LexisNexis(R) logoAthleticBusiness.com has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.
Copyright 2017 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 Journal Register Co.

New Haven Register (Connecticut)

 

DERBY — Ground likely won't be broken until January on a major-league facelift slated for the school district's athletic complex.

That's according to Superintendent of Schools Matthew Conway, who recently gave a brief update to the Board of Aldermen on the multimillion-dollar makeover.

"We expect to have shovels in the ground in January," said Conway.

Two separate committees — the Athletic Complex Building Committee and the Field House and Baseball Field Committee — have been working with two architects on the projects.

City Treasurer Keith McLiverty, chairman of the Athletic Complex Building Committee, said the magnitude of the projects, from the design process to acquiring the necessary approvals from land-use boards, takes time.

"This is the type of project where the up-front work, such as design and site plans, take longer than one would expect," said McLiverty.

McLiverty said once a Request for Quotes goes out to select contractors to put the designs in motion, the projects will move ahead more quickly.

"We are balancing the privately funded project pace with the pace of the publicly funded project," McLiverty said. "(The goal is) keeping both trains moving at the same speed to arrive at the station at the same end date.... The coordination is a methodical process."

New Britain firm Kaestle Boos Associates Inc., the successful designer behind the minor league stadium that formerly housed the New Britain Rock Cats, is onboard as project manager, overseeing the design and construction of an artificial turf football field, multi-purpose field and eight-lane rubberized track at the Leo F. Ryan Sports Complex on Chatfield Street.

Derby received $2.9 million in funding from the state Bond Commission for that project.

A second architect, Peter de Bretteville of Hamden, is working with the Field House and Baseball Field Committee in designing and overseeing construction of another major component of the overall makeover, though it's being treated as a separate project.

A new baseball field and state-of-the-art fieldhouse is being privately funded thanks to a $4 million donation from Joan Payden, founder, CEO and president of Los Angeles-based international investment firm Payden & Rygel. Payden made the donation in memory of her father, J.R. Payden, valedictorian of the DHS class of 1915, who was a fighter pilot for the Royal Flying Corps in England.

Payden hand-picked de Bretteville, who boasts more than 40 years' experience, including Athens College in Greece, to design the baseball field/fieldhouse project.

The existing high school baseball field, which is not regulation size, must be relocated to make way for the artificial turf field and track. The field is currently located next to the football field at the Ryan Complex and is slated to be relocated where the existing girls' softball field is. The softball field is slated to move nearby to either the high school campus on Nutmeg Avenue near the existing Little League field or near the new fake turf field.

Both school and city officials have assured concerned coaches, athletes, parents and others that the renovations and relocations, while it will require some temporary shuffling, will not hurt any of the existing sports programs.

Conway said Derby football games still will be played in neighboring Shelton, thanks to an arrangement made there, due to pending demolition of the existing fieldhouse, likely to happen during football season.

"The goal is to bring back football in the fall of 2018 on our brand new field," said Conway.

Both building committees are slated to hold a joint meeting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at Derby Middle School.

Credit: By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich, jean.sos@snet.net

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
August 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 Collier County Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Naples Daily News (Florida)

 

Along with the recent opening of training camp by many NFL teams came an updated study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found the degenerative brain disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the brains of 110 of 111 deceased former National Football League players who donated their brains to research.

As the researchers acknowledge, this was a skewed sample; one presumes former players without symptoms were less likely to have participated. But even skeptics of the link between CTE and football must be alarmed at the sheer number of cases among former pro football players who have died in just the last three years.

That outcome should concern not just professional football players or parents contemplating whether their children should play the sport but run-of-the-mill fans of the game as well.

Just how dangerous is football, and are we dooming generations of men to debilitating brain injury simply for our own amusement? As much fun as it may be to root for the pros or for local high school and college teams, the risk of CTE is more than worrisome.

Most, if not all, sports carry risk of injury, but there are broken bones and torn cartilage, and then there's a disease that causes memory loss, confusion, loss of impulse control, aggressive behavior and ultimately progressive dementia.

Concern not new

Medical experts like Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian-born neuropathologist who discovered CTE in the brain of Hall of Fame center Mike Webster and whose experience was detailed in the movie "Concussion," has been warning for years that most NFL players have brain disease. And the NFL, while slow to recognize the ramifications of this research, has made efforts in recent years to address the issue, with some modest rule changes, more elaborate concussion screenings and equipment upgrades, donations for research - and a promised $1 billion settlement to former players with brain injury.

But given the mounting evidence about the severity and extent of the problem, it's fair to question whether enough has been done. It's still not uncommon for those involved in the NFL to dismiss heightened concerns about concussions.

It isn't just professional players who face danger. Helmet-to-helmet collisions and the concussions that result from such violent contact are also a problem in the lower ranks. The same CTE study published this week also found evidence of the disease in former college players (48 out of 53 tested) and in former high school players (3 of 14 involved in the study), although the disease was most severe in pro players and particularly those who played on the line, as running backs or in the defensive backfield.

Nor have mounting concerns over football-related head injuries escaped the attention of families nationwide who are becoming increasingly reluctant to enroll their children in youth football leagues.

Organizations like USA Football are changing rules for the sport so that school-age children are playing a less violent game. Eliminating kickoffs and punts, reducing the number of players and banning the three-point stance (which tends to promote helmet-to-helmet contact between linemen) are among the major changes.

Some schools are eliminating varsity football altogether. Other youth sports organizations are encouraging "flag" football in which getting "tackled" means simply that a velcro-attached flag has been removed from a player's belt.

The future?

This isn't to suggest it's time to turn in season tickets or even to eliminate football from high schools.

But the link between the repeated blows to the head suffered by football players and CTE is too well documented to accept business as usual.

The NFL's actions to date seem underwhelming compared to the threat, and it will take more than a few preseason no-shows to convince owners in this highly profitable form of entertainment that fans demand something more than what's been offered to date.

If fans truly care about their favorite players, they'll not only want them to succeed on the playing field but live long, healthy lives as well.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

A 16-year-old died Saturday after collapsing during soccer practice with Atlanta Fire United, a coach said.

Michael Jones was a rising junior at Parkview High School who'd recently joined Atlanta Fire United, Parkview boys soccer coach Dan Klinect told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Shortly before Jones collapsed, he was acting strangely, Klinect said.

"His club coach said he had a weird expression on his face," Klinect said.

Atlanta Fire United coach Mirza Mustafic performed CPR until the ambulance arrived, Klinect said.

Officials said Jones suffered cardiac arrest.

"The whole thing is so shocking because you wouldn't think someone with his athleticism would pass away from cardiac arrest," Klinect said. "That's what I'm trying to grasp and understand."

Klinect said he'd known Jones for years and coached him when he was at the Gwinnett Soccer Association as well as when he played for Parkview.

"He was tremendous as a student, player and as a person." Klinect said. "He works harder than anybody out there."

Jones was the kind of player who wouldn't sulk when things didn't go his way, but would instead ask what he could do to improve and get better.

"He was the kind of kid you'd want on your team," Klinect said.

A Gwinnett County Schools official said grief counselors will be available for students returning to school.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Jerry Kill has been seizure-free for almost a year and a half. He has lost 25 pounds by cutting way down on carbs and taking long walks. After years of sleeping two or three hours a night, he now regularly gets six or more.

The former Minnesota coach still needs medication to treat his epilepsy and control the seizures that forced him to leave coaching during the 2015 season, but lifestyle changes have been an important part of facing a condition he was once hesitant to even acknowledge.

Kill was feeling so good that he decided to return to coaching as offensive coordinator at Rutgers after more than a season away. Seven hectic months into being part of Chris Ash's program rebuild and all is still well, according to Kill and his wife, Rebecca.

The next phase of his comeback starts soon. The Scarlet Knights begin preseason camp this week and open against Washington on Sept. 1. Jerry Kill said the in-season routine should help him maintain good habits and Rebecca is confident, too. Still, after more than two decades of worrying about her husband's health, she expects anxious moments.

"I'm never going to get over that," Rebecca Kill said. "I'm always going to have that in the back of my mind, but because he's doing what he loves — and he's absolutely loving coaching — I truly believe he's going to be OK."

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that can lead to loss of consciousness and convulsions.

Jerry Kill, 55, had his first seizure in 2000 when he was coach at Emporia State and a sideline seizure in 2005 when he was head coach at Southern Illinois led doctors to discover he also had kidney cancer. Kill beat the cancer, though for years he would say he had seizure disorder, shying away from calling it epilepsy.

"The word epilepsy is different from saying seizure disorder to me," Kill said. Not only does he no longer shy away from calling his condition what it is, he wrote a book about his battle with epilepsy called "Chasing Dreams," and started a fund by the same name with the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota.

Kill was head coach at Northern Illinois from 2008-2010.

Rebecca Kill said it wasn't until 2013, when seizures forced Jerry to miss a game at Michigan, that he truly began to commit to getting his epilepsy under control. Still, it was a struggle. Jerry Kill has tried various medications, but the side-effects can be brutal.

One drug made him short-tempered and wired. Another brought him down.

In 2015, the seizures became too much and he stepped down as Minnesota coach seven games into the season. Retired.

The Kills escaped to their vacation home in Siesta Key, Florida. Finally, after years of focusing so much time and energy on his programs and players, Jerry was able to concentrate on helping himself.

"I lost around 25 pounds," Kill said. One look at Kill now compared to him in the older pictures he had yet to hang on his office walls at Rutgers shows he is not exaggerating.

Kill has all but eliminated carbohydrates from his diet, and drinks water instead carbonated soft drinks.

"What's tough to give up? Pizza," Jerry Kill said. "Every once in a while I reward myself with some cookies and things of that nature. I stay pretty true to it."

The biggest change was sleep. He had been living dangerously deprived for years. Now there are nights he actually gets eight hours.

"And just being able to just kind of get that under control is a huge help," Rebecca Kill said.

Dr. Joseph Sirven, a professor of neurology and the editor-in-chief of Epilepsy.com, said lifestyle measures can be an important part of seizure treatment.

"For some, stress, sleep deprivation and poor eating can exacerbate seizures in people with uncontrolled seizures," he said. "It stands to reason that addressing those lifestyle measures can lessen the likelihood of seizure recurrence and gives a chance for seizure medicines to work.

"However and sadly, lifestyle changes do not completely control seizures in many patients. That is why medications and other treatments are needed."

Kill has found a medication that is effective, and since it doesn't burden him with harsh side effects, he has been better at sticking to the regiment.

There was a point at Minnesota when Rebecca Kill received NCAA permission to go on recruiting trips with Jerry because of the possibility he would have a seizure. That hasn't been the case at Rutgers and you can hear the joy in Rebecca Kill's voice when she talks about Jerry's trips to Georgia, Florida and California.

"For him to be able to travel across country and do all that without having any issues is just incredible," she said.

Jerry Kill acknowledges the walks have been harder to squeeze in and eating right not quite as easy since starting a new job. Rebecca tries to get to campus and walk with him during breaks. And she is constantly on him to get some rest.

"My wife drives me nuts and I tell her that from time to time," Jerry Kill said, with a smile. "She'll always be that way. She's had to see it more than anybody else."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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

 

Rio de Janeiro The track and roof of the velodrome built for last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics was damaged in a fire Sunday when the building was struck by a small, hand-made hot-air balloon.

A charred area could be seen on the roof of the structure, and shots from TV network Globo showed a 20-30 meter (yard) portion of wood track surface had burned.

The racing surface was made of special Siberian wood, a requirement that made the velodrome one of the last venues to be ready for the Olympics.

The Brazilian sports ministry confirmed the incident with no injuries reported. In a statement it said the damage was being evaluated.

Despite being illegal, the release of the hand-made balloons — or lanterns — is common in Brazil. The balloons often cause fires when they land.

The incident took place just a few days short of the one-year anniversary of the Rio Games, which opened on Aug. 5.

The velodrome cost about $45 million and, like a half-dozen other sports arenas in the Olympic Park, is struggling to find a use. Many of the arenas are boarded up, and the park in suburban Barra da Tijuca is largely vacant with few amenities for visitors.

Brazil spent about $13 billion in public and private money to hold last year's Olympics, with some reports suggesting the overall cost is closer to $20 billion.

The costs are a flashpoint because Brazil is going through its deepest recession in a generation.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has been late paying teachers, police and pensions, and the military has been arriving in Rio over the last few days to try to control the city's soaring violence.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
August 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 The Bismarck Tribune, a division of Lee Enterprises
All Rights Reserved

The Bismarck Tribune

 

CANNON BALL — Located near the banks of the Missouri River in Cannon Ball is a small, deteriorating basketball court.

"(The court) definitely needs work," said Zy'aeria Johnson, 15, who attends high school in Florida but spends her summers in Cannon Ball with her mother, Alisa White Eagle.

The court, though rugged and cracked, is a staple of this low-income community.

Many of the youth who live in Cannon Ball — a small community located on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation — or stay there during the summer, spend a lot of time at the court.

On any given summer day, a group of five to 10 Native American youth are playing there, said Lynette Uses Arrow, vice chairwoman for the Cannon Ball District.

Basketball and volleyball are the two main sports in Cannon Ball. Aside from the outdoor basketball court and a community gym, which also serves as the post office, the district office and a place for the elderly, the community lacks facilities for youth sports.

Dakota Eagle, an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes who grew up in Cannon Ball, said she recognized the need for more and better places for youth to play sports, so she started a community service project to raise funds to replace the existing basketball court and build a volleyball court.

"I feel like, if we can find a way to fill that need, we just have to do it," said Eagle, a United Tribes Technical College student studying elementary education.

Eagle approached district officials with her proposal, and, from there, it developed into a full-blown plan to build what will be called the Cannon Ball Youth Sports Complex.

On Tuesday, a group of community members and construction crews tore out the old basketball court and leveled out an adjacent field for the volleyball court. The project has received about $18,000 in donations on its GoFundMe page.

"We didn't expect to even get started this soon," said Uses Arrow, adding she was shocked when she saw the amount of support the project has received. "I was just excited; it's going to be a reality."

Since reaching her initial goal, Eagle has expanded the project and aims to raise about $48,000 to build a recreation area with picnic tables and shelters, as well as a playground, and possibly other amenities.

Over the next few days, a group of Native youth and a local construction company called Ideal Construction and Contracting will finish updating the basketball court and build a volleyball court. From there, Eagle said she hopes to do more.

"One thing I'm learning is once you get out and ask, a lot of people want to be involved, a lot of people want to give their services and just give what they can," she said.

Joe Kuffe, of the Minnesota construction company Red Lake Builders Inc., was hired to fix the lagoons north of Cannon Ball, and he visited Tuesday to donate his time after work. He brought equipment to take out the basketball hoops, break up the concrete and level the courts.

The basketball court is in rough shape due to being built on lower elevation, Kuffe said. When it rains, all the water runs down to where the court is located, and, in the fall, it freezes then cracks and unevenness occurs.

"It's been a long time coming," Uses Arrow said of the repairs.

Ava Red Tomahawk said the original basketball court was constructed for youth in the community around 1974. Red Tomahawk, who helped build the court, said they used to hold basketball tournaments and play music there.

"This was a positive event that drew in other communities, as well," Tomahawk said in a text message. "I believe this project will benefit the community and their families."

On Tuesday evening, all that remained of the old basketball court was a pile of cement.

"(Tuesday) was sad, but it was also kind of exciting," said Uses Arrow.

Johnson, who stays in Cannon Ball during the summer with her mom, says she thinks the new Youth Sports Complex will encourage more kids to go outside.

"I love sports," said Johnson, who plays on her school's basketball, softball and volleyball teams. "(They) keep me in shape, keep me busy doing something."

Kainon Ayutapi, 15, plays basketball and runs long-distance in track at Legacy High School in Bismarck. He, too, spends his summers at Cannon Ball. On Tuesday, he helped to tear out the old basketball court and said he thinks the new space will benefit kids.

"I just want to see my community be changed," he said.

For more information on the project and to donate, visit www.gofundme.com/CannonballYouthSportsComplex.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

It was her work with the Department of Veterans Affairs that first got University of Utah researcher Deborah Yurgelun-Todd interested in studying athletes.

The director of the U.'s Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory wondered what similarities existed between the wartime traumas suffered by veterans and the head injuries suffered in sports. Finding athletes willing to participate in her research, however, wasn't always easy.

But thanks to an initiative and funding by the Pac-12, Yurgelun-Todd has now formed a relationship with her university's athletics department that she hopes will help further the important study of concussions and head trauma among athletes.

"I think symbolically it's really important," she said. "It says they believe in this research."

The Pac-12 is spending more than $3.5 million annually on a series of studies aimed at improving the overall health of athletes.

"What we learn from the research will not only contribute to the good work being done all over the country, but it's also informing policy decisions we might make," conference commissioner Larry Scott said last week. "So over the last few years we've changed some rules about contact for football players during the offseason. And we have regular sessions with our coaches that are grounded in some of the research that informs the training techniques, some of the rules that we've got, not just within our own conference but nationally."

At the University of Washington, researchers are studying best practices for cardiovascular screening. At Stanford and UCLA, they are studying bone health in hopes of preventing future injuries. At Oregon State, they are using the conference's injury database to enhance injury timelines.

At the University of Utah, Yurgelun-Todd and her team are examining the impact of the combination of head trauma and other factors on the physical and mental health of the school's athletes.

"We actually think that a lot of what has come out, particularly regarding the NFL, is not just the result of sports concussions but the result of a lifetime of potential brain insults," she said. "We wanted to look more carefully earlier in the course of life, whether or not sports-related stress and concussions could have a negative impact on well-being and health."

The three-year study is tracking groups of football players, male basketball players, female basketball players, and a group of students who are not involved with athletics. The participants are evaluated twice a year — before and after their respective seasons — and undergo behavioral surveys and a trio of neuro-imaging scans.

"Many labs know how to do the things that we do, but not many labs do all the things that we do," Yurgelun-Todd said. "We have a multi-pronged approach to looking at the health of the brain."

It has unquestionably been another troubling week for the game of football. Just days after Boston University researchers announced they had found evidence of CTE in the brains of 177 of 202 former football players, Baltimore Ravens lineman John Urschel announced he would retire at the age of 26.

"It is a significant concern for all of us involved in college sports," Scott said of the study.

Yurgelun-Todd said she hoped the Pac-12's funding would help serve as a starting point for her own research to grow and continue to track athletes.

"We're in the early phase of the study," she said. "We don't know enough yet. But we want to look at how the brain changes when it is exposed to the stress of being an athlete and also trauma, and create better time points and types of interventions."

afalk@sltrib.com Twitter: @aaronfalk

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

RIO DE JANEIRO — Neymar kissed the ball, delivered a gold medal and then wept with other Brazilians.

Look no further if you're searching for an iconic image of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

"It's the only medal that really mattered," Salvador Gaeta said recently while cycling in the deserted Olympic Park. "Every Brazilian will remember it."

Other memories have faded at home since the Olympics opened a year ago. A few expectations were met, but many fell short of those promised by IOC President Thomas Bach and organizing committee head Carlos Nuzman.

Bach boasted at the closing ceremony of "a Rio de Janeiro before, and a much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games."

Nuzman called Rio the next Barcelona, one of the cities clearly transformed by the games.

But, save for minor cosmetic changes, a city fractured by mountains and searing inequality remains as it was. Violent crime mostly concealed during the Olympics is soaring, tied to Brazil's deepest economic downturn in 100 years and unpaid policemen leaving in droves. Brazil's military has been called in to quell Rio's untethered violence.

Rio barely managed to keep it together for the Olympics, needed a government bailout to hold the Paralympics and then collapsed under a grinding recession and sprawling corruption scandals.

The games took place mostly in the south and west of the city, which remains white and wealthy. The rest is still a hodgepodge of dilapidated factories and hillside slums of cinderblocks, tin roofs and open troughs of raw sewage.

Brazil says it spent $13 billion in public and private money to organize the Olympics - some estimates suggest $20 billion - and many games-related projects since then have been tied to corruption scandals that marred the games and drove up costs. Federal police and prosecutors have linked overpriced projects to graft between politicians and construction companies.

A look at the fallout since the Olympics opened on Aug. 5, 2016:

The good

The Olympics left behind a new subway line extension, high-speed bus service and an urban jewel: a renovated port area filled with food stands, musicians and safe street life in a city rife with crime.

It probably would not have been built without the prestige of the Olympics. But the games also imposed deadlines and drove up the price. A state auditor's report said the $3 billion subway was overbilled by 25 percent.

Igor Silverio lives nearby the port in a favela - or shantytown - and came the other day to kick around a soccer ball with his two young boys. The area in his youth was known for decay and drunkenness.

"For sure it's better," he said. But, he added, he "expected more from the Olympics."

He said he skipped the Olympics because they were "too expensive" and located far away in the suburbs.

Standing outside the new subway line, 57-year-old domestic worker Isa Trajano Fernandes said public transportation had improved but was still deficient.

"When the Olympics were going on it was better, but then they let it slide," she said.

She complained about crowding on the new express buses and the lack of security.

"People have no dignity using public transportation in Rio de Janeiro," she said.

The bad

The Olympics left a half-dozen vacant sports arenas in the Olympic Park and 3,600 empty apartments in the boarded-up Olympic Village. Deodoro, a major complex of venues in the impoverished north, is shuttered behind iron gates.

Standing across the street, Jose Mauricio Pehna de Souza was asked if Rio benefited from the Olympics.

"I don't think so, not us in Brazil," he said.

A $20 million golf course is struggling to find players and financing.

A few dozen were on the course on a recent, sunny Saturday. The clubhouse is mostly unfurnished, and it costs non-Brazilians $180 for 18 holes and a cart.

Organizers and the International Olympic Committee sayRioneedstimetodevelop these venues, and faults Brazil's deep recession for most of the problems.

A prosecutor several months ago disputed this, saying the Olympic Park "lacked planning how to use white elephant" sports venues. Many were built as part of real estate deals that have yet to pan out.

Juliana Solaira, a 30-year-old pharmacist who lives across from the park, called the space "an excellent legacy" but said "few people use it."

"Hereweseeallthismoney spent," she said. "Unfortunately, we see most of the arenas are closed. So I think it could have been used in a better way."

The park offers few amenities: no restaurants, no shade and nothing much to do except gawk at deserted arenas. City hall officials and the federal government say they're planning an event for Aug. 5 to "fill all the arenas" for the day.

The ugly

Rio organizers promised to clean up polluted Guanabara Bay in their winning bid in 2009. During the Olympics, officials used stop-gap measures to keep floating sofas, logs and dead animals from crashing into boats during the sailing events.

Since the Olympics, the bankrupt state of Rio de Janeiro has ceased major efforts to clean the bay, its unwelcome stench often drifting along the highway from the international airport.

"I think it's gotten worse," Brazil's gold-medal sailor Kahena Kunze said in a recent interview. "There was always floating trash, but I see more and more. It's no use hiding the trash because it comes back. I figured it would get worse because I haven't seen anything concrete being done."

Avenida Brasil, the main north-south artery through the city, is a snarl of unfinished roads and express bus lanes, viaducts to nowhere and detours through miles of traffic cones.

Some of the politicians behind the Olympics have been accused of graft, and organizers still owe creditors as much as $40 million.

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who wept when Rio was awarded the games, was convicted last month on corruption charges and faces a 9 1/2-year prison term. He is appealing.

Former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes , the local moving force behind the Olympics, is being investigated for allegedly accepting at least $5 million in payments to facilitate construction projects tied to the games. He denies wrongdoing.

Another early booster, former Rio state governor Sergio Cabral, is in jail on corruption charges.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Chattanooga Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)

 

On any given Friday night throughout the football season, at numerous locations, there always are three teams taking the field for a high school game.

Yes, three teams, not two. And the teams in that third group, the officiating crews, are made up increasingly of figurative seniors and juniors. They are in desperate need of some freshmen.

"What we are seeing is that we have some new officials and the new ones that we are getting are in their late 40s, early 50s, and we are glad to have them but that is not what we are looking for," said Craig Phillips, the assigning officer for the Tri-County Football Officials Association. "The future of the game is really, really on shaky grounds."

There are a multitude of reasons for the problem, but one sticks out more than any other.

The National Federation of State High School Associations has described it as a "culture of abuse," and it is something every official deals with. It has a lot to do with why recruiting and retaining high school officials has become a challenge.

Gene Menees, a TSSAA assistant executive director, said that in questioning potential recruits for officiating, the first response rarely is "What will I have to do?" or "What do you pay?"

"When I talk to younger people, especially former high school athletes, they will say that they don't really want to put up with all of the stuff that they hear coming out of the stands and off the sidelines," Menees said. "That's a pretty common thread."

And it's making it harder and harder to get officials on board — and to stay on board.

"The lack of respect for an official is a huge problem, and I think that drives a lot of people away," Phillips said. "It's hard to get somebody new to come in, and the first thing that happens to them in a little league football game with 5- and 6-year-olds is a parent going crazy on them."

It's a lot to put up with, for anyone.

Tyler Love has been officiating various sports in the area since he graduated from high school, and being able to block out the noise of the fans has not been particularly easy. It definitely didn't happen overnight.

"It comes with experience," Love said. "The earliest you can officiate is right out of high school, so when I started out I was very young and it was very nerve-racking. To be honest, it took me five or six years before I finally just realized that you have to tone it out, you have to ignore it, but it is hard."

While this culture continues to limit the number of people wanting to get involved in officiating, the shortage continues to grow. That keeps Phillips holding his breath every Friday night.

"If I have a heavy week and I have all my officials booked for games, I am just sitting around praying that nobody gives me a call and has a family emergency or a work situation to where they have to cancel, because we just can't cover it," Phillips said.

However, according to Menees, the number of officials across Tennessee is at a good number and has remained consistent throughout the past few years. The problem lies in more schools popping up, and thus more games with the same number of officials as before, and this isn't just a football problem.

"We have more schools than we have ever had, which means that we have had more games than we have ever had," Menees said. "This concern is in all sports, not just one or two."

So what to do?

As far as the "culture of abuse" goes, the answer can be simple if administrators and coaches take action against derogatory and malicious comments thrown at officials on the field or court. No one is ever going to be perfect, and while we all care greatly about the outcome of the games we love, it shouldn't come at a cost of someone else's mindset.

As far as gaining more officials to cover the new games being added across the state, that answer is a little more complicated. Getting the word out helps, and explaining the benefits of a part-time job as an official helps as well, but Chattanooga could be facing the potential of having to ask some high schools to move varsity games to Thursday nights.

"It hasn't gotten to the point yet, but I can see that in time, if things don't turn, where we might have to ask schools to consider playing on nights other than Friday," Phillips said. "I hope it never happens, because Friday night is for high school football."

A move to Thursday games already is happening in Tennessee, the city of Memphis being an example of local associations having to ask schools to try alternate nights to play.

The shortage of officials in the area is a problem that needs to be fixed, but that is easier said than done.

"We have tried everything," Phillips said. "I think that is a question that there is no answer for. We have scratched our heads and tried everything in the world to try. I don't have an answer."

Anyone interested in working as a high school official in the area can visit highschoolofficials.com or contact Phillips at craig.phillips@tn.gov

Contact Tori McElhaney at sports@timesfreepress.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Southeastern Newspapers Corporation
All Rights Reserved

The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)

 

Dawn Staley basked in South Carolina's women's basketball national championship in the weeks that followed by wearing a "net-lace" the coach cut down to Gamecock Club events and a victory parade, but she went without it during the SEC spring meetings in Destin.

She's the most high-profile female head coach in a league where 34.2 percent of women's teams are coached by females. In the women's basketball meeting room, six of the 14 coaches are men.

"It's always a topic of conversation," Staley said. "Obviously, men are coming over to our game a lot more. It's a gift and it's a curse in that our game is so beautiful enough to attract men wanting to coach and the curse is they're pushing women's opportunities out. I just hope that when making the decision that... whoever you hire is not based on gender, it's made on how you think you can move your program."

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity's latest coaching hire was in gymnastics, where former All-American Courtney Kupets Carter was the choice to run a program with a national championship tradition.

That kept the number of female head coaches of Georgia women's sports teams to three of nine that are sanctioned by the NCAA (equestrian is not included). That's one more than when McGarity took over as athletic director in 2010.

The SEC's percentage of female head coaches is the second lowest in the power five conferences surveyed behind the Big 12's 32 percent, according to a June report on "Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women's Teams" that coincided with the 45th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark federal law that prohibits sex discrimination.

The SEC was given a grade of "D" in the report. The Pac-12 at 46.7 percent and Big Ten at 46.4 percent had the highest percentage of the power five.

"We've talked about hiring over time, but those are decisions made independently by institutions," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said. "You can compile those statistics, but those institutions are making decisions they think are the appropriate decisions, directions for their programs."

He points to success stories like Staley winning the national championship and softball sending three teams to the College World Series, two coached by women.

Tennessee and LSU led all SEC schools with 58.3 percent female coaches in women's sports and Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky all were given grades of "F" with less than 25 percent, according to a separate report from earlier this year.

"Female coaches are underrepresented in the power five," said Nicole M. LaVoi, co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport. "That number has been very stagnant over the last 12 years."

Just over 40 percent of NCAA women's teams had a female head coach in 2016, according to the governing body. Females made up about 90 percent of women's college sport head coaches before Title IX.

"When I first started, there was never a man coaching women's golf," said Dianne Daley, entering her 30th season as women's golf coach at Wake Forest. "Now, I would say a quarter of the coaches at least."

Part of the reason, Daley said, is women's golf coaches' pay has grown more competitive, which makes the job more attractive.

While the numbers today are drastically different, LaVoi views it as "half-full" that the numbers haven't declined significantly for more than a decade.

"Why this is happening is a very complicated answer," she said. "There are a lot of factors - societally, culturally, organizationally - that have to do with men in position of power.... The reason we have fewer women coaching, we have to be careful not to blame the women."

Research has shown, LaVoi said, that people like to hire those that are like themselves. All 14 of the SEC's athletic directors are men.

"It's called homologous reproduction," she said. "When you have mostly men as athletic directors, they like to hire people like themselves because it reflects their power."

LaVoi pushes back on some narratives for the lack of female coaches that include choices in career paths they take, that there aren't enough qualified women or they don't apply for jobs.

At the NCAA women's golf regional in May in Athens, 11 of the 16 head coaches were female.

Nationally, 81.3 percent of women's golf coaches in seven major conferences were female.

"I think it's something that occasionally gets talked about, but we have a lot of really good female coaches," said Kansas State coach Kristi Knight, president of the Women's Golf Coaches Association and the longest-tenured women's golf coach in the Big 12 at 22 years. "I'm a believer that there are a lot of really good men coaches out there. If I were an AD and I was going to go out there and pick a golf coach from a handful, a couple of them are men and a few of them are women. For me, it's not an issue, but it's something that's talked about."

In the NCAA women's tennis round of 16 in Athens in May, only five of the 16 coaches were female and nationally the number is 43.5 percent.

"It's going to be a real change here," said Vanderbilt coach Geoff Macdonald, entering his 24th season and a four-time SEC coach of the year. "There are so many good young women coaching. It's going to gradually change over to where it's probably the opposite."

Macdonald said he considers Vanderbilt associate coach Aleke Tsoubanos as a "co-coach," because all program decisions are made together.

"I believe she will take over when I retire in a few years," he said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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 Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
All Rights Reserved

Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

 

Thomas Mars, the Arkansas-based attorney for former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, claims the university is trying to avoid full disclosure of more than five years of former coach Hugh Freeze's phone records and is challenging the school's estimate of $25,100 in legal fees to complete the request.

In a letter sent to Ole Miss general counsel Friday and shared with USA TODAY Sports, Mars says the schools is engaging in "stonewalling tactics" for dealing with requests under the Mississippi Open Records Act.

"From the very outset, the University has found all kinds of creative and illegitimate reasons to delay producing documents, redact documents without legal justification," he wrote.

Mars' limited request for Freeze's phone records from January 2016 uncovered a one-minute phone call to a Detroit number tied to an escort service. That revelation led Ole Miss to dive deeper into Freeze's phone records, where the school says it found a pattern of inappropriate conduct. Freeze resigned on July 20.

Mars filed a lawsuit July 12 on behalf of Nutt, alleging school officials, including Freeze and athletics director Ross Bjork, had pushed a false narrative through the media about the level of Nutt's involvement in the school's NCAA Notice of Allegations.

Mars, who initially sought an apology from Ole Miss officials, connected phone calls from Freeze and Bjork to media members, who subsequently reported misleading information.

Following Freeze's resignation, Mars expanded his requests for phone records to cover nearly all of Freeze's tenure as head coach. If those records are made public, it could reveal the pattern of behavior over which Freeze ultimately lost his job.

Mars, however, wrote to the school he wasn't on a "fishing expedition" for embarrassing information.

"We know what we're looking for, it's very relevant to Coach Nutt's lawsuit, and we know it's in the phone logs," Mars wrote. "And setting up a frivolous roadblock the way you've done it here just makes you look like you're scared to death of what we're going to find in those phone records."

In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, Mars declined to elaborate on what he was looking for in the records.

In the original request made by Mars, Ole Miss took the position that Freeze was allowed to redact personal calls from his phone records. Mars said there is no such legal authority in Mississippi that would allow the school to "delay, redact or withhold a University phone log which contains nothing but phone numbers, dates, times, the duration of calls, and the cities associated with the listed phone numbers."

Ole Miss informed Mars that combing through 33,000 cell phone records would take approximately 190 hours of legal work for the school's outside counsel and the school's general counsel. The school says Nutt and Mars would have the burden to pay those legal costs, approximately $25,100.

"There's nothing they can do with those records except produce them," Mars told USA TODAY Sports. "There's no reason for lawyers to look at them. They're not allowed to redact them. Phone records aren't privileged under any circumstances. This is just a bogus exercise they're manufacturing to try to put a huge price tag on these records and deter me and other people from getting their hands on them. They can't make me pay for their lawyers to review them. That's their problem."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
July 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 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 The Arizona Daily Star. All Rights Reserved.

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

 

Tucson Magnet High School's million-dollar football field flooded again Friday, before authorities had time to figure out what caused it to flood nine days earlier.

This time, the flooding wasn't nearly as severe or as long-lasting as on July 19, when Rollin Gridley Field was jokingly called "Gridley Lake" and the entire field was underwater for an extended period. On Friday, only large parts of the field and the surrounding track were flooded and the water receded by 5:30 p.m.

District officials hope to be able to pinpoint the flooding causes by next week and get the field ready by the time the Tucson High Badgers' season starts at the end of August, said Interim Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo.

The cost of repairing damage to the field should be covered by flood insurance, Trujillo said. The district is working closely with its insurers and with "partners" at the city of Tucson and Pima County to assess the damage and determine the best fix, he said while standing near the field Friday evening.

Early this week, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry fingered debris-clogged storm drains on and near the field as a culprit for the July 19 flooding. The presence of a rubberized layer underneath the field's artificial turf and of buildings near the field also made it hard for floodwaters to easily escape, he wrote in a report on Monday.

Trujillo said much of the debris had been cleared from the storm drain grates by Friday. But floodwaters were bubbling up onto the field through grates on its northeast and southwest corners Friday, he said, and he doesn't know why or the source. Other observers pointed to a large culvert northeast of the field that appeared to be bringing in floodwaters off of Sixth Street.

"It's way too early to make a determination as to where the water is coming from," Trujillo said. "You're dealing with drainages built by the Army Corps of Engineers, box culverts run by the city and our own drainage pipes. We really need more time and information."

"Anytime you have weather-related challenges it forces institutions to work together," he added.

Before the field reopens, district officials want to make sure it's stable structurally, that no water is dripping from the artificial turf and that the turf contains no holes, he said. They also want to make sure any bacterial or other contamination left behind by the floodwaters is gone, he said.

Urban storm runoff typically carries many types of pollutants, including toxins from asphalt streets.

"We want to take all possible precautions," Trujillo said.

Credit: Tony Davis Arizona Daily Star

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

July 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 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 The Arizona Daily Star. All Rights Reserved.

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

 

CHANDLER — Chandler police are recommending a criminal charge against Hamilton High School's athletic director in a hazing case involving several football players.

Police announced Thursday they're recommending to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office that Shawn Rustad be charged for failing to report child abuse.

The hazing allegedly occurred between the fall of 2016 and January 2017.

Police say Rustad allegedly became aware of the allegations in January and interviewed players about the hazing, but failed to notify parents or authorities.

Three players have been charged in the case.

Police also have recommended charges against coach Steve Belles and the school's principal, Ken James.

Belles was reassigned in May and won't coach the Huskies this season.

He has led the school to five state championships since becoming Hamilton's head coach in 2006.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 The Commercial Appeal, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)

 

Melrose High School head football coach Teli White is serving his second suspension in connection with a grading scandal at Trezevant High School.

Shelby County Schools suspended White in June, according to an email sent from Superintendent Dorsey Hopson to school board members.

White, who was the head football coach at Trezevant at the time, previously served a five-day suspension when the district first investigated allegations of grade changing. New information caused the district to suspend him again pending the outcome of a more extensive, external investigation.

The current suspension is with pay.

In his email, dated June 21 and obtained by The Commercial Appeal on Wednesday, Hopson said White was on an "administrative suspension" and information was turned over to the third-party investigators.

According to the email, the new information was an interview a former Trezevant clerical employee did with a local television station.

Shirley Quinn, who resigned from the district before she could be terminated, had previously declined during the first investigation, in September, to name the person who had allegedly instructed her to alter students' transcripts.

In her interview, Quinn implicated White, which Hopson said was new information that prompted the second suspension.

The district launched its second investigation into Trezevant after the school's principal, Ronnie Mackin, resigned from the district in early June. Mackin issued a six-page, single-spaced letter alleging the district had covered up the grading scandal because the person who was really at fault was never held accountable.

The district hired an auditing firm to conduct a districtwide review of grade changing practices to ensure the problems found at Trezevant were isolated to that school. The district also hired three lawyers to look into Mackin's extensive list of claims, some of which related to grade changing and others to school culture and financial allegations.

White, reached by phone Wednesday, referred all questions to the district.

The Commercial Appeal received White's personnel file in a records request last week, but nearly half of the 134 pages were completely redacted, sent via email as black pages. The district did not provide an explanation for the redactions. If documentation of White's suspension is in the file, it is not part of what was released publicly.

In November the district released a report that said 33 active students at the time were found to have altered transcripts, and changes dated back to 2012. White was suspended for allegedly not cooperating with the investigation and for possessing altered transcripts on his computer.

White was named Melrose coach at the end of March. In his resignation letter, Mackin said he fired White from Trezevant.

White is arguably the most successful high school coach in the area, guiding Trezevant to four state championship game appearances since 2010. He coached the Bears to Class 2A state titles in 2015 and 2016; making Trezevant the only Shelby County Division 1 school to accomplish the feat.

Trezevant finished state runner-up in 2010 and 2014 when it was classified as a 4A school. White has a 91-38 record in his 10-year career.

Ron Davis, formerly of Sherwood Middle School, is coaching Melrose during White's absence.

Reporter John Varlas contributed to this report.

Reach Jennifer Pignolet at jennifer.pignolet@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter @JenPignolet.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

 

LOS ANGELES — When the NCAA voted last spring to eliminate two-a-day, full-contact practices, most coaches gave the decision a thumbs-up.

Now they're scrambling to adjust.

Arizona State coach Todd Graham, who was against the idea, and two of his players flew into Los Angeles for the Pac-12 Media Days, then headed back to Phoenix for another practice the same day.

As Graham sees it, the move is costing the game some of its "hard-core toughness and discipline and all that stuff."

It's also costing the players another commodity that's becoming scarcer every year: time.

Teams still can hold two practices on a given day, but one of those practices can only be a "walkthrough" that includes no contact, helmets, pads or conditioning activities. Three hours of recovery are required between a practice and a walkthrough, though meetings can be held during that period.

Like many teams, the Sun Devils are reporting early, because the NCAA still allows teams to hold 29 practice sessions before the first game. Teams will use most of their opportunities for full-contact practice, forcing an earlier start for everyone.

"I don't think they made (the rules) for the right reason, because of the well-being of our athletes," Graham said. "We're reporting a week and a half early ? usually they're home with their families, so that's different."

Stanford coach David Shaw was even more emphatic.

"I think it was an overreaction, to a certain degree," said Shaw, who also appeared on Thursday in Hollywood.

Like many teams, the Cardinal never had two-a-days in full pads, so Shaw questioned the logic of the decision.

"I do believe that we should continue to have those discussions and maybe go back to the point where we don't come in a week early and we're able to take the minimum number of opportunities to do two-a-days as long as you abide by these rules, which only so much tackling and only so much hitting, because the second practice of our two-a-days, our plan was to be non-padded," Shaw said.

For Shaw, the second day of two-a-days had always been used as "another opportunity to be on the field and teach and have skill development."

Shaw also seemed rankled by the time constraints.

"So now we're going to take away another week away from their summer, another week of their training and those internships and summer school the guys are doing," Shaw said.

Meanwhile, UCLA coach Jim Mora is a big supporter of the rule, saying that "player safety has to be at a premium."

At Oregon State, coach Gary Andersen promised two-a-days, "but we just won't hit and bang. We'll still have those taxing mental practices that are 18 days of mental reps, which is so very, very important."

Meanwhile, Washington State coach Mike Leach managed to inject some humor into a hot-button topic.

The Cougars haven't employed two-a-days "in quite some time," said Leach. "If you overtrain, it's counterproductive."

For that reason, Leach said other teams should be able to hit as hard and as often as they want.

"I think they ought to have four-a-days so hopefully some of these teams will pound their teams into submission and make our work a little easier for us."

Did Oregon really fall that far?

To hear new coach Willie Taggart, you'd think the Oregon football program was building from the ground up.

Or from ground zero, the victim of some catastrophic meltdown.

Then again, the Ducks went 4-8 last year - a big dropoff for a program that posted the fourth-best record in the nation during the previous decade while appearing in two national title games.

Hired to replace the fired Mark Helfrich (who went 38-18 in four years), Taggart appeared to set the bar quite low on Thursday.

After citing the need to "change the culture" in Eugene, Taggart said he hopes to see a payoff in the weight room, "seeing their confidence grow" and "holding themselves accountable."

Not a pretty bowl picture.

And what awaits the top teams at the end of the season? Another not-so-attractive slate of bowl games.

Here they are:

Las Vegas Bowl: Dec. 16, 12:30 p.m. on ABC vs. Mountain West

Cactus Bowl: Dec. 26th, 6 p.m. on ESPN vs. Big12

Foster Farms Bowl: Dec. 27, 5:30 p.m. on Fox vs. Big Ten

Holiday Bowl: Dec. 28, 6 p.m. on FS1 vs. Big Ten

Alamo Bowl: Dec. 28, 6 p.m. on ESPN vs. Big12

Sun Bowl: Dec. 29, 12 p.m. on CBS vs. ACC/Notre Dame

That doesn't include the Rose Bowl, which will double as a national semifinal and perhaps keep the Pac-12 out of Pasadena.

Die-hard fans, take note: the Holiday and Alamo, which get the second and third picks from the Pac-12, will kick off at the same time.

Contact the writer: (509)459-5437 jima@spokesman.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

University of Dayton attorneys want a federal judge to toss a lawsuit from an ex-football player who said he was suspended for two years after being falsely accused of violating the university's sexual misconduct rules.

"John Doe" alleged a Title IX violation in Dayton's U.S. District Court, saying that the suspension was gender biased, the school didn't consider the alleged victim's alcohol intake and that the sexual contact with "Jane Roe" was consensual.

Filed as a John Doe in Dayton's U.S. District Court, the plaintiff's attorney said 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.

UD attorneys and those for the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) both filed motions to have U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose throw out the lawsuit.

"Mr. Doe brings a number of Title IX claims, purportedly under different theories," UD attorney Doreen Canton wrote. "However, those all fail because Mr. Doe fails to allege any more than conclusory allegations that the University acted with any bias toward his gender when it responded to, investigated, and ultimately adjudicated Jane Roe's complaint that she had been sexually assaulted by Mr. Doe."

The filing said UD made "extensive efforts" to investigate Roe's claims of sexual misconduct and that "when viewing the facts in a light most favorable to the complainant (as the University's policy requires), that probable cause existed to believe" that non-consensual sex happened on Sept. 4, 2016.

Doe's attorney alleged that his client's appeal was not fairly handled, especially noting that Doe passed a polygraph exam and that university officials didn't consider Roe's alcohol consumption that day.

The original complaint details how Doe, a freshman football player, 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 UD police officers showed up at Doe's residence to question him.

The NCHERM motion to dismiss, written by attorneys Julie Juergens and Brooke Hamilton, included that the university did get evidence about Roe's drinking.

The filing said Roe's sorority sister said they started drinking mimosas at 10 a.m. that day and went to a deli to get more champagne and orange juice.

The witness said they "drank a few more drinks" before leaving at 4 p.m. with a case of Bud Light Platinum and bonged beers during a multi-person beer bong.

Notes in the report said "personal conclusions regarding the level of intoxication are not proper in such a report; the Investigators included factual statements from witnesses regarding Roe's level of intoxication."

UD investigators "concluded there was no probable cause to believe Ms. Roe was incapacitated due to intoxication such that she was unable to consent to sexual activity."

Doe was suspended from the university for two school years, until May 1, 2018. Eric Rosenberg, Doe's attorney, said he is optimistic the defense motions will be rejected and that he will file a memo in opposition early next month.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Star Tribune
All Rights Reserved

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

 

Minnesota's legislative auditor said in a report released Wednesday that the University of Minnesota should consider restricting access for family and friends of university officials to a large suite reserved for the president and Board of Regents members at TCF Bank Stadium.

The report is the result of a monthslong review of governance and suite use at six publicly subsidized sports facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. State legislators requested the review after reports of questionable use of two luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Those revelations led the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which oversees U.S. Bank Stadium, to bar the practice of using the suites to entertain friends and family of stadium oversight officials at taxpayer expense. The Minnesota Ballpark Authority, which oversees Target Field, changed its policy as well regarding its one state-owned suite. At U.S. Bank Stadium, the two luxury suites are now designated solely for marketing; the state-owned suite at Target Field has gone to charities this season.

The auditor's report noted that the TCF Bank Stadium policy for the suite reserved for the president and Board of Regents is that "strategic guests are supplemented with family and friends, who are always welcome in the suite."

The university's Board of Regents oversees the stadium. Regents control 52 out of the 96 seats in the suite, with the president controlling the other 44. The report said that in the 2016 Gophers football season, the number of family members of university officials ranged from seven to 17 per game. Family members of other invited guests also used the suite.

At the Purdue game on Nov. 5, the report determined that 49 of the 109 guests in the suite were family or friends of a regent, the university president or staff.

In a written response, Board of Regents Executive Director Brian Steeves said the regents would "review" existing practices for family and friends. But he also argued that the auditor's report fails to distinguish clearly the difference between operating a facility on behalf of the state university and running one for the financial benefit of a professional sports team.

"Fulfilling the university's mission requires interactions to nurture and build relationships that, ultimately, benefit the people of Minnesota," Steeves wrote.

The auditor's report didn't buy into that assertion, saying "public dollars have helped build and operate" both stadiums and that governing bodies of both should be "subject to certain ethical guideposts."

The report also found that the food and alcohol were free for guests at TCF Bank Stadium. At the other end, neither food nor alcohol was ever provided in the suite at Target Field. Food, but not alcohol, was free in the state-owned suites at U.S. Bank Stadium.

In addition to U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium, the report looked into operations at Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild; Target Center, home to the Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves; and CHS Field, where the St. Paul Saints baseball team plays. All were initially publicly subsidized in a range from 18 percent at Target Center to 83 percent at CHS Field.

Neither Xcel nor CHS Field, the two facilities in St. Paul, or Target Center operates suites for use by governing bodies members or employees.

Significantly, the legislative auditor declined to recommend the Legislature create a single governing body for all of the facilities - a structure that was raised as a possibility in the 2012 bill that authorized construction of U.S. Bank Stadium. The report found it reasonable to have varying arrangements for oversight and operation of the buildings, given differences in how they were funded and are used.

The report suggested the governing groups adopt policies that ensure members don't discuss policies at gatherings in the suites. Doing so when a quorum of members is preset would be a violation of the state open-meeting law.

The report also addressed use of the publicly subsidized facilities for high school league events and encouraged the Legislature to consider a uniform fee policy for high school events.

U.S. Bank Stadium in the recently completed fiscal year provided space for football and soccer games at no cost to the high school league.

In contrast, Xcel took in $1.1 million from the high school league. The university received $462,000 from the league for multiple venues for swimming, hockey, basketball, gymnastics and baseball and Target Center received $391,000 for high school basketball and dance team events.

The league's executive director, Dave Stead, told the auditors that publicly subsidized sports facilities should offer free access to high school events. The university disagreed in the written response, saying the costs would simply be shifted to other areas of the budget.

"Unlike facilities operated for the benefit of for-profit professional teams, the university's mission is not to simply operate a facility," Steeves wrote. "It has a higher public purpose - and its venues across all campuses must serve the university's students and advance its mission."

Rochelle Olson · 612-673-1747

Twitter: @rochelleolson

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

July 27, 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

 

Selected non-conference games broadcast on the Pac-12 Network will have fewer commercial breaks and reduced halftimes, conference Commissioner Larry Scott announced Wednesday.

"We've worked with our universities on these proposed modifications, and over the next few weeks we'll be finalizing exactly which games during the non-conference season we will be piloting," Scott said during his introduction at the annual Pac-12 media days.

Halftimes will be reduced from 20 minutes to 15. Scott said he spoke with coaches around the conference for input.

"I was delighted to hear our coaches feel like 20 minutes is more than you need from a student-athlete's health and rest — and X's and O's — perspective," Scott said.

The move is in part to help maintain viewer interest — "You could lose as much as 30% of the TV audience at halftime," Scott said — and was made with research provided by ESPN. An NFL game typically lasts about three hours, but Pac-12 games can last 31/2 hours. And many Pac-12 games also are at night in the Pacific time zone, which can run really late for East Coast audiences.

Reducing TV timeouts in number and length isn't the only option, Scott said, citing British Open television coverage as a model.

"You would've seen some new ways of some split screens instead of breaking away from the action," Scott said. "We are going to be on the forefront of experimenting with some of those techniques."

Washington coach Chris Petersen is a fan of the move.

"I love it. I can't stand how long college football games (last); I don't like the games at all," Petersen said. "You do a drive, and then you have to wait. You get a first down, and then you have to wait for another commercial. That just pains me."

Instant replay is another topic the Pac-12 is tinkering with. After experimenting with instant replay at California and Oregon during the 2016 season, the conference will unveil a new centralized replay command center. It will be in the conference's office in San Francisco.

"Our team in the command center will work in concert with our in-stadium replay officials to manage the replay process of all Pac-12 home-hosted games," Scott said.

Scott also said the Pac-12 championship game would remain at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, where it moved in 2014, through at least 2019 with an option in 2020.

"Levi's Stadium offers a big-time atmosphere and an incredible venue for our most important game of the year," Scott said. "Our student-athletes love it."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 27, 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)

 

SOUTH JORDAN - City officials are planning to install an all-inclusive, all-abilities playground at East Riverfront Park, 10991 S. Riverfront Parkway.

The playground will include sensory, physical and social activities for children of any ability. It will also provide cooperative play, cozy spaces and vestibular motion equipment to support children with autism.

Funding for the project is a cooperative effort among the city, Salt Lake County, the South Jordan Rotary Club, the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation and the Michel Foundation.

Construction is set to begin this fall and will also include enhanced landscaping. During construction the park will remain open, but the playground will be closed.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 27, 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 - Students and parents involved in Guilford County Schools' new athletics transfer procedure will be counted on to do the "honorable" thing, and it'll be up to the school system's athletics director, Leigh Hebbard, to determine when they don't.

The procedure announced Wednesday states that a student can change schools "one time after initial entry into the ninth grade, without penalty, if the student has a legitimate, non-athletic reason to change schools as determined by the District Athletic Director."

Before the change in procedure, a student could move from one high school to another without losing a year of athletics eligibility for one of four reasons: a verified change of address; to enroll in a special program such as a magnet or early or middle college; because the school board has changed the student's attendance zone; or because of an administrative placement at a different school for special services.

"I only have to deal with those who don't meet one of those four reasons," Hebbard said, "and that should be a low number. If it's a high number, we'll have to go back and revisit it because that will mean people are trying to use it as a loophole to do something that is a little bit less than honorable."

If Hebbard denies a transfer request because he determines that it is for an athletics reason, the student can appeal to the District Athletic Eligibility Committee. If that committee does not rule in favor of the student, the student can appeal directly to school Superintendent Sharon Contreras.

The change in transfer procedures has the potential for abuse and could generate significantly more work for Hebbard.

