public for several days.

The notice of allegations in this case has gone through three iterations. The latest adds allegations of unethical conduct and impermissible benefits against the two creators of the classes - former African and Afro-American Studies chairman Julius Nyang'oro and his longtime administrative assistant, Deborah Crowder. Those allegations undergird the notice's biggest charge - a lack of institutional control against UNC.

The scandal involves 18 years of bogus classes that athletes - particularly in the revenue sports of football and men's basketball - took disproportionately. The classes had no instruction and typically provided a high grade for a term paper; most of them were created and graded by Crowder before she retired in 2009.

More than 3,100 students took at least one class, according an investigation led by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein. Roughly half were athletes, who make up 4 percent of the student body.

"Although general students also took the anomalous classes, Crowder and Nyang'oro worked closely and directly with athletics," the NCAA's notice said.

UNC had largely made procedural arguments to try to shoot down the NCAA's case as it relates to the classes. But the infractions committee rejected those arguments in a special hearing six months ago.

The latest delay in the case stemmed from Crowder's decision to be interviewed by NCAA investigators. That took place last week. Crowder had declined the NCAA's interview requests over the prior three years.

Crowder said in an affidavit that the classes she created and graded were legitimate and that she was trying to help all students. She also contends Nyang'oro initially graded the papers for the classes, and she took that task over because he was traveling frequently.

Nyang'oro has not sought to fight the allegations made against him. Jan Boxill, a former faculty leader and academic adviser to the women's basketball team, is also accused of providing improper academic help.

She also contends what she did was proper.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Virginian-Pilot Companies LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)

 

Ian McCaw came to Liberty University with a ton of accolades and some heavy baggage after serving as Baylor's athletic director for 13 years.

The Bears won five national titles and more than 50 Big 12 championships under McCaw, and Baylor football emerged as one of the nation's elite programs. But Baylor also racked up a terrible record of responding to sexual assaults, including many by male athletes.

Liberty took some heat in November when it named McCaw athletic director. "Liberty University's hiring of ex-Baylor AD sends a chilling message about sexual assault," read a headline on a column in the Washington Post.

It was an understandable response. Yet, as with so many subjects where power, sports, crime and politics converge, things are often more complicated than they appear.

It seems pretty certain that former Baylor President Ken Starr and football coach Art Briles, plus other university officials, were culpable in a systematic failure to respond to student reports about assaults and rapes.

Baylor's board of regents said Briles' program was "a black hole into which reports of misconduct such as drug use, physical assault, domestic violence, brandishing of guns, indecent exposure and academic fraud disappeared."

Briles broke down in tears when interviewed by the board, acknowledging he made mistakes. He, Starr and other officials were fired.

As athletic director, McCaw clearly bears some responsibility. It happened on his watch.

But it's not clear, as some have charged, that he failed to report sexual assaults to proper authorities. Liberty officials investigated and said they determined that a 2012 rape McCaw was accused of not reporting was passed on to Baylor authorities, but at the request of the victim, not reported to the police.

It is significant that following an investigation by a law firm, the regents censured McCaw but did not fire him. He resigned in May, saying he left "to promote the unity, healing and restoration that must occur in order to move forward."

When I spoke to McCaw this week, he sounded eager to comment on what happened at Baylor, but said he can't because of the pending lawsuit. He spoke about his admiration for ODU athletic director Wood Selig and football coach Bobby Wilder and hopes for a long-standing series with the Monarchs.

When asked about Baylor, he replied: "I'm 100 percent focused on Liberty."

Regardless, here's the bottom line on McCaw's first six months at Liberty: The man has been very impressive.

Liberty has been seeking to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision for five years. In February, McCaw and Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. led a group to Nashville, Tenn., to make a presentation on their request to an NCAA committee.

It was a Hail Mary. The NCAA adopted new rules a few years ago to restrict schools from moving up. Rule No. 1: you must have an invitation from an FBS conference.

Liberty had none. The Sun Belt Conference said no, instead inviting Coastal Carolina, a school with lackluster facilities and without the financial resources of Liberty.

It's perhaps a little too strong to say religious bigotry played a big role in the Sun Belt's decision, but certainly Liberty's reputation as a conservative Christian university with a controversial president were factors.

Liberty made a compelling case to the NCAA. It's athletic facilities are very nice, including the 19,200-seat Williams Stadium for football and a Triple-A quality baseball stadium. The school has a $1 billion endowment, and with 100,000 online students and 14,000 attending classes in Lynchburg, plenty of financial strength. With 80 million households receiving Liberty games on the school's sport network, Liberty has a media profile unlike most mid-majors.

In February, the NCAA broke precedent to let Liberty compete as an FBS independent.

That put McCaw in a bind: He had to persuade at least three FBS opponents to come to Lynchburg in 2018 and five in 2019 to meet NCAA guidelines. Most football schedules through 2019 were already done.

Using the contacts he made in stops at Baylor, Northeastern, Massachusetts, Maine and Tulane, he began working the phones. On Saturday, when President Trump announced the Flames' future schedules at Liberty's graduation, the results were stunning.

McCaw had persuaded BYU, a Power 5 school in reality if not in name, to do a home-and-home series. He also signed 2-for-1 deals with Virginia and Wake Forest that take the Flames on the road twice against the ACC schools in exchange for a home game.

Liberty will also play Army, New Mexico State, New Mexico, Buffalo and North Texas home-and- home. He signed guarantee games at Auburn, Ole Miss and Rutgers, and persuaded Old Dominion, Troy and Massachusetts to accept guarantees to play at Liberty.

Liberty will pay ODU $1.32 million to play in Lynchburg in 2018, although a guarantee from a game at Auburn will pay most of ODU's fee.

In spite of all of that good work, a cloud will hang over McCaw for years to come. Sexual assault has been a hot topic on college campuses in recent years, and that's an encouraging sign.

Dozens of schools have failed to adequately protect women. If you need convincing, watch "The Hunting Ground," a 2015 documentary that captures horrific tales of women assaulted or raped and whose pleas for help were largely ignored.

Some of the statistics cited in the movie were exaggerated, critics have said, but the testimony about sexual assaults at major universities was compelling and painful to watch.

Since Liberty hired McCaw, I've spoken to half a dozen athletic officials at other schools who say they know him well. They say he's a decent man with a powerful intellect and a good heart. They can't imagine him condoning or trying to cover up a sexual assault.

Thomas Brandt, his attorney, recently told the Waco Tribune-Herald that McCaw will be exonerated.

"When the full truth is revealed, it will show that Ian McCaw was not negligent," he said. "Many people will be surprised when they learn the full truth about the situation."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

 

AMELIA ISLAND -- The apparent goal of an early signing period, in the best intentions of college football's administrators, was to make it easier on recruits. Those with a firm college decision would lock up a spot early, and go back to enjoying the last moments of their time as high school students.

For some, it appears the pressure may have shifted.

Speaking at the ACC's spring meetings in Amelia Island on Tuesday, several coaches expressed anxiety -- albeit acceptance -- over the headline item of college football's new rules package. The NCAA recently mandated a three-day stretch beginning Dec. 20 in which players can sign binding letters of intent. It also allows players to take official visits from April to mid-June of their junior year.

That could create an alternate version of the traditional national signing day in February, the culmination of an exhaustive recruiting period. It could make December the primary recruiting month, not January.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher sees headaches ahead. He envisions juggling the postseason preparations with a frenzied final stretch of recruiting visits.

"You're getting ready for a bowl game and a playoff game, you're practicing all day and you're flying out all night, getting back at two in the morning, getting up at six in the morning and going, you're going to be doing that for two-and-a-half, three weeks. You're going to drain," said Fisher, who said he preferred an early signing day in August.

"It's something I don't agree with, but it's here to stay, for at least another two years or so until they evaluate the process."

Miami coach Mark Richt, who has the nation's top-rated 2018 recruiting class and more committed players (18) than any FBS program, would like to keep his group away from prying foes. However, he's cautiously optimistic of the new rules.

"I don't know," he said. "We'll see. It may be great for us always. It may be great for one year and not so good the next."

"I think we're just going to have to live it out. Certain rules, I think we as coaches can predict the unintended consequences. I think a lot of people feared unlimited texting at one time, like, 'oh my goodness.' It ended up being a blessing. Some rules are that way. If an unintended consequence of an early signing date was having three more months of official visits, that's a problem."

Fisher called the addition of the April-May-June official visit period a "Pandora's box," which could create a college football calendar even more slanted toward recruiting.

The coaches liked at least one rule the NCAA recently passed: the allotment of another assistant coach, which brings the total to 10. It takes affect Jan. 9, 2018.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he wishes he had another coach "yesterday."

Related: SEC Coaches Agree Redshirt Proposal a Good Idea

Redshirt idea gains steam: Citing player development and safety, Richt and Fisher said all ACC coaches support the American Football Coaches Association's proposed rule that would allow players to retain their redshirt after playing in four games.

"As the season goes on, there's attrition," Richt said. "There may be a need for more hands on deck. For example, some of the kids who are turning (pro), deciding they don't want to play in the bowl game, they put a tremendous pressure on the guys they left behind. Maybe there's a freshman who can take some pressure off so a guy doesn't have to carry 35 times in the bowl game."

Rumor squashed: Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick told the Orlando Sentinel his school, contrary to an Internet rumor, is "absolutely not" in talks with the ACC to join as a full-fledged member. The Irish, who joined the league in 2014 in all sports but football, remain independent in football but play at least five ACC games a year.

mporter@pbpost.com Twitter: @mattyports

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

The decision to demolish the Stone Mountain Tennis Center was not arrived at lightly, Gwinnett County Commissioner John Heard said Tuesday.

The 7,200-seat, 15-court venue did, after all, bear witness to world-class competition during Atlanta's 1996 Summer Olympics. American legend Andre Agassi won gold there. So did Lindsay Davenport.

But the arena has been around for two post-Olympics decades now -- and it's "been running down that entire time," Heard said.

The 24-acre property near Bermuda Road and U.S. 78, just inside county lines, is now surrounded by chained link fences and barbed wire. Grass has cracked through the asphalt parking lots, and trees grow wild.

"All the copper's been stolen out of it," Heard said. "It is a health and safety hazard right now."

Heard and his fellow commissioners voted Tuesday afternoon to award the roughly $1 million task of demolishing the Stone Mountain Tennis Center to TOA, LLC.

County spokesman Joe Sorenson said demolition could begin by late June. The county will then "seek a private sector partner to redevelop the site through a competitive process," Sorenson said.

Gwinnett has owned the 24-acre tennis center property, which lies just inside the county line, since only late last year. It took a land swap for the county to get its hands on the derelict venue.

In October, Gwinnett spent nearly $1.2 million to buy a 35-acre tract of land adjacent to the tennis center in DeKalb County. It then turned that property over to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which in turn gave the tennis center property to Gwinnett.

The Stone Mountain Memorial Association had tried for years to make the tennis center economically viable, but to no avail. For a brief stint in the early 2000s, a tennis academy tried operating out of the venue.

As recently as 2012, a private developer submitted plans to use the site and surrounding property for a large-scale athletic, commercial and residential complex.

The proposal went nowhere.

Demolishing and redeveloping the property were in Gwinnett's plans from the get-go. The main arena, which has flooding and concrete instability issues, would have cost millions to renovate.

"It's got to come down," Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash, who was sick and missed Tuesday's meeting, said last year. "It's got to be demolished."

Commissioner Lynette Howard, whose district the tennis center lies in, said Tuesday she was so excited about the demolition contract being awarded that she could dance. She said she hears all the time from constituents who are concerned about the property.

"The thing I'm most excited about is, it's now going to be a clean palette for [potential developers] that can't see past the structure," Howard said with a grin. "... I'm expecting a week after it's all cleared out, the last brick is taken away, that all of a sudden we have a great idea there."

In other business Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners voted to accept nearly $850,000 in grants to help fund the county's drug, DUI, mental health and veterans court programs, which, generally speaking, help offenders get treatment and avoid jail time.

A dozen or so people also made appearances to protest Commissioner Tommy Hunter, who has been under fire since calling U.S. Rep. John Lewis a "racist pig" on Facebook in January. Protesters have attended every Board of Commissioners meeting since The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first published screenshots of Hunter's controversial social media activity.

Hunter left Tuesday's meeting prior to the open public comment period during which the protesters spoke.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

He looked pale, and a football coach pulled Kamari McGowan off the field during conditioning exercises. He was taken to the hospital, where the 15-year-old died, the Fulton County school system said Tuesday.

For Creekside High School in Fairburn, it was all too familiar. Kamari was the second player in less than four years to die, though it wasn't known Tuesday whether his death late Monday was related to football, the heat or a medical condition. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the McGowan family," the school system said in an emailed statement.

Just days away from finishing his freshman year, Kamari was participating in exercises late Monday afternoon. Paramedics were called after a coach noticed the teen was pale, and Kamari was taken to the hospital, where he died. His sudden death shocked classmates and teachers.

"Creekside High had counselors at school on Tuesday and as long as necessary to assist students and teachers who are experiencing grief," a school system spokesman said.

Kamari's death was a second tragedy in recent years for the Creekside football community.

In August 2013, De'Antre Turman, an 11th-grader and cornerback for the Seminoles, died after being hurt on the Banneker High School field in College Park during a scrimmage. Turman, 16, died from a broken neck due to blunt force trauma, investigators determined. Turman was one of the state's top prospects for the 2015 class and had caught the attention of college coaches. He got his first major-college scholarship offer from Kentucky in the weeks before his death.

The following year, a Douglas County High School football player died after collapsing following practice. He had been rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Zyrees Oliver, 18, was about to start his senior year. With a 3.8 grade-point average, Zyrees hoped to play college football.

Last summer, a 12-year-old boy suffered a heat stroke and collapsed during a youth football practice, likely during a time when players should not have been on the field due to intense temperatures. The Georgia High School Association prohibits outdoor practices when temperatures are above 92 degrees.

An autopsy was conducted on Kamari, but more information will be needed to determine why he died, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

CLEVELAND - The Cavaliers are teaming up with another Akron icon.

Linked by geography and superstar LeBron James, the defending NBA champions on Monday announced a three-year sponsorship deal with Goodyear. The Cavaliers will wear the tire giant's winged-foot logo on the fronts of their jerseys starting next season.

"This is a natural fit between two organizations rooted in Northeast Ohio whose strong brands have a global following," said Rich Kramer, Goodyear's CEO and president. "Goodyear has always been connected to the Cavs, from our blimp coverage to the tremendous passion of our associates for the team, and we're excited to make this relationship even stronger."

The team believes the Akron-based manufacturer is a perfect partner, partially because of the shared ties with James, the three-time champ who grew up there and remains committed to his hometown.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal, which includes advertising, jersey and merchandise sales, could be worth $10 million annually for the team.

The logo will be unveiled this summer when Nike, which will become the league's official uniform supplier beginning next season, rolls out Cleveland's new jerseys.

The Cavs are the latest NBA franchise to land a corporate sponsor. Last year, the league approved teams signing companies to place logos on the upper left portion of their jerseys. Philadelphia, Boston, Sacramento, Utah and Brooklyn all have similar corporate partnerships.

While relatively new in North American sports, corporate logos have been on team uniforms in Europe for years.

Cleveland guard Iman Shumpert said he was initially against the idea but now accepts that it's part of a changing NBA.

"Growing up you're so used to seeing just the classic jersey," he said. "At first I wasn't taking to it or positive about it. I didn't like it. But seeing how they're doing it, understanding why they're doing it, and me, I kind of got the best of both worlds - I got to play in a jersey without it and I guess I'll be one of the first ones to play with it. So, it's part of it now and we'll move from there."

As the agreement was being announced inside Quicken Loans Arena, Goodyear's unmistakable blimp circled the building and downtown on a spectacular spring day. Already a staple at major sporting events, the blimp - with the company name emblazoned across its side - will now have an even larger presence in Cleveland.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

There are two very simple truths in college athletics: Athletes are not being fairly compensated for the value they bring to their schools and conferences or the revenue that follows, and there is more than enough money to correct that.

The question is how to bridge that divide. Given the obscene amounts of money being paid to some conference commissioners and coaches, it's no longer a question that can go unanswered.

Cutting checks to the players is a non-starter, for reasons too numerous to mention, and that stance is unlikely to change anytime soon. But there are other ways to compensate these athletes in a way everyone can find agreeable, largely by expanding benefits they already get.

Pay for athletes' families to accompany them on recruiting visits. Provide health care beyond graduation. Open a 15-year window during which athletes can return to finish their degrees or earn additional ones, be it at the bachelor or advanced level.

Pay bonuses upon graduation, the highest going to those who complete their degrees within the six-year span the NCAA and federal government use to determine graduation rates. And, yes, let the players profit from their names, images and likenesses.

Now, before anyone starts squawking, let's dispense with the notion that Division I athletes are the amateurs of the quaint old days. They're not.

The NCAA limits in-season practice to 20 hours a week. But when you factor in time spent in the weight room, studying film, with trainers or doing anything else related to their sport, it is more like 32 hours or more, according to a 2011 NCAA survey.

When Nick Saban can clear $11million, as he will this year, or Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany gets a $20 million bonus, it's not hard to do the math and realize those kind of payouts are only possible because the athletes are little more than indentured servants.

Yes, they get an education for their trouble -- though how much that education is worth varies greatly depending on the school, the sport, the self-interests of their coaches and, in fairness, the priorities of some of the athletes themselves.

Evening the balance sheet is not only the fair thing to do, it's also fast becoming the only thing to do. Either the NCAA, schools and conferences get together to fix this, or it will be done for them by the courts or a player revolt.

"I don't think anyone necessarily wants that, but players increasingly see the voice they have and the potential power they have," said Jon Solomon, a longtime college sports reporter who is the editorial director for The Aspen Institute's Sports & Society Program.

The biggest question is always how to pay for this so it doesn't gut non-revenue sports or smaller schools' athletics budgets. The solution is actually quite simple: Take a percentage of the College Football Playoff payout and TV contracts for the NCAA basketball tournaments and put it in a fund for expanded benefits.

Solomon has estimated that taking 4.4% from last year's CFP payout would equal $19.3 million. Consider that the NCAA will get more than $760 million this year from CBS and Turner for the men's basketball tournament, and you can see how this all adds up.

If it's still not enough, take 1% of the total compensation given to the Power Five and Group of Five commissioners. While we're at it, take 1% from the 10 highest-paid coaches in football and men's and women's basketball, too.

Oh, and if a school builds one of those ostentatious athletics facilities, slap a 5% tax on the construction costs. If nothing else, maybe it will slow the arms race on the recruiting Taj Mahals.

Such a plan needs fine-tuning, obviously. Criteria to determine what medical claims are paid would have to be established. A 40-year-old former football player who needs a knee replacement would qualify, but what about the 35-year-old former basketball player who blows out his or her knee in a pickup game? Does the former sprinter who has stayed in shape get more consideration than the wrestler who now leads a sedentary lifestyle?

As for those names, images and likenesses, what would that cover? Could there be a scenario in which the schools or conferences partner with their athletes on, say, a video game? What role would there be for agents or financial advisers?

Thorny details, to be sure. But college athletics has no shortage of smart, creative people who can figure it out.

It's already started. The Pac-12 now covers medical expenses for injured athletes for up to four years after they leave school. The Power Five conferences have explored expanding benefits to include, among other things, lifetime scholarships and financial support for recruits' travel.

The money is there to make college sports more equitable. Now it's a matter of finding the will and the way.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 17, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

The final tab is in: Former Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis ended up receiving $18,967,960 from the university as a buyout for being fired in 2009.

The amount of the final installment -- 2,054,742 for the 2015 calendar year -- was disclosed on Notre Dame's new federal tax return, which was released Monday.

The filing did not mention this would be the end of Weis' payments the way the others did. Previous filings noted Weis was being paid through December 2015 as part of the termination agreement.

Weis received a little more than $6.6 million in buyout pay from the school in 2009 and got about $2.05 million in each subsequent year. In addition, he was reported by the school to have received $469,727 in 2010 from Play By Play Sports LLC, an outside multimedia and marketing rights entity that is part of Notre Dame Sports Properties.

Private colleges and universities are organized as non-profit organizations, which means they must annually file a tax return that includes information about the pay of their most highly compensated employees. Although the returns mostly cover fiscal years that involve parts of two calendar years, the IRS requires that the compensation reporting cover the most recently completed calendar year.

Weis was paid nearly $10.3 million by Notre Dame between 2010 and 2014. During that time, he also worked as an assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs and the University of Florida. He became the head coach at Kansas in 2011, which paid him $2.5 million per season. When he was fired by Kansas in 2014, the school owed a gross amount of $5.6 million under his contract in addition to what he was getting from Notre Dame and Play By Play Sports. After a variety of deductions, Kansas actually paid Weis a total of a little more than $5.4 million.

Additionally, in 2009 while Notre Dame was paying Weis, the university was still paying former coach Ty Willingham's buyout of $650,000.

The new return also listed the compensation of other Notre Dame athletics employees.

Football coach Brian Kelly was credited with more than $1.6 million, including just more than $990,000 in base salary and $450,500 in bonus pay. But the return -- as in other years -- noted that Kelly is permitted to "receive compensation from external sources with prior written approval from the university."

Athletics director Jack Swarbrick was credited with a total of just over $3.1 million in compensation for 2015, but Notre Dame said $900,000 of that amount had been reported on prior returns as deferred compensation.

Setting aside that $900,000, Swarbrick's pay for 2015 was a little more than $2.2 million, including almost $970,000 in bonus compensation and $995,000 in basic pay.

The $2.2 million total is about $600,000 more than Swarbrick has ever made in a year at Notre Dame. He was credited with just over $1.6 million in 2014, including $226,000 in deferred compensation.

Former Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who was fired by Kelly last September, received $1.1 million in his second season with the program.

Men's basketball coach Mike Brey received $2.3 million over the reporting period, including $1.17 million from the school and $1.15 million from Play By Play Sports.

Women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw made $1.7 million, with $1.4 million coming from the school and $300,00 from Play By Play Sports.

Contributing: Steve Berkowitz of USA TODAY Sports. Litman covers for Notre Dame for The Indianapolis Star, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Star Tribune
All Rights Reserved

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

 

The NCAA softball coaches who cast votes in that sport's national poll will unveil their new rankings Tuesday. If they have any sense of humor — or eagerness to troll — they will slide the Gophers into the No. 1 spot.

Maybe then the NCAA tournament selection committee will feel duly embarrassed, if that's not already the case.

On Sunday, the committee took the Gophers' résumé and symbolically ripped it into tiny pieces.

Committee members viewed a 54-3 record, No. 2 national ranking and 25-game winning streak as a cute little story but not worthy of one of the top 16 seeds in the tournament.

Shame on you, Gophers. Why didn't you go undefeated? That perhaps would've been good for a No. 13 seed.

Seriously, how did a committee of softball experts look at the Gophers' historic season and

decide they don't deserve to host a regional as a top 16 seed? Did they forget a secret handshake or something?

This case offers a weird disconnect. The coaches who vote in the weekly poll and presumably have strong knowledge of their sport ranked the Gophers second nationally last week, and five of them voted them No. 1.

The selection committee believes the Gophers are not one of the 16 best teams nationally.

Committee chair Keisha Dunlap of Conference USA didn't respond to multiple interview requests from the Star Tribune. Instead, the committee released a statement Monday evening that attempted to explain its decision.

In a nutshell, the committee slammed the Gophers' strength of schedule, which was 114th nationally, according to its data. The committee said the 16 seeds had strength of schedules ranging from 1 to 36.

However, the Gophers are ranked 11th in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which supposedly is a key criteria, too.

Another argument by the committee: The Gophers went 2-2 against teams inside the top 25 RPI and don't own a victory against a top-10 team. Yet, they also posted a 16-3 record against teams in the NCAA tournament field.

What seems especially perplexing is that the committee tossed bouquets at the Gophers in their preliminary rankings.

On May 6, the committee ranked the Gophers seventh in their poll. The committee's statement Monday noted that those rankings weren't considered when setting the tournament bracket.

Then why even have the rankings? That's like me showing my kids steaks I'm cooking on the grill and then saying, fooled you, you're really having Brussels sprouts for dinner.

Assuming the committee wasn't simply throwing darts at a wall covered in school names, the members must have felt pretty strongly about the Gophers' résumé when it released those rankings last week.

The Gophers somehow managed to hurt their cause by going 4-0 and winning the Big Ten tournament championship after that. The committee rewarded them by dropping them out of the top 16 seeds.

This slight brings a double whammy. The Gophers not only are not hosting a regional, but if they do survive the first weekend in Alabama, they likely will have to travel again for the Super Regionals to face Florida, the tournament's No. 1 overall seed.

Some might sneer at the outrage over this story because softball doesn't get covered with the same obsession as football and basketball. That's fine. But a swing and miss this badly in any sport is worth examining and asking questions. Imagine the scorched-earth reaction if the men's basketball committee made a decision that looked as screwy as this one.

Gophers coach Jessica Allister and her players didn't hide their frustration and bewilderment Monday. But Allister tried hard to push any resentment to the background so that her players aren't distracted or mope into the tournament.

"It's by far not the biggest injustice done to anyone in the world," Allister said.

The Gophers still have a chance to prove that they are one of the best softball teams in the country. Now they're angry. The selection committee made their road harder, not impossible.

