June 19, 2015 |
IF YOU have been around college sports as long as I have, you meet every imaginable kind of person - some with agendas, others who are in it just for themselves, overmatched incompetents. You also get to know people like Vince Nicastro, who is everything good about college athletics - honest, fair-minded, reasonable and terrific at his job. When it was announced yesterday that Nicastro, the Villanova athletics director for 15 years, will be leaving his job sometime soon to become the associate director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law at the Villanova School of Law, I felt good for Vince and his family because that is what they want.
April 22, 2015 |
Last July, when Penn State finally replaced an interim athletic director who had endured 987 days in the turbulent wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, it hired a woman. A year earlier, when a videotaped tirade by the men's basketball coach surfaced and cost Rutgers' athletic director his job, the New Jersey school did the same. So did Arizona State in 2005 after a football player was charged with murder. When other Division I schools, such as Penn and Eastern Michigan, have experienced sharp downturns in athletic fortunes, they too have turned to women to reinvigorate their slumping programs.
February 27, 2015
IT'S AN INTERESTING proposal. Last week, The Diamondback - the University of Maryland student newspaper of which I am proud alum - broke a story that the Big Ten Conference was going to discuss making football and men's basketball players spend a year in college before they would be eligible to compete. Certainly, a lot of ground must be covered between discussing a "Year of Readiness" proposal to something concrete actually happening, but I would ask, "Why not?" I understand the concerns, and if I were a men's basketball or football coach in the Big Ten, I'd be just like Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo in saying, "I'm not sure I'd do that.
January 15, 2015 |
Time always allows the most complete story to be told when a historic event occurs. Days, weeks, months and years give us a chance to digest, investigate and take a step back from the initial emotions and accusations. The more information, the better the understanding of what took place and why. Few stories, if any, in the history of sports were as raw, shocking and long lasting as the events that took place at State College, Pa., in the autumn of 2011. Once the early November news broke that longtime Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been indicted on sex-abuse charges, things moved so fast it was impossible to keep up. Joe Paterno went from the pristine king of all college football coaches to a man forced to vacate his throne in just five days.
November 19, 2014 |
Before Sonny Vaccaro spoke last week as the keynoter at Drexel's Sport for Social Change Conference, he was introduced as the person who signed Michael Jordan to his first deal with Nike. That must have been enough to gain the attention of all the Drexel students in the audience on Market Street. Here's the thing: When linking Jordan to Nike - facilitating what has to be the greatest marriage in the history of sports marketing - is maybe the third most impactful thing you've done with your life, you've had one interesting life.
September 11, 2014 |
In a bid to help Atlantic City's ailing casino industry, the Christie administration issued a directive Monday declaring that New Jersey casinos and racetracks, effective today, may offer sports-betting pools to their patrons. Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman's directive says that, effective Monday, there is nothing in New Jersey law that "prevents casinos and racetracks from operating a sports pool. " "I'm happy," said Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D., Union), a major proponent of sports betting.
August 9, 2014 |
Drexel athletic director Eric Zillmer had no doubt Thursday's vote by the NCAA Division I board of directors would grant approval for the "Power Five" conferences to gain the autonomy to chart their own course. He also has no doubt this is the wrong course for college sports. He hopes schools override the vote, as Drexel plans to do. Zillmer believes the Big Ten, Pac-12, Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, and Big 12 are grabbing fistfuls of more power by hiding behind what Zillmer calls "their version of enhancing student welfare.
August 8, 2014 |
TIM CHAMBERS was 10 years old when a women's college basketball team came to use his grade-school gym because it did not have a gym of its own. He only had to watch for a few minutes to realize "these girls are really, really good. " Fast forward nearly 4 decades and writer/director Tim Chambers told the story of Immaculata College basketball in "The Mighty Macs. " Tonight the story comes full circle when those Immaculata teams from 40 years ago are enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
June 25, 2014 |
DID LEBRON JAMES' wife Savannah Brinson prematurely reveal that her superstar husband is planning to rejoin the Cavaliers? Maybe. Maybe not. On Sunday, Brinson posted an Instagram graphic showing a silhouette of the state of Ohio with a red star denoting the location of Akron. Accompanying the "photo" were the words, "Home sweet home!! The countdown is real! #330" Needless to say, it went viral. ESPN.com, citing a source, reported the post referred to the couple's plans to return to their home in Akron for the summer.
April 17, 2014 |
The coaches at West Chester University are not looking to upgrade to Division I or to leave the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. What they are doing as a group is supporting legislation that would take West Chester out of the state's higher education system. The real hope for the coaches is that West Chester gains autonomy in making decisions regarding athletics, and maybe that could result in more resources. Almost every Division II college, and the vast majority of those in Division I, could use more athletic revenues.