"Historically, we've only had a handful of those (that didn't meet one of the four requirements) that have been brought to my attention," he said, "so unless people go crazy trying to abuse the rule, it's not going to be a lot of kids."

Hebbard said he will have a basic transfer request form ready "one way or another" by Monday, when the schools' teams can officially begin practice for fall sports. All of those forms will go through his office.

Before he makes a decision on a transfer request, Hebbard said, he "will seek out the opinions of those at both schools to see what they think is going on."

But even with that information, it might not be easy to make a fair ruling.

"The difficulty is that you can never know what someone's intent is," Hebbard said. "You have to take all the facts that you can get, put them on the table and make your best judgment about whether a transfer request is for athletics or is this for some academic or other reason for the welfare of the student. That's all you can do."

Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraNR on Twitter.

North Carolina is scheduled to appear before an NCAA infractions committee panel next month in its multiyear and oft-delayed academic case.

 
July 27, 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

 

The two-a-day football practices that coaches once used to toughen up their teams and cram for the start of the season are going the way of tear-away jerseys and the wishbone formation.

As part of its efforts to increase safety, the NCAA approved a plan this year that prevents teams from holding multiple practices with contact in a single day.

The move has forced plenty of schools to alter their practice calendar, with many teams opening their preseason as early as this week. Officials don't mind if it causes a few logistical headaches as long as it reduces the head injuries that had become all too common this time of year.

According to the NCAA's Sport Science Institute, 58 percent of the football practice concussions that occur over the course of a year happen during the preseason. Brian Hainline, the NCAA's chief medical officer, says August also is a peak month for catastrophic injuries resulting from conditioning rather than contact, such as heatstroke and cardiac arrest.

"There was just something about that month really stood out," Hainline said. "We couldn't say with statistical certainty if this was because of the two-a-days, but there was enough consensus in the room and enough preliminary data that it looked like it was because of the two-a-days."

Some coaches believe the benefits could go beyond reducing concussions.

"I don't think you're going to have the number of injuries that you had, especially the soft tissue injuries — hamstring pulls, quad pulls, groin pulls," Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz said.

Teams still can hold two practices on a given day, but one of those practices can only be a "walkthrough" that includes no contact, helmets, pads or conditioning activities. Three hours of recovery are required between a practice and a walkthrough, though meetings can be held during that period.

"It just makes all the sense in the world," Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Most programs were trending away from two-a-day practices long before this decision.

More than three-quarters of the 89 Football Bowl Subdivision teams that responded to an Associated Press survey on the subject said they conducted multiple practices on certain days last year. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, teams made sure one of those workouts had limited or no contact.

Those teams won't have to change their approach too much.

Hainline said he didn't know exactly how many programs were still holding multiple contact workouts on certain days before the NCAA ruling, but he said it was more common in the Division II ranks than among FBS schools.

Coaches say that because players are on campus working out all year, there's no need to work them quite as hard once preseason practices begin.

"Back in the day, we used two-a-days to get in shape," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "You weren't there all summer. You didn't come until the second half. They didn't train from January until June like they do now."

Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick, a member of the Division I football oversight committee, agrees that times have changed. As an example, he cites the grueling workouts Paul "Bear" Bryant held at Texas A&M during the 1950s, which were chronicled in the book and ESPN movie "Junction Boys."

"There ain't no 'Junction Boys' anymore because the players are in tip-top shape when we start football practice," Hamrick said.

Even so, some players say they'll miss the grind.

"Going through a two-a-day is tough, and that's a big part of football," Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner said. "That builds you for the season. I wish that could go back to what we used to do."

While two-a-days already were going out of fashion, this new rule is still forcing teams to adapt in other respects.

Although the NCAA is preventing multiple full-scale workouts on the same day, teams are still permitted to hold 29 total preseason practice sessions, the same as before. That creates a dilemma for coaches trying to hold that many practices without the benefit of two-a-days. Chris Ash of Rutgers is concerned increasing the length of training camp conflicts with new NCAA rules about time demands placed on athletes and could end up increasing the overall amount of contact practices.

"We've got to manage five weeks of training camp very carefully," Ash said.

Division I schools received a blanket waiver for this season allowing them to start practice one week earlier than usual. Nearly two-thirds of the FBS programs that responded to the AP survey are starting practice in July rather than in August, as is customary.

Those early starting dates led to scheduling complications for some programs. Hamrick said Marshall will still have nearly two weeks remaining in its current summer school session when it starts practice Friday.

"If I were to take the full 29 days of practice, we would have to go back into summer school, and our players would not have a chance ever to get home after summer school and summer program," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said.

That raises the question of whether the NCAA should continue allowing 29 practice sessions. Further complicating the matter, the oversight committee would like to find a way to have every FBS team have 14 weeks to play 12 regular-season games.

"Do we need 29 practices? Probably not," North Carolina coach Larry Fedora asked. "We can get away with less than that."

 

AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard, Schuyler Dixon, Stephen Hawkins and John Zenor, and AP freelance writer Paul Ladewski contributed to this report.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 27, 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 head of U.S. Bank Stadium's Chicago-based security firm made a rare public appearance in Minnesota to speak to a regulatory board minutes before the panel postponed a vote on renewing a license for Monterrey Security.

Monterrey President Juan Gaytan Jr. spoke for several minutes to the Minnesota Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board, which meets at the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Accompanied by lawyers, a lobbyist and another company official, Gaytan — who founded the firm in 1999 — provided a primer on the firm's history and his family's roots in Mexico.

The firm's license to run U.S. Bank security is up for renewal. A recent report by KSTP-TV quoted unidentified sources as saying the company's hiring practices, background checks and training are under federal investigation. The state board, citing the need to review recently submitted papers, delayed a vote on renewal.

"What the board needs to do is absorb everything you've submitted," Chairman Richard Hodsdon told Gaytan. The chairman also noted that many of the documents were recently submitted, so staff had not had time to review them and make a recommendation.

Monterrey lawyer David Aafedt told the board, "We believe we are in compliance."

After the meeting, Hodsdon said the information submitted by Gaytan is the same that all firms must submit, verifying hiring and training dates as well as background checks. Because of Monterrey's size, the paperwork is more voluminous, he said.

The information is not public because it's protected by data practices laws, Hodsdon said.

Gaytan was unwilling to release the documents himself, saying after the meeting that he would let "the process" proceed in private and that he is "cooperating."

With the Minnesota Vikings set to begin their second season in the building next month and the Super Bowl coming in February, Gaytan said security is solid.

"I'm very proud of the people we've hired in the community," he said.

After the meeting, Hodsdon said the board has no investigative powers and provides only civil oversight. The board's task is to review lists of employees for compliance with training requirements and background checks. As for any controversy with Monterrey, Hodsdon shrugged. "I don't make anything of it," he said.

The board must resolve the licensing question within 60 days. It's extremely rare for a company to be denied a license or have one revoked. Companies, however, can be fined up to $499 for violations.

Asked whether he could provide assurance that U.S. Bank Stadium is under qualified security, Hodsdon said, "I'm not in a position to assure the quality of work."

Security firm licenses are good for two years. Monterrey applied and received a license in 2015 — a year before the stadium opened.

Monterrey has a three-year contract with U.S. Bank Stadium to provide round-the-clock security.

A spokeswoman for SMG, the firm that operates the stadium, said it has received no new information regarding a state investigation of Monterrey.

Rochelle Olson · 612-673-1747

Twitter: @rochelleolson

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Boston Herald Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Boston Herald

 

The "staggering" brain injury threat to football players detailed in an new CTE study could leave school kids and their parents questioning whether their love of the game outweighs the potential health hazards, a former player and local coaches say.

"A lot of people play for the passion of the game," said Frank Nuzzo, a former player at Everett High and Brown University whose career was derailed by concussions.

"At some point if you have to start weighing your health, and there are direct studies - and you know that the only thing you're playing for is the love of the game - is the love of the game enough?" Nuzzo said. "I think there are a lot of people who will make those types of decisions."

Boston researchers released their bombshell findings yesterday, showing that of 111 brains of former NFL players they studied, all but one showed signs of the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

Related: Study: 110 out of 111 NFL Brains Found to Have CTE

"I have to say, initially when I see those numbers it certainly is alarming," said Blackstone Valley Tech football coach Jim Archibald. "The numbers are certainly higher than I would have expected. I guess maybe because all you hear about are the precautions taken toward player safety these days, 99 percent is a staggering number."

Milford coach Anthony Vizakis said he could see the findings deterring some parents and young athletes from playing, though he said that with better techniques and equipment, football is the "safest it's ever been."

"It will be an eye-opener," Vizakis said of the study. "But with the enhancement in helmet technology, with the enhancement in rules, things like that, I think it's still going to be a popular game. And it's still going to be the most-watched professional sport."

Ryan O'Toole, a rising senior and captain of the Milford High football team, said he's never questioned turning away from the sport because of safety.

"Back then, it was 'hit the guy in front of you as hard as you can.' I think it's different now. I definitely feel safer," O'Toole said.

"I've had friends who have had concussions and a lot of times it's from the things you try to avoid, hitting with your head. It's just uncommon now," he said. "The game has changed for the better, for sure."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
July 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 Star-News, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Star-News (Wilmington, NC)

 

RALEIGH North Carolina is scheduled to appear before an NCAA infractions committee panel next month in its multiyear and oft-delayed academic case.

Responding to records requests, UNC on Tuesday released a June 9 letter from the NCAA setting Aug. 16-17 for the hearing in Nashville, Tennessee. The letter requests that men s basketball coach Roy Williams, football coach Larry Fedora and women s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell attend.

Williams and Fedora aren t charged with a violation Fedora wasn t working at UNC during the time in question but their programs are referenced in a broader improper benefits charge. Hatchell isn t charged either, but a former professor and academic counselor for women s basketball is cited for providing improper assistance on assignments.

It is standard practice for the current head coaches of programs referenced in a Notice of Allegations to attend, UNC spokesman Joel Curran said in a statement.

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey had targeted the August dates in an April letter that laid out a new case timeline while denying a request seeking his removal as head of the hearing panel due to a conflict of interest.

UNC faces five top-level charges, including lack of institutional control, in a case tied to irregular courses on the Chapel Hill campus. A ruling typically comes weeks to months after a hearing.

The school s document release also included a 50-page filing by the NCAA enforcement staff, a procedural step that followed the school s May response to the most recent version of charges.

UNC has previously challenged the NCAA s jurisdiction, saying it was an academic matter and not an athletic one. But the NCAA s July 17 filing stands firm that it has jurisdiction and that athletes received extra benefits through special access to the courses.

The issues at the heart of this case are clearly the NCAA s business, the document states, adding later: In sum, it is an NCAA matter when other member schools who choose not to provide impermissible benefits are disadvantaged by their commitment to compliance.

The NCAA also accuses UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham of a violation by sharing case-related information with the media during a February interview with CBS Sports. Cunningham was critical of the NCAA s handling of the case in that interview and said it had overcharged the school.

The enforcement staff said it notes the matter for the hearing panel to consider but didn t formally amend the charges to avoid additional delays .

The case is an offshoot of a 2010 probe into the football program. The NCAA reopened its investigation in summer 2014, filed charges in May 2015, and revised them in April 2016 and again in December.

The focus is independent study-style courses misidentified as lecture classes that didn t meet and required a research paper or two in UNC s formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department. They featured significant athlete enrollments and typically high grades.

In a 2014 investigation, former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein estimated more than 3,100 students were affected between 1993 and 2011. He estimated athletes made up roughly half the enrollments, though UNC has argued Wainstein counted athletes who no longer were members of a sports team when they took the course.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

 
July 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 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

No criminal charges will be filed against a Spokane high school football coach accused of placing his penis inside a hot dog bun in front of players at a leadership camp last summer.

The Shoshone County Prosecutor's Office declined to file charges on June 21. At least three football players claimed that while former Ferris High School football coach Jim Sharkey was grilling hot dogs and hamburgers at the camp along the Coeur d'Alene River near Cataldo, Idaho, he turned toward them with his exposed penis inside a hot dog bun.

Sharkey's coaching contract was not renewed by Spokane Public Schools in late March. He had coached the Ferris Saxons since 2006 and won a state championship in 2010. In 2016, the team went 5-5.

Sharkey has denied the allegations.

Additionally, no criminal charges will be filed regarding allegations that Ferris High School football players regularly dog piled and sexually assaulted each other on their birthdays.

"If the kids had said anything that led us to believe there was a criminal act we would have taken the next step," said Mark Sterk, SPS director of safety, risk management and transportation and former Spokane County sheriff.

While no criminal charges will be brought, the school district's human resources investigation is ongoing. Sharkey remains on paid administrative leave, district spokesman Kevin Morrison said.

Morrison declined to comment further, although he said in a text message, "We are working hard to resolve the issue in as timely manner as feasible."

Sharkey declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation. However, he said he hopes to return to the classroom. Sharkey teaches fitness and leadership. In 2016-17, Sharkey made $96,754 between his teaching contract and other district pay, such as bonuses and stipends. His coaching contract was worth $7,085.

"Absolutely, I want to go back to teaching," he said Tuesday.

Interviews with players did not indicate there were grounds for a criminal case, Sterk said.

Numerous Ferris High School football players exhibited some knowledge of what some said was a team tradition known as "juicing" in which players were dog piled and other players pressed a finger against the anus of the dog-piled student, according to notes taken during the inquiry and obtained by The Spokesman-Review. Student names were redacted in accordance with state disclosure laws.

"There is certainly some lack of discretion here and some concern about are we supervising as best as we could," Sterk said.

Some players said the practice is a long-standing tradition. Twenty-five players were interviewed by district administrators in late February and early March, weeks prior to media coverage of the allegations.

However, it was unclear if players observed the behavior firsthand, according to the notes. Those who did see someone being tackled didn't see or didn't know if there was anal penetration. Two players interviewed said they were "juiced" but neither said they were sexually assaulted. Both declined to press charges, according to the notes.

Sterk said two of his officers, one a former detective, sat in on the interviews. Based on what they heard they didn't believe there was a criminal case. To be sure, Sterk said the interview notes were forwarded to the Spokane Police Department. SPD also didn't find grounds for a criminal case, Sterk said.

"The good thing, I think is that there wasn't any penetration," Sterk said. "It was done through clothing."

Several players characterized the encounters as friendly and harmless. One said it was done "out of fun."

"I've been tackled but no fingers in my buttocks," one student told district investigators.

The student continued, "(I'm) not upset. Just a fun thing. It sounds weird, but I didn't feel violated."

Another student told investigators, "It's not a big deal. It sounds weirder than it was."

Investigators also asked if coaches knew about juicing. Several players said they did. However, others said coaches were not aware of it.

In addition to the juicing allegations, several players said Sharkey was abusive. One player said, "(The) coaches yell and turn(ed) us against each other."

The same player's mother, who sat in on the interview, said the coaches would scream at players and drove some students away from football because it was "not fun anymore."

Another student said parents and players wouldn't complain about Sharkey because they were "afraid to be benched."

"(He) called me stupid multiple times," the player said.

Contact the writer:

(509) 459-5417

elif@spokesman.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 The Post and Courier
All Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

 

ATLANTA - The retractable roof for the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be closed when the facility debuts for an Atlanta Falcons preseason game next month.

There's no date set on when the roof will be open for an event, even though the roof petals were open on Tuesday when Falcons and MLS Atlanta United officials led a media tour of the stadium.

Issues with the roof forced delays in the opening of the stadium. Those delays pushed back some fine-tuning in the mechanism of the roof.

"The roof will be in closed position for our opening events while some remaining work to fully automate the retractable portion of the roof is completed," Steve Cannon, chief executive officer of Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank's AMB Group, told The Associated Press.

That final work on the roof can't be done at the same time other work is being completed.

Cannon said games for the Falcons and Atlanta United are expected to be played with the roof open "later this fall."

Atlanta United, playing its first MLS season, has used Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium as its temporary home. The team's stay at the college football stadium was extended due to issues with the roof of the new stadium.

Before the delays, the stadium was to open on July 30 with an Atlanta United game against Orlando City. Instead, the debut is set for August 26, when the Falcons will play the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL preseason game. The defending NFC champions are scheduled to play their first regular season game there in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers.

Atlanta United's first home date at the new stadium will be on September 9 against Dallas.

Meanwhile, remaining work on the new facility is nearing completion.

Falcons president Rich McKay said he expects the artificial turf field to be installed by August 5. Workers were putting in place flooring on the field on Tuesday.

Seats, concessions areas and the massive halo video board which circles the inner bowl of the facility are all complete.

McKay said the halo board, comprised of 63,000 square feet of LED displays, has been fully operational for about three weeks. McKay said the two end zone video boards at the Georgia Dome, the Falcons' old board, used only a combined total of 4,800 square feet of display space.

The delays with the roof did not dampen McKay's enthusiasm about seeing other work almost complete.

"We feel really good about it," McKay said. "We're in really good shape. We feel we are truly in the finishing phase now."

The new stadium will host the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic between Florida State and Alabama on September 2 and Georgia Tech and Tennessee on September 4. It will later host this season's College Football Playoff championship game, the Super Bowl in 2019 and the Final Four in 2020.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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

 

There is no shortage of new workout programs coming to Atlanta.

Just this month, the latest fitness craze--Australia-born F45 -- launched its first studio in the metro area.

Many of the most popular workouts are part of the wave of high intensity interval training group exercises currently enjoying widespread support.

Each take on fitness may have its own cult following, but it also comes with a cost. Individual classes can run in the range of $20 or memberships in the range of hundreds of dollars.

Five months ago, another group workout came to town and while it is similar to some of the other HIIT workouts, it is more about building community than building muscle and it is free to anyone who wants to join.

Fitlanta is in the process of being accepted into the international grassroots fitness organization known as the November Project (NP).

The November Project began in Boston in 2011 when two rowing buddies from Northeastern were looking for a way to stay in shape post-college. They began working out together weekly and slowly other people began to join them.

It took a few years, but NP began taking root around the world with groups in Malaysia, London and Paris, as well as in other cities around the country.

To become a formally recognized group, tribe leaders in a given city must host a 30-minute, 6:30 a.m. workout each week on Wednesday and have a regular, committed base of participants (or tribe members). The November Project leaders have challenged Atlanta to get 100 people to attend workouts regularly.

"They call it a grassroots movement because it is about building a community around fitness. If you are not an athlete, you can still come and feel welcomed," said Alexa Lampasona, one of the Atlanta tribe leaders.

Workouts are a combination of plyometrics, functional movements and paired exercises that are accessible to every fitness level from beginner to elite.

The Atlanta NP hopefuls began with tribe leader Christian Lopez who had moved to the city from California. Lopez is a marathon runner and was looking for something new. He reached out to the head NP tribe and told them he wanted to start a group in Atlanta.

He started with four or five people at Piedmont Park and with a little help from social media, the group tripled in size. Now with four tribe leaders and about 50 tribe members attending each workout, the founders of NP are watching and waiting to grant Atlanta official membership into the November Project family.

As they draw closer to the goal of 100 tribe members per workout, they can expect founder Brogan Graham to show up in Atlanta at a Wednesday workout and announce their full acceptance into November Project.

Lampasona first heard about the project from a story in Outside magazine. When she visited a friend in Denver for a relay run, she ended up in a van with a bunch of Denver November Project members. They were so welcoming, it left a strong impression on her.

Part of the lure, is the feeling of community.Workout sessions begin with a group bounce and a chant. Each city has their own version and in Atlanta, the chant is based on the song "Hey Ya!" by Atlanta's own OutKast. Members greet one another with hugs, not handshakes.

November Project workouts take place no matter what the weather, and that is as true in Boston as it is in Seattle or San Diego. The big message is to just get up and get out, or#justshowup as fellow NPers might say, said Lampasona.

"There are a lot of stresses in life that you can have. It is hard to think about what workout I am going to do today. When you just show up (at November Project) the leaders take care of the workouts," she said.

Building community in a city like Atlanta can be a challenge. The metro area covers a lot of territory, but each week at 6:30 a.m., NP members gather in the parking lot of Ponce City Market near Lululemon for their ritual workout.

There is also a rotating workout on Friday which moves around the city to different neighborhoods such as Inman Park or West Midtown. "We just look for a venue that has stairs or somewhere we can work out," said Lampasona. The location is announced each week on the group's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fitlantamovement.

There are a lot of runners and cyclists in the group as well as just regular people seeking a free workout and a dose of camaraderie.

While there are a lot of seasonal outdoor workouts in Atlanta, none really keep the fitness fires burning through the winter and that is where November Project can make a difference for many locals.

Rain or shine, pro or novice, Lampasona, emphasizes the importance of just getting there.

People should show up and expect to have a blast, be part of a community and make a lot of friends, she said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 Journal - Gazette Jul 25, 2017

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

 

As thrilled as Tom Allen is to be the Indiana football coach, the native Hoosier, who cut his coaching teeth at Indianapolis Ben Davis after playing for his father at New Castle, is not happy about the Big Ten's decision to play a series of Friday night games in September, going head-to-head with high school contests.

On Sept. 1, FS1 will televise Washington at Rutgers, and ESPN will carry Utah State at Wisconsin. On Sept. 8, FS1 will televise Ohio at Purdue, and on Sept. 15, ESPN will have Illinois at South Florida. On Sept. 29, FS1 will televise Nebraska at Illinois.

"Yes, I'm very concerned about it," Allen said Monday during Big Ten football media days. "I'm not going to sit here and try and make a big issue in terms of what I think. My history as a high school coach for 15 years is strong. It's who I am, it's how I started, and it's been so many years."

Allen firmly believes that especially in the Midwest, Friday nights should be reserved for high school football, the lifeblood of college recruiting.

"I think that's a special night," Allen said. "I don't like playing games on Friday night. I think that's high school night. But it's not always my decision, but I'm one of those I'm not going to just not tell you what I believe.

"I think that's a situation where I would prefer that we didn't. But I understand there may be factors outside of my control for that. But to answer your question, I would like to keep that night special for high school football. That means a lot to me."

IU's Scales among10 to be honored

Indiana senior linebacker Tegray Scales, who led the Big Ten with 126 tackles in 2016, is among 10 players selected to the conference preseason honorees list.

Scales is joined on the East Division honorees list by quarterback J.T. Barrett and defensive end Tyquan Lewis of Ohio State and quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley of Penn State.

A 10-member media panel selected the honorees.

In the West, running back Justin Jackson and safety Goodwin Igwebuike of Northwestern, linebacker Jack Cichy and tight end Troy Fumagalli of Wisconsin and Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell were picked as the division's five best.

Meyer happy to have Wilson

As Ohio State coach Urban Meyer sees it, hiring former IU coach Kevin Wilson as offensive coordinator is a huge plus for the Buckeyes, who struggled offensively at times during an 11-2 season in 2016, capped by a 31-0 Fiesta Bowl loss to eventual national champion Clemson.

"This is the first time we have gone outside one of my staffs to hire an offensive coordinator, but Kevin has led some of the best offenses in the nation, including his time at Oklahoma and at Indiana," Meyer said. "Obviously, we had some offensive issues at times last year."

In 2016, Wilson's IU offense ranked second in the Big Ten and 28th nationally in passing yards at 273.8 per game. The Hoosiers finished 6-7 with Wilson being fired after beating Purdue but before the loss to Utah in the Foster Farms Bowl.

Spartans expect to solve problems

After years of success, Michigan State experienced a stunning 2016 season, finishing 3-9, 1-8 in the Big Ten. For veteran coach Mark Dantonio, 2017 is about re-establishing what made the Spartans so dominant.

"In this profession, there always are challenges," Dantonio said. "To fix it, we have talked to our players about togetherness and responding to challenges. Last year, turnovers and playing three quarterbacks were at the core of our problems.

"We had problems, but when I was hired at Michigan State, I was hired to solve problems. We will get this fixed."

Michigan State has four consecutive home games to begin the season - Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Notre Dame and Iowa.

Credit: Jeff Washburn For The Journal Gazette

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 27, 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

 

Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

In all, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and the VA Boston Healthcare System examined 202 brains that belonged to men who played football at all levels and later were donated for research. They found CTE in 177 of them -- 87 percent.

While they found evidence of the disease across all levels of play, the highest percentage was found among those who competed at the highest level; all but one of the 111 brains belonging to ex-NFL players were diagnosed post-mortem with CTE.

"Obviously, this doesn't represent the prevalence in the general population, but the fact that we've been able to gather this high a number of cases in such a short period of time says that this disease is not uncommon," said neuropathologist Ann McKee, the researcher credited with some of the most high-profile CTE diagnoses. "In fact, I think it's much more common than we currently realize. And more importantly, this is a problem in football that we need to address and we need to address now in order to bring some hope and optimism to football players."

McKee cautions that the study has some limitations and doesn't attempt to pinpoint a CTE rate. The brains studied mostly were donated by concerned families, which means they weren't random and not necessarily representative of all men who have played football.

"A family is much more likely to donate if they're concerned about their loved one -- if they're exhibiting symptoms or signs that are concerning them, or if they died accidentally or especially if they committed suicide," she said. "It skews for accidental deaths, suicide and individuals with disabling or discomforting symptoms."

While the study isn't focused on causality, McKee says it provides "overwhelming circumstantial evidence that CTE is linked to football."

The NFL pledged $100 million for concussion-related research last September -- $60 million on technological development, with an emphasis on improving helmets, and $40 million earmarked for medical research -- and in a statement a league spokesman expressed appreciation for the latest study.

"The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication and the NFL will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "As noted by the authors, there are still many unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such as CTE. The NFL is committed to supporting scientific research into CTE and advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries."

The study marks the largest CTE case series ever published. The research was drawn from a brain bank established and maintained by the VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston University School of Medicine and the Concussion Legacy Foundation.

The 177 brains found to have CTE belonged to former players who had an average of 15 years of football experience. In addition to the NFL diagnoses, the group included three of 14 who played at the high school level, 48 of 53 who played in college, nine of 14 who competed semiprofessionally and seven of eight who played in the Canadian Football League.

"To me, it's very concerning that we have college-level players who have severe CTE who did not go on to play professionally," McKee said. "That means they most likely retired before the age of 25 and we still are seeing in some of those individuals very severe repercussions."

The researchers distinguished between mild and severe cases of CTE, finding the majority of former college (56 percent), semipro (56 percent) and professional (86 percent) players to have exhibited severe pathology.

The impact of concussions and head trauma meted out on the football field has been an active area of study in recent years. And while much of the research has highlighted the potential long-term dangers posed by football, JAMA Neurology published a study this month that showed not all former players suffer from cognitive impairment.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania looked at Wisconsin men who graduated high school in 1957, comparing those who played football in school and those who didn't. The men were assessed for depression and cognitive impairment later in life -- in their 60s and 70s -- and the research found similar outcomes for those who played high school football and those who didn't.

That study also had its limitations, and the authors noted that the game 60 years ago is different in many ways from the present-day high school football experience, from playing style to equipment to the rule book.

The Boston University study doesn't necessarily reflect the same era of football. According to the researchers, the vast majority of the brains studied belonged to players who played in the 1960s or later. In addition to examining the brains, researchers interviewed family members and loved ones of the deceased former players and found that behavioral and mood symptoms were common with those who suffered from CTE, including impulsivity, signs of depression, anxiety, hopelessness and violent tendencies.

While the disease currently only can be diagnosed post-mortem, the researchers urge for a wide-ranging longitudinal study to better understand the impact head trauma has on football players across all levels.

In the meantime, the brain bank has about 425 donated brains at its disposal, including those from men and women who played a variety of sports, as well as military veterans, with many more pledged.

"It's not an inert study," McKee said. "This is a very large resource that will advance research in many directions.... The whole point is to advance and accelerate our knowledge of CTE in order to aid the living people who are at risk for it or who have it."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

While news of the Big Ten's massive new media rights deals with CBS, Fox and ESPN trickled out more than a year ago, Commissioner Jim Delany had balked at a formal announcement for nearly 13 months.

Delany finally acknowledged the inevitable Monday, announcing the league's six-year partnerships with the three networks. "We really have labored in bringing our agreements to maturity," he said.

While Delany did not discuss figures of the deal - SportsBusiness Journal first reported last June that the agreement is worth $2.64 billion - he did trumpet the announcement as a formal step forward for his conference.

The Big Ten will partner with Fox and ESPN to broadcast football games, while CBS will hold basketball-only rights.

"We couldn't be more pleased. We've been with ESPN since its inception in 1979 and dealing with ABC all the way back to 1966," Delany said. "With regard to Fox, they're our joint venture partner, and Larry and I worked together on the back of a napkin to vision out BTN, and it has been a fabulous and successful ride."

Delany also said that the Big Ten Network's contract with the conference will run through 2032. The Big Ten Network's president, Mark Silverman, said his platform would expand ahead of this season by joining YouTube TV and Hulu for the first time.

"Regardless of how the industry evolves, BTN will be committed to be available to all our viewers across the country," Silverman said.

A year ago, when Delany suggested he may retire by the time the new television-rights deal expires, he hinted that the league's new media rights deal would last for six years but declined to elaborate.

On Monday, Delany explained the delay shortly after allowing Larry Jones, Fox's executive vice president, and Burke Magnus, ESPN's executive vice president, to offer a few remarks on the deal.

"The selection process on the content is, I wouldn't say tricky, but sensitive. And so as you move through discussions to achieve an agreement, any change in one area requires you to go back to others," Delany said.

"And so it's really just the elongation of getting the Ts crossed and the I's dotted that has taken longer than we had anticipated."

The commissioner noted there has been "pushback" on the league's plan to schedule Friday night games.

The league's new media rights deal requires that the Big Ten will play six Friday night games over the next six seasons, but most schools have voiced displeasure with the new scheduling move.

"We've worked to mitigate by very early selections. I think you'll see selections probably in October preceding the season, No. 1. And No. 2, to work with the high school athletic executive directors to mitigate," Delany said.

He also touched on the league's policy on teams scheduling games against Football Championship Series teams.

Just two years ago, the league unveiled a slew of new scheduling wrinkles; it moved its conference schedule from eight to nine games, required schools to schedule at least one Power Five school in nonconference play and prohibited all future scheduling of FCS opponents.

But Delany said Monday that the league will allow schools to schedule FCS opponents during seasons in which those schools only have four home games in conference play.

"Now, after watching things play out over the last three years, we noted that we were the only conference to go totally in that direction. We have never really gotten there because we had long existing contracts," Delany said. "When we went to nine games, we did not anticipate the problems that some of our schools would have in years that they only had four conference home games - it was very difficult for them to get three FBS opponents on to their schedules if they were looking for seven home games. So we have modified it."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The New York Post

 

Like most fitness instructors, Gerren Liles pushes his clients to their limits in his weekly high-intensity classes - with one difference:

As students mop their sweat, he'll get their feedback on what worked and what didn't, and adjust the following week's class accordingly.

Ten years ago, it was easy to lump classes into one of a handful of categories: spin, yoga, pilates or retro step aerobics. But the recent influx of workouts means that anything goes in a fitness studio now, whether it be rope slams, bar hangs, one-armed burpees or cathartic screams. While it's exciting, it can also be overwhelming for trainers who need to gauge whether a move is actually helping students meet their fitness goals.

Liles is one of eight trainers at Project by Equinox, a new Soho studio where fitness mavens from top studios around the city create and develop the workout classes they wish existed. Part think tank, part playground, the space offers trainers the chance to try out new moves - and then scrap them if they fail.

When Liles first taught the class, each workout station had its own "active recovery move." But once people rotated to the next station, they forgot to switch the move accordingly, so they'd be, for example, at the tempo station doing squat jumps.

"A lot of people struggled with remembering that, so I thought, I'll take that out," says Liles. Now, all students do the same recovery moves at once.

Project trainer Kirsty Godso will add in an exercise that her socialmedia followers have requested in her photos' comments, or via direct message. "Instagram is kind of a good [sounding] board to understand what people like," she says.

"People are like, 'Are you going to do this in class next week?'" So she'll add the move - often a burpee variation involving jumps and pushups.

Most New Yorkers are up for anything in a workout, says Godso, but can struggle with paying attention to instructions - or just wrapping their heads around them.

A few weeks ago, she and her co-instructor, Lauren Williams, were teaching a high-intensity class in which they paired people up to use resistance bands. It was a great move in theory, but in reality, it was a mess.

"It doesn't matter how many times [we said] the outside foot is the lead, they just didn't get it," says Godso. "So we tried it twice and then were like, 'Let's not do this.'" Project isn't the only studio where teachers workshop their classes.

Trainer Charlee Atkins was teaching 12 to 16 SoulCycle classes per week when she came up with the idea for her new class, Le Stretch, which leads students through 45 minutes of bodyopening moves.

As a senior SoulCycle instructor, she was used to spending hours on her bike. "But the older I got, my body was like, 'What are you doing?'" says the 31-year-old. So she began stretching using a foam roller, and then a lacrosse ball, and eventually turned it into a fitness class that she now teaches at Flatiron studio and boutique Bandier.

Leading the class required her to pivot from stretches that helped workout instructors who exercise for hours a day to moves for the average active but desk-bound New Yorker.

"The class I taught was perfect for me, but once you step out of SoulCycle, there's a wider range of people," she says. That means adding more moves that can open up the shoulders, which can tighten after a day of typing, or hips, which get cranky after sitting at a desk all day.

She's been guided by requests from her students.

"Runners were coming in and were like, 'My calves are killing me!' So you have to think, 'OK, we'll add more calf stretches,'" she says. "If there are seven runners in a class, I'll adjust it. You have to know your audience." Like Godso, she values social media as a way to home in on her students' needs. "I love it when people hit me up on social media," says Atkins. When people message her for fitness advice, she'll incorporate their questions into future classes.

"It's kind of like in school, where they encourage you to ask questions because if you have a question about something, chances are someone else does, too," she says. "If someone's DMing [direct messaging] me and is like, 'Hey, my shoulders hurt, what should I do?' There's got to be other people out there who have the same issue."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

   
July 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 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 Freedom Newspapers, Inc. Jul 25, 2017

The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

 



Owners of SoccerHaus, an indoor soccer complex in northwest Colorado Springs are expanding into youth sports with a franchise from Chicago-area-based Hi-Five Sports to operate youth sports classes, leagues, after-school programs and camps for children age 18 months to 14 years.

The local franchise plans to offer its first set of 50-minute classes including flag football, T-ball baseball and "school-yard" sports beginning Aug. 26 at SoccerHaus, 4845 List Drive, said Brent Riding, chief operating officer of SoccerHaus and one of five partners in the complex and the Hi Five franchise.

Hi-Five also plans to offer daytime classes for pre-school aged children, after-school classes for students, all-day camps on teacher training days when students are off from school and summer camps in a variety of sports, he said.

Shortly after SoccerHaus opened a year ago, SoccerHaus partner Nathan Evans said he began researching businesses that offer youth sports classes and camps as a way to get more daytime use from the 48,000-square-foot soccer complex, which has light use in the mornings and early afternoons but heavy use in the late afternoons and evenings for teenager and adult leagues.

Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Independent Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Anderson Independent-Mail (South Carolina)

 

Clemson football is No. 1 again.

No, not in any of the preseason polls, but certainly in the vast realm of the "Twitterverse."

Early this past Thursday, the Clemson football Twitter account - @ClemsonFB - notched its 709,725th follower, surpassing the University of Michigan and making the account the most followed in college football.

"For this to happen is pretty cool, but it was not the goal going in, especially with the size of enrollment (at Clemson) and the number of living alumni," said Joe Galbraith, Clemson's associate athletic director of communications. "When you look at it comparatively, it really speaks to the reach of the Clemson brand.

"It's the result of a perfect storm of amazing content and creative individuals - staff and students alike - and coupling that with on-field success."

Galbraith points to a several key players who have had a hand in the recent achievement, most notably Jonathan Gantt, who is about to begin his fourth year as Clemson's director of new & creative media.

Gantt, in turn, says it certainly has helped to have a football team that is enjoying a run of success unprecedented in school history.

"It's pretty surreal - little old Clemson with 20,000 undergrads and 120,000 living alumni somehow has a bigger Twitter audience than huge state schools with huge alumni bases," Gantt said. "It's a testament to the success of the team on the field, with back-to-back National Championship Game appearances. But I'm also proud of the staff and students who do the content work. They were really maximizing the moment to help grow that audience."

Gantt refers to Brian Hennessy, who primarily handles sports information for Clemson baseball, as the staff's "resident numbers expert" on social media.

"I wouldn't say that I hadn't been keeping track of it - I check where we are every so often - but Brian sent me an email a few weeks ago and told me that at the rate we were going, we'd pass them on this date," Gantt said. "I'm sure he was the first one to Tweet it out, probably at the exact moment that it happened."

Gantt credits others in the athletic department for their vision in the social media regard, pointing out athletic director Dan Radakovich, Tim Match, associate athletic director for external affairs, and Galbraith as key supporters in the effort.

"To create a new standard was a risky thing at the time," Gantt said. "There were still people in 2013 who were thinking that social media was a fad, that it was going to go away."

It has only gained steam, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Gantt's team not only includes design expert Jeff Kallin, video wizard Nik Conklin, and D.J. Gordon, but also plenty of students with an affinity for social media, and particularly those students in the school's graphic communications department.

"It's a real point of pride for all of us, because we're not doing this with a huge full-time staff," Gantt said. "We've done a good job in teaching and mentoring students, and they have created a lot of content and played a massive role in the growth of our accounts. They're getting real-world experience and are able to put together portfolios that have landed many of them a first-time job right out of college."

Followers on Clemson football accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook total 1.5 million, but each of Clemson's 19 varsity teams has a social media account as well, totaling 2.5 million followers, Gantt said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Palm Beach Post (Florida)

 

A former volunteer youth football coach is suing the city and a police officer, claiming that the officer pointed a gun at his face and arrested him without a reason four years ago, and damaged the coach's dialysis port in the process.

Bennie Robinson says he and a friend were driving two players home after an East Boynton Wildcats football practice on Aug. 11, 2013. When they pulled into a driveway, two officers pulled in behind them and demanded the adults get out of the car.

When Robinson challenged the way the officers were treating his friend, the driver, Robinson said Officer Justin Harris retaliated, threatening him with a gun and then arresting him. In the process, the medical device was broken. The lawsuit, filed in September, seeks more than $15,000 from the city and Harris, who is no longer with the Boynton Beach Police Department.

Robinson's attorney, Hugh Koerner, declined to comment Monday.

Police Chief Jeffrey Katz is on vacation and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is scheduled for mediation Aug. 9, according to court records. If they can't reach an agreement, the case would go to trial in February.

It's not clear why the police cruiser, emergency lights flashing, approached the Dodge Charger driven by Shayla Valentine. The suit contends Valentine had not broken any traffic laws.

Harris' partner told Valentine to get out of the car and she did, but asked why she was being questioned.

Robinson says the officer then became "verbally aggressive." When Robinson asked why the officer was speaking to Valentine that way, Harris came to Robinson's window, ordered him to get out of the car and put his hands on the roof. Robinson says the officer pointed a gun at his face.

The lawsuit claims Harris yelled that Robinson should be shot in his "(expletive) head."

Harris arrested Robinson on a charge of obstruction of justice -- a charge the State Attorney's Office later dropped -- and while doing so damaged the man's dialysis port. The lawsuit does not detail the damages.

"As a direct and proximate result of the acts described above... (Robinson) has suffered grievously, has been brought into public scandal, and with great humiliation, mental suffering, and damaged reputation," according to the lawsuit.

aseltzer@pbpost.com Twitter: @alexseltzer

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Newsday, Inc.


Newsday (New York)

 

The age-discrimination lawsuit filed in March by longtime Garden City High School baseball coach Rich Smith is on hold while the two sides engage in settlement talks, according to a court filing.

Smith, 75, filed the federal age-discrimination lawsuit just as varsity baseball practice at Garden City High School was taking place without him for the first time since 1966. Smith began as an assistant coach in 1967 and became the head coach in 1973.

U.S. District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein held a teleconference with attorneys last week and ruled that discovery not take place while Smith and the Garden City district discuss a settlement, the filing said.

The first in-court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 27 in federal court in Central Islip.

Smith's attorney, Garden City-based Robert Sullivan, said in a brief telephone interview Monday that the judge ordered the settlement talks to be confidential and he declined further comment. A school spokeswoman declined to comment.

Smith's lawsuit named superintendent Robert Feirson and athletic director Dawn Cerrone as defendants. The lawsuit does not specify how much money he is seeking. 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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

 

Surprise and disbelief seem to be the common themes among those who knew Hugh Freeze as they respond to his sudden resignation.

"It was shocking," offensive lineman Javon Patterson said Monday, the first time Ole Miss players and coaches have been available to the media since Freeze resigned.

It's been a hectic year for Ole Miss players, who were told in February the university would self impose a postseason ban.

"We keep getting hit with stones. We're going to keep getting up," Javon Patterson said. "Like one of our players said, 'Someone is going to have to feel this frustration.'"

Shea Patterson, Freeze's premier quarterback recruit during his five-year tenure, also focused on the future.

"Right now I'm just kind of praying for Coach Freeze," he said. "Me, the coaches and players had no influence in what happened.... All we're worried about is playing."

He also expanded on the turbulent time that has been his career at Ole Miss.

"Two head coaches, two coordinators and a redshirt is not ideal," Shea Patterson said. "But I think as a team, as a coaching staff... with all this outside stuff going on, we're just ready to play."

Interim head coach Matt Luke said he spoke briefly to Freeze, who told his former assistant to be himself.

"We had a great five-year run," Luke said. "My job is to get the team ready to play.... My focus is on moving forward. Our focus is on the players."

Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork said he hadn't spoken to Freeze since the day Freeze resigned. Bjork and the rest of the university's administration stood firmly by Freeze during the NCAA's investigation into the program. He was asked if he was angry at Freeze for his pattern of personal misconduct.

"I've got to move forward, I really do," Bjork said. "There's a lot of emotions that you have any time you go through something like that."

Bo Wallace, the starting quarterback for every game during Hugh Freeze's first three seasons at Ole Miss, said Monday, "I didn't think it was fathomable that he would lose his job for something like this."

Wallace, now an assistant coach at East Mississippi Community College, said Freeze talked to players about life issues "at nearly every team meeting."

"The first thing he would say is, 'I'm not perfect. Nobody is,'" Wallace recalled. "He was always saying that. And he taught us a lot about life."

Wallace said he was "shocked like everybody else" to learn why Freeze was forced to resign. Wallace spent his redshirt freshman season under Freeze at Arkansas State, then was a member of Freeze's first signing class at Ole Miss.

"Who am I to judge him? Everybody makes mistakes. He was my coach, and I'll always stick by him."

Dean Lee, the former athletics director at Arkansas State who hired Freeze, said he never saw anything that would make him question Freeze's sincerity and integrity. "He was a model coach all the way around, and I'd have to put (him) up there as one of the best that I've worked with," Lee said. "(He was) just a model citizen, model coach, great role model. I'm in major shock."

Lee said he remembers holding voluntary Bible studies in the mornings before coaches meetings to start the day.

"This is totally out of the blue. I don't know what to think and what to believe," Lee said.

Johnny Flynt served as Freeze's associate pastor at North Oxford Baptist Church during Freeze's first stint at Ole Miss. Before each game, Flynt, who coached baseball at Ole Miss for 12 years, would text Freeze, offering him encouragement and prayer.

Last week, Flynt texted Freeze again.

"The night that all this broke, I told him that I loved him and I understood from a man's point of view that you have fallen," he said.

Flynt said Freeze texted him back, saying, "I love you too, brother."

Flynt said he's still shocked by the news but believes Freeze will "bounce back" and coach again one day.

"A lot of folks think he's a fake, but I don't believe that. I think he got caught in sin," Flynt said. "Nobody knows how long it will take, but I really believe Hugh Freeze is the kind of man who will bounce back. I believe God will give him another chance to coach again and to prove to people that he truly is a man of God."

For their part, the Rebels open training camp Aug. 2.

"They're tired of the noise, tired of the distractions," Luke said of his players. "They just want to move forward and play football."

 

Antonio Morales writes for The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Contributing: Sarah Fowler and Billy Watkins, The Clarion-Ledger; Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports.

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

Samantha Strong knows stress fractures. A former collegiate triathlete and high school runner, the 22-year old graduate student estimates she had eight or nine over her high school and college careers.

Each one, she says, took longer than the last to heal.

"My first stress fracture was in my tibia, and I was told it would take about six weeks to heal," says Strong. "It ended up taking two to three times that. The worst was in my femoral neck, which should have been about a three- to four-month layoff. It took six months instead."

This comes as no surprise, says Strong, when you consider that she spent years in the grips of an eating disorder and was severely underweight. In fact, she says, "I was diagnosed with osteopenia and osteoporosis at age 16."

Strong's experience is consistent with the findings of a new Ohio State University study led by Timothy L. Miller. The team spent three years examining the relationship between stress fractures and time to return to running on a Division 1 team.

They concluded that the lower the athlete's body mass index (BMI), the longer the healing period.

The OSU study identified 24 tibial stress fractures in 18 women from 2011 to 2014. The researchers took into consideration the grade of the stress fractures using the K-M system.

"This is a unique classification method because it considers both radiographic and clinical evidence," Miller says. "It's a first-of-its-kind system."

Grade I is a stress reaction that appears only on radiographic results and doesn't present with pain. Grade V, at the far end of the spectrum, is a nonunion stress fracture. "These are injuries that the patients have ignored or mistreated, and surgery may be needed to repair them," Miller says. "Essentially, the body has given up trying to heal these fractures."

In the study, the team found that the average time to return to running for those with a Grade V injury was 17 weeks, compared with 13.7 in grades II and III. The researchers also compared the women's BMIs with those of uninjured teammates and found that the women with BMIs lower than 19 were at a higher risk to develop stress fractures.

Miller says that the likelihood for stress fractures among this population is multi-factorial.

"You have to take into consideration the type of training, the amount of time the runners spent building up their mileage, as well as their BMI," he explains. "There is still more that we need to look into and we're dividing up a big database to do that."

Still, Miller says that there is a pervasive problem among female collegiate runners and their perception that lighter equals faster.

"Staying at a low weight may work for a while," he says, "but eventually, it catches up to these athletes and they end up injured."

His suggestion following his research is that these runners add lean muscle mass to support and offload the bones. "To do this, these runners may gain weight and their BMIs will go up," he says. "But it will help keep them healthier and in the game."

Lt. Col. Mark Cucuzzella, a professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine, says female runners with low BMIs should be aiming to add fat to their bodies.

"In this age group, body fat should be in the range of 20 percent to 22 percent for hormonal health," he says. "If it's not there, all the calcium and vitamin D in the world won't heal a stress fracture."

The issue, he says, is that there are very few Division 1 female runners who hit that mark.

"It's a mismatch," Cucuzzella says. "Many of these women will show up at college with delayed puberty because they stay low weight in hopes of better performance. In the end, however, they break."

This was very much Strong's story.

"It took three or four stress fractures before anyone really brought it up to me," she says, "and all along, I was under-fueling and underweight. I didn't get a period the entire time."

Cucuzzella says that for women who haven't built up the proper bone density by age 20, a lifetime of fractures may await.

"Coaches, physicians and athletic trainers all need to tell this population that it's OK to add fat and that if they don't, they're not going to get healthy."

Although Strong admits she is never far from the urges to control her eating and stay at a low weight, she is in a much better place than just a few years ago. "Since getting it out in the open and working with a nutritionist, I've had a growth spurt," she says. "I put on about 15 pounds and grew two inches once I started eating."

Even better: She now finds joy in running and is able to maintain about 50 miles per week without injury. "I haven't had a stress fracture in a full year," she says. "It's exciting to be here."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
July 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 Columbus Dispatch
All Rights Reserved

The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)

 

The lawsuit against Ohio State University brought by one of its most beloved football stars is a buzz-killing reminder that money, more than anything, is at the heart of big-time college football.

Any savvy fan knew the score long before Chris Spielman filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court on July 14: Trading on the popularity of the Buckeye football program and its stars is a many-million-dollar business. But the suit, brought by a man who is not just one of Ohio State's all-time greatest players but arguably the university's second-greatest ambassador from the football field after Archie Griffin, brings home just how high the stakes are.

It's fair to ask how in the world things came to this. At least one element of Spielman's complaint against OSU and IMG, the company that manages multi-media, promotional and sponsorship rights for Ohio State athletics, has merit.

Last fall, Ohio State and IMG OK'd a deal with Honda to put its logo on a series of 64 banners in Ohio Stadium. The banners bore the photos and likenesses of players, including Spielman, along with the logo. Spielman's suit says the players weren't asked if they wanted to be on the banners with a Honda logo and weren't compensated for them.

OSU officials maintain that the standard practice, whenever IMG proposes a deal or product that involves a former player's likeness or name, is for IMG to ask the player if he wants to participate and to offer compensation.

That obviously didn't happen with the banners — a seemingly colossal mistake for which Ohio State hasn't yet offered an explanation. And in eight months of subsequent negotiation with Spielman and his attorneys, the university couldn't come up with a satisfactory settlement offer.

Sports pundits, agog at the spectacle of "Spielman vs. OSU," wonder if Ohio State officials miscalculated, thinking Spielman wouldn't go through with a lawsuit against the alma mater that he loves and for which he has raised millions of dollars.

Now that he has, Ohio State is in a position to set a new standard for fair treatment of college athletes in big-money programs. Spielman's suit involves more than the Honda banners; he has an interest, along with Griffin, in Profectus Group Inc., a sports and entertainment marketing company founded by former OSU wrestler Mike DiSabato.

Ohio State maintains an iron grip of control over its many trademarked phrases and images. Football players had a role in making those trademarks attractive and valuable.

New ways to make money from college football keep emerging along with new ways to deliver the product, such as online streaming of classic games. Spielman has asked the court to declare his suit a class action, on behalf of all former OSU football players, now and in the future. If the court agrees, any outcome from the suit will apply to hundreds of Buckeyes. The implications are enormous.

Experts say the suit is likely to end in a settlement, because the parties involved aren't eager to have the details of their business operations made public in a trial.

Spielman has said he doesn't want to be at odds with Ohio State, and that he wants for himself and other former players to be treated as partners in deals involving their names or likenesses. With good-faith negotiation on both sides, his lawsuit might be the instrument that brings about such a change.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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

 

US malls are raising the curtain on their second act.

Fed up with watching their apparel chains, department stores and electronics locations go dark as Amazon steals their sales and traffic, malls from coast to coast are signing leases with entertainment and experiential businesses to woo back shoppers — and the early results are promising.

At mall operator Westfield's Topanga, Calif., property, traffic was up 3.6 percent through the early part of 2017 from a year earlier after it added YogaWorks, Kate Hudson's Fabletics and Total Woman Gym + Spa.

On one hand, the malls are starting to give American consumers what they want — experiential activities. Across the US, spending on apparel and electronics is down while cash spent on hotels, dining and travel increased.

Also, malls seem to be learning how not to get steamrolled by Amazon.

"Mall owners are trying to sell something that you can't buy at Amazon," said Joshua Stein, a New York City real estate lawyer who represented one such experiential business, called Gloveworx, in its Westfield lease.

Gloveworx is a boxing studio founded by Leyon Azubuike, a former US national heavyweight boxer. He likes that his business is helping bring people back to malls.

"I never imagined that I'd be part of the rebirth of a shopping center," Azubuike told The Post last week.

Two-year-old Gloveworx will be opening a second location in Westfield's Century City shopping center in October near an Equinox gym, SoulCycle and the first Eataly food market in California.

"We have a serious commitment to this category of fitness," Westfield's David Ruddick, executive vice president of leasing, told The Post. "It's everything from the fitness studio to the shake you have afterwards."

Westfield is spending $9.5 billion to redevelop its 35 shopping centers by 2020, adding so-called outdoor lifestyle centers to some of its traditional malls and filling them with spas, yoga studios and new restaurant concepts.

Gloveworx is not anything like the gritty boxing gyms in Philadelphia where Azubuike honed his skills growing up. About 85 percent of its members are women — who might be inclined to shop at Bloomingdale's after their workout — and "no one is getting punched in the body or face," Azubuike said. The gym offers mostly conditioning and training.

Another experiential chain being wooed by malls is Punch Bowl Social, a nine-store restaurant chain that offers bowling, table tennis, pool, arcade games and karaoke.

It is doubling its footprint over the next two years as mall developers like GGP, Simon Properties and others fall in love with the Denver chain.

Plus, the 25,000-square- foot restaurants can take up a good chunk of space as big box stores pull up stakes. In November, Punch Bowl Social moved into a former Nordstrom store at Simon Properties' Circle Centre Mall.