Chip Scoggins chip.scoggins@startribune.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Star Tribune
All Rights Reserved

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

 

Minnesota high school baseball seasons will start a week earlier beginning next year so pitchers can receive focused instruction and conditioning to prevent arm injuries.

Only throwing programs and conditioning are permitted — no batting practice or scrimmages – as the season extends to a 14th week, according to the bylaw change approved Monday by the Minnesota State High School League's Representative Assembly at its meeting in Brooklyn Center.

The five-day conditioning period, while not mandatory for all schools, also allows teams to develop more pitchers. The league instituted pitch-count limits this spring, also in recognition of preventing arm overuse.

"We're taking active measure to make sure we're doing all we can to have healthy, safe athletes and that includes arm care and conditioning," said Troy Urdahl, co-head baseball coach at St. Anthony Village and vice president of the league's board of directors.

Nine of the 45 voting members of the group opposed the change. Before the vote, Wayzata activities director Jaime Sherwood said he would not support it because softball wasn't included.

Dave Stead, league executive director, said there's time to address Sherwood's concerns about equal opportunity through Title IX.

"This doesn't take effect until next spring so by that time, if softball wants to do the same thing, it'll be done," Stead said.

Other changes approved Monday that take effect Aug. 1:

· Wrestlers will have 16 team events and a 45-match season limit. The nine additional matches will enable wrestlers to compete in the growing number of individual tournaments and not have to forfeit team competition.

· High school athletes can try out or audition for college coaches at any point during the season and remain eligible.

· Boys' and girls' tennis teams can play a 17th match — one more than the maximum — to determine championships in conferences with two divisions.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The State Journal- Register
All Rights Reserved

The State Journal- Register (Springfield, IL)

 

Hundreds of Springfield-area athletes hitting hard on the gridiron and scoring points and winning races in other high school sports may be added to the list of potential victims of the state's almost two-year budget crisis.

Citing millions of dollars in unpaid bills by the state as a major factor in their decisions, officials at Springfield's Memorial and Medical Center and HSHS St. John's Hospital say they plan to stop providing athletic trainers to nine area high schools for football and all other sports by the end of this academic year.

A tradition that had lasted up to 30 years looks like it will end, in large part, because of a record backlog of more than $130 million in combined bills owed to the two not-for-profit institutions by the state's group health insurance program for state workers, retirees and dependents.

"The state budget crisis is causing all of us to make difficult decisions," Dr. Charles Lucore, chief executive officer of 439-bed St. John's, told The State Journal-Register. "This was something we couldn't continue to do."

Three athletic trainers at the St. John's AthletiCare sports medicine program and eight athletic trainers and an exercise physiologist at Memorial's SportsCare program are expected to be laid off in the next two months, officials from the hospitals said.

The schools affected are Southeast, Riverton and Petersburg PORTA, which had been served by St. John's, and Springfield High, Lanphier, Auburn, Athens, Williamsville and New Berlin, which had been served by Memorial.

"It's a business decision we reached over a long period of careful consideration," said Evan Davis, administrator for orthopedic services and neuromedicine at 500-bed Memorial.

Not required

Athletic trainers aren't required by the Illinois High School Association or state law to be present at games or practices, though evaluations by trainers or other medical professionals are required before an athlete who has sustained a suspected concussion can be sent back into a game.

But local school officials said the presence of trainers for advice and hands-on care has become expected by schools and the public in recent years - especially when sports such as football, soccer, wrestling and basketball are involved and more is known about the long-term risks of concussions.

"Cutting back could be an option, but I don't think we could go without," said Matt Brue, superintendent of the PORTA district.

Davis said the no- or low-charge service to the schools "doesn't cover the cost" for Memorial even though hospital officials have enjoyed serving the athletes and their families and the hospital received revenue when athletes sought care at Memorial after an injury.

Laying off the eight trainers and an exercise physiologist - who have bachelor's and master's degrees and work with athletes to prevent and deal with injuries - will save Memorial about $500,000 per year, Davis said.

Lucore wouldn't say how much St. John's could save in the decision.

The fact that Memorial is owed $81.6 million by the state was a factor in the hospital's decision, Davis said, adding that publicly funded and private insurance plans continue to cut back on what they pay hospitals for health care.

St. John's, which will continue to provide no-cost trainers for student athletes at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School and Lincoln Land Community College this fall and beyond, is owed $49 million for state employee health care bills that are as much as 1½ years overdue, Lucore said.

He said St. John's is willing to consider arrangements in which other schools could lease the services of an AthleticCare trainer, avoiding the need to lay off one or more trainers, if contract terms could be worked out.

'Fiscal destruction'

St. John's and Memorial officials said they probably wouldn't reverse their decisions on athletic trainers, even if the Democratically controlled General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, reach a compromise in the next month or two for what would be their first comprehensive state budget in about two years.

That's because financial pressures on hospitals persist, with changes looming at the federal level, they said.

The American Health Care Act, passed by the Republican-controlled U.S. House, pending in the Senate and supported by President Donald Trump, would likely reduce the number of low-income Illinoisans covered by Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, hospital officials said.

At the same time, they said, the AHCA would keep in place the ACA's Medicare spending cuts, leaving hospitals in Springfield and elsewhere in the state with billions of dollars in Medicare reductions between now and 2025.

Athletic directors and superintendents, who said they don't blame the Springfield hospitals for the decisions, are looking into options that probably will cost their schools more money at a time when schools also are owed vast amounts of money by the state.

"It's total fiscal destruction," said Darren Root, superintendent of Auburn School District 10. "It always seems to come back on the shoulders of the schools."

The Auburn district, which is owned $667,000 by the state, has paid Memorial $9,000 per year for essentially full-time services from a SportsCare trainer, Root said.

Athletic trainers typically earn $40,000 to $50,000 per year, Auburn football coach Dave Bates said.

When asked whether the Auburn district can afford to pay more for a service that athletes and their parents have come to expect, Root said it would be difficult to justify.

"I haven't bought a textbook since 2008," he said.

Fortunate, spoiled

Rick Sanders, director of school support for Springfield District 186, said, "We've been really fortunate and spoiled" by St. John's and Memorial. "They've been great to us, they really have."

District officials are looking into alternatives and potential costs for services the district previously didn't pay for.

The goal is to have some athletic trainer services in place, even if trainers aren't present as much as in the past, by the time practices for football and other sports begin in August, Sanders said.

Springfield Clinic is willing to hire some of the trainers who will be displaced and provide at least a reduced level of service to the affected schools at no charge, according to Mark Kuhn, the clinic's chief administrative officer.

But if schools want the same, almost full-time level of services they received from St. John's and Memorial, they will have to pay, Kuhn said.

The for-profit clinic is owed a record $75 million-plus by the state, but also is poised to recoup some expenses when injured athletes turn to the clinic for scans, surgery, doctor visits and other services, he said.

The clinic already provides trainers to 16 area schools, including Rochester, Chatham Glenwood and Pleasant Plains high hchools and the University of Illinois Springfield.

"These are typically free or reduced-price services," said Benjamin McLain, Springfield Clinic's director of rehabilitation services.

The PORTA district, which is owed $668,000 by the state and operates on a $12 million annual budget, hasn't decided what it will do to deal with the potential loss of its trainer, Brue said.

Parents have enjoyed the trainer's assistance and advice as their children have undergone therapy for injuries, he said.

Brue said he wrote a letter to the district's state representative, Tim Butler, R-Springfield, complaining that PORTA's potential loss or reduction in athletic trainer services is another ramification of a state budget crisis that should have been resolved by politicians by now.

"I don't know if they understand it," Brue said.

- Contact Dean Olsen: dean.olsen@sj-r.com, 788-1543, twitter.com/DeanOlsenSJR.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Bismarck Tribune, a division of Lee Enterprises
All Rights Reserved

The Bismarck Tribune

 

LAS VEGAS - Surrounded by imposing Las Vegas hotel-casinos in the foreground and desert mountains in the background, the group breathed deeply and loudly as an instructor guided them through their poses: upward dog, downward dog, lord of the dance.

The participants, though, weren't the only ones shifting positions in this mirrorless space with Instagram-enviable views.

The three women and a man were inside a cabin of the world's tallest Ferris wheel, stretching and holding poses as the marquees of The Mirage, Linq, Harrah's and Caesars Palace appeared and faded from sight.

This gambling oasis isn't known for mind-steadying experiences. But as the city broadens the range of interests and wallets it appeals to, companies have carefully selected an array of unique, picture-perfect sites where visitors and locals can say "Namaste." Call it yoga a la Vegas, and picture dolphins, helicopters, red rocks and ritzy high-rises.

"High plank, low plank, up dog, down dog," Raffi Yozgadlian said as he guided the group at the High Roller observation wheel through a series of yogi calisthenics at about 550 feet above ground.

The instructions stopped three-quarters into the class, and out came the cellphones. It was time for a few photos of handstands and other poses with the Bellagio, Cosmopolitan and an Eiffel Tower replica in the background.

"I was like, whoa. You have the Strip and you can take that in, or you have the mountains and you can take that in," said Carly Benson, a Las Vegas resident whose tripod headstand photo is now on Instagram. "I was a little concerned about how my balance was going to be, and surprisingly, being able to zone in the landscape, I had better balance there than I sometimes do on the ground."

Visitors and locals in need of their downward dog also can take classes surrounded by an outdoor installation of neon signs in the summer; by request, poolside at the MGM Grand; or on the grassy fields of a recreation area just outside the city in the shade of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

For those who prefer the indoors, the studio with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on the eighth floor of the opulent Mandarin Oriental hotel offers views of the Las Vegas Strip.

The unorthodox settings fit with a nationwide trend of yoga instruction moving out of the studio and into parks, breweries, museums and other locations. Some classes incorporate goats and butterflies.

Caesars Entertainment, which owns the High Roller, thought the Ferris wheel would be a good place for a fitness class and decided yoga was the perfect fit. Each cabin fits up to 40 people standing and in benches.

"It's a one-hour class, so it's a fulfilling practice, and whether you are a yoga enthusiast or first-timer or someone who just wants to have that amazing Instagram yoga moment here in Vegas, it presents a unique experience," said Lindsay Sanna, Caesars' senior director of marketing. The class is $75 per person.

At the Mirage, yogis of all skill levels can sign up for an hourlong class in the underwater viewing area of the dolphin tanks at Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. On a recent Friday morning, a group began the experience by taking a few breaths while sitting on their mats facing bottlenose dolphins through glass windows.

"Of course, you can pop your eyes open if you want to see the dolphins," Janet Ziter told the class, which included devoted and beginner yoga practitioners. Dolphins swam next to three windows while soothing music played.

This class, too, incorporated a mini-photo shoot. And so a guest held the crow pose - hands planted on the floor, shins resting on the back of his upper arms and feet lifted up - for a few seconds until a dolphin swam behind him and a friend snapped a photo.

Instructors with the yoga-focused company Silent Savasana teach the classes at the High Roller and also lead what's perhaps Las Vegas' most luxurious of yoga experiences: a helicopter ride from the airport to a nearby state park and a class atop bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops.

The class in a remote area of the 63-square-mile Valley of Fire State Park allows participants to take in a breathtaking view of bright blue skies and sandstones while flowing from pose to pose.

The exact location of the 75-minute, six-person class depends on the day's wind conditions. The experience concludes with a flight over the Las Vegas Strip.

Some may be priced out of the $3,499 experience, which includes champagne. But Maverick Helicopters, which for years has offered trips to other destinations in the U.S. Southwest, says at least six groups have participated this year.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The New York Post

 

Inside a small room on the Lower East Side, a group of sweaty, grunting females attempts pullups on crude bars.

What appears to be the local county lockup — there are prison bars, a spot for mug shots and even occasional meals served on industrial trays — is actually hot fitness studio ConBody, which is attracting devotees of posh studios like SoulCycle and Pure Yoga.

The draw for pampered New Yorkers, who will most likely never see the inside of a jail cell? Classes taught by buff ex-convicts.

"I found it on Gilt," says class participant Katie Williams of the Lower East Side, referring to the luxury discount site hawking Christian Dior accessories and tennis lessons.

"I like the rustic feel of this," adds Williams, a 24-year-old account executive, noting the contrast between ConBody's bare-bones aesthetic and the typical mirrored studios she frequents.

ConBody is the brainchild of convicted drug dealer Coss Marte.

After his release from upstate's Greene Correctional Facility in 2013, Marte was unable to find employment. He did, however, have an idea for a no-frills, prison-style boot camp, having lost 70 pounds serving his four-year sentence by using his own body weight to get toned and fit.

Initially, he gained a following by training groups in Sara D. Roosevelt Park and a rented space in a preschool.

In January 2016, Marte opened up his own studio on Broome and Eldridge streets - the same corner where he once sold drugs - and began hiring fellow excons as trainers and maintenance and customer-service workers.

The former drug kingpin has managed to tap into people's morbid curiosity about prison, which has been stoked by shows such as "Oz" and "Orange Is the New Black." In fact, when participants take their mug-shot selfies, they ask him for pointers.

"A lot of people ask, 'Do I smile? Do I keep a serious face? Do I turn this way?' They want to get the right position," says Marte, a charismatic 31-year-old father of one.

In April, Marte organized a 10K run dubbed the "Prison Break," and this month he landed a marquee spot inside the Saks Wellery, Saks Fifth Avenue's new wellness pop-up at its flagship store.

"After I closed the deal with [Saks], I stepped out of the building and felt like crying," says Marte, who walked the 50 blocks home to diffuse all of his emotions and clear his mind.

"I never would have imagined [finding myself in this position] four years ago sitting in a prison cell in lockdown." Jill Reinholt, a Greenwich Village resident who also found ConBody on Gilt, swears by the penitentiary-style sweat sessions.

"It's the only place I've ever been where I'm motivated and inspired and I laugh," says the 28-year-old teacher of the studio's $30, 45-minute classes.

Marte has even launched monthly prison-food pop-ups where his chef pal Kelly Zavala cooks up Salvadoran grub for $10 a pop.

"We promote it as 'prison food' but it's really good," says Marte. "It's much better than the food I had in jail." Beyond fetishizing the prison experience, ConBody has a laudable social mission, which is to employ those who can't find jobs because of their rap sheets.

"In talking to Coss and hearing his back story and upbringing, I'm very proud of them and happy for what they've done," says Reinholt.

Inside the modest LES studio, there are no locks on the lockers. People simply toss their belongings inside and trust that - in a room staffed by ex-cons - their bags will be not be touched.

"It's about trusting that we're people and human beings. When people come in for the first time, they are nervous and don't know what they are getting into.

And they realize that we break down the stereotype and make everyone feel like human beings," says Marte, who recently launched an online class subscription.

He is also in talks to franchise ConBody in cities across the country and even in Australia, which was once a British penal colony.

"People believe the product is good.

It's not like your bougie Barry's or SoulCycle," says Marte.

And it's not just workout buffs who want a piece of Marte's concept.

"It's crazy. I get fan-jail-mail every week," he says. "They say things like, 'I have two years left and I want to join ConBody.'"

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Deseret News Publishing Co.

Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

 

Warning: High school and college athletes should use social media with caution. Heck, everyone should.

Tweet, post, write on Facebook to your heart's content, but know that the history you create, the breadcrumbs of thought, philosophy, associations and opinions could come back to bite you in the butt.

We live in a day and age where recruits have taken over their own destiny as public relations experts. We see these graphic-laden tweets announcing official visits, scholarship offers, with the phrase "blessed to receive an offer" used as a cookie-cutter pronouncement of status.

That's all fine and dandy. But it becomes a record, for good or bad. The commits, the de-commits, the proclamations that end up being premature declarations are radar points to be watched and examined.

Take the case of Illinois high school quarterback Ben Bryant, a three-star recruit who committed to Wisconsin way back in December. Last week Bryant tweeted out he "was humbled" to receive an offer from Georgia. Wisconsin then dropped him for posting news of the offer.

That little tweet by Bryant seemed harmless on the surface. But for some coaching staffs who expect recruiting action to subside once an offer has been tendered and accepted, it is reason to bring out the ax.

Bryant wrote this weekend that he told Wisconsin coaches the night before the tweet that he was still committed, but he was told the next morning he was no longer a fit. Bryant now bemoans that "humbled to receive" tweet. He wrote, "I should not have corresponded more than once with another school while committed, and that trust is sacred."

College recruiters regularly scan, check and research prospects' social media profiles. It gives them insight into their lives, friends, interests and personalities. It can affirm evaluations or raise red flags.

Recruits aren't the only targets. So are coaches.

When Auburn coach Gus Malzahn hires a new staff member, as he told the "Ronnie Floyd podcast" on May 9, he researches social media of the candidate. Floyd is past president of the Southern Baptist Convention and interviewed Malzahn about leadership and making decisions.

"You can find out so much," said Malzahn. "Nowadays, young people will share everything. You can find out their character, their girlfriend," Malzahn said. "We definitely keep up with that. At the same time, no doubt when you're hiring a coach or hiring an off-the-field person, we're going to start with their social media. It'll tell you a whole lot."

The Auburn coach believes high school prospects have evolved during the past half decade. Cellphones, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are among the tools that provide instant feedback. Many experts say it is not only addictive, but a driving force for the latest generation to communicate and establish identity. It can also be a distraction for not only youth, but adults, thus coaches.

Explained Malzahn, "From a coach's standpoint, I'm always thinking about the distractions. Social media for me is important in recruiting, but at the same time, it can also be a distraction if I'm on the internet checking things. It's kind of an addictive thing."

Malzahn even brought in the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, to speak to the Auburn Tiger squad, to enlighten them on what social media can do.

"It was interesting the things he was saying. The attention spans of young people are so short now. There's so much immediate response, and they're visual learners. Staying on that cutting edge of understanding recruits, so you can relate to them."

Twitter and the like are powerful modern tools that link our society together. The new media has transformed every aspect of who and what we do. In the newspaper business, it has obliterated deadlines and how we define breaking news.

Yet, there are few guidebooks of best practices. There are few filters or editors. I've been in this business for a few years. I have been guilty of posting dumb things.

Be careful.

EMAIL: dharmon@deseretnews.com

TWITTER: Harmonwrites

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Virginian-Pilot Companies LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)

 

Conference USA officials will announce today that the men's and women's basketball tournaments will be held at the Dallas Cowboys' training complex in Frisco, Texas, next season.

The Denton (Texas) Record Chronicle reported Monday that the tournament will be played at the Ford Center, a 12,000-seat indoor facility owned by the Cowboys.

League officials, including commissioner Judy MacLeod, will hold a news conference at the Cowboys complex to announce the move. C-USA is headquartered in the Dallas suburb of Irving.

Related: Conference USA Eyes Cowboys' Facility for Hoops Tourney

The tournament is moving from Birmingham, Ala., which is a more central site than Frisco, but which drew poorly the last two seasons after Alabama-Birmingham, the home team, lost in early rounds.

Located just north of Dallas and its large hub airport, Frisco is more accessible than Birmingham and offers a venue that can host the men's and women's games. A host city generally must have two arenas to host early round men's and women's games at the same time, but the Ford Center can be set up to use two courts .

El Paso, Texas, and Birmingham also bid to host the tournament.

Old Dominion considered bidding for the tournament in past years, but the absence of a second available arena in Hampton Roads prevented it from doing so. ODU has perhaps the league's best venue in the 8,600-seat Constant Center, but Scope - the only other nearby arena capable of hosting games - is occupied with the MEAC tournament.

{{tncms-asset app="editorial" id="f64453d2-39b8-11e7-b11d-00163ec2aa77"}}

Gil Brandt, the former Cowboys vice president of player personnel and a sportscaster for the NFL Network, Tweeted that C-USA's decision is a "smart move."

C-USA officials said they expected to announce the tournament site before league meetings May 22-24. It isn't known how long the tournament will be played in Frisco, but it could be up to three seasons.

Known as The Star, the Cowboys training complex is spread across 91 acres in an area with upscale hotels and restaurants that draws millions of tourists each year.

ODU has yet to win a league tournament in four seasons. The men's and women's teams reached the 2016 finals - both lost to Middle Tennessee

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

.

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)
 

The College Football Playoff is bringing a Super Bowl-style halftime show to the national championship game without bumping the marching bands. ESPN and the College Football Playoff will announce Tuesday that a musical guest will perform at halftime of this season's title game in Atlanta on Jan. 8, 2018, and the performance will be aired on ESPN. The halftime concert will be held in Centennial Olympic Park, near the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. An artist has not yet been booked. The marching bands for each participating school will still perform in the stadium and that performance will be aired on an ESPN channel. 

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

University of Dayton's arena renovation project will take place in three phases involving local and out-of-state firms until fall 2019. Many pre-construction preparations are already underway behind-the-scenes and heavy work — and an aggressive fundraising effort — will begin in about two weeks.

The University of Dayton will hire local and out-of-state firms to handle UD Arena's $72 million renovation.

Locally-based Danis Building Construction Company is the general contractor on the project — the university's largest ever.

"We're excited to be part of the UD team again," said Tom Haverkos, Danis president. "It's a great relationship that goes back over 50 years."

Haverkos said Danis was unable to discuss the project further at the university's request. The company built the arena in 1969.

Danis previously renovated a residence complex, Founders Hall, for the university. The fast-track project was completed in 13 weeks, instead of the originally-slated two summers, according to the firm's website.

Hastings+Chivetta Architects of St. Louis will serve as architect of record in association with design architects Sink Combs Dethlefs Architects of Denver. Sink Combs Dethlefs designed Value City Arena at Ohio State University and handled renovations of the University of Michigan Crisler Arena.

Three engineering firms with Dayton ties will work on the project.

Heapy Engineering will provide mechanical, electrical and plumbing services. Shell + Meyer Associates will serve as structural engineers. The Kleingers Group is the civil engineering firm on the project.

The project will take place in three phases until fall 2019. Many pre-construction preparations are already underway behind-the-scenes and heavy work — and an aggressive fundraising effort — will begin in about two weeks.

Encircling the venue will be a full, branded concourse with a new main lobby and team store, and restrooms (an 80 percent increase in toilets and sinks for women). Inside the seating bowl for 2017 will be a new scoreboard and LED ribbon boards installed along with enhanced audio systems.

Looming over the corners of the arena will be four terraces, which will be fully installed in the final phase of the project. Flanking the sidelines between the 200/300 sections will be new club seats backed by two new lounges for the exclusive use of club seat ticket holders.

High atop the 400s on the east side of the arena will be a newly built gathering area loaded with televisions, lined with windows overlooking the Great Miami River and accessible by elevator.

Contact this reporter at 937-259-2086 or email Will.Garbe@coxinc.com.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Chattanooga Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)

 

A college football proposal that allows players the opportunity to compete in up to four games without burning a redshirt year?

Sign the Southeastern Conference up.

SEC coaches participated Monday in a post-spring teleconference and were in unanimous agreement concerning the proposal made recently by the American Football Coaches Association. There are multiple entities that must turn the proposal into law, beginning with the NCAA Division I Football Competition Committee, but those in the SEC already are salivating at the thought.

"I love it. That would be great," LSU's Ed Orgeron said. "You can figure those guys out more, and it adds to your roster, your rotation and the development of your team. This is basketball on grass nowadays, because you have some offenses out there trying to run 100 plays.

"The game has doubled since when we played, so the more guys we can play without burning a year would be great."

Alabama's Nick Saban said he "absolutely" favored the proposal, while Vanderbilt's Derek Mason used "antiquated" to described the NCAA's existing guidelines for redshirting.

"All freshmen want to play, and this would give them an opportunity to play some," Saban said. "It would enhance their development to some degree, and with the number of games we're playing now, you might be able to play a few more players to help some of the other players.

"The number one thing it would do is tremendously help the development of some young players, who can look forward to playing in some games but would not lose the year."

Playing four games in 2014 could have enhanced the career of former Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey. The son of former Crimson Tide running back Bobby Humphrey redshirted that season before starting the past two years.

Humphrey was a first-round pick in last month's NFL draft, going 16th overall to the Baltimore Ravens, but he played just two seasons in Tuscaloosa.

"We would have loved to play Marlon some, and he probably deserved to play some," Saban said. "It's kind of an all-or-nothing thing the way it is right now."

The new proposal also would aid teams that encounter unexpected injuries.

Under the current guidelines, a player can receive a medical redshirt if he has competed in fewer than 30 percent of his games that season or three games, whichever is greater. There also is a deadline during the season when a redshirting player can't compete without losing his redshirt year, which Ole Miss experienced last November when quarterback Chad Kelly was lost with a season-ending knee injury.

Shea Patterson was a touted freshman who was redshirting, but Rebels coach Hugh Freeze opted to play him for a 4-5 team that was seeking to make a sixth consecutive bowl. Patterson led Ole Miss to a 29-28 upset triumph at Texas A&M in his debut, but the Rebels lost badly to Vanderbilt (38-17) and Mississippi State (55-20) and finished 5-7.

"I knew Shea gave us the best chance to win, but we knew we were just about to play a kid for three games with the possibility of a fourth," Freeze said. "I love the new proposal out there, and I think it is needed with everything that is going on now in college athletics. The seasons are getting longer, and the physical toll that is on these kids all year long makes this a great option."

Had the proposal been in effect last year, Patterson would be entering this year as a redshirt freshman.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was faced with a similar but less dire predicament when quarterback Stephen Johnson got hurt in the 11th game against Austin Peay. Stoops put in Luke Wright to finish out the 49-13 rout so freshman Gunnar Hoak could maintain his redshirt year.

Mason brought up last season's postseason predicament, when running backs Leonard Fournette of LSU and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford skipped their bowl games to focus on the NFL draft process. Each wound up being picked in the top 10.

"What we're looking at is the ability to bolster your roster," Mason said. "If they're acclimated and can play, then you let them play. When that is will be on you, but when you look at Fournette and McCaffrey not playing in bowl games last year, that affects teams. Is that going to be a future trend? I don't know, but coaches will have to prepare for guys who are draft-worthy not playing.

"I think it's a good rule. Whether you're playing them early or late, it gives them a chance to adjust to the speed of the game."

Several SEC coaches hope the proposal could someday be replaced by a rule allowing players five years to play five seasons.

"That would be fine with me," Orgeron said.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

The city of Marietta is preparing to spend another $5.8 million on the redevelopment of Franklin Gateway, a transitional neighborhood where Atlanta United opened a state-of-the-art training facility last month.

City Council approved the purchase of a 7-acre shopping center at the corner of Franklin Gateway and South Marietta Parkway last month and expects to finalize the sale in June, said city spokesperson Lindsey Wiles.

The city and property owners came to an agreement on the price tag without commissioning an appraisal. In 2017, the property was assessed at $4.4 million by the Cobb Board of Tax Assessors.

Tax assessments do not necessarily correspond with market value, said Mayor Steve Tumlin, adding that he's had his eye on the property for at least three years.

"We went with the recommendation of the real estate people," Tumlin said. "You got to hit a price that the seller will let it go."

Rusi Patel, senior associate counsel at the Georgia Municipal Association, said state law does not require the city to seek an appraisal before purchase. Even so, William Perry, founder of Georgia Ethics Watchdogs, said he couldn't understand why the city wouldn't want to do it anyway.

"They agreed to the deal for the soccer facility without any sort of economic impact study or anything other than the assumption it would spur development and bring economic opportunities to the area," he added.

Theshoppingcenterwould be the sixth property bought and razed by the city since 2010 using funds from a $68 million redevelopment bond issuance approved by voters. Critics of the Franklin Gateway project have accused the city of pushing out lower-in-come residents and minorities, while supporters point to falling crime and increasing property values as evidence of its success.

Despite the area's warming real estate market, Tumlin said, the city needed to step in to purchase the shopping center, so it can improve the property and attract a hotel, large office building or similar investment.

"They can be enticed quicker when it's clean," he said of the land.

Earlier this year, the $60 million training complex opened, built on land owned by the city and leased to Atlanta United for $1 a year for the first 10 years and $320,000 per year for years 21-30. The city also agreed to give a 10-year property tax abatement.

Marietta is planning to open three public fields across the street from the team's facility in June.

Tumlin scoffed at concerns over the fiscal wisdom of the soccer deal.

"If they ride down there and say that's not working, then they're laughable," he said.

The shopping center that the city is purchasing is anchored by a shuttered flea market.

About half of the businesses were closed during a recent weekday visit.

Carlos Vazquez has been running his family's supermarket, Mercado Real De La Villa, located in the shopping center for more than 10 years.

He said he has mixed feelings about the redevelopment.He's pleased that crime is down and the new and renovated apartments are nicer, but the Hispanic population on which the supermarket depends is shrinking as the neighborhood gentrifies.

"I'm always welcoming change -- it's inevitable," he said. "It feels like it's going to hurt us, but it might just be for the better."

Recently, he rented an apartment down the street, something he said he would not have felt safe doing just three years ago.

At Peachview Drugs, another one of the businesses in the shopping center, proprietor and pharmacist Yeti Ezeanii acknowledged the improvements but said finding a new location will be a huge financial burden.

"When we first started here, Franklin Road was kind of a seedy part of town, a somewhat rundown place that had a lot of crime. But, over the past three years or so we've seen an immense change," she said. "Our customers are displaced; we ourselves are being displaced."

Ezeanii expressed hope the city would be willing to compensate business owners who have invested in the community.

"We want to stay in the city of Marietta," she said. "We understand what's going on here, and while we're sad we have to move we understand it's best for the citizenry, if you will."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 15, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Deseret News Publishing Co.

Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

 

SALT LAKE CITY — From his office in the University of Utah's Merrill Engineering Building, Ladislav Kavan continues to work on a research-driven challenge: making an exact copy of a large-scale environment using 3-D printers.

As an assistant professor at the U.'s School of Computing, Kavan teaches courses in computer graphics and animating physical movement. His latest work, presented at the 35th annual Association for Computer Modeling conference in Denver, combined his hobby of climbing with ongoing research on computer modeling.

Kavan and his colleagues wanted to find out if they could feasibly make a 3-D reproduction of an outdoor climbing route.

He came to the idea with friend and colleague Emily Whiting, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth College. In 2012, Kavan and Whiting often spent time climbing together during their postdoctoral studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

"We were also working on some geometric modeling problems, which is related to fabrication and the 3-D printers," Kavan said. "We had the idea of combining the 3-D printing with the climbing."

Whiting said she had realized as far back as 2011 that there is a relationship between the sport of climbing and computer science. And during their presentation in Denver, she said, they quickly found a number of rock climbers in an audience of computer scientists.

After completing their postdoctoral work in Zurich, Kavan and Whiting began to collaborate on an idea to combine their knowledge of computer modeling with their hobby of climbing.

"To us, the idea of being able to take famous routes from different places around the world and still climb them at our home gyms was the exciting part," Whiting said.

Kavan and Whiting were aware that climbing challenges had been replicated in the past with amateur methods, the said. In 1988, when world-class climber Wolfgang Güllich dreamed of taking on the infamous German climbing route "Action Directe," he invented the campus board as a training tool with wooden slats to replicate the handholds he would face during the real climb.

The history of route replication and training tools has continued past Güllich's invention. Luzan Matyas, another climbing enthusiast, went on to create a wooden replica of "Action Directe" as a means of training for the same route Güllich ascended years earlier.

"The general problem is: How do you 3-D print something that is huge?" Kavan said.

Such an idea, he said, would be nearly impossible to do and far too costly to produce with printing plastics. Instead of taking on the heavy costs of a full reproduction, Kavan and Whiting gathered their limited resources and devised a more economical approach.

Nada Ouf, a computer science graduate student from the University of Pennsylvania, and Zhenyu Shu, of the Ningbo Institute of Technology at Zhejiang University in China, joined in the research project. Christos Mousas, a fellow postdoctoral researcher at Dartmouth, and Liane Makatura, an undergraduate student at Dartmouth, also joined in the collaborative effort.

The team devised a way to cheaply model and produce the climbing routes by taking hundreds of photos from various angles and stitching them together with multiview stereo software.

The team visited the "Pilgrimage," a climbing route in St. George, and used the spot as one of the routes to re-create in its 3-D modeling. The photos taken of the red rock formation in southern Utah were processed through the imaging software, combining the hundreds of two-dimensional pictures to form a 3-D model.

Next, the team captured video of a person climbing the same route, mapping the climber's skeletal structure as they completed each move, and overlaying the skeletal mapping on the overall 3-D model to determine where the handholds and footholds would likely be gripped by a climber.

Kavan said after watching the climber, the team was able to more isolate the exact spots to be printed, capturing key moments of the route without needing to print the entire rock face.

With a computer-operated router, the researchers created a foam model of the holds and then overlayed a silicon mold of the holds. Then they filled the mold with a casting resin that would harden to form the copy they would use for their indoor replication.

Whiting said the team hopes to continue improving the texture features, closing in on the finer details of each route as they perfect the fabrication process.

"Sandstone in one location versus granite in another location will have those tactile differences, and we are still working to capture that properly," she said.

Kavan said the idea of being able to copy a route sparked great excitement among the Dartmouth climbers who were remotely completing the path of the St. George route.

"You can train for a route that is far away without having to go there," he said. "Once you figure out the movement, then you end up taking a trip, and you will already know how to do it."

One motivation for the project, Kavan said, was to preserve climbing environments that see a lot of activity from regular climbers. Over time, routes will begin to weather away with people wearing them down, he said.

"The rock is taking a toll," Kavan said. "The climbers are practicing over and over again until they get it... but it is kind of destroying the rock."

For Kavan, an inspiration during the project was the infamous 2006 climb of the Delicate Arch by Dean Potter. The climb gained negative attention from the public, and the arch has since been off-limits to climbers.

While costs continue to prohibit larger scale fabrications, Kavan said he hopes that one day he'll be able to climb a model of the arch without causing controversy.

"If you can take things that aren't even accessible and you don't even have access at all and still be able to bring it to your gym, it's exciting to us," Whiting said.

The process might one day harness the power of the crowd, she said, with climbers going out and photographing their climbs, then submitting their photos to a database where computer scientists can map the routes and store the 3-D models for users on the other side of the world to print and use.

The team has only just begun to take on the challenges of environmental printing, but the researchers are already looking at other possible applications.

Kavan said he believes 3-D modeling could potentially be useful for re-creating archeological sites for museums and perhaps even for mapping out crime scenes for forensic study.

Email: rmorgan@deseretnews.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 15, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

LOS ANGELES – After a visit to evaluate Los Angeles' bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee's commission couldn't pick one adjective to describe the proposed venues.

So it chose many, all superlative, to describe what the group had seen over its three-day visit last week.

As that commission takes its tour of Paris, which concludes Tuesday, it is LA 2024's venue plan that left the impression that bid leaders had hoped for. That plan, one that does not require the construction of any permanent venues, is one they hope can help them secure the Games.

"The commission members were almost ecstatic about the level of the venues that they've found and that they've seen and that they've been able to meet those people that manage those venues," said Patrick Baumann, chairman of the IOC's evaluation commission. "It goes from spectacular venues to impressive venues to mind-blowing venues to incredible venues. That certainly is an incredibly positive thing. And it's positive because we've been able to really see them."

The commission's tour Thursday included nearly all the venues, including iconic sites such as the Rose Bowl and Coliseum. IOC evaluators took basketball shots on the Staples Center court. And they toured the campuses of UCLA and Southern California, where the athletes and media villages, respectively, would be located.

"It's certainly an incredible asset to be able to have a village that we could walk them through," LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman said. "It wasn't about greenfield sites or blueprints. It was about touching and feeling."

IOC members who will select a 2024 (and maybe also a 2028) host in September don't have to reveal how they voted or why. But, ostensibly, the importance of venues should play a role under Agenda 2020, a series of reforms that aims to cut the cost of bidding and make the Games more sustainable by encouraging the use of existing venues, among other things.

That change, in effect for the first time in this bidding process, comes in response to a history of cost overruns that have left previous host cities with white elephants, causing budgets to skyrocket and serving little use beyond the Games.

"What we're seeing with the venues is the fundamental problem with the Olympics," said Victor Matheson, an economist at Holy Cross who has studied the cost of hosting the Games. "The Olympics has so many extremely specialized sports that the venues become really problematic."

It's often difficult, for example, to find sustained use for things such as a cycling velodrome or a canoeing course. Los Angeles' bid would require extensive retrofitting — including the installation of a track in the Coliseum — and temporary venues, but it would not require any permanent construction.

Paris, the only other city bidding against Los Angeles, would have to build an athletes village – usually one of the most costly venues to construct — and a swimming pool.

LA 2024 fielded questions about its use of sports parks, with four proposed to foster cost reduction through shared resources rather than having one large Olympic park. The plan would make it easier for fans to see multiple events in one zone.

To be sure, it is still a plan. Should Los Angeles be awarded the Games, the hard work would be in the construction of temporary venues and retrofitting of current ones.

But for the most part, bid organizers stuck to their message. Look at our venues. They already exist. Rather than blueprints, LA 2024 posted large plexiglass displays outside of the venues showing what they would look like during the Olympics.

At the site of the NFL stadium to be completed in Inglewood by 2019, IOC evaluators saw a virtual reality video of what it would look like with Wasserman explaining how it would suit the Olympics.

By all accounts, it was a wow moment on a visit in which IOC commission members only had to see to believe what an Olympics in Los Angeles would look like.

"This visit has certainly confirmed our opinion that Los Angeles has developed an excellent proposal, and, probably, given the facilities that are available here and what is already ready, seven years of lead time is a luxury here in this city," Baumann said. "We've seen excellent venues, including legacy venues from the 1932 and 1984 Games. And those venues remind us that smart planning leads to great Olympic legacies.

"Los Angeles is already a great Olympic city, but after these three days, we now realize that was an understatement."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 15, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

Paris Paris bid leaders want to capitalize on the sense of optimism surrounding new President Emmanuel Macron to beat Los Angeles and secure the Olympic Games in 2024 — not 2028.

With the IOC currently assessing a proposal to award the next two Olympics — one to each city — Paris officials insist the French capital city is the right choice for 2024.

The 39-year-old Macron, France's youngest-ever president, officially took office on Sunday as the IOC evaluation commission started a three-day visit to Paris.

"Our team has a new member, the new President of France, Emmanuel Macron," bid leader Tony Estanguet said on Sunday. "He's been a fantastic supporter of our bid from the beginning. He will be with us all the way to Lima and hopefully beyond."

Los Angeles and Paris are the only two bidders left for the 2024 Games, which will be awarded in September at a meeting of Olympic leaders in Peru. The race began with five cities, but Rome, Hamburg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary, all pulled out.

The IOC has four vice presidents looking into the prospect of awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time in September.

"We have one goal during these few days: to convince you that Paris is the right city, with the right vision, at the right moment," Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said. "The right city with world-class venues and accommodation, and the best public transport in the world, ready right now."

International Olympic Committee members were in Los Angeles earlier this week to meet with the U.S. bid leaders and inspect their planned venues. While Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appeared at least willing to consider hosting the 2028 Olympics if the city isn't awarded its first choice of 2024, Hidalgo said Paris is set for the earlier edition.

"With financial and political stability and support, we are ready right now," Hidalgo said. "At the right moment, as the no risk option."

Patrick Baumann, the chair of the IOC evaluation commission, said Sunday's discussions with Paris leaders focused solely on their project for 2024.

"Right now we are still in a process where we assess a potential candidacy for 2024," Baumann told a press conference. "2024-2028 was not a matter of discussion."

The French government has pledged one billion euros ($1.1 billion) of support for the Paris bid and Macron is expected to confirm that amount. If Paris is awarded the 2024 Games, the infrastructure budget is expected to total 3 billion euros, with operational costs of 3.2 billion euros.

Paris is also betting on the compactness of its plans to make the difference. According to the bid dossier, 84 percent of the athletes will be able to reach their competition venues in less than 25 minutes, and more than 70 percent of the proposed venues are existing facilities, with a further 25 percent relying on temporary structures.

Paris, which last staged the Olympics in 1924, failed in bids for the 1992, 2008, and 2012 Games.

With the pro-business and pro-EU Macron, Paris bid leaders have a strong supporter. The new president has already thrown his weight behind Paris' bid, telling IOC President Thomas Bach over the phone of its "expected benefits for all French people."

Macron did not attend Sunday's night gala dinner with IOC members in Paris but invited the evaluation commission on Tuesday to the Elysee Palace before they leave.

Meanwhile, the Paris team added another high-profile figure to their list of backers on Sunday as it unveiled France soccer great Zinedine Zidane as their latest ambassador.

"I was involved in several bids, but this one is really close to our hearts," said Zidane, who also supported the Qatar bid to host soccer's 2022 World Cup and was involved in Paris's 2008 and 2012 failed bids.

IOC members started their visit with a full day of discussions on Paris' proposals that will be followed by venue visits on Monday and further meetings on the final day.

"Our friends of Paris 2024 presented us with an exceptional and well detailed bid presentation," Baumann said. "We have two cities with a wonderful Olympic spirit. It's difficult to give them less than 10 out of 10."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 16, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Woodward Communications, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA)

 

 

When Dan Runkle took the job as University of Dubuque athletic director, facilities on campus weren't something to write home about. Following a 21-year stint as Minnesota State-Mankato football coach, Runkle came to Dubuque in 2002. The university was coming off a period in the late 1990s where people wondered if the institution was going to keep its doors open.

Athletic programs, said Runkle, reflected that, hovering in mediocrity with questionable futures.

"We were just terrible, bottom of our conference in everything," Runkle said. "I think the ability to hire coaches and build new facilities has allowed us the ability to compete quite favorably in our conference."

Thanks in large to alumni donations, Runkle said every academic and athletic facility has either been renovated or built anew since he started as AD. And with the facilities upgrades, he's able to mark success in Dubuque athletics programs as a result.

Since 2008, UD has returfed its soccer field; upgraded its baseball and softball fields; renovated the Stoltz Center; and built the Chlapaty Rec Center, football stadium/outdoor track, tennis courts, Debra Runkle Center and the Mercer-Birmingham Office Complex.

Architectural Showcase: Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center/Football Stadium Renovation University of Dubuque

Spartan athletics have experienced a renovation too. In the last 10 years, Dubuque has won conference championships in men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball and football, among other accomplishments. Men's soccer, men's basketball and football each took part in the NCAA Division III playoffs within the last two years.

"Our goal when I got here was to be able to give a student-athlete the opportunity to be successful and facilities they can be proud of," Runkle said. "And then you go from there. In doing that, it's helped recruiting tremendously. We have coaches committed to their sports.

"In the late 1990s, there were questions of whether or not UD was going to survive as an institution. There became some people who stepped up. Donors. They had a plan. The plan is coming to fruition. It's not done yet & but it's been a transformation."

Runkle said every private school at the Division III level is in a "facilities race." Without the ability to offer athletic scholarships, facilities are one of the main ways schools try to maintain an edge in recruiting. But another pride point for Dubuque is its diversity. Women's basketball coach Mark Noll said more than 20 percent of the student body is from a minority, adding that it's one of the highest rates in the Midwest.

"When they see that we have (diversity) on our campus, that opens the door for athletes to want to come here," Noll said. "Socially, they feel they can be successful on our teams and in other aspects of our campus."

UD's recruiting profile is heavy on the big Midwest cities. More than 28 percent of athletes (132 of 472) come from Chicago and the suburbs. Another 33 are from Rockford, Ill. and surrounding communities, and 32 come from the Quad Cities.

Here's a look at other UD recruiting trends:

FOREIGN FLAIR

The soccer and tennis teams contain 11 international students combined. Men's and women's rosters for both squads contain players from: Brazil, Colombia, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Spain.

WEST COAST SPARTANS

Another 30 Dubuque athletes are from the West Coast, including 15 from California and eight from Arizona. Ten football players are from the Pacific Time Zone, including quarterback Conor Feckley, of Alaska.

DUBUQUE DISPARITY

In all, UD has recruited athletes from 28 states. Aside from the Iowa-Illinois-Wisconsin territory, other major states represented are Texas (seven athletes), Minnesota (10) and Florida (seven).

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 15, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

A Mexican university located just south of San Diego is looking to become the first member of the NCAA to be located south of the U.S. border.

Having submitted its application in January, now Cetys University has to prove it can comply with a series of rules. Cetys rector Fernando León García described the process as "long" to AGP Desportes in January, and also clarified that just because it's seeking NCAA accreditation, doesn't mean Cetys has its sights on becoming a Division I powerhouse.

"Do not expect to see us competing against Ohio State or UCLA in football and basketball," León García told AGP. Instead, he added, Cetys is looking to compete against smaller, Division II schools, such as Westmont College of Santa Barbara, a member of the Golden State Athletic Conference.

"We would compete against small universities that have anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 students, where sports is just one component of life," he said. "In Division I, you have the big universities that … have mega budgets and a long tradition in sports."

For example, the entire year's athletic budget at Cetys totals to about $1.25 million, The New York Times reported Monday. At a Division I school like Ohio State or UCLA, that wouldn't even cover a football coach's salary.

Cetys, which already travels to the United States regularly to play exhibition games in four sports for men and three for women, is aware its application isn't a sure thing, however. The last Mexican university that applied for NCAA membership, Monterrey Tech, was rejected in 2013.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 15, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Chattanooga Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)

 

Acknowledging a football scholarship offer from the University of Georgia may have cost a 2018 prospect the chance to quarterback at Wisconsin.

Ben Bryant, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from La Grange, Ill., announced his offer from Georgia late Thursday night on social media and claims that Wisconsin pulled its scholarship on Friday. Bryant had been committed to the Badgers since Dec. 7.

"I got a call from Wisconsin saying that there is no longer a spot for me there because I posted that I got another offer," Bryant told Scout.com. "Very disappointed."

Under NCAA recruiting rules, colleges are not allowed to comment on specific prospects, so it is highly unlikely that Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst will be able to share his side of things for several more months.

From ABSocial Media as a Window to the Character of a Recruit

Bryant announced the offer from Kirby Smart's Bulldogs on Twitter, posting, "Humbled to receive an offer from the University of Georgia." His tweet included the "G" logo and a picture of a packed Sanford Stadium.

When recruiting websites started reporting what had transpired, Bryant linked one of the stories to his Twitter account and included the message, "No interviews."

Bryant is the nation's No. 24 pro-style quarterback and No. 631 overall prospect, according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings. He is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports, Rivals.com and Scout.com, while ESPN pegs him as a four-star recruit and as the nation's No. 21 pro-style quarterback.

Georgia's only scholarship quarterbacks for the upcoming season are sophomore Jacob Eason and early enrollee Jake Fromm. Both were top-50 national prospects, which could be why the elite Peach State quarterback prospects for 2018 have committed elsewhere.

From ABBlog: 9 Social Media Dos and Don'ts for Student-Athletes

Cartersville High School's Trevor Lawrence is the top quarterback nationally and picked Clemson over the Bulldogs, while the dual-threat talents of Kennesaw's Justin Fields (Harrison High) and Franklin's Emory Jones (Heard County High) have committed to Penn State and Ohio State, respectively. Lawrence is the top prospect in Georgia for the 2018 recruiting cycle, according to 247Sports, with Fields third and Jones fourth.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 14, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.
Copyright 2017 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 Sun Journal May 14, 2017

Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)

 



NORWAY -- The Planning Board voted 4-0 Thursday to allow an Oxford resident to construct a private health club and fitness center on Aldrich Avenue.

Jesse Wall has owned and operated TruStrength Athletics on Route 26 in Oxford since 2008.

He told planners that TruStrength Athletics is "not like your normal health club."

"When I first explain to people what I do, they think of a big gym with saunas and steamers," Wall said. "That's not what we do there."

He compared the club to "a motorcycle club or cycling club," where membership closes after they "hit a certain number."

"The idea is to do community building through an avenue of fitness," Wall said. "We do a lot of youth outreach and try to promote healthy activities in town."

Wall said he wants to build a 40- by 140-foot steel warehouse-style building and a smaller, pre-engineered steel building on the lot.

"It's a straightforward construction," Wall told the board. "It's not going to be a high-noise club, and since we close membership after a certain point, we're always going to have a good idea of how many people should be there."

Following a public hearing, the board reviewed the Site Plan Review Ordinance to ensure the proposal met all applicable standards.

Chairman Dennis Gray asked Wall if he planned to have grass surrounding his building.

"The idea is to eventually bring some loam in and let the grass grow up behind the building," Wall said.

Aldrich Avenue is a dead-end street off Alpine Street.

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

 
May 15, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The State Journal- Register
All Rights Reserved

The State Journal- Register (Springfield, IL)

 

SNAP FITNESS centers in Chatham, Auburn and Carlinville, and one in Springfield, have a new owner.

Adam Lopez, who took over the Chatham outlet last year, recently acquired the location on the west side of Springfield, as well as the centers in Auburn and Carlinville. Lopez, president of the Springfield School Board and a representative for Country Financial, said last week the previous owners for the three newly acquired locations decided to sell after moving out of state.

"We're going to be updating them," Lopez said. "They'll have a whole new look."

Lopez said the Snap Fitness at 1929 W. Iles Ave. will relocate this summer to a retail strip center near Del's Popcorn in the Parkway Pointe shopping center. The franchise also has a separately owned facility at 1362 Toronto Road in Springfield.

Plans are to update the Springfield facility as part of the move and to remodel the Auburn and Carlinville centers this fall.

The local fitness market has rapidly expanded the last few years, but Lopez said he believes there still is room for membership growth, especially in the 24-hour access market.

"People like the 24-7 hours. It's really become a trend," said Lopez, who added that he plans to lower rates. Lopez' father, Mike, is village president in Jerome

According to the company website, snapfitness.com, there are now more than 2,000 Snap Fitness clubs in 18 countries.

Still no final decision on the GORDMANS at 3231 S. Veterans Parkway in Springfield, according to an update last week from new owners Stage Stores Inc. The Springfield Gordmans is among leases acquired by the Houston-based company, which previously announced plans to operate 50 to 57 Gordmans locations.

Stores remain open, including in Springfield, while the process is completed. Stage Stores operates nearly 800 department stores in 38 state. Beals, Goody's, Stage, Peebles and Palais Royal are among the company brand names. There are Goody's stores in Lincoln, Jacksonville and Taylorville.

The Springfield Gordmans opened in 2002. The parent company filed for bankruptcy in March.

VICTORIA'S SECRET is relocating and expanding at White Oaks Mall.

The retailer is remodeling more than 9,500 square feet in the upper-level Dick's Sporting Goods wing. In addition to a new look, the retailer will add a PINK storefront of lingerie for college-age women. An August opening is planned.

OFF THE WALL also opened recently on the lower level of the mall between Macy's and LA Fitness. The retailer features NASCAR merchandise, sporting merchandise, jewelry, belts and buckles, wallets, flags, black-light posters and related products.

The ALDI store at 2075 Mount Zion Road in Decatur reopened Thursday with the company's new look, including layout and design, natural lighting, open ceilings and use of recycled materials in construction.

Aldi announced plans in February to invest $1.6 billion in store updates nationwide, including approximately $13 million on 11 stores in the Springfield, Decatur and Champaign markets. A company spokeswoman said last week renovation of the Springfield stores is scheduled for 2018.

REBOUND HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS, a drug-addiction treatment center, has opened at 435 W. Washington St. in Springfield. Michael Reeves, a licensed social worker and addiction counselor, is the owner. The phone number is 210-2476. The website is reboundtreatment.com.

An apartment complex with 17, 12-unit complexes on 15 acres is scheduled for a May 17 hearing at the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission. According to a project outline submitted to the commission, the site for PLEASANT PARK APARTMENTS is on the south side of Wabash Avenue, east of Ash Grove Drive.

CASEY'S convenience store chain has announced plans to expand sales of E15 and E85 at 17 locations in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas, including at the Thortons convenience store chain in Illinois. Sales locations are available at getethanol.com

Ribbon cutting through The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce:

n ILLINOIS BRICK CO. (former Nelch & Son), 800 S. Ninth St.; May 24.

At city Building and Zoning:

n DAVITA DIALYSIS, 600 North Grand Ave. W.; new construction.

n SHELTER MUTUAL INSURANCE, 3167 Robbins Road; remodel.

n SPRINGFIELD PSYCHOLOGICAL CENTER, 3416 Liberty Drive; new construction.

n DOLLAR GENERAL, 2117 Clear Lake Ave.; new construction.

n PANDA EXPRESS, 2730 N. Dirksen Parkway; new construction.

n PRAIRIE CAPITAL CONVENTION, 1 Convention Plaza; Bank of Springfield signage.

- Contact Tim Landis: tim.landis@sj-r.com, 788-1536, twitter.com/timlandisSJR. Listen to his WUIS/SJ-R business report Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning on WUIS 91.9 FM, 89.3 FM and WUIS.org, or online at www.sj-r.com.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 14, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Commercial Appeal, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)

 

 

A few hours before any Memphis football practice this spring, for a period of about 90 minutes, there's a good chance you would've found athletic trainer Darrell Turner in the training room, with a roll of tape in his hands. There were 94 players on the Tigers' spring roster, and coach Mike Norvell requires all of them to have their ankles either taped or braced before every practice or scrimmage.

So for Turner and four of his assistants, this means almost every day of spring ball begins with tape. Lots and lots and lots of tape.

"Five people taping for at least an hour straight," Turner said.

Athletic tape is so embedded in the daily routine of college football that players and coaches often don't think twice about it. But for Turner, it is arguably the most important tool of the trade, an incredibly complex and surprisingly costly part of college football that few fans rarely see or understand.

From ABUnderstanding the Role of Athletic Trainers in High Schools

This spring, for example, Turner said the Memphis football program used nine different varieties and four different colors of tape. They used athletic tape on ankles, mostly, but also fingers, toes, feet, knees, wrists and more. They spent more than $4,000 on taping supplies. And they used an average of 226 rolls of tape before every spring practice, totaling 2,441 yards.

That's the length of more than 24 football fields - for every practice.

Tape plays an important role in preventing injuries, or helping players return to the field quickly. But at a school like Memphis, where the TV money is lacking and the budget is tight, it also provides a window into just how complicated and costly Division I football can be.

"It's crazy," Turner said, shaking his head. "People don't even realize how much goes into it."

A price worth paying

Senior running back Doroland Dorceus figures he's been getting his ankles taped as long as he's been playing football.

"I've been wearing tape for so long, it just feels different (without it)," he said. "For me, I feel like my ankles are weak when I don't have tape on them, because I've been getting taped for so long."

At lower levels of football, however, tape is often about appearance. Aspiring teens think that if they tape their wrists like Adrian Peterson, they can play like him, too. (Or, at the very least, look cooler and tougher in the process.)

At Memphis, Turner said he and his staff try to "eliminate the cool guy stuff." Taping is about injury prevention, and only injury prevention. More specifically, Memphis' training staff is, in most cases, trying to prevent the most common version of an ankle sprain, when the toes are pointed downward in what is called "plantar flexion."

"I've heard a number of times where guys got in a bad position, they feel it pull, but then they keep on going because they feel the tape kind of catch," said Kyle Bowles, a graduate assistant athletic trainer with the football team. "Whereas if they didn't have the tape, they're done. Sprained ankle."

This is why Norvell, who is entering his second season at Memphis, has required every player to be taped or braced at all times. "Just for that support and for precautionary reasons," he said.

While most coaches talk about this, Turner said, Norvell actually enforces it. Football staffers keep a list of who is taped or braced and who isn't on a daily basis.

"If a guy rolls his ankle out at practice or gets hurt, Coach wants to know: Was he taped up? Was he good?" Turner said. "He wants to make sure the player did his part to try to stay healthy."

Linemen, receivers and running backs may also choose to tape their wrists, either to keep sweat off their hands and provide extra support.

"When you're on the D-Line, you use your hands a lot," redshirt senior Ernest Suttles said. "You can get your hands caught up and your wrists caught up in the trenches."

Turner believes strongly in the necessity of taping, as a means of injury prevention. But it also comes at a price.

According to figures provided to The Commercial Appeal, the Memphis football team used 3,171 rolls and 34,149 yards of tape during spring ball - which, if laid out in a straight line, would stretch from Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to Collierville.

Those taping supplies, for 14 spring football practices, cost $4,202.88. Turner estimated that Memphis spent about $28,000 on taping supplies for all of the university's student-athletes last year.

"We try to buy tape that has research behind it, that resists moisture, that holds its tension longer," he said. "If you're going to spend all this money, you're going to want to put the best tape that holds as tight as long as it possibly can in hopes of preventing injury."

Preference and superstition

Getting taped has become part of the daily practice routine at Memphis - and many players take it seriously.

Senior Jackson Dillon, for example, has always used the same old-school white tape, made by Johnson & Johnson, 1.5 inches wide and cloth-woven. It's popular and traditional, what you think of when you think of athletic tape. What makes Dillon unique is that he uses it without foam underwrap, taping straight to the skin.

"I've done this my whole life," he said after one practice this spring. "You've got to keep your ankles shaved though.... I think it's the best way to go. If everyone introduced themselves to it, they'd love it."

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Brady Davis gets what he calls "the quarterback special," a light tape job so his ankles don't feel restricted. "They wrap 100 times on everybody else," he said. Senior wide receiver Phil Mayhue also prefers it light. Though, to be honest, he'd probably prefer not to tape his ankles at all.

"I just need a necessary tape job, where I won't get in trouble," Mayhue said with a smile.

Dorceus doesn't know exactly how he gets his ankles taped, but he knows that Turner knows how to do it.

"Darrell knows how to tape my ankles. Not too tight, because I've got sensitive feet," Dorceus said. "He's been taping me for three years now, so he knows how I like it."

Turner said he and the rest of his staff usually tape the same players the same way every single day, memorizing their preferences and needs. Some players need a speciality tape job after a previous ankle injury, or prefer one of the nine varieties of tape they use - like Dillon's old-school Johnson & Johnson tape - over another.

"They're finicky, too," Turner said. "You can say they're superstitious, you can say they're creatures of habit, whatever they may be."

Most ankles are taped under the sock, but taping over the shoe, known as "spatting," comes with its own set of challenges. Because spatting involves covering the shoe's logo, it is considered a breach of Memphis' contract with Nike, except in "isolated" incidents "deemed to be a medical expediency," according to terms of the deal.

Turner and his staff also use different colors of tape are used to match the team's uniform combinations and must maintain a competitive edge when taping on gamedays, too. And if one ankle is spatted - or one wrist, or one thumb, or anything else that is visible on the field - Turner will tape the other as a means of disguise.

"I don't want a guy on the bottom of a pile grabbing the only one that's taped, giving it a nice little twist or yank at the bottom of a pile," he said.

All of this, Turner said, is what makes the simple act of taping an ankle or wrapping a thumb much more complicated than it may appear.

"There's a lot to it," he said. "There really is."

"It's crazy. People don't even realize how much goes into it."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

 
May 14, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Independent Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Anderson Independent-Mail (South Carolina)

 

With the University of South Carolina's Athletics Village completed and its Football Operations Center set to open after this season, what's the next project for Gamecock athletics?

After Frank Martin moves into his new offices at Carolina Coliseum and a new scoreboard and ribbon-boards are hung at Colonial Life Arena, USC will feature some of the best facilities in the country.

The final phase of the original plan is an indoor track, inside the former Fieldhouse across from Stone Stadium. Concrete has been poured for that facility, and the goal is for it to be ready by indoor track season in January.

Afterward, USC could try to replace the indoor tennis courts that were sacrificed as part of gutting the Fieldhouse for the indoor track.

"From a major standpoint, I would like to think we could build an indoor tennis complex," USC AD Ray Tanner said. "Six courts near the outdoor tennis facility for when it rains. That's a project I'd like to pursue."

A project that has been consistently brought up could also develop. USC doesn't have a free-standing Athletic Hall of Fame, but with much of the football offices moving from Williams-Brice Stadium to the Ops Center, perhaps USC could find room to display the awards of its most cherished athletes.

"A conversation for a Hall of Fame occurs quite often, and some space may be open in Williams-Brice," Tanner said. "That idea hasn't been shelved, but we're not at a point where we could say when that could happen."

With the University of South Carolina's Athletics Village completed and its Football Operations Center set to open after this season, what's the next project for Gamecock athletics?
 
 
 
May 14, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

COLUMBUS – There could be a significant difference in the high school football playoffs this coming season: all Friday games.

That's what the Ohio High School Athletic Association board of directors will address during its regular June meeting.

In Ohio, football is divided into seven divisions, most of any high school sport. Playoff football games traditionally have been played Friday and Saturday nights.

The OHSAA has determined that the increased popularity of college football, in particular statewide interest in Ohio State, which often plays in prime time Saturday nights, has negatively affected attendance at Saturday high school football playoff games.

"Most of the people who've had conversations about this believe Friday night should be high school football night and there are too many conflicts when you get off Friday night," OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross said during last week's media advisory committee meeting.

High school football playoffs run for five weeks following 10 weeks of the regular season. First-round playoff games are hosted by the higher seed. Weeks 12-14 games are shifted to neutral sites.

State championship Week 15 moves from Columbus and Ohio Stadium to Canton's new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium for 2017-18. Located next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, the stadium is an NFL-worthy venue that has replaced historic Fawcett Stadium and is the centerpiece of an expanded NFL Hall of Fame Village.

If the board approves the proposed switch, playoff games would be held Fridays for Weeks 11-14. Like now, state championship Week 15 would feature one game on Thursday and three each Friday and Saturday.

Ross said the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association also favors a switch to Friday night playoff games.

"I like it because that's what I hear from schools and coaches," Ross said. "What stirred a lot of consternation about all this was Ohio State playing on Friday night."

The Big Ten will play Friday night football games for the first time this season. There will be six nationally televised,but none includes OSU.

A polarizing decision prompted by lucrative TV deals, several Big Ten programs have declared they will not play on Fridays because of its traditional high school football popularity.

Ross attributed other key reasons why this might work compared to previous eras. More stadiums have been fitted with the popular FieldTurf, an artificial surface that favorably influences OHSAA decision-making when choosing a neutral site.

There also has been an increase in certified Class-1 officials. Coaches like keeping the same Friday-night routine, although many programs play Saturday regular-season games, too.

Also, a surprising number of high school venues refuse to be considered for Saturday games because of the lack of available workers. That's especially pertinent during Thanksgiving weekend, when the state semifinals are played.

Finally, the OHSAA didn't provide precise numbers, but Ross said attendance for Friday playoff games compared to Saturday games "was significantly different. They're not even close."

Division I playoff games switched to Fridays last season after mostly being played on Saturdays since the playoffs began in 1972. Attendance for D-I games was "much higher" than previously. In contrast, D-III games suffered a spectator hit when they moved from Fridays to Saturdays. Ross indicated the board will likely approve the switch.

"It seems to be a good thing to try and see how it works," he said.

Contact this reporter at 937-225-2381 or email Marc.

Pendleton@coxinc.com

Twitter: @MarcPendleton

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 14, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

Deborah Loftis went to a physical therapist last year when her osteoarthritis flared up.

"She couldn't believe how flexible I was, given the amount of pain I was in," Loftis recalled.

"Then she asked me what I was doing, and I told her I did yoga. She said, 'Don't stop.'"

Loftis doesn't plan on it. In fact, with her recent retirement, she now plans to do even more yoga.

"One of the things I was really looking forward to in retirement was flexibility of schedule in order to be more active," said 65-year-old Loftis, whose job at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond required a good bit of travel.

Among other activities, she will continue to practice yoga at the seminary offices with instructor Barbara Prema Brown, who regularly modifies poses for her students so they don't aggravate injuries or conditions.

Brown, who is in her 70s, has found a niche in helping seniors stay active and strong. She has developed an approach to yoga that she calls "Aging Agelessly," and she is presenting at a workshop on that topic at a three-day workshop next year at Yogaville, a yoga programming and retreat center in Buckingham County.

"Just because you age, you don't have to let go," she said at a recent class at Baptist Theological Seminary.

Loftis, she said, is a prime example of how to move through the setbacks of aging and remain on track.

"Deb amazes me," Brown said. "I really use her like a guinea pig" when trying out partner poses.

Loftis admitted that she's always been fairly flexible. But it does take some work to remain so at this stage of life.

"With regular practice, you can increase your flexibility and balance," she said.

Her yoga classmates agree.

Jim Peak, who brought the yoga class to the seminary offices after trying it out elsewhere, said it has helped him get through knee replacements.

Likewise, Tracy Hartman said her core strength and balance from yoga were critical when she broke her foot a couple of years ago and could not put weight on it for three months.

"It helped me during and it's helped me after," she said. Brown visited Hartman at her home, and gave her yoga poses with modifications that she could do from a chair.

Hartman, who will take over as dean of Baptist Theological in June, said she tries her best to make the two yoga classes taught by Brown there each week.

"When I'm traveling or when I have meetings, my body can tell when I miss," she said.

Brown said that kind of commitment is necessary to see substantial benefits.

"It has to become a lifestyle," she said.

For the retired Loftis, that's no problem. "Yoga has always been part of the retirement plan," she said.

Maria Howard is a group exercise instructor for the YMCA of Greater Richmond and the University of Richmond Weinstein Center. Her column runs every other week in Sunday Flair.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

Eastern Washington University has taken the first steps in exploring the feasibility of improving the school's athletic facilities.

Responding to an inquiry from The Spokesman-Review, EWU President Mary Cullinan said in a statement this week that the university has hired an outside consultant "to assess the university's fundraising capacity and help plan a comprehensive campaign that will include fundraising for the university's athletics facilities."

The Phoenix Philanthropy Group of Arizona, described by Cullinan as "nationally recognized experts in university development and fundraising," will be represented in Cheney by senior consultant Peter Smits, a vice president emeritus at Fresno State.

The announcement comes at a crucial time for football and men's basketball. Both teams have new coaches who've never led a collegiate program, while football fans have been chafing for years over the lack of significant upgrades to 50-year-old Roos Field.

Meanwhile, two of Eastern's biggest football rivals are making significant strides off the field.

Montana State is nearing completion of an athletics facilities master plan that's expected to include indoor practice facilities and renovations to the east grandstands at 17,777-seat Bobcat Stadium.

At Montana, construction is moving briskly on the Washington-Grizzly Champions Center, a 51,000-square-foot complex that will house a new weight room, locker room and other amenities.

Top-flight facilities are a major boon to recruiting, and in turn, success on the field. Eastern bucked that trend under former coach Beau Baldwin, who won four Big Sky Conference titles in his last five years in Cheney.

The Eagles also own a five-game winning streak against MSU and have taken five of the last six against Montana, but the uphill battle in recruiting figures to get steeper when regional foe Idaho joins the Big Sky.

Last fall, before a practice at Roos Field, several Eastern assistant coaches expressed their concerns over the addition of another better-funded school.

"How are we going to compete with Idaho with facilities like this?" asked one coach, pointing to the high-schoolish visiting-side bleachers.

Five years ago, Eastern announced plans for the Gateway Project, a multiuse facility that failed to get off the ground for lack of donors.

Four years later, Cullinan gave athletic director Bill Chaves an open-ended directive to "explore options" regarding improvements to Roos Field.

However, since taking office in 2014, Cullinan has offered no comments either for or against any improvements or renovations. Neither has the Board of Regents, the university's governing body.

Smits will begin work on May 30. An assessment phase is expected to last four months and will include interviews with more than 30 people on campus. The second phase, implementation of recommendations from the assessment will take eight months.

Eastern's contract with Phoenix calls for a total payment of $124,000.

Contact the writer:

(509)459-5437

jima@spokesman.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 14, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Commercial Appeal, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)

 

There are no doors affixed to the new Memphis men's basketball practice facility and most of the walls are still missing. The pillars and rotunda resembling classic Southern architecture that greet visitors are visible from Getwell Road. But the roof is not quite done, and the bronze Tiger statue in front is nowhere to be found yet.

With almost 18 months of construction in the books, and about five more to go if everything goes as planned, this $21 million endeavor remains a work in progress. What will eventually be a 62,000-square-foot structure on the university's south campus is currently a skeleton of metal framing, concrete, sawdust and mud.

But during an exclusive hard hat tour given to The Commercial Appeal Thursday morning, there was enough in place for Steven Bauer to show off some of the luxuries he hopes will make the building a "home away from home" for the Memphis men's basketball program starting in October.

"I think we put everything in here you're ever going to need," said Bauer, the vice president of construction services for Nations Group, the Arizona-based developer overseeing this project. "This is going to be the standard. This is something the whole city should be proud of."

To start, there will be no keys to get inside. Instead, most entryways are outfitted with BioScan fingerprint access readers. At the players' entrance, there will also be a television monitor with personalized messages that flash on the screen once the building registers that individual's fingerprint.

The players will then walk past their two-story, 3,250-square-foot weight room and down a private hallway filled with motivational sayings on the wall. Through the glass, they can admire Traditions Hall, a 7,300-square-foot lobby that will double as a museum designed to be an interactive celebration of Memphis basketball for the general public.

When they turn the corner, an oculus that opens to the roof of the building featuring various Tiger uniforms of the past will greet them.

Then comes approximately 5,500 square feet of team areas, including a locker room with phone connectivity in every stall, a lounge featuring three flat-screen televisions and gaming consoles, an additional quiet lounge with recliners for sleeping and a theater-style film room.

These rooms will each be equipped with state-of-the-art sound and video equipment, to the point that players will be able to hook in their phones or iPads in the locker room and play music in the showers if they want.

"It's like a living room at home, only better," Bauer said.

There's also an adjacent 1,600-square-foot lounge area that will be used for meals and team activities as well as a 1,350-square-foot academic center featuring individual tutoring rooms and a common room for studying.

If this all seems like a lot for 18 student-athletes, it's because that's exactly what everybody involved wanted. Memphis administrators and former Tigers basketball player Bill Laurie, who along with his wife, Nancy, donated a school-record $10 million to help finance this project, toured practice facilities at Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas State and determined they all felt a bit too cramped.

So space became a priority for architects from Memphis-based Looney Ricks Kiss, national engineering firm AECOM and Memphis-based Linkous Construction. The Larry O. Finch Center, which the Tigers have used as their practice facility since 2000, is about half the size at 31,000 square feet and cost $3.2 million.

"To see it in person for the first time and really get a feel for the magnitude and the size, it's impressive," Memphis associate athletic director Mark Alnutt said Thursday. "Looking at other comparable facilities, what this place offers and the opportunity to make it that one-stop shop for our student-athletes is phenomenal."

Alnutt confirmed the new building will eventually be named after the Laurie family, but it wouldn't exist without a basketball court. The one in this practice facility will total 14,000 square feet, with two portable baskets and four additional fixed goals.

There also will be scoreboards and cameras in every corner, in addition to a catwalk on the second floor that allows the coaching staff to look out onto the court from their offices above. On the sideline, there is another television monitor that gives Coach Tubby Smith and his staff the ability to review footage as it's being recorded and potentially correct mistakes with players as they're happening in practice.

On one end of the court will be the training and equipment rooms, which will include a treatment area, training tables, diagnostic equipment, a steam room, a hydrotherapy treadmill pool and two plunge pools - one cold and one hot.

There also will be a spiral staircase leading to the second floor that houses offices for the entire coaching and operations staff as well as meeting rooms for recruiting visits. To emphasize that no detail went overlooked, Bauer noted there will even be a bed installed in Smith's office, which also has its own locker room.

That Smith will be in the same place as where his players work out will be a perk previous Memphis coaching staffs haven't enjoyed before. At the moment, Smith and his assistants work out of the Athletic Office Building with the rest of the Memphis athletic department, and it's about a half-mile drive to the Finch Center.

"The best part about it is we'll all be there," Smith said recently, noting that the new facility has already become a major recruiting tool. "A kid that's having a tough time, he can just walk upstairs or I can walk downstairs. That's something I think will be a real plus."

For now, however, Bauer can only tell visitors about all these features and perks over the jackhammers, power saws and sparks of an ongoing construction site. It's still mostly an exercise in visualization, with only the framework in place.

Nonetheless, Memphis President David Rudd said in a recent radio interview the men's basketball team would be able to use the facility by October, and Bauer confirmed Thursday that's the timeline he and his crew are working under.

"They have a lot of work to do. There's no two ways about it," he said. "But it better be completely done in October. They've got a season they've got to prepare for, so they've got to move in and have this as their base of operations by then."

Reach Mark Giannotto at mark.giannotto@commercialappeal.com and on Twitter @mgiannotto.

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
Mark Weber / The Commercial AppealConstruction work is underway in the large entryway of the University of Memphis' new 62,000-square-foot men's basketball training facility on the Park Avenue campus. The $21 million project is expected to be completed in October and will include coaches' offices, an academic support center, locker rooms and a weight room.
 
May 13, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
All Rights Reserved

Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

 

Celebrity fitness guru Jillian Michaels won a $5.7 million arbitration ruling against Lionsgate late Wednesday in a dispute over content posted for free on YouTube.

The legal dispute called into question whether free YouTube videos devalue a creator's paid content. Nashville attorney Richard Busch, who represented Michaels, called the victory a landmark decision that could benefit artists.

Record labels, for instance, regularly post music on YouTube or on Spotify's free tier. The labels collect advertising revenue, and also hope that fans who hear their artist's music are more likely to buy concert tickets, physical copies of the album or pay for a subscription streaming service.

"We are thrilled for Jillian," Busch said. "This is an incredibly important decision for all artists in the YouTube era in which we live. This decision represents a firm pronouncement that placing work on YouTube for free devalues it, and damages artists, like Jillian, who created it."

Michaels had a deal with Lionsgate to distribute her workout videos as DVDs and her contract allowed the company to post clips for promotional reasons. But when Lionsgate launched a free YouTube fitness channel called BeFit, Michaels argued she was not paid for her work.

Lionsgate and Michaels eventually reached a settlement over unpaid royalties from the YouTube revenue, but the dispute didn't end there. Michaels said that by continuing to post her videos for free on BeFit, fans were less likely to pay for her workout, fitness and wellness videos posted on a subscription-based site that she subsequently launched.

According to background information included in the arbitrator's ruling on Wednesday, BeFit content increased from 6.7 million views to 27.5 million views between 2012 and 2013.

"During that time, sales of Michaels' DVDs declined and continued to decline through 2015 as views on BeFit continued to increase or stay steady," according to the background information from arbitrator Bruce A. Friedman's ruling. "In fact, though Michaels' content accounts for approximately 3 percent of BeFit's total content, the views of Michaels' content have consistently accounted for 39 to 50 percent of BeFit's total views."

Lionsgate argued in the arbitration proceedings that Michaels benefited from the promotional value of the YouTube content. According to the documents, Lionsgate collected 55 percent of advertising revenue generated by Google on the BeFit channel. The company did identify $428,000 in unpaid royalties from the YouTube revenue, but Michaels' contract with Lionsgate didn't carve out how she should be paid from such content.

"Though the agreement clearly does not account for compensation to Michaels in any form outside per unit DVD sales, (Lionsgate) still argued that providing the content for free on BeFit actually benefited Michaels' brand, acting to promote the fitness videos online by reaching a widespread global audience... and having a positive effect on DVD sales of the fitness videos," Friedman said in his explaining his ruling.

That line of reasoning by Lionsgate will sound familiar in the music industry, where record labels post content on free-tiered streaming services. In addition to the $5.7 million award for lost past and future profits from DVD and digital distribution revenue, Friedman ordered Michaels' videos removed from the YouTube channel.

"We argued throughout that Liongate tried to build a YouTube business, BeFit, on Jillian's back and popularity, but did not care that it did not have the right to do so, or the damage it did to her," Busch said. "We are very happy with the arbitrator's decision, including the order requiring the removal of Jillian's content from YouTube."

Busch, who works for the Nashville office of the firm King and Ballow, has served as the attorney on several significant rulings, including successfully representing Marvin Gaye's family in its copyright dispute with Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the song "Blurred Lines."

Lionsgate and YouTube could not immediately be reached for comment.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter


 
May 13, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Evansville Courier Co.
All Rights Reserved

Evansville Courier & Press (Indiana)

 

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University paid an Atlanta-based search firm at least $90,000 for its assistance during Indiana's hunt for a new men's basketball coach in March.

According to documents obtained via an open records request, Parker Executive Search - the firm that helped IU athletic director Fred Glass vet new coach Archie Miller - charged Indiana University $90,000, paid over two $45,000 installments, for its work. Parker also retained the right to bill IU for expenses incurred during the search, according to an agreement between the firm and the university, promising to "make every effort to hold reimbursable expenses to a minimum and... ensure that our expenses are no more than 10 (percent) of the total fee."

That agreement suggested Indiana could have incurred further baseline expenses as well, but the $90,000 fee is described as "set."

Based on the north side of Atlanta, Parker Executive Search is widely considered one of the country's most prominent such entities. According to a 2013 ESPN story, that $90,000 fee is near standard for help they provide in identifying, contacting and vetting candidates during a coaching search.

It's not clear from the agreement exactly what role Parker played in IU's search for - and subsequent hiring of - Miller in late March.

But a heading titled "SCOPE OF WORK" outlines the firm's role in identifying, interviewing and following up with potential candidates. Parker promises help with background and reference checks, and in both coordinating and preparing for candidate interviews.

The agreement explicitly states that the firm will recommend and investigate qualified candidates, but has no ultimate say in the hiring decision.

Indiana hired Miller on March 25, just nine days after parting ways with Tom Crean, who spent nine years in charge in Bloomington.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
Robert Scheer/IndyStar Fred Glass, athletic director at Indiana University, speaks as Archie Miller is introduced in Assembly Hall, Bloomington.
 
May 13, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Post and Courier
All Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

 

Pleased with recent changes that have boosted offense, the NCAA basketball rules committee chose not to propose any drastic moves for next season such as breaking the men's game into four quarters, pushing back the 3-point line or widening the lane.

The committee did encourage conferences and tournaments to experiment with some of those alterations as a way to get a handle on the possible effects they would have on a game they feel is trending in the right direction.

"Officiating continues to emphasis free of movement, physicality and free flow of the game," Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot, the committee chairman, said Friday. "Adjustments for next season are going to be relatively minor which shows that I think most of the key stakeholders in the game feel like things are going well."

Two years ago, the shot clock was dropped from 35 to 30 seconds. The rules committee also recommended officials crack down on what many coaches felt was overly physical play that restricted movement. Division I teams averaged 73.4 points per game last season, up from 67.5 in the 2012-13. Points per game and field-goal percentage (44.4 percent) last season were the highest since 1994-95. Possessions per game have gone up as well.

The proposals the committee announced Friday were more modest and included, increasing the size of the coach's box from 28 to 38 feet; expanding the use of replay in the last two minutes to aid officials with some block-charge calls near the baskets and tweaking how the shot clock is reset.

The committee also proposed making throw-in spots in the front court more consistent, a mandatory minimum of 0.3 seconds be taken off the clock when the ball is legally touched and redefining a legal screen.

The committee also proposed allowing the Southeastern Conference to use a centralized replay system that would give on-court officials some help reviewing calls by officials not at game sites.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will consider the proposals in June.

As for the potentially big changes involving quarters, the 3-point line and the lane, Art Hyland, the committee's secretary and rules' editor, said all three are "still in play."

The NIT was played last resetting team fouls at the beginning of each half and 10 minutes into each half, mimicking four quarters. Hyland said similar experiments could be used this season with the 3-point line. He said collecting data on the playing with a wider lane is more difficult.

Hyland said potential issues with media partners over commercial breaks needed to be worked out before the men's game could make the move from two 20-minutes halves to four 10-minute quarters. Women's college basketball games are timed by quarters as NBA games and almost all high school games.

"In the meantime we're trying some experimental rules that kind of creating quarters without really creating quarters, but you get some of the same benefits such as a reset of the one-and-one and other things coaches are in favor of," Hyland said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 12, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

It didn't take long for fans to start making their opinions known to Larry Chavez.

Last Friday, two days after it was announced the owner of Dreamstyle Remodeling would pledge $10 million to the University of New Mexico, and $9 million to athletics, in exchange for, among other perks, naming rights to the football stadium and basketball arena, the votes starting coming in.

"Friday, an electrician in one of our Dream-style trucks was at a stop light," Chavez recalled. "A guy pulls up next to him, gets out of his truck, and walks over to the other side (of his own truck) - he had a dirty window - and he wrote in the dust 'Keep the Pit.' Then I'm told he pointed very vigorously at it so our driver could see. I wish we had gotten a picture of it.

"Our guy got back to the office and reported back to us, 'Here's a vote for keeping it the Pit.'"

Now, Chavez wants a more organized way for the public to get its opinion heard before he pulls the trigger on what the official new signage and logos going up around the Pit and the football stadium will actually say and look like before they're installed.

"Fundamentally what's going to drive this is the feedback from the community," Chavez said. "It is of extreme importance that this be done right and to the satisfaction of the vast majority of the fans out there."

Atop his company's website – www.DreamstyleRemodeling.com — is a red icon that states "Submit Suggestions" where, after a click and a little bit of a scroll down the page, people can submit their name and suggestion to Chavez.

The suggestion page states: "We welcome your suggestions as we work to develop the new exterior signage for Dreamstyle Arena and Stadium."

With that information, Chavez, and the marketing team at Dreamstyle, will give local company K2MD input on designing several logos — maybe a half dozen, or so," Chavez said - that can be put up on the company's website in the coming weeks for more community input before signage is decided on and installed in the next couple months.

Chavez, a lifelong Lobo fan who still calls it the Pit himself, entered into a contract with Lobo Sports Properties that calls for the venues to be named Dreamstyle Stadium and Dreamstyle Arena, for now. He gets final say in how the signage is worded and looks, within reason.

While he says there has been a lot of interest from around the country in both building and designing the signage, he wants to keep everything local if possible.

"We're going to use local people at every opportunity we can," Chavez said.

He said it's a pretty safe bet that "the Pit" will be an official part of the name for the 51-year-old basketball arena, which for years was known as University Arena and more recently WisePies Arena, AKA The Pit before Chavez's agreement took over the naming rights.

This isn't officially a vote, per se. Chavez still gets the final decision, and Dreamstyle will be a part of the name. But, he insists, he wants to get this right and getting the fan base involved is how to do that.

"We think how this is done in the signage will carry over into various logos for attire and other items, so it's very important," Chavez said. "We're going to put a lot of effort into it and make it very much available for people's comments and suggestions."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 12, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts)

 

FITCHBURG - You wouldn't expect to see this small city included in a list with Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Munich and London, but Fitchburg made the cut during the Drone Racing League's selection of where to hold its world championship races this year.

The Drone Racing League chose Fitchburg as the official New England site of one of its six 2017 Allianz World Championship races, which culminate in a winner-take-all world championship event.

Ashley Ellefson, director of operations for the league, said the organization looked around aggressively for a community to host the New England race.

"Fitchburg was the ideal location, and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber (of Commerce) and the city of Fitchburg were all amazing in support of our efforts," she said.

The Drone Racing League discovered the Fitchburg site after meeting Matthew E. Myers, marketing and communications manager at the North Central Chamber of Commerce, in August at a national trade show for sporting events.

From ABNew Sport, Drone Racing, Comes to Sun Life Stadium

Mr. Myers said he started recruiting the group to come to Fitchburg, but had no idea, at the time, that it was a full-scale production with a large film crew.

"I didn't know what to think," Mr. Myers said. "I didn't watch it last year. It's very exciting for north Central Massachusetts and Fitchburg. These sports are cutting edge and where the sporting world is going and we're excited to be on the cutting edge of sports."

The Drone Racing League competition was held in Fitchburg April 13 and 14 in an old paper mill at 431 Westminster St. (Route 2A). The event was closed to the public. The series will be broadcast on ESPN June through August.

North Central Massachusetts is an emerging sports tourism location, said Roy M. Nascimento, president and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. Strategic investments have been made to attract events and exhibitions to the region, he said, and the Drone Racing League and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association worked closely with the site selection team to find the right space for their New England race.

Related: The Drone Racing League and Allianz Announce Multi-Year, Global Title Partnership

The Drone Racing League joins a growing list of companies that have recently come to north Central Massachusetts, Mr. Nascimento said, including Great Wolf Lodge, which selected Fitchburg for its New England location; AIS, which recently moved its operation to Leominster; Nypro, which chose Devens for the expansion of its medical device manufacturing operations, and, most recently, the developers of Game On Fitchburg, who have proposed a site in West Fitchburg for an indoor sports complex.

"This was part of strategic investments to recruit visitors, groups and youth sporting events to the area," Mr. Nascimento said. "We're excited Fitchburg was selected. The Drone Racing League looked around pretty aggressively and New York was a possibility."

Mr. Nascimento said about 400 people, primarily the film crew and racers, descended on the area for four nights during the filming.

"I think it had a great economic impact with people staying overnight at hotels, eating at restaurants and visiting local businesses," he said. "An equally great benefit was the exposure we received for New England, North Central Mass. and Fitchburg. It shows North Central Mass. is a great place to do businesses in."

Ben Johnson, who works in the Drone Racing League's communications department, said the league is hosting six professional races as part of the Allianz World Championship Circuit in 2017. The 16 full-time pilots who race for the league represent seven different countries and are the best first-person-view drone pilots in the world, spending all of their time practicing, he said.

"Identifying a one-of-a-kind venue in the Northeast was key for the season," Mr. Johnson said. "The other five races will take place in Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Munich and London, as we bring professional drone racing to new fans around the world."

The league chose Fitchburg because the old paper mill was an interesting space in which to create a race, he said, and because of local support.

"It's a great area," Mr. Johnson said. "We spend a lot of time away from home creating races in non-traditional event spaces and this requires creativity and support from local partners to help imagine a vision of futuristic sports. It's a difficult task, and the venue and local partners are absolutely critical. The teams we worked with in Fitchburg were great, and we're excited to bring the race to TV."

The Drone Racing League still has two races to go in the 2017 season, Mr. Johnson said, and "there is absolutely a chance" Fitchburg will be on the 2018 schedule.

The 2017 season will air as 15 episodes on ESPN, Disney XD, and ESPN Deportes in the U.S., beginning June 20 on ESPN at 8 p.m., with new episodes airing every Tuesday and Wednesday night this summer.

"After tremendous success of the first season reaching more than 30 million broadcast viewers in the U.S. alone," Mr. Johnson said, "we believe the second season will bring more fans into the sport and expose the incredible skills of the pilots to audiences young and old around the world."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 12, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

 

As reported by Fox Sports, an idea proposed by the American Football Coaches' Association would allow a player to retain his redshirt after playing in a maximum of four games.

Current rules say a player has used up a year of eligibility the second he hits the field (the NCAA gives each player five years to play four seasons). Occasionally, players get their redshirt year back because of a season-ending injury. This would let all players get a taste of the action without docking them a full season of competition.

If the AFCA's idea takes hold during various conference meetings this spring -- the ACC meets next week in Amelia Island -- and the NCAA's various committees, it could be put to a vote at the NCAA's convention in January 2018.

It's hard to not see the positives. Among them:

It could help develop players. Giving a young player a taste of college action could show both the player and coaches where his game is at, without burning his redshirt. Perhaps that would have helped Miami's quarterback situation; throwing Jack Allison out there in a few lopsided wins last year could have given Mark Richt a better idea of what he could do. If the rule were in place this fall -- again, it would not be in place until 2018 at the earliest -- Miami could keep N'Kosi Perry's redshirt if he turned out not to be the answer. Going back to 2016, a player like receiver Dionte Mullins, who struggled with conditioning after missing his senior year of high school, could have played the final four games after getting his body right. Instead, he played sparingly in three games, mostly on special teams.

It could help teams overcome injuries. Miami had to play freshmen defensive ends Joe Jackson and Pat Bethel and cornerback Malek Young because starters got hurt, but a more illustrative 2016 example would be Mississippi. In a year they went 5-7, the Rebels burned the redshirt of their five-star quarterback signee, Shea Patterson, after starter Chad Kelly tore his ACL in November. Patterson's first season consisted of three games. As noted in Fox Sports' article, the college season is longer than ever -- the two teams in the national title game are on their 15th game -- and high-octane offenses leave players more tired. Letting redshirts into the ballgame could assuage that a bit.

It could increase interest in bowl games. If your team's star running back wants to skip the game to avoid injury and keep his NFL draft stock high, maybe your team takes the wraps off a few highly touted freshmen to give you a glimpse of the future. Fresh faces could give the game more meaning.

It can be an end-of-career reward. Take the case of Stan Dobard, who wound up a distant third on Miami's tight end depth chart as a senior. Dobard played 38 snaps on offense before a rash of injuries at defensive end led to a midseason position switch. Dobard played a handful of snaps the rest of the way. Since he had not reshirted in his career and could have had one more year of eligibility, maybe Miami could have found a way to keep him at the four-game limit and stash him for 2017. Maybe not. But many people -- especially Dobard -- would have liked to see him get another year.

mporter@pbpost.com Twitter: @mattyports

As reported by Fox Sports, an idea proposed by the American Football Coaches' Association would allow a player to retain his redshirt after playing in a maximum of four games.
 
 
May 12, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

 

It's not just football.

Of course, everyone knows that, or at least everyone who has ever given serious consideration to the long-term consequences of contact sports.

At the end, however, of a week in which the degenerative brain issues of Miami Dolphins greats Nick Buoniconti and Jim Kiick have been so sadly spotlighted, it seems important to widen the discussion.

There is a reason the American Youth Soccer Organization banned the basic skill of heading the ball for players 10 and younger and limited practice time with headers for older players.

There is a reason NBA playoff games are interrupted by long reviews to determine if hard contact "above the shoulders" deserves a flagrant foul penalty or may simply be classified a common foul.

There is a reason that rodeo bull riders are wearing more helmets than cowboy hats these days, and well worth noting that even these excessive risk-takers have begun to look beyond the eight-second adrenalin charge of competition and on to the rest of their lives.

Is the wisest move simply to hand our kids video- game versions of their favorite sport and prohibit them from getting off that safe and cushy couch to try out for a team, or learn a few skateboard tricks, or even to climb a tree? Even without going to that extreme, obesity already is an epidemic in America.

So we encourage each other to get physically fit, and we scramble for tickets to gather and cheer the best of our athletes, and we wish that CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) hadn't wormed its way into the company of common sports acronyms like NFL and NHL.

It's always been there, though, just as it was in boxing. The difference is we're putting a name on it now and slathering ourselves with education as some form of protection. It took a lot of lawsuits against major sports leagues to get here, and much research must be done to get any further.

Repeated blows to the head, delivered to mice in laboratory settings, yes, that's part of the process, too, because the only way to absolutely confirm CTE's existence in a human being is through an autopsy of the brain. Nasty business all the way around, and many athletes have decided later in life to donate their brains and bodies for research once they are gone, a noble, helpful gesture.

This week, however, my digging into this topic turned up a different kind of response to the possibility of memory loss and other damages attributable to repeated sports concussions.

Stan Mikita, the Chicago Blackhawks hockey legend, has been dealing with Lewy body dementia for some time. He is 76, unable to connect with any of the spectacular memories that motivated the team to place a statue of him outside of Chicago's United Center, right near another one for Bobby Hull.

Mikita's family acknowledges Stan's earlier wish to have his brain donated for research. They will carry through on that that, but with little enthusiasm, and with no interest in joining any larger lawsuits against the NHL for negligence or any other allegation of wrongdoing.

"If he does have CTE, who cares? It's not going to change anything," Jane Mikita, Stan's daughter, told the Chicago Tribune. "He played a sport and a game that he loved and that provided us as a family with a wonderful upbringing. Hockey was good to Stan and Stan was good to hockey. There is no finger to be pointed."

Sidney Crosby probably feels the same way about knowing what he is getting into each time he steps onto the ice. He's the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, a two-time ­Stanley Cup champion, a superstar, but a man who missed big chunks of two earlier seasons with concussion symptoms.

In the playoff series just completed with Washington, Crosby sat out one game because of a concussion, and upon returning to action, slammed headfirst into the base of the boards. He got right up that time, though a little slowly, and played some more, and as the Penguins advance to the conference finals against Ottawa, Crosby will be out there again, thinking championship, thinking this is his 12th NHL season and there may not be another chance.

Related: Crosby Case Reveals Flaws in NHL Concussion Handling

Completely natural for an overachiever to operate that way. If young people are able to go, from youth leagues to the pros, they go. That attitude is part of what made them starters and important contributors in the first place.

The only attitude change that is truly possible here is by their coaches, their bosses, their fans. When an athlete displays concussion symptoms, no choice can be offered to them or their supervisors. They sit. They wait. They recover before risking another, and, like it or not, with no pressure to rush it.

Sounds easy in theory, but it's the difference between being happy down the road and winning right now, today. Americans don't handle that well, and it's not just in football. It's every decision made in our competitive world.

dgeorge@pbpost.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
May 12, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

Justin Jackson and others hope to lift their stock with strong NBA draft combine performances.

Had it not been for the NBA draft combine, Chicago Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler would not have been a first-round pick and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine would not have moved from late-first-round selection to lottery pick.

That's why the draft combine is important and necessary.

It's for the NBA prospects who aren't Kevin Durant, who made news this week with his negative comments about the combine.

"If you're a top-10 pick or a first-round pick or whatever and you know you might be guaranteed, stay your (butt) home, work out and get better on your own time," Durant told ESPN.

Sure, if you're Durant - the No. 2 pick in the 2007 draft - or if you're one of this year's top five picks, the combine might not be beneficial.

Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson are expected to be the top three picks in June. Their presence at the combine is not necessary. But consider the difference on a four-year rookie contract between the No. 3 and No. 5 picks in 2017 is $4.6 million. Perhaps the combine is valuable, even for top-10 picks.

The difference in money between the ninth and 12th picks is $1.7 million over a four-year deal. The difference between a second-round pick and late-first-round pick is a guaranteed contract. That's not insignificant.

Durant's comments were a topic at Thursday's combine session. "If you think there's anything here that would hurt you, don't come," Kentucky coach John Calipari told reporters. "If there's anything here that would help you, come. If you have to play to help yourself, come."

In the 2011 draft, Enes Kanter moved up several spots in mock drafts after the combine and was selected third overall. LaVine's combine performance and interaction with front office executives made him a lottery pick and several million dollars wealthier.

The combine is valuable for players trying to climb draft boards. The event gives players a chance to showcase on-court skills and off-court presence.

It's a vital event for front office personnel, too. USA TODAY Sports contacted 15 team executives under the condition of anonymity, and every person said the combine was worthwhile.

They not only get another look at a player in workouts, drills and five-on-five play but also conduct one-on-one interviews, obtain medical information and receive accurate measurements. The interviews and medical history might be the most important aspects of the combine.

While these might not be traditional job interviews, that is what prospects are going through. Does a team want to "hire" that player? Team executives want to compile as much information as they can on players in whom they will invest millions of dollars.

The more information executives have, the better equipped they are to make good decisions.

While Durant scoffed at the bench press, others who display strength could catch the eye of a team seeking muscle. In 2015, Pat Connaughton, now with Portland Trail Blazers, recorded the second-best vertical leap in combine history. That alone didn't turn him into the 41st pick after he had been projected as a late second-rounder, but it didn't hurt. Teams noticed his athletic ability.

The NBA combine began nearly 40 years ago. It was a one-stop clearinghouse for executives to see several players, some of whom they might not have scouted. In the 1980s, video didn't exist the way it does today.

But players remain underexposed even today, as Butler was at Marquette six years ago. Same with Saint Joseph's DeAndre' Bembry who went from second-rounder to late first-rounder by the Atlanta Hawks in 2016.

Similar scenarios will play out again this year, and players and teams will appreciate the importance of the draft combine.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 12, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

OHSAA says DPS Athletic Director Mark Baker directed the Dunbar football team to lose a game.

After hinting at it in previous documents, Ohio High School Athletic Association officials on Thursday directly alleged Dayton Public Schools Athletic Director Mark Baker directed Dunbar to purposely lose its Oct. 28 football game against Belmont.

That incident led the OHSAA to fine DPS $10,000, place all DPS high schools on three years of probation, and require Baker and new building ADs to complete OHSAA training, because of "a serious lack of administrative responsibility and institutional control."

This week, the OHSAA denied a request from the Dayton Unit NAACP to limit the penalties to Dunbar only, rather than all six DPS high schools.

OHSAA director of communications Tim Stried pointed to Baker's role as the reason that request was denied.

"The reason that all DPS schools are on probation is that the major infraction, on the suggestion of throwing the game, was from the director of athletics for DPS," Stried said, implicating Baker. "As long as that person is still in charge of all DPS schools (for athletics), they're all going to be on probation.... I think that's significant to know."

Baker could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. School board president Robert Walker first said that the board stands by its decision to extend Baker's contract, but he added that he had not fully reviewed OHSAA's Thursday statement about Baker. He said he hoped to discuss the matter further with the school board.

The OHSAA made its probation ruling on April 6, but at that time said only that the direction to "throw the game" had come from "administrators or others in the district," rather than football coaches. That left questions about the involvement of school principals and Dunbar's own athletic director, in addition to Baker.

In interviews with both DPS' investigator and an OHSAA panel, Baker denied giving a directive to throw the game.

Related: HS Scandal Born Out of Unusual Play on Field

On April 26, three weeks after OHSAA's report, Dayton's school board voted 5-1 to extend Baker's contract for another two years. Several board members who backed Baker argued that the district should focus on the new policies in place to make sure this never happens again, rather than looking back.

Joe Lacey was the lone "no" vote, saying that DPS was not taking the issue of "throwing the game" seriously.

"The rallying around the people responsible for this really disgusts me," he said.

DPS Superintendent Rhonda Corr was asked about accountability in the Dunbar case at a town hall meeting Wednesday night. She said mistakes were made on many levels, and that athletic staff should have followed the Dunbar principal's initial directive not to use a player.

"We're trying to put this behind us and coach our coaches and our athletic directors and our teachers and our drivers to understand the policies, to understand how to de-escalate situations, to understand how to put best procedures in place," Corr said Wednesday. "And that's been lacking for so long."

Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton Unit NAACP, said Thursday evening that his group had argued to the OHSAA that the punishment should apply only to Baker, and only to Dunbar, not to all Dayton Public schools.

The OHSAA denied that request Wednesday but did agree to tweak the wording of its reprimand, striking the word "probation," and replacing it with the words "enforceable review."

OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross said the NAACP had complained about a negative connotation to the term "probation."

"So we've replaced that with (words explaining) what that probation means," Ross said.

Foward said his group did not ask OHSAA to remove the word probation and described that as miscommunication between his group and the OHSAA.

Contact this reporter at 937-225-2278 or email Jeremy.

Kelley@coxinc.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 12, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Post and Courier
All Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

 

AUSTIN, Texas - When transgender wrestler Mack Beggs won a girls state championship, his victory drew jeers and complaints that his steroid therapy treatment had given him an unfair advantage against girls who risked injury just by getting on the mat with him.

Now Texas lawmakers are pushing a bill that could ultimately deny Beggs, a Dallas-area junior, a chance to defend his title next year.

The proposal working its way through the Legislature would require transgender students like Beggs to turn over their medical information to the University Interscholastic League, the state's governing body for public high school sports. The UIL would be allowed to disqualify an athlete undergoing hormone therapy if "the safety of competing students or the fairness of a particular competition has been or will be substantially affected by the student's steroid use."

Beggs' case drew national attention in February when he won the state championship in Class 6A, the classification for the state's largest schools. Before he got that far, the father of a girl who had wrestled against Beggs filed a lawsuit trying to get him disqualified. His title-winning match earned him a bloody nose on the mat and boos from a crowd upset by his victory . He has a 56-0 record and wants to wrestle next season in his senior year.

Related: Trans Boy Wins Controversial Girls' Wrestling Title

The UIL prohibits steroids use, but Texas has a "safe harbor" provision that allows transgender students undergoing hormone therapy treatments under the direction of a doctor to compete. Texas also requires transgender athletes to compete in the gender listed on their birth certificate. For Beggs, that meant he had to wrestle against girls against his wishes, and the proposed bill would not change that rule.

Beggs family spokesman Alan Baxter said the family has a good relationship with the UIL and questioned why lawmakers are pursuing the change.

"I would hope they are not singling him out," Baxter said, noting that a now-defunded UIL program that tested more than 63,000 athletes caught just a handful of cheaters before it was scuttled in 2015. "If politicians are truly concerned with safety, they should test everyone."

Under NCAA rules, athletes transitioning from female to male are allowed to compete on men's teams while taking testosterone, but can't compete on women's teams.

USA Wrestling in March adopted a rule that would require Beggs to wrestle as a male in their events. Beggs planned to compete in USA Wrestling events this spring, but he would return to the girls' side of competition in Texas if the rules don't change. Texas is one of seven states that require high school students to provide a birth certificate, proof of gender-reassignment surgery or documentation of hormone therapy, according to TransAthlete.com.

UIL officials say killing the testing program limited their ability to police steroid use in competition. Beggs' case is one they simply hadn't imagined 10 years ago, said Leo Barnes, the UIL's director of policy and compliance.

"The fairness and safety and competition issue that has been raised is one we think we need to have the authority to look at," Barnes told lawmakers in a Senate hearing on the bill last month.

State Sen. Bob Hall, a Republican from Edgewood, said his bill isn't aimed at disqualifying transgender students, but to give the UIL a tool in combating steroid use.

"This is for fairness and safety of the students," said Hall, who filed the bill two weeks after Beggs won his state title.

State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, a Houston Democrat, was skeptical of that explanation.

"Isn't the real intent of your bill to ban students who are undergoing steroid or other hormone treatment?" she asked. "On its face it seems to have everything to do with (Beggs)."

The bill has passed the Senate and now goes to the House for consideration before the Legislature adjourns May 29.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 South Bend Tribune Corporation
All Rights Reserved

South Bend Tribune (Indiana)

 

SOUTH BEND -- Mark Johnson, the longtime head boys basketball coach for Riley High School, fired off an email to the school principal on Jan. 15, complaining about a pattern of interference by a parent.

That parent, Johnson said, had gone around him to set up team meals and a photo shoot for senior players. When Johnson denied a request for a meeting, she emailed him another request, copying the district superintendent and other high-ranking officials on the message.

The parent "has tried to manipulate her agenda into our program," Johnson wrote to the principal, Francois Bayingana. "Regardless of her intentions, her interference is not wanted, and she has no voice on what goes on."

The parent's email, copied to Superintendent Kenneth Spells and other South Bend Community School Corp. administrators, was "a direct attempt of harassment and intimidation," Johnson wrote.

At the same time, Johnson was frustrated by pressure to open more roster spots on his team and to avoid cutting one player in particular.

The email was the culmination of a series of complaints by Johnson that would eventually lead to his resignation after 15 seasons and raise questions about the roles of various school administrators in the controversy, including a school board member.

The identity of the parent at the center of Johnson's complaints is unclear because school corporation officials redacted her name from the emails before releasing copies requested by The Tribune.

Citing federal privacy laws, SBCSC spokeswoman Sue Coney said the parent's name was redacted because it could lead to the identification of a student.

Emails released by the school corporation this week at The Tribune's request date back to at least September. They offer a chronicle of numerous discussions between Johnson, Bayingana and other officials in which Johnson questioned roster directives -- he has said he was ordered to keep his roster at a certain number and not cut certain players -- and raised concerns about parental meddling.

In his January email, Johnson said that if he was not allowed to run his basketball program free of outside pressure, he planned to step down at the end of the season. He did so less than two months later.

In one exchange, Johnson defended himself against criticism by Charan Richards, the director of Riley's guidance office and the sister of Leslie Wesley, a school board member whose son played on the team.

The emails also show that Spells, the superintendent, had received written records of Johnson's complaints about parent interference and his threat to resign by Jan. 17, during the thick of the basketball season.

In an interview with The Tribune in March, Spells said he had spoken with the principal "in the last couple of days" about Johnson's complaints and that "Mark never shared that with me, personally."

In a written statement Wednesday, Spells acknowledged that he received Johnson's Jan. 17 email from Bayingana but said he does not involve himself in every dispute and expects his staff to resolve most complaints.

"Most of the times, concerns are resolved quickly and effectively," Spells said in the statement. "When, in March, I learned the concerns had not been resolved, I followed up with the principal about the issue."

Spells previously said he was investigating the issue, but it was not clear Wednesday if he had completed the investigation or taken action on his findings.

Roster decisions

The emails show that, as early as September of last year, Bayingana and other administrators, including the corporation's assistant athletic director, Marie Doan, were discussing roster numbers with Johnson.

On Nov. 7, Johnson met with Bayingana and later that night asked his boss to repeat in an email his final roster instructions.

"I would like you to please put in writing the directive you gave me on how many players that I have to keep per team, and the name of the individual that I have to keep on varsity," Johnson said.

The next day, Bayingana replied that they agreed to have 10 varsity players, 13 junior varsity players and 13 on the freshman team. The rest of his answer is mostly redacted, apparently including the name of the player Johnson was asked to keep on the varsity team. But he also seems to have had mixed feelings on the results of the meeting.

"After our conversation yesterday... I did a lot of thinking," Bayingana said, followed by several redacted words. "...and I will continue to support you no matter what decision you make."

On Dec. 20, Johnson alerted Bayingana to the unidentified parent's photo shoot for seniors, expressing dismay that his "authority has been usurped." On top of that, three players had begun complaining to teammates about their playing time.

"What I knew would happen, has already started," he wrote. "This is why I was so adamant in allowing me to pick my team."

He then warned that he would dismiss those players from the team if they complained again, hinting that one of those boys was the player he was pressured to keep on the team at the beginning of the season.

"I do not want anyone making any requests in regards to our program to anyone except me," he said, "and just because certain individuals made the team, doesn't mean they will remain."

By mid-February, Johnson offered a defense of his coaching after Richards, the sister of school board member Wesley, sent an email questioning what she saw as Johnson's harsh way of cutting players from the team and delivering criticism.

She also criticized his handling of the 2016-2017 senior night, when he instructed the announcer to introduce the seniors as a group before the game, instead of recognizing each player individually.

Although The Tribune received partially redacted copies of Johnson's response to Richards, emails released by the school corporation did not include Richards' original complaint.

However, when reached by phone Wednesday, Richards said she complained about the senior night announcements because she believed Johnson was reacting to disagreements with Wesley.

"You don't want to shake one kid's hand because you don't like their parents," Richards said about Johnson. "Because you're upset with one child, you're going to take it out on all those kids?"

In an email responding to Richards' complaints in February, Johnson said he simply wanted the seniors to take the court as a group, and that he hoped to recognize each player afterward but was unable to because of how the game ended.

Richards also said school administrators did not pressure the coach into any roster decisions.

She noted that Wesley was not elected until November, adding that it was difficult to believe Johnson would allow himself to be intimidated into any decisions.

"I know Mark Johnson, and he's not the kind of person you're just going to run over," Richards said.

Wesley on Wednesday said she was not aware of the controversy and said she could not comment on personnel matters.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 12, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Charleston Newspapers

Charleston Gazette-Mail

 

Travel sports is an $8 billion-per-year industry. Its booming. Just follow the taillights of the hundreds of West Virginia families who load up each weekend and hit the road (traveling out of state) for soccer, baseball, football, softball and lacrosse tournaments.

What if West Virginia was home to a facility that could host travel-sports tournaments? A state-of-the-art facility our community could use that would also attract out-of-state kids and parents to Kanawha County. That is exactly what the Kanawha County Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission want to accomplish at Shawnee Park.

The proposal the county is reviewing is the redevelopment of a large portion of the 127-acre Shawnee Park site into a multi-use sports complex capable of hosting several large youth travel-sporting tournaments each year.

The new features at the park would include six collegiate-size turf soccer and lacrosse fields, four collegiate-size turf baseball/softball fields and several additional grass practice fields along the Kanawha River. The turf and grass fields could also be lined for additional sports, such as football.

The popular Shawnee Pool would stay, and other areas of the park would receive updates, in the form of new picnic shelters, large playgrounds for younger children and a 1-mile walking track.

Travel-sporting tournaments and sports tourism are proven to increase out-of-state spending for the host community. In 2012, tournaments held at the Tygart River Park Sports Complex in Duncan, South Carolina, generated a $23.3 million economic impact for Spartanburg and Greenville counties. Likewise, Traverse City, Michigan, a small city of only 15,000, realized a $3.4 million increase in spending from just two tournaments it hosted in 2012.

From ABExploring the Range of Sports Tourism Opportunities

Now, consider that Kanawha County is within a one-day drive of two-thirds of the population of the United States. Indeed, we are less than a four-hour drive from Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina; and Pittsburgh. A redeveloped Shawnee Park could become a premiere destination for travel sports and an economic driver for the Kanawha Valley.

Fortunately, we dont have to go outside our state to witness the benefits of hosting a large youth sports tournament. Just take a visit to downtown Charleston in early March, when the state high school basketball tournament is at the Civic Center. The Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the tournament produces $13 million in new spending. How do you think the capital citys hotels, restaurants and small-business owners feel about those extra dollars?

While the economic benefits of constructing a multi-use sports complex are welcome (and needed), the noneconomic benefits are just as significant. Participation in sports teaches teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline and determination. A multi-use sports complex at Shawnee Park could, each week, host hundreds of local kids and provide a variety of youth programs and activities.

The County Commission realizes some park patrons are upset and disappointed about the possibility of losing the golf course. Thats understandable. Shawnee Park is a wonderful course. Its easily accessible, abuts the Kanawha River and is unique due to its flat, walkable terrain.

The Shawnee course has been enjoyed by many in the community for years, and the commission does not take this decision lightly. However, the reality is, golf courses in the county, including Shawnee, are underutilized.

Compare the current use of Shawnee with the severe lack of space for local schools and youth athletic clubs, all of which continually struggle to find adequate fields to practice and play games.

Other opponents have voiced the opinion that the Shawnee project is too big an undertaking for Kanawha County and will not work here because we dont have enough to offer in the way of hotels, restaurants and infrastructure.

What an unfortunate mindset, as that is exactly the type of short-sighted, myopic mentality that continually leads to West Virginia finishing 50th.

Multi-use sports facilities have succeeded in other communities, large and small. Cities and counties that took a chance to build travel-sports facilities are now expanding, not shutting down. And we know hosting a travel tournament can work in Kanawha County, as evidenced by the basketball tournament.

A multi-use sports complex at Shawnee Park will work. It will be a success for Shawnee Park, for the communities of Institute and Dunbar, and for all of Kanawha County.

This is an opportunity to move Kanawha County forward. We shouldnt let it pass us by.

Ben Salango is a Kanawha County commissioner.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Star Tribune
All Rights Reserved

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

 

Three adults were hurt when they were attacked by dozens of young men fighting with weapons at a St. Paul park Tuesday night.

Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster said officers were called at 9 p.m. to a report of 20 men fighting with weapons outside Linwood Rec Center, 860 St. Clair Av. The group scattered when police arrived, Ernster said.

While investigating, police encountered a man in the park who received head and hand injuries.

"The victim was attacked with a baseball bat and possibly rocks," Ernster said. The man was taken to the hospital, and told police he was walking in the park when the group attacked him. Ernster said the victim did not know the attackers.

Ernster said two other victims were also brought to Regions Hospital for head and other injuries after they were beaten with baseball bats and attacked with knives. The victims did not want to give statements so it's difficult for investigators to make arrests or determine the underlying causes of the fights, Ernster said.

A similar dispute was also reported last Friday when at least 50 people fought and chased each other at Dunning Sports Complex on Marshall Avenue during Central High School's baseball practice. Ernster said no one was reported injured in that dispute.

Ernster said extra patrols have been in the area, and told community members to call police if they see fighting in the neighborhood.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

Among some of the University of Richmond's most influential donors, confidence in athletics director Keith Gill eroded to the point that there was speculation he wouldn't return next school year. UR announced Gill's resignation Wednesday, after The Times-Dispatch reported that Gill would not return.

Gill was named athletics director on Nov. 2, 2012, by Edward L. Ayers, then the school president. Gill, who began working at UR on Dec. 11, 2012, succeeded Jim Miller, who supervised Spiders athletics during 2000-2012. In a letter to athletics department staffers, Gill said his resignation is effective June 30.

In the letter to his UR colleagues, Gill said a medical problem suffered by his partner in Washington, D.C., Tiffany Speaks, helped convince him that this was the time to step away from his job at UR.

In a Wednesday phone conversation, Gill chose not to comment. Gill, who's from Orlando, Fla., said in an April 15 interview with The Times-Dispatch that he was professionally happy at UR and had no plans to separate from Richmond, a school he said fits his values.

In a school release, he said, "I want to thank the Spider family for 4½ great years. I'm proud of all that we've accomplished, the impact we have had on Richmond athletics, and the life and academic experiences of our student-athletes. Leaving the university at this point in our progress is bittersweet, but right now my primary focus has to be with my family."

Ronald A. Crutcher, UR's president, said deputy athletics director David Walsh will serve as interim athletics director until UR finds a new AD.

"Keith Gill has led our division of athletics with distinction and positioned the University of Richmond for future athletic success," Crutcher said in a school release.

Support for Gill faded with developments in the last couple of years. Most notable was the unusual move in December of 2016 of football coach Danny Rocco, who left UR for Delaware, a CAA rival of the Spiders.

Rocco, the first coach to lead UR to three consecutive FCS postseason bids, in an interview with The Times-Dispatch questioned Richmond's "vision" for football. He later said the changing Division I football landscape can make it very challenging for a relatively small private school, such as UR, to remain competitive at FCS' highest level.

UR coaches and many of the school's strongest supporters were disappointed by Gill's lack of backing action in the admissions process. An academically demanding private school that belongs to very competitive leagues - the Atlantic 10 in basketball and the CAA in football - benefits from an AD who can work as a successful advocate in occasional admissions matters that involve prospects experienced coaches are convinced can fulfill UR's academic obligations.

Gill has not been that figure, said the sources, nor did he form relationships that would allow him to work through some situations that called into question his leadership.

Malcolm Bernard, a 6-foot-6 basketball player who graduated from Florida A&M, said in March of 2016 that he was transferring to UR for his final season of eligibility. Months later, Bernard was denied admission for academic reasons, he told The Times-Dispatch. He became a starting guard last season at Xavier.

Running back A.J. Hines, from Wilson, N.C., signed a national letter of intent with Richmond in February of 2016 and was included on UR's list of incoming freshmen. According to several published reports quoting Hines, he learned he didn't qualify academically for admission to UR. He enrolled at Duquense. Hines was named the FCS' top freshman, winning the STATS Jerry Rice Award, after rushing for 1,291 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Dukes last season.

There were also concerns about Gill's lack of regular interaction with heavily invested UR supporters, and even athletic department staff members.

Richmond may be interested, according to the sources, in transitioning to a basketball-centered AD, given that the Spiders' flagship sport is men's basketball, the one with the most revenue-producing potential.

Gill, a 1994 Duke graduate and former Blue Devils running back, worked as an NCAA membership services representative (1995-99), an assistant AD at Vanderbilt (1999-2000), the NCAA's director of membership services (2000-04), Oklahoma's senior associate athletics director (2004-07) and American University's director of athletics and recreation (2007-12) before coming to UR.

The Spiders haven't advanced to the NCAA men's basketball tournament since 2011, but they are consistent winners and have drawn well at the renovated and enlivened Robins Center. UR's football program qualified for the FCS playoffs each of the past three years. The men's lacrosse program launched in 2014 and has been successful in the Atlantic Sun and Southern conferences. The Spiders were ranked throughout this season, when they played in their fourth consecutive league championship game.

Gill drew criticism when running quarterback David Broadus was suspended for undisclosed reasons as a junior, came back to play last season as a senior, and then was again suspended for undisclosed reasons. Broadus' unavailability and an injury to starter Kyle Lauletta led to UR using Kevin Johnson as quarterback in the playoffs. Three postseason games cost Johnson a season of eligibility. He was redshirting.

UR offered no explanation when five baseball players, including two of the team's best, began this season suspended. The Times-Dispatch reported they were involved in online gambling related to fantasy football.

On March 3, Gill was appointed to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee, effective Sept. 1.

The committee chooses teams that qualify for the NCAA tournament as at-large candidates and formulates the brackets, among other things. Positions on the committee are determined through a nomination process that involves the league to which the candidate's school belongs and the region of the school and league.

joconnor@timesdispatch.com(804) 649-6233@RTDjohnoconnor

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Buffalo News
All Rights Reserved

The Buffalo News (New York)

 

LOCKPORT - The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday delayed action until June 14 on tax-exempt bonding authority sought by the Buffalo Niagara YMCA for its new facility in the Town of Lockport.

"They are still investigating various options regarding their financing," IDA attorney Mark J. Gabriele said.

The project has yet to be approved by the Town of Lockport Planning Board, which will hold a public hearing on it at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 6560 Dysinger Road.

"They still have some engineering issues to address, so I don't know if they'll get approval this month," said Brian M. Belson, the town's chief building inspector. He said the YMCA also was asked to submit a traffic study on the impact of the project.

The YMCA plans to build a 52,000-square-foot facility on Snyder Drive to replace the current location on East Avenue in the City of Lockport. The town Zoning Board of Appeals has granted a height variance allowing the building to exceed the 35-foot limit in a residential zone, Belson said.

According to the YMCA's application, it intended to issue about $9.7 million in tax-exempt bonds toward its estimated $17 million project. However, the bonding permission approved the County Legislature last week allowed the YMCA to offer as much as $17 million in bonds. The borrowing would create a debt for the YMCA, not the county.

The application said the YMCA intends to take out a $450,000 bank loan for the Lockport project. The YMCA also asked the IDA for a mortgage tax exemption that would save it an estimated $100,000.

Six full-time and 17 part-time employees now work at the existing Lockport YMCA. The YMCA promised the IDA that it will add seven full-time and 12 part-time jobs after the new facility opens.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Collier County Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Naples Daily News (Florida)

 

Kids these days.

They just have too many dang toys.

Before and after Florida Gulf Coast University's baseball team went 24-3 with wins against Florida, Florida State and Miami and soared as high as ninth in the rankings, program-founding coach Dave Tollett worked hard to make sure his players' heads didn't get too big for their batting helmets.

But perhaps they did get a bit cocky.

Hard to blame them, really.

"That has come across my mind, and it's something we've thrown against the wall," Tollett said. "There's no question that when you have success and you have success like that that no other program has ever had on this campus — it was crazy nationally. I don't know if we were ready for it.

"If you had told me we'd be 24-3 with that schedule after losing your first game, that's not possible."

As he did then, he writes this every day on his practice schedule and also preaches it constantly: Stay grounded.

That's not been the problem of late as FGCU has since gone 7-13, including just 7-8 in Atlantic Sun play. The Eagles next host Lipscomb this weekend.

But during the red-hot start, attention was on the Eagles from all over the place, thanks mostly to social media.

"Fifteen years ago, I could say that ('stay grounded') and they would buy in," Tollett said. "But with Twitter and everything else going, it's very hard for a coach to keep players grounded.

"For someone who's not on Twitter — if I know the stuff that's being tweeted about what kind of season we're having and we're hosting (an NCAA regional), I can imagine what those guys see."

Different day and age, folks.

For more, check out the Eye on the Eagles blog at naplesnews.com/blog/eyeontheeagles.


Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

 

Jim Kiick, one-third of the Dolphins' legendary championship backfield of the 1970s, has "near-definite CTE leading to dementia," Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday, citing the diagnosis of NFL-approved neurologist David B. Ross.

SI reported that Kiick, 70, was placed in an assisted-living facility last year after living in squalor, failing to take care of either himself or his apartment and consuming an alarming amount of medications. His condition deteriorated to the point that he was hospitalized with heart failure in July.

CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — is the traumatic brain disease that has been discovered in numerous deceased football players, including Junior Seau and Andre Waters, who committed suicide. Certain diagnosis can only be made posthumously.

In order to collect from the settlement between the NFL and retired players, Kiick's family had him examined by Ross, of Plantation.

What Ross discovered was alarming.

"I've dealt with a few football players and other sports people, and most of the time you don't see clear evidence of traumatic brain injury because it's usually microscopic," Ross told SI's Scott Price. "Jim actually had signs of contusion: bruises. You can see it clearly: It's called 'encephalomalacia' — wasting or hardening; there are areas of the brain where there are gaps, and that's where a specific brain injury occurred. It's the stuff you see after significant localized head trauma or stroke.

"He has holes in his brain. Earlier in his career he had enough impact that he had bruises on his brain that left scars and holes. So there's no question that he suffered significant brain trauma. This is more than Alzheimer's. This is more than frontal-lobe dementia, Parkinson's dementia. This is more than infection. He had brain trauma, and that's unequivocal."

Tracing the source of that trauma is not difficult. Although listed at 5 feet 11, 214 pounds, Kiick was called upon by coach Don Shula to often block for Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka (6-3, 237). That made sense, said former Pro Bowl guard Bob Kuechenberg, because Kiick was the best blocker in a backfield that also included 1,000-yard rusher Mercury Morris.

But the toll on Kiick became obvious to former tight end Marv Fleming at an autograph signing in Chicago about two years ago. Fleming said Kiick had a "far-off-distance look" in his eyes and appeared to have difficulty with comprehension.

Nonetheless, Kiick's long-term memory remains fairly sound, SI reported.

"I had many, many discussions with Coach Shula, arguing, 'I don't understand why a guy at 215 is blocking for a guy at 240,'" Kiick told Price. "He gave me a dirty look and said, 'Just get back in there.'

"I got dizzy, got dinged a few times. You'd come to the sidelines and they'd ask, 'How many fingers have I got up?' And you'd say four or three or whatever, and they'd say, 'Close enough.' We were playing because we enjoyed the game. We were too naïve to realize that, in the future years, this could affect us, our life, the brains. We just went back in and got dinged again."

Although Kiick could be overshadowed by Csonka and Morris, his place in Dolphins lore is secure. He and Csonka formed the famous "Butch and Sundance" tandem, and Kiick scored important touchdowns in playoff victories over Kansas City, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Kiick also scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run in the 14-7 victory over Washington in Super Bowl VII to complete the 17-0 season.

Csonka, who spends his summers fishing in Alaska, did not immediately return a message from The Post seeking comment.

The SI report traces the heartache faced by Allie Kiick, Jim's daughter and a rising 25-year-old tennis player, and son Austin, a former defensive back at Fort Lauderdale's St. Thomas Aquinas High.

"People have no idea what we're going through with my dad," Allie said. "For the past four or five years, I really haven't had a father."

His forgetfulness is such that she blocked him on her phone at night to avoid being woken up at 3 a.m. because "he just doesn't know any better."

She spent the summer of 2014 playing in Europe and spotted a sharp decline in her father upon returning.

"He just acts like a kid, in every way now — not taking care of himself. We tell him what to do and he listens, but he was pooping his pants, all that stuff. So I — literally — mean that he had turned into a kid."

Before Jim was placed in an assisted-living facility, Austin was his caretaker, having dropped out of college to do so, but the conditions in which his father lived kept deteriorating. His Super Bowl ring from the 17-0 season went missing and "he was eating Advil like jelly beans," SI wrote.

hhabib@pbpost.com Twitter: @gunnerhal

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Subscription streaming TV services such as DirecTV Now, Hulu and Sling TV are becoming as valuable in distributing ESPN as traditional pay-TV services, Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger said Tuesday.

Wall Street has been concerned about declining subscribers of ESPN, a jewel in Disney's portfolio and a key profit generator. ESPN is in nearly 88 million homes, according to Nielsen, down from more than 100 million homes six years ago.

"Those losses have come from cord-nevers, cord-cutters" and customers moving to TV packages without ESPN, Iger said Tuesday during a conference call discussing Disney's second-quarter earnings.

But the growing lineup of streaming live TV services — the most recent entrants are Hulu's live TV service and YouTube TV — has brought in new subscribers. Disney didn't provide numbers, but Iger said, "We're seeing really nice growth there, but it's nascent, and the growth that we have seen in number of subs has not made up for the (other) losses."

The new subscription Net TV services "have concluded that launching new platforms without ESPN is very challenged," Iger said.

And being on multiple services will in the long-term "serve this company very well," he said.

Two weeks ago, ESPN laid off about 100 staffers, including some big-name on-air personalities such as former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer and longtime NFL reporter Ed Werder. Iger addressed the move, noting that ESPN has 8,000 employees.

"I don't take it lightly, but the number gets headlines," he said. "But when you think about it in the scheme of things or if you just look at it against, basically, the number of on-air people that ESPN has, it wasn't a particularly significant number of a reduction."

Disney shares fell 2.5% to $109.25 in after-hours trading Tuesday even though the company surpassed Wall Street expectations for net income and earnings. On Wednesday, shares closed at $109.66.

Net income of $2.4 billion beat estimates of $2.24 billion, based on analysts polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence. That's a 12% increase over net income in the same January-March period a year ago.

Earnings per share of $1.50 beat estimates of $1.41 and surpassed $1.36 from a year ago.

Revenue of $13.34 billion fell slightly short of analysts' estimates of $13.44 billion revenue. But Q2 revenue was up nearly 3% over last year.

Media networks remained the largest revenue generator, up 3% to $5.9 billion. However, increased costs of sports programming for ESPN led to a decrease in operating income. Meanwhile, revenue from Disney's parks and resorts grew 9% to $4.3 billion.

Analysts are divided on company forecasts. ESPN's higher programming costs "were partially offset by higher revenue," Brian Wieser, an analyst for Pivotal Research Group, said in a note to investors Tuesday. He rates Disney as a "sell" with a target price this year of $85, noting risks such as the "hit-driven nature of video content production, perceptions around the 'death' of TV advertising and risks around slow-downs in the pay-TV business."

Even though cord-cutting and cord-shaving has led to concern about Disney for investors, Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Jayant rates the stock as "outperform" with a target price of $120. That's because the company's film and TV studios, despite having a record year in 2016 to compare to, "are at the heart of the creativity that drives monetization across its divisions," he said in a note to investors.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

It's an Olympic battle for the ages: Los Angeles? Or Paris?

Who's going to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games? There are seven years, three Olympic Games and two New Hampshire primaries between now and then, but the decision itself is just around the corner, now four months away.

L.A.-Paris is Ali-Frazier. It's Evert-Navratilova. It's Yankees-Red Sox. It's also Trump-Macron.

Uh-oh.

But we digress. This week, the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission is visiting Los Angeles and Paris to try to decide which city will be a better host for the 2024 Games. Anyone who knows anything about Olympic history or even just a little bit about the world in general is totally prepared to answer that question and save the IOC and the two cities hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars:

They both will.

So give L.A. 2024 and Paris 2028. Or, if you must, Paris 2024 and L.A. 2028. Do it, be done with it and let everyone spend all the money they're throwing away trying to impress the IOC's faux royalty on something that's actually important, like children's education or after-school sports programs.

The IOC vote to pick the 2024 Olympic site will be held Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru. There is increasingly intelligent conversation, led by beleaguered IOC President Thomas Bach, centering on the notion of throwing convention out the window and selecting the hosts of the next two Games right then and there.

Bach has his reasons. At a time when cities around the world would rather pass on hosting the Games than take on the problems and overwhelming financial demands that ensnared Rio, Sochi and Athens, among others, how can the IOC afford to say no to Los Angeles or Paris?

Then again, we're talking about the IOC, the oldest of the old-boy networks, the most self-absorbed, often-ridiculous collection of entitled characters you'll find in sports. Having covered the Olympic world since the 1980s, I can absolutely see them picking Paris and telling L.A. to go pound sand. Or vice versa.

Always remember the single most important piece of information you'll need when reading the letters "IOC":

The last amateurs left in the Olympic world are the people running it.

So no matter how smart it is to select them both, let's say the IOC picks just one of these international giants in September. Both have hosted the Olympic Games twice before: L.A. in 1932 and 1984; Paris in 1900 and 1924.

So, who wins? After last weekend's presidential election, Paris has to like its odds. Emmanuel Macron is expected to meet with the IOC commission when it arrives in Paris over the weekend. Just guessing, there could be a gold medal given out for swooning over the 39-year-old president-elect by the end of the visit. Tony Blair spent several days wooing IOC members before the vote for the 2012 Games, and it worked. London won. Vladimir Putin did the same before the vote for the 2014 Olympics, which went to Sochi.

Barack Obama and Chicago's 2016 bid weren't so lucky. In 2009, Obama flew overnight to Copenhagen, site of the IOC voting, for a quick drop-in to try to win those Games for his adopted hometown, but even at the height of his popularity, IOC members whined that they had to get up early and go through extra security because of his visit. Chicago was eliminated in the first round.

So it should come as no surprise that L.A. organizers don't want Donald Trump anywhere near South America when the voting takes place. (They wouldn't have wanted Hillary Clinton there either, citing what happened when Obama showed up.)

However, it's likely Paris' bid leaders will happily trot out Macron in Peru, presuming nothing happens to lessen his popularity.

So how does L.A. answer? It admirably has presented the most diverse and inclusive face of any U.S. Olympic bid in history, and one of the best bids the world has ever seen, so it should continue to do just that. Counter Macron with young American political leaders. Go bipartisan: people like U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and freshman Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., standing alongside Mayor Eric Garcetti, already one of the bid's strongest voices.

Throw in some movie stars and U.S. Olympic stalwarts, then cross your fingers.

If it doesn't work for 2024, there's always 2028.

At least there should be.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Co.
All Rights Reserved

Sarasota Herald Tribune (Florida)

 

MANATEE COUNTY - For the first time since 1975, Manatee County is assembling a "master plan" for its parks and recreation programs and facilities.

An analysis of existing conditions, a look at demographic trends and more than 1,500 responses from online, website and public meeting surveys of park users are being used to create a strategy for how best to provide public parks that serve the county's 363,000 residents as well as those yet to come. By 2035, Manatee's population could exceed 500,000.

"There is no one right way to do this," David Barth, a parks planning consultant, advised the County Commission on Tuesday. Every parks master plan should be tailored to the community it serves, Barth emphasized.

For example, the county may want to provide facilities but prefer to contract with the private sector to operate programs.

The Parks and Natural Resources Department intends to have a draft document available in July and a final version ready for the County Commission's review on Aug. 8.

"We haven't finished the process," Parks and Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker stressed.

"We have a lot to discuss moving forward," Commission Chairwoman Betsy Benac said.

So far, surveys indicate that fitness programs, senior programs, health and wellness programs and swimming

lessons rank among residents' higher priorities for county park services.

Existing parks that receive high marks from residents include Robinson Preserve, G.T. Bray Park, Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach and Emerson Preserve.

Residents say they want to see more nature trails, paved trails for biking and hiking and large community parks.

Commissioner Charles Smith said residents' priorities vary. "I like trails but some of my constituents don't." He also noted that he frequently hears demands for more soccer fields.

Commissioner Vanessa Baugh said East County families would like to see more summer camp programs their children can attend while parents are at work. She again pressed to get a public aquatics center in Lakewood Ranch.

Parks planner Kelley Klepper said the county expects to find priorities varying among "different user groups in each corner of the county."

Recently increased impact fees on new home construction, plus a half-cent sales for infrastructure that voters approved last fall, will provide funding. Even so, parks officials said they will look for opportunities for additional revenue sources. The operating expenses for any new facilities cannot be covered with sales taxes and impact fees and will have to be an ongoing budget consideration.

In a related discussion, County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said the commission can work out a spending plan and construction timetable for the proposed aquatics center at Lincoln Park in Palmetto during budget sessions in June.

The commission voted 6-1 to accept the city of Palmetto's offer of $850,000 toward construction and giving the county ownership of the four acres valued at $440,000. Benac, who wanted to wait until more details are finalized, cast the dissenting vote.

County Attorney Mickey Palmer expressed concern about acceptance of the city's offer before he sees a formal contract.

Most commissioners, however, said they felt the Palmetto City Commission deserved a timely response, even though the county has not settled its side of the funding question.

Hunzeker said the county can transfer $300,000 from sales taxes it had earmarked for expansion of the children's splash park at Lincoln and instead use that money for the aquatics center, which will feature a swimming pool suitable for tournaments.

Other county funding for the $3 million construction cost could come from a combination of sales taxes, impact fees and property taxes, Hunzeker said.

Commissioner Stephen Jonsson said he still thinks the school district should contribute financially since school swim teams will use the pool.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Woodward Communications, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA)
 

A $1.4 million judgment might be small compared to the University of Iowa's $100 million athletics budget, but we hope that the award in the Jane Meyer case sends the message.

Iowa juries are not known for handing out million-dollar judgments willy-nilly, so a verdict last week was noteworthy not only for the amount awarded but for the high-profile defendant.

Jurors in Polk County said Jane Meyer should receive $1.43 million in damages from her former employer, the University of Iowa. Meyer was senior associate athletic director from 2001 until her reassignment and subsequent firing in September 2014.

The 57-year-old Meyer went five-for-five with the jury in her lawsuit's claims of gender discrimination, sexual-orientation discrimination, retaliation violations, whisteblower violations and unequal pay.

Barring a complete reversal later in the legal process, this is shaping up to be an embarrassing and marginally expensive lesson for the University of Iowa in general and its Athletics Department in particular.

Even if the university somehow winds up not paying Meyer a cent, it should be embarrassed. Taking away duties from a senior administrator (a gay woman in her 50s), then hiring someone to perform essentially those same duties — and paying him $70,000 a year more? How to defend that? The attorney general's team tried to defend it, but the jury didn't buy it.

So, with embarrassment established, how expensive will it be for the University of Iowa? This case isn't closed. The university could appeal, and meanwhile Meyer's lawyers will ask the judge to award her about $2 million more — to cover her legal fees and multiply her back-pay award.

On top of that, another lawsuit, filed by Tracey Griesbaum, Meyer's partner and a fired UI coach, is scheduled for trial in June.

Now, for most businesses and institutions, a judgment of even $1.43 million would be a substantial hit. But remember, we're not talking about UI academic programs, which are under the gun to tighten belts and extract more tuition dollars from students. We're discussing University of Iowa athletics here.

This fiscal year, its official budget tops $100 million for the first time. The Hawkeyes compete in two dozen sports.

Football coach Kirk Ferentz, whose undefeated 2015 regular season and Rose Bowl appearance, among other achievements, took place during fiscal 2016, received $1 million just in bonuses. Overall, the department's coaches received $20 million in salaries, bonuses and benefits. A few years back, the athletic department opened a Hawkeye football operations facility — price tag $55 million.

In the context of those big numbers, paying Jane Meyer $1.43 million might seem like a relative slap on the wrist. However, like a referee's technical foul assessed against a worked-up Fran McCaffery, we hope the jury's ruling sends an important message to the University of Iowa and especially its Athletics Department.

Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

The NHL has done Sidney Crosby no favors.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star again finds himself answering questions after Monday's playoff game against the Washington Capitals about the league's concussion protocol and whether it failed him, a topic he is tired of and, quite frankly, doesn't think is anyone's business. But the curiosity and concern are warranted, given both Crosby's history and stature and the NHL's record of denial when it comes to head trauma.

Be it the independent spotters' inability to pull Crosby off the ice after he slammed headfirst into the boards Monday in Pittsburgh or the NHL's absurd explanation for why that was OK, there is every reason to question whether the league is doing enough to protect its players.

Crosby insists he's fine, that he had only the wind knocked out of him during Game 6 when he crunched his head against the boards late in the first period. He was checked out by a doctor, Crosby said Tuesday after practice, and the decision was made that he didn't need to go through the concussion protocol.

"There shouldn't be any wondering about it," Crosby told reporters, his irritation plain. "You talk to the doctor. I could sit here for 10 minutes and discuss what it is, but I don't want to do that."

This goes beyond Crosby, though.

The NHL has been obstinate in its refusal to acknowledge a connection between repetitive head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy or other degenerative brain diseases. In a letter to Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce last October, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman pointed to "gaps" in research and reminded them that the "most recent Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport concluded that 'the speculation that repeated concussion and sub-concussive impacts causes CTE remains unproven.'"

Even the NHL's use of independent spotters is now suspect, given deputy commissioner Bill Daly's explanation for why they didn't step in when Crosby was slow to get up after slamming into the boards.

"Depending on the mechanism of the injury, 'slow to get up' does not trigger mandatory removal," Daly told USA TODAY Sports. "The protocol has to be interpreted literally to mandate a removal. 'Ice' as compared to 'boards' is in there for a reason.

"It's the result of a study on our actual experiences over a number of years. Ice has been found to be a predictor of concussions -- boards has not been."

Oh. OK, then.

Let's be clear. Those boards Daly is referring to are not cushioned like the walls that line racetracks or outfields, designed to absorb impact. Nor are they made of foam, felt or some other soft, forgiving substance. They are rigid barriers, several inches thick, and are meant to withstand heavy force.

To be blunt: Concussions and head trauma are caused when a body in motion comes to a sudden stop, sending the brain slamming against the skull. You could hit ice, the boards, grass or a windshield -- it's not the material that matters as much as the force with which you hit it.

But it's all fine because Crosby said he was checked out by a doctor between periods.

Never mind that he'd already been back on the ice at that point, the NHL's own records showing he was on the bench for just 39 seconds after the hit. And how thorough could an evaluation be when Crosby didn't even go through the concussion protocol, a curious omission for someone with his history.

He has missed more than 100 games over his career because of concussions, including Game 4 just five days earlier.

Given all that, it makes me wonder if the assessment was anything more than this:

"Sid, you OK?"

"Yeah, I'm good."

"Aw, he's fine. Send him back in!"

That Crosby would say he is fine is no surprise. One of the biggest hurdles to combating head trauma is the athletes themselves, who don't want to be seen as weak or risk their jobs by missing time or sit out key playoff minutes.

But that's what teams and leagues are for, to watch players' backs and take care of them when the players can't -- or won't -- take care of themselves. The NHL and its procedures didn't do that here, and that puts everyone -- from Crosby down to the no-names on the fourth line -- in harm's way.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Columbus Dispatch
All Rights Reserved

The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)

 

Ohio State has requested bids on a 4,000-seat arena for its men's and women's hockey teams. But associate athletic director Shaun Richard cautioned that the request does not mean that an arena will be built soon, or even at all.

"We're more just doing our homework to get some numbers," Richard said. "We are not committed to doing this at all. We have no money committed at all. We have no site picked out."

Richard said that if an arena is built, it would likely include two rinks. One would be for the men's and women's teams. The other would be for such things as intramurals and recreation sports.

The teams currently play at the Schottenstein Center, which seats 17,500 for hockey.

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Post and Courier
All Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

 

COLUMBIA - South Carolina basketball fans will find more than women's national championship and men's Final Four banners added to Colonial Life Arena next season.

USC has hired South Dakota-based electronics company Daktronics to design, manufacture and install a new center-hung scoreboard and ribbon displays, all of which are expected to be in place by the end of the summer.

"The technology and the video display quality of these new video and ribbon boards will make the in-venue experience at Colonial Life Arena the best in the nation," athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement. "These new boards will make such a tremendous impact on our men's and women's basketball programs. It will be great for our student-athletes, coaches and fans."

The new scoreboard will feature four curved sides, each measuring approximately 12 feet high by 20 feet wide, all capable of showing a combination of video, replay, statistics, graphics and animation. Two smaller displays, each measuring four feet high by 15.5 feet wide, will attach to the bottom of the scoreboard and be angled toward courtside seats.

The new fully electronic scoreboard will replace the arena's current center-hung board, which includes one section for replays and video. The new video ribbon boards will be added to the fascia between the arena's upper and lower decks.

USC's women's basketball team won the program's first national championship this season, while the men's team reached the program's first Final Four. Colonial Life Arena, which seats 18,000, will also host the first and second rounds of the men's NCAA Tournament in 2019.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Buffalo News
All Rights Reserved

The Buffalo News (New York)

 

Alumni of the University at Buffalo swimming and diving team are banding together to try to save the program, and one prominent alumnus says he is taking legal action against his alma mater.

UB's men's swimming and diving team was one of four sports eliminated by the university in a decision announced on April 3 aimed at trimming $2 million from the athletic department budget.

Richard J. Lydecker, who competed for UB as a diver and graduated in 1988, says he is in the process of filing a lawsuit against UB on behalf of six swimmers, demanding the university pay expenses incurred in transferring to another school.

Lydecker is senior partner in the law firm of Lydecker/Diaz, which has offices in Miami, New York and throughout Florida. He donated $15,000 to the swim team the last two years and has signed a commitment to give a total of $50,000 to the program. He aims to get his money back and a release from his donor contract.

"It is my opinion that a court could determine that the swim/dive program alumni fundraising was highly improper and actionable," Lydecker wrote in a letter published in the UB Spectrum newspaper. "Personally, I feel as if I have been defrauded."

"I'm filing right now notice of intentions to bring a claim, which is how the university system works," Lydecker told The News. "You have to put them on notice. We're hopeful the university will step up and do the right thing. If not, that's what the court system is for."

Taking UB to court is not Lydecker's primary goal. He and fellow swim alumni want to convince UB President Satish K. Tripathi to agree to a two-year delay of the elimination plan. That delay, the alumni say, would give them time to develop a funding plan to try to save the swim program.

"I believe we need to give the kids a chance to try to finish the careers they've been working for their whole lives," Lydecker said. "And we need to give the alumni a chance to step up and come up with some program to make this work."

UB's decision to cut men's swimming, baseball, men's soccer and women's rowing is effective at the end of this semester.

There are roughly 600 living UB swimming and diving alumni. Some of them began organizing efforts soon after the decision was announced.

"I've been in contact with hundreds of our alumni," said Jennifer Vaughan-LeForce, a former UB swimming team captain who graduated in 1997 and then got a master's degree from UB in 2000.

"We're in the process of getting a 503(c)" nonprofit organization "up and running, said Vaughan-LeForce, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. "But we want to talk to the administration. I want to be clear: Our goal is to partner with the university. Had we known there was an issue, we'd have been working to put an endowment in place for years."

In response to the alumni organizing, UB released the following statement to The News: "The university has had previous discussions with alumni of the men's swimming and diving program about their interest in endowing the program. As yet, the alumni have not presented an endowment plan but the university is certainly willing to meet with them and discuss their proposal."

Some alumni organized a fact-finding meeting and conference call with UB Athletic Director Allen Greene on April 18.

They said they were told a cutback in athletic spending had been contemplated for up to five years. They did not come away encouraged.

Joel Shinofield, executive director of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, flew from his office in Norfolk, Va., to attend the meeting. He thinks UB has untapped fundraising potential among its swimming alumni.

"They've really never been asked to provide financial support, to provide guidance for the program, to provide any sort of resource for the institution for moving the program forward," Shinofield said. "I think that's a pretty significant miscalculation for a university."

The annual expenses for the men's swim program were $516,000 in 2016, according to federal documents. That includes money for about six full scholarships. It does not factor in the tuition that UB gets from roughly 20 other team members. (In reality, the six scholarships get spread out among numerous team members).

How much fundraising would cause the UB administration to reconsider?

Shinofield said covering a significant amount of the annual expenses is feasible for an alumni base the size of the UB swim program's if the university is willing to OK a 10-year build-up of endowment money.

"To ask for that chunk all at once would be an unreasonable ask," Shinofield said. "To put together a plan where there was continued annual support and the building up of an endowment over time is an attainable goal, and it's one that serves the university's interests."

Meanwhile, members of the UB swim team held a sit-in for about an hour Monday outside Tripathi's office. Two of the swimmers then met with the UB president for about 20 minutes.

"We understand how deeply disappointed our student-athletes and coaches are regarding the reduction in our athletic programs," UB said in a statement after the sit-in. "This very difficult decision was made because of the unfortunate reality that we no longer have the resources to support 20 competitive Division I athletic teams. We are diligently working to provide our student-athletes with the support they need during this transition."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

 

Dr. Manuel Gonzalez-Brito has some long and impressive titles at Palm Beach Children's Hospital, and as the medical director of the pediatric concussion center, he also has a long reach.

He's deep into the research on traumatic brain injury, for instance, and well-versed in all the frightening questions that arise when reading the new Sports Illustrated story on what has become of Nick Buoniconti's life.

The cognitive degeneration. The frequent falls. The difficulty completing simple tasks. All of that and more for the Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer at the age of 76.

"I was born in 1972," said Gonzalez-Brito, a Miami native, "and my dad was a big Dolphins fan. I grew up in a house where every conversation that me and my dad had that was important in life started with how the Dolphins were doing."

At 7, Gonzalez-Brito started playing football himself in youth leagues. As a teenager he played at Miami's Columbus High School, and at Buoniconti's old position, middle linebacker, where violent collisions are sought rather than avoided.

All these years later, the doctor figures he probably had a few concussions playing the game, but he doesn't dread the onset of neurological deficits because of it, and he doesn't forbid his son, Max, from playing football, either.

Max also played high school ball for Columbus as a tight end, and next month he begins training at Florida International University as a player on a team coached by Butch Davis. Much earlier, in youth football, he was coached by his dad, the brain specialist.

"I wouldn't want my son to have a motorcycle," Gonzalez-Brito said in weighing the relative risks of activities that cause young people to meet him at the hospital, "but I wouldn't say ban motorcycles. Me personally, my family, we would have long discussions, and I wouldn't want him to have one. Football should be the same kind of discussion.

"It's a conversation that should be had with a child and his parents and with a doctor informing them of the risks of playing the game in general. You want to see if the risks outweigh the benefits. Some families see a huge benefit from playing the sport, where the players have a very fruitful life without any health problems whatsoever. Do you want to take that out of their hands? I would say no."

There is no perfect answer, and the perfect Dolphins of 1972 know that. Sports Illustrated is promising more stories this week about the cognitive problems of Jim Kiick and others.

Every paragraph packs a punch for South Floridians who were here for the franchise's golden Super Bowl years. The emotions that bubbled up in March, when Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers was linked to severe dementia and San Francisco 49ers star Dwight Clark to ALS, will be stronger now.

Connecting the dots is easy for the public to do and difficult for researchers to confirm to everyone's satisfaction. They are trying, all the time, and the NFL has tried to tamp down criticism that pro football hasn't done enough to protect players. A $1 billion concussion settlement benefiting former players is the biggest part of that, along with stronger penalties for spearing and greater emphasis on following concussion protocols, but to guys like Buoniconti, it comes off as too little, too late.

Is football the sole cause of all this heartache?

"As scientists, we're trying to sort that out," Gonzalez-Brito said. "Certain things we know are true. Other things we just kind of need to figure out."

The Mayo Clinic took an early swing at it. High school football players were studied in Rochester, Minn., between 1956- 70, documenting their head injuries and following their cases for 40 years. Overall, those players were found to have no greater risk of developing degenerative brain diseases later in life than their peers in other varsity sports did.

So do you lean on that study's hopeful results, released in December, or give more weight to a study from 2012 that showed NFL players who were active in the league between 1959- 88 were three times more likely to die as a result of diseases that damage brain cells compared with the general population?

Don't ask me. This is as much crystal ball as football. Even an indomitable physical force like LeBron James is worried enough to say that his kids shouldn't play the game. If there is any common sense to apply here, it is that a string of concussions is bad for anybody anywhere. Carry that thought over a longer period, and what was bad necessarily gets much worse.

"My son actually did suffer one concussion while in high school," Gonzalez-Brito said. "Coming across the middle, he got hit pretty hard. He popped back up, took a knee and was seen by trainers right away. I sent him to a colleague of mine, and he got treated appropriately and recovered. That was during spring football, and he didn't return that spring."

That's about as safe as you can make football, but there's a problem for the Nick Buonicontis of the world. You can't make a long professional career out of this game by playing it safe.

dgeorge@pbpost.com Twitter: @Dave_GeorgePBP

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter


 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - As educators readied a Penn State lecture hall for last month's Sports Ethics Conference, marketing students half a campus away were scrutinizing Pittsburgh Pirates' customer data, an agricultural class was testing NFL field surfaces, and a kinesiology department lecture focused on drug use in athletics.

At the state's largest university as well as colleges all across the nation, sports have moved beyond their traditional boundaries and into the academic mainstream. Serious educators who once sniffed at sports are now examining the games' intersection with business, history, law, philosophy, literature, journalism, and more.

In addition to courses in traditional PSU majors such as physical education and golf course management, students can choose from such classes as Philosophy of Sport; Sports Marketing; Introduction to the Sports Industry; Sports, Media, and Society; Women and Sports; Sports, Ethics, and Literature; and the Historical, Cultural, and Social Dynamics of Sports.

At Penn State, experts say, this trend reflects both America's ongoing obsession with sports and the realities of a campus and a small college town that derive much of their identity from the success of Nittany Lions athletics.

"It makes sense to use sports" as a teaching tool, said John Affleck, who heads Penn State's Curley Center for Sports Journalism, "because our students are really interested in sports. You immediately have their attention."

Affleck recently joined other academics here in sports-related fields to form the Center for the Study of Sports in Society, an effort to synthesize and improve disparate teaching and research efforts.

"Just look at the course I teach," said Steve Ross, a sports law professor and the driving force behind the center. "You can't focus on sports law without knowing what is sound public policy toward sports. And you can't figure out sound public policy without drawing on many disciplines."

And it's not just students and researchers who are benefiting. The NFL and artificial-surface manufacturers profit from - and often contribute financially to - turf studies in the College of Agricultural Studies. Marketing students have helped baseball teams understand and solve issues of attendance and promotion. And several strapped news organizations in the state are getting assistance from eager PSU sports journalism students.

This growing connection might even be more pronounced at Penn State if not for the last decade's social earthquakes.

In 2008, the business school had a commitment from ESPN to fund an analytical sports research center. But the recession later that year killed those plans. Three years later, the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal struck, and funding for anything sports-related virtually dried up.

"That just devastated this place," said Wayne DeSarbo, a Business College professor who has linked marketing and analytics courses to sports. "You mentioned sports and people just wanted to run away."

'Prominent space in society'

As notable as the development has been here, Penn State has taken a more cautious approach to sports curriculum than many schools. It is not, for example, one of the hundreds that offer sports management degrees.

According to the North American Society of Sports Management, nearly 500 schools have sports management majors. At Ivy League Columbia and 131 other colleges, students can get a master's in the subject. At Temple, they can earn a Ph.D.

"In the last decade, the number of academic offerings related to sports has grown rapidly," said George Cunningham, a Texas A&M professor and NASSM president. "Sports continue to occupy a prominent place in our society."

There were almost 25,000 sports management students this school year, Cunningham said, a number many fear can't be accommodated by the industry.

It is that potential disconnect that has made Penn State more cautious than most when it comes to diving into the academic sports pool.

So instead of adding more sports-specific majors, Penn State has seen these new courses as supplements to traditional areas of study.

"I could fill up courses all day and night if we had suitable facilities to find them jobs," said DeSarbo. "Since we don't, our philosophy is to make sure these people who graduate have a thorough training in some functional area of business. Then they can augment that with whatever interest they have in sports."

Penn State doesn't offer a sports major, though a plan to create a minor is moving through what one professor termed "the glacial-like university bureaucracy." If approved, it would be housed in the kinesiology department but require sports-related courses in many disciplines.

What makes all this notable is the historical animosity that has existed between sports and those academics who saw fun and games as unworthy topics for serious scholarship.

"It's academic snobbery, and there's been a lot of it at major research institutions like this one," said Ross, who also heads the Institute for Sports Law, Policy and Research. "Because of that, those schools haven't looked much at sports. Those that did tended not to be the elite universities, and often their work wasn't very good. That in turn confirmed to the major universities that sports was beneath them."

Because of its agricultural-school roots, Penn State has been a place where subjects shunned elsewhere have been more welcome in the curriculum.

When, for example, more established and prestigious schools such as Cornell saw it as beneath it, Penn State started the nation's first agricultural program. And when in the 1890s those same institutions ignored American literature, Fred Pattee created a pioneering course in the subject here.

"Sports have been vastly understudied," Ross said. "Lots of people have opinions, but the amount of rigorous, research-backed thinking that goes into those opinions has been minimal."

Guarding their turf

According to its lofty sounding mission statement, the new sports center is meant "to incubate and facilitate discussion between academics, industry executives and policy makers about research, regulation and reforms with regard to professional, intercollegiate, youth and club-level amateur sports."

Ideally, Ross said, if one of his law classes were to tackle the debate about paying collegiate athletes, the marketing department might look at what it would mean for sports' commercial future. History researchers might examine its potential impact on women's athletics. Education students might focus on how the broader university would accommodate paid athletes, and athletic department officials could provide specialized insights.

The center's dream of interdisciplinary synthesis would be a departure from the way things work at many large universities, where departmental fiefdoms jealously guard their turf.

"We're all in our own buildings, and it's not easy to talk with one another or know what someone else is doing," said Affleck, who, like Ross and DeSarbo, is a member of the center's executive committee.

DeSarbo suggested that in the past professors of these various sports courses might be exploring similar topics and competing for the same grants, all independent of one another.

"Every school in the university wants to have its own little empire," DeSarbo said. "But the competition for funding is so tough that two people can't go to alumni with requests for research on the same thing. So it's probably best to merge it all so we don't have to compete against each other for limited resources."

Another sports-related center on campus is the Center for Study of Sports Surfaces in the College of Agriculture, where research into playing field and golf course turf has been going on for decades. And while ag-school research has focused on living organisms, the center is funded by Field Turf, the world's largest artificial-surface producer.

"The tie-in is a little tenuous," conceded Andrew McNitt, the center's director, who is a professor in the department of plant science and the technical adviser to the NFL's Groundskeepers Organization. "But we're doing research on real grass all the time. So we're always looking at how the artificial turf compares to real grass and how we can make both better."

Among the issues being studied there are ways to improve a field's traction and melting functions as well as the relationship between surface hardness and concussions.

Very responsive

In Affleck's sports journalism classes, 100 or so students a semester study in what is a certificate program within the College of Communications. Many get hands-on experience covering Penn State's 31 sports for print, TV or radio, and some, through internships and other programs, are doing professional work.

"There are a lot of opportunities in struggling industries for these kids to help out," said Affleck.

Since sports touch on so many aspects of American life, it's easy to use them as springboards into broader issues. That was evident last fall, Affleck said, when San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick created a firestorm by kneeling during the national anthem.

"That gave us an opportunity to work through a lot of issues," said Affleck, "like how we feel about patriotism, race, community relations with police."

Sometimes these courses are as broad as sports law. Other times their focus is narrow. In the Liberal Arts College last semester, for example, there was a class called Is Football Immoral and Other Questions of Sports Ethics.

The Sports, Ethics, and Literature course focuses on the way American sports depend on narratives. History of Sports looks at the "forces, institutions, and personalities" that have shaped and guided physical activities from ancient Greece through the 20th century.

The more of these courses and the more funding that institutions like Penn State's new sports center attracts, Ross said, the deeper once-trivialized issues will burrow into academia.

"We're going to be very responsive to providing resources to do valuable research," said Ross. "We're hoping to tap into the Penn State community and foundations to provide something of the equivalent for sports to what the [National Institute of Health] does for medical problems."

ffitzpatrick@phillynews.com

@philafitz

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)



Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA 2024 bid officials will host the IOC evaluation commission starting Wednesday.

A team of International Olympic Committee experts will spend three days each in Los Angeles and Paris over the next week evaluating the two bids for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The evaluation commission will begin its review of Los Angeles' bid Wednesday and Paris' bid Sunday. In those three-day visits, the bid leaders will seek to demonstrate why their city is best to host the Games even as the IOC considers an option of awarding each city an Olympics in a dual award for 2024 and 2028.

Up first, Los Angeles will seek to demonstrate how it can deliver on its low-risk, no-surprises promise.

"What will be really interesting here is if Los Angeles doesn't spend all its time saying how lavish we can do things but here's how we can do things affordably and on budget," said Victor Matheson, an economist at Holy Cross who has studied the Olympics. "Which would be, of course, a totally different idea from what we've totally seen but would certainly be in line with what the IOC says it's looking for."

Los Angeles has proposed a $5.3 billion bid that relies almost entirely on existing venues. It's tailored to Agenda 2020, which the IOC created to reduce the cost of bidding and create a more sustainable model for the Olympics.

The 2024 race is the first under the agenda and a test of the IOC's commitment to change after recent Games in Rio de Janeiro, Sochi and Beijing, among others, have run billions over budget while failing to deliver on their promised legacies.

With only two remaining cities for a second consecutive bidding cycle, the IOC has tasked its vice presidents to study changes to bidding. They are considering awarding the 2024 and 2028 Olympics when the IOC meets to vote in September, with Los Angeles and Paris each getting one of the two.

Related: Could IOC Award Separate Olympics to L.A. and Paris?

While seeing Los Angeles' venues is the most visible measure of the bid, the IOC evaluation commission will examine other areas such as finance, transportation and marketing, said John Mac-Aloon, a professor at the University of Chicago.

MacAloon was an adviser on New York's bid for the 2012 Olympics and part of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games.

"It's an intense face-to-face, formal committee hearing, if you will, on the propositions that are offered, as well as an opportunity for the experts to get a direct sense of the lay of the land," he said.

The commission also will consider things such as the impressions they get from bid leaders as well as city and public support.

One advantage Los Angeles has over the previous two U.S. bids is improved relations with the IOC, MacAloon said. "It's a challenge for us Americans to hit the right tone," he said.

The commission's work culminates in a report delivered to the IOC on July 5 in advance of a technical briefing a week later. That report would include any challenges but will highlight opportunities and is expected to be favorable to both cities.

"It becomes a bit of an interpretation games of reading between the lines as to what is or is not being hinted at by the evaluation commission about the relative strengths or weaknesses of the various bids," MacAloon said.

"They're very subtle in how they formally present their results, but of course the bid committees have other sources of information.

"And it's important to know that the IOC members, who are the only real targets, for their final secret ballot may or may not pay that much attention to the evaluation committee findings. That varies a great deal among the IOC members."

 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Duathlete Chris Mosier enjoys training for all distances.

But competing in the Long Course Duathlon National Championships last month in Cary, N.C., was satisfying for more reasons than a payoff from grueling training.

"In many ways," Mosier said, "it was a protest as well."

A transgender male athlete -- the first to compete in the Sprint Duathlon World Championships in Spain last summer and the first to be sponsored by Nike — Mosier was competing in a state that still features a bathroom bill that's discriminatory toward the transgender community.

In the race April 29, Mosier qualified for another spot on the men's U.S. national team for his age group, building off his accomplishments from last summer when he qualified for the national team in the sprint duathlon — a shorter, equally challenging distance. This year in the long course, which includes a 5-mile run, 31-mile bike and 5-mile run, Mosier placed second in his age group (35-39) with a qualifying time of 2:40.27.

"My athletic goal was to make the podium (finishing in the top three). To do that in North Carolina was extra satisfying," said Mosier, who will travel to Zofingen, Switzerland, in 2017 (for sprint duathlon) and 2018 (for long course duathlon) to represent the U.S. men's team again in the International Triathlon Union's Age Group World Championships.

North Carolina's highly scrutinized House Bill 2 was altered in April and renamed House Bill 142, which was promoted as a repeal and deemed a compromise by its authors. HB142 removes the requirement for transgender people to use public bathrooms based on their birth certificate and not their gender identity. But it still includes a ban for anti-discrimination ordinances until December 2020 — keeping intact a key part of HB2 that could allow businesses to determine bathroom provisions.

Some athletes, including Mosier's fellow duathlete Joseph Pendleton, chose not to compete in North Carolina because of the policy. But Mosier thought the best way to make an impact was by being there in an uncomfortable environment.

"I think visibility is a powerful tool for social change," said Mosier, who also serves as the vice president of program development and community relations for You Can Play, an organization dedicated to eradicating homophobia and transphobia in sports. "Sports provide me as an athlete with a platform to help change perceptions and break stereotypes on transgender athletes and transgender people. The more I can be visible and succeed, the more other people will see."

Similar to his trip to North Carolina for last year's national championships, Mosier said he was deliberate in not spending any money in the state, stopping at the Virginia border to fill up for gas and staying at Airbnb housing because the company has inclusion policies he feels comfortable supporting. He said he was "in and out as fast as possible."

The bathroom bills, which are being considered with similar formats to North Carolina's in other states, most notably Texas, were created with the intention to protect children from the opposite sex in restrooms. But Mosier contests that those in the transgender community are actually the ones in danger because of bullying and that the lack of protection paves way for fear, especially for the younger generation — 75% of transgender youths feel unsafe at school according to a GLSEN survey. In February, the Trump administration announced an end to federal protections that allowed transgender students to use facilities based on their gender identity.

"As a trans person, being in that space (in North Carolina), it feels hostile," Mosier said. "It doesn't feel hostile because of the people. I realize HB142 does not reflect the values of most people in the state. But by creating this situation, there's a risk for violence.... It feels unsafe."

Chuck Menke, chief marketing officer for USA Triathlon, said members of the organization were cognizant of the difficult climate in North Carolina due to House Bill 142. USA Triathlon awarded the national championships to Cary in June 2015, which predated HB2.

Barry Siff, USA Triathlon's president, has competed alongside Mosier in international competition and said Mosier's resolve in the face of tribulation is inspiring to those in the sport.

"Chris' accomplishments within the sport of duathlon, often in the face of adversity and prejudice, exemplify the power of the human spirit and the inclusivity of our multisport community," Siff said.

Based on his athletic experiences in North Carolina, Mosier said it was unacceptable for college sports' governing body, the NCAA, to host events there. The state's amended HB142 led the NCAA to drop its ban on the state for hosting championship events. The NCAA awarded it several championship events from 2019 to 2022, including the first and second round of the NCAA basketball tournament in 2020 and 2021 in Greensboro and Raleigh. Before HB2 was repealed, the Associated Press estimated the law would have cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion in lost business over 12 years, on top of the millions the state lost as a result of 2017's relocation of NCAA championship events and the NBA All-Star Game.

The NCAA hosted its annual inclusion forum in early April, an event that educates athletics departments and spreads a "necessary message" of openness to transgender athletes, according to Mosier. However, those principles are "directly in conflict with the NCAA's actions," he said.

"The NCAA says it values all of its members and protecting all of its student-athletes. That's impossible in North Carolina with something like HB142," said Mosier, who added that having gender-inclusive locker rooms is crucial for transgender athletes to participate fully with the team. "While (HB142) was supposed to be a repeal, it is a repacking of the same discriminatory policies. It still doesn't protect LBGTQ people."

Mosier helped organize a letter signed by 166 student-athletes that was sent to the NCAA board of governors to reconsider its decision, noting "the safety of the LGBTQ athletic community cannot be an afterthought" and HB142 "still discriminates against a population of the NCAA's membership."

"The message that comes across, by the NCAA (bringing championships) back to North Carolina, is that HB142 is in alignment with their values. It sends the message to transgender athletes, coaches and fans that they are not safe at NCAA events. It enables other states to pass comparable legislation... (the states) know there's no repercussion of losing income from the NCAA. They're basically given the green light to discriminate."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

RALEIGH, N.C. — Worn out after an away game, a former NFL player was informed by a bank teller that suspicious withdrawals were siphoning away his money. Another was persuaded to try to rescue a losing investment with an additional $700,000. A third player spent years in court trying to claw back $500,000 from a misleading real estate project.

All three were clients of financial planner Michael Rowan, who was sentenced to prison on April 26 for stealing money from wealthy athletes. It's a cautionary tale for the instant millionaires who now know where they'll be playing professional football after the NFL draft but still figuring out how to manage their new wealth.

They want to avoid joining a long list of pros who have been steered into questionable investments, or have been swindled out of money by advisers. In the 1980s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar accused a former business manager of mishandling millions. More recently, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees filed a lawsuit claiming a former teammate steered $160,000 of his money into a bogus investment.

"Athletes would typically focus on playing their sport and turn over their financial affairs to others," said Matt Mitten, director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University. "And there have been all too many cases where athletes have lost a great deal of money."

Top college athletes often rely on academic advisers, trainers and coaches to manage matters off the field - so it's not unusual for them to put the same trust in financial advisers when they turn pro, said Tim Davis, a Wake Forest University law professor and co-author of "The Business of Sports Agents." Further, many athletes don't have experience dealing with the amount of money they earn; not many people do. That opens the door for unscrupulous characters to get into their investments.

"You have people who are actively out there who are trying to get their business, often using family members or friends," Davis said. "You have folks out there who talk a very good game."

While players unions in the major sports oversee agents who negotiate contracts, labor law doesn't give unions the same ability to regulate financial advisers, Davis said. The NFL Players Association has a program for vetting financial advisers, but it's voluntary. The leagues and the unions have increased education efforts.

NFLPA records indicate that Rowan was never registered with its financial advisers program, spokeswoman Kaitlin Murphy said in an email. The money manager received five years in prison for stealing nearly $3 million from clients at his sentencing the day before the NFL draft started.

To avoid rip-offs, lawyers and legal scholars advise players to do research and seek advice from their contract agents, who often work for established firms.

"Do your homework, do your research and find someone who's got experience, who's got integrity, and have them handle your affairs. Not somebody's friend or someone you've met at the bar, or a family member," said lawyer J.E. Cullens, who represented lineman Glenn Dorsey in a lawsuit against Rowan.

Dorsey's case shows how advisers latch onto young players. Rowan presented himself as a caretaker of players' newfound wealth while they dealt with grueling training and travel, and players who sued him said they viewed him as a trusted friend.

Dorsey hired Rowan before he was drafted in 2008 by Kansas City. A lawyer wrote that Dorsey gave Rowan access to manage his financial affairs because of a schedule that "prevents him from closely monitoring his bank account." But a bank branch employee informed Dorsey of suspicious withdrawals, and he eventually sued Rowan, who pleaded guilty late last year to moving clients' money without permission into accounts he controlled.

His firm was also sued by NFL players Earnest Graham, Alex Brown and Craig Davis over questionable investments. Rowan declined to comment through his lawyer.

"We have seen so many of these cases with athletes who are very trusting of their financial advisers and maybe don't do enough background research," said lawyer Bradley Schlotterer, who represented Davis.

Rowan cultivated an image as a gregarious do-gooder. After graduating from Wake Forest University in 1994, he ran the Future Stars Football Camp in High Point for several years, mingling with young prospects and pros who served as speakers.

He registered Capital Management Group Wealth Advisers in 2005 in High Point. Before legal problems surfaced, Rowan told the Triad Business Journal in 2007 that the Bible was a favorite read, and he always sought meetings with players' parents to build trust.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
June 7, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 South Bend Tribune Corporation
All Rights Reserved

South Bend Tribune (Indiana)

 

MISHAWAKA - An Indianapolis pool company has applied a patch on the 2-by-3-foot gash that vandals cut last week in the liner of the Merrifield Park pool, said city parks Superintendent Phil Blasko.

Park staff will start filling the pool with water this week to see if the patch holds, he said at Monday's parks board meeting. If not, the parks department will have to consider replacing the liner, which he's estimated could cost $300,000. It's unclear how much of that would be covered by insurance.

Cost for the patching will be less than the $5,000 deductible for the parks' insurance, Blasko said. But he added that the company, Natare Corp., felt confident the patch would hold, even though the hole is in the deep end where it bears the most pressure.

Also, the liner is nearing the end of its life, he said.

Mishawaka police Lt. Tim Williams said there aren't any suspects yet for the vandalism, which police believe happened sometime between 3 p.m. on Monday and noon Wednesday.

There isn't a security camera by the pool. But parks board President Reg Wagle said he cannot recall damage this severe to the pool over the past several years. The city had hoped to open the Merrifield pool by June 5.

Earlier at Monday's meeting, a landscape architect spoke to the parks board about plans for a $1 million overhaul of Mary Gibbard Park, noting that security cameras there would be included to thwart ongoing issues with park vandalism. Gibbard's small pool will be removed this spring and replaced in the next year by a splash pad.

Seeking help

Anyone with information about the vandalism at Merrifield Park pool is asked to contact the Mishawaka Police Department at 574-258-1678 or city parks Superintendent Phil Blasko at 574-258-1664.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 11, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

Maddie Gagliano and Hannah Garcia don't wear their hearing aides on the ice.

As members of the first U.S. National Women's Deaf Ice Hockey team, they don't have to.

All their teammates also have some degree of hearing loss - so the condition becomes not an impairment but a unifier.

"You can show you're deaf instead of hiding it," says 13-year-old Maddie of Elgin, a center who scored two goals as the new women's team took on Canada during its first and only games, exhibition contests April 22 and 23 in Amherst, New York.

To even the playing field among players, hearing aides and implants were banned during the games. So Maddie, Hannah and the 15 other young women from 10 states on the team did what they always do as athletes with a disability: adjust and conquer.

So, for example, on the rinks where they played, small lights installed around the perimeter helped players know when a penalty had been called or a coach wanted a timeout. When a referee blew the whistle, the lights activated and flashed.

"It's always chaotic," says 16-year-old Hannah of Naperville.

But it's the sport she loves, and she was thrilled for the chance to play it as the deaf hockey community launched an effort to build international interest in the women's game.

The new women's deaf team formed after tryouts in March to play twice against Canada, the only other nation with a comparable squad. The team is done for now but could form again, especially if its first action helps participation among American athletes and other nations grow.

The United States of America Deaf Sports Federation has sponsored a men's team since the Deaflympics in 1975, but coach Jackie MacMillan said the push to increase women's involvement began much more recently, with efforts led by the late coach Jeff Sauer, who died early this year. After last month's games at the World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships, the hope is other countries will recruit their athletes to join in.

"The future looks bright for the program," MacMillan said.

Naturals on ice

The suburban teens who comprised the first women's deaf team both will have plenty of opportunities to continue in the game, their coach says, because Maddie and Hannah are young and skilled.

Maddie plays for the Chicago Mission under-14 team based at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, an elite squad that frequently travels out of state to face other top teams in the AAA division of youth hockey. She has partial hearing loss because of the bone structure in her left ear, but she has full hearing in her right ear.

"I want to play in college and do the NWHL," Maddie says about the National Women's Hockey League, formed in 2015. "It's pro hockey for girls."

Hannah plays for the Sabre Hockey under-19 team based at All Seasons Ice Rink in Naperville, which is in the AA division. She was born with moderate hearing loss in both ears.

Maddie has been playing since she was 4, when her parents gave her the option to try figure skating or hockey on a pond behind their house and at backyard rinks at the homes of friends. Like her older brother, Nathan, Maddie chose hockey.

Hannah picked up hockey five years ago, making her rise to the national women's team that much sweeter.

"I saw myself playing basketball," Hannah said. "I never thought this would happen."

A flyer at her audiologist's office interested her in trying the "chaotic," icy game. It advertised the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association's annual summer camp in Woodridge, a chance for players with hearing loss from across the nation to join in a week of ice time and companionship that Blackhawks great Stan Mikita launched in 1973.

Most members of the new women's deaf team have attended the camp, including Hannah and Maddie.

"How much you bond with people" is Maddie's favorite part of the game, especially at the camp, where everyone has a shared experience with deafness or hearing loss. "The intensity" is Hannah's favorite element, whether playing with deaf or hearing teammates.

Observant athletes

On the ice, deaf team members mainly use their sense of sight to run plays, coordinate substitutions, call for passes and watch players move on offense, defense and transition.

To qualify for the team, members must have at least 55-decibel hearing loss in their better ear. That puts them in a category of moderately severe hearing loss, in which it is difficult to understand group conversations and the clarity of speech is diminished, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Athletes also had to make it past a tryout in which 25 participated and 17 were chosen for the team.

The national team provided an interpreter to sit on the bench near MacMillan, who has coached seven seasons at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, but never led players with hearing loss before.

"You had to do a lot of pointing and drawing on the board," MacMillan said. "Saying it is a lot different than showing it."

The fledgling team had only one day to practice before taking on its opponent, the Canadians, who also were fielding their first women's team. In addition, several players didn't know how to sign or understand American Sign Language, making the interpreter useless to them.

Still, they adapted.

"They're a lot more observant and aware than players who have full hearing," MacMillan said about the players on her team of 17 skaters, ranging in age from 13 to 29. "They pick up things more quickly."

The U.S. women lost both their games - 6-3 and 6-4 - despite carrying leads into the third period.

But the results of the games weren't nearly as important as the fact there were games.

'Pick up your head'

Playing without the benefit of sound is the norm for Maddie and Hannah, both of whom say they don't wear their hearing aides on the ice, even when playing with teammates with full hearing.

The devices can be uncomfortable inside a helmet, the girls say, as the cold air of the rink breezes by and they can get screechy with feedback as they pick up the crisp scraping sounds of skates across the frozen surface.

The constant need to look up at other players actually makes for smoother hockey, Maddie says.

"It makes you pick up your head," she says, scanning the ice and sometimes using reflections off the glass for help. "Looking up helps a lot."

'Neat small world'

The highlight of representing the U.S. on the first deaf women's team was the newness of it all.

"No one has ever experienced that," Maddie said. "It was cool to be the first one to put on that jersey."

The sense of belonging the team conveyed meant a lot to the girls' parents, too.

Hannah's mother, Carrie Garcia, says her daughter reads lips well and communicates in American Sign Language, especially during classes in a special program at Hinsdale South High School. Maddie also has learned to sign. But Hannah often lets others do the talking so she won't have to chime in - unless she's on the rink with deaf and hard-of-hearing peers.

"She blossoms in that environment," her mother said.

Maddie and Hannah both say they hope to continue their bond in deaf hockey and their connection to the national team, especially if it forms again in advance of the next Winter Deaflympics in 2019.

"They all realize that they have so much in common," Hannah's mother said. "It's a neat small world in deaf hockey."

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Digital First Media
All Rights Reserved

The Daily News of Los Angeles

 

A preliminary timeline for the proposed stadium that would be home to the Raiders in Las Vegas shows construction would be finished only three months before the 2020 regular season begins.

The draft of the timeline made public Monday by the Las Vegas Stadium Authority shows construction on the proposed 65,000-seat stadium would begin in January and last 30 months, giving the team three months to move in.

Members of the board overseeing the $1.9 billion project are expected to discuss the preliminary timeline during their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday. The Raiders did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

From ABRenderings of $1.9B Las Vegas Raiders Stadium

The NFL's newest stadium took two-and-a-half years to complete. The first Minnesota Vikings preseason game at the venue took place in August.

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy
LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

Copyright 2017 Digital First Media
All Rights Reserved

The Daily News of Los Angeles

 

National Signing Day lost some of its luster Monday as the Collegiate Commissioners Association approved an early signing period for Division I football.

Recruits as soon as the 2018 class can choose to sign during a 72-hour window in December instead of waiting for the traditional signing period that begins on the first Wednesday of February, which remains intact. The additional choice takes some of the guess work out of recruiting for coaches while allowing prospects some security by locking down a scholarship.

"I'm all for it," UCLA linebackers coach Scott White said. "I love it. I think it's a great deal for the kids that want to get it done."

December is a hectic period as college coaches are traveling for home visits, hosting official visits and making their final recruiting pitches as prospects begin to evaluate their options. For many teams, it also coincides with bowl game prep. White, Scout.com's Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year in 2016, said the early signing period will help coaches better focus their recruiting resources during a chaotic time instead of having to continuously circle back to solid commitments.

Allowing recruits to lock in their positions limits the last-minute drama that often surrounds signing day hype in February, but might hinder coaching staffs who excel in the 11th hour.

While building its 2017 class that was ranked fifth in the country and first in the conference by Scout.com, USC flipped two recruits in the final weeks before signing day. The Trojans have a history of closing recruiting cycles well as they added six previously uncommitted players to their recruiting class on National Signing Day this February and six in 2016.

In its 18-man 2017 recruiting class, UCLA flipped two commits from other Pac-12 schools during the final two weeks before National Signing Day.

Recruits who use the early signing period would still be bound to a school in the event of a coaching change. Those who take additional time and wait until February to sign might be left on the outside looking in as their scholarship could already be gone.

"It's on the coaches," White said of the potential drawbacks for recruits with the early signing period. "They need to take the onus to be straight up with these kids."

The new period for the 2018 class is Dec. 20-22 and coincides with the first three days of the junior college transfer signing period. The NCAA Division I Council already approved the change in April.

UCLA has nine commitments so far for the 2018 class who could consider using the early signing period. Safety Cam'ron Jones, a four-star recruit from Mansfield High in Texas, verbally pledged to the Bruins on April 16 and plans to take advantage of the new opportunity.

"I'm excited to see the new signing day in December to let UCLA know I'm 1000 percent committed," Jones said in a direct Twitter message.

USC has six commitments now, including pledges from Long Beach Poly quarterback Matt Corral, Narbonne linebacker Raymond Scott and Oaks Christian defensive end Bo Calvert.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
May 10, 2017
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy