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Archive For The “NCAA” Category

On Criminals And College Athletics

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On Criminals And College Athletics

Where does it ever end?

That’s the question I keep asking myself lately.

It seems to have added up for me from six months of lunacy, one where collegiate athletic departments have been caught up with such a large number of horrifying incidents.

There’s serious allegations of rape by athletes at Baylor and Vanderbilt.  Louisville hiring prostitutes to lure in potential recruits.  The case of the Stanford swimmer who got off with a slap on the wrist after raping a young woman.  They are literally everywhere, with new twists and turns coming in so fast it’s hard to keep up with it all.

Even past scandals involving college athletes don’t seem to keep themselves out of the news lately, either.  The Penn State Jerry Sandusky story that never seems to die got a new lease on life when alleged abuses were revealed as far back as the 1970s.  The when-will-it-ever-end revelations of sham classes at North Carolina.  The continuous trickle of revelations at Miami (FL), where the latest is that football players got free use of luxury cars.

The most worrying thread that weaves itself through this collegiate offseason is the word “criminal” — an offseason where criminals reveal themselves as students on college campuses, criminals that hang out with athletic departments, trying to get some of the fame, fortune and swag, and criminals reveal themselves in the management of collegiate athletics as well.

It’s enough to depress any college football fan, and to rightfully make one think: Can it happen here?
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NCAA Should Stop Sun Belt’s Madness Of Taking Schools Unqualified For FBS

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NCAA Should Stop Sun Belt’s Madness Of Taking Schools Unqualified For FBS

Coastal Carolina is nuts.

The Sun Belt is crazy.

These will not be among the official statements you will be reading today in regards to Coastal Carolina’s whirlwind acceptance of their athletic program into the Sun Belt.

The Sun Belt did not make this decision because Coastal Carolina was the most qualified candidate.  They were not convinced by an impressive attendance number or a plan of action that stated exactly how the Chanticleers were going to be able to pay for an expensive, permanent upgrade to the costs and expenses of FBS football.

They picked them because they were in the right place, and were willing to go.

And that’s precisely why someone at the NCAA needs to put a stop to the the madness that is the current structure for drafting FBS teams.
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"Team Market", "Libertarianism" And The Right Direction for College Athletics

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"Team Market", "Libertarianism" And The Right Direction for College Athletics

When you look at politics, whether on a formal or informal basis, you see fads appear and disappear as so many fashion trends.

Today the fad goes to “libertarianism”, which, supposedly is being revisited by the younger set and some of the cognigentia as an interesting, currently viable political philosophy.

I’ve always been of the philosophy that people can believe politically in what they want.  Generally, I have no quarrel with “libertarians”.

Until their worldview creeps into a narrow subset of collegiate athletics, using faulty, incorrect applications of economic theory to justify an economic world that is wrong – and dangerous.

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"Team Market", "Libertarianism" And The Right Direction for College Athletics

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"Team Market", "Libertarianism" And The Right Direction for College Athletics

When you look at politics, whether on a formal or informal basis, you see fads appear and disappear as so many fashion trends.

Today the fad goes to “libertarianism”, which, supposedly is being revisited by the younger set and some of the cognigentia as an interesting, currently viable political philosophy.

I’ve always been of the philosophy that people can believe politically in what they want.  Generally, I have no quarrel with “libertarians”.

Until their worldview creeps into a narrow subset of collegiate athletics, using faulty, incorrect applications of economic theory to justify an economic world that is wrong – and dangerous.

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The Showdown Regarding Division I Governance

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The Showdown Regarding Division I Governance

The so-called “Big 5” conferences of collegiate athletics don’t want things to remain the way they’ve been.

“Relative to the legislative process, we are very much at a point now where we can’t get anything that’s transformative through the system,” Big XII commissioner Bob Bowlsby said earlier this month, helping kick off football media day season with fireworks. “I think that’s particularly felt by seven or eight conferences and the five major conferences in particular. It is just very difficult to do anything that would benefit our student athletes or our institutions that doesn’t get voted down by the larger majority.”

What’s the real story behind the NCAA legislative process – what’s the showdown really all about?  And why is this important?

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The One Where Dan Wolken Gets Me To Talk FCS Financials

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The One Where Dan Wolken Gets Me To Talk FCS Financials

At any given time I have about a dozen writing subjects buzzing around in my head like a monkey on uppers.  Today I woke up and said, what do I write about today?  Realignment?  The CAA?  Stony Brook?  Appalachian State’s move to the Sun Belt?  Lehigh’s expected QB battle in camp this August?

Instead, inspiration came from an unexpected source: USA Today reporter Dan Wolken‘s Twitter feed.

Twitter allows a 140 character limit on tweets, meaning statistics posted there can be interpreted any way one chooses.  And his Twitter report from the NCAA convocation in Florida made me (incorrectly) defensive – but allows me to give some insight behind the numbers of Division I Athletics.
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NCAA Wrestler’s Case Shows Need For Updated Rules

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NCAA Wrestler’s Case Shows Need For Updated Rules

(Photo Credit: NY Times/Emily Dunker/The Minnesota Daily)

I am not usually one to rake the NCAA over the coals.

As the cops of collegiate athletics, I understand their job is hard, and too many athletic departments are trying to break the rules.  Even if some rules are strange or restrictive, at their heart they are there for good reasons.

But they’ve been slow to adapt in some ways to an ever changing digital world (as Lehigh football fans undoubtedly are well aware).

And yesterday, an enforcement case came to light that just begs for commentary.

It’s the case of Minnesota wrestler Joel Bauman, who was yanked from competing for the Gopher wrestling team for violating an NCAA bylaw.  His crime?  Recording a song and charging 99 cents for it on iTunes.
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Realignmentaggedon: Should The NCAA Intervene?

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Realignmentaggedon: Should The NCAA Intervene?

If you’ve been following collegiate athletics like I have, you’ve undoubtedly seen the latest news flying around this week as colleges have been dumping long-standing conferences like, apparently, top military brass have been dumping husbands and wives.

Maryland abandons the ACC, a conference which they’ve called home for 50 years, to join the Big 10, for little other reason than cash money to bail out their near-bankrupt athletics department.  Rutgers abandons the Big East, a conference which they’ve called home for more than 20 years, to join the Big 10, for little other reason than cash money to fund their struggling athletics department.

From there, all hell has broken loose, as Louisville has leapt to the ACC to replace Maryland, while the Big East seems convinced that East Carolina and Tulane are acceptable replacements for the Cardinals and Scarlet Knights, and the forgotten conferences of FBS, Conference USA and the Sun Belt, reshuffle their deck chairs to refill their conference with new members as the Big East poached Tulane and East Carolina.

From the perspective of this reporter who clings to academics when it comes athletics, it’s awfully depressing viewing to watch.
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