"We are one of the first phone calls to be an anchor tenant in these lifestyle centers," said the chain's chief executive, Robert Thompson. "They come to us early and put us on their tenant lists to get others signed on."

lfickenscher@nypost.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Virginian-Pilot Companies LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)

 

Samantha Huge, the new athletic director at the College of William & Mary, is no outsider to the Williamsburg community.

Her brother, Chris Huge, played football for the college from 1981 to 1983.

"As a kid, I always hopped on a vacation to Williamsburg because there is so much to do here," recalled Huge at a June 13 business roundtable luncheon with the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority. "Virginia is a special place for me."

Before coming to W&M, she served as associate director of athletics at Texas A&M with 17 years of Division I athletics experience, including her time as deputy director of athletics and recreation services at the University of Delaware.

She is the first woman to hold the position at William & Mary since the job was combined in the 1980s to cover both men's and women's sports. "It's exciting to be making history with the college," Huge said, "but I stand on the shoulders of women before me."

Huge also inherits a 120-member staff and a $24 million budget.

Arriving at the college, Huge sent an email survey to everyone under her - "from head coaches to the guy who turns the lights on." Her first task for her staff? Engage with one person on campus and one in the community.

"I wish we could change the name of Boundary Street," she laughed, referring to the street that separates Colonial Williamsburg from the college. "It's going to be really important for us, as an athletics department, to be engaged not only on campus, but also in the community."

Williamsburg businesses already rely on the revenue from students, but even more money could come from the crowds an athletic event can bring. The homecoming football game brought the most fans last year, and it is expected to bring the most fans in 2017 as the Tribe faces off against the defending NCAA FCS National Champion, James Madison University.

"Although athletics do not specifically generate revenue for the university, we offset our costs for the most part," said Pete Clawson, senior assistant of public affairs in the athletic department.

Sales of tickets, programs, parking and concessions for football brought in $750,767 from the 2016 season.

However, one challenge Huge faces is waning student engagement at games. She insisted this was a national issue, even at athletic powerhouses.

Students make up only a fraction of fans at W&M athletic events. The highest student fan base over the last academic year was 43.8 percent for football, followed by women's soccer at 27.9 percent, men's soccer at 16.7 percent, men's basketball got 15 percent, women's basketball brought 14.6 percent and baseball at 11 percent.

In a recent college survey on student attendance at W&M events, Huge said the main question students ask when deciding whether or not to go, is "What are my friends doing?"

"There are so many distractions now among students to the point that sports events are becoming no longer a tradition."

Huge has plans to change this. She wants to bring full Wi-Fi to Zable Stadium and Kaplan Arena which would allow students to immediately share their experience on social media, such as Facebook or Snapchat. She hopes to use the fans as marketing agents to draw their friends out to the event too.

"People come to athletic events as much for the atmosphere as for the sport. It has to be an event," she said.

The athletics department already connects fans to businesses by giving out a hospitality handbook to all parents of student-athletes with suggestions for hotels, restaurants and shopping.

Huge hopes to establish relationships with Williamsburg organizations beyond the traditional tourism industries. Insisting they were only ideas at this point, she mentioned dreams to open up athletics facilities to the public to come and compete as long as it did not interfere with athletes' training. A facility could serve the young and the old in the community, while also growing revenue for the department.

Huge is clearly excited to join the William and Mary and the Williamsburg community. When asked what she does for fun she replied, " I love interacting with the students and the staff. What I do for fun is what I get paid to do."

jessica.williams@insidebiz.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

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

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

The study of 97 local football players ages 9 to 13 represents the largest study of youth football players' brain activity to date.

In March 2016, Wake Forest's and Winston-Salem State's athletes and trainers joined a 30-university study, along with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers.

The Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) consortium is sponsored by the NCAA and U.S. Defense Department.

The $30 million study that began in 2014 is considered as the largest of its kind related to concussions. To date, the study has collected more than 25 million data points from more than 16,000 athletes. That number is expected to increase to 25,000 athletes.

Universities also participating from the Atlantic Coast Conference are Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

The focus on concussions usually has been on football players, but the prevalence of concussions is growing among other athletes, especially girls' soccer players.

WINSTON-SALEM — Parents and coaches trying to determine the right starting age for playing youth football may gain some perspective from a recent study by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers on blows to the head.

The study of 97 local football players ages 9 to 13 represents the latest update from researchers at Wake Forest Baptist. It also represents the largest study of youth football players' brain activity to date.

The players' parents gave permission for their children to participate. Although the majority of players were measured for one season, 16 players were followed from 2012 through 2015.

With the increase in awareness of concussions in youth sports, most prominently in football, but also in girls and boys soccer, wrestling and basketball, there's a growing debate about when is the right time to allow children to play sports.

For example, many youth soccer associations don't allow players younger than 12 to head the ball in hopes of reducing the potential impact of blows to the head jostling their still-developing brains.

Wake Forest Baptist researchers determined that age, size, coordination and tackling techniques matter in individual helmet impacts, and hits to the head for younger players tend to occur at a 30 percent to 50 percent higher rate during practice than games.

"We're not out to demonize football or say football is bad," Joel Stitzel, the chairman of Wake Forest Baptist's biomedical engineering department, said about the research.

"The jury is out on when to start playing tackle football because it is such a complex issue," Stitzel said, noting such variables as the intensity of practices, the quality of how tackling is taught, the conditioning of the players.

Stitzel said most of the local parents and coaches "are of the same mindset to make playing football as safe as we can."

Findings of study

Each youth player wore a properly fitted Riddell Youth Speed helmet with sensors that collect the number and location of impacts, as well as how much jostling the impacts cause to the brain.

The sensors are similar to those used by researchers in their study of helmet impacts with 40 players at Reagan High School and players at Virginia Tech.

The study of Reagan players, released in December in cooperation with University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, found that the gray and white brain matter of 24 players was altered because of contact, though none was believed to have experienced a concussion during the season.

Video recorded all helmet impacts by local youth players during active play.

The players were divided into three categories: Level A (players 11 and under weighing up to 124 pounds), Level B (players 12 and under weighing up to 139 pounds), and Level C (players 13 and under weighing up to 159 pounds).

"By recording more than 40,000 head impacts, this study represents the largest collection of biomechanical head impact data for youth football to date," said Jillian Urban, the study's author and assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

There were 12,890 head blows received by Level A players, 15,987 by Level B players and 11,661 by Level C players.

Some of the difference in blows can be explained by Level B players being involved in longer practices and games than Level A, while Level C players typically showed more experience and coordination with tackling techniques.

Researchers found the front of the helmet received the most blows during the study, similar to what was experienced by the high school and collegiate players.

Benefits versus risk

Investigators found that Level C had significantly greater accelerated brain jostling than Levels A and B, and that the accelerations were significantly greater during games as opposed to practice in Levels B and C.

Although two-thirds of all head impacts in the three levels occurred during practice, the percentage of high-magnitude impacts was higher in games, and the number of such impacts in games increased with the level of play.

Researchers said "more effort is needed to reduce exposure to high-magnitude head impacts in practice, particularly at lower levels of play."

Urban suggested study results could be used to recommend changes in practice structure and game rules.

Stitzel said the study shows that teaching proper tackling technique should become a practice priority of youth football coaches and leagues.

The study was published in the June issue of the Journal of Neurotrauma.

Richard Craver is a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal. Contact him at rcraver@wsjournal.com or 336-727-7376.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

There is a certain way coaches like to talk about one another, about the things that have to happen to secure top recruits for their program, about the gray areas they have to navigate in the NCAA rulebook. Often the details are left to the imagination. Sometimes the stories come with a punch line.

In the end, there's an omertà in recruiting: If the other guy did something you couldn't or wouldn't do, best to tip your cap and try to get the next one.

But with Hugh Freeze, it was different. It was always different.

Whatever Freeze was doing to make enemies across the Southeast, it was often hard to distinguish what rival coaches saw as the greater transgression — the program's loose relationship with the NCAA rulebook or his in-your-face piety.

Coaches who recruited against Freeze didn't merely roll their eyes at him, and they certainly didn't laugh, except when it came to the nickname a few called him behind his back: Jimmy Swag.

That his tenure actually ended in a Jimmy Swaggart-esque scandal, with Mississippi discovering a pattern of embarrassing personal conduct, came as little surprise to those who long suspected that his act was disingenuous.

But just like the defrocking of Baylor's Art Briles, Penn State's Joe Paterno, Ohio State's Jim Tressel and countless others, the lesson doesn't seem to get learned by the adoring masses until they're forced to confront it through scandal and embarrassment.

At some point, can we please stop turning these guys into demigods and treat them like what they actually are?

There's nothing we can do about the insane money big-time college coaches make. There's no changing the fundamental truth that, unlike the pros, the success of college programs largely revolves around the ability of the coach and the carefully cultivated brand they present to recruits.

But we can stop fawning over their supposed virtuousness and ability to quote-unquote be a leader of men. We can stop talking about their religion and what terrific husbands and fathers they are when all we have to go on is the snapshot they want the public to see. We can stop giving them the benefit of the doubt that they "do it they right way" or "recruit a different kind of kid."

How about we stop wanting them to be anything more than good coaches whose primary goals are winning games, getting rich and doing whatever they need to do to keep their jobs?

Sure, there are plenty of good people and terrific role models in college coaching. But what qualifies any of us to distinguish them from the frauds?

Is it their ability to turn on the charm in front of television cameras? Is it because they tweet Bible verses? Of course not.

At the height of their success, Freeze and Briles were exceptionally talented at cultivating positive media coverage that helped them project images as devout Christians who ran programs that were about more than football.

With Briles, well, we know how that turned out.

With Freeze, the signs were there that the cult of personality around him at Ole Miss didn't match the reality of how he ran his program. In October 2013, a group of his players allegedly disrupted and heckled fellow students with anti-gay slurs at a production of The Laramie Project. Freeze made his players apologize, but he never projected much of a sentiment that he viewed it as a serious offense.

During and shortly after the 2015 season, both Nkemdiche brothers ended their Ole Miss careers in the headlines -- Denzel being hospitalized after significant drug use, Robert for falling out of a window at an Atlanta hotel under mysterious circumstances. Freeze says he disciplined them sufficiently, but they were never held out of games and obviously never got the message.

Then there was the Laremy Tunsil draft night fiasco, which turned the NCAA's initial investigation into a mushroom cloud of violations that established how Freeze and his staff cut corners in large and small ways to land recruits.

Still, it took until Thursday's revelation of a phone call to an escort service for Ole Miss to abandon its complete support for Freeze and for most fans to realize that Freeze might not have been the person he purported to be.

This was aided and abetted by a complicit, sycophantic media that traded objectivity for easy access to a high-profile coach, helping to craft the narrative of Freeze as something bigger than a football coach. Fans bought it because it's not enough in college sports to just have a guy who wins, but someone of purity and higher purpose -- and in Freeze's case, who made the latter a core part of his brand. In the end, they were taken in by a skilled con man who would do anything to advance his career.

Plenty of people in college football looked at Freeze and saw Jimmy Swag, but because he had beaten Alabama twice and made the program relevant in a way it had never been, an entire university lined up to defend him. Just last week, athletics director Ross Bjork was on camera talking about the terrific culture Freeze had built for the program. On Thursday, he all but threw him under the bus.

They're just football coaches. Some are better men than others, better teachers, better disciplinarians, better husbands. But when we embrace them, all we can really know is the part we see for three hours every Saturday.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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

 

Star Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, last seen in action trying to expose an unsuspecting woman's breasts as she watched a St. Patrick's Day parade, remains a societal menace who doesn't know right from wrong despite his full scholarship enrollment as a student-athlete at Ohio State.

Ohio State has a habit of recruiting dubious student-athletes. As former OSU quarterback Cardale Jones tweeted in 2012: "Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come here to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS."

That brings to mind Rutgers football coach Chris Ash's Q&A with The Post's Steve Serby last August.

Ash: "We have what we call a code of conduct, and it's something I took from my time at Ohio State with Urban Meyer. It's how we have to behave away from football; it's about honesty, treat women with respect, no drugs, no stealing, no weapons."

Save it, Coach. Meyer ran an arrested-development, pre-penal colony at Florida, and was paid a fortune to do so. And he is doing the same at Ohio State, being paid even more - well over $6 million per year, plus perks - to be allowed to do so.

So let's review: Between Ohio State and Rutgers, we have two taxpayer and student-funded state university Big 10 football programs - Rutgers, despite its many uniforms, is losing its games while the school is losing its shirt throwing millions at football - that dangle full scholarships to recruit to their campuses players who need to be reminded, or taught for the first time, that criminal conduct should be avoided. Fascinating.

That's right, while enrolled in state-funded institutions of higher learning - and no matter from which state you're recruited - there is a need to be told: "Treat women with respect, no drugs, no stealing, no weapons."

Does that mean recruits should wait until they've finished college - perhaps advancing to the NFL - before resuming or beginning such activities?

So where is the published warning to parents and academics-only students that schools such as Florida, Ohio State and Rutgers recruit and enroll players who need to be told - or reminded - that they shouldn't tote guns, beat women and just say no to committing robberies?

phil.mushnick@nypost.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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 Jul 22, 2017

Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)

 


LEWISTON -- The fall sports season is little more than three weeks away, and Lewiston's teams are preparing for a vagabond existence as construction of their new fields continues.

Lewiston athletic director Jason Fuller is pleased with the progress of the project, which broke ground in late May and includes three new fields (two with artificial turf) and a track.

"Obviously, they've gotten a lot of work done in a short period of time, and I'm feeling very positive about the direction we're going," Fuller said.

Subgrade work is nearly complete for the project, which also includes a new elementary school. Fuller hopes the fields will be completed in time for the start of the 2018 school season.

In the meantime, teams will be calling several fields around the city home, and coaches are prepared to deal with a fall season that will be far from the routine.

One thing that won't change is football will still play its home games on Friday nights, but at Bates College's Garcelon Field.

"Football is scattered," Fuller said. "Our four varsity home games will be over at Bates. All of our subvarsity games will be over at the LAP (Lewiston Athletic Park). Monday JV games won't be happening a lot on the schedule. They'll be playing a lot of Saturdays."

The football team will hold preseason practices at LAP, the Blue Devils' home before Don Roux Field. During the season, Tuesday and Wednesday practices will be held at Montello School, while Thursday practices and Friday night games will be held at Garcelon Field.

In the short term, Lewiston coach Bruce Nicholas believes playing home games (and all but one regular season game overall) on turf will benefit his team, which has a lot of speed and quickness.

In the long term, the Blue Devils are willing to put up with some inconveniences now knowing the end result will be a new, state-of-the-art home field.

"We realize it's going to be hectic for a year, year-and-a-half," Nicholas said. "But we know the end result is a new facility. For all of the hassles, there's a good reward at the end."

With five varsity and subvarsity teams, scheduling for boys' and girls' soccer required some juggling, Fuller said. The majority of practices during the season will be at Drouin Field next to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. During preseason double sessions, some practices will be held at Bates "just so we can hold two practices at the same time," Fuller said.

Games will be scattered among three sites -- Drouin Field and Bates' Russell Street Field and Garcelon Field.

Those facilities won't be completely unfamiliar. The boys have played two games at Garcelon, most recently in 2015, and practiced on it in preparation for the 2014 state championship game. They've also practiced and played summer games at Drouin.

Coach Mike McGraw said having games and practices at multiple sites will make the 2017 season more challenging, but can also help bring the team together.

"It's going to be a testament to how we can deal with adversity," he said. "I think we'll be okay. The kids are excited to be playing on turf."

Coach Brant Remington girls' soccer team will have one home game at Drouin, two at Garcelon Field (including one night game) and four at Russell Street. Being so spread out doesn't seem so bad considering some of the possible alternatives, he said.

"I was worried when this first started that we'd be stuck at elementary school fields or playing more than half of our games on the road," Remington said.

"I'm looking at it pretty positively," he added. "We've got a fairly young group, not a lot of seniors, so we've got quite a number of girls that are going to be benefiting from this for a few years."

Playing at Garcelon will be good preparation for the turf field the Blue Devils will call home when the project is completed. It's also critical to have a second field for games and practices because Drouin Field "will have wear and tear even if it's relatively good weather," McGraw said.

"Bates College has been good about giving us a little time for practice there in the preseason and opening its fields for us for a few games, which is going to take pressure off Drouin Field," McGraw said.

In a statement emailed to the Sun Journal, new Bates College Director of Athletic Jason Fein said the college is looking forward to welcoming "teams and their loyal fans to the Bates campus."

"Bates is thrilled to host athletes from Lewiston High School while their facilities are under construction this year," Fein said. "We are proud to partner with them..."

Fuller said Bates officials were eager to help Lewiston through the transition.

"They were more than accommodating," Fuller said. "I think this works really well for us."

Field hockey was the easiest sport to fit into Bates' schedule, and the Blue Devils can look forward to hosting some games under the lights this season, Fuller said.

"They have a great facility (Campus Avenue Field), and the schedules line up pretty well," he said. "We'll be able to practice right after school and then play games."

Cross country will also be affected, Fuller said. The biggest challenge is finding some place for runners to train in cross country conditions, rather than training exclusively on the road.

Aside from on-field logistics, Fuller is trying to figure out a way to recover lost revenue from gate receipts. Fans may have to pay to enter some games at Garcelon, he said.

"We're still trying to figure that out," he said. "The set-up to do something like that is pretty extensive."

It is unlikely the school will provide transportation to practices at Bates, Fuller said.

"For practices, they're on their own. We're still trying to work out some details that might fit in our bus company's schedule, and we'll see what happens," he said. "Soccer and field hockey typically don't use the locker rooms anyway."

Players will be bused to football games, and visiting teams will have to use the locker room at the high school to suit up. Some other logistical details still need to be ironed out.

Fuller is also looking ahead to the spring to accommodate baseball, softball, lacrosse, track and field and tennis. Bates has offered its facilities for use then, too, and other alternatives, such as softball returning to Randall Road, are under consideration.

"We've got some ideas in mind," Fuller said.

Credit: RANDY WHITEHOUSE, Staff Writer

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Newsday, Inc.


Newsday (New York)

 

The boarding process for a recent flight required going up a modest set of stairs. Greatly slowing it all was a woman carrying at least 80 more pounds than were optimal. Every step was a labored exertion.

She looked to be in her 40s and in the bloom of health other than the excess weight. I thought: "This can't be fun. Why doesn't she take better care of herself?"

Later in mid-air, I'm reading about a life-threatening condition that has been sending fitness fanatics to the hospital. Rhabdomyolysis causes horrible pain, turns the urine brown and threatens the kidneys. Cases are rare but seen in exercisers engaged in killer workouts, notably brutal Spinning sessions (stationary bicycle drills). The stricken tend to be new to the exercise, and their bodies haven't adjusted to the physical demands.

Even on the matter of fitness, our population has become polarized. Large numbers have surrendered to obesity, while others seem willing to suffer hugely in pursuit of uber-fitness. So many of us, it seems, cannot enjoy good health in a relaxed way.

This could be linked to diverging social and economic trends. There are people who've basically given up on themselves in multiple ways. And there are perfectionists driven to excel in every endeavor. They're not necessarily on the path to wisdom, either.

"Extreme exercise" may be propelling some marathoners toward an early death, according to a piece three years ago in The New Yorker. Cardiologists argued that it damages the heart and can be blamed for sudden deaths among some heralded athletes.

Dr. John Mandrola, a heart doctor at Baptist Medical Associates in Louisville, Kentucky, himself a former elite cyclist, saw the problem as psychological as well as medical. It involved a constellation of questionable lifestyle choices. "The inflammation of excess," he called it.

"It's not just being on that edge in a race," Mandrola said. "It's being there in training, at home, at work, and for decades. Always on the gas - yes, this is the problem."

I live surrounded by both wings of the fitness spectrum. But there is also a centrist group to which I seek membership. The third way combines a moderate exercise regimen with a way of life that incorporates exercise in everyday activities. The members garden. They walk, and they vacuum. They peel carrots as they cook generally healthy meals.

My gym has a device called "the sled." The sled is basically a heavy platform. The muscle guys pile it up with weights and then push the big thing across a resistant floor covering of fake grass. Whenever my real grass needs mowing, the sled comes to mind.

On muggy days I'd rather do my taxes all over again than mow - and my lawn is not especially big. But then I think, "Sled." I drop the charged battery (it weighs) into the mower and push, push, push.

At the end, I award myself several imaginary gold stars. One is environmental - for using a rechargeable battery and mulching (no, I'm not giving up my lawn). Another is economic, for not having paid someone else to do it. And the third is physical. I did the sled without the glamour of the gym, such as there is.

The medical literature on extreme workouts emphasizes that running, cycling and the rest are excellent as long as you train to do the harder stuff and know when to stop.

"Darwin was wrong about one thing," James O'Keefe, cardiologist at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, told The New Yorker. "It's not survival of the fittest but survival of the moderately fit."

Ommmmmm.

Froma Harrop is a syndicated columnist with Creators.com .

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

Attorney James Keller argues to visiting Judge Peter Handwork that a lawsuit alleging hazing at the University of Dayton should be dismissed.

A visiting judge on Friday "denied in total" the University of Dayton's motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging hazing brought by an ex-football player who said he suffered a brain injury after hard drinking during the 2014 "Mad Dogs" event for freshman team members.

Judge Peter Handwork from Lucas County heard arguments from Max Engelhart's attorneys and lawyers representing UD before immediately ruling against all of the university's arguments. Handwork ruled all counts in the case should move forward.

"At this point in time, I am not prepared on any of the claims suggested to grant a motion of the defendants," Handwork said, adding that as far as determining whether Ohio's anti-hazing laws are correctly applied in the lawsuit, "I don't find any appellate decisions that will assist this court at all, or control this court, in determining this question, at this stage."

Handwork ordered the university to answer Engelhart's amended complaint within 30 days to get the discovery process rolling.

Handwork said he wanted to have a teleconference to set dates for various deadlines and that he was leaning toward a spring 2018 trial if the case proceeds past summary judgment.

Engelhart claims he was forced to chug high-alcohol drinks like Four Loko as part of a "Mad Dogs" or "Mad Caps" initiation to the UD football team. Defendants include UD football coach Rick Chamberlin, strength coach Jared Phillips and others.

Engelhart, then a 6-foot-1, 270-pound offensive lineman, said he 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.

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

UD attorney James Keller - who along with co-counsel Christina Riggs works at a Philadelphia law firm - argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed for several reasons.

Keller's first point was that because Ohio's hazing statute only covers activities as part of an initiation into a group and that the alleged activity was after Engelhart was a team member.

Keller also said other states' statutes define hazing as something that can happen after a person is a member of an organization, but that Ohio's does not. "It's very precise," Keller said. "It's not just initiation at any time. It's initiation into a student organization."

Keller cited a Dayton Daily News article quoting state lawmakers saying that Ohio's hazing statute may be too narrow as written. Both sides also cited the Merriam-Webster definition of the word initiation.

Keller also cited a case against the University of Toledo in which a freshman player was hurt before the season and a judge ruled against that player's suit.

One of Engelhart's attorneys, Scott Jones, said he signed a letter of intent and played football his freshman year at the University of Virginia.

"Under Dayton's position, as of my signing that contract in February 1991, I could not be hazed by any member of the football team at the University of Virginia because I was already a member of the team," Jones said. "That would seem to make no sense, your Honor."

Jones also argued that UD's own hazing policy defines the alleged behavior as hazing and that people quoted in UD police reports said Mad Caps was a yearly hazing ritual.

Handwork referenced the allegation that Phillips supposedly warned freshman football players that Mad Caps was coming and that they should get ready for it as a reason why a negligence claim should move forward.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

The man whom Hugh Freeze replaced as Mississippi's football coach was at least partially responsible for Freeze's downfall.

It was a recently filed civil lawsuit from Houston Nutt - who coached Ole Miss from 2008-11 - against the university that unearthed the phone records that eventually revealed Freeze's school-issued cellphone had dialed an escort service on at least one occasion in 2016.

Freeze, 47, resigned Thursday after university officials found that the coach engaged in a "pattern of personal misconduct." Freeze, who was making more than $5 million per year, will receive no buyout, Athletic Director Ross Bjork said.

Freeze's phone records might never have been researched if Nutt hadn't sued the university earlier this month. The lawsuit claims a breach of his severance agreement because of false statements he says school officials made to try to pin blame for the NCAA investigation on Nutt.

There are 21 allegations in the NCAA's Ole Miss case. Four occurred in relation to Nutt's tenure while 17 happened under Freeze.

In researching the civil suit, Nutt's lawyers made a Freedom of Information filing asking for Freeze's phone records covering several days in January 2016. The aim was to try to show that Ole Miss officials conspired to spread misinformation to media and form a "smear campaign" against Nutt.

It found much more.

In those records, obtained by media outlets, was a one-minute call to a Detroit-based number. An internet search shows the number linked to a site that offers various escort services. Subsequent research by Ole Miss officials into Freeze's phone records found more.

One of Nutt's attorneys, Walter Morrison, said Freeze's attempt to pin blame for the NCAA investigation on Nutt backfired in a huge way.

"It's sad the university did not deal with this in the manner of which they should have," Morrison said. "And if they had dealt with Houston Nutt appropriately to begin with, he would not have been besmirched, he would have been treated appropriately and fairly, consistent with the severance agreement that all of us signed.

"And interestingly enough, Hugh Freeze would probably still have his job."

Bjork said Freeze would have been fired if he hadn't offered his resignation. He added that Freeze's resignation occurred strictly because of his personal conduct and not because of the current NCAA investigation.

"In our analysis, we discovered a pattern of conduct that is not consistent with our expectations as the leader of our football program," Bjork said.

Co-offensive coordinator Matt Luke has been named the interim coach. Freeze finished with a 39-25 record.

Shortly after Freeze's resignation, Ole Miss reportedly lost a commitment from 2019 prospect Bobby Wolfe, a cornerback from Houston.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Washington Times
All Rights Reserved

The Washington Times

 

In the midst of all the Kirk Cousins contract angst, a bit of more bad news emerged last week.

Plans for a new ballpark for the Potomac Nationals have fallen through.

You likely may wonder what a Class A minor league ballpark in Woodbridge, Virginia, has to do with the football team.

Here's how they're connected: Someone in the Commonwealth said "no" once again. In Virginia, it's always "no."

A new minor league ballpark? No.

A new football stadium for the Washington Redskins? Are you serious?

The Potomac club has been waiting for years for a new ballpark, and time after time has been rebuffed by local government officials. This deal was for a $35 million, 6,000 seat ballpark, but while a deal appeared to be in place, it fell through last week for reasons yet to be revealed.

In Loudon County, plans have been discussed for a new Redskins stadium that will cost somebody more than $1 billion.

For all the bravado exhibited by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe about luring the Redskins from Maryland to Virginia, he will be a spectator, out of office, by the time any such battle would take place for funding the proposed stadium.

And while the candidates seeking office have not ruled out supporting a new stadium, for a new governor just starting his term, new facilities are a tough sell. A sell that, in Virginia, traditionally falls flat on its face.

Virginia may be the NIMBY (not in my back yard) capital of America.

See the Potomac Nationals, who have been in Woodbridge's backyard for 33 years and still can't get the political or popular support for a new ballpark.

See the Redskins, beloved owner Jack Kent Cooke and then-Gov. Doug Wilder 25 years ago, when they were rebuffed in their efforts to put a new stadium in Potomac Yards, with local officials and residents mounting a campaign to stop them. "Citizens Against the Stadium," a community group that led the fight, said the plan's failure "is a powerful example of ordinary citizens prevailing over the powerful and greedy," according to the Washington Post.

See Disney America's plans for a $650 million Civil War theme park in Haymarket two years later — quashed by citizen opposition and local and state elected officials.

See a major league baseball stadium in northern Virginia — first in Arlington, where again, despite the backing of Gov. George Allen, local residents and elected officials stopped those plans, and then, on the brink the Montreal Expos' relocation, in Loudon County when Gov. Mark Warner — once an investor in the group seeking to bring major league baseball to northern Virginia — refused to back the bonds necessary for ballpark construction.

See several years later, when plans for a minor league ballpark in Loudon County also fell apart. And down Interstate 95 in Fredericksburg, where, two years ago, a move by the Hagerstown Suns met with local opposition to a taxpayer-funded ballpark.

No. No. No. No. No.

Politicians did say yes to the Redskins before — in Richmond for the Bon Secours Training Center, where camp is scheduled to open Thursday. That public-financing partnership is proving to be debacle for the city, as payments to the team are going up and revenues are going down.

Good luck selling a new football stadium in northern Virginia to the politicians in and around Richmond.

I've always believed the new stadium will wind up back in Maryland, near National Harbor. Redskins fans in Virginia have been traveling across the river since the team moved here from Boston in 1937 to see them play.

I'm not sure that Maryland Redskins fans will show the same commitment to cross the Potomac to see their team play - especially out in Loudon County. If the Redskins play in Virginia, they might as well raise the white flag to the Baltimore Ravens in the state of Maryland.

But it won't come to that. They will say no in Virginia.

It's what they do. Virginia may be for lovers, but only if it doesn't cost anything.

 

Thom Loverro hosts his weekly podcast "Cigars & Curveballs" Wednesdays available on iTunes, Google Play and the reVolver podcast network.

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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)

 

The Cleveland Browns stadium is clad in the same kind of aluminum panels that were on the doomed Grenfell Tower in London.

In promotional brochures, a U.S. company boasted of the "stunning visual effect" its shimmering aluminum panels created in an NFL stadium, an Alaskan high school and a luxury hotel along Baltimore's Inner Harbor that "soars 33 stories into the air."

Those same panels - Reynobond composite material with a polyethylene core - also were used in the Grenfell Tower apartment building in London. British authorities say they're investigating whether the panels helped spread the blaze that ripped across the building's outer walls, killing at least 80.

The panels, also called cladding, accentuate a building's appearance and also improve energy efficiency. But they are not recommended for use in buildings above 40 feet because they are combustible. In the wake of last month's fire at the 24-story, 220-foot-high tower in London, Arconic Inc. announced it would no longer make the product available for high-rises.

Determining which buildings might be wrapped in the material in the United States is difficult. City inspectors and building owners might not even know. In some cases, building records have been long discarded and neither the owners, operators, contractors nor architects involved could or would confirm whether the cladding was used.

That makes it virtually impossible to know whether such structures as the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel - identified by Arconic's brochures as wrapped in Reynobond PE - are actually clad in the same material as Grenfell Tower, which was engulfed in flames in less than five minutes.

From ABFollowing Grenfell Disaster, UK Stadiums Check Fire Safety

At a Thursday news conference, Cleveland's chief building official confirmed that panels on the city-owned Cleveland Browns' football stadium are "similar if not identical" to those used on the doomed London tower, but said they pose "zero risk to the fans."

Thomas Vanover said the panels were installed differently and that the venue's overall cladding includes many materials.

"From these panels and this installation, there's no risk of anything remotely close to the Grenfell tragedy," Vanover said.

The International Building Code adopted by the U.S. requires more stringent fire testing of materials used on the sides of buildings taller than 40 feet. However, states and cities can set their own rules, said Keith Nelson, senior project architect with Intertek, a worldwide fire-testing organization.

The National Fire Protection Association conducts fire-resistance tests on building materials to determine whether they comply with the international code. Robert Solomon, an engineer with the association, told the AP that the group's records show the U.S.-made Arconic panels never underwent the tests. For that reason, the group considered the products unsafe for use in buildings higher than 40 feet.

Tests conducted by the British government after the Grenfell fire found samples of cladding material used on 75 buildings failed combustibility tests. Solomon said the use of Reynobond PE on the Baltimore Marriott and Browns stadium in particular should be reviewed because of their height.

On buildings that are "higher than the firefighters' ladders," incombustible material must be used, Arconic advises in a fire-safety pamphlet. It warns that choosing the right product is crucial "in order to avoid the fire to spread to the whole building" and that fire can spread extremely rapidly "especially when it comes to facades and roofs."

No one has declared the U.S. buildings unsafe, nor has the U.S. government initiated any of the widespread testing of aluminum paneling that British authorities ordered after Grenfell.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

A one-minute call made from the university-issued phone of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze to a number associated with a female escort service was raised as a potential issue in the back-and-forth between the university's legal counsel and the attorney for former Rebels football coach Houston Nutt, according to records and correspondence obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Freeze's resignation was announced Thursday, hours after Mississippi said it would provide a written statement to USA TODAY Sports regarding the phone call.

Athletics director Ross Bjork announced in a news conference the resignation did not involve NCAA allegations but was based on a pattern of inappropriate conduct.

"We proactively looked into the rest of his phone records and found a concerning pattern," Bjork said.

Bjork also acknowledged that if Freeze had not resigned, the school would have "exercised the termination clause in the contract for moral turpitude."

Assistant Matt Luke, a former Mississippi player, was named interim coach. Practice begins in early August.

The school is under NCAA investigation for allegations of academic, booster and recruiting misconduct.

On July 13 -- one day after Nutt filed a federal lawsuit against Mississippi alleging the school violated the terms of its severance agreement -- Nutt's attorney, Thomas Mars, sent an email to Lee Tyner, the school's general counsel, referencing a "phone call Coach Freeze made that would be highly embarrassing for all of you and extremely difficult to explain."

The call, which was made Jan. 19, 2016, to a Detroit area code (313), lasted one minute, according to emails exchanged between the two parties. But the phone number is associated with several websites advertising a female escort service based in Tampa, USA TODAY Sports independently confirmed. The phone number has been disconnected.

According to Mars, the records do not show Freeze immediately redialing a different or similar number, nor do other calls to a 313 number appear in the phone records covering the days Mars requested.

Responding July 14, Tyner rebuffed a suggestion from Mars that the phone call might be connected to Mississippi's NCAA infractions case, saying the school had inquired into the matter and that "the call to the Detroit number that lasted one minute (or less) appears to be a misdial."

Mars shared the correspondence with USA TODAY Sports.

The exchange over the phone call highlights the ugliness between Mississippi and Nutt as the school attempts to fight one of the most expansive NCAA infractions cases in recent memory.

Nutt alleges in his lawsuit that Mississippi officials, including Freeze and Bjork, conspired to smear him in January 2016 by telling several local and national reporters in "off-the-record" conversations that most of the violations alleged by the NCAA had occurred during the Nutt era.

That false narrative taking hold in some media accounts -- in reality, nine of the 13 alleged violations in the first Notice of Allegations took place under the Freeze regime -- was an intentional strategy promoted by Mississippi, Nutt's lawsuit contends, to help save the school's highly ranked recruiting class right before national signing day.

The case against Mississippi has since expanded to include 21 allegations against the football program, including lack of institutional control and failure to monitor, which could lead to significant penalties targeted at Freeze.

Nutt says the false narrative has hurt his prospects of landing another Football Bowl Subdivision head coaching job and violated a non-disparagement clause in his termination agreement. Mississippi officials have not commented on the lawsuit.

In putting together the lawsuit, Mars paired phone calls made from Freeze, Bjork and head of communications Kyle Campbell to reporters around the time Yahoo Sports reported that Mississippi had received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA.

Freeze, 47, guided the Rebels for five seasons and led them to a Sugar Bowl victory after the 2015 season, but he coached under the cloud of a years-long NCAA investigation into the program.

Freeze, who spoke to the team before the announcement was made public, was making more than $4.7 million a year. Bjork said there was no buyout.

Freeze was 39-25 in five seasons (9-21 SEC). He and his wife have three daughters.

Contributing: Kevin Spain, Antonio Morales

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

A $500,000 donation this week from a Bartlett business owner will help jump-start construction of the long-stalled Bartlett High School Activities Complex project. Food products distributor Greco and Sons, Inc., and Cheese Merchants of America - both owned by Eddie Greco - donated $250,000 each toward the project.

Booster Club past president and project chairman George Kantzavelos said Wednesday the group has secured more than $950,000 toward the project, including Greco's contribution - the largest donation to date.

Another sizable donation of $100,000 came from the Bednarke family, owners of Brooke Graphics in Elk Grove Village. Their children attend Bartlett High.

"We've collected over $180,000 from (other) local Bartlett businesses," Kantzavelos said.

The first phase of construction on the roughly $2 million project could begin in a couple of months. It would include installation of grandstands seating 1,500 people, fencing, lighting, sewer and power lines, wi-fi, walkways and a press box - estimated to cost about $1.1 million.

Kantzavelos anticipates the first phase work will be completed by the start of the 2018-19 school year.

"The second phase will be our entrance, our concession stands and the visitors' stands," he added.

Initial cost estimates exceeded $5 million, but plans were scaled back as fundraising became a challenge.

Elgin Area School District U-46 officials are working to secure village building permits, which could be approved by next month. U-46 then will accept bids for the project and award the contract, Kantzavelos said.

The booster club has been raising funds for more than five years to build the athletic activity complex at the 20-year-old school so its students would no longer have to share facilities with Streamwood High School. Bartlett High students have been competing at Millennium Field since 1997.

Plans for the activity complex include a new field, which was resurfaced last summer, a running track, home and visitors bleachers, lighting and concession stands. A new $50,000 stadium scoreboard was installed last fall ahead of the Hawks' homecoming game - partly funded through a $25,000 donation from the Bartlett Rotary Club.

"All of the donations that we have received, not one donor has asked for anything for themselves," Kantzavelos said. "We've been very fortunate. We're confident we can move forward."

The booster club is selling founders bricks at $250 and advertising on the new scoreboards to local businesses to raise money.

To purchase bricks, visit bhsboosters.org.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

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

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

GREENSBORO - Smith High School 's stadium renovations remain on track for the Golden Eagles' Aug. 18 football opener.

"We're really close," said Chad Volk, project manager for Raleigh-based Davis Kane Architects. "We're about a week out from being wrapped up on this one for the work outside at the stadium."

A field house is being built at Claude Manzi Stadium to house locker rooms, concessions, 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.

At a meeting Wednesday of the school's building advisory team, Volk said the new field house and the press box project would be ready for final inspections July 28. A certificate of occupancy should then be issued, allowing the school to take over both buildings July 31.

The field at the stadium should be ready for play Aug. 15, three days before the Golden Eagles are scheduled to play their football opener against Northwest Guilford.

Smith played its entire 2016 schedule on the road because of site preparation and demolition work at the stadium.

Greensboro-based H.M. Kern Corp., 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.

The project's total budget is $7.7 million, of which $4.7 million is construction and renovation work by Kern.

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

 
July 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 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

Student leaders at Washington State University are demanding a policy that would bar the school's athletics department from recruiting any athlete who has been convicted of a sex crime.

In an interview Wednesday, Jordan Frost, the student body president, said the policy would mirror one recently adopted by Indiana University's athletics department. A conviction or guilty plea for rape, stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault or sexual harassment would disqualify a person from joining a WSU sports team.

Frost proposed the policy in a letter in late June. It's also signed by Shane Reynolds, president of the graduate and professional student association, and Abu Kamara, a member of the track team and president of the student-athlete advisory committee.

"It is important that one of the most visible and foundational departments at our university take a harsh stance against those who commit such violent acts," the letter said.

Frost said WSU student leaders have advocated for similar policies in the past, noting it's just one element of a growing awareness of sexual assault on college campuses.

He said he's received no official response from administrators, although he anticipates meeting this month with WSU President Kirk Schulz, who was traveling to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for a slate of meetings with lawmakers. Summer vacations also have slowed the process.

After four Cougar football players were accused of violent crimes last year, prompting intense public debate, WSU officials began drafting changes to the student conduct code to make it less punitive and more fair and transparent. Currently, unless a player is jailed or expelled from classes, the athletics department decides whether he or she can participate in games and practices.

Phil Weiler, the university's vice president for marketing and communications, said any new sexual assault policy likely would involve all students, not just athletes.

He said several university offices are tasked with investigating and responding to sexual assaults, and that each is handled on a case-by-case basis.

"Frequently people are looking for a hard-and-fast rule," he said, "and frequently there are unintended consequences when you have a hard-and-fast rule."

Frost said the university should address sexual violence among all students. But the same rules that apply to athletics, he said, may not work for the Greek system or another segment of the student population.

He said people with criminal convictions should be allowed to access higher education, but should not be sought for high-profile positions on the football or basketball teams. He noted that student-athletes receive free or heavily subsidized education, special food and other advantages.

"Playing college sports is not a right. It's a privilege, and I think when you have a privilege you have to act a certain way to receive it," he said, adding that sexual predators "don't have a right to be treated like a celebrity, and to be the representative of the university."

Weiler said the Pac-12 is considering a new policy on athletes and sex crimes, which may accomplish what the student leaders are demanding. He said administrators would consider their proposal.

"I think we need to hear from them what their concerns are," Weiler said.

Frost said the proposal was made "proactively" and was not prompted by any recent incident at WSU. But the topic of recruiting college athletes with sex-crime convictions has cropped up in recent years.

Last month, the Oregonian reported that Oregon State baseball player Luke Heimlich had been convicted of molesting a 6-year-old in 2012. It's not known whether the school was aware of the crime when Heimlich, now 21, joined the team.

In 2015, Logan Tuley-Tillman was dismissed from the University of Michigan's football team after he pleaded guilty to filming a sexual act with a woman without her consent. He initially committed to transfer to WSU but later opted to continue playing at the University of Akron.

Frost said he hopes WSU will become an "early adopter" of the policy, and that it could influence children and teens aspiring to play college sports.

"You set that policy," he said, and "they're not only thinking about eligibility in terms of SAT scores and grades, but they're also realizing that their behavior will impact their ability to compete in college sports. And I think that is a huge, huge deal."

Contact the writer:

(509) 459-5047

chadso@spokesman.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

With SunTrust Park experiencing its 11th rain-delayed game Tuesday night, you might be thinking: Tell me again why the Braves didn't put a retractable roof on their new stadium.

Glad you asked, if you did.

The Braves considered putting a retractable roof on SunTrust Park, but, "I think it was a relatively brief conversation," Derek Schiller, the team's president of business, said during the ballpark's construction last year.

"Early on, we discussed a facility that might include a roof, but there are a variety of reasons we didn't go down that path," Schiller said at the time. "Some of it is cost. It is cost-prohibitive. But at the end of the day, the real reason is we believe baseball is an outdoor sport.

From ABThoughts on Retractable Roofs

"I think our fans would prefer to be outside in the elements, albeit with as many of the amenities and protections and things like the canopy that we can make part of the design.... We all felt watching Braves baseball was better outdoors than indoors."

By some estimates, a retractable roof would have added $150 million to the cost of building SunTrust Park, plus increased annual operating costs. And a roof as complex and problematic to build as, say, the one on the Falcons' new stadium might have added hundreds of millions of dollars more than that.

So a roof might have turned the Braves' $672 million stadium into, say, an $822 million stadium. Or more. If the Braves had wanted to add a roof, they presumably would have had to pay for it themselves, since Cobb County's considerable contribution already seemed maxed out.

Instead, for the amount of money the Falcons are spending on the roof for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Braves were able to build much of The Battery, the mixed-use development adjacent to SunTrust Park.

Speaking of the Falcons: You might recall they didn't want a roof on their new stadium to begin with, either.

For several years, the Falcons pursued the goal of building a roofless, open-air stadium for their games and leaving the Georgia Dome standing for other events that required a roof, such as the SEC Championship game and Final Four.

In April 2012, that dual-stadium goal was deemed financially unfeasible and a retractable roof was added to the Falcons' plans.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

USA Gymnastics on Wednesday announced the hiring of a director of safe sport and an in-house legal counsel, filling positions created in response to a sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the organization for nearly a year.

Toby Stark will serve as USA Gymnastics' director of safe sport, and former prosecutor Mark Busby will serve as legal counsel.

The positions were part of 70recommendations USA Gymnastics' board adopted last month after the conclusion of a review by Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor.

Daniels' report found USA Gymnastics needs a "complete cultural change" after not doing enough to educate its staff, members and athletes about protecting children from sexual abuse and failing to ensure that safeguards were being followed.

"These two professionals will help us better protect athletes and continually enhance the systems and processes we have in place," USA Gymnastics chief operating officer Ron Galimore said in a statement. "Bringing this expertise to USA Gymnastics is another important step, because the well-being of athletes is a top priority."

Stark is a longtime child advocate, supporting Chaucie's Place, an organization focused on child sexual abuse and youth suicide prevention, for the last seven years. Busby was a deputy prosecuting attorney in Marion County (Ind.) for nearly 14 years, handling cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, homicide and major felonies.

In her role at USA Gymnastics, Stark will oversee all aspects of USA Gymnastics' safe sport policies, educational programs, reporting and adjudication. She will report safe sport issues to the organization's board of directors.

Busby will handle information about potential abuse, direct investigations and coordinate with the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The U.S. Olympic Committee created that independent entity to handle reports of sexual abuse in Olympic sports.

USA Gymnastics hired Daniels last fall to review its practices and policies after criticism of its handling of sex abuse complaints, including a case involving the longtime team physician that has resulted in federal charges.

The Indianapolis Star, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, has reported more than 360 cases in which gymnasts have accused coaches of sexual transgressions over 20 years. According to the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal, which is also part of the USA TODAY Network, at least 95 gymnasts have alleged sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, who was the national team physician from 1996 to 2015.

This month, Nassar agreed to a plea deal to federal child pornography charges, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by the Journal.

According to the newspaper, Nassar is being sued by more than 115 women and girls, with all but one of the plaintiffs saying he sexually assaulted them during medical appointments. USA Gymnastics has been named as a co-defendant in some of the lawsuits.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Charleston Newspapers

Charleston Gazette-Mail

 

The YMCA of Kanawha Valley soon will begin a $2.5 million renovation project.

Renovations will be done in multiple areas of the Charleston facility, including locker rooms, the fitness facility, lobby and a multipurpose room.

Scott Depot-based Pray Construction will be completing the project. Silling Architects designed the renovated buildings plan.

Monty Warner, YMCA of Kanawha Valleys CEO, said the project will provide necessary updates to the Charleston facility.

Almost nothing has been done for 30 years, Warner said.

Warner said the lack of updates has led to several issues with the building including structural issues with the walls and cracking tile. He also said the updates will solve cosmetic issues at the facility, which Warner called dated.

Weve been looking for an opportunity to redo the building, Warner said. Theres a lot of growth going on here, and now is the time.

One of the ways the facility is growing is by moving to a new format for its gym. The YMCA announced this week that its fitness area would be open 24 hours a day to members who sign a waiver for those privileges.

The renovations will cause different parts of the facility to move into other areas of the building. The fitness area, which currently is on the east side of the building, will be moved into the large multipurpose room where childrens programs currently are held. The room will be converted into a two-floor space with cardio machines, free weights and machines on the ground floor. The second floor will feature an indoor walking track and new cardio machines.

The area where fitness equipment is held now will be transformed into a multipurpose room for youth programs. The space will be able to be divided into several different areas, creating classrooms for different age groups or activities.

Its going to be somewhere between a school and rec room, Warner said.

The move also will allow parents dropping off and picking up their children to have a separate drop-off area, which Warner said will prevent accidents with kids and people using other facilities in the gym.

Right now, its kind of a disaster waiting to happen, Warner said.

Other renovations include updated locker rooms, a renovated waiting area and additional lanes at the pool.

Construction will start Monday, after a groundbreaking event is held at the facility Friday. Warner said the event will also serve as a reunion for volunteers from board members to Spirit of the Valley winners who have made the project possible.

Were all part of a big family and a big team, Warner said.

Warner said there will be some small inconveniences for members, but it will be worth it for the updated facility.

Reach Ali Schmitz at ali.schmitz@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4843 or follow @SchmitzMedia on Twitter.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

The cost of health care for the University of New Mexico athletics department is about to double.

And it has nothing to do with what's going on with politicians in Washington, D.C.

The Journal has learned the department did not pay the $263,062 it owed the UNM Health Sciences Center for various services for student athletes during the fiscal year 2015-16. So it will double its payments this fiscal year, which started July 1, according to the university.

"There was an issue with the internal billing from the Health Sciences Center to Athletics in FY-16," UNM interim athletic director Janice Ruggiero told the Journal in an email Tuesday. "The Athletic Department did not receive the bill that would have triggered the $263,062 payment for that year."

Essentially, UNM athletics did not pay the contractually agreed upon amount because it was never billed for it.

It is unclear when it was discovered, but once athletics was told it owed the money, "Both departments began working to correct the error," Ruggiero wrote. "The Athletic Department is scheduled to repay the balance in FY 18. At no time did the billing issue result in a gap in coverage or care for our Student Athletes."

Ironically, the athletics department announced last week it is trying to collect $432,000 in money from boosters who rented out suites in the Pit since 2010 but didn't pay for various reasons, including many who were never given a bill for the money they owed.

UNM athletics and UNM Health Sciences Center had a "Memorandum of Understanding" that covered the past three years of medical services for student athletes.

That agreement expired June 30, but an addendum was recently signed by Ruggiero for a six-month extension ensuring athletes will be covered through Dec. 31 as a new deal is being negotiated.

"The University's Athletic Department maintains an agreement with the University's Health Sciences Center to ensure excellent and timely medical care and treatment for our student athletes," Ruggiero wrote.

Such agreements have been in place since 1998.

The addendum Ruggiero released to the Journal on Tuesday states the parties agreed to the six-month extension to "avoid disruption of service" while the negotiations are taking place for a new agreement.

"The parties are actively engaged in discussions related to this MOU that include, among other things, improvements to the physical space, additional clinical services and operations," states the addendum.

The agreement calls for athletics to pay $391,812 annually for medical services ($263,062 to UNM Health Sciences Center and $128,750 to UNM Medical Group, which apparently was paid on time). The $391,812 owed annually will be prorated for the six months under the new agreement.

The agreement covers UNM's 22 varsity sports and the "Lobo spirit squads."

The agreements stipulates that the following services, among others, will be provided:

  • MRIs or X-rays for injured athletes
  • Preseason physical exams and lab tests
  • On-site "clinics" and training room services from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from one hour before to one hour after all home football games, and 1-3 p.m. on Sundays
  • At least one Health Sciences physician for all home games/meets for all sports
  • The athleticsdepartment must provide all "Lobo attire" to the team physicians
  • Health Sciences will provide hospitalization for any injury or illness incurred while playing or practicing the student athlete's sport
  • 12 hours per week of physical therapy/rehabilitation as needed

The athletics department reported a $1.54 million deficit for fiscal year 2016, which seems to indicate the actual deficit that year was at least $1.8 million had the $263,062 bill to Health Sciences been paid on time.

The money owed for that fiscal year was not planned for on the current fiscal year's budget.

Ruggiero took over as interim AD on June 5 after the retirement of former AD Paul Krebs.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

A few days ago, Oklahoma President David Boren made some ripples — we know, what's new? — by saying he is "philosophically in favor of a 10-win Texas."

Tom Herman's response: "So am I!"

Herman laughed as he said it. And then the Longhorns' first-year coach acknowledged that he'd like to see Oklahoma have similar success. And this isn't so much detente in a heated rivalry as it is recognition of the obvious:

The Big 12 needs Texas to be good again — and for Oklahoma to remain there.

All of which is why the Red River rivalry is suddenly so fascinating. Herman is Texas' new hope, the guy who is supposed to catapult the Longhorns back to winning. On the other sideline at the Cotton Bowl that second Saturday in October will be another newcomer. All Lincoln Riley is charged with is maintaining what Bob Stoops built and goosing the Sooners just a bit to reach their success levels of the 2000s.

Both jobs are big enough by themselves. But in very important ways, both coaches also shoulder the fortunes of the Big 12 at a very critical time.

As the conference's media days unfolded Monday and Tuesday, coaches and players mingling with mascots and cheerleaders in an indoor football arena, the vibe was upbeat with a dose of defiance.

"I don't think the Big 12 is in any jeopardy whatsoever or as weak as some might portray," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said.

He was echoed by others, which was a good sign: The league that can't ever seem to get out of its own way was, publicly at least, reading from the same page. But as always with this league, the backdrop is uncertainty.

The Big 12's TV contracts run through the 2024-25 school year; that's also when the grant-of-rights from each school to the league is set to expire. After that, no one is sure if the league will continue to exist in its current form — or, at least, with its current membership.

The best hope for continued viability involves on-the-field success in the next few years, including appearances in the College Football Playoff. As the thinking goes, that would go a long way toward persuading Texas and Oklahoma not to look at their options in other conferences.

And the Big 12's best-case scenario would be for the Longhorns and Sooners to trade punches and Playoff appearances, two powers playing to their heavyweight status. If that happened, they'd feel secure that their best path to the Playoff was remaining where they are — which would ensure the league's future.

Someone asked Herman if he felt responsibility to be an ambassador for Big 12 football abroad.

"Abroad, like across in Europe?" Herman said — but he continued: "Is it my job to take care of the Big 12? No. It's none of our jobs to take care of the Big 12."

He's right, as far as it goes. But if Texas and Oklahoma are good, they'll take care of the Big 12.

As they made the media rounds, the Big 12's coaches touted:

The nine-game round-robin format coupled with the rebooted conference title game between the top two teams in the standings (We play everybody! And somebody twice!).

Its riches at quarterback (Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph and Kansas State's Jesse Ertz, for starters).

Its defensive performance in bowls last season (Big 12 teams held opponents to a 21-point average, lowest of any league).

But the plain truth is this: On the field at least, the Big 12 has fallen behind the other Power Five leagues. Missing the College Football Playoff in two of its first three years isn't an indictment of the selection system, as TCU's Gary Patterson would have you believe, but rather an indication of the conference's issues, both real and perceived.

But much of the Big 12's trouble boils down simply to this: Texas has fallen from elite to inferior.

"Certainly our league is better if Texas is playing at a very high level," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said.

After three losing seasons in a row, Herman's first task is simply to reverse the trend. He told of asking in the first team meeting after he was hired from Houston: Which of you have played on a winning Texas team? Three players raised their hands.

"So," Herman said, "we don't know how to win really well right now."

If during the next couple of seasons the Longhorns figure it out, the renaissance could shift recruiting fortunes in their talent-rich state — which has been regularly poached in recent years by other conferences — not only for Texas but also probably, in a trickle-down effect as the perception of the league rose, to other Big 12 schools.

Meanwhile, as Texas has struggled, its biggest rival has been good but not quite great. The Sooners have won the last two conference championships, and they made the Big 12's only Playoff appearance in 2015. But over the last few years, they've hovered a notch or two below the level they occupied during most of the decade of the 2000s. And now Bob Stoops, the architect of that success, is on a golf course somewhere, leaving Riley, who'll turn 34 in September, to try to ensure the Red River shootout — and maybe a rematch in the conference championship game — regains its status as a defining moment in the national picture.

It's a tall order for both new coaches. But anyone invested in the Big 12's viability needs to be philosophically in favor of its traditional powers being, well, powerful.

"Texas and OU matter a lot in this league," Riley said. "I mean, they do. But do I feel that or think about it? No."

Which is fine. He has plenty of expectations to meet without considering larger long-term implications. The same applies to Herman, who has an even bigger immediate challenge.

But they understand the reality.

"It's good for the league if Texas is playing well," said Oklahoma's Mayfield, who's from Austin and is the farthest thing from a Texas fan. "The one win they can't have is against us."

Reverse that, and the Longhorns feel the same way. In the Big 12, so should everyone.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Between the Power Six-themed golf balls, hashtags, pennants and helmets, the American Athletic Conference's push for a seat at the table is in full swing. In terms of trinkets, at least, the league is already spending at a Power Five level.

"It's definitely a conference on the rise, and we should be promoting it as a Power Six," Tulane football coach Willie Fritz said.

During the Monday night clambake preceding the conference's media day, however, the idea of crashing college football's elite quintet was met with shrugged shoulders by conference athletics directors, who as a whole understand the mathematics behind turning five into six.

It's pretty simple: As it currently stands, the television contract linking the College Football Playoff with ESPN, which anted up with $7.3 billion to purchase broadcast rights, runs through 2025 and locks the Group of Five into an access bowl -- afforded the top team from its ranks -- into a New Year's Six bowl.

So there will be no Power Six until -- or unless -- college football's power brokers decide to tear up the existing postseason contract and move to an eight-team field.

In other words, the Power Six movement is a hashtag, a helmet, a golf ball and nothing more.

But that's OK. The American wants to join the Southeastern Conference, Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Big 12 -- because of course it does, even if the idea isn't rooted in reality. For now, however, simply stressing the idea of a Power Six comes with its benefits.

"This is a critical period for the American Athletic Conference, and we approach it with optimism and confidence," league Commissioner Mike Aresco said.

And with a message: We're closer to the Power Five than the Group of Five, goes the league's pitch. If you say it, is it true? If you continue to sell the American as closer to the Power Five than the Group of Five, will that eventually become an accepted reality?

As a tool to produce immediate change, the Power Six theme is useless. As a long-term agent, on the other hand, there's something to be said for the American creating a gap -- even if in name only -- between itself and its Group of Five colleagues.

Think about the potential impact. The American sells itself as a peer of the Power Five. The polls then reflect this gap, both in the preseason, with its trickle-down effect on resulting polls, and to cap the regular season. In turn, the Playoff selection committee views the American's best as a rung above its non-major peers; for the remainder of the four-team format, the conference has the inside track for an access-bowl invite.

There likely will be no movement toward a new postseason scheme for the foreseeable future. But by presenting itself as the class of the Group of Five, the American is in position to claim that seat at the table when the opportunity does arise -- if the league takes care of business on the field.

So there's something forward-looking about the Power Six theme, as awkward and ungainly as it might seem now.

"We want to be accepted eventually as an autonomy Power Six conference because we believe we are already a Power Six conference," Aresco said. "And make no mistake, we do not want simply to compete, we want to win."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

New Baylor coach Matt Rhule was peppered with questions about the fallout from the school's sexual assault scandal at his first Big 12 media days appearance Tuesday.

But as he has been since the beginning of his tenure, Rhule was prepared to address the issue head-on, repeating his message that Baylor can't hide from the circumstances that resulted in an entire leadership overhaul at the school, including the removal of former coach Art Briles in May 2016.

"We're not running from the past, we're learning from it," Rhule said. "We're committed to getting the wrongs of the past corrected."

Rhule, who came to Baylor after four seasons at Temple, likened himself to a "first responder" in helping the school deal with the cleanup from the Briles era, which is now the subject of multiple Title IX lawsuits and an NCAA inquiry. But he also made it clear he knew what he was getting into, saying he frequently tells fans that Baylor wasn't his only option.

"I came to Baylor because I knew it was the right place for me," Rhule said. "There's a lot of pride, a lot of sadness. But hopefully there's hope we can have a great new future and respond to the things that have happened."

Rhule has been proactive in addressing the sexual assault culture with his team at Baylor, an issue he said he confronted "day in and day out" at Temple. He also said he encourages recruits and their parents to ask about what happened and what Baylor is doing to fix its culture.

"If we can try to be part of the solution, we should be part of it," he said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 ProQuest Information and Learning
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2017 Freedom Newspapers, Inc. Jul 18, 2017

The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

 


DENVER -- Colorado State University-Pueblo, which suspended a student athlete, recently agreed to pay him to settle his lawsuit that alleges the university falsely accused him of raping his girlfriend.

Grant Neal made the allegation in a 2016 lawsuit. He was seeking an unspecified amount of money from the university as compensation for, among other things, damage to his reputation and "loss of future income prospects."

The agreement to settle the lawsuit is referred to in a court document examined Monday by The Pueblo Chieftain.

Neal was an integral part of the 2014 NCAA Division II championship football team as a freshman fullback. He played 10 games in 2015 before being suspended.

Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Woodward Communications, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA)

 

MADISON, Wis. — In the interest of enhancing existing security measures at football games at Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin Athletics will implement a new security policy regulating the size and type of bag that may be carried into Camp Randall for home football games this season.

Fans are encouraged not to bring any types of bags inside Camp Randall Stadium; however, each ticket holder is allowed one small clutch purse (6.5" x 4.5") and one large clear bag, either a one-gallon clear Ziploc-style storage bag or a 12" x 6" x 12" clear tote bag.

Diaper bags (with child) are permitted and subject to a thorough security inspection. When possible, UW strongly recommends carrying diapers and non-medically necessary items for babies and young children in a clear bag.

An exception will be made to allow medical items that can't be transported in a clear bag into the venue. Guests carrying medically necessary items or equipment will be required to have their bags or equipment inspected and tagged by security supervisors located at the gates.

Guests will not be allowed in the stadium with a non-approved bag. Fans will be asked to return the item to their vehicle. There is no check-in location for prohibited bags at Camp Randall Stadium.

Wisconsin Athletics will provide all football season ticket holders with one complimentary clear tote bag per household which will be included in each season ticket holder envelope mailed in mid-August.

Fans interested in purchasing an approved clear tote bag may visit Bucky's Locker Room store location at Camp Randall Stadium. For additional inquiries on purchasing bags from Bucky's Locker Room call 608-256-9499. Fans are reminded that a standard, one-gallon clear Ziploc®-style storage bag will suffice. Fans may also bring approved clear tote bags they have previously obtained at other venues.

A complete list of permissible carry-in items for Wisconsin football games at Camp Randall Stadium can be found at UWBadgers.com/FanPolicies.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
All Rights Reserved

Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

 

The first steps are being taken that should lead to big improvements ahead for Fort Dickerson Park, to the tune of at least $5 million.

The quarry at the park, located just southwest of the Henley Bridge, has been a haven for swimming and other water activities for years, but there hasn't been much effort toward making the park "park-like."

That will change as a two-step plan is carried out over the next few years.

"The quarry gets a lot of use," said Knoxville Parks and Recreation Director Joe Walsh. "It's a great place for people who want to swim or use flotation devices. It has been that way for a long time. Now we are trying to make it more like an official park with more amenities."

The improvements that come with a $5 or $6 million price tag will include a new entrance way, parking lot improvements, restrooms, a dock, a concession stand and lockers for kayaks and canoes, Walsh said.

Phase I

He hopes to get bids out this summer for Phase I of the project that would include the Augusta Street entrance way and parking lot improvements.

"The entrance is kind of rough now," Walsh said. "We want to make it more park-like."

The Aslan Foundation is funding design on the project. Executive Director Andrea Bailey Cox said she expects Phase I to be completed by next summer.

"We are donating all of the design dollars and the city will fund the construction of Phase I that will complete the parking lot and entrance," she said.

"The good news is we are into a new (city) budget year and we have some money budgeted to use," Walsh said.

"Phase II is going to require some fund raising," Bailey Cox said. "We are hoping to get it constructed in the next couple years."

A team effort

It is a team effort with some help from Legacy Parks Foundation. Along those lines, the city has hired a new employee, Rebecca Jane Montgomery, specifically to coordinate the city's efforts with the foundation's Urban Wilderness effort.

Urban Wilderness has been an ongoing project to turn South Knoxville and Knox County into a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Upgrading Fort Dickerson fits into that effort.

Walsh said the city is also looking for help from the state in funding the project, and there are efforts begun to gain other contributors.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

July 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 Southeastern Newspapers Corporation
All Rights Reserved

The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)

 

The contaminated soil found during construction on the new GreenJackets stadium in Riverside Village is not nearly as bad as it could have been, City Council learned Monday night.

The soil is not hazardous and is being removed and hauled to Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority in Jackson, S.C.

The water associated with it is clean enough to be disposed of through the sanitary sewer system, a much less-expensive option than more sophisticated disposal.

"Technically, in some parts of the country, you could drink what we're calling contaminated," Coun­cilman Fletcher Dickert said during a pre-meeting study session.

"If it were on the Georgia side, we could pump it into the river."

Dickert and David McGhee, who have construction backgrounds, are working closely with contractors and city representatives hired to watch over the building project.

"We're being abundantly cautious," Dickert said.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control is applying federal standards, which are stricter than those set by other states, he said.

James Dean, Owner's Representative for the city, discussed the soil during a general update on Riverside Village at Hammond's Ferry, and said there's enough dirt on hand to backfill what's removed.

The project is on track, and making good progress, he said.

"Despite the rain, we keep on marching," he told council members.

The steel has been erected for the concourse, the Clubhouse building's foundations are in, and the outfield wall, which also serves as a flood wall, is in place.

"We're confident that we will meet all time requirements," Dean said.

In its regular meeting, council voted 6-0, with Bob Brooks absent, to continue to use Capstone Services LLC to provide management services for the Riverside Village project.

Dickert and McGhee both supported the measure, and council members were assured that the money to pay Capstone comes from project-generated revenues - specifically permit and business license fees paid to the city as part of construction - not the general fund.

In March, council approved $31,000 for Capstone, an Aiken company headed by Mark Chostner, to keep an eye on construction costs.

The company has billed about $6,000 a month, for a total of $24,000 so far. That leaves about $7,000 from the original allocation, and only revenue from the stadium has been used to date.

The way it's set up, future expenditures can't exceed the funding source, Mayor Bob Pettit said.

"That's the limit," he said.

Dickert said he didn't expect a money problem.

"At the rate we're going, there's more than enough," he said. "It's well worth it."

City Attorney Kelly Zier pointed out that Capstone invoices are reviewed before they're paid, so city officials have oversight.

Reach James Folker at (706) 823-3338 or james.folker@augustachronicle.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
 
July 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 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

A new report, which calls itself the largest-yet analysis of U.S. road race results, has concluded that "American runners have never been slower."

The report, based on more than 34 million individual race results from 1996 to 2016 and published on the Dutch website RunRepeat.com, focuses on marathon results. It finds that the average American marathon time has slowed from about 4:15 to about 4:40 over the 20-year period.

A principal author of the report, Jens Jakob Andersen, says he was watching the Copenhagen Marathon several years ago, and was surprised by the number of five- and six-hour finishers. He wondered whether U.S. marathoners were similar, and whether they had always been as slow. Andersen and co-author Ivanka Nikolova, who has a Ph.D in mathematics, spent four months gathering U.S. race results, and analyzing trends.

A road race trade organization named Running USA has been compiling similar data since 1980, when the typical male American marathoner finished the 26.2-mile distance in 3:32:17. According to Running USA's most recent analysis, the equivalent time in 2016 was 4:22:07.

But why the slow-down?

American marathoning has changed dramatically over the past three or four decades, thanks in large part to the women's running boom. In 1980, Running USA estimates that only 10 percent of marathon finishers were women. Last year, that figure reached 44 percent. Because women are, on average, 10 percent slower than men, more women participants will necessarily slow the average times. (Most marathon experts have tied slower marathon times to the increase in women and in less-serious racers.)

The RunRepeat report, however, says that slowing men have contributed more to the decline (54 percent) than increased participation by women (46 percent).

It also asserts that casual, back-of-the-pack runners have slowed only slightly more than those in the front of the pack.

Ken Young, dean of worldwide road race statisticians, says those casual racers share more of the blame than the RunRepeat report shows. Young has been compiling race data since the mid-1970s, and serves as unofficial director of the global Association of Road Race Statisticians. "Average times are slowing because more and more races are emphasizing their social aspects," Young says. "They seek to attract recreational runners and walkers. Look at the race websites. You can find all sorts of social media links, party details and merchandise for sale, but it's hard to find the race results."

Young's view is shared by Rich Harshbarger, chief executive of Running USA. "Events have become so much more social," he notes. "Look at the races produced by Walt Disney World. You can meet a Disney character and get your photo snapped almost every half-mile. In today's market, event producers position their races more as festivals than traditional races."

While average times are getting slower, American elites have continued to improve. In 1996, the American marathon records stood at 2:10:04 (men) and 2:21:21 (women). Today they are 2:05:38 and 2:19:36.

Many of the best Americans enter the Boston Marathon each April. Due to Boston's tough qualifying standards, rare among big marathons, only about 10 percent of all U.S. marathoners run times fast enough to enter Boston. Yet it has also gotten slower, on average, over the past two decades. In 2000, according to MarathonGuide.com, the average finish time at Boston was 3:41:39. Three months ago, in the 2017 Boston Marathon, the average finisher crossed the line in 3:58:03.

"In recent years, the general emphasis among marathoners has shifted from performance to participation," acknowledges Tom Grilk, chief executive of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston Marathon. "If that means more people are running for their long-term health and fitness, it's a trend I applaud. I think it's healthy that fitness 'sustainability' is more important than speed."

The RunRepeat report notes that the slower American marathon times coincide with increases in obesity, diabetes and medical expenses, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but stops short of claiming causation. "I would love to say that obesity is the cause for the slow-down, but I cannot," Andersen admits. "We can only point out the correlations."

Most runners understand that the more they weigh, the slower they will run. The imprecise formula is often given as two seconds per pound per mile. That means that a marathoner who gains 10 pounds over 20 years will run eight to nine minutes slower for 26 miles. Although data gathered by the National Runners Health Study indicates runners gain weight at only about half the rate per year of non-runners, the pounds can still add up over time.

Writer-nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald, author of "Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance," has observed that the runners he counsels generally have the same nutrition problems as non-runners. "The biggest one is that they eat too many processed foods, including pastries, chips, fried foods and sweetened beverages," he notes. Fitzgerald has created a RacingWeight.com calculator to help runners determine their optimal performance weight.

Mayo Clinic health and endurance expert Michael Joyner has been following marathon trends for more than 40 years. He notes several reasons for slowing marathon times. First, most runners no longer aspire to performance goals, as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Second, the marathon has become a "suburban Everest," where the goal is to reach the summit rather than to test one's limits. And third, a kinder-gentler zeitgeist encourages a broader range of body types to enter marathons. "There aren't a lot of people who want to run more miles, add interval training and lose weight," says Joyner. "But that's what it takes to run faster marathons."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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)
 

A Bronx man turned gym rat used a yearlong cover of workout routines coupled with an arm brace to steal from members of two Nassau fitness clubs, taking more than $168,000 worth of jewelry and cash from lockers, police said Monday.

Alberto Gil, 55, of Boynton Avenue used fictitious names to join Life Time Athletic on Zeckendorf Boulevard in East Garden City and LA Fitness on Marcus Avenue in North New Hyde Park, police said, and broke into more than a dozen lockers with a small wooden tool to pick the locks, Nassau police said.

His take included 13 Rolex watches, diamonds, other jewelry and cash, police said. The thefts - 15 grand larcenies at Life Time, two petty larcenies at LA Fitness - took place between April 14, 2016, and April 13 of this year, according to police.

Gil pulled off the heists, in part, police said, by using a cast on his left arm as a ploy to disarm and befriend his fellow gym-goers, police said.

"I think that's kind of his ruse," said Third Squad Det. Nabil Hussain. "He makes friends with everybody. He gets sympathy from everybody. He walks around with this little brace."

Stealing wasn't the only thing on Gil's mind, according to Hussain said.

"He worked out," Hussain said. "He went into the sauna."

Police began investigating in March 2016 after reports of "multiple larcenies" in both the LA Fitness and Life Time Fitness clubs. Because there were no surveillance cameras in the locker rooms, detectives had to painstakingly go through gym records. Detectives initially thought the suspect was a gym employee who had access to a master lock, but after combing through visitation logs they developed Gil as a suspect and began surveilling him, Hussain said.

Third Squad detectives arrested Gil at 11:15 a.m. Sunday at the LA Fitness, police said. None of the stolen merchandise has been recovered, police said.

Gil was charged with 15 counts of third-degree grand larceny, two counts of petty larceny, second-degree falsification of business records and possession of burglary tools.

He was ordered held on $190,000 bond or $95,000 cash bail at his arraignment Monday in First District Court in Hempstead, said Nassau district attorney spokesman Brendan Brosh. His defense attorney could not be reached for comment.

Gil was convicted in 1991 in Westchester of criminal possession of stolen property, Hussain said.

Natalie Bushaw, a spokeswoman for Life Time Athletic, said in a statement emailed Monday that there is still "an active investigation" underway so she was unable to comment on details. She said, however, "Our club has not seen any thefts since his apprehension."

"Through the hard work and collaboration of our on-site Security Concierge and local authorities, we were able to identify and apprehend the suspect," Bushaw added.

Bushaw said that members are also told to be careful with their valuables but if a theft occurs it is reported to authorities and members are informed of the theft.

"As a general matter, we always strongly encourage members to avoid bringing items of value to the club and/or leaving valuables in plain view in their vehicles," Bushaw said. "Additionally, we reinforce that they ensure all personal items are secured in a locker or remain in their possession at all times."

With Lisa Irizarry

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

  
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

The graphics rolling across the digital backdrop to the Big 12 media days this year no longer include the self-aggrandizing "One True Champion," a slogan meant to boost the image of the league that instead inspired endless snark.

This time, what the Big 12's new theme lacks in creativity and grandiosity, it makes up for in accuracy: "Guaranteed 1 vs. 2."

When the Big 12 regular season ends Nov.25, the top two teams in the standings will face off the next weekend in a championship game for the first time since realignment forced the league into a 10-team format in 2011.

Though schools will make millions more each year by holding a championship game, there's one overriding reason the conference chose to change its format: It has missed the College Football Playoff in two of its first three seasons, a fact that has led the Big 12 into an existential crisis.

"The decision was made 100% on our ability to optimize the likelihood of getting a team into the CFP," Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said.

But for all the talk of data points and schedule strengths, for all the hand-wringing about rematches and the difficulty of a round-robin schedule, what was true about the Big 12 the last few seasons remains true now.

There's no way to game the Playoff system, and as long as the Big 12 lacks an elite team, it likely will be just as disappointed in 2017 and 2018 as it was in 2014 and 2016.

Much of the talk here Monday was about the perception of the Big 12, a league whose teams regularly produce video-game numbers on offense, generally don't play very good defense and didn't have as many players drafted by the NFL this year as even the American Athletic Conference.

The popular counterargument in these parts is that the depth of quality (Kansas and Iowa State aside) makes it harder to go undefeated in the Big 12, that the round-robin schedule means you can't dodge any of the league's heavies, such as they are. And hey, if all else fails, just turn on the tape and look at how tough those offenses are to stop!

"As most of you remember, the ACC was, I believe, 2-13 in the BCS era and now they're on top of the heap," Bowlsby said. "So it gets a little tiresome because I know we play at a very high level and I know that top to bottom we're the best in the country in terms of balance."

Problem is, balance doesn't win championships. Brilliance does.

What Bowlsby said about the ACC is true. From about 2001 to 2011, as Florida State's dynasty crumbled and had to be rebuilt in the transition from Bobby Bowden to Jimbo Fisher, the league was largely a joke. Now the ACC is claiming status as the best league in college football, and the reason it can is because its top two programs are winning on national signing day, winning non-conference games and ultimately winning championships.

In every league — even the Southeastern Conference — there are only so many programs that have the capability to recruit at a high-enough level to compete for national titles. The Big Ten has Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. The ACC has Florida State, Clemson and Miami. When two or three of those programs are operating at maximum capacity, the strength of the rest of the league doesn't really matter. When those programs are down, the entire league goes to the bottom of the heap.

A year ago at media days, it appeared the Big 12 was about to embark on the drastic decision to expand to 12 or perhaps 14 schools. Instead, the big change is a conference title game at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium. And by matching up their top two teams rather than splitting into divisions, it will ensure their top Playoff candidate one more opportunity to get a quality win.

On one hand, it will put the Big 12 regular-season champion in double jeopardy. There will be no mismatches like the last couple of Alabama-Florida SEC title games. On the other hand, had the Big 12 gone to this format in 2014, it's possible the winner of the TCU-Baylor rematch would have gone into the Playoff instead of Ohio State, which wound up winning the national title.

"That's why we set up the championship game the way we set it up," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "You have to have your best two teams playing. Everybody says, 'Well, it's going to be tough.' Yeah, it is tough, but it doesn't matter. You're just trying to get to that point. Anything that gets you to the top is going to be tough. That's the way it is."

Though Patterson will believe until his last day on Earth that TCU belonged in the first Playoff, this is far simpler for the Big 12 than the last couple of years of histrionics would suggest.

In three years, the league's lone entrant into the Playoff was the 2015 Oklahoma team that lost once in the regular season — to Texas, which finished 5-7 — and won close games against Baylor and TCU, both of whom had lost their starting quarterbacks to injury. By no measure did that look like an elite Oklahoma team, a suspicion that was confirmed in the Playoff when Clemson ripped the Sooners apart 37-17.

Last season, Oklahoma was pretty much out of Playoff contention by Week 3 after losing to Houston and Ohio State, which beat the Sooners by three touchdowns in Norman. Even when Oklahoma rallied to go undefeated in the Big 12, there was nobody lobbying for them to get into the Playoff.

"It's the old adage: You can't win big games unless you schedule them," Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione said. "For us to demonstrate the strength of the league is not only to be in the big games but win a good share of them, and the rest will take care of itself. It's always been that way. Quite candidly, that's the way it should be."

In the end, adding a conference championship game for the Big 12 was probably the right move, but it's far from the magic bullet for a league that quite simply hasn't produced a national championship-level team at any point in the last three years.

The Playoff is still largely a subjective process, and it's not one that the consultants and number crunchers who advised the Big 12 to add a championship game can solve for them. Ultimately, the league formerly boasting One True Champion just needs One True Great Team.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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)

 

 

WEST CHESTER - FC Cincinnati, the second-year United Soccer League team, has a secret weapon it hopes will help it elevate to the country's top professional rung, Major League Soccer: Dayton.

FC Cincinnati has set attendance records for the USL and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, in which it already upset two MLS teams, the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire. An esteemed arena architect also has created plans for an eye-catching stadium.

But its weakest asset in the quest to join MLS is Cincinnati's market size, team general manager Jeff Berding recently told team season-ticket holders.

Major League Soccer, which has 22 teams and is considering adding others from among 12 suitors now under consideration, wants cities that can help grow the league's base of fans.

"This is the one where we struggle a little bit, and there's nothing we can do about it," Ber-ding said. "When you look at the TV markets, here's Cincinnati, about the 36th Nielsen market in the United States.... The 11 other cities in MLS expansion are all bigger media markets.

Related: FC Cincinnati Unveils Stadium Designs

"We try to make the point: Combine (us) with Dayton - because between West Chester and Springboro there's not a whole lot left - and that makes us the 21st market. Hey, if Cleveland can claim Akron/Canton, we can claim Dayton, right?"

There is some precedent in sports for such a credit: The National Football League gives the Bengals a credit for Dayton as a secondary television market.

Nielsen ranks Cincinnati the 36th largest television market, with 863,800 TV homes and 0.75 percent of the country's population. Dayton is 64th, with 466,040 and 0.4 percent of the nation.

Combined, they would be 1.32 million television homes, ranking 21st, behind Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif., and ahead of St. Louis. Cleveland-Akron-Canton is 19th, with nearly 1.5 million TV homes.

'A lot of loyalty to Cincinnati'

Phil Parker, president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, agrees with crediting Dayton as part of Cincinnati's market. A merger of Cincinnati's metropolitan area with Dayton's "adds almost another 50 percent of what that Cincinnati market is," he said.

The Cincinnati and Dayton areas have been growing toward each other in recent years, with Butler and Warren counties - particularly West Chester and Liberty townships - at the epicenter.

According to Journal-News research of U.S. Census data, Butler County has seen its population rocket from 426 people per square mile in 1960 to 808 last year. In Warren County, people per square mile ballooned from 163 in 1960 to 565 last year.

That compares to 1,986 per square mile in Hamilton County and 1,150.6 in Montgomery County last year.

A decision on a merged metropolitan area would be made by the federal government. Major League Soccer would decide whether to credit Dayton's television market to FC Cincinnati.

Parker said he thinks MLS should credit Dayton's TV market to FC Cincinnati.

"I talk to the Reds quite often, and they say that beyond Cincinnati, their next market is Dayton. And that's even with a minor-league baseball team (Reds' affiliate Dayton Dragons)," Parker said.

"We don't have significant professional sports up here in the Dayton area, so people do follow Cincinnati, there's a lot of loyalty to Cincinnati," he said.

Joe Hinson, president and CEO of the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, said he hasn't heard anything from the federal government about a merged metropolitan area.

"I've heard a lot of interest here locally, and regionally," he said.

In terms of metropolitan areas by population, a combined Cincinnati-Dayton cluster "is actually 18th largest market" by total population, as opposed to TV market size, Hinson said, "right behind San Diego."

Dramatic growth brings momentum

Parker called the growth along the I-75 corridor between Dayton and Cincinnati "dramatic." And, he added, "I think there's a lot of momentum. I think you're going to see not only commercial activity along the I-75 corridor, but the residential market looking at that next layer past the commercial side of both sides of I-75."

"I can't tell you how many examples that I know personally of a two-adult home, adults that live, work and play in our area, that one drives to Cincinnati to work, and one drives to the Dayton area, and they live somewhere between Centerville and Mason," Parker said.

Parker said a "super, mega MSA (metropolitan statistical area)" would "take us in a whole new realm of marketplace."

The biggest advantage of such a metroplex would be jobs, Parker said. A larger metropolitan area "could possibly be an attractor to more business, and business growth, because there's more population to draw from, from a workplace standpoint, and that actually creates more of a synergy, and more of a driver for people that might want to come to the Midwest."

On the other hand, in a merged metropolitan area, the formerly separate areas could have trouble working together to share resources, infrastructure and attention, Parker noted.

Build a brand up I-75 corridor

FC Cincinnati "has an opportunity to build their brand up the I-75 corridor," Hinson said. "If you look at the West Chester/Liberty area, I think we have more children - over 6,000 - that play soccer every year, more than anywhere in southwestern Ohio, in any particular area."

"I think it bodes well for our area, and FC Cincinnati, looking at this area as a key component in helping build its brand for Major League Soccer" he said. And having a popular professional soccer team in the area helps attract and keep young people and families in the region, he added.

Parker said he believes Daytonians would follow a Cincinnati-based MLS team, just as they do the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals.

There is momentum toward a merged metropolitan area.

"As we look at the growth of the area here, we really didn't see any activity between Cincinnati and Dayton until Union Centre Boulevard opened up 20 years ago," Hinson said. "Once that opened, it opened up 3,000 acres of commercial development, and it really opened up the key area of growth between I-275 and I-675."

That area of easy-to-develop greenspace between those two highways has opened up Liberty Twp. and other areas along what he calls "the growth corridor."

"This metropolitan area, geographically, it's very tied together, so you're right to pull in a much larger audience," said Hamilton Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson, who is helping developers of the proposed Spooky Nook at Champion Mill mega indoor facility, where FC Cincinnati may train. "I don't see it as being a small market at all."

Cincy, Dayton merged in 'real world'

Butler County Economic Development Director David Fehr said: "In my mind, really the area's already are kind of acting like that. We have a lot of our employers in Butler County choose this location because they can draw employees from the Dayton area and the Cincinnati area to work here in Butler County."

"Even if it's not designated as such," Fehr continued, "I think in the real world, it's kind of acting that way already."

A high-level soccer team can help the region's growth.

"This is a major-league sports town," Berding said during his stadium-unveiling presentation. "Having the Reds and the Bengals, it's part of what puts us on the map. It helps us out-kick our coverage, right? Punch above our weight class. There's a lot of fine communities, fine cities in this region. You think of Dayton, and you think of Toledo, and Lexington and Louisville. But the fact that this is a big-league sports town gives us prominence, nationally and internationally, beyond our relatively smaller size."

FC Cincinnati is competing against 11 other cities to join the league. But Berding says the club is mainly competing against teams in the eastern part of the country - Charlotte, Detroit, Nashville, Raleigh and Tampa.

In MLS, Berding said Cincinnati would join "innovation-economy cities" like Portland, Seattle, San Jose, Orlando and Atlanta in the MLS, whose games are broadcast in 170 countries.

Contact this reporter at 513-483-5233 or Mike.Rutledge@coxinc.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Digital First Media
All Rights Reserved

The Daily News of Los Angeles

 

Grab your see-through tote bag or pick up a pack of clear freezer bags if you're heading to a Los Angeles Chargers preseason game next month in Carson.

The first major security upgrade in 14 years at StubHub Center was just introduced to meet NFL safety standards: Backpacks, and any nontransparent containers, are now off-limits inside the 30,000-seat stadium.

The bag policy isn't the only new security measure, but it's the only one that will be publicly announced, said Chargers spokesman Josh Rupprecht.

"While we do not discuss specifics in regard to stadium security, as those conversations actually compromise security, our standards — and those of StubHub Center — will be consistent with NFL best practices," Rupprecht said in an email.

The new bag policy was introduced on June 17, whenstadium officials handed out free LA Galaxy-branded clear bags to the first 12,500 ticket holders for a home match against the Houston Dynamo.

Clear bags are also available for purchase at StubHub.

Permitted totes at all events in the Anschutz Entertainment Group-owned venue include:

• Any clear plastic or clear vinyl bag that is 12-by-6-by-12 inches or smaller

• One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags

• Small clutches the size of a hand that can fit inside a clear bag

Exceptions will be made only for "medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose," according to stadium officials.

Chargers key factor

The bag rule is routine at most concert and sporting venues, including the Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Los Angeles Rams play.

But the home of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy enjoyed relatively lax standards until officials began preparing for the Aug. 13 start of the Chargers first L.A. preseason in 57 years. The National Football League team decided to temporarily move to Carson earlier this year.

The Chargers played their inaugural AFL season in Los Angeles in 1960, then played in San Diego from 1961-2016, when a deal for a new stadium fell through.

The Chargers and Rams plan to move into a shared, roughly $3 billion home in Inglewood in 2020. That stadium, part of a massive entertainment and commercial development engineered by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, will play host to the 2022 Super Bowl.

"This was something we'd been talking about for a while re-evaluating our security measures," said AEG General Manager Katie Pandolfo, who runs the facility. "As we looked at NFL policies, we thought it would be good to keep things consistent. It also helps expedite getting guests inside."

Facility leaders will continue to meet with members of local public safety agencies to determine staffing for each event, Pandolfo said. Those include Los Angeles County Sheriff's and Fire department officials, city public service workers, and California Highway Patrol traffic officers.

"We take safety and security very seriously," Pandolfo said. "It's one of our top priorities. We don't speak of specific measures publicly. The NFL has a best-practices guide. We also work with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and evaluate what security measures are needed at every event."

An added benefit of the clear-bag rule, she said, is that entrance lines move faster because security officials aren't rummaging through backpacks with lots of zippered pockets.

Anticipate delays

Along with increased security, there will be added game-day free shuttle trips to the stadium.

Those will leave about every 10 minutes during games from the Harbor Gateway Transit Center at 731 W. 182nd St. and the Del Amo Station at 20220 Santa Fe Ave. Both transit centers have ample parking.

The shuttles, operated by Long Beach Transit, will begin running just before games and continue for about 45 minutes after they end.

But stadium officials said there shouldn't be any trouble finding parking (which costs $20 per vehicle) at StubHub Center, at 18400 S. Avalon Blvd.

Pandolfo said she expects Chargers games to go as smoothly as any other sold-out event at the stadium, which sits on a 125-acre complex next to Cal State Dominguez Hills.

"We have sold-out events all the time," Pandolfo said. "There are easy ways to get to the stadium with public transportation. But we're not parking any more folks than we do on a typical sold-out event."

While there is enough parking on site to handle sold-out crowds, Pandolfo said she is working with LA Metro and Long Beach Transit officials to deliver new public transit options, and to promote those more actively.

"With new fans, we have the opportunity to create new habits," she said. "Our first preseason game is in less than a month," Pandolfo said. "We're going to continue to tell people to come early for all of our sold-out events."

The Department of Homeland Security promotes security planning as a critical step to protect from homegrown attacks.

"Terrorist groups are urging recruits to adopt easy-to-use tools to target public places and events," according to a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin from the agency. "Specific attack tactics have included the use of vehicle ramming, small arms, straight-edged blades or knives, and homemade explosives, as well as other acts such as taking hostages.

"Anticipate delays and restrictions on items around populated places and at events. Make a mental note of emergency exits and security personnel."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Bangor Daily News

Bangor Daily News (Maine)

 

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine -- A nonprofit foundation is building a community recreation complex on West Main Street as part of its $10 million plan to revitalize Piscataquis County.

The Libra Foundation plans to transform a former auto dealership into an indoor recreation facility with an attached ice rink, Libra Foundation CEO Craig Denekas said. It bought the dealership for an undisclosed price and began renovations two weeks ago.

The news comes after the foundation in October kicked off efforts to transform Monson, about 15 miles northwest, into an artists colony.

The foundation's goal in both towns: To turn Piscataquis, which the U.S. Census Bureau rated as Maine's poorest county in 2015, into a center for tourism, recreation and agriculture.

"Ours has never been a pure Monson play," Denekas said Friday. "We are trying to improve the area from Milo to Greenville."

Libra has invested about $175 million in Maine in the last 27 years. Best known as the owner of Pineland Farms Creamery, a nationally known Maine cheesemaker, it was founded by the ex-wife of the co-inventor of the microchip and has $150 million in cash.

The Piscataquis project is its latest effort. Libra bought a dozen properties in Monson ― including a farm and former school ― since October for about $750,000. That work is scheduled to wrap up by early next year.

Libra picked Dover-Foxcroft as the site for the complex, and as an extension of its county revitalization efforts, so that officials at Dover-Foxcroft Academy can manage it, Libra Foundation president Jere Michelson said. The academy is adjacent to the dealership land.

The academy already oversees the town's youth programs and welcomed Libra's investment, said Foxcroft Academy head of school Arnold Shorey.

"It was a surprise, but a good surprise," Shorey said. "There are a lot of details to be worked out, but we're very excited to be working with them."

Libra hopes to finish the complex next year. The dealership building, which will feature artificial turf, will be complete early next year, with the ice rink coming online in late 2018.

Libra created the Maine Winter Sports Center and its two Nordic ski venues in Presque Isle and Fort Kent in 1999. The foundation supported that effort for 15 years, contributing nearly $34 million until concluding its financial relationship with the MWSC in 2014.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter



 
July 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.)

 

After 2 years of construction, Kempsville Rec Center is finally ready to open3 things to expect at the new Kempsville Rec Center in Virginia BeachVirginia Beach rec center membership will cost more starting in 2018

VIRGINIA BEACH

In its first week, the new Kempsville Recreation Center attracted thousands of new members to Virginia Beach's seven facilities .

From Kempsville's opening on June 29 through July 6, 5,665 people joined city rec centers. In the same week last summer, the city sold 3,714 memberships, parks and rec spokeswoman Julie Braley said.

The department attributes most of that sales growth to Kempsville's reopening.

"People were just so excited for that center to open," Braley said. "People told us they were waiting on the center to rejoin."

Memberships can be purchased online or at any center and can be used at any of them . Adults who live in Virginia Beach can pay $98 to join. For nonresidents, it costs $374 a year.

Rates will go up in January to $104 a year for adult residents of Virginia Beach and $396 for nonresidents.

Nancy Luong had been a member, but quit because the closest center was 30 minutes away.

She rejoined when Kempsville opened because it was closer .

"It's great," she said. "You can tell it's a good place."

The city demolished the former Kempsville center in 2015. It was the city's oldest facility and hosted activities like boxing, bowling, gymnastics and theater productions. Those were replaced with more modern amenities - basketball courts, a kid-friendly pool, lazy river and space for childcare.

Luong likes the indoor play areas for the kids. She said there are businesses in the area that offer similar amenities , but are more expensive.

Another bonus? She can drop off her 3-year-old daughter at childcare while she works out.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Independent Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Anderson Independent-Mail (South Carolina)

 

College coaches wield immense power over personnel. They can control the daily schedules of 100 players. They can control what they eat and how long they sleep. They can control what they wear and what they study. Young players acquiesce to the commands, because coaches also control playing time.

However, coaches cannot control everything. The immaculate facilities they construct cannot keep players confined forever. They cannot order chaperones for every late-night car ride. They cannot plant spies at keg parties.

Yet, NCAA regulations presume omniscience. Coaches are held responsible for what happens under their watch, even if they do not see it. They are expected to know the indiscretions of every coach they have hired and every player they have signed. The assumption is "there is no way in the world they could not know."

How could University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino not know one of his assistants coordinated prostitutes for prospective players? How did Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno not know one of his assistants sexually assaulted multiple children? How did University of North Carolina coaches not know their players were awarded passing grades for classes they never attended?

How can coaches, the certified control freaks, be completely oblivious to such egregious offenses? Considering how much their reputations directly affect their occupation, most coaches are tediously vigilant. Some have followed scandals and dismissals with defamation suits to protect their public image, regardless of what they knew, did or ignored.

The NCAA has a higher standard than the court of public opinion and a lower threshold for reasonable doubt than the actual judicial system. Whether a coach was aware of an infraction or not is irrelevant. Whether the NCAA can prove it or not is apparently immaterial.

"The NCAA has already said that I'm responsible for everything our guys do, whether I know about it or not," Syracuse University coach Dino Babers said. "It doesn't matter how I feel about that topic. Anytime someone goes rogue and does their own deal, you've got to say he's one of your guys. It's really not fair, but you've got to take the hit."

Heavy is the head that wears the ball cap. The neck wearing the whistle could easily land under the guillotine, even when he had no hand in the crime. Coaches are judged by their subordinates' transgressions and evaluated by how they respond to them.

"You can bring a player into your office every day and talk to him and he can say, 'Oh, I'm doing perfectly fine, Coach," Wake Forest University senior defensive lineman Wendell Dunn said. "Then, he can go out there and do whatever he wants. He's a man at the end of the day. I don't think it's fair to the coach, because we're all men, and we make our own decisions."

Dunn's charge of personal accountability is certainly valid, but there is some merit to such a stringent standard of culpability. The NCAA rarely enforces its rules or prosecutes infractions efficiently, but encouraging coaches to promote integrity and honor is vital. Instilling those values is a duty, or at the very least, an equitable transaction in exchange for what players give to a program.

The elevated expectations explain why Clemson University coach Dabo Swinney emphasizes character and chemistry when assessing potential staff members or recruits. He certainly has not assembled a roster full of choirboys and bookworms. Yet, through Swinney's tenure, Clemson has posted exceptional academic progress rates and has not been sanctioned for any major NCAA violations.

All while pursuing a national championship.

A culture of accountability can extend past playbook assignments. When it spreads from the practice field to the classroom, from the stadium to the frat house, a coach no longer needs to serve as detective, therapist, dorm warden or chaperone. Players police themselves.

"That's where leadership has to take place," Dunn said. "If I'm out at a party and I see one of my teammates and he's taking a drunk girl home and I know she's too drunk to consent to do anything, I should step in and tell him, 'No, you're not doing that.'

"We're out there. Coach isn't out there. Coach can't be out there with us. As leaders on any team, it's your job to be accountable and hold your teammates accountable."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Digital First Media
All Rights Reserved

The Daily News of Los Angeles

 

WOODLAND HILLS — The new city pool and recreation center had sat empty, months behind schedule, through the record-breaking heat of early summer.

But the Woodland Hills Recreation Center swimming pool opened with a cannonball splash on Saturday, just in time for another scorching onslaught.

"With record-high temperatures in the West Valley, I wanted to make sure that the pool was open as soon as possible so residents can take advantage of this exciting new addition to our community," Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents Woodland Hills, said in a statement.

"I wish we could open the rest of this great facility now, but due to some frustrating construction delays, we have to wait a little bit longer," Blumenfield said.

The old 2,400-square-foot Woodland Hills Rec Center and its cracked and worn-out swimming pool were slated to have been replaced at 5858 Shoup Ave. last year.

But then construction delays put off the $14 million recreation and aquatic center's opening as scores of swimming pools across Los Angeles opened June 10.

At noon Saturday, Blumenfield and city parks and engineering officials slated celebrated the first splash into its 6,800-square-foot pool. By tradition, a city official was tossed into the 90-by-75-foot drink. A 2,500-square-foot bathhouse also opened where peope can change clothes.

The 12,300-square-foot recreation center is supposed to open later this summer, Blumenfield said.

The new center, composed of a new gym and multipur

pose rooms, will be ultra green with a LEED Gold certification. That means solar tubes to bring natural light into the gym. And 3,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof, providing more than a third of the facility's power.

Outside, residents should be able to enjoy landscaped courtyards, an amphitheater and outdoor classroom, plus picnic areas and a 5,000-square-foot playground for the kids.

The new Woodland Hills Recreation Center, originally expected to cost $11 million, was financed through $10.9 million in Quimby funds paid by developers, and $3 million from a Proposition K park bond.

It was designed by BOE Architectural Division and Gruen Associates and built by Royal Construction Corps. City officials did not explain the reason for construction delays.

Blumenfield said he would make sure the swimming pool stayed open beyond its normal fall closing date to make up for time lost because of delays.

"The West Valley will have a brand-new park that will be one of the very best in the city," Blumenfield said. "The residents in this area deserve nothing less."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

July 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 Charleston Newspapers

Charleston Gazette-Mail

 

When it comes to athletic facilities, those in the Big 12 don't mind spending a buck or two. Or millions of bucks or two.

Look around.

Oklahoma scaled down a $370 million project to a mere $160 million upgrade to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kansas State's Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium has had about $200 million in renovations.

Iowa States Jack Trice Stadium had a $60 million facelift in 2015. TCUs Amon G. Carter Stadium had a $164 million re-do in 2012. Texas is always spending including updating its Godzillatron and sporting the fancy lockers of which youve probably heard. And Texas Tech has new FieldTurf and has poured more than $150 million into Jones AT&T Stadium over the past two decades.

Of course, WVU is also spending. And athletic director Shane Lyons is using this summer to determine just how.

"Now that the new fiscal year has started, we're focusing on the upcoming years," he said this week. "We're studying whats potentially next from a facility standpoint. We're looking at the finances and how things can happen.

"Thats always ongoing. We need to have the right plan in place. We feel good about finishing products on the [Milan Puskar] football stadium. The west side and video board are coming along as projected. We just have to keep moving forward and not get complacent."

The Mountaineers already have a new team meeting room and have spruced up the stadiums east side. Now the west side is being worked on and a $4 million video screen is going up.

Also, West Virginias Coliseum is currently housing construction workers.

"This summer we've been working on the [American Disability Act] requirements," Lyons said. "Thats part of Phase Two [of the 100-plus-million-dollar department-wide facility renovation initiative], as well as adding a new club area or potential suites. Thats been put on hold though."

Throughout the years the 14,000-seat Coliseum has lost seating capacity and that will again be the case in 2017.

"We've lost a few seats in the upper bowl in order to build out the [ADA] platforms," Lyons said. "We had some, but we needed additional ones for wheelchair and handicap access. That will be finished in the next week or two."

Fans heading to the Coliseum will, however, notice a new feature.

"We're still working on electronic technology to honor our Hall of Fame members and All-Americans," he said. "Touch-screen TVs and all that. Hopefully it will be finished in the early fall."

What wont be finished is a proposed work center downstairs for visiting and local media.

"That was initially part of adding suites and/or a club area," Lyons said. "With so much overrun with the concourse area work we've been slowed from a funding standpoint. That's what we're continuing to look at: the next phase at the Coliseum.

"The dominos have to fall right," he continued. "Currently that area is the weight room. In order to put a club or suites in there, the weight room has to be moved out. But I need somewhere for that. So were trying to plan strategically."

Ultimately, the plan is to move the media to the opposite side and then have the work room downstairs and add more premium seat loge boxes.

If WVU ever wishes to be an NCAA tournament host, such amenities are a necessity. Still, though, Morgantown will have trouble landing a round.

"It's difficult in basketball because you need enough hotel rooms," Lyons said. "Obviously, Morgantown is growing. You have more hotels coming on line. Its just something we can continue to look at."

Indeed, Morgantown is bursting with growth. Ditto Big 12 schools.

And WVUs athletic department is doing its best to keep up.

Contact Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827 or mitchvingle@wvgazettemail.com 

Follow him on Twitter @MitchVingle.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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)

 

GREENSBORO — Some parents still have significant questions and concerns about the new athletics participation fee enacted by Guilford County Schools.

The $45 fee is a requirement for each student who intends to participate in one or more sports at one of the county's 38 middle schools or high schools during the 2017-18 school year. The fee is the same regardless of the number of sports in which the student participates.

"You don't charge a student to join the orchestra. You don't charge a student to join the marching band," said Anwar Alston, whose son Assad plays football at Page. "It's just unfair taxation."

On its website, GCS explains the need for the fee by saying: "Unfortunately, after eight years of budget cuts, we are forced to make difficult decisions on how to fund our core academic standards while maintaining the additional services that enhance a student's learning experience." The district says equipment, transportation, insurance and coaching supplements cost GCS an additional $609 per student-athlete each year, and "the expenses that are generated through other activities are lower than those associated with athletics."

Requests for comments from Superintendent Sharon Contreras on the new policy were declined, and questions were referred to Leigh Hebbard, athletics director for GCS.

In recent years, a number of school districts across the country have begun charging students to participate in athletics. Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, for example, has required an athletics participation fee of $100 at the high school level and $50 at the middle school level per season since the 2010-11 school year.

"Forty-five dollars for the year — $90 in my case — that's a bargain. I'm fine with the cost," Ron Lenard, father of Northern Guilford football players Jakob and Will, said.

Lenard initially said he wasn't satisfied with communication from GCS but felt better about it after a conversation Wednesday with Alan Duncan, chairman of the Guilford County school board.

"He told me that the moneys from the athletics fees were going to keep (GCS) from having to cut and/or reduce the current athletics budget," Lenard said. "... I told him that's not the way it's worded in the online information sheet, and he agreed that it could have been worded better."

Guilford County Schools' so-called "pay-to-play" initiative was proposed in April by Contreras as part of the 2017-18 budget that was recently approved by Guilford County Commissioners. The fee is projected to raise $400,000 during the school year toward a proposed district operating budget of $637 million, or about 0.06 percent. That $400,000 is equivalent to the salaries of a little more than eight teachers (at an average salary of $48,788 for the 2016-17 school year) or 19 teaching assistants (average salary of $20,985).

"I have no problem with paying to play, as long as that money gets back to the sports programs," said Terry Herndon, whose daughters Alisha and Emmi play softball for Southwest Guilford. "Right now, many of the sports programs out there are funded hugely by the booster clubs."

Waiver opportunities, based primarily on whether a student is eligible for free or reduced lunch, are available.

"Our intent is to not deny anybody the opportunity to play if they genuinely can't afford to pay the fee," said Hebbard, athletics director for GCS. "For some families, even $45 is a lot of money."

Herndon, who has coached travel softball for seven years, is concerned about those families.

"There are going to be some bubble kids out there who get left out of playing because there are some parents out there for whom the money would be too much to pay, but they don't qualify for free lunch," he said.

Alston said his family will be impacted.

"We just can't afford another $45 in addition to physicals, equipment... it's just unfair," he said. "And how do we know the money will be well used?"

GCS has a form for financial hardship waiver appeals on its website. Among the factors that would be considered, according to the form, are "unforeseen/excessive family medical expenses," "child support/alimony," "recent loss of home and/or job."

"If there's a kid that genuinely can't afford it for whatever reason," Hebbard said, "we want to make sure that there's a way for them to participate. That's important, but it's complicated."

Lenard feels the waiver process may be too much for GCS athletics directors.

"They're putting a lot of weight on overworked ADs to police this and be the fall guys," he said.

In Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, athletics director Sue Doran said, waivers are granted to about 37 percent of high school athletes and 47 percent of middle school athletes. Charlotte Mecklenburg generates about $850,000 per year from the fee, she said.

The fee "hasn't impacted our participation," Doran said, "and the waiver has a lot to do with that."

GCS student-athletes have until the first contest in their sport, which won't be before Aug. 14, to pay the fee or be approved for a waiver. Students who have not paid the fee or been granted a waiver will not be allowed to compete. A student can rejoin a team once the fee has been paid or a waiver is approved.

Herndon hopes the fee won't lessen the number of GCS teams and students competing.

"Sports teach other things," he said. "... It teaches them life lessons. It's about winning and losing and coming together as a team, picking somebody up when they're down. It just teaches so much."

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

 
July 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 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

The hits just seem to keep on comin' from UNM Athletics.

Let's run down the top of the charts:

  • athletics hasn't made its budget in eight of the past 10 years and owes the university more than $4 million;
  • the state Attorney General's Office and the state Auditor's Office are conducting separate investigations into Lobo athletics, both instigated by a 2015 Lobo boosters' golf junket to Scotland paid for in part with public money;
  • athletics director Paul Krebs suddenly retires in May with two years left on his contract;
  • UNM finds Athletics hasn't undergone a full audit in at least six years and hasn't had a chief financial officer for more than a year;
  • and now, officials reveal about $432,000 in payments for 24 Pit suites hadn't been collected, going as far back as the 2010-11 basketball season, and again the AG is investigating.

Pit suite rental money doesn't go straight to the university. Instead, it takes a circuitous route through the Lobo Club, the fundraising arm of Lobo athletics, which falls under the umbrella of the nonprofit UNM Foundation. Both insist they are "independent" of the university and claim they are not subject to the open records laws that apply to state entities.

That clubby secrecy makes it nearly impossible to track where money comes from or how it is spent, smelling a lot like money laundering and begging the question of how a private nonprofit can rent out space in a public university's sports arena, collect the rent and then pass it along to UNM.

When suite payments do get to UNM, they are used to pay off the $60 million renovation of the arena undertaken in 2009-2010. But only around half the suites were rented out for the 2016-17 basketball season, with the advertised price ranging from $40,000 to $50,000.

Meanwhile, many suite holders say they were unaware they had past-due balances, again putting the accountability ball in the Lobo Club and UNM Foundation court.

Interim UNM President Chaouki Abdallah has named longtime athletics administrator Janice Ruggiero acting AD and Chris Vallejos, associate vice president for institutional support services, to temporarily oversee Athletics' finances. Both have pledged to cooperate with the state investigation and audit and ensure the department is run in a fiscally sound manner. But that's long after the buzzer, and at this point the public needs more than a team pep talk.

Hopefully, a full accounting of the suites fiasco will be forthcoming - and made public. The first step occurred this week when UNM Athletics released a list of the outstanding balances on the Pit suites. It turns out one of the biggest deadbeats is UNM itself - the Regents owed $30,000. They said they were never invoiced.

UNM Athletics, which operates on an annual budget of roughly $33 million, is arguably the most public face of the state's flagship university. As such, it deserves critical oversight and transparency, almost impossible with the web that has some of the finances of UNM shrouded in the secrecy of nonprofit and private enterprises.

It is one thing to claim nonprofit status — and the privacy that comes with that - when your only activity is to raise funds. But UNM and Lobo Club relationship clearly goes beyond that - from the Lobo Club selling tickets and suites to requiring some ticket buyers to donate to that club to confusion over who's working for the Lobo Club and who's working for UNM. Now a new lawsuit targets the company Learfield Communications LLC and its subsidiary Lobo Sports Properties (who own Athletics' licensing rights) that refuses to make public their dealings on behalf of UNM. Since Dreamstyle naming rights for UNM's football stadium and basketball arena is with the private company and not UNM, the only way the Journal was able to get the contract was because Dreamstyle owner Larry Chavez agrees with the importance of transparency and released it.

Based on results of the state investigations and audit, UNM should rewrite Athletic's financial playbook. And part of that should be restructuring its marketing and fundraising arms so UNM finances can no longer be shrouded in secrecy.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

Day-night doubleheaders. Cross-country travel. Rain delays and extra innings.

A baseball schedule can play havoc with sleep, but some major league teams are trying to combat the grind of the long season by giving their players a place to catch some shut-eye at the ballpark, away from their noisier teammates or their rambunctious kids. Sometimes called "recovery rooms," the areas near the clubhouse are just quiet, dark rooms with beds, but players and team officials hope they can reduce the fatigue caused by the long and often irregular hours of the season.

"Everybody in professional sports -- especially baseball, with the travel requirements of the sport -- feels like sleep is something that can be a competitive advantage," Boston Red Sox athletic trainer Brad Pearson said. "We think we can win the sleep game."

Once a place for players to change out of their uniforms and maybe grab a cigarette after the game, baseball clubhouses are now a second home where workers often spend more time than where they actually live. Teams have tried to make the long days at the ballpark pass more comfortably by with amenities like ping pong tables (Royals), a barber's chair (Marlins) or cryotherapy and float pods (Cubs).

It's not just about killing time: Comfortable, more alert players can be more productive, and teams are hoping the relatively small amount of money invested in these benefits could result in an extra base hit or shoestring catch on the field.

From ABCould Clemson Get a Boost from New Nap Room?

"They do have such a long season, and it's partly about that endurance," said Bedgear executive Shana Rochleau, whose company sponsors the Red Sox nap room and provided the sheets, blankets, pillows and mattresses. "To stay at a peak level for all that time is really critical."

Pearson said he spoke to an expert at Harvard about how to help the players with their sleep, explaining how they would drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages to stay up for night games, and then have trouble going to sleep afterward and be groggy the next day.

Then the cycle repeated.

"What he told us is that players are really doing everything the opposite of what you would recommend," Pearson said. "The cumulative effect really begins to affect the player, where you can't get your head above water. You get into a deficit that you're probably not ever going to make up for."

With no way to change the schedule or the cross-country travel, the Red Sox decided to try letting the players sleep it off. (San Diego and Atlanta have also built "recovery rooms" into their clubhouse complexes, though the Padres have also been known to take a snooze in the batter's box.)

Braves manager Brian Snitker said he used to have to sleep in the umpire's room or the training table at Turner Field. Atlanta's new stadium that opened this year has two "quiet rooms" -- one with recliners, and one with two sets of bunk beds.

"It's the best sleep I have," said Snitker, who plans to stay there on Tuesday night before the Wednesday afternoon game. "I've got a pillow and blanket I keep in my office. It's perfect, like being at Hampton Suites."

The Red Sox nap room was squeezed into the century-old Fenway Park in a former storage closet off the workout room, up a flight of stairs from the home clubhouse. The team emptied it -- almost -- of boxes and added some insulation on the walls.

About 12 feet, square -- though nothing at Fenway is really square -- there are two full-sized, utilitarian bunk beds tucked under the air ducts running across the ceiling. Clubhouse workers are responsible for changing the sheets.

"Just a relaxing dark room, just to kind of relax and catch a blow, so to speak," Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "It's nice. It's comfortable. It's small."

Bedgear helped players choose their pillows and decide which mattress was best for their sleep style. A "roster" of pillows and mattresses is in the room, so players can keep track of their ideal equipment.

Rochleau said the Long Island company worked first with the nearby New York Islanders and then the Mets. They have also collaborated with the Denver Broncos and the Dallas Mavericks, as well as the Padres and Red Sox.

The company found that football players, with their bulkier body frames and big shoulders, had different needs than the taller basketball players. Hockey players, with their powerful lower bodies, tended to need leg pillows so they could sleep on their sides, she said.

"You might have a habit that you don't even recognize," Rochleau said.

Pearson said players often take advantage of the room if they need to come in early for treatment and then have time to kill before a night game. Players with small children at home also take advantage of the quiet.

"When we're coming off a West Coast trip, you can usually bet that it gets more use," Pearson said.

Red Sox infielder Deven Marrero said the worst part is trying to come down after the adrenaline of a game.

"It takes a while for it to wear off," he said. "We just go home, we try to relax and just lay down and just try to close our eyes, man, because you need rest in this game. It's a long season."

------

AP Sports Writers Jay Cohen, Joe Kay, Larry Lage, Charles Odum, Andrew Seligman, Bernie Wilson and Steven Wine contributed to this story.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Tribune Review Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Tribune-Review (Greensburg, PA)

 

Greensburg Council next month will decide whether to borrow $1.2 million to improve its recreation facilities, including a major overhaul of Veterans' Memorial Pool at Lynch Field.

As part of the same deal, the city could refinance its existing debt, saving an estimated $120,000 and bringing the total to $8.5 million.

Few substantial improvements have been made at the 56-year-old swimming pool since it underwent a $1 million renovation in 1993. The pumps, boiler, fittings and filters needed to keep it running have held up well for the past 24 years but won't be viable much longer, said Trudy Ivory of the city recreation department.

"Some are in pretty good shape, and some will definitely need to be replaced," she said. "It's had a pretty good life expectancy."

Ivory wants to renovate the bathhouse and concrete deck, and add fountains and other "interactive water features" for children.

If council votes to approve borrowing the money, work will begin as soon as the pool closes in August, she said.

The Greensburg YMCA operates the pool, but its contract expires at the end of the year. That contract, in place since 2014, probably will not be renewed, Ivory said.

The city will again operate the pool, she said.

"The council and the mayor have agreed that the pool is a very worthwhile community attraction, and we have to make sure it goes on for several more years," Ivory said.

Any borrowed money left after the pool renovation likely would be invested in the city-owned Mt. Odin Golf Course, city Administrator Sue Trout said.

"We are leaning toward renovating the concession and food area and the pro shop, and possibly installing outdoor seating," Trout said.

Greensburg expects to pay off existing debt by 2032, regardless of whether the new $1.2 million bond is approved, Trout said.

Council borrowed $3 million last year to pay for facilities improvements, including repairs to the Robert A. Bell Parking Garage costing almost $700,000.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646 or jtierney@tribweb.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The New York Post

 

It's described as an "evaluation" period, three five-day stretches in July when college coaches watch high school basketball prospects across the country.

But it could be defined very differently, like a tense game of dominoes.

Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels touched on the subject before the start of the first period on Wednesday, tweeting, "Little known fact during the live periods: More coaches hope their recruits play bad in front of other coaches, than well."

The Post spoke to several college coaches, and the consensus was in agreement with Daniels. They don't necessarily want to see their targets struggle, but they are rooting for them not to blow up, either. It's almost like a fan who doesn't mind seeing his or her team tank.

"Not that I want them to stink the court up, but I don't want them to get too much attention," one mid-major head coach said.

Take the two local Big East schools, St. John's and Seton Hall, for instance. Both programs have been recruiting five-star recruits for quite some time, players such as Moses Brown and Nassir Little in the case of St. John's, Jahvon Quinerly and Louis King for Seton Hall. Kentucky and Duke are interested in these prospects. The hope is those offers don't come.

A high-major head coach believes it is more of an issue in the spring, before rising seniors cut down their college lists. The point of July for this coach is make sure his top targets see him. If a school hasn't offered at this point, the player is clearly a backup option, the coach said. And, yet, that doesn't always matter.

"I've seen countless cases of a mid-major or a lower high-major school putting in hours and hours and recruiting a kid for a year, for the kid to have a couple big games and all the sudden the entire country wants him," Daniels said. "It's natural for coaches to think this way, when they are tracking someone they've spent a lot of time on and really want.

"I'd say it happens across the board."

It's even trickier for mid- and low-major programs. One MAAC assistant coach said his program has identified 25-30 kids entering July, understanding a big tournament, or even an impressive performance, can nullify a strong relationship. There are more levels a kid can get to, compared to someone already being recruited at the high-major level.

"We just had that happen last night," the coach said. "A kid we're recruiting hits about six 3-pointers in a game, and you're like, 'OK, I hope he starts missing.' You don't want other coaches to start scrolling through the coach's package to see who he is."

The problem, the coach said, is so few players skip the spring and summer live recruiting periods, so it has created far fewer sleepers. Recruiting is covered more than at any time. Everyone knows about which players are getting recruited by whom. Some coaches will recruit players merely by the list of offers they have.

"There are no secrets anymore," he said.

zbraziller@nypost.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

   
July 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 Independent Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Anderson Independent-Mail (South Carolina)

 

Clemson University football fans must shorten their halftime tailgate a bit this fall. That commercial-restroom break must be expedited.

The NCAA has directed officials to adhere to timing guidelines more attentively. The halftime intermission must run closer to the allotted 20 minutes. Those pesky, seemingly incessant television timeouts will not run longer than scheduled.

Unfortunately, the rules committee could not change the television contracts to remove some of those momentum-draining commercial breaks. The television crew member in the red baseball cap will still step onto the field repeatedly to signal the interruption.

But the rules committee has given the control switch to the referee in the white cap.

"In the past, you would see the person in the red hat who would really control the length of media time-outs," Atlantic Coast Conference coordinator of football officiating Dave Hennigan said. "Now this year, when he gets 30 seconds from his producer, he's going to leave the field. The officials will take over the timing from that point on."

The same constraining principle will apply to halftime.

"In the past, the half would end, the referee would go to the end zone where the officials' locker room is. He would wait for the teams to leave the field, usually wait for the coach who's getting interviewed to at least get by him, and then he would start the 20-minute halftime clock," Hennigan said. "There will be no more waiting for the teams to leave the field. There won't be any waiting for coaches to do interviews. He is going to start the clock immediately, right from where the half ends on the field.

"The rule book provides that the halftime is 20 minutes, and the rules committee wants us to get as close to that 20 minutes as possible."

The change may seem subtle and simple, but such initiatives will encourage the flow of the game and sustain the entertainment value that makes college football so popular and profitable.

"Not only in football but in a lot of sports, there's been talk lately about how long games go," Hennigan said. "Specifically, with college football, the rules committee looked at several rule changes in an attempt to address this- such things as not stopping the clock after a first down, starting the clock after the ball is spotted after an incomplete pass and some other things."

Yet, rather than change the rules, the committee has ordered administrators and officials to manage the flow of the game more effectively.

"Officials need to be consistent in keeping the game moving," Southeastern Conference coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said. "Halftime, in and out of media timeouts, after scores, we'll keep the game moving. That's the impetus we've gotten from the Rules Committee, and that's the expectation we have of our officials."

Hennigan explained two additional rule changes during ACC Kickoff media event. First, players will not be allowed to hurdle over the line of scrimmage to block a kick.

Secondly, the definition of a horse collar was expanded to include the collar, the inside collar and the nameplate of a ball-carrier's jersey. If a player pulls a runner to the ground by his collar or nameplate, he will be penalized 15 yards.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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)

 

Former Ohio State football star Chris Spielman has sued the university over a marketing program.

COLUMBUS - One of Ohio State's most famous football stars sued the university Friday over a marketing program he says used athletes' images without permission and robbed them of compensation.

Linebacker Chris Spielman filed the antitrust lawsuit in federal court in Columbus on behalf of current and former Ohio State football players.

The complaint targets Ohio State marketing programs and contracts that promote the university using likenesses of athletes, including a Honda-sponsored program of 64 banners hung around Ohio Stadium featuring photos of former players.

In addition to Spielman, some of the other Ohio State greats whose pictures appear on those banners include running back Archie Griffin, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1974 and 1975; lineman Jim Stillwagon, who played on the 1968 national championship team; and Mike Doss, a safety who played on the 2002 national championship team.

All are among the athletes Spielman is suing on behalf of, said Brian Duncan, a Columbus attorney who represents Spielman.

The lawsuit names Ohio State and talent management giant IMG as defendants and names Honda and Nike as co-conspirators. Nike is targeted for its "Legends of the Scarlet and Gray" vintage jersey licensing program and other apparel contracts with Ohio State.

The lawsuit accuses the university and the companies of "unjust and monopolistic behaviors" and asks for compensation above $75,000, as is typical in such complaints, while noting Ohio State makes millions in revenue from merchandising programs involving ex-athletes.

"Former OSU student-athletes do not share in these revenues even though they have never given informed consent to the widespread and continued commercial exploitation of their images," the lawsuit said.

An Ohio State spokesman said he was looking into the matter.

Messages seeking comment were left with New York-based IMG, Tokyo -based Honda Motor Co. and Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike Inc.

Spielman sued in his own right and on behalf of a newly formed company, Profectus Group Inc., created by ex-Ohio State wrestling standout Mike DiSbato, representing former college athletes. Griffin is also affiliated with the company, Duncan said.

The filing comes after eight months of unsuccessful negotiations with the university, Duncan said.

Spielman told The Associated Press in a statement he will donate any money obtained through the lawsuit directly to the university's athletic department.

"My concern is about the exploitation of all former players across this nation who do not have the platform to stand up for themselves while universities and corporations benefit financially by selling their name and likenesses without their individual consent," Spiel-man said.

Griffin told the AP he fully supports the rights of former athletes to receive compensation from corporations and universities that benefit from the unauthorized use of players' names and likenesses.

"There is no greater supporter of collegiate athletics than me, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities provided to me as a former student athlete," Griffin said in a statement. "However, the recent landscape of collegiate athletics has changed, and these institutions and corporations have a duty to treat all former athletes fairly."

Griffin plans to donate his proceeds to a nonprofit affiliated with the Profectus Group, which will serve as a players assistance fund for ex-Ohio State athletes in need.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Times-World, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Roanoke Times (Virginia)

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The ACC has plenty to brag about, but it has much to be embarrassed about as well.

The ACC is coming off a 2016-17 school year that was highlighted by Clemson winning the College Football Playoff national championship; Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy; and North Carolina winning the NCAA men 's basketball championship.

"We're enjoying unprecedented success," ACC commissioner John Swofford said Thursday in a news conference at the league's football media days at a Charlotte hotel. "The past year certainly is one of the league's most successful years and possibly the most successful year that our league has ever had."

But the league's reputation has suffered some hits in the past year for sagas ranging from the "WakeyLeaks" football scandal to the escorts that were hired for Louisville men's basketball recruits to the ongoing investigation into academic fraud at North Carolina.

"It's a world of more and more pressure to win," Swofford said when asked about those incidents. "There are human beings that are in all of these roles and unfortunately, us human beings make mistakes sometimes. Sometimes they're little ones. Sometimes they're big ones. It'd be nice not to have any of those."

How does the league try to pursue success without suffering such damage to its image?

"The first thing you do is consistently and constantly talk about the importance of balance of academics, athletics and integrity," Swofford said. "Those are the foundation blocks of this league. They have been for many, many years. That hasn't changed. And when any of us fall short in regard to that, then it's a disappointment without question."

In December, the ACC fined Louisville and Virginia Tech $25,000 apiece for their roles in "WakeyLeaks." An investigation revealed those two schools and Army received football game plan information from then-Wake Forest radio analyst Tommy Elrod. Virginia Tech got the information in 2014, Louisville in 2016 and Army in both years. Louisville suspended offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway for its bowl game last season for receiving the information. Georgia fined Hokies-turned-Bulldogs assistant Shane Beamer for receiving the information while he was at Virginia Tech.

Last month, the NCAA put the Louisville men's basketball program on probation over the hiring of escorts to hold sex parties and strip for some Louisville players and recruits from 2010-14. Louisville (which joined the ACC in the summer of 2014) will lose some scholarships and will have to vacate some wins. Coach Rick Pitino was suspended for five games, although he has said he did not know what his then-director of basketball operations Andre McGee was up to.

The NCAA has been investigating North Carolina for years about irregular independent-study courses. The NCAA has charged UNC with lack of institutional control and other offenses.

Swofford said after his news conference Thursday that the ACC is not "going backwards" in its commitment to ethical behavior.

"You have individuals that get off track and make decisions you wish they hadn't made. It's not the whole league," Swofford said. "It's a particular institution that has a particular problem, and usually it's a particular individual."

How does Swofford make sure the message trickles down to every individual at every ACC school that although winning is important, member schools should not act unethically to try to beat each other, as in the case of "WakeyLeaks," or bring in strippers for recruits, as Louisville did?

"It's got to be a consistent message that never goes away, even when there's not a problem," Swofford said. "You have to rely on the institutions to get the message throughout their programs. Most of the time, our institutions have been very successful with that. Every now and then, you have situations you don't want to have - human beings stepping off the right track."

Swofford said that when a school has a problem, it eventually addresses its fellow ACC members to explain what happened and what is being done to correct it.

"That's really based on learning something from it and other schools learning how to avoid it," Swofford said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

Scott Frantz has known he is gay since the fifth grade and has been fully accepting of his own sexuality since his junior year in high school. But the 6-foot-5, 293-pound offensive lineman kept that fact hidden through his recruitment process for fear that it would scare teams away. Ranked by 247 Sports as the eighth-best high school prospect in the state of Kansas, Frantz headed to Kansas State in 2015. But he still didn't feel comfortable revealing his homosexuality to his teammates.

That changed after he redshirted in 2015. As a team-building exercise, Wildcats coach Bill Snyder brought in a motivational speaker who implored the players to reveal something about themselves that they previously had kept under wraps. So Frantz did, and everything was fine.

"I came out to my teammates, and I've never felt so loved and so accepted ever in my life than when I did that," Frantz told ESPN's Holly Rowe on Wednesday. "And ever since then, it's been great. I've grown so much closer to my teammates since. So it's been an amazing experience."

Frantz was understandably nervous, however.

"So the very first time I said those words were in front of, you know, 110, 120 football guys," Frantz told Rowe. "So you can imagine how scared I was, how nervous I was.... This could go either really bad or could go really good. And thankfully my teammates embraced me with open arms, and it was great."

According to ESPN, Frantz will be one of only two openly gay players at college football's top level in 2017. In February, incoming Arizona freshman My-King Johnson revealed his homosexuality to the Arizona Daily Star, saying he made that fact known to the Wildcats' coaches during his recruitment.

Frantz had a standout 2016 as a redshirt freshman, starting all 13 games for Kansas State and helping hold Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the eventual No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, to just one tackle in the Wildcats' 33-28 Texas Bowl victory.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Get those cartoonish contracts while you can, because the clock is ticking.

While even run-of-the-mill NBA free agents figure out how to spend their new largesse -- $23 million for J.J. Redick, really? -- and the NFL divvies up $7.8 billion among its 32 teams, it's nothing but bad news for the TV partners that make those ridiculous numbers possible. The cord cutting is accelerating, not slowing, and live TV viewing is dropping.

Which means that the bubble beneath the massive player contracts is bound to pop. It might even explode.

"I do see a significant correction coming," Michael Leeds, a sports economist who chairs the economics department at Temple, said Thursday.

"With the cord cutting and all of the chaos at ESPN, I think that there's every reason to believe that we're seeing a major change, a sea change," Leeds said. "And the (leagues)... could be in for major changes the next time things come around."

For decades, ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and Turner Sports have been happy to write increasingly larger checks for sports broadcast rights. With good reason.

Sports is best watched live, making it the one type of programming viewers are less likely to watch on a DVR. Fans would rather grit their teeth and sit through yet more inane ads for credit cards or insurance than risk a friend unwittingly spoiling the outcome of the game or a spectacular play.

It also gave the networks solid programming to fill their schedules. Put the Knicks-Pistons on in March, when both teams are out of playoff contention, and it's still likely be a better draw than an infomercial or a rerun. Lost in the hysteria over the sagging NFL ratings early last season was that the games still produced numbers that would be a bonanza for any other offering.

This wasn't lost on the various sports leagues and organizing bodies, who either exacted a premium for exclusive renewal or pitted the networks against each other to jack up the rights fees. The NFL makes more than $7billion each year from its deals with CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV. The NCAA will get more than $850million for next year's March Madness and will average more than $1billion a year within the decade.

The NBA just finished the first year of its massive new TV contract, which will pay the league $24billion through 2025. That's more than $2.6 billion a year.

That influx of cash has a trickledown effect. Which is how Redick ends up with a $23million contract for one year and often-injured Blake Griffin gets $173million over five years.

It's also how the small-market Green Bay Packers can be competitive. According to the financials released Wednesday by the Packers, the only publicly owned team in the NFL, each team got $244million from revenue sharing last year, a 10% increase from the previous year.

But these deals were negotiated long before the bottom began dropping out on traditional TV viewing habits, cable TV in particular. As streaming becomes more popular -- and the options to do so easier -- people are deciding there's no reason to pay $150 a month for dozens of channels they don't use.

In the first quarter of this year alone, pay-TV providers lost 762,000 subscribers, according to a report from MoffettNathanson's Craig Moffett.

Lose that kind of revenue, and you're eventually going to have to rein in your spending.

"This era in which you had huge rights fees being paid for the NFL, for the NBA, for the NCAA tournament... that's going to be, to a great extent, a thing of the past," Leeds said.

There will be new revenue streams through digital and subscriptions, of course. But it won't match the lottery-like jackpots the networks have been throwing around.

"I think there's going to be a pause in growth," said Frank Hawkins, a co-founder of Scalar Media, a New York-based consulting firm that specializes in television, new media and sports.

The good news for the leagues -- and players -- is that they still have a few more years before the gravy train comes to a halt. The NFL's deals run through the 2022 season. The NBA's contracts go until 2025. Fox has rights to the next three World Cups. The only thing more enduring than the Olympic flame is NBC's hold on the Games.

But every boom is followed by a bust. And it's coming.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

July 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 Collier County Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Naples Daily News (Florida)

 

As football players were shuttled on and off the field at Wednesday's 7-on-7 passing league at South Fort Myers High School, there was no shortage of coaches barking at their players to hydrate.

"Take water," a Cape Coral High assistant coach screamed as his players jogged to the water tanker. "Drink it, pour it on your head and down your back."

Each summer during conditioning workouts and on into fall training camp, Lee and Collier County coaches remain vigilant in educating their players about the need for hydration and a healthy diet as temperatures reach the high 90s.

The issue returned to the forefront over the last two weeks when a 16-year-old Riverdale High football player collapsed during a June 29 workout as a result of heat stroke. Zachary Polsenberg fell into a coma as his body temperature reached 107 degrees for at least an hour and died after he was taken off life support Monday.

A Lee County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said investigators are looking into Polsenberg's death.

While the Southwest Florida community mourns, coaches' sense of safety have been heightened.

Related: Heat Stroke Blamed in HS Football Player's Death

Cypress Lake High coach Richie Rode hasn't changed the way his program operates during summer workouts. However, he makes sure six to eight coaches are present for sessions and are on the lookout for early signs of dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

"It's just about being aware," said Rode, who is in his second year at Cypress following a stint at Fort Myers High as an assistant. "We're constantly talking about hydrating. We're constantly talking about eating properly. We try and help them out as much as possible. We have water at everything we do. Even when we're inside."

The Florida High School Athletic Association regulates summer workouts for football in that players are prohibited from wearing helmets and pads and engaging in physical contact of any kind.

Riverdale holds voluntary workouts indoors and outdoors from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday in June and July.

Polsenberg and his teammates participating in workouts were not in pads.

Once fall practice begins July 31, helmets only are worn the first two days followed by three days of helmets and shoulder pads before full gear is allowed on the sixth day.

From 1995 to 2015, 61 football players died from heat stroke (46 high school, 11 college, two professional, and two organized youth), according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. Ninety percent of recorded heat stroke deaths occurred during practice.

Rode hopes to never be in that situation. That is why he doesn't train his players for more than five minutes at a time when they are outside running.

He and Dunbar High coach Sammy Brown said there are multiple water stations surrounding their practice fields, in the weight rooms and in the gymnasiums at their schools.

When Naples High coach Bill Kramer takes his players out onto the field on days like Wednesday when the temperature reached 90 degrees at South, there are tubs and kiddie pools filled with ice and water as well as canopies where players can shade themselves.

Kramer said it is important to have the ice baths nearby in case one of his coaches spots warning signs of a player overheating such as they aren't understanding a coach's commands or if their balance is off.

At Naples, coaches are proactive in educating players about the need to hydrate and eat healthy while they're at home before going to practice. The Golden Eagles have urine color charts in their locker room bathrooms so players can identify if they need to hydrate more. Dark yellow means a player needs more fluid.

"There's so many variables," Kramer said. "All we can do is educate them to keep them cool. It's a constant conversation. We're in Florida. I don't know a coach who doesn't do that."

South Fort Myers coach Brian Conn said his players can't hydrate enough.

"Water, water, water," Conn said. "You have to make sure they know that it's important to hydrate while they're here but also while they're not here."

During the 7-on-7 players took water breaks after each series and in a few cases players asked to be subbed out for a play or two to hydrate. When not competing in a game teams found shade under the bleachers or near overhangs.

While he was the coach at Ida Baker High six years ago, Conn described a situation where one of his players overheated. In addition to calling an ambulance, he said it was important to reduce the player's body temperature by placing ice under his armpits and in his crotch area.

Conn was thankful the incident his player dealt with was nowhere close to reaching the severity of the situation that unfolded at Riverdale.

"Some things are just unavoidable," Conn said. "It's very unfortunate what happened (at Riverdale). You have to have procedures in place and make sure the coaches know what to do in those cases. In that case, I'm sure they did what they could to cool the body down."

Family donates Polsenberg's organs

The family of Zachary Martin-Polsenberg has announced that the organs of the Fort Myers teen have been donated to save other lives. The 16-year-old Riverdale High football player died this week after suffering heat stroke at a summer workout 10 days earlier. Through the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency in Miami, Polsenberg donated his corneas for two people to be able to see again; his heart valves to save the lives of three people; and his muscle and brain tissue for medical research. Polsenbery's mother Laurie Martin Giordano said, "My heart is overflowing with pride and a sense of honor for these gifts from Zach."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

For the second time in two years, an audit of Dayton Public Schools' athletic department revealed that ticket sale money has gone missing.

DPS Internal Auditor Randall Harper said Wednesday that $2,105 in ticket sale receipts from multiple basketball games last winter went missing and is now being repaid by the people responsible for overseeing the money.

"The employee(s) responsible for the event ticket deposits did not follow the district's policy, and the deposits were not submitted to the district's treasurer's department in a timely fashion," Harper said. "During this time that the money was un-deposited and not fully secured, it was misplaced or stolen by an unknown party."

Harper and other DPS officials did not name the individuals involved because the district "is still taking corrective actions to resolve this issue."

This comes on the heels of a larger case that Harper uncovered in his 2016 audit of DPS athletic department. That audit revealed that more than $14,000 in gate receipts from five DPS home football games in 2014 and 2015 went missing, with the culprits unknown at the time.

Asked Wednesday whether anyone was ever disciplined from that first case, Harper said he couldn't comment because the case is currently being investigated by state officials.

Harper said DPS athletic officials did a better overall job of following financial oversight procedures in 2016-17, Mark Baker's first year as AD. But several school board members expressed frustration at the repeated loss of money.

Sheila Taylor, a longtime member of the district's Athletic Board of Control, said, "For years there's been very little accountability for what happens in the athletic department." Adil Baguirov said the department is improving after being "in very bad shape for many, many, many years."

Hazel Rountree said the situation requires more than just the repayment of money.

"We've had the same department audited before, and now again they're in the same situation that money is missing or unaccounted for," Rountree said. "And I don't see any accountability."

Residents had similar responses, as Charles Kendrick called the situation "sad" because "you just lose trust in the system."

Contract "errors"

Also at Tuesday night's meeting, the board approved one-time payments totaling $29,377 to current Associate Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli and recently resigned Chief Academic Officer Markay Winston.

The meeting agenda originally said the payments were to "make the administrator contracts... whole as a result of errors in processing the contracts." That language was later updated to say the board "deemed it appropriate" to pay Lolli and Winston the amount of their retirement plan contributions for the year, plus a $3,000 moving allowance for Winston.

Under the state teachers' retirement system, educators contribute 14 percent of their salary to their retirement plan, with the district matching that amount. Many local school districts, including Dayton, pay both the district and employee contribution for their administrators.

? The board also approved $300 to $350 per month business allowances to eight high-level administrators. The stipends are for job-related expenses and replace mileage reimbursements for travel within 100 miles of Dayton. They are automatic and do not require expense documentation.

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

 
July 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 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

No criminal charges are expected to be filed in connection with an investigation that involved the Shawnee High School baseball team.

Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson and Clark County deputies began investigating after the team took a spring break trip to Tennessee in March.

"The investigation that has been provided to our office doesn't indicate that any criminal acts occurred," Wilson said.

The Clark County Sheriff's Office was called to the school in early April. The sheriff's department has declined to comment on the details of the investigation but a police report says the allegations involved harassment.

Deputies worked hand-in-hand with the school district to investigate the allegations thoroughly, Clark County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Travis Russell said.

"We took the investigation to the fullest extent possible and we did not find any criminal activity," he said.

The school district also opened an internal investigation into the trip when allegations were made. It decided to bar a volunteer coach and three players from participating for the remainder of the season. Clark-Shawnee Local Superintendent Gregg Morris issued a statement Wednesday morning.

"Clark-Shawnee is committed to the safety of our students and we continue to work diligently to ensure that all of our programs provide safe and welcoming environments for all students," he said in the statement.

He has declined previously to disclose details of the allegations or the students who were disciplined due to federal student privacy laws.

Morris said the internal investigation began when allegations were reported to school administration during the team's trip.

"During the spring break baseball trip to Tennessee our coach received reports of incidents that certainly don't support our values for our students," Morris said.

The internal investigation was conducted by district Assistant Superintendent Brian Kuhn. The district interviewed all players and their parents as part of the investigation. And though both the sheriff 's office and school worked together, their investigations were separate.

A parent who asked not to be identified has told the Springfield News-Sun that her son was on the baseball trip and described the allegations as an assault. Her son is one of the victims, she said. The mother said she believes the alleged assaults were a type of initiation and her son and other students weren't given a choice about participating.

During the internal investigation, the Shawnee varsity and junior varsity teams missed a combined 10 games. Morris said at the time he made the decision to cancel the games for student safety.

Contact this reporter

at 937-328-0254 or email

Parker.Perry@coxinc.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Former University of Mississippi football coach Houston Nutt filed a federal lawsuit against his former employer Wednesday, alleging key figures including current coach Hugh Freeze and athletics director Ross Bjork violated the school's 2011 severance agreement with him by pushing a false public narrative that the bulk of its ongoing NCAA infractions case involved violations that occurred under Nutt's watch.

Freeze is scheduled to speak Thursday at the SEC media days in Hoover, Ala.

Mississippi is expected to appear in front of the NCAA's committee on infractions this year. The school has been accused of 21 violations tied to its football program, a number of which Mississippi has acknowledged occurred.

The school instituted a self-imposed bowl ban for the 2017 season but is fighting the most serious charges of lack of institutional control. The school also is defending Freeze, who could face significant penalties for failure to monitor.

While some of the charges date to Nutt's tenure, including allegations that two former assistants set up fraudulent ACT exams for three recruits, the bulk of the case always has been focused on misconduct linked to Freeze's staff.

Nutt's lawsuit alleges that Freeze, Bjork and sports information director Kyle Campbell "reached an agreement in 2014 to carry out a carefully orchestrated misinformation campaign, the specific purpose of which was to mislead the media, Ole Miss boosters, and potential recruiting prospects about the true nature of the matters that were being investigated by the NCAA."

After Yahoo Sports reported on Jan. 29, 2016, that Mississippi had received its notice of allegations from the NCAA, the school declined to release it publicly.

Instead, multiple reports across a variety of local and national media outlets anonymously quoted people connected to the school saying the allegations were largely connected to the Nutt era (2008 to 2011).

According to the suit, which obtained phone records for Freeze, Bjork and Campbell, they spoke with those reporters before their stories were posted containing misleading information about the notice of allegations and Nutt's involvement.

"During the 10 days leading up to the crucial weekend recruiting event, Coach Freeze initiated 'off the record' conversations with numerous sports journalists for the specific purpose of creating multiple false and misleading news stories, Tweets and other social media comments supporting the above-referenced false narrative, i.e., that the NCAA's focus was on the former football coaching staff and Houston Nutt in particular."

Nutt had earlier sought an apology from Mississippi but did not receive one, thus pushing the lawsuit forward.

"We gave Ole Miss several opportunities to do the right thing, but they treated us like we were just an annoyance," his attorney, Thomas Mars, told USA TODAY Sports.

The case was filed in the Northern District of Mississippi Oxford Division.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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)

 

The Friday night lights might shine too bright. The roar of the crowds might be too loud.

And what if they have rock concerts in there?

These concerns and more were front and center Wednesday night as more than 100 people aired their grievances with a plan to open a new regional football stadium near Wando High School in Mount Pleasant.

Charleston County School District officials present at the meeting said they had planned to build a new stadium at the school since it opened at its current location in 2004. In 2014, Charleston County voters approved a school construction referendum that included funding for a "new shared high school stadium for East of the Cooper."

Until recently, the district's plan had been to spend $14.2 million buying land and building a state-of-the-art 6,000-state stadium just across Carolina Park Boulevard from Wando, the state's largest high school. The stadium will eventually also serve as the home field for teams at Lucy Beckham High, set to open in 2020, and another high school that will one day replace Lincoln High in Awendaw.

But after catching heat from homeowners about the plan at input meetings in March and April, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Borowy presented a second option Wednesday night: The district could put up bleachers around the current track and field facility on the Wando campus, avoiding the need to purchase new land and have crowds cross the busy neighborhood street.

Some public commenters expressed support for the new option, which would eliminate the perceived safety risk of pedestrians crossing Carolina Park Boulevard to get to the stadium.

Still, many said they don't want a regional stadium at all. The district plans to demolish the old Wando stadium, situated at the former Wando school location on Mathis Ferry Road, to make way for Beckham High.

Town Councilman Gary Santos said he believed the district could keep the old Wando stadium intact and simply upgrade it, but district officials said Wednesday that that option was off the table.

"I'll tell you right now and you can throw tomatoes at me: It's not an option not to build a regional stadium," said School Board Chair Kate Darby, a Mount Pleasant resident. Elsewhere in the county, some Park Circle residents are upset, but for precisely the opposite reason: The district has proposed that an existing stadium near North Charleston High could be demolished and replaced with a North Area regional stadium at an unspecified future site.

By a show of hands during the Wednesday meeting in a Laing Middle multipurpose room, most of the 100-plus attendees said they did not have children in the school district. The biggest contingent was concerned residents of Carolina Park, the growing neighborhood behind Wando High that is projected to add 900 new homes in coming years.

Although a master plan on the Carolina Park website includes a new football stadium, many said they had no idea when they bought their homes.

"How in the world are we going to be able to accommodate all this additional traffic?" asked Kay Milton, a three-year resident of Carolina Park. "The school board paints a rosy picture, and all we see is a dark cloud on the horizon."

Borowy was able to address a few of the public's concerns. He said any new stadium would be built with lights designed to prevent "spillover" into the neighborhood, no high school football stadium in the district has ever hosted a rock concert, and a traffic study conducted by the district found that a football game would produce less traffic than an average school day at Wando.

The crowd remained skeptical. They questioned the methodology of the traffic study, including Borowy's estimate that high school sports fans would travel four to a car. Some said Carolina Park's developer had sent an email announcing concerts would one day take place in the stadium, and they were worried about the noise and potential harm to their property value.

William Hamilton, executive director of the advocacy group Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, raised one other objection to locating the stadium near Wando: Football games would be inaccessible by bus. CARTA Route 42 includes a stop at Wando High, but the last bus on weekdays stops there at 5:40 p.m.

"There will be hundreds of kids who can't go to those games because they can't snag a ride with their friends, they're not popular, they're not in the right place, or their parents are not comfortable with them riding in a car full of teenagers," Hamilton said.

Darby said the school board will consider the two options for the stadium in their Monday night meeting.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

 
July 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 Times-World, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Roanoke Times (Virginia)

 

Embezzlement-related charges filed against a former Northside High School football coach have been dropped by the Roanoke County prosecutor 's office.

Burt Torrence, who resigned last year after a decade with the school, had been facing multiple counts of felony embezzlement, embezzlement of public funds and obtaining money by false pretenses.

The prosecutor's office moved to drop those charges June 29, according to information from the court clerk's office.

Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Leach said Wednesday he couldn't comment in detail but noted that Torrence has been cooperative with authorities and paid restitution in full to the county.

Torrence unexpectedly resigned his post as head football coach in spring 2016 and later spoke at a school board meeting during which he said he'd made a mistake by accepting a track coaching stipend for two seasons without coaching.

"I sincerely apologize to you," he said at the meeting. "I was wrong. It's the right thing to do in front of you, with my parents and players around me, to openly admit that."

He offered to repay the money. Roanoke County police said an investigation was launched the day after the board meeting.

In interviews later that year, both Torrence and his then-attorney, Les Bowers, said Torrence never admitted wrongdoing.

Torrence received the track stipend for a total of four seasons and coached the student athletes in the school weight room, Bowers said.

Fewer track athletes used the weight room during the last two seasons due to the preferences of new team coaches, he said, but Torrence fulfilled his duties.

Torrence's current attorney of record, Tony Anderson, didn't immediately return messages left late Wednesday.

The case against Torrence could be revived in the future, but Leach said Wednesday he has no current plans to seek new charges.

Torrence paid a total of about $7,800 in restitution to Roanoke County, Leach said.

Torrence took a job with Lynchburg City Schools last August. He was placed on administrative leave from his position as assistant football coach at Heritage High School in December and was reinstated by the school board on Tuesday.

The (Lynchburg) News & Advance contributed to this report.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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 Star Tribune
All Rights Reserved

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

 

The latest grumbling from the legion of maroon hoodies suggests that the problem with the University of Minnesota athletic department is that it's just too darn progressive.

Give the hoodies credit for originality.

The last time the Gophers' revenue sports were accused of being innovative was when Murray Warmath started recruiting black players from the South.

That turned out pretty well for society as well as in the win-loss column.

This week's complaint from the long-beleaguered is that honorable old Mariucci Arena will be renamed The 3M Arena at Mariucci. The local company will pay $11.2 million over 14 years for the naming rights.

The money will help the university fund its new Athletes Village, a key for recruiting top athletes.

There is a place for the kind of nostalgia that has led former Gophers athletes and current fans complaining about the selling of naming rights.

That place is the MIAC.

If you want the Gophers to even attempt to compete with the powers of the Big Ten in football and basketball, you sell naming rights whenever you can, for as much as you can.

You may not like it when Williams Arena is renamed "Sherwin'' Williams, or "The Dress Barn,'' but if the price is right and the funds help the basketball programs excel, what's in a name?

Gophers hockey fans are still going to call Mariucci Arena "Mariucci Arena,'' and Gophers basketball fans will always call Williams "The Barn.'' Combining naming rights with the original name is ingenious because they sell banner space on the building without altering the common language.

The university could have gone further. U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Field, Target Center, TCF Bank Stadium and Xcel Energy Center all have names that insist you refer to the company that paid the naming rights.

I'm actually encouraged by the move. The athletic department desperately needs funds, to complete the Athletes Village and to support two programs with young coaches who could make it big.

Richard Pitino is building a powerhouse basketball program, a little more than a year after his job appeared to be in jeopardy. He's become an excellent recruiter, and he has not publicly entertained the possibility of leaving. He's ideal for Minnesota - a rising young coach who hasn't priced himself out of the market.

P.J. Fleck probably won't win right away, and may want to only whisper the word "elite'' until he can produce a .500 record in the Big Ten, but even those who cringe when he utters certain adjectives should be happy to give him three or four years to prove he can build a program. Even it doesn't work out - and, face it, most major coaching hires at less-prominent programs don't work out - he's the right kind of coach to take a swing at winning at TCF Bank Stadium.

No matter how much you love Gophers hockey or the lesser-revenue successes at Minnesota - and there are many - the three key people in the department will always be the football coach, the men's basketball coach and the athletic director.

Mark Coyle has shown guts and initiative. The only way he could get away with firing Tracy Claeys after a resounding bowl victory was hiring the best candidate on the market. He did.

Pitino should have his best season in 2017-18, following up his successes of last season.

Fleck has much to prove as a Big Ten coach, but he's the right kind of hire.

This threesome have a chance to build something intriguing. Coyle needs money to pay salaries and build infrastructure.

Tacking ''3M'' onto a familiar name is a small price to pay for a large check.

Jim Souhan's podcast can be heard at MalePatternPodcasts.com. On

Twitter: @SouhanStrib. · jsouhan@startribune.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Collier County Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Naples Daily News (Florida)

 

Riverdale High School junior lineman Zachary Polsenberg was lovingly referred to by his teammates as the "Gentle Giant." But when the 6-foot-5, 320-pound roadblock stepped onto the football field he flipped a switch, transforming into a relentless worker with no quit in him.

It's those qualities and more his family and the Riverdale community will miss.

Polsenberg died Monday after being taken off life support following a June 29 incident where he collapsed due to heat stroke during an offseason football workout, his father James Polsenberg said.

"He was just an awesome kid," James Polsenberg said. "He was just the kindest, calmest kid. And he loved Riverdale football. This should not happen to anyone's child."

A release from the family said Zachary Polsenberg suddenly collapsed during the morning workout and was immediately taken to Golisano Children's Hospital where he was diagnosed with heatstroke. The family said he suffered internal injuries and fell into a coma.

His core temperature registered 107 degrees for more than an hour.

From ABStates Seek to Ensure Student-Athlete Safety in High Heat

Polsenberg was transferred to a hospital in Miami on Thursday where he died.

A Lee County School District spokesperson confirmed a student had a medical emergency at the end of football practice on June 29. The National Weather Service listed the high temperature that day at Page Field as 92 degrees.

"Our coaches are trained to act quickly in response to anyone showing signs of distress," the spokesperson wrote in an email.

"They rendered aid, called 911 and the student was transported to the hospital. This practice was part of offseason conditioning and took place from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. It was held indoors and outdoors. At these practices, water breaks are given at least every 30 minutes and sooner if needed. Players are also encouraged to stop and hydrate whenever necessary in addition to those breaks."

Riverdale holds voluntary workouts indoors and outdoors Monday through Thursday during those times in June and July.

Zachary Polsenberg and his teammates participating in workouts were not in football pads, which the Florida High School Athletic Association prohibits until fall camp.

Once fall practice begins July 31, helmets only are worn the first two days followed by three days of helmets and shoulder pads before fully gear is allowed on the sixth day.

From 1995 to 2015, 61 football players died from heat stroke (46 high school, 11 college, two professional, and two organized youth), according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. Ninety percent of recorded heat stroke deaths occurred during practice.

Riverdale principal Scott Cook released a statement Tuesday evening: "At this difficult time, our thoughts, prayers, and love are with Zach's family. Zach was an amazing young man and the Riverdale family's hearts are broken. Our immediate focus is to provide any and all support that we can to our students, staff, coaches, and most importantly, Zach's family. Please continue to keep them all in your thoughts and prayers."

First-year Riverdale coach James Delgado couldn't be reached for comment.

James Polsenberg described his son as an avid Buffalo Bills fan with a love of country music and the heavy-metal band Metallica. Beyond his interest in classic cars, Zachary Polsenberg's focus was obtaining an athletic scholarship with dreams of playing in the NFL.

"Zach cannot be forgotten," his father said. "He was just too good of a person to be forgotten."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
All Rights Reserved

Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

 

A week doesn't go by where my 3-year-old son doesn't ask to go see the Sunsphere.

This has been a thing with him for about a year now. He's enamored with it.

And should we entertain his request, we also end up abiding by his wishes to see the "Big Basketball" - the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

And there's always a customary cruise by Neyland Stadium.

He never wants to see Thompson-Boling Arena.

He has yet to ask what it is. We drove right past it last week and not a peep left his lips about it.

Arguably the biggest eyesore on campus at the University of Tennessee can't aesthetically pique the interest of a kid despite the fact that its sheer size can house more than 20,000 fans and despite the fact that Pat Summitt once graced its hallways and floor.

I don't blame him.

Thompson-Boling's facade did little to entice me while a student there.

Don't get me wrong. It has its merits.

You can read all about Thompson-Boling and the arena's recent renovations on UTSports.com. It'll also tell you how, from floor to ceiling, Thompson-Boling is the equivalent of a 12-story building. You'll read of how it's the third-largest on-campus basketball arena in the country. And you'll even see where the octagonal roof measures 142,000 square feet.

It's monstrous.

But big doesn't always mean memorable, and Thompson-Boling's shell is as bland as a Kevin O'Neill offensive skills camp.

I can only imagine the brainstorm session that went into designing the place.

"What if we built an arena that looks like a Texas Toast sandwich? Who's in?"

Everyone was, apparently.

What were the designs that were rejected?

Anyway, it's time for an extreme home makeover — basketball arena edition.

First impressions can mean everything for fans and recruits alike. Tennessee has focused on second impressions. Dozens of millions of dollars have been poured into Thompson-Boling's innards since 2008, while its 30-year-old exterior is the shag carpet of the SEC.

To be a neighbor of Neyland and juxtaposed with a river, Thompson-Boling should have outward style and flair. It deserves better and more modern digs.

I'm no HGTV house flipper, but maybe Thompson-Boling could have alternating orange and white panels, paying homage to former men's coach and tradition innovator Ray Mears.

Maybe it could get Nike involved. Let them put a huge Swoosh on the outside in exchange for some design creativity.

A Smokey Grey look with hints and highlights of orange and white could really make the place pop.

Or, I don't know, turn the whole outside of it into a mountain and further feed into the Rocky Top pageantry. The design crew at Dollywood could probably lend a helping hand with that.

Not only would it grab the attention of media and recruits nationwide, it would also contribute to the overall feel and look of football Saturdays near Neyland. Don't think it will work? See Boise State's always identifiable blue turf.

In the SEC, there's an absolute legit arms race to have the best and most attractive facilities.

I know I'm not the first to say Thompson-Boling needs a wardrobe change. Maybe Tennessee has looked into it, and it just didn't pass the feasibility test.

Maybe changes are coming down the line.

Either way, this call for change won't find a resolution fast. So, next week, it's back to the Sunsphere.

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Falcons CEO and president Rich McKay showed a video and discussed hosting the SEC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the SEC's media event Tuesday in Hoover, Ala.

He confirmed the new stadium will ready Aug. 26 when the Falcons are set to host the Arizona Cardinals in their exhibition season home opener.

That game will be followed by another exhibition game and two Chick-fil-A Kickoff college football games in early September: Alabama vs. Florida State on Sept. 2 and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee on Sept. 4. The SEC Championship game is slated for Saturday, Dec. 2.

McKay said the Falcons didn't want to just improve on the Georgia Dome. If they wanted to do that, they would have elected to renovate.

"We really wanted to change the game and do it for a long, long time," McKay said. "That's kind of what was behind the building itself."

He discussed the stadium's design, digital signage, bargain food pricing, halo scoreboard and SEC graphic logo.

The Georgia Dome, which is scheduled for demolition, hosted the SEC Championship game for 21 years, beginning in 1994.

AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMBSE) along with the SEC and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) have an agreement to host the SEC football championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium through 2026. The agreement allows the SEC the option of adding up to two successive five-year extensions.

-- D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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)

 

After initially being voted out of his job, Dunbar's Darran Powell was voted back in Tuesday night. "I'm looking forward to moving forward, and I'm glad to be back on my feet," he said.

DAYTON - A prolonged series of unprecedented events that left Dunbar High School without a head football coach since last season came to an emotionally charged end Tuesday night when the Dayton Public Schools board of education voted 6-1 to reinstate Darran Powell.

Although he wasn't at the board meeting, many Powell supporters were, including much of his coaching staff from last season who have been coordinating summer workouts.

"I appreciated everybody's support," said Powell, who was out of town when contacted by phone. "I'm looking forward to moving forward, and I'm glad to be back on my feet."

The events since last year's regular-season finale include:

  • An academically ineligible player who forced Dunbar to forfeit two games, miss the playoffs and reshuffle postseason qualifiers and first-round positioning.
  • Accusations by Dunbar coaches that DPS Director of Athletics Mark Baker instructed Dunbar should lose to Belmont in Week 10. By doing so, it was hoped both teams would qualify for the postseason and the academically ineligible Dunbar player wouldn't have to be reported.
  • The resignation of then-Dunbar Athletic Director Pete Pullen afterward.
  • An investigation by the Ohio HighSchoolAthleticAssociation that didn't name anyone, but concluded there was a violation of its administrative responsibility and institutional control bylaw. The result was a three-year probation of all DPS boys and girls athletics programs and a $10,000 fine. That's thought to be the harshest, most widespread penalty in the OHSAA's 100-plus year history.
  • Saying, "It's not something the NAACP is going to stand for," Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton unit of the NAACP, vowed to appeal the OHSAA ruling.
  • A video of two Dunbar plays in which the Wolverines appeared to be throwing the Belmont game became an internet sensation.
  • Powell initially was denied retaining the position by a board vote last month. However, James Lacking, who Powell succeeded as Dunbar's coach and was the No. 2 candidate, declined to accept the position when it was offered last week.

Citing a lack of remorse from Powell, board member Joe Lacey cast the only no vote Tuesday. Previously, the vote was 3-2 in favor of retaining Powell, with one abstention and one absentee, but a majority of four yes votes were needed.

After an executive session to address Powell's rehiring, each board member expressed remorse for the drawn-out events and statewide attention.

"What he did was something wrong," said Lacey, suggesting Powell should have known not to play an academically ineligible player. "I understand that he did it at somebody else's direction, but that person did not hold a gun to his head. (Powell) was a co-conspirator in a cheating scandal that has infected an entire (school) district."

Board member Hazel Rountree lamented there was no formal opportunity for Powell or anyone else to "say I'm sorry," she said. "Not only to the board, but to the community."

Board member Ron Lee, who initially abstained from voting, said, "I'm pointing my finger at adults. This ain't about no championship. It's about teaching children how to function in this world and go forward, and lying ain't one of them."

Board member Sheila Taylor admonished Powell, then flipped her initial vote from no to yes. "There's going to be accountability from now on," she said, referring to all DPS athletic personnel. "The game has changed."

Board member Adil Baguirov said the district must make sure something like this never happens again, but added that if it did, DPS' "much-improved athletic department" would be better prepared to handle it.

But if another incident related to game-throwing or lack of institutional control happens while DPS is on probation, the district's OHSAA membership could be revoked. Lacey voted against rehiring Baker and Powell, taking a stand against those involved in game-throwing.

"They're not taking it seriously," Lacey said of possible punishment for future infractions. "We could end up not having any opportunity to go into postseason. That's our students' hopes and dreams, and their college opportunities. I don't know what they're thinking."

Contact these writers at Marc.Pendleton@coxinc.com andJeremy.Kelley@coxinc com.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

Tech products have gone out of business before, but they usually tell their valued customers what to do next.

Fitness tracker and Bluetooth speaker company Jawbone, which is in the process of liquidating, instead has left a trail of irate customers with little recourse but to vent online.

Visitors to its website see a company that looks like all is well, and is promoting products -- except that there are no links to buy them. Jawbone's Amazon, Facebook and Twitter pages appear as though the company still has its doors open.

Yet a company headquarters phone number directs callers to another number that has apparently been disconnected. Customers complain in online review forums of leaving many messages in email and phone form that haven't been answered.

The Better Business Bureau just awarded Jawbone an "F" for "unanswered complaints." The BBB notes there are 521 complaints filed against Jawbone and 190 that haven't been responded to.

How Jawbone is handling its exit "isn't responsible," Gartner analyst Angela McIntyre says.

A Jawbone spokesperson had no comment.

"I hate Jawbone," says Melissa Camman, 48, who works at a garden center in Utica, N.Y. "I am so mad at them."

She has three dead Jawbone fitness trackers and has been trying to get a response from customer service since November, via phone, email and Twitter. She finally heard from the company Monday with an automated email.

"Over the past few months, we've been transitioning to a simpler care experience," the email, shown to USA TODAY, said. "These changes took longer than expected, but we're excited to share they're now complete and we are ready to address your request. Our records show you contacted us with a support request between November 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017. If you still need assistance, please click the button below to submit your updated request."

Camman did just that but has yet to hear back.

Last week, tech industry website The Information reported on the liquidation proceedings, saying co-founder and CEO Hosain Rahman is starting a new company to make health-related hardware and software services. The Information says the new firm will take care of customer service. Jawbone has just yet to show any sign of that yet.

The demise followed years of reports the San Francisco start-up, once valued at $3 billion and the beneficiary of $950 million in venture capital funding, according to Pitchbook, was on shaky ground. Jawbone had been locked in a heated battle with Fitbit for the wearables market, with products that help you count daily steps and track sleep.

But Fitbit has been way ahead. In 2016, Fitbit shipped 22.3 million devices, and McIntyre guesses Jawbone saw "less than 20% of that." Gartner estimates 34.7 million fitness trackers were sold last year, including from companies such as Garmin and Samsung.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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

 

The plaintiffs suing Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 over transgender students' access to bathrooms and locker rooms have dropped the U.S. departments of education and justice as defendants in the case.

It was an agreement between the federal agencies and District 211 that granted a transgender student limited access to a girls locker room at Fremd High School from January 2016 until her graduation in May. The now-former student was born male but identifies as female.

Gary McCaleb, senior counsel for the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, said his firm dropped the federal departments as defendants because they rescinded Obama-era guidelines on accommodating transgender students and formally terminated the agreement with District 211.

"We got all the relief we had asked for," said McCaleb, whose firm represents the plaintiffs - a residents group called District 211 Students and Parents for Privacy.

McCaleb said the lawsuit is more focused on the future policies and practices of the school district, which are at odds with his clients' wishes.

He said the federal government in the fall of 2015 pressured District 211 into the agreement by threatening to withhold millions of dollars in funding under Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in public education.

At that time, the federal government's position was that District 211 was discriminating against the transgender student by offering her only an isolated changing area.

A compromise allowed the student access to the girls locker room, but only if she used a privacy stall within. Several stalls were put in so that any student who wanted additional privacy could use one.

"Unequivocally, the federal government were the bullies, threatening funding," McCaleb said. "But it was the school district's decision to knuckle under that puts the responsibility on them. If they change their minds, we would consider that. We're not unreasonable."

District 211 officials declined to comment due to the ongoing litigation.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which represents the former student and some current transgender students in District 211, said it believes Title IX obligates the school district to protect its clients.

"What is troubling and what is a shame is that we have a Department of Education and a Department of Justice that have told a certain segment of students in our country that they don't deserve protection," ACLU spokesman Ed Yohnka said.

The principles of the case remain the same even without the two federal departments as co-defendants, he said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

It turns out some Lobo basketball fans with the best seats in the house were getting an even better deal than you thought.

The University of New Mexico on Monday announced it had recently discovered payment for use of 24 suites in the Pit had gone uncollected, some since the 2010-11 basketball season, to the tune of $432,000. The discovery came amid a pair of state investigations into spending and fundraising for the UNM athletics department, and thanks in part, the school says, to recent records requests from journalists.

It is just the latest in a string of recent revelations of questionable financial dealings with Lobo athletics that prompted interim President Chaouki Abdallah on Monday to appoint Chris Vallejos, associate vice president for institutional support services, to temporarily oversee finances in the athletics department.

"In continuing to review the business practices in UNM Athletics, and to assure that it is operating efficiently and responsibly, I am taking immediate action to institute stronger internal controls and more thorough oversight of the department's financial operations," Abdallah wrote in a prepared statement.

Interim athletic director Janice Ruggiero on Monday said that through a combination of "end of the (fiscal) year accounting," inquiries by state auditors investigating the department and because of recent Inspection of Public records Act request from journalists, the uncollected money was discovered.

Ruggiero asked that Lobo fans hearing of the latest issues "give us a chance to fix it.... I can't go back, but I can go forward."

She said that two suite holders have already paid $44,000, bringing the deficit for Pit suites to $388,000 with one other suite holder having told UNM it will pay this week. Others are in the process of being contacted by the Lobo Club, the independent fundraising arm of Lobo athletics that handles the marketing, sales and collections for the Pit suites.

The money then is transferred annually to UNM athletics, and goes toward paying off the 2009-2010 Pit renovation.

Ruggiero said it is her understanding many of the donors owing money have not even been invoiced for use of those suites.

"Several of them (contacted recently have) said give us a bill and we'll pay you," Ruggiero said.

Lobo Club Executive Director Kole McKamey cites turnover for "some inconsistencies in suite records and payment processes dating back to 2010."

He said recent changes have been made regarding documenting suites, and the Lobo Club will work with UNM on any other possible improvements to the billing and record keeping process.

No names of suite holders owing money have been released by UNM. McKamey suggested filing an IPRA request, which the Journal has already done and is awaiting a response.

The Lobo Club falls under the umbrella of the UNM Foundation, which maintains it is independent of the university and not subject to open records laws that apply to state entities.

The cost of suites ranged from $40,000 to $45,000 per season, but has been reduced to $30,000 to $40,000 or less this season. Last year, about half of the 40 suites were rented out.

Discipline possible

A news conference held Monday discussing the main-campus intervention and oversight and the revelation of uncollected Pit suite dues was held in the Lobo Club Board Room of the Colleen J. Maloof Administration Building for Lobo athletics. Nobody from the Lobo Club was on hand to answer questions about how or why this happened.

Asked if the Lobo Club independently came forward with the information about the suites or if Ruggiero was made aware of the issue because of the IPRA requests, she said, "I really can't answer that."

Vallejos said discipline could come if any employee knowingly allowed boosters to continue using the suites knowing they owed money, though it is also unclear how much of the uncollected money has to do with deals with donors that were never written into contracts or otherwise loosely comped or given to donors who were supporting the department in other ways.

"That's a culture shift and that's what I'm here to do, to help invoke change for the better to have our athletic department be in the black and have fiscal accountability, transparency," Vallejos said. "I think that's how we get even better."

Collection process

UNM athletics finished with a deficit in eight of the past 10 fiscal years. It is unclear how many of those years would not have finished in the red had all of the suite money been collected.

At one point, Vallejos said a possible solution could be to have the Lobo Club continue selling the suites while the UNM ticket office was tasked with collecting.

Asked whether the UNM Foundation would object to relinquishing suite payment collection duties to the UNM Ticketing Office, UNM Foundation spokesman Mario Lara said in an email the organization "is looking forward to working with UNM to streamline processes."

McKamey said suite holders with outstanding balances are not allowed to maintain suites.

"As of January 2016, when I took over as Executive Director, we have attempted to collect past delinquent accounts," McKamey said in an email. "Invoices are sent out in January/February and then again in April. After that, phone calls are made to follow up."

'Embarrassment'

A special audit from the New Mexico Office of the State Auditor and an investigation by the state Attorney General's Office were launched in May after news reports of a 2015 Scotland golf junket revealed public money was used to pay for boosters to attend the trip.

After 11 years on the job, athletic director Paul Krebs retired June 30 (he announced his retirement June 1 and was on vacation for the final 30 days).

In recent weeks, the Journal has asked about uncollected suite sale revenue in the Pit.

Abdallah's statement added: "To the extent that our efforts to rectify discrepancies have resulted in embarrassment to our fans, we sincerely apologize."

Journal staff writer Jessica Dyer contributed to this report.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

The parents of a Valdosta teen found dead in a rolled-up gym mat have filed a third lawsuit alleging a massive conspiracy to cover the true cause of death.

Kendrick Johnson's body was discovered on Jan. 11, 2013, in the old gymnasium at Lowndes High School. The state medical examiner ruled the 17-year-old died of positional asphyxia after he got stuck in the mat, presumably reaching for a pair of sneakers.

Johnson's parents continue to believe their son was murdered despite considerable evidence to the contrary. After extensive investigations, the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department found nothing to substantiate their claim.

The Johnsons' first lawsuit, filed in Lowndes County and later withdrawn, led a judge to order they pay the legal fees of brothers Brian and Branden Bell — who the Johnsons allege killed Kendrick — and the local and state officials named in the lawsuit as co-conspirators.

Last month, the Johnsons' federal lawsuit alleging the same cover-up was dismissed after their attorney failed to meet several deadlines for filing court paperwork.

The newest suit, filed in Bibb County, also alleges photographs and "moving images" captured on school surveillance cameras were either doctored or withheld. But a video analysis by the FBI, culled from surveillance cameras on the Lowndes High School campus, included time stamps that adjusted discrepancies between multiple video systems used by the school. According to the report, those discrepancies were caused by the systems not being synchronized.

The analysis concluded Brian Bell and alleged accomplice Ryan Hall "were in different areas of the LHS campus during the time in question."

Brian Bell, the analysis determined, was en route toward the "D Wing" for class when Johnson was last seen entering the school's old gymnasium. Hall was seen in the school's parking lot heading toward another wing of the sprawling campus, according to the FBI report.

Branden Bell, Brian's older brother also named in the Johnsons' suit, was also cleared by the FBI. Multiple witnesses confirmed that he was attending a wrestling tournament in Macon at the time Kendrick was seen going into the gym.

The Justice Department concluded in June 2016 there was "insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone or some group of people willfully violated Kendrick Johnson's civil rights or committed any other prosecutable federal crime."

According to the Johnsons' lawsuit, which mirrors their previous legal claims, Kendrick was attacked by the Bell brothers and Hall. Then, FBI agent Rick Bell, father of Brian and Branden, along with Lowndes County's school superintendent and a former sheriff, rolled Kendrick's body in the gym mat and devised a plan to make his death look like an accident, the suit alleges.

Among the 45 defendants accused in the Johnsons' suit of violating the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act: two of the school superintendent's daughters, allegedly enlisted by their father to "discover" Johnson's body.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Commercial Appeal, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)

 

A long-delayed state audit has found University of Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen had a conflict of interest when he renegotiated then-basketball coach Josh Pastner's controversial contract in 2013.

However, Bowen, who shared the same sports agent with Pastner, did not personally benefit from that conflict, nor did he inappropriately share sensitive information, according to the audit by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

"University staff did not follow the TBR and University of Memphis conflict of interest policies in place to formally report and evaluate the potential conflict of interest when it was identified," said the audit report obtained Monday by The Commercial Appeal.

The year-long audit followed an investigation by the newspaper in March 2016 that found Pastner and Bowen both had the same Ft. Smith, Ark.-based sports agent when Bowen negotiated a contract that would pay Pastner his $2.65 million annual salary in monthly installments through April 2020 if he was fired - a deal that could have cost the university $10.6 million.

Weeks later, Pastner took the head coaching job at Georgia Tech and agreed to a $1.255 million settlement, saving the school more than $9 million.

Though the audit report is dated March 6, the university suddenly released a statement Monday as the newspaper obtained the audit. The statement says issues in the audit have been addressed, noting that violations occurred under the "previous administration" of President Shirley Raines.

"Consistent with University and state policies, the University of Memphis immediately forwarded the complaint for review and investigation to TBR, has been transparent and cooperated in full with the investigation, and had already taken appropriate steps to ensure all state and University policies are followed," said the statement released through spokeswoman Daphne Thomas.

Bowen could not be immediately reached despite a call to his cell phone Monday.

The audit report also recommends the university "review the potential conflict of interest" for Bowen in "athletic leadership seminars offered by his sports agent."

In a formal response, the university said Bowen no longer is represented by agent Joey McCutchen. The university also said the conflict of interest committee met with Bowen to discuss potential conflicts.

The nine-page audit report said that while current and former employees discussed Bowen's potential conflict before negotiations with Pastner were initiated, university staff "did not follow the policies to refer the matter to the University's conflict of interest review committee" or take proper steps to eliminate the potential conflict.

The audit also found that Pastner's contract wasn't submitted to TBR for approval as required for all contracts exceeding $100,000.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

For young athletes, a handful of minutes can save lives.

Issues of heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest are rare in young people, but are most likely to involve athletes. In those cases, survival is rare.

This year, the Philadelphia School District completed a decades-long initiative in an attempt to prevent deaths from heart failure among its students. The district now provides access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in every school.

It's been a long process for the district, which first introduced heart-health policies in 2011. Since then, the district continued to develop new regulations such as a requirement for AEDs to be available at all sporting events. Although they make up a small percentage of occurrences, almost 6,000 children in the U.S. suffer from cardiac arrest every year, according to the American Heart Association. Only 6 percent of these children survive. Young athletes are three times more likely to experience cardiac arrest, and nearly half of all sudden deaths in young athletes occur due to heart failure.

"It's a worst nightmare for any administrator," said Bettyann Creighton, the district's executive director of health, safety and physical education. "When you think of losing a child it's not something I can really bear to think about. We want to do what we can to make sure we re working to protect and educate our students."

The latest expansion was part of Think AED, a campaign aimed at providing awareness and education to school districts. The district received a donation of 20 AEDs from the Louis T. Savino III Foundation and the Jahri Evans Foundation. Evans is a guard with the Green Bay Packers, who starred at Frankford High School.

Those who fought the hardest for change are parents such as Rachel Moyer. Almost 18 years have passed since her son, Gregory, collapsed in the locker room of a high school basketball game in East Stroudsburg. He went into sudden cardiac arrest and died in a hospital located too far away to save him in time.

From ABRachel Moyer’s AEDs-in-Schools Mission Gains Momentum

With access to a defibrillator, Moyer believes her son could have been saved. Now, she refuses to let the same tragedy hurt another family. She is president of the Gregory W. Moyer Defibrillator Fund, which helps schools and organizations obtain AEDs.

"It can happen to anyone, to any family, but it doesn't have to," Moyer said. "There's such a lack of education and understanding. We're fighting ignorance, mainly. But once people understand that their children's lives are at stake they start to listen more closely."

Moyer has made numerous trips to the state courthouse in the years following her son s death. Despite her efforts, AED access and education is not required in Pennsylvania. It's an area where the state falls behind. New York has required public schools to provide AED access since 2002, and Maryland passed a similar law in 2006. New Jersey instituted similar measures in 2012.

Pennsylvania legislation is less rigorous. A bill passed in 2001 provides assistance for schools interested in purchasing defibrillators, but current laws don t require schools to provide access or training.

So while Moyer is encouraged by the School District of Philadelphia s policy on AEDs, she knows there is a lot more work to be done.

"I think back to why we started this so many years ago, and I know that Greg is living on through what we're doing," Moyer said. "He's living through this, and we're going to keep fighting for him."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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

 

Commissioner Greg Sankey kicked off Southeastern Conference media days Monday with his regular state of the conference address.

Here are five topics Sankey touched on.

Don't believe division realignment talk

Auburn and Missouri swapping divisions has been a topic since spring. It gained momentum when Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs endorsed the idea at the SEC spring meetings in May.

Auburn would move to the East Division, where it could rekindle rivalries with Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, and the Tigers still could play Alabama as a divisional crossover game. And Missouri would move to the West Division, making more geographical sense. Of course, that could put the Alabama-Tennessee annual rivalry game in jeopardy, unless the conference schedule was expanded to nine games.

So what did Sankey think about the realignment talk? He dismissed it as merely media speculation.

"It has not been an agenda item at meetings," Sankey said. "It has been a conversation at most large press conferences in which I have appeared. That's the extent of the conversation."

Vanderbilt coach is on recruiting committee

National signing day has been expanded to an early signing period. In addition to the traditional date of the first Wednesday in February, football players also can sign during a 72-hour period in December. This year it will be Dec. 20-22.

Sankey said the NCAA will review the ramifications of the new recruiting calendar over the next two years, so the SEC has created a committee of four coaches and two athletics directors to keep the conference up to date on potential issues. The coaches are Vanderbilt's Derek Mason, LSU's Ed Orgeron, Auburn's Gus Malzahn and Alabama's Nick Saban. The athletics directors are Florida's Scott Stricklin and Arkansas' Jeff Long.

A 14-week season is still being discussed

Sankey said the SEC still could expand to a 14-week regular season, keeping 12 games and adding a second bye week.

But he doesn't want to start preseason camp earlier, so the first game potentially could be played one week earlier than the current schedule to make room for the extra bye week.

"There is not opposition here to a 14-week season. There is curiosity and interest," Sankey said. "But I want to be very careful about not moving football practice even earlier into the summer."

Remembering integration in football

Sankey honored the history of integration for all 14 SEC schools, beginning with the Kentucky football foursome of Nate Northington, Greg Page, Houston Hogg and Wilbur Hackett Jr. in 1967. Page died on the eve of the historic game that integrated SEC football.

Three surviving members and Page's family will attend the SEC championship game in December to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the first varsity black athletes to play in a conference football game.

All we do is win, win, win

Sankey's opening remarks featured a list of the SEC's accomplishments over the last year. That included national championships in six sports, having only SEC teams in the NCAA women's basketball final and NCAA College World Series baseball final, having all 13 SEC softball teams in the NCAA tournament and having three men's basketball teams in the NCAA Elite Eight.

Sankey also noted that for the 10th time since 2008 an SEC football team played in the national championship game, as Alabama lost 35-31 to Clemson.

Sparks writes for The (Nashville) Tennessean, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

MIAMI - Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Aaron Judge have become the face of baseball as a gleaming, modernist ballpark and a city known for its Latino culture host the All-Star Game for the first time. After decades of falling behind, the sport finally has stepped up its national promotion.

There's huge room for improvement: Not one player from baseball is among the 100 most famous athletes in the world.

LeBron James, Tom Brady and Tiger Woods dominate water-cooler talk far more than Max Scherzer and Chris Sale, the starting pitchers in tonight's game at Marlins Park.

"I feel he's won 15 rings," Harper said of Brady on Monday. "If you win, you're going to get noticed."

Major League Baseball hopes to break into a wider public consciousness with this new generation - for the first time since at least 1961 there are no All-Stars with at least double-digit selections.

After Rob Manfred succeeded Bud Selig as commissioner two years ago, MLB required sponsors to market top talent. But the tradition-bound sport is still trying to rebound from a quarter-century of labor wars that ended in the late 1990s.

"There is little doubt that top baseball players are less recognized than the top athletes in many other sports," said Marc Ganis, president of the marketing company Sportscorp. "Basketball players and the NBA set many trends and are relevant in pop culture. NFL dominates in the U.S. and the second-most popular sport is also football - college football.

"Baseball has the potential to be the cultural star in places like Latin America and Japan, where so many great players come from these days. But in the U.S. and in the Eurocentric, English-primary world, basketball, NFL, soccer, tennis and at certain times golf stars connect more with fans, especially younger fans, and sponsors who covet those fans," he said.

Judge and hometown slugger Giancarlo Stanton headlined Monday night's Home Run Derby at 5-year-old Marlins Park, a sleek retractable-roof ballpark with splashes of Joan Miro colors, a Red Grooms home run sculpture and a Clevelander night club with a swimming pool just beyond the left-field wall. MLB hopes to continue momentum from the Chicago Cubs' first title since 1908, which drew the highest television rating for the World Series in a dozen years.

"We know that fans connect locally every day with the teams that they root for and love, and our job is to try to highlight the performances to make it a national story as much as possible when we have that," said Tony Petitti, MLB's chief operating officer. "We were really fortunate last fall. We had an incredible national story in the Cubs."

MLB's "This Time It Counts" promotion has been scrapped after 15 years. The World Series will start at the home of the pennant winner with the best record, not the league that prevails in the All-Star Game.

The league and many of its national sponsors are featuring players in marketing campaigns. Still, baseball players say athletes in other sports are seen far more often in commercials.

"Football is football. You can't even really compare yourself. It's just everybody loves football (in) America. That's just the way it is," said Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who praised MLB for doing the best it can.

Judge, the 6-foot-7 larger-than-life New York Yankees rookie who leads the big leagues with 30 home runs, was celebrated by MLB with a Judge-Con promotion in on Monday in which the sport enlisted actors and comics to dress as judges and make appearances throughout New York City.

David Matranga of PSI Sports Management, which represents Judge, says the 25-year-old outfielder has kept his mind on pitchers, not corporate pitches.

"We've had quite a few offers from various markets and brands. It just keeps coming every day," Matranga said. "He's got a lot of people pulling at him but right now Aaron just wants to keep his focus on the Yankees."

Partly because of the busy schedule - 162 games in 183 days - baseball players don't have much time for marketing during the season. And when it comes to viewers, clicks and retweets, MLB often lags in recent decades, when the NFL and NBA have connected far better with younger audiences.

ESPN's 2017 ranking of the 100 most famous athletes, based on endorsements, social media following and internet search popularity, has Cristiano Ronaldo first, followed by James, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, tennis star Roger Federer and golfer Phil Mickelson. Brady is the top NFL player at 21 after leading New England to five Super Bowl titles.

"It seems like baseball players tend to have a little bit more regional coverage," Giants catcher Buster Posey said.

Equipment companies have a larger audience to sell basketball sneakers, tennis equipment and golf gear than baseball spikes. Trout became the first baseball player since Ken Griffey Jr. to have his own signature cleat. In the same period, Nike has had 21 signature NBA players, and Bryant is Under Armour's sole signature MLBer.

Scott Boras, whose clients include Harper and Bryant, maintains MLB would rather strike deals with sponsors, causing players to receive less money than they would had they made their own deals. The NFL has a joint licensing agreement with a business company of the players' association. The NBA and its players' union had a joint licensing deal that expired at the end of June.

"Baseball is the polar opposite of the other leagues," Boras said. "Instead of promoting players and advancing players' rights and values in the sponsorship market, MLB wants to work to take away the incentive of the player to participate in these rather time-consuming events. They want to keep the revenue."

Not true, countered Bob Bowman, MLB's president of business and media.

"We have set aside a significant percentage, 15, 20 percent of contracts, to activate around players," he said, "We require players to be utilized in every national deal we do now, since Rob Manfred became commissioner."

Another issue is who gets touted. Washington manager Dusty Baker said discussion of baseball's best must widen.

"Just to have diversity you've got to add a Latin player," said Baker, who is black.

Jeff Berry, co-head of CAA Baseball, said the best marketing strategy would be for MLB and the union to work with businesses to fund an increase in scholarship limits for NCAA Division I baseball (currently 11.7 per team) and softball (12). That would create a bigger audience from youth.

"The doomsday atmosphere has been around since I was a kid," the 46-year-old Berry said. "Baseball doesn't need to be cooler. It doesn't need to be hipper. It doesn't have to be more fast-paced."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Dolan Media Newswires
All Rights Reserved

The Daily Reporter

 

The state is looking for a general contractor to build a new Southeast Recreational Facility at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a project that carries a $96.5 million price tag.

Wisconsin's Department of Administration recently posted an advertisement soliciting bids from both general contractors and mechanical, electrical and plumbing subs.

According to bid documents, the work will include demolishing the existing 170,145-gross-square-foot recreational center and replacing it on the same site with a 240,560-gross-square-foot building. The new center will remain connected to a nearby arena, the LaBahn, using a skywalk.

State officials have two bid openings scheduled for the project. One for mechanical, electrical and plumbing bidders is to take place at 2 p.m. on Aug. 9, and one for general contractors at 2 p.m. on Aug. 23.

With the new center, students will have eight basketball courts, which is twice as many as are found in the existing building; 30,400 square feet of fitness space, 3 ½ times more than is there now; five fitness studios; nearly 30 short-course pool lanes; a diving well; and 1,200 seats of spectator seating.

UW-Madison spokeswoman Meredith McGlone said in an email that the current recreation center "is our most popular campus rec facility. "

"A new building is needed to serve the increasing demand from students," she added.

Alex Peirce, associate director of marketing and communications for UW-Madison's division of recreational sports, said one of the biggest benefits of the new center is that it will add to the total amount of square footage that students have for recreational pursuits. She noted that, compared with college campuses of similar size, UW-Madison has much less space set aside for those purposes.

From AB: Building Blogs: University of Wisconsin Rec Sports

"We're finally able to address that need and give students what they're asking for here," she said.

The new recreation center has won support both from students and lawmakers. UW-Madison students bestowed their approval in a referendum held in 2014, agreeing to pay higher segregated fees through the year 2022 to help pay for the new building.

Of the project's total budget, $42 million is now to come from those fees. Other sources of money meanwhile include donations and revenue from recreational programs.

As for lawmakers, members of the state's Building Commission gave the project their approval this spring. As part of the request that went before them, commission members were asked and agreed to increase the project's budget by $9 million, up from the $87.5 million specified in the state's budget passed in 2015.

McGlone said the increase was the result of inflation.

Although the new recreation center is certainly not an inexpensive project, at least one state lawmaker said he thinks the state could be doing more vertical construction.

Rep. Gordon Hintz, a Democrat from Oshkosh and former member of the building commission, said last week that he has seen work on too many long-planned projects being put off.

Hintz now sits on the state's Joint Finance Committee, which has been embroiled for months in a disagreement over the state's next transportation budget. Hintz said that with so much attention being paid to roads, state-owned buildings have taken a back seat.

But the needs, he said, are just as great with vertical projects.

"That problem is getting worse and worse, just like our roads," Hintz said.

Click here for more from this resource.

Copyright © 2017 BridgeTower Media. All Rights Reserved.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune

 

The coach Brock Miller committed to play for at Utah State retired by the time he arrived on campus. The team? Only one of the players on the roster when he was a high school senior remains is Logan.

Miller signed with USU in fall 2014 to play for the Aggies' men's basketball team. After graduating from Brighton High School, the 6-foot-5 Sandy resident went on an LDS Church mission for two years in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From the time he left until his return to the U.S. on Feb. 6, 2017, he played basketball -- the sport that earned him a full scholarship -- no more than 10 times.

Once an athlete returns and acclimates to the old surroundings that have become new again, the hard part begins. Returned missionaries such as Miller must retrain their bodies and relearn the skills that made them elite in their sport.

"You're competitive," Miller said. "You want to get going right off the bat. But then at the same time, you've got to put things into perspective and realize it's all going to be good. Stay patient, and it's going to come. Just keep working at it. [But] it definitely was [frustrating]."

College athletic programs throughout the country integrate returned missionaries to their teams every year, but nowhere is it part of the fabric of so many programs as in Utah. However, there is no cookie-cutter process for getting athletes up to speed. Those who know the process best identify three things -- patience, trust and an individualized approach -- as crucial ingredients.

"It's kind of not anything that you can put on paper and say, 'This is what we're going to do' to see the level of fitness that they're in," Brigham Young University football coach Kalani Sitake said. "I've heard many times before that missionaries, when they get home from their mission, don't feel that their legs have come back until a year later. Now others have been able to perform and help their teams win."

BYU's latest incoming class for football included 10 returned missionaries (four midyear, six in the fall), while the school's baseball and men's basketball teams each signed players to national letters of intent this past year; they will not enroll until 2019.

Miller is one of two returned missionaries joining the USU men's basketball team; the other is Crew Ainge, the son of former BYU standout and current Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. USU's football program announced its latest class on signing day in February, and it included five players who will serve missions before enrolling.

"We love coaching them. We love having them in our program. We love recruiting them," Utah State men's basketball coach Tim Duryea said. "I just think they're -- in today's world of college basketball -- most of the time they're just about the right stuff. They're kind of throwbacks in terms of, 'I'm going to go to school. I'm going to get my degree. The name on the front of the jersey means a lot to me.' "

Building a foundation

Miller benefited from having graduated from high school early in order to leave for his mission in February 2015. That gave him extra time to start the slow process of getting back to playing basketball before the fall semester.

"First of all, you start by getting back to eating normal," Miller said. "Down there [in Argentina], you only get a big lunch and that's about it. You can cook your own dinner, breakfast. Getting the body back into shape, you start slow, obviously. You get back into the gym, you get shots up, ball handling, conditioning."

Miller said that he limited his workouts to 45 minutes in the first few weeks at the gym, and he didn't attempt a 3-pointer until May. His first five-on-five pickup game didn't come until June, four months after he returned.

Miller benefited from having two older brothers who'd gone through the same experience. His brother Corbin finished his collegiate career as a senior co-captain at Harvard this winter. His brother Brandon was a sophomore on the Dixie State team last season.

University of Utah baseball pitcher Riley Ottesen didn't have that same sort of family experience to lean on when he returned from his mission in Japan.

Ottesen, a fifth-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers last month, returned from his mission in June 2015. The right-hander hadn't picked up a baseball for two years. While overseas, he tried to stay in shape through a daily regimen of getting up about 5:30 a.m. for more than an hour of jumping rope and running.

"You hear about missionaries coming back from their mission and pretty much losing everything, losing their ability to play sports," Ottesen said. "That was definitely on my mind. I guess you kind of just have to have faith and you have to stick with the process, and stay strong with what you've got going. Hopefully, everything works out for you when you come back from a mission. Fortunately, I was blessed."

Ottesen still recalls his first throwing session -- a mess of wildly high side-arm throws, out-of-whack mechanics, a feeling of weakness and scary thoughts.

"I felt like I wasn't going to throw hard again. I got pretty scared," he said. "For the first month or so, I was pretty nervous about how my results would turn out."

Pitching coach Mike Crawford put together a throwing program that started with throws from short distances, and slowly built up Ottesen's workload. Ottesen didn't throw off a mound until October, but he went into the season feeling strong. After some early struggles, he did most of his work out of the bullpen his freshman season and posted the second most appearances of anyone on the staff during the Utes' Pac-12 championship run in 2016.

This past season, after a full year of training, Ottesen earned a spot in the Utes starting rotation.

"Sometimes you're compelled to be humble, and that's OK," Ottesen said. "You learn from it. You become a stronger pitcher and a stronger baseball player from that."

You never know...

Tim Duryea served as an assistant under Stew Morrill at Utah State for 14 years before taking over as head coach two seasons ago. His approach with returned missionaries is simple: Don't assume anything, start slow and let players dictate their own progress.

"I've been doing it long enough now to know that even if a kid is doing his mission right across the street from the Gold's Gym, that doesn't mean that his mission president and the type of mission and the type of work and all those things that he's doing is going to allow him to have access to that at all," Duryea said. "I don't think you can really judge it by where a kid goes on his mission.

"Jaycee Carroll did his mission in a remote part of Chile, and you would think he would come back and have absolutely no prayer of being ready to play, yet he ran a lot on his mission -- I think sometimes in the case where I think he was being chased -- but he got a lot of running in one way or the other. When he came back, athletically, he really didn't miss a beat."

Carroll graduated in 2008 as USU's all-time leading scorer, a two-time AP honorable mention All-American and the WAC Player of the Year in 2007-08.

For football players, the process is a different beast. At BYU, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sitake's primary concerns are about players being able to withstand the rigors of a season.

Timing often works against football players being able to get on the field right away; most will return in the summer and have a short period before the season starts. That's why the default for BYU has been to redshirt returned missionaries.

But there are times when players have been called into the fray immediately.

"It happened for Tanner Mangum when he came home from his mission and he was kind of thrown in the spotlight after Taysom Hill got hurt his freshman year," Sitake said. "Tanner's freshman year was that exact thing. He got home in June and was the starting quarterback in Week 2, and then played the entire year as the starting quarterback."

Position does factor into the decision to redshirt players. Last season, BYU redshirted four linemen who had returned from missions to allow them to build their bodies. Sitake, who served a mission himself as a player, stressed the importance of allowing each player to progress at his own rate. Returned missionaries are separate from the rest of the group when it comes to workouts, so their individual development can be closely monitored.

Mangum's case proves that decisions made about redshirting missionaries can be crucial. Sitake takes advantage of the program's resources -- they will have five strength coaches working with football -- by having the strength and conditioning staff focus its attention on returned missionaries as a separate group.

"I believe it needs that much attention," Sitake said. "For a person that's just got home from two years of nonactivity, it's important that we give them that much attention, that we give them that much coaching so that we can make the right decision.

"As we go forward, if there is a question at all -- then we redshirt them. For the most part, players want to play. If it was up to them, they'd play. They don't want to redshirt. As a coach, it's our job to protect them and do the redshirt."

lworthy@sltrib.com

Twitter: @LWorthySports 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

Bridesburg's pool almost didn't open this year.

The basin had cracks in five different places and valves needed replacing. But rather than close for long-term repairs, derailing a swim team's season and the annual swim show, a tradition for 50-plus years, the city scrambled — with concrete, patches, and a paint job — to open in time for summer.

"This community would die without the pool," said Jackie DeSanctis, 79, who has worked at the pool and recreation center since she was 21 years old, first as a recreation director and now as a volunteer. "They were having a heart attack when they said it might close. It's a big part of the community."

Bridesburg Recreation Center, a brick complex dating back to 1956, is home to one of the most popular pools in the city. The center has 250 kids enrolled in swim lessons this summer, a day camp, a swim team, and one of the only remaining swim shows left in the city.

But it's also one of the oldest pools in the city's fleet of 70 — the most per capita of any big city, said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. The city spends about $2 million annually to get its aging pools ready to open each summer. This summer all but one, a pool in Fishtown, are open.

"Many are at the end of their useful life," Lovell said.

She went on to commend the Parks and Recreation staff: "These guys pull rabbits out of their hats to get the pools up and running, whatever they can do, just to squeeze one more year of life out of these pools."

About 80 percent of the fleet needs some kind of work, and four pools, including Bridesburg, need a total overhaul. The department puts the estimated cost of needed repairs for all pools at $100 million.

Pools are eligible for the city's $500 million Rebuild initiative, which will target the renovation of libraries, parks, and recreation centers over the next six or more years. Lovell said the department will consider everything attached to a recreation center, including the state of its pool, in deciding on projects, but it's unlikely every pool will be fixed through Rebuild.

There are no plans to downsize the number of pools in the city, a suggestion that has sparked outrage in communities before.

"People love their pools … and I think there's a lot of value in pools for kids who are never going to get to a private swim club, Dorney Park, or Disney World," Lovell said. "Having that experience is really important. You can't learn how to swim at a spray park."

All city pools are supposed to provide free swim lessons to children, and about 30 have swim teams.

At Bridesburg on Friday, the day started out cool and rainy, but about 70 kids still showed up to swim. By the time the sun had come out in the afternoon, the pool was full of day campers and visitors.

Attendance at city pools has risen citywide — up from about 830,000 visitors in 2015 to about 900,000 last year, though weather is a factor.

Bridesburg is old-school, with concrete bleachers for belongings and no towels or chairs allowed on the pool deck. Lately, some pools are softening the rules, adding a more swim club-like feel.

Last summer, the city spent $80,000 on a program it dubbed SwimPhilly to spruce up five city pools by adding umbrellas, chairs, palm trees, and other tropical decor. The same items are being reused this year at the pools at Lee Cultural Center in West Philadelphia, Lawncrest Recreation Center in the Northeast, Pleasant Playground in Mount Airy, O'Connor Pool in Markward Playground, and the pool at Francisville playground.

Neighbors near Graduate Hospital this year raised $16,000 to bring a similar transformation to the pool at Marian Anderson Recreation Center. Other communities, like Northern Liberties, have expressed an interest in fund-raising to follow suit.

Lovell said she's glad communities want to get involved in "tricking out" their pools, but doesn't want to create a situation where poorer neighborhoods get left out. The city intentionally picked changing neighborhoods for the upgrades they funded, according to Lovell, as a way to build community.

"You're seeing the capacity to raise that kind of money in more affluent neighborhoods, and that's a little painful for me because we were really intentional to do [upgrades] in neighborhoods that were diverse from a socioeconomic standpoint," Lovell said. "We're going to try to lobby to raise funds on our own to make sure we can keep a real sense of equity."

At Bridesburg on Friday afternoon, Recreation Director John McBride proudly showed off the freshly painted pool. It looked deceivingly good, but the cracks would be back, he said. The city plans to replace the pool, a project that will cost upwards of $1.8 million, after it closes this summer.

"The face-lift they gave it, my hat is off to them," McBride said. "But the community does deserve a brand-new pool. They know it's coming; it's a matter of when that first shovel strikes the ground."

Child drowns in Wildwood motel pool

Coatesville struggles to maintain public pools

Neighbors want crackdown on Devil's Pool adventure-seekers

Maybe ick factor will deter swimmers in city creeks

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Paddock Publications, Inc.

Chicago Daily Herald

 

For 21 days last year, the NCAA abolished satellite camps altogether.

Those camps hit the national college football spotlight when Michigan appeared at 40 camps around the country, plus Australia and Samoa. The argument over satellite camps became a Jim Harbaugh vs. the SEC battle, with Alabama coach Nick Saban publicly questioning whether the camps had any value.

Common sense eventually prevailed, the NCAA rescinded the ban and here in Illinois the camps have been a boon to suburban football players. North Central College in Naperville held three days of football camps last month, with special guests from out-of-state colleges each night.

"I think it's a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes to have a chance to showcase their talents in front of multiple layers of college football coaches," North Central coach Jeff Thorne said. "It limits the amount of money they have to spend out of their pockets. They don't have to drive all over the country to get seen."

A Monday session at North Central was attended by the Iowa State coaching staff. Minnesota, with new head coach P.J. Fleck, a Kaneland native, followed on Tuesday while the Wednesday session included Wisconsin, Missouri and Western Michigan.

Several smaller schools were represented as well. Coaches from Illinois State, Northern Iowa and South Dakota State were at Monday's camp, for example.

Some players attended just one day while others signed up for all three days at North Central. Montini senior quarterback Matt Morrissey said he spoke to South Dakota State coaches and got an invitation to attend their camp.

"It's nice because it takes the stress out of having to go out and visit each school separately," said Morrissey, who was with four Montini teammates at one session. "I just started talking to South Dakota State. I've talked to UNI (Northern Iowa) a little and saw them today. I went to their camp last week."

Morrissey has had a busy schedule lined up this summer. Besides the three camps at North Central, his summer list included Northwestern's showcase camp, a stop at Northern Illinois that included reps from Penn State, Arkansas and Southern Illinois, and a camp at Holy Cross.

Recruiting analyst Tim O'Halloran, has seen college football recruiting change drastically in recent years, as top schools try to get a jump on the biggest stars by identifying them as freshmen and sophomores.

Crystal Lake South sophomore lineman Dominic Collado attended the North Central camp. Listed at 6-3, 290 on his high school roster, he has the size to draw some attention and has gotten acquainted with the training structure.

"The first camp I went to kind of got me in the rhythm, and then when I kind of got used to them, it became really fun at the end," Collado said.

This was the third year North Central hosted satellite camps and many more schools across the suburbs hosted as well, such as Lake Forest College (with Illinois, Indiana State and Wyoming), Elmhurst College (with Syracuse, South Dakota and Minnesota State), and Illinois Benedictine (Iowa, Eastern Illinois and others). Many camps offered a good number of coaches from smaller schools, as well.

The benefits seem obvious. High school players hoping to get recruited can attend a one-day camp and be seen by several schools from FBS, FCS and often Division II and III.

"I talk to kids all the time and kids want to go to camps and they want to come out and compete," O'Halloran said. "I've talked to kids in the last couple of days that said they can only go to maybe two one-day camps because of the cost. At least this is closer than having to drive to Ames, Iowa or Champaign or somewhere. They get a chance to be evaluated, to be seen."

The NCAA banned satellite camps in April 2016 - the Big Ten was the only Power 5 conference that voted to keep them - then rescinded the ban three weeks later. Eventually, new guidelines were adopted. Satellite camps must now take place on a college campus and coaching staffs are limited to 10 days of camp attendance per summer.

There were just under 200 players at North Central's first day of camp.

"I think it's a win-win, I really do, without a doubt," Thorne said. "If you look at our two camps last year, 65 kids who attended those two camps last year got scholarship offers from a Division I or a Division II school. So the exposure is definitely there.

"The Penn State camp we hosted in 2015, we had 50 FBS players at that camp. So it really does help. I'm not suggesting that our camp is the reason these kids are getting scholarships, but it's one more opportunity for those kids to get noticed. I know in several cases, our camp is where they were noticed for the first time."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 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 Independent Publishing Company
All Rights Reserved

Anderson Independent-Mail (South Carolina)

 

If you've been to a youth sporting event recently, you know there are times when parents and other adults behave badly. When a call doesn't go in little Johnny or Suzy's favor, all sorts of expletives are hurled in the direction of the referee.

With that in mind, it's no wonder that officials at the South Carolina Youth Soccer Association have called for "Silent September" at all SCYSA-sponsored games. The heckling and poor behavior have hurt the league's ability to retain referees, officials say.

There will be no "cheering or jeering," officials wrote in a memo about the new rule. A first offense will result in a referee asking the coach to counsel the offender. On the second offense, the coach will be told — not asked — to counsel the offending party. If it comes down to a third offense, three strikes as it were, the offender is out of there. And if the person doesn't leave on his own, or if the coach refuses to insist on the person leaving, the coach will be booted from the game. The game will be halted if another adult doesn't step in and coach.

Indeed, it's a sad state of affairs when parents and other adults have to be told how to behave in front of children. League officials believe the "Silent September" move will bring attention to the issue. Some of the referees are teenagers who earn between $15-$25 a game. It's a great job for a teenager with an interest and knowledge in the sport and a thick skin.

Kenneth Ayers of the South Carolina Referee Association told The Greenville News last week that his organization re-certifies about 35 percent of its new referees each year. Those who don't return complain about the sideline behavior of parents and fans.

In his 30 years as a youth soccer coach in Greenville, Hiram Springle has seen it all, and heard it all. He began coaching when his son was a child. "Now he's grown and I'm stuck with it," he says with a laugh.

Springle coaches 12 and under boys and girls and 15 and under girls soccer. He believes the "Silent September rule" is unrealistic and will be difficult to enforce.

For one, fans are on one side of the field and the coach is on the other. In addition to watching the game and coaching players, now coaches will be expected to police parents and other adults.

Plus, part of the fun of youth sports is cheering for the teams and players, especially when they do well, he said. Every game, he and other coaches have been building a bridge on the field as a show of sportsmanship. He'd like to see the league focus more on better training for referees. And he'd like to see parents be more respectful.

"Parents need to understand and behave respectfully — toward the referees and all the kids that are playing."

An occasional bad call is part of the game, but when a referee consistently gets calls wrong, or unfairly penalizes one team, parents have a right to speak up, he said.

In soccer, the offsides penalty is one of the most difficult calls to make, especially in the games involving younger players because there is only one referee present. Compounding the problem is that many parents — and some referees — don't understand the offsides rule.

Having an adult marshal — perhaps someone in a big red vest — present at the games to serve as an intermediary could help, says Springle.

Bill Martin, executive director of United FC — Furman, coaches North Greenville University's men's soccer team and has watched his children play soccer. He has also watched them referee games.

United FC has 1,300 players ages 3-18.

"There clearly is a correction that needs to made," Martin said. "'Silent September' is a time for parents to withdraw from that environment, sit back and be quiet for four games in their career. Let the coach coach and the kids play. Just back up a little bit."

Perhaps the time out will cause the pendulum to swing back toward the middle, away from parents thinking its their job to coach, says Martin, adding that his league works hard to stress character education with players, coaches and fans.

While Martin and others think "Silent September" will help, it's unlikely that parents who are abusive to referees are going to abide by the month-long rule when play resumes this fall.

In sports, as in life, there are always going to be a few bad actors. It doesn't seem fair to punish all fans for the behavior of a few.

Parents will do well to realize that children don't often do what they hear, but what they see.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 9, 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)

 

Indulge Tera Dolan, please.

She deserves it.

A rising fifth-year senior on the Anderson University women's soccer team, Dolan drove by Trojan Stadium last week and was overcome with emotion when she saw the recently installed lighting that will enable her and her teammates to play home games after dark for the first time in their college careers.

She strolled to midfield, looked up and choked up.

"It was a surreal moment," Dolan said. "I'm tearing up again right now just thinking about it."

Stadium lights might not seem like a big deal at Clemson or South Carolina or any other number of schools with burgeoning athletic programs and big budgets, but when you're one of only two members in the Division II South Atlantic Conference without soccer stadium lights, the impact can't be overstated.

"I've been waiting for this for four years," Dolan said. "So I don't know if I can put it into words."

The difference, she says, will be like, well, night and day.

"Sometimes I don't even bother to ask people if they can come to our games because we play right in the middle of the day, when people are in class or at work," Dolan said.

Those days are about to end.

"I'm in marketing," Dolan said. "So I'll be putting up flyers and posters and promoting all of our games on Facebook."

The fact that Anderson's men's and women's soccer teams have had to play their home games during daylight hours has proven an inconvenience for more than just the Trojans.

"I would always get calls from other athletic directors in the conference, complaining about having to leave at 8 a.m. to get here in time to play us," said Bill D'Andrea, Anderson's Director of Athletics. "Anderson student-athletes as well as our opponents will miss less class time and have the latitude to accommodate scheduling and playing games at night."

The lights were installed by Musco Lighting, an industry leader in sports lighting that previously provided lights at Anderson's softball and tennis facilities.

The recently completed project, which had a $260,000 price tag kindly picked up by an anonymous donor, also is expected to maximize the benefits of a home-field advantage for the Trojans.

"Lights for soccer means an atmosphere for the players, the students, the campus and the soccer community to embrace the excitement of the program's success," said Trojans women's soccer coach Julie Davis Carlson, whose team finished third in the conference last season. "It will help define a new athletic culture in the fall term of the academic year and will draw a new audience. It's also a huge selling point in recruiting."

Avoiding day games and practices in late summer, when high temperatures and humidity have been known to linger, will be a welcome reprieve as well as decreasing her chances of sunburn, Dolan said with a laugh.

"The weather can make it really hard - the temperature during the day can be grueling, honestly," said Dolan, a former standout at Greenville County's Mauldin High School. "And when you have to take so many water breaks, it kills the momentum of a game."

Anderson men's coach Michael Zion agreed.

"Playing in the heat of the day in August can be brutal," Zion said. "The heat definitely affects the overall performance and quality of the game."

Now the countdown is on.

The Trojan women will debut under the lights against Lynn University on Sept. 7 while the men will make their first primetime appearance against North Georgia on Sept. 8.

"The idea of having an atmosphere that will enhance the experience for our players, student body, and community is now coming to light," Zion said. "This is another move that solidifies the fact that Anderson athletics is on the move. We are looking forward to providing some quality entertainment for everyone."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 9, 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 Wichita Falls Times Record News
All Rights Reserved

Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas)

 

I believe the American people have become increasingly fed up with depictions of hate in our culture.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling effectively allowing the Washington Redskins to keep their trademark name even though many consider the term "redskins" offensive to Native Americans.

The ruling had the effect of voiding a 2014 decision by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office to cancel the registration of the National Football League team's right to exclusively market the Redskins name on grounds that it is considered a racial slur.

The specific case before the court in June concerned an Asian-American dance band called the Slants that had been prevented from trademarking its name.

Justice Samuel Alito, writing for a unanimous court, said, "It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend."

By extension, the ruling means the use of the name Redskins is also constitutionally protected free speech.

Many Native Americans, myself included, have long urged the Washington team to stop using this derogatory term. For years, team owner Daniel Snyder has brazenly proclaimed that he will "never" get rid of this name, no matter how racist some people consider it.

Believing that there was no use in appealing to the better part of Snyder's conscience, a core group of Native Americans sought to legally end his team's sole right to market Redskins merchandise. Such economic leverage, had it been successful, would have cut deeply into the millions of dollars the Washington team makes from Redskins clothing and other products. As a businessman, Snyder might have had to find a new name for his team because merchandise is a major source of revenue in corporate American sports.

But Snyder aggressively fought the Trademark Office's ruling, which never took effect and now has been undone.

Despite the setback, the fight to stop this marketing of hate is not over. The days of the Redskins name and image are numbered.

It won't take an act of government for this to happen. All it requires is the exercise of conscience by ordinary people who refuse to go along with something they consider wrong.

Despite the nation's improbable election of a man known for bigoted expression, I believe the American people have become increasingly fed up with depictions of hate in our culture.

There are signs everywhere of a renewed sensitivity, based on the sentiments of ordinary people. From the lowering of the Confederate flag in Southern state houses to the removal of statues of revered Southern Civil War hero in cities like New Orleans, Americans are done with keeping alive hateful symbols that needlessly exacerbate racial tensions.

Snyder can boast about his free speech victory all he wants. But one day soon, his business empire built on degrading and dehumanizing my people will end.

 

From ABTime for Teams to Evaluate Names, Mascots

Mark Anthony Rolo is an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. And he is the author of the memoir "My Mother Is Now Earth." He wrote this for Progressive Media Project, a source of liberal commentary on domestic and international issues; it is affiliated with The Progressive magazine. Readers may write to the author at: Progressive Media Project, 30 W. Mifflin St., suite 703, Madison, Wis. 53703; email: pmproj@progressive.org; Web site: www.progressive.org. For information on PMP's funding, please visit http://www.progressive.org/pmpabout.html#anch.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 9, 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)

 

One phone call changed the Garner family's shopping list from a pink baby stroller to an electric wheelchair.

Eight years ago, mobility aids — much less mobility issues — were foreign concepts to James and Jennifer Garner. Today, the Garners are spearheading the construction of an all-access playground in Daleville for kids with and without disabilities.

When Addy Grace Garner was 4 months old, her parents were told that she only had two years to live.

The news came out of nowhere to the Garners, who live in Botetourt County. They'd had a perfect pregnancy, and Addy seemed to be a happy, healthy baby.

But the little girl had missed several important milestones at her four-month check-up. She couldn't hold up her head or sit up without help. Her doctor referred her to a neurologist to see what was going on.

The neurologist told her parents to relax.

"He told us he did not think it was the worst-case scenario," Jennifer Garner said.

But then the Garners got the call from his office: Addy had type 1 spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, a rare disease that made her muscles very weak and would cause them to deteriorate over time. It was the worst-case scenario after all.

Most children with SMA don't live past the age of 2 because of breathing problems. The disease affects one in every 6,000 to 10,000 babies in America, according to the Addy Grace Foundation, a nonprofit the Garners founded six years ago. It doesn't interfere with cognitive brain function, just the loss of nerve cells in the spinal cord, causing a lack of muscle stimulation and muscle deterioration over time.

"It smacked us in the face because he had led us to believe that was not it," Jennifer Garner said.

At a follow-up appointment, the Garners were advised to take their daughter home and just love her until her time was up. The neurologist said there was nothing they could do.

The Garners didn't see that as an option.

They took Addy to a specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He didn't give them everything they were hoping for, either, but he did give them something: an SMA clinical trial in which to enroll Addy. It was the spark of hope they needed to keep searching.

Then the Garners heard about a conference in Cincinnati that offered advice to parents with kids with SMA. There, they met the doctor who would give them the one thing they'd been longing for since Addy's diagnosis: options.

Although this specialist was in Wisconsin, Addy's parents said their visits were well worth the commute. The doctor offered several immediate treatment approaches, and they chose the least invasive one. Addy was set up with a BiPAP breathing machine, a cough assist and a suction machine. She also had surgery to insert a feeding tube in her belly.

Today, 8-year-old Addy is very strong, her mother said. She needs help breathing and moving her body, and she cannot speak, but she has her own way of communicating. Addy's parents will hold up her arm, and Addy will nod with her wrist to say "yes," and she can blink to answer directed questions.

The Garners said Addy is a miracle; God came through with options, and that's all they could ask for. They are grateful for every day he grants them with their daughter.

"She is here today because of him," Jennifer Garner said.

When it comes to day-to-day living, things can get tricky. The Garners can't take Addy to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Sometimes it's too hot or wet outside for her or her necessary equipment, and sometimes places don't have the resources they need for their daughter to be able to participate.

But that didn't stop them from taking Addy to see the ocean, something they'd dreamed for her since she was born.

Two years ago, the family drove to Virginia Beach. Garner said watching her daughter watch the waves curl, foam and roll, and seeing the joy on her face, was the greatest moment.

After sitting in the sand for a while, the family went for a stroll, and when they reached the end of a boardwalk, they saw a playground. But not just any playground. It was an all-access one, with wide ramps and accessories with extra support, such as swings with backs.

"Our hearts melted more than hers did," Garner said. "This is something she can actually do."

It gave them the idea to build a similar playground near their house.

At first, the project seemed unrealistic. The Garners needed to raise $750,000. With the help of organizations including Foundation for Roanoke Valley and several Virginia companies, the Garners said they are more than 40 percent of the way to their fundraising goal.

Stephanie Sparks, principal of Sparks@Play, a playground equipment supplier, said the playground will have double-wide ramps, so two wheelchairs can roll side by side; a sturdy zip-line with modified seats and straps for kids who need back support; and a rocking boat that can carry wheelchairs. There also will be features like sensory and sound interactive play boards.

The playground will be built adjacent to the YMCA that 's under construction in Daleville, on land provided by the Y, which is slated to open in spring 2019. It's a prime location with a 360-degree mountain view. It will take only 30 days to build the play area, but the YMCA has to be built first, and the funding has to be collected.

The Garners started the Addy Grace Foundation to provide information and monetary support to families with kids with SMA. There's a contact portal on the nonprofit's website, addygracefoundation.com, so families can contact them. The website also features a layout of what the playground will look like.

Addy is now in third grade at Greenfield Elementary, where she Skypes into the classroom three times a week, using blinking to communicate. She likes going outside, playing games with her family and watching movies like "Frozen" and "Cinderella" while playing on her swing with her 3-year-old brother, Bryson.

"She knows she's different from her peers here," her mother said. "But that doesn't stop her from living her life. She loves her friends, family, arts and crafts, and just being a little girl. She's so happy - she knows no different."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 8, 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.)

 

The wrestling singlet has new competition as uniform choices will double this coming season.

The National Federation of State High School Associations approved in May adding an alternate two-piece uniform "consisting of compression shorts or shorts designed for wrestling and a form-fitted compression shirt."

Officials hope the addition will help grow a sport that's losing participation. Wrestling lost 7,555 participants from the 2014-15 school year to 2015-16 according to the most recent NFHS report.

South Hampton Roads coaches have struggled in recent years to increase turnout, especially in the upper weights.

Besides the grueling routine of cutting weight, eating right and mental taxation, some athletes don't find a singlet appealing to slide into.

A two-piece may help.

"I think it's a move in the right direction," Nansemond River coach Tripp Seed said. "I think it will help keep the heavyweights involved and get the kids out who don't want to wear a singlet."

From ABUniform Changes for High School Wrestling Approved

Landstown 120-pound state champion Gavin Corbe plans to mix a two-piece into his routine.

"Landstown ordered some already," said Corbe, a rising senior. "Some guys are gonna be wearing them. I think it's something different to bring to the sport of wrestling."

Other coaches are hesitant about a change. Salem coach Robert Toran thinks breaking tradition would be a mistake.

"I'm an old-school guy," Toran said. "We are not marketing swimwear. It's a singlet and it should stay as is. I know things tend to be modified through time but I don't think it needs to take place in wrestling.

"The singlet is what defines the sport."

Fiscal feasibility may play a part in why the alternate uniform might not take off, Ocean Lakes coach Chris Barnhart added.

"It may help recruitment in the long run but the expenditure and risk related to it will take many years for programs to adopt it," Barnhart said.

Great Bridge coach Matt Small already stated his program will not use them.

Still, the NFHS believes its testing results can be extrapolated to the country.

"The (wrestling rules) committee approved use of the alternate two-piece uniform in the hopes of increasing boys and girls participation in the sport after receiving favorable results from experimentation and positive comments from schools, students, coaches and officials," the NFHS said in a release.

Wilson coach Tony Reynolds certainly had a favorable reaction.

Informed about the new uniform, Reynolds said, "That just made my decade."

Reynolds recounts many times recruiting students to join the team only to be shot down by the singlet.

"They'll tell you quick," Reynolds said. "Coach I wanna wrestle but I don't wanna wear that little uniform."

But Reynolds did foresee issues with the two-piece.

"That compression shirt would have to be tight enough and long enough to where it doesn't pop up and come up past the navel," Reynolds said.

An exposed abdomen could get rubbed and ground by headgear, Reynolds explained.

Small thinks the uniform addition is a band-aid to a much larger infection.

"I think kids don't wrestle because of the fear of being out there by themselves in front of everyone and competing with someone in a 1-on-1 situation," said Small, whose Great Bridge team won a Group 4A state title in February.

"If you're insecure about that you're gonna be insecure with what you're wearing."

Corbe expressed a similar thought.

"Wrestlers are a proud group of athletes," he said. "If you don't feel comfortable wearing a singlet this might not be the sport for you."

In six years with the Wildcats, Small has had only two heavyweights compete. N either complained about singlets.

"The participation problem is deeper rooted than the uniform," Small said.

But he appreciates the NFHS trying to solve a problem.

"We'll take whatever options we can get that will help us and if it's uniform-based, great.

But, Small added, "Great Bridge High is going to wear a singlet."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 8, 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

 

If they need a financial boost, some major-college athletics programs can rely on an upcoming TV rights revenue increase or raise ticket prices.

Some can tap their donors.

Others can look to their university administration, governing board or student bodies for more funding from school coffers or fees.

The University of Wyoming athletics program has looked to the governor and the state legislature.

And this hasn't just been about getting the money to fund recent increases in benefits for athletes that have been allowed under NCAA rules changes related to scholarships covering the full cost of attending school and the availability of meals and snacks.

It has been about a much wider range of spending needs that Wyoming athletics officials thought was necessary for the program to be competitive at least in the Mountain West Conference — and especially in football. The Cowboys had gone 4-8, 5-7, 4-8 and 2-10 before an 8-6 breakthrough that included an MWC division title last season, their third under coach Craig Bohl.

Facilities were a part of it. That is how Wyoming secured $20 million in state matching funds toward a $44 million training facility that includes specific features for football but will be used by all athletes and includes a nutrition center. In addition, there were about $15 million in matching funds toward a $30 million renovation of the basketball arena.

But as athletics director Tom Burman said: "We realized we needed operational dollars. Recruiting, team travel, scholarships, meals, summer school. Basically, those areas in particular. So we met with legislators and told the story. When Coach Bohl was here, Gov. (Matt) Mead asked him, 'What's it going to take?' And he walked him through it. That's how it started."

Of the 230 Division I public schools in the 2015-16 USA TODAY Sports college athletics financial data set, 34 reported (15%) receiving direct governmental support for that year.

In Wyoming's case, that entailed legislators and the governor approving an increase in another matching program that had been set up for annual donations to the athletics department's fundraising arm while the state cut its annual general appropriations for the university.

The match for annual donations went from 50 cents for every dollar up to $1 million a year, to a dollar-for-dollar match up to $4 million a year. (A one-year overlap in the programs resulted in nearly $5 million from the state in 2015-16.) This in addition to a steady $2 million in student fees and funding from the university's general fund that increased by $800,000 during the 2015-16 school year to a net of $12.4 million, according to the financial report Wyoming filed with the NCAA.

Those dollars helped Wyoming absorb not only what senior associate AD for business operations Bill Sparks said were nearly $700,000 in spending increases related to the start of cost-of-attendance-based scholarships but also make another boost in its spending on recruiting. For 2013-14, Wyoming reported $620,000 in total recruiting spending. For 2015-16, it reported $1.2 million — $612,000 for football recruiting.

Overall, the additional state funding let Wyoming increase its athletics expenses by almost $3.9 million in 2015-16 compared with 2014-15. Even adjusting for inflation, that amount represents the greatest single-year increase in Wyoming athletics spending by either dollars or percentage during the 11 years for which USA TODAY Sports has compiled this information. (The 2016 data are based on documents acquired in conjunction with the Sports Capital Journalism Program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.)

Wyoming is one of six schools in the Mountain West that reported receiving government money among their operating revenue in 2015-16, with five reporting more than $2.75 million each.

Sparks says he thinks the donation-matching method used by his state has played a role in the athletics department's ability to substantially increase its donations totals. In 2014-15 and 2015-16, the department reported a combined total of more than $11.2 million in donations, compared with more than $7.6 million for the two previous years. The state match is a big incentive for donors and a big selling point for the department, Sparks said.

Burman says he is sensitive to the state's financial difficulties that have been caused by a fall in oil and natural gas prices. But he also says that just increases the importance of Wyoming's only four-year public university having a successful football program.

"There's a couple things going on at UW right now," Burman said. "With the downturn in the economy... the university needs to grow. We need to grow students. We're going to have the largest freshman class this year that we've had in decades. I think part of that has to do with the excitement generated last year through football. I think that helps.

"And that's the role we can play in helping the university get out of this financial challenge. Because if they grow tuition revenue, it helps everybody. Football has to be strong, and it has to be strong to keep this investment of $4 million a year. It's easy to say no right now when there are important projects in the state that are being cut. Some could say, 'This really isn't important.' I say it's an economic engine. I also say it's important for the institution, the university, and we only have one."

Contributing: Christopher Schnaars. Myerberg reported from Laramie, Wyo.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Gannett Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

USA TODAY

 

During the 2015-16 school year, benefits for major-college athletes jolted upward in ways NCAA schools had seen as financially and philosophically ruinous less than a decade earlier.

The University of Arkansas athletics program barely blinked. It added about $1million in expenses to take advantage of a new NCAA rule that allowed scholarships to cover the full cost of attending college, according to information provided by the athletics department to USA TODAY Sports. Not including a $7million investment in a new sports nutrition center, it also again paid about $1.5million to feed athletes meals and snacks that NCAA rules had prohibited until April2014.

In other words, from those two items alone, Razorbacks athletes were pretty competitive with their coaches and administrators in terms of getting more from the school over the last two years.

And when the year was over, Arkansas had finished in the black by more than $19.3million — an operating surplus that was nearly $2.3million greater than the surplus it had produced in 2014-15.

As with other Southeastern Conference schools, Arkansas feasted on a substantial increase in TV rights revenue connected to the burgeoning SEC Network. Altogether, 22 other public school athletics programs — all in the SEC, BigTen or Big12 — finished their 2016 fiscal years having met the NCAA's bench mark for financial self-sufficiency, according to a USA TODAY Sports analysis of the athletics financial information schools annually report to the association.

An athletics program is deemed self-sufficient if the operating revenue it generates through its activities, including ticket sales, donations, TV rights and other income shared by conferences and the NCAA, exceeds operating expenses.

Arkansas' athletics program reached this point, effectively, without help from the school's general fund or student fees; it received $2million from the university but transferred an equal amount back in addition to what it paid for scholarships and various university services. Even with added spending on cost of attendance and additional meals and snacks, the total of 23 self-sufficient programs has remained steady since 2010. In 2016, Texas A&M's generated revenue of more than $194million — tops in Division I — exceeded its operating expenses by more than $57million. But its revenue and surplus amounts, driven by fundraising related to a football stadium refurbishment, came against the backdrop of $57million in football and other capital project spending.

Arkansas' surplus enabled the athletics department to spend more than $20.7 million during 2015-16 on capital projects. Among them were the installation of video boards at four facilities, the construction of parking lots that are used by the department on game days and by the university community otherwise, and the start-up costs for a $160million football stadium renovation.

Schools' spending on capital projects for athletics programs — money spent on top of day-to-day operating costs — was collected by the NCAA for the first time on reports for 2015-16. Of the $1.3billion in such spending, a combination of cash and debt financing, about two-thirds came from Power Five schools, which constitute less than one-fourth of DivisionI public schools.

"Substantial progress has been made in the past few years with NCAA legislation opening the door for programs like ours to invest even more into our student-athletes," Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. "Fully funding cost of attendance and providing additional meals and fueling for student-athletes in all sports on an annual basis is a significant financial commitment for all intercollegiate programs but one that was needed for the benefit of our student-athletes."

"Fortunately, the University of Arkansas, as one of the few financially self-sustaining athletics programs in the country, was in a good position to assume those costs for more than 460 student-athletes in 19 sports on top of the other commitments we have made to our student-athletes, including academic support, medical resources, enhanced travel and better facilities."

Where the money goes

Taken as a group, DivisionI public schools showed signs of being able to accommodate more spending on athletes — plus capital spending  without all of them having an Arkansas-like ability to overpower that increase with TV money. There were several operational areas in which schools raised their spending in 2016 but did so at lower rates than they had been recently. Among those areas were salaries for coaches and administrators.

The 230 schools' spending on financial aid for athletes grew by nearly 9% in 2016  the largest single-year jump since 2010. The increase for 2016 includes rises in the traditional elements of athletics scholarships  tuition, fees, room and board — plus the additional amounts for incidental expenses that athletes were allowed to receive for the first time.

Coaches' compensation rose by 5% in 2016, the smallest rate of increase during the 11 years USA TODAY Sports has compiled the information. (The 2016 data are based on documents acquired in conjunction with the Sports Capital Journalism Program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.)

Schools' compensation for administrative and support staff went up 4.7% in 2016, the lowest rate of increase since 2010, when it was 3.1%. Rates of increase in spending on travel, equipment, uniforms and supplies and game-day operations also were at their lowest since 2011.

Whether these lower rates of increase are a one-year anomaly produced by the sudden spike in financial aid spending remains to be seen.

For example, travel spending can be tricky, because schools have no control over fuel costs and schools are trying to sharpen their focus on making travel arrangements that result in as little lost class time as possible. In addition, increases in travel costs that resulted from the last round of conference realignments have settled.

Another potential factor is that the NCAA has changed the reporting form in each of the last two years, potentially resulting in some schools reallocating some of these expenses to different reporting categories.

Getting creative

Louisiana Tech athletics director Tommy McClelland said that athletics departments outside the Power Five conferences recognize they need to do what they can to increase revenue. Their universities  and in some cases state governments  are continuing to add to the amounts of money they give to athletics. But McClelland says it's also a matter of priorities, and he insists there is no sense of losing ground competitively, even though his school spent less on sports in 2016 than any other public school in ConferenceUSA, one of the so-called Group of Five conferences.

"The parity and the competitiveness on the field, on the court is, in my opinion, at an all-time high," he said. "I mean, we feel like we've been pretty competitive in the major sports at Louisiana Tech on an athletic department that's significantly less financially than the Power Fives  and is significantly less than many Group of Fives.... So with that in mind, we will increase and do where we can within reason and what's responsible for us at our university."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts)

 

WORCESTER — Sixteen-year-old Kadisha Evans said she was shooting baskets June 30 at the seldom-used Holland Rink Playground on Lincoln Street when a heavy-duty steel basketball backboard came crashing down onto the court.

Kadisha, who plays varsity basketball at Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School, said she shot about 10 free throws before the heavy basketball structure tumbled to the pavement, sounding like a car crash.

The teen said she enjoys having her father, Carl, rebound as she shoots baskets in the solitude of the park. But on that particular day, Kadisha said, she's glad her father stayed in his car scratching lottery tickets.

"Luckily, I didn't go for a layup, or my dad wasn't under the hoop for a rebound, because it would've went down on him or me," she said, speculating that it could have resulted in death or serious injury.

The teen said she was shaken up by the incident.

"It was so scary," she said. "What if it fell on me? It was really, really loud, to the point I didn't even know what was going on."

Kadisha said she was 6 when she began going to the park. She said she goes there when she doesn't want to play basketball with boys at the courts at Lincoln Village Apartments.

On Wednesday, Kadisha returned to Holland Rink Playground and its lone remaining basketball hoop, whose rim was flimsy. The fallen backboard structure had been removed. The pavement was cracked throughout.

"For the city to have it like this, it's sad," she said.

Mr. Evans, a retired Army veteran, said, "I would like for the city to redo the park, make it a better park, make it a new park. Resurface the pavement. New backboards. Because it's really deteriorated, bad."

The Evanses said they went to the city manager's office Wednesday to notify city officials about the backboard incident and the condition of the park.

They said they were told that the commissioner of parks would be notified.

Reached for comment, John Hill, a spokesman for City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., said Mr. Augustus "understands parks are one of our most vital assets as a city, and has been working hard to improve them wherever possible.

"During his tenure, the manager has made parks improvements a priority, and has expanded funding for capital renovations for our 60 parks, as well as capital equipment and manpower for the parks division overall."

For fiscal 2018, which began this month, Worcester has allocated $11.2 million in borrowing for capital improvements and $1.2 million in capital equipment purchases for parks, Mr. Hill said.

In the past three years, Mr. Hill added, major renovations have been completed or are now underway at Elm Park, Crompton Park, Greenwood Street Park, Castle Park, Green Hill Park, Mulcahy Field, Holmes Field, Betty Price Playground, Glodis Field (Providence Street Playground), Canterbury School Playground, Indian Hill Park, and Shore Park.

This is in addition to the new Blackstone Gateway Park in Quinsigamond Village; the new universally accessible park at the former Coes Knife site, and two new dog parks being constructed at Beaver Brook and Vernon Hill.

Mr. Hill noted that Holland Rink Playground's overall condition is fair, though it does not get as much use as other parks because of its location up against Interstate 290 and Lincoln Street.

The park has an approved master plan, though money in the upcoming capital budget has been allocated to other parks that are frequently used, Mr. Hill said.

Located across from Hanover Insurance Group, Holland Rink Playground has been dubbed one of the city's "phantom playgrounds" in that it lacks a playground.

It once had a wading pool, but when I-290 was built in 1967, it severed the Holland Recreation Area from Green Hill Park, destroying the pool and leaving only basketball courts and a ball field.

Elsewhere in the city, most people said that they were pleased with the condition of parks they used Thursday.

At University Park, city resident Lawrence Cote said he walks daily through the park to get to a store to purchase the newspaper.

"I think it's in great shape," said Mr. Cote. He added that he enjoys "just sitting down and enjoying the scenery, the birds flying." Mr. Cote commended the city for its upkeep of the park.

A man who only identified himself as Oscar ran laps around the pond at University Park.

"I like to come run here. Other than that, I don't really like to come here to enjoy it. It's not one of the best parks out here," he said, though he noted later that the park is much cleaner than "back in the day."

At Bell Hill Park, Diane St. Francis spoke as her 7- and 9-year-old grandsons played in the water, excited about their new fidget spinner. "I don't mind it here," she said. "It's clean so far." Her only complaints, she said, were the lack of bathrooms and absence of a lifeguard. A few minutes later, a couple of lifeguards arrived at the park.

Parks on Camp Street and Shrewsbury Street had well-attended summer programs going on, and the parks appeared well kept. On Camp Street, a public works employee picked up litter with a trash poker and emptied barrels during the morning.

Shrewsbury Street's Cristoforo Colombo Park looked immaculate in the midst of summer programs.

"I see cigarette butts and stuff," a man who would only identify himself as Steve said at Cristoforo Colombo Park. "But other than that, it's a beautiful park."

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

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

News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)

 

GREENSBORO - With the official start of fall sports practice less than a month away, Guilford County Schools families have been told they will have to come up with a $45 participation fee or seek a waiver based on economic hardship for their children to compete in athletics.

GCS delivered a recorded message from athletics director Leigh Hebbard to households June 28 informing them of the district-wide requirement. The fee is a requirement for each middle school or high school student who intends to participate in one or more sports during the 2017-18 school year. The fee is the same $45 regardless of the number of sports in which the student participates.

The so-called "pay-to-play" initiative was first proposed in April by GCS Superintendent Sharon Contreras as part of the budget that was recently approved by Guilford County Commissioners.

The fee is projected to raise $400,000 during the school year toward a proposed district operating budget of $637 million, or about 0.0006 percent.

Waiver opportunities, based primarily on whether a student is eligible for free or reduced lunch, will be available, Hebbard said in the voice message. Practice for fall sports officially begins July 31, but athletes have until the first contest in their sport to pay the fee or be approved for a waiver. No students who have not paid the fee or been granted a waiver will be allowed to compete.

Students enrolled in a middle college, early college or at other schools without an athletics program will need to pay the fee at the school where they compete. Families will be able to pay the fee in person with cash, check or money order or pay online "no earlier than July 28," Hebbard said, using the K12 Payment Center.

"Additional information and required forms will be available on our website (www.gcsnc.com) and at each school" by Monday, Hebbard said.

For more information, families can contact the athletics director at their school(s) or call 336-370-8950.

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

 
July 6, 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)

 

The families of two kids who ended up underwater in two Collier County pools within a couple of hours of each other Monday found vastly different outcomes.

The family of 4-year-old Saijene Kernizan is planning a funeral.

The family of 14-year-old Romario Morales awaits his recovery at Golisano Children's Hospital in Fort Myers.

At 4:47 p.m. Monday, first responders were dispatched to the Immokalee Sports Complex on a medical call for a teenage boy who almost drowned. A lifeguard at the sports complex pulled Romario from the bottom of the pool before first responders got there, according to a Collier County Sheriff's Office report.

The teen was bleeding from his mouth and nose; he was flown to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment of possible internal injuries.

Romario was in good condition Wednesday at Golisano Children's Hospital, according to Pat Dolce, spokeswoman for Lee Memorial Hospital.

"The doctors are examining his lungs to make sure the water in them has cleared," Romario's mother, Sandra Cuyuch, said in Spanish on Wednesday.

Cuyuch, her husband and their two sons were visiting from New Jersey when her son almost drowned. Her younger son was in the children's pool while Romario was in the regular pool, Cuyuch said.

"I was going from one to the other to see them, and when I went to the pool to take a picture of Romario, I didn't see him," she said.

She said she doesn't remember how long it took for someone to realize he was at the bottom of the pool. Romario told his mother he came to in the helicopter on the way to Lee Memorial and thought he was being kidnapped.

"He didn't know what was happening and said he was scared," Cuyuch said. "We thank God he's OK. He told me he didn't realize how deep the pool was before going under."

At 6:12 p.m. Monday, paramedics and Collier Sheriff's Office investigators responded to a call about a child who drowned in a neighbor's pool in East Naples.

According to a Sheriff's Office report, Saijene Kernizan's two older brothers were looking after her Monday evening between the time their mother went to work and their father returned from his job.

The 4-year-old was sleeping on the couch when her mother left. About half an hour later, the younger brother rode his bicycle to a nearby gas station to buy headphones for himself and a bag of chips for his teen brother. The boy who left the house told his brother to look after Saijene, who still was sleeping, the report states.

When the boy returned home, he went straight to his brother's room and didn't notice whether the girl was still in the living room, the report states. He said the headphones didn't work, so he rode his bike back to the gas station to exchange them, according to the report. The boy told investigators he locked the front door the first time he left the house but could not remember whether he locked it the second time he left.

When the younger boy got back home, he noticed Saijene no longer was sleeping on the couch but assumed she went into the teenager's room. The boy watched some videos on an electronic device and noticed his brother made several trips from his room to the kitchen, but he hadn't seen or heard Saijene inside the room, the report states.

The boy asked his brother where their sister was, and the teen said he didn't know. They searched the house and went outside to look for her, the report states. The girl liked to play in puddles when it rained, the brothers told investigators.

When they couldn't find her, they knocked on the doors of two of their neighbors to ask for help looking for her. One of the neighbors found the girl at the bottom of another neighbor's pool and pulled her out with the help of her older brother, according to the report.

The girl's older brother picked her up and took her back to their driveway, where first responders found her.

More children younger than 5 drown in Florida than in any other state, according to the Florida Department of Health.

According to the NCH Safe and Healthy Children's Coalition, drowning is the leading cause of death of children ages 1 to 4 in Collier County.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 6, 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)

 

Whether by design or happenstance, the University of New Mexico's Athletic Department — which operates on an annual budget of roughly $33 million, but owes the university about $4.4 million — has not undergone a comprehensive audit by UNM's internal audit department in at least six years.

Possibly longer.

The audit department has, however, audited: UNM Press; the university president's travel and entertainment expenses (four times, we're told); and cash controls at the Pediatrics Department's bake sales. That random mix is because UNM creates its audit plan from feedback from the individual units — an odd system that amounts to departments admitting shortcomings and asking to be audited — as well as complaints.

Meanwhile, the university's audit department — comprising a total of eight employees, including administrators — has the authority to audit about 1,000 UNM units, such as branches, departments and programs.

It has averaged 9.2 reports per year since 2003.

We understand the challenges of understaffing, as well as the need to address complaints, but to ignore a huge department that has been in the red for seven of the past nine years, and whose principals have made enough questionable financial decisions (Scotland, anyone?) to have triggered investigations by the state Auditor's Office and the state Attorney General's Office just does not add up.

UNM officials cannot, in fact, pinpoint the last time internal auditors took a comprehensive look at the Athletic Department, although they have conducted audits on specific areas within the department. Clearly, nobody in Athletics raised his/her hand and asked for an overall audit.

But shouldn't posting deficits year after fiscal year warrant closer scrutiny and oversight? At minimum, shouldn't such a large and fiscally challenged operation warrant a chief financial officer? (Athletics hasn't had one since last July.)

Interim UNM President Chaouki Abdallah says he thinks UNM has enough safeguards, including processes and internal audit functions, to ensure that Athletics runs a sound financial operation but adds, "You don't know what you don't know."

What we do know is UNM Athletics needs some fiscal discipline. UNM says its internal auditors will work alongside state-level staff on the forthcoming audit, as they should.

The dueling state investigations should provide a playbook of where things have gone wrong, and Abdallah says the university could make changes based on findings. But he doesn't have to wait — UNM should immediately require internal audits of departments that, like Athletics, have shown they can't play by the budget rules.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 6, 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 Southeastern Newspapers Corporation
All Rights Reserved

The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)

 

Former Georgia Southern co-offensive coordinators David Dean and Rance Gillespie have filed individual lawsuits against the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation, head football coach Tyson Summers and multiple administrators, including athletics director Tom Kleinlein, according to a USA Today story Wednesday night.

Dean and Gillespie allege that Georgia Southern breached their football contracts when they were fired in December after just one season with the school in which the Eagles struggled offensively.

"The University cannot comment on pending litigation," a Georgia Southern spokesperson wrote in an email when sought for comment.

According to the USA Today story, the lawsuit, which was filed June 21 and 22 in Fulton County Superior Court, alleges that Georgia Southern "failed to execute the 18-month contracts signed initially, then pressured them to sign shorter deals two days before their dismissal."

Dean and Gillespie signed 18-month contracts on Jan. 27, 2016, with an end-of-term date of June 30, 2017, according to USA Today. Nine months later, the coaches learned the school's Board of Regents and the athletic foundation never signed the contracts.

Citing the lawsuits, USA Today reported Summers told his assistants on Nov. 3 that new contracts were being prepared. The second contract, given to Dean and Gillespie on Nov. 16, had adjusted the end of agreement date to Feb. 28, 2017.

Among the other administrators mentioned in the suit were senior director for business operations Jeff Blythe and director of football operations Cymone George. The lawsuit alleges that in order to save money and knowing that coaching changes were coming at the end of the season, Blythe and George "conspired to change the terms of the January Contract and specifically the employment end date," according to USA Today.

Dean refused several requests from George to sign the new contract because he believed he had already signed a valid contract, USA Today cited, according to the lawsuit.

He eventually signed the new contract on Dec. 2 after claims Blythe led him to believe he could be fired any time, and that his salary and benefits would immediately cease unless he signed.

At this time, it was unclear if Summers would even return as head coach after the Eagles lost to in-state rival Georgia State, a loss that guaranteed they would not return to a bowl game despite returning 17 starters.

Hours after Georgia Southern finished its season 5-7 with an upset win over Troy on Dec. 3, Kleinlein announced that Summers would return for the 2017 season. The next day, Dean and Gillespie were fired.

Dean is now the head coach at Division II West Georgia, and Gillespie is the head coach at Hart County High School.

In 2015, the Eagles led the nation in rushing and won their first bowl game in program history at the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile, Ala., before Gillespie and Dean were hired by then-new coach Summers. Dean and Gillespie moved away from the Eagles' traditional triple-option offense, and Georgia Southern's rushing total declined by more than 2,000 yards. The Eagles ranked 101st in the nation in total offense in 2016.

Summers transferred play-calling duties from Gillespie to Dean midway through the season, but the Eagles still struggled to find identity.

On Dec. 1, the Savannah Morning News made an open records request to Georgia Southern University's Office of Legal Affairs requesting copies of the contracts between the university and Dean and Gillespie.

"We do not have signed contracts for the assistant football coaches at this time," Geoffrey Carson, an associate university attorney at Georgia Southern, replied to the request via email.

Haisten Willis, a freelance reporter writing for SB Nation, told the Savannah Morning News on Wednesday night that he made an open records request to Georgia Southern for copies of the contracts on Oct. 7.

According to email records, the reporter received a response on Oct. 12 from Carson saying, "We do not have contracts, but the annual salaries of the requested coaches are as follows."

Gillespie was paid an annual salary of $165,000, and Dean was paid $150,000.

The reporter responded by asking if Dean and Gillespie were at-will employees who had not signed contracts. Carson then said formal contracts were in the process of being completed and that he would send them to the reporter upon completion.

Willis said he never received the contracts.

Georgia law requires public universities to respond to open records requests within 90 days, and public records can only be withheld through specific exemptions.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
 
July 6, 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)

 

The University of Louisville athletics department may have to repay more than $5 million for four of its NCAA Tournament appearances as part of the NCAA Committee on Infractions' ruling against the men's basketball program.

U of L is appealing the proposed financial penalty in addition to the suggested vacation of records that could remove the Cardinals' 2013 national championship banner. If the Committee on Infractions' initial ruling is upheld, the appeal at least affords the university more time to sort through financial reports to arrive at the correct amount that must be returned for Louisville's 2012-15 NCAA Tournament appearances.

It could take close to four months before a potential appeals hearing is scheduled and even longer for a final ruling. The NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee announced its decision in the University of Hawaii's case in March, more than 14 months after the Committee on Infractions' original ruling was announced, and that was after Hawaii elected to skip the hearing to speed up the process.

The repayment, as interim U of L President Greg Postel said, represents millions of dollars. Kenny Klein, chief spokesman for U of L's athletics department, said the university hasn't determined repayment figures, let alone specifics related to them. He said that all proposed penalties are on hold until the NCAA appeals process is completed.

"We are still trying to interpret and determine what the figures would be," Klein said.

Research by the Courier-Journal revealed the challenges in figuring the sum.

It does appear that the repayment would reach into the millions, a significant cost for a school still working its way through a scathing audit of its finances, but there's a range of possible amounts because of several unanswered questions.

The NCAA Tournament's complex "unit" structure is at the center of the confusion.

Each year, the NCAA pays conferences for the number of NCAA Tournament games their members played in the previous six years. The payment is based on the value of a unit, or tournament game, that year.

A unit was worth more than $265,000 this year, according to the Washington Post. That means the Atlantic Coast Conference would receive $6.64 million from the NCAA for its teams appearing in 25 tournament games in 2016, plus another $17.5 million for the league's 66 tournament games from 2011-15.

The ACC distributes that money equally among the 15 members each year, regardless of whether a school made the NCAA Tournament.

The unit value has increased each recent year, too. That means the money the ACC would get from the NCAA in 2018 for its 2012-17 tournament appearances would be greater than the revenue sent in 2017.

The challenge for U of L? The school was part of the old Big East Conference in 2012-13; the newly formed American Athletic Conference, which included five former Big East members and five new schools, in 2014; and the ACC in 2015.

When seven Catholic universities left the old Big East in 2013, they were allowed to take their NCAA Tournament units with them instead of leaving them with the AAC. So was Notre Dame when it left for the ACC.

It's unclear how that has impacted the NCAA Tournament revenue distributed to the AAC or if the AAC paid U of L in 2015 for its participation as a league member in the 2014 tournament. It's also unclear if U of L relinquished any NCAA Tournament units to the AAC as part of its conference exit fee.

A spokeswoman for the AAC declined to comment, saying the league wouldn't discuss its financial agreements with former members.

At first glance, U of L's NCAA Gender Equity financial reports look like the best place to start calculating the repayment figure. For the 2013-16 school years, U of L lists conference distribution of NCAA Tournament revenue that adds up to more than $5.77 million, and the majority of the 2016 report would include revenue from the 2012-15 tournaments.

But the conference distribution category may not solely include revenue generated from NCAA Tournament units.

There are other reasons why it's difficult to resolve the specific repayment, which also calls for U of L to pay back future revenue received for the 2012-15 span.

A section in the ACC manual details additional payouts for performance, with some figures even based on whether the league member played its NCAA Tournament games east or west of the Mississippi River. In 2015, U of L earned $95,000 from the ACC for reaching the NCAA Tournament and then winning two games in Seattle.

It's not clear if the Big East or AAC currently have or have had similar incentive-based payouts.

And the Gender Equity reports prior to the 2013-14 school year combine "conference distribution" and "NCAA distribution," further complicating the money issue.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 6, 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)

 

The excitement that can be heard in youth soccer players' voices will be present, just as it always is when they take field for games across the state this fall.

However, if all goes as planned the first month, their voices and those of the coaches and referees will be the only ones heard.

Because of the effect heckling and poor behavior in general have had on referee retention, the South Carolina Youth Soccer Association has implemented "Silent September" for all SCYSA-sponsored league games at all levels.

According to the memo distributed by the SCYSA, there will be "no cheering, no jeering" on the part of "parents and visitors."

Upon first violation, the referee will ask the coach to counsel the offending spectator. The referee will tell the coach to do so upon second violation, and on the third instance, the referee will "direct the coach to dismiss the offending spectator(s)."

If the person doesn't leave or the coach refuses, the coach will be sent off. If an appropriate adult is not present to continue coaching, the game will be halted.

"It's kind of embarrassing for our sport," said Jimmy George, director of coaching for the Clemson Anderson Soccer Alliance. "I've played this game since I was 6. I'm getting ready to turn 40. Where has our sport gone? Where has our society gone?"

"I think it reinforces how silly the parents sometimes are," said John Lupisella, a member of the South Carolina Referee Association who serves as an assignor for the Greenville area.

"For the most part, they really don't know the rules. I think it's a great idea to make everybody aware that it's a game, and it's for the kids. Let them enjoy themselves. For the most part, they don't want to hear you."

Kenneth Ayers, state referee administrator for the South Carolina Referee Association, said the organization re-certifies only about 35 percent of its new referees each year, and the No. 1 reason given by those who don't is "the sideline behavior of the parents and fans."

"They're learning to referee while these young kids are learning to play the game, and the parents or fans are constantly heckling, yelling at, berating these young referees," Ayers said. "Over the last couple years, we've gotten to the point where we've had a number of referee assault cases. We've had a couple instances in the last year where parents have actually entered the field and physically assaulted a youth referee.

"This is just an effort to push the reset button, get back to what we believe should be acceptable sideline decorum and give us an opportunity to develop referees."

Ayers said "the youth game is exploding," but statewide there is a referee shortage.

"Our referees get certified in August, their first games are in September, and quite often we have referees that go out and referee one weekend in September and never come back," he said. "What we're trying to do is give them a chance to get one or two weekends in play, get some experience in a controlled environment and hopefully they'll be back in October and November and can develop for us."

As Ayers said, the laws of the game give referees jurisdiction over the players and coaches, but as far as fans are concerned, their jurisdiction is "quite gray." By implementing this policy, the referees will have some authority over fans as well.

George said he fears that there will be games stopped because of altercations with fans.

"I think you'll see a handful of those this year in that one month," George said. "I hope not for our sport, because I think this is a travesty for our sport. I think it's sad that parents can't cheer for their own kids.

"I have two young boys at home. I don't say anything during games, but you have families that do. "Hey, Johnny!" "Come on, Johnny!" "Run, Johnny!" They're not going to let you do any of that. That's what can hurt your sport. One father said to me, 'I'm going to sign my daughter and son up for ballet. At least you can clap at the end.'"

Andrew Hyslop is co-executive director of the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy, which has had "Silent Sundays" from time to time in the past.

"I don't think it's pointing the finger at one group in particular," Hyslop said. "I think it's coaches, players and parents kind of coming to see that there needs to be a common ground, which will allow referees, especially younger ones, to make mistakes. Players need to be allowed to make mistakes, and referees need to be allowed the same leeway. It's probably long overdue. I'd like to think in coming years we don't need to take these kinds of steps, and people can enjoy being at a game on the weekend.

"I think it's important to remember that it's the minority. It's a small percentage of the people who are ruining the game for the vast majority. It certainly doesn't mean that all of us as parents or coaches haven't said the wrong thing at the wrong time and had to look in the mirror at ourselves. That's something that we've all done. I've certainly had to do that. That's something we do on an ongoing basis."

Lupisella has served as a soccer referee for 34 years on the youth, high school and college levels.

"I can tell you as a referee, it starts with the coach," he said. "The coach is responsible for the parents. If the referees allow him to continue, then it goes from him to the players, from the players to the parents. If the referees don't take care of it, then it just gets out of hand."

George said his club, CASA, will hold a general meeting to make sure everyone understands the situation.

"I feel like the best way is just to be honest with them and let them know that the state's not playing," he said. "I see a lot of people on Facebook taking it as a joke and making fun of it, but this really isn't funny. This is something where you don't want to embarrass your child, and that's what some families will end up doing, if they haven't already."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 6, 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

 

Notice anything different about this summer? How about: There are fewer monster catchers around.

Last year's viral craze, Pokémon Go, no longer is flooding parks, churches and main streets with smartphone-toting users trying to catch the virtual monsters that overlay onto real-world streets, lawns and benches.

That doesn't mean the hit game and its money-making engine have gone away. The game has 65 million monthly active users, according to game developer Niantic Labs. That's a drop from its peak of 100 million in August, according to Apptopia. But that's still high enough to stomp on the fanbase of giants such as Candy Crush Saga (61 million) and Clash Royale (8.5 million). It's generated $1.2 billion in revenue, the research firm says, and gave part-owner Nintendo a needed boost to its brand.

It also has generated a surge of interest in augmented reality (AR), with tech giants including Apple and Facebook announcing plans to invest in the medium earlier this year. Most smartphone users who aren't chasing Pokémon may not have used AR. But soon they will.

"It put validity to this notion augmented reality could be successful on a smartphone," said Gartner analyst Brian Blau.

But to some surprise, Pokémon Go ended up being that mythical tech unicorn — a hugely popular game that others just couldn't replicate. Flouting expectations, it didn't result in copycat experiences following the launch of a viral mobile game, such as the flock of apps launched in the wake of mobile gaming phenomenon Flappy Bird's ascent in 2014.

John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Labs, attributes this to the complex map data the game requires to discover Pokémon, combined with millions of users searching at once.

"It's more like a World of Warcraft than a Flappy Bird," Hanke said during an interview with USA TODAY, referring to a massive multiplayer game that requires infrastructure to support it.

That's somewhat of a relief to the legions of municipal authorities and law enforcement who encountered new, unexpected problems as a nation happiest on the couch decided to take a ramble, taxing park services, trampling through cemeteries, and, in some cases, making users prey to criminals.

Paul Hoppe, chief of police for Wyoming, Minn., said his department dealt with issues tied to the game six to eight months after launch but have now stopped. "We are not experiencing the issues we were seeing last year when it first came out," Hoppe said. "Most of that has gone away." Authorities in Baltimore and Goochland County, Va., confirm a similar dip in complaints.

Developers have been slow to introduce AR games off the heels of Pokémon Go's popularity, but it's a matter of time before more experiences hit app stores, said P.J. McNealy, founder and CEO of Digital World Research.

"It's a huge eye-opener," he said. "AR hasn't had a killer app before this."

The success of Pokémon Go is partly why bigger names are stepping forward with plans for AR. Last month, during its annual developers conference, Apple introduced ARKit, allowing developers of apps for iPhones and iPads to create AR experiences. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted big plans for AR during its developers conference in April, claiming the company will make the smartphone camera "the first augmented reality platform."

The idea for Pokémon Go was born from one of Google's classic April Fools' pranks. In 2014, Google posted details of a spoof update to Maps where players could use their mobile app to hunt down and capture Pokémon, which were previously featured in traditional video games, card games and television.

Niantic Labs already had experience with the type of game its developers envisioned for Pokémon Go, through their earlier mobile game Ingress. It featured two factions battling each other by capturing portals virtually housed in real-world locations.

Hanke says after learning one of Google's engineers, Tatsuo Nomura, had been in touch with Nintendo to work on the April Fools' project, they contacted him in search of a connection with the Japanese video game giant. Nomura now serves as Pokémon Go's product manager.

"Expectations in the first days were single-million-digit downloads," Hanke said.

As Pokémon Go began its climb up the charts, Hanke was traveling to Japan. Hanke received text messages from his wife on Pokémon Go, updating him on its progress. Before long, the game made appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Most "shocking" to Hanke: Justin Bieber running around Central Park in search of Pokémon.

"When it hit that pop culture radar at that level, it was one of the moments where it was like, 'Holy crap, what have we unleashed here?' " he recalls.

Hanke said the studio's goal was 50 million downloads in six months. According to research firm SensorTower, Pokémon Go hit the milestone in 19 days.

At its peak, Pokémon Go was last summer's viral phenomenon. If your grocery store or mall hosted Pokéstops — in-game locations where users can collect items to help catch Pokémon — then you likely witnessed crowds of people wandering around and swiping away to "catch 'em all."

"It got people out of their house, playing a video game in a completely different way," Blau said. "People just found that refreshing."

The ability to view the creatures in the real world through your camera contributed to its viral nature, as users spread images of Pokémon in odd places all over social media. It also got smartphone owners moving, a boon to small businesses who thrive on foot traffic. The game required players to walk in search of Pokémon and even more rare, hatchable eggs discovered at stops that net even more creatures.

"It was novel for a lot of people not to be going to a movie or a bar or a restaurant — sort of the normal things that you do — but to have this other excuse to just get out and take a walk," Hanke said.

There were moments where users took the hunt of Pokémon too far. Police departments warned players to use caution following reports of trespassing or suspicious people spending time near Pokéstops.

After spending most of July and August 2016 atop the mobile download charts, interest in Pokémon Go faded. Since then, downloads spike with big updates. In February, Pokémon Go introduced 80 more creatures to capture. The game peaked at #16 overall on Apple's App Store that month, climbing from as low as #249, data from analytics firm App Annie says.

Niantic continues to push updates to maintain its base. It just launched a major update to Gyms, locations similar to Pokéstops where players congregate to battle with their trained Pokémon. It also added Raids, opportunities for groups of players to work together to take down a more challenging Pokémon creature. Other features are being explored, too, Hanke says, including updates to how Pokémon fight and player vs. player battles.

Now that Pokémon Go opened smartphone owners' eyes to AR, Hanke says we'll see more experiences for your smartphones. "I totally expect that competition to arrive. We've heard from other companies in the industry about projects that they're working on, so we'll ultimately see that."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 6, 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)

 

Chattanooga gym and sports training center D1 is being bought with plans by the new ownership team to pump up memberships and flex its facilities with the help of some hefty renovations.

Businessman Neil Highfield said he and his partners in D1 -- which are "most likely" to continue to include former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning — are to complete the deal within the next few weeks.

"The owners approached me and wanted to see if it was something I was interested in," he said. Highfield wouldn't reveal the purchase price, saying the transaction isn't finalized yet.

He said the D1 site, located off Commons Boulevard in East Brainerd, is shifting from a corporate-owned unit to a franchise facility. The D1 company itself is switching to a franchise model, said Highfield, who owns several construction trades-related businesses in the Chattanooga area.

He admitted that owning the training facility is "out of my wheelhouse," but he foresees efforts to focus on areas where its clientele were neglected at the gym in the past.

Already, new artificial turf in a 60-yard-by-25-yard space has been installed inside the location and there's a lot more to come, said Highfield, who was a member.

He sees a variety of efforts to revitalize and refresh the facility, which is about 10 years old.

"There are things in general preventative maintenance that need to be attended," Highfield said. "We're working on a lot of different things."

Jeff Smith, D1's general manager, said he expects to see renovations including top-to-bottom insulation, new equipment, paint and lights.

He said D1 has about 200 active members, depending on the time of year, not including personal training.

Both he and Highfield said the goal is to grow that number.

"It's imperative to grow membership," Highfield said. "We're setting things in place to make them want to come."

Smith said D1 specializes in training in such sports as soccer, basketball and football.

"We train you to get you... bigger, faster and to jump higher," he said, noting it does specific training to help speed and agility.

Also, D1 offers adult classes in "a normal boot-camp format," he said.

"We are training kids from age 7 to adults," Smith said.

D1 calls itself "a different kind of gym franchise" by delivering training usually reserved for "Division 1 athletes."

Unlike so-called big-box gyms, which charge small membership fees and provide little in the way of service or support, D1 says it assembles teams of qualified trainers, fitness experts and support personnel. It also provides individual and group training classes and offers instruction in basic athleticism, advanced cross-training and fitness, and targeted workout programs.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 6, 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 Southeastern Newspapers Corporation
All Rights Reserved

The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)

 

Last week, I finished off the Unfortunate Trifecta of 2017.

Earlier this year, I watched my beloved Atlanta Falcons blow a large lead in the second half to lose the Super Bowl. Later in February, my Upward basketball team lost in the championship game - our only defeat of the season. On Saturday, my Family Y baseball team lost by one run in the championship contest. Talk about bad luck.

This week is known as the "dead week" for high school coaches. The Georgia High School Association requires all coaches to be off this week. These men and women deservedly get a break from coaching their various sports. I hope all of them are on the beach or in the mountains — somewhere away from the gym or field.

Just coaching my 9 to 12 age group at the Y, I'm ready to enjoy a break from coaching. Kids are exhausting, with their various personalities and demands (but you already knew that). If that's not enough, there's a ton of behind-the-scenes things with coaching as well, like organizing practices and constantly communicating with parents and league officials. Also, you have to make sure you have sufficient equipment (bats, balls, helmets, etc.)

Isaac Green, a great guy, helped me coach our group of 12 baseball players for the second year in a row. He and I worked with a wonderful group of children, who aren't the most-talented or most-athletic kids. We didn't even have a travel ball player on the team.

Many of these boys and girls didn't start out playing tee ball or coach pitch. Instead, they cut to the front of the line, sort of like those drivers who wait until the last second to merge when a two-lane road has been reduced to one. Our brand of baseball isn't what you'd see in Columbia County. Instead, it's more like remedial baseball.

So our group, comprised of mainly 11-year-olds, lost the final game of the season. We didn't play our best. We made too many errors in the field. We didn't pitch well enough. We didn't hit the ball well enough. Still, these kids didn't give up. That's no surprise. They didn't quit all season. We didn't play our best at times, but the kids always hung in there.

This campaign marked my fourth coaching baseball. The first year, my team went 2-4. The next year, same record. Last year, we posted a 4-3 mark and made our first trip to the playoffs. This year, we went 6-2-1 and made our first championship game appearance. I consider that success. As I told the kids before and after the contest, one game doesn't define our season - and what an interesting season it turned out to be.

With 10 returners (five of whom had been with me since they were 8) and two newcomers, I thought we'd annihilate some of our competition, leaving a trail of destruction all the way to the playoffs. Instead, reality punched us in the teeth in the opener when we scored on a two-out hit in the final inning to defeat Augusta South, 5-4. The bad part? Augusta South had just six players.

The low point of the season came a week later. We played a Yankees team with eight players. My kids looked like zombies as we lost 7-2. I spoke in a very unkind tone of voice to the children after the game. We practiced and practiced and they kept underperforming and underperforming. It was frustration at its finest. To make matters worse, we had to play the best team in the league two nights later.

That Monday night, though, we turned it around. Facing a Red Sox team we had never beaten, we fought to a 0-0 tie. We left the bases loaded in two innings. Still, I was proud of how the kids battled. Before the game, I gave the boys and girl some incentive: Win the game and we'll have an ice cream party. A tie was good enough for me.

Sometimes, coaches forget about boosting team morale. Coaching a baseball team, though, is a lot like running a business. You have to take care of the people who matter. For businesses, it's the employees. For teams, it's the players.

So we met a few nights later and enjoyed different flavors of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream, etc.) in waffle bowls. It was a way of showing appreciation to these children, to let them know there's more to our team than just baseball.

While Isaac and I did all we could to help the players improve at practice, the ice cream party was a good team-building exercise. Down the stretch, our team felt more like a team than like a bunch of individuals. We won our final game of the regular season and then defeated the Yankees, 7-2, in the semifinals.

Success wasn't so much about making it to the championship. Instead, it was about helping these kids improve their skills, and hopefully instill in them a love for the game. While we lost the final contest, I wasn't overly disappointed. The kids didn't play their best, but they tried hard.

As for now, I'm taking a break from coaching. I need the break. Coaching a team, no matter the sport or level, is exhausting.

 

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 5, 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 E.W. Scripps Company
All Rights Reserved

Abilene Reporter-News (Texas)
 

Abilene Christian's Moody Coliseum will have video boards, beginning with the volleyball season this fall.

The boards will be hung on both the north and south ends of the coliseum later this summer, long before ACU's first home volleyball match on Sept. 23.

The boards were purchased by ACU athletics using funds from the new 10-year partnership with IMG College signed earlier this year. The boards were purchased from Northwestern University earlier this summer when they were removed from NU's Welsh-Ryan Arena as part of a multi-million dollar renovation to the university's arena in Evanston, Illinois

Moody Coliseum's current scoreboard is a center-hung board that does not have high-definition video capability.

"The new video boards will take the atmosphere at Moody to another level," ACU director of athletics Lee De León said. "(Associate director of athletics for internal operations) Drew Long did a great job securing those boards for us through contacts he had from his playing career at Northwestern, and we're excited to add those boards to the coliseum to increase the excitement at our events for both student-athletes and fans."

The Outfront Media video boards were installed in Welsh-Ryan Arena before the 2014-15 season and are three years old. The video boards are 25 feet wide and will cover 238 square feet on each end of the coliseum.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 5, 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)

 

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Penn State is seeking almost $900,000 from former defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, and the university doesn't expect him to pay up, according to court documents obtained by PennLive.

Shoop left the Nittany Lions in January 2016 to become the defensive coordinator for Tennessee.

A clause in his contract stated if Shoop resigned before his contract expired on Feb. 15, 2018, he had to pay Penn State liquidated damages of 50 percent "of his base pay" for the remainder of his contract, according to the court documents. The contract stated Shoop wouldn't have to pay PSU back, if he became the head coach at another university within one year of the date of his resignation.

The university claims that, with over two years remaining on his contract when Shoop resigned, he owes $891,856, the court records state.

According to the documents, Penn State requested, in writing, that Shoop make the payment required under the contract. The university, in the lawsuit, claims Shoop has not made any payment, and, through counsel, has indicated a refusal to make such a payment.

Penn State filed the breach of contract suit in Centre County court in early June, but Monday had it transferred to U.S. Middle District Court.

According to the contract that was included in the court documents, Shoop received an additional $150,000 on Feb. 15, 2015, and would have gotten similar amounts if still at Penn State on the same dates in 2016 and 2017. He also had the use of a car and cell phone, the contract stated.

Shoop's memorandum of understanding with Tennessee, also among the court documents, lists his base pay as $245,000 and supplemental pay of $905,000. It also states that Shoop "is solely responsible for satisfying any buyout or liquidation damages provision(s) between Coach and Pennsylvania State University and/or other prior institutions."

Then UT athletic director David Hart said in January 2016 that Shoop's decision to keep Tennessee out of the buyout was "a very, very loud statement" about how bad he wanted to be a part of UT's program.

"He was willing to handle that," Hart told GoVols247. "and we were able to move forward then in a very rapid fashion to try to get something, which we were able to do."

Shoop's incentives at UT — which have a cap of $500,000 — are 8.33 percent if the Vols are in a bowl game, 12 percent if they're in a New Year's "Six" game, 16 percent if they're in the college playoff, and 4 percent each if they win SEC or college football championships.

The Lions' defense under Shoop was ranked No. 2 in the country in 2014 and No. 14 in 2015. Co-defensive coordinator Brent Pry replaced Shoop.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 5, 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

 

MADISON — Lawmakers have reopened a decades-long controversy over letting chiropractors do physicals for student athletes, with the Assembly passing legislation to allow it.

Currently, doctors and physician assistants perform these sports physicals to determine if a youth can play organized sports.

The state's physicians, hospitals, nurses, insurers and the state's school sports association all opposeAssembly Bill 260, which would allow chiropractors to do the physicals if theytake a training program.

The opponents include David Bernhardt, a primary care sports physician who helped edit a text on performing sports physicals for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"I worry that there will be kids who play who shouldn't be playing and I worry that kids will miss opportunities to receive immunizations that they should receive," Bernhardt said of the change.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) had no comment on whether he supported the legislation, saying only that a vote in the Senate on the bill has not been scheduled.

Critics like Bernhardt say that chiropractors - whose field concentrates on using therapies on joints, muscle and bones — can't sufficiently screen for things like heart defects, concussions and other potentially life-threatening health risks.

Despite the broad opposition, the bill passed the Assembly on June 21 on a voice vote in which lawmakers didn't have to record their individual votes for or against the bill.

The proposal's lead sponsor, Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego), said his bill empowers parents by letting them choose their family chiropractor to perform their child's sports physical rather than a doctor.Wichgers, who takes his family to a chiropractor, said that not all families have a relationship with a doctor.

To perform the physical, chiropractors would have to receive additional training through a program created by the state's Chiropractic Examining Board with input from clinical experts.

"This is about a (chiropractor) being able to examine a patient and parents being able to choose the examiner, as long as they're qualified.... Why would a (chiropractor) spend thousands of dollars and have student loans the rest of their lives to then put a child's life at risk for a $20 physical?" Wichgers said.

Wade Labecki isn't convinced that tasks such as assessing mental health or an irregular heart beat are a good fit for chiropractors, who are trained to treat injuries and health conditions by manipulating and adjusting joints and body structures.

"Medical doctors can evaluate this valuable piece. This part of an athlete's career is best measured by people with this training," said Labecki, the deputy director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. "It's the scope of what their training has prepared them for."

Wichgers disagreed, saying that the training chiropractors receive covers all aspects of a sports exam. He said if a chiropractor were to discover a heart abnormality, the chiropractor could refer the child to a specialist.

The bill's critics respond by pointing out that a medical doctor might be able to treat a child in the same appointment after the initial examination.

Bernhardt said sports physicals also provide doctors with an important opportunity to see young patients that they might not otherwise see. Physicians can use a sports exam to vaccinate the youth and talk about other issues such as mental health, sexual activity or drug use, he noted.

The chiropractor bill was held up initially within the Assembly Committee on Health, said Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin), the panel's chairman. Sanfelippo confirmed that he had scheduled a committee vote on the bill after getting questions about the bill's status from the office of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) but said he hadn't been ordered to advance the proposal.

"I wouldn't move the bill just because leadership told me to move the bill," Sanfelippo said.

He said he had concerns about the legislation that he was able to work out with the main group promoting it, the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association. Sanfelippo said he wouldn't take a child to a chiropractor for a sports physical but thought parents should be able to do so.

Sanfelippo acknowledged he was surprised that the bill didn't get a roll call vote on the floor of the Assembly.

"I quite frankly was surprised there wasn't a roll call on a lot of things (that day)," he said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 3, 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)

 

As summer temperatures rise, people often flock to area pools, lakes and rivers.

For those diving into wave-filled activities, regional recreation and safety leaders also remind residents to think about water safety. Drowning can occur within 30 seconds.

Overall water safety guidelines share common themes. Don't swim alone, have a responsible adult constantly watch children in or near water, wear safety-approved life jackets as a caution in rivers and lakes, and avoid drug and alcohol use if boating and swimming.

"Supervision is No. 1; it's super important to have eyes on children at all times," said Sandy Phillips, technical adviser with a Spokane Regional Health District program that inspects about 260 water recreation facilities for pool safety and water quality.

"If they're poor swimmers, have them in a life jacket; not those floating wings, blow-up toys or noodles, because those aren't sufficient to prevent drowning."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 10 deaths per day from drowning in the U.S., and of these, two are children 14 and younger. Among those ages 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, after motor vehicle crashes.

Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol can quickly turn deadly, added Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy James Ebel, who patrols the county's waterways. The marine enforcement unit was out in force this past weekend under a national awareness campaign on boating under the influence, called Operation Dry Water.

Ebel said "alcohol is the No. 1 contributing factor to boat crashes and recreational boating fatalities."

As another caution, he often repeats this quote while out on patrol: "Life jackets work when you wear them."

For safety at private pools, Phillips urges "layers of protection" to include alarms, safety covers, tall four-sided fences, and gates that are self-closing and self-latching.

When pool time is over, adults should remove toys such as beach balls, adds Trisha McClure, a SRHD environmental health specialist and coordinator of a Spokane drowning prevention coalition.

"We encourage homeowners to remove toys out of the pool water when they're done using them, so it won't entice a child to go after a ball and end up falling in and not able to get out," she said.

"We want to encourage that parents are responsible to watch their children while they're in the water," without turning attention away to chatting, reading a book or texting in case an issue arises, added McClure.

Both Phillips and McClure also strongly encourage formal swim lessons for children, who can start as toddlers if accompanied by a parent or other adult in the water.

Here are more tips from Phillips and McClure:

Next to barriers around pools, private pool owners should make sure they don't have landscaping features or furniture next to fencing that children could use to climb over. A gate latch should be out of reach of a small child.

People at pool sites should have an emergency plan and ready access to safety equipment and cellphone. Equipment can include a reaching pole, also called a shepherd's crook, and throw ring with a rope. Consider newer drain covers that help prevent suction entrapment when someone gets sucked into a drain and trapped underwater.

Life jackets, or personal floatation devices, should fit properly and be U.S. Coast Guard-approved. For a child, lift at the shoulders to make sure they don't drop out of it. Young kids' PFDs should have foam behind the head. The health district's website, under drowning prevention, has a printable 25-percent discount to buy life jackets at Big 5 Sporting Goods stores.

Carl Strong, city of Spokane aquatics supervisor, offers these guidelines:

Around the region's rivers and lakes, stay safe by heeding posted warning signs when boating or playing in the water. Wear personal flotation devices that are Coast Guard-approved and fit well. He said studies have shown the likelihood of children wearing their personal flotation devices is much higher when adults do so as well, so set an example.

Adults should know which kids aren't good swimmers, and the city allows Coast Guard-approved life jackets in pools. If bringing children to the pool, ask other parents about swimming abilities. Talk with lifeguards about anyone who isn't a strong swimmer, and adults can request a lifeguard's "deep-end test" to allow someone to go into deeper water. Follow all warnings, signs, and rules.

Even with lifeguards present and their training to spot and aid a distressed swimmer, adults who bring children should be vigilant also about keeping an eye on kids, Strong said. It's even good to be in the water with them to respond quickly if a need arises.

Sheriff's marine units and state parks list water safety rules, including these:

In Spokane County, children 12 and under must wear a proper life jacket at all times while on boats underway. For each person on the boat who is over age 12, Coast Guard personal flotation devices appropriately sized must be readily accessible in the vessel while it's underway. Anyone being towed such as for water-skiing, or on jet skis or other personal watercraft, must wear a PFD.

In Idaho, if boating on a vessel that is 19 feet in length or less, children 14 years of age and younger must wear approved life jackets while the vessel is underway or under power. For remaining passengers, Idaho law requires that one properly fitting, Coast Guard approved life jacket must be on board for each person on a boat, and life jackets must be readily accessible.

Washington State Parks has this warning: Don't be fooled by warm air temperatures because regional waterways still can be below 60 degrees. If capsizing or falling overboard, it could mean going into dangerously cold waters. Hypothermia isn't as much of a concern as the shock from frigid waters; most drown in the first few minutes of cold-water shock.

Take a boater safety course. Washington state has rules and age requirements for drivers of motor boats regarding the carrying of state boater education cards.

Contact the writer:

(509) 459-5439

treval@spokesman.com

Water safety

Resources for water safety

Spokane Regional Health District lists drowning prevention topics on its website, http://www.srhd.org/topics/drowning.asp.

Red Cross lists water safety tips at http://www.redcross.org/.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 

 
July 3, 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)

 

BEAVERTON, ORE. To coaches across the Football Bowl Subdivision, the addition of an early signing period comes with one clear benefit: Allowing prospects to sign in late December removes much of the drama from the homestretch leading into national signing day in early February.

The change received strong support from members of the American Football Coaches Association at the group's meeting in January. After it was approved in April by the NCAA's Division I Council, AFCA executive director Todd Berry called the rule change part of "by far the most sweeping legislative package we've had since I've been in coaching."

So it's a win for coaches - for Power Five coaches who want to lock down a top class well in advance of February and for Group of Five coaches weary of seeing their under-the-radar recruits poached by big-name programs.

But recruits see the legislation differently. For the elite in this year's class - who gathered for The Opening, a high-profile recruiting event held at Nike's headquarters - many agree it eases a hectic process but also raises potential negatives.

"I think there's a good and a bad to that," said Mission Hills (Calif.) quarterback Jack Tuttle, who verbally committed to Utah.

Related: New Early Signing Period Approved for College Football

Start with the positives. Recruits agreed that the December dates allow for the chance to shut down what can be an exhausting, year-long slog to signing day: "Once I heard that I could (sign), I knew I was going to," said Providence (Fla.) tight end Will Mallory, who committed to Miami (Fla.) in April. "If you know where you're going to go, you shouldn't have to wait."

Additionally, for those prospects who don't plan to enroll early, signing in December ensures a spot in their future program's class. "The good is getting there, signing and securing your spot," Tuttle said.

That's one of the primary benefits for programs that find recruiting success with late-blooming prospects. Rather than sweat out the final weeks and days until February, hoping no power programs drop in with a late offer, coaching staffs might be able to secure their hidden gems in December.

Yet there are potential sticking points for all recruits: While the December dates are geared to relieve pressure on coaches and recruits alike, it might instead add a degree of stress and strain to the process.

Say one recruit gives his verbal commitment to a program in June but decides not to sign in December. What signal is that sending to his potential coaches?

"That just depends on how good your relationship is with the coach," said Yoakum (Texas) wide receiver Josh Moore, who committed to Nebraska in June. "If he's 50-50 about you, he'll just move on to the next one. That just depends on how bad they want you."

It's only natural for recruits who plan to sign in December to wonder: What if my coach is fired or finds a new job? Or, on the other hand, what if the recruit has second thoughts?

"With other athletes, it could be that they sign the paper and then two months later, when they could've signed, they regret their decision. And they can't go back," Tuttle said.

The AFCA agreed that late December was the best date because most coaching changes will have occurred by that point.

"This wasn't so much for the coaches, even if there's been some perception along those lines," Berry told USA TODAY Sports. "But this was more student-athlete related because we wanted more transparency for them to make decisions."

Having open communication about the signing process will be particularly vital for recruits who plan to sign during the December period, Manchester (Tenn.) wide receiver Alontae Taylor said.

"The bad thing about that is during the early signing period it's bowl season, so you don't get that comfort with the coaches about what their mind-set is," said Taylor, who will sign with Tennessee on Dec. 22 and enroll in January. "You have to talk to them early about that."

But the legislation is a sign of progress.

"I don't think there's a down part about that," Mallory said. "If you're not ready for it, don't commit to something you're not 100% about. So it's really positive in the fact that if you know exactly where you want to go and have no doubts in mind, sign then. But it's a big decision, so take your time."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 3, 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)

 

When Judge Aaron Persky sentenced a Stanford swimmer from Oakwood High School in Dayton who sexually assaulted a woman behind a dumpster to six months in jail, critics came up with a slew of reasons for what they viewed as a frustratingly lenient punishment.

Persky, they said, was biased against women and didn't take sex assault seriously. They accused him of giving Brock Turner a light sentence because he was affluent and white. They even said Persky was biased because he, too, had been a student-athlete at Stanford.

But as the criticism against the judge intensified — aided by a stirring letter written by the victim, who said Turner "took away my worth" — Per-sky remained silent.

Now, almost a year later, as the judge is fighting an energized effort to recall him, he has started to speak publicly in his defense.

That includes a 198-word statement filed with the Santa Clara County registrar's office last week. The statement doesn't mention Turner's case by name but alludes to Persky's efforts to balance rehabilitation and probation for first-time offenders.

If approved by the registrar, it will appear on the ballot that voters will see as they decide whether Persky deserves to keep his job.

The San Jose Mercury-Mews posted the entire statement on its website:

"As a prosecutor, I fought vigorously for victims. As a judge, my role is to consider both sides. California law requires every judge to consider rehabilitation and probation for first-time offenders. It's not always popular, but it's the law, and I took an oath to follow it without regard to public opinion or my opinions as a former prosecutor."

In March 2016, Turner was convicted of three sex crimes — all felonies — after he sexually assaulted a woman who'd passed out behind a dumpster outside a frat party.

Two graduate students saw the crime in progress and confronted Turner, who tried to run away. The graduate students caught and pinned Turner to the ground and called police.

The trial made national headlines, but its ending was controversial. For the felonies, Persky sentenced Turner to six months in jail. Because of good behavior, he was released after three.

The short stint in jail angered many people, who said it was too small a price to pay for sexually assaulting a woman.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 3, 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)

 

New athletic fields, a playground and hiking trails could open in Palm Beach Gardens by next year after county officials agreed to a plan for a park's development.

Palm Beach County Commissioners recently signed off on a plan for the first phase of a North County District Park on about 50 of the 80 acres it owns on 117th Court North, which Palm Beach Gardens will build, operate and maintain.

Commissioners directed staff to negotiate an agreement for the portion of the park across from the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center and next to I-95. The Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros wanted to build a spring training stadium on the future parkland until the Palm Beach Gardens City Council shut down the plans in 2014.

Commissioner Hal Valeche said the new park will meet needs for field space in his northern Palm Beach County district. The county is eager to have a park on the property, but it doesn't have the money to create one on its own, he said.

"I'm very encouraged that we were able to, in concept, agree," Valeche said. "We've been waiting quite awhile to be able to put something on that piece of land, and now it's going to come to fruition."

The rest of the 80-acre park will be developed by the county when it has the money to do so, Valeche said. The $5 million in sales-tax money designated for the park isn't enough to complete it, he and Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Director Eric Call said.

The county's sales-tax money for the second phase of the park won't be available for years, Call said.

Palm Beach Gardens will use up to $11.2 million to pay for the first phase of the park. The soccer complex will move to the site from Gardens Park on Burns Road, which will allow the city to expand the baseball complex near City Hall for another $2.5 million.

The section developed by Palm Beach Gardens will have five multi-purpose fields mostly for soccer, a playground, parking, a restroom, retention pond and walking trails, city spokeswoman Candice Temple said. It could be finished by fall 2018, she said.

Soccer, which is operated by the Palm Beach Gardens Youth Athletic Association, will have more space and room for growth at the new park, Temple said. The sport runs about 10 months out of the year, she said.

The money for the first phase of the park and the baseball expansion will come from a bond the city issued, which it plans to pay back with its share of money generated by the penny sales tax increase.

The county Parks and Recreation Department supported an agreement with Palm Beach Gardens under the condition that no preference for programs is given based on residency.

The fields should be available for Palm Beach County Sports Commission events, and a Park Advisory Committee of representatives from all areas of northern Palm Beach County should be established, the department said.

Officials from eight municipalities, the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches wrote letters to the county in favor of the park plan.

Palm Beach Gardens had expressed interest in buying land outright and developing it, but Valeche said it wasn't for sale, in whole or in part. The county bought the land from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for $3.5 million after county voters in 1999 approved a $24.5 million bond referendum for recreation projects, including the district park.

The County Commission's decision to give its staff the "green light" to enter into an agreement with Palm Beach Gardens is "kind of the launch party," for the park, Palm Beach Gardens Councilman Carl Woods said.

"We're excited to move forward on that as quickly as possible," Woods said. "Let's stop talking and get the park built."

speters@pbpost.com Twitter: @Speters09

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 2, 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)

 

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes made an addition to his staff this past week that will make Yves Pons' transition to college basketball feel, or at least sound, less foreign.

Barnes announced the hiring of Aubin Goporo on Friday to the role of director of player development. Goporo, who spent last season as director of student-athlete development at Louisiana-Lafayette, is fluent in three languages, including French. That should benefit Pons, who will be the Volunteers' first player ever from France.

Pons is the jewel of UT's freshman class, an athletic 6-foot-6 wing with a four-star rating from 247Sports.com and a billing from Barnes as athletic and explosive.

Barnes also praised Pons' character and work ethic when his signing was announced in April. One early test for Pons when he arrives in Knoxville in August will be a language barrier that Tennessee is taking steps to address. Draftexpress.com noted Pons' English to be "very shaky" in a January scouting report.

Assistant coach Michael Schwartz, who recruited Pons, is learning French, and Goporo's addition ensures that someone fluent in both languages will be around the team as Pons learns English.

Goporo's role will extend beyond translator. A news release from the university announcing his hire said Goporo will be a program liaison to the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, coordinate community outreach and serve as a student-athlete mentor. He also will assist with on-campus recruiting efforts.

Goporo spent 15 seasons as the coach at Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Fla., crossing paths with Barnes in that role before taking the position at Louisiana-Lafayette last season.

Pons is expected to join the Vols in Europe after he plays for France in the 2017 FIBA U18 European Championships July 29-Aug. 6.

The Vols arrive in Spain on Aug. 2 for a 10-day trip that includes three exhibition games.

Pons hasn't had the chance to show his game to Tennessee's staff on American soil yet, but his strengths are well-known. Draftexpress.com noted Pons to be a "physical specimen" and "tremendous leaper in space" with long arms.

At 18, Pons is the youngest of Tennessee's freshmen by more than a year. Forwards Derrick Walker and Zach Kent are each 19 after spending last season at prep schools, while wing player Jalen Johnson redshirted last year. Pons was born in Haiti and has been attending the National Institute of Sport and Physical Education in Paris.

"We're very excited about the addition of Yves because he fits the culture and mentality of our program as a person, student and athlete," Barnes said when Pons signed in April. "We're all very thankful for the trust that he and his wonderful family back in France have placed in us."

Contact David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 2, 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 adolescent years are when people's bodies are supposed to start the ascent to their physical peak. Teenagers are growing like beanstalks. Their hormones are raging. They're eager for new experiences. By all accounts, this should be among the most active periods in a person's lifetime.

Except it turns out it's not.

In an eye-opening study involving 12,529 Americans ages 6 to 85, researchers mapped how physical activity changes over a lifetime. The participants, part of the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, wore accelerometers, devices that measure movement, for seven consecutive days. For the purposes of the analysis, researchers counted all types of movement, not just exercise.

The first thing to note about the results, published in the August issue of the journal of Preventive Medicine, is that physical activity appears to be at its highest at age 6. If you've ever seen a squirmy kindergarten class that shouldn't be a surprise.

Vijay Varma, a National Institute on Aging researcher and lead author of the study, said that there has been a belief that physical activity gradually declines across the entire life span. But according to the new data, there seems to be a sharper-than-expected decline during childhood — starting in elementary school and continuing through middle school and high school. By age 19, the average American is as sedentary as a 60-year-old.

"At 60-plus, many people have health issues that might cause a restriction in movement, but why is this happening at age 19? It suggests that the social structures in place may not be supporting physical activity," Varma said in an interview.

He theorized that the modern school day, which requires sitting for large amounts of time and where recess is often compressed into 20 to 30 minutes a day, may be partly to blame. There's also the issue of early school-bell times, which researchers have found lead to sleep deprivation.

"The timing of school isn't consistent with biology of when kids wake up and go to sleep," he explained.

Varma and co-author Vadim Zipunnikov, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, point out that the data shows that school-age children were the most active between 2 and 6 p.m., or after school.

Another reason for the sedentary day is likely to be screen time. Studies about how long we spend parked in front of our TVs, laptops, tablets and phones tend to become outdated quickly because of the constant rollout of new technology, but the numbers have been consistently high — as much as seven to nine hours per day. While the American Academy of Pediatrics recently loosened its recommendations for screen time, almost everyone agrees that too much of it leaves less time for physical activity, which can lead to a higher risk of obesity and depression.

Calling the end of adolescence a "high-risk time period for physical inactivity," the study confirms that most children are not getting the minimum amount of activity — at least 60 minutes of a moderate-to-vigorous workout — recommended by the World Health Organization. Among 6-to-11-year-olds, 25 percent of boys and 50 percent of girls were not meeting the target. For adolescents ages 12 to 19, the situation was even more dire, with 50 percent of males and 75 percent of females falling short, the study found.

The next surprise in the study involves people in their 20s. The data show activity levels go up during this period — and this is important because this is the only period when people are moving more. Varma calls this a "catchup" period and believes this, too, may be related to social factors. While the increase in activity was spread throughout the day, there was a noticeable spike in the early morning as compared to teenagers. According to the study, "emerging adulthood represent a period of multiple life transitions, including initiation of full-time work, increased household responsibilities, and changes in family structure including marriage and becoming a parent."

As expected, physical activity starts to decline at around age 35, and that trend continues through midlife and beyond. That's consistent with previous studies and attributed to the wear and tear on our bodies as we age.

The timing of physical activity showed that as children age, their physical activity moves later and later in the day until it flips after age 19 to more activity in the mornings.

"These findings broadly suggest to us we really need to start looking at when individuals are being more active so we can home in on what is occurring," Varma said, "and start to design physical activity interventions that might target those behaviors."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 2, 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)

 

For more than 40 years, Vincent Colonna of Lake Grove demonstrated his prowess on racquetball courts, winning countless trophies and medals in sports competitions. But after knee replacement surgery in 2015, Colonna feared that his athletic days were over.

Instead, Colonna, now 66, found a new activity for his skills: pickleball, a game gaining enthusiasm among boomers and older adults who want to exercise but may not have the speed and agility — or the desire — for overexertion.

How pickleball got its name depends on which internet story you believe, but there's consensus that the game was started by Joel Pritchard and friends when he was a Republican congressman from Washington State in 1965. It is a blend of badminton, pingpong, tennis and racquetball, played on an area that's one-third the size of a tennis court; equipment includes lightweight paddles and Wiffle-type balls.

Jones Wong, 63, who promotes the game as an unpaid district ambassador for the USA Pickleball Association for Nassau County and the five boroughs of New York City, estimates that there are more than 600 seniors who play pickleball on Long Island. "Most of pickleball is senior-driven, but when they show their grandkids , it becomes intergenerational." said Wong, a retired pharmaceutical executive from Merrick, who is a pickleball instructor.

His first encounter with a pickleball paddle was seven years ago in Arizona, where he has a second home. Wong said he plays in parks and indoor courts all over Long Island. "Game basics are easy to learn," he said, noting one of the reasons the sport has become popular. "Most pickleball players are happy to show and/or explain them to you."

Colonna's racquetball experience made for a short learning curve when he decided to give pickleball a try. Since taking up the sport, he has scored eight medals in pickleball competitions, including the mixed doubles gold at the Pompano Beach Pickleball Classic in Florida this year, and the mixed doubles bronze at the New Jersey Senior Olympics last September. Both events were won with teammate Linda Cappello, 59, of East Hampton.

Of all his pickleball competitions, Colonna most fondly remembers last year's Riverhead Open. It was his first pickleball tournament - and triumph, as well as his first win with Cappello. "I was still new to the game, but after winning, I felt like I had found my niche," Colonna said. Retired since selling his floor covering business in 2009, he now plays pickleball five times a week.

From Hempstead to the Hamptons and regardless of athletic ability of players who are embracing the sport, pickleball is increasingly the choice of boomers, officials said. "The big part of pickleball are the connections, friendships and fun," said Susan Kaminsky, 58, a Subway franchisee and one of USA Pickleball Association's Suffolk ambassadors. The organization has volunteers across the country who are charged with spreading word about pickleball.

It takes 11 points to win a game, which lasts 20 to 30 minutes. Older players can engage in multiple matches of doubles within a two- to 2 1/2-hour stretch. But often, players show up unexpectedly at Long Island's public parks, so everyone takes a turn rotating into the game — which gives all participants a chance to play and to socialize.

"It gives you camaraderie, and doesn't have the pressure of tennis, where some games can go on for three hours," said Rena Rosenfeld, 69, a Sag Harbor resident who winters in Miami Beach. A friend with whom she plays pingpong introduced Rosenfeld to pickleball four years ago, and she and Cappello have since become the pickleball association's Hamptons ambassadors. "I want to play pickleball until I'm on the other side of the grass," Rosenfeld quipped.

Despite its growing popularity, pickleball is still unknown to many. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association's 2016 Single Sport Participation Report on pickleball, only 2.5 million out of 322 million people in this country play it. (In contrast, 18.1 million played tennis last year, according to the association.) Nationally, the 55-and-older crowd represents 75 percent of pickleball's 930,000 core players, defined as individuals who play at least eight times a year.

Barry Simonson, 58, an orthopedic surgeon in Great Neck, said pickleball enables seniors to stay active and is less physically demanding than racquetball or tennis. In addition, he said, pickleball can potentially ward off mental deterioration by helping to keep blood flowing to the brain.

While many play pickleball for pleasure, Cappello, Colonna's teammate, embraces its competitive side. She was a marathon runner before that sport took a toll on her lower back and legs. Three years ago, while in Florida, she saw Rosenfeld teaching pickleball to a group outside a gym.

"Everyone was laughing, and it looked liked fun," Cappello said. "That was the beginning for me." Since learning the game, she has won 11 competitions in women's doubles contests and with Colonna in mixed doubles tournaments. Intent on becoming a top-rated player, Cappello keeps in shape with bike riding and weightlifting. In winter, when she's in Florida, she trains with a pickleball pro. As the chief financial officer of a Manhattan graphics design firm, Cappello said she can do much of her work remotely, which allows her to play the sport three hours a day, five to six days a week, and enter up to 12 tournaments a year.

"It's addictive because of the game and the social interaction," said Cappello, who counts 30 new friends because of pickleball, including Colonna and his wife. "You become part of a pickleball community that keeps expanding."

PICKING UP PICKLEBALL

WHAT YOU NEED: Paddle prices start about $18 for aluminum models; upper-scale composite metals can cost $129. A six-pack of Wiffle-type pickleballs can range between $7.50 and $20.

WHERE TO LEARN: Jones Wong, a district ambassador for the USA Pickleball Association, recommends going to the organization's website, usapa.org, and finding an ambassador in your area who will know about lessons.

Wong also suggested that new players check out videos on the website or on YouTube.

The Town of Hempstead offers classes in summer, which are already booked, but Wong suggested "calling up for future availability and checking with other municipalities."

An increasing number of adult education programs in various school districts (such as the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District and the Commack School District) can provide some basic instruction, Wong said. "Also, inquire at your local recreation centers and indoor tennis facilities about lessons."

If you're looking for someone to play with, USAPA also has a look-up service for members. Annual membership is $20.

WHERE TO PLAY: Most indoor and outdoor facilities on Long Island do double-duty as tennis and pickleball courts, with tape or painted lines delineating each sport. Before playing in a public park, ask the local municipality whether there's a residency requirement.

In Nassau County, there are more than a half-dozen town parks with pickleball courts, including Newbridge Road Park, Bellmore; Seamans Neck Park, Seaford; and John J. Burns Park, Massapequa. Check your town listings.

In Suffolk, Whitman Park in Melville has four pickleball-dedicated courts, as well as two older courts with lines for pickleball and tennis. The Village of Patchogue has pickleball markings on two new courts on Rider Avenue.

YMCAs in East Hampton, Bay Shore, Glen Cove, Huntington and Patchogue offer pickleball for members. Wong advises nonmembers to inquire about policies for nonmembers at each location.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 2, 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)

 

The 11 Day Power Play is a family affair.

Of the roughly 75 people watching in the stands Saturday, most were rooting for a family member, accompanied by family, or both.

In its final days, the hockey tournament — aiming to beat the Guinness World Record for longest hockey game — has people traveling from all over the country in support of the cause and their family members.

The tournament was created in support of research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. As of Saturday, the event had raised $1.1 million — $100,000 over its goal.

After only being able to watch her brother play via a live stream of the tournament, Lisa Groewa and her two daughters spent three and a half hours on the road to Buffalo from Cleveland to cheer on Dave Costantini, number 42.

The women wore matching blue 11 Day Power Play T-shirts. Groewa had a few more slung over her arm.

Their family members, most of whom live in Buffalo, were taking turns in the stands over the course of the tournament. They wanted to make sure Costantini sees a familiar face when he plays.

"Everybody has really rallied around him," Groewa said.

Once they leave, number 42 will have a symbol of their support to keep him going. His niece, Rachael, made him a sign with the words "We heart Costantini," that she planned to tape on the arena glass.

Sarah Crane wore a black shirt with the words, "Win Corey Win." Crane, currently eight months pregnant, traveled with her three kids from North Carolina to root for husband Corey Crane, number 15, and brother Mike Spino, number 45.

Her kids, along with two of her nephews, had paper and colored pencils scattered on the bench. They were making more signs to put along the glass.

"It's really become a family bonding event," said James Jackson, a South Buffalo resident and Crane's brother-in-law. "We're a tight-knit family anyway, but now that we're also doing this for such a great cause it's made us even closer. It's made us realize how special family really is."

Crane had attended almost every day of the event. Jackson had come out for three, every day he's not working on the road.

Rosty Caryk and Mary Evanco-Caryk, both volunteers, had been in the arena every day since the first puck drop. During their time off, they sat in a front row, Evanco-Caryk yelling encouraging "Woos," while Caryk clapped in support.

With three loved ones on the ice, they hoped to be there the moment the record is broken. Both had signed up to work the last shift.

In more than nine days of volunteering, they agreed that the people they see most often in the stands at the event are family members.

"We know a guy who just came in with his wife from California. We've got people coming from all over the world to see this," Evanco-Caryk said. "Everybody's here for the finale."

"It's continuous," Caryk said. "As soon as a player sees them, their faces light up. That's neat to witness."

Maddison Paszek, of Hamburg, had been in the stands every moment she's not at work - chanting, putting up signs, coordinating her visits for when her uncle is on the ice.

While she wants to celebrate him during the tournament some celebration has to come after, Paszek said.

"How can you not?" Paszek said. "They're breaking a world record and fighting cancer."

But the party will have to wait a little while.

"I don't know if they'll be able to move right after. And they'll probably need at least a week, or two, of sleep," Paszek said, with a chuckle.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 2, 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)

 

Matt Anderson is the greatest volleyball player Western New York ever has produced. He's a two-time U.S. Olympian. He has been playing professionally in Russia for one of the world's best teams the past five years.

Anderson was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of West Seneca West High School and went to Penn State, one of the top college volleyball programs in the nation.

But Anderson was not offered a full athletic scholarship. There are 18 players on the average major-college volleyball team, and the maximum number of scholarships allowed in the sport is 4.5.

"I was offered a half-scholarship, which is relatively normal for a higher recruit," Anderson said. "Some guys will get full rides, but they're few and far between."

Anderson led Penn State to the NCAA championship as a junior in 2008. He was first-team All-America, the national player of the year and the most outstanding player of the NCAA Tournament. And he still wasn't on a full scholarship.

"That's a small reason why I left after my junior year," Anderson said. "I stayed on half-scholarship my entire time. I wasn't going to get a full scholarship. They didn't have any more to delegate toward me."

Anderson became the first top volleyball player ever to leave school a year early. He signed a lucrative deal to play professionally in South Korea.

"I left school after three years just about $70,000 in debt," Anderson said. "I was looking at going another $25,000 in debt. Or I could start to play and make money and be able to pay off my debt right away. School is always there if I need to when I'm retired."

The myth

Anderson is one high-profile example of the myth of the full ride.

News of high school athletes signing with college teams comes in waves near the end of every sports season. Contrary to the perception of a lot of teenage students and their parents, the reality is very few of them are receiving a full athletic scholarship.

Only in football, men's and women's basketball, women's gymnastics and women's tennis are essentially all the Division I student-athletes on the team on full athletic grants.

For all of the other sports, the grants are split up among the players, to one degree or another.

The big, nationwide picture: The average athletic scholarship is $14,270 for men and $15,162 for women, according to the site scholarshipstats.com. The average annual cost is about $44,000 for a private college (counting room and board), about $20,000 for in-state public schools and about $35,000 for out-of-state public schools. Those athletic grant totals factor in all of the full rides for football and basketball players.

The scholarship limits for most nonrevenue sports are well below the number of athletes on the teams.

Examples: A baseball team has 35 players, on average, but a Division I scholarship maximum of 11.7. For men's hockey, it's 27 players with a scholarship max of 18. For track and field, it's an average of 39 athletes with 12.6 scholarships for men and 18 for women.

However, most schools outside the top 40 or 50 in the nation offer fewer than the maximum. The University at Buffalo this year spread out 7.28 grants to men's track and field and 7.2 grants to its men's soccer team, a sport with a max limit of 9.9. The rest of the schools in the Mid-American Conference are in the same boat, and the schools in Canisius and Niagara's league, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, have smaller athletic budgets. Canisius' powerhouse women's lacrosse team, which has made six NCAA Tournaments in the last seven years, offers 6.5 scholarships. The fully funded Boston College team that beat the Griffs and made the NCAA final this year offers 12.

Of course, high school stars who get any athletic grant money are the exception.

"I think there's more of a misconception over getting a scholarship in general, not getting a full one," said Clarence softball coach Todd Banaszak, who has sent many of his players off to college teams. "Everybody's sights are set on getting one but how many are available? Not many."

Only about 2 percent of all high school athletes receive a sports scholarship, according to the NCAA. For boys basketball, it's 0.9 percent of high schoolers who play Division I. For football, it's 2.4 percent; boys and girls track and field, 2.0 percent; boys ice hockey, 3.3 percent; and girls ice hockey, 7.5 percent.

Athlete awareness

Many of Western New York's top high school and youth coaches do their best to prepare parents and students for the reality of college expenses.

"At any club program worth its salt, one of the first meetings they're going to have with parents is to explain the situation," said Robert Pierce, coach of the Eden High boys and director of the powerhouse Eden Volleyball Club.

"In March, I sat down with all of our sophomores and juniors and their parents," said Sweet Home track coach Brian Lombardo, whose program has sent many to college. "I say it's about us finding the right match. Sometimes there's financials in there. But the odds of getting the full scholarship, they're not over, but they're tough to come by. So how do you turn it into the best advantage for you?"

"There's a myth that we have to go D1," Lombardo said. "But if you go D1 and you're on the team for a year and never make it, then you're kind of lost in a place you don't want to be. We tell our kids we want to find a place you can get into and out of."

Scott Welch is coach of the Niagara Junior Purple Eagles Under 19 elite girls team. He has a remarkable track record of producing college players. Since 1999, as a top travel coach and former Nichols School coach, he has sent 73 girls to college hockey. Of those, 32 have gone Division I and 29 have received full rides.

"Each summer, we go away to a tournament in Boston, and there's a lot of downtime, so we sit with the parents and kids and lay it out," Welch said. "Realistically, there's 36 Division I programs out there."

"Of the 36, you take the Ivy Leagues out of it since they do not offer athletic scholarships," Welch said. "Now you're down to 30. Some of the schools are not fully funded. Fully funded are at 18 scholarships a year. Some are at 14. Some are at 12.... There's probably 125 scholarships a year that are available. You're competing with U.S. kids, with kids from Canada, and the Europeans are starting to come more and more. The competition is incredibly intense."

Earning the grant

Jon Jones, a UB great shot putter, had a typical experience coming out of Portville High School. He was not hotly recruited and needed to improve his grades. After one year at SUNY Buffalo State, he transferred to UB and was on no athletic aid. He starred as a sophomore, earning All-America honors, and then got $10,000 in athletic aid to add to the need-based aid he was getting. After his need-based aid ran out in his fifth year of eligibility, he said he was bumped up to about $21,000 in athletic aid. Jones won the NCAA title his senior season.

Similarly in men's volleyball, many recruits don't get athletic money as a freshman, as the great Anderson did at Penn State.

"They're limited to 4.5 scholarships, and they can divide that up however they want," said Eden's Pierce. "Usually, they back-load it. They'll say we can't give you anything the first year, and if you earn more, you can get up to 60, 70 percent."

Girls volleyball is different, with 12 full rides available, and rules dictate that there's no splitting.

Pierce was an All-American at Penn State in the 1980s, and his two daughters and a son followed his footsteps to Penn State. Kendall Pierce graduated in 2015. Lainy and son Declan still are competing.

"When my two girls went to Penn State, they essentially got what's called a two-and-two," he said. "So two of their years were covered, the first two were not. With girls volleyball, it's all or nothing for that year."

Said Lombardo: "A lot of coaches, because they're so limited on money, they will say come here on 25 percent or walk on and prove it. Speaking generally, a lot of colleges are giving most of their scholarship money to kids already on their team. You have to go in and prove it for a year or two. So you're coming out with some debt from the first two years."

Some elite recruits find themselves in a strong bargaining position. Corrin Genovese was a three-time Under Armour All-American as a softball star at Williamsville North. She was runner-up for the state player of the year. She went on to star at Missouri and was first-team shortstop in the Southeastern Conference, the top softball league in the nation.

"I received multiple offers from schools that could offer me a full ride," said Genovese, who now works in medical sales in Chicago. "But I was looking for a caliber of school that could compete for a national championship every year. At Mizzou, the first year, they could only offer me an 80 percent scholarship. Then years two, three and four were fully covered."

"In softball, they say they draw a line up the middle of the field," Genovese said. "Catchers, pitchers, shortstop, second base and centerfielder are going to get the money or the higher priority in recruiting."

The same holds for most sports. In volleyball, for instance, outside hitters and setters are the priority athletic grant positions.

The negotiation

The challenge for top high school athletes and their parents is to try to nail down from college coaches what's being offered as early as possible in the recruiting process.

It's understandable that college coaches may want to see what the recruit can get in need-based and academic aid before firmly committing the athletic money.

"Some coaches have to play it close to the vest," Lombardo said. "Some will say let's get the elephant out of the room. This is what I see. Others don't want to say a word. Sometimes it's because they don't know, either. If they have a scholarship offered in the early signing period in September and that recruit chooses to go elsewhere, now they have that money to spread around. It becomes a puzzle for both sides."

"It's like dating," said Welch. "There's coaches who like kids. Then you need the love. I've been doing this so long, I have a relationship with the coaches."

"I might say, 'Where do you have her on your list?' " Welch said. " 'Well, she's 13th,' they say. 'How many forwards are you bringing in?' 'I'm bringing in three.'... I try to over-communicate with the parents and constantly update them. I'm the messenger. I'm not going to candy-coat it. You don't want to build false hopes."

Valuing education

The real equation for most star high school athletes — not counting the football players and basketball players on full rides — is a combination of need-based aid, athletic aid and, for some, academic aid.

"I don't want to burst anybody's bubble," said Pierce. "We're very realistic in our discussions with parents on the club side. We have 20 boys playing D1 or Division III, and most of them are earning some form of aid, and it comes in various ways."

Better students have a better chance at getting a good deal because at many schools they get to stack academic aid onto need- and athletic-based aid.

Canisius College has 380 student-athletes, and 222 receive some type of athletic financial aid. That 58 percent ratio is the norm for a private school without football.

"Our coaches are looking for the best students who are also the best athletes," Canisius Athletic Director Bill Maher said. "At Canisius, we have a very generous merit aid package. Our Ignatian scholarship, which is our top scholarship, is a $23,000 award. The Trustee's scholarship is a $21,000 award, and it stair-steps down from there based on your high school average and test scores. Those are sizable awards. Coaches are going to look for the best students first because that's going to help their dollar go further."

Said Welch: "The first conversation with college coaches is always, 'Great hockey player, what kind of grades?' If a kid struggles academically, all those schools start to narrow down as far as the options the player has."

College administrators stress a good deal is there to be had for high schoolers good enough to play at the next level.

"First, the opportunity to be a student-athlete at any college is a wonderful experience," says Maher. "It's a great participation experience, it's a great learning experience. What it provides for the rest of your life are tangible, transferable skills that help make you a successful person."

"Because the academics at UB are so rigorous," said UB Athletic Director Allen Greene, "they're getting a great value for what they're paying. In-state tuition is still very affordable."

Whether it's at Ivy League schools or lower Division I colleges, a door often is opening for athletes that would not otherwise be available.

Says Eden's Pierce: "I will say this: One of the selling points is getting into a university that maybe they normally would not get into if they were considered only academically."

"Many of our athletes get admitted to UB on their own," Greene said. "However, athletics, similar to other specialized programs, admits a very small number of students (less than 25 percent) through the special admissions policy determined by UB admissions."

"If you have two people in line for the same award and one is going to play for the school, who are they going to give it to?" said Sweet Home's Lombardo. "They'll give it to the one who's giving back to the university. They can't say that out loud. But common sense says that's going to happen."

Making it work requires more planning — and more cost — than most student-athletes realize.

Said Clarence's Banaszak: "I do believe if you want to play and you're good, you're at the upper end of the high school level, there's a place for you to play somewhere."

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 2, 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

 



VAN NUYS >> For years, the old FamsaFurniture store on Van Nuys Boulevard sat vacant, frequented not by customers but by the homeless.

"That building, a ginormousbuilding, was empty for a very long time, so it kind of became a homeless attraction," noted Dora Bercea, who operates a thrift store next door. "They were setting up camps in front and in back of the building."

But on Monday, the 21,000-square-foot retail space officially opens its doors as a new Crunch Fitness facility, a welcome sign of urban renewal in a part of Van Nuys in need of it.

"It's nice and clean," said Bercea, 35, of Reseda. "I think it's great. I'm excited."

Longtime Van Nuys community activist Don Schultz agreed.

"It's a good addition to a neighborhood that needs new businesses to kind of spark up the activity on Van Nuys Boulevard. It's been a retail area that's suffered over the years," Schultz said.

David Harman, president and co-founder of a Chatsworth-based company that owns dozens of health clubs, including the new Crunch at 6723 Van Nuys Blvd., said other big fitness companies have traditionally avoided the area.

"The community is densely populated. It needs fitness, but the large chains have never gone into that market," Harman maintained. "Some people see Van Nuys as kind of a rough neighborhood and so on. I look at it as a community that is underserviced and needs something that is, I would say, a low-cost model but providing a middle-cost to high-cost-value type of gym."

There is a large LA Fitness a few minutes away on Sepulveda Boulevard near the Orange Line.

But in this particular part of Van Nuys, Harman stated that many fitness centers "didn't want to come there because they thought they couldn't make the money they were requiring."

The new Crunch will be open 24 hours and offers a base membership of $9.95 a month with no contract.

Harman said to keep membership prices down, the Van Nuys gym doesn't have a swimming pool, basketball or racquetball courts, which he said would otherwise drive up operating and insurance costs.

The Crunch in Chatsworth offers a similar pricing structure to Van Nuys.

But the base rate at the West Hollywood location is $62.99.

Today,, the Van Nuys Crunch will hold a "sneak peek party" to show off the club. Just days before the event, painters applied a fresh coat of bright blue color to the exterior, while club personnel busily installed fitness equipment. Harman put the cost of weights and workout machines for the new location at $700,000.

A few doors down, there's a thrift shop, a 99 Cents Only store and a Jon's supermarket. The parking lot for the businesses frequently crawls with homeless people, street vendors and pigeons.

Still, Harman said, Crunch is already doing big business.

"This has been one of our most profitable and successful pre-sales that we've done in our organization," he declared. "Projections are great. It's very, very healthy."

Erica Espinoza, 33, of Van Nuys, who works at a bakery only steps away, was the first person to sign up for a membership.

"The tanning beds. That's why I want to do it. Get some color in my pale skin," she joked, adding, "I'm glad that they're finally going to open. Now, hopefully, I'll get skinny."

Juan Chacon, 30, of Van Nuys, who works at a nearby gift shop, also signed up.

"The price is affordable," he stated. "To know that you're going to be one of the first people to use those machines, it's nice. Everybody likes brand-new stuff."

"I have a membership with 24 Hour Fitness, but this is going to be even easier for me," added Jose Rodriguez, 39, of North Hollywood, who works at a hairstyling salon across from Crunch.

Harman said the gym has tailored its marketing toward the neighborhood's predominantly Latino population.

"All of that marketing content will reflect from what that demographic is," he explained.

Bercea, owner of the MTA Thrift Store, said she liked the idea of the gym being open 24/7.

"At night lots, of shady stuff happens in this neighborhood," she said. "Since there's going to be movement and somebody's going to be here, maybe police are going to patrol more, hopefully."

Even with the opening of Crunch, the retail prospects for the area remain mixed.

Dearden's - a furniture store that's been in business for over 100 years - recently announced it would close all eight of its Southern California locations. One of those stores is just a few doors south of Crunch.

"In that area... there are a bunch of storefronts with a lot of vacancies," noted Schultz, former president of the Van Nuys Homeowners Association.

He said some retailers neglected upkeep by failing to quickly deal with graffiti on their walls - a persistent problem - and by placing clothing racks on sidewalks, which he said is a code violation.

Crunch at least represents a step in the right direction for that section of Van Nuys, Schultz maintained.

"It might actually start sprucing up that area," he said.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 2, 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

 

WAUWATOSA — Hours before an early-season soccer match at Hart Park, Andreas Davi arrived in a blue sweatsuit. Like most of his days, this Friday had been a long one.

At 5:30 a.m., Davi, the owner of a gym in Glendale, taught a workout class. At 5:30 p.m., Davi, the former German professional soccer player for Bayer Leverkusen who can still kick it with the best of them, came to the field to do just that — kick it with the best of those in Milwaukee, that is.

Davi's title as owner and coach of the recently founded Milwaukee Torrent has provided that opportunity, yet he hopes it provides much more for others.

"I started the Torrent for our kids," Davi said. "I know there's the Milwaukee Wave, but for outdoor soccer there was nothing for kids to look up to before this."

He's right.

Since the Milwaukee Rampage dissolved in 2002 and the Milwaukee Wave United outdoor team quit playing in 2004, there hasn't been an outdoor soccer outlet for young soccer fans, nor a local outlet for former college soccer players wanting to continue their careers.

That's why Davi jumped at the opportunity when National Premier Soccer League chairman Joe Barone reached out in 2015. Barone asked if Davi would be interested in starting a team that would play in the NPSL (a league that boasts 14 conferences and 96 teams).

Within 48 hours after the initial call, Davi had a sponsor lined up and a logo designed.

In time, he held the rights to the franchise purposely not named for "beer, cheese or bricks," Davi said, which he felt was a must for the organization to differentiate itself and attract families.

By 2016 the Torrent (2-6-3) began competition, and by 2018 Davi will launch a women's team.

When voicing his opinion that the Torrent is a professional soccer organization, Davi pointed to the Torrent's "six-digit budget" funded by sponsors and the fact his players are salaried. Many players in the league are collegiate players and unpaid, though, so the U.S. Soccer Federation hasn't given the league an official designation.

Peter Wilt, a Marquette University graduate who once held the title of chief executive officer of Milwaukee Professional Soccer LLC, a group that longed to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Milwaukee that never materialized, terms the Torrent "semi-pro."

Regardless, "it doesn't matter what level it is," Davi said. "This is the beginning, and that is the important part."

Wilt agreed, which is why he's attended a number Torrent games, including a trip to Detroit. He relishes the atmosphere both at Leff's Lucky Town before the games and Hart Park during. He appreciates the quality.

Wilt, former president and general manager of MLS' Chicago Fire, believes a team in the second or third tier of U.S. Soccer is feasible, which is Davi's ultimate goal.

For now, a team in the NPSL works just fine for fans like Patrick Morgese, a 37-year-old Milwaukee native who played soccer as a youth.

With the clock ticking toward the 90th minute against the Muskegon Risers in late May, one of those players, Menomonee Falls native and former UW-Green Bay midfielder Tony Patterson, scored on a bicycle kick.

Wilt and Morgese were among the hundreds in attendance who exploded when the goal hit the net. It marked the team's first win of the year.

A number of fans, both young and old, gathered as the team and Davi walked off of the field.

He set to embrace with them all, but high-fives to the blue-clad kids came first.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Richmond Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The writing, Mark Allen said, was literally on the wall.

Standing in the $12.4 million McArthur Squash Center, in front of Virginia's flashy center court, complete with a V-logo, the Cavaliers coach said Friday's announcement that the school is elevating its club squash team to varsity status shouldn't come as a major shock.

"No one would build a center like this if they weren't very, very serious about where they wanted to take the sport," said Allen.

Men's and women's squash will become U.Va.'s 26th and 27th varsity sports this year, and will be only the third program in the nation to offer scholarships, joining Drexel and George Washington, Allen said.

Virginia will be the first Power 5 school to offer men's squash as a varsity sport, and it will join Stanford as the only Power 5 women's school to do so.

Players on both teams hoped that varsity status was in the program's future, but were pleasantly surprised to find out it happened now.

"I really didn't think it would happen this quickly," Julia Thompson, a rising sophomore player, said. "I thought maybe by my fourth year we'd be varsity."

Thompson said she's noticed the pennants hanging from lightposts on campus, adorned with photos of other varsity athletes.

"Now we're in the club," she said.

Thompson said she was looking forward to getting some of the athletics swag — such as the U.Va. backpacks athletes at the school tote around campus.

"We've been really looking forward to this for a long time, really hoping for it," said fellow rising sophomore Harrison Kapp. "I think it'll be really cool to have all the perks that athletes have in regards to academic advisors and anything else that'll happen."

Allen spent four years building the program.

Competing as a club team this past season, the Virginia women went 16-6 and ranked No. 13 in the final College Squash Association poll. The CSA governs college squash, since it's not an NCAA-sanctioned sport.

The men's team went 14-7 and ranked No. 18.

Each team has 15 players on its roster, the number Allen said he'll stick with going forward. In college squash, nine players compete in a match, all in singles contests.

"Last season was probably the pinnacle of our capabilities as far as being a club team," said Allen. "I don't think we were going to be able to progress much beyond where we've got to without taking this next step. I feel like the timing couldn't be more perfect. The rise that we've had has gotten us to this point."

Sharing a facility with Virginia's three-time reigning national champion men's tennis program has given Allen and his squash team something to shoot for.

"Being right here at Boars Head, it's been so much fun to watch the success the men's tennis team is having," said Allen. "To see that from the sidelines has only made me more excited about trying to grow the squash team to reach for the same achievements. Obviously, U.Va. is known now (for) tennis. Hopefully we can change that to being the premier rackets college in the country."

The coach and players said it was hard to schedule matches, especially against top opponents, in the past.

"A lot of programs wouldn't come down and play us just because we were just a club team," Kapp said.

But this coming season, Virginia will host matches with Drexel, George Washington and Stanford's women's team.

"We have three top 10 schools coming to play us," Allen said. "I don't think that would have happened without this move."

And having varsity status will change the outlook on the recruiting front. Allen said top recruits sometimes turned up their noses at U.Va.'s club status, despite the school's facilities and rankings.

Now, the varsity status, combined with scholarship money, will make Virginia a recruiting player nationally and abroad.

Allen said American squash has grown in recent years and now has the talent to carry a successful college program.

"To be competitive 10 years ago, you probably had no choice but to recruit internationally," Allen, a native of England who coached in South Africa, said. "U.S. junior squash is getting strong enough and deep enough now that if we're able to recruit and attract the top American players, that's as good as anything that's out there."

mbarber@timesdispatch.com @RTD_MikeBarber

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The family of Penn State ex-football coach Joe Paterno is dropping a lawsuit against the NCAA over its use of a report into the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Paterno's estate, his son Jay and former assistant William Kenney discontinued their case on Friday. The NCAA says there was no payment involved.

The lawsuit had claimed that college sports' governing body damaged the Paterno estate's commercial interests through its use of a university commissioned-report by former FBI director Louis Freeh's team.

The report concluded Joe Paterno and other administrators hushed up a 2001 complaint against Sandusky for fear of bad publicity.

Kenney and Jay Paterno claimed the Freeh report rendered them unable to find comparable coaching work.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
July 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 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Let's say I go in for a haircut. Granted, that is increasingly unnecessary, but stay with me here.

All I want is a good haircut. Oh, look, there's a basketball game going on just outside the barbershop. And what a terrific game. High energy, competitive on both ends, the works. So very enjoyable to watch through the front window. But I come out looking like a Nick Nolte mug shot. Should I be happy?

There's a point in there somewhere. Let's reverse that scenario into something that actually is taking shape downtown.

The $190 million Philips Arena renovation — an HGTV series on steroids — is going to include all sorts of shiny objects that have nothing to do with the Hawks or the pursuit of that elusive first conference championship.

There'll be a TopGolf swing simulator.

RELATED:View Renderings of Philips Arena Renovation in AB Stadium Spotlight

A courtside bar. Would you like a dash of Mike Muscala sweat in that margarita?

Some terrific new dining options, including Zac Brown signature grub.

And, yes, even a barbershop, with my good friend Killer Mike's name on it (OK, I have no clue who that is).

Let's say all I want to do at Philips is to see a good, meaningful basketball game. If I get a flattering haircut, but the Hawks stumble about and remain wedged in the seventh playoff position, should I be happy?

This is the puzzle facing today's fans as their sporting palaces are all being transformed into high-class carnival midways. Are you entertained by all the peripheral fun, enough so that the core product matters any less? And what is the tipping point? When do the distractions reach such a level that they devalue what happens on the field of play?

Personally, I don't understand why you would go to an NBA game — or any sporting event — to stray so far from the original purpose as to work on hitting a fade off the tee or to attend to personal grooming. And if I go to a Hawks stylist, does that mean I have to get the Dennis Schroder dye job?

But the new arena/stadium designers don't care about my type. Such makeovers are subtly aimed at the millennial consumer, a generation they presume to be hummingbirds, incapable of staying with one blossom for more than a few seconds at a time.

It's fine that the Hawks are the latest to broaden their entertainment options. It is the future, and you either keep pace or perish.

But I'd like to envision a period when these sideshows go begging for customers. Because who has time for driving golf balls on a virtual hole or getting a trim when there's a great game to watch, and you don't want to miss a minute? You know, what you bought your ticket for in the first place.

Read More of Today's AB Headlines

Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter

 
  
Copyright © 2017 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy