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October 25, 2011 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - As seismic conference shifts and what he termed "scandals du jour" continue to rattle and reshape the college sports landscape, NCAA president Mark Emmert promised reformers Monday that drastic responses were both necessary and near. "The normal course of business is not enough anymore," Emmert told a meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. "Student-athletes are students who happen to be athletes, not the other way around. " While conceding there was little the NCAA could do to stop the ongoing "conference panic" - the money-driven transformation of such long-stable conferences as the Big East and Big Twelve - Emmert said the NCAA would address such other hot-button issues as poor graduation rates, freshman eligibility, academic reform, and increased compensation for athletes.
NEWS
March 17, 2002 | By B.G. Kelley
It's March Madness time. The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is quickly becoming, if not the premier sports event in the United States, certainly right up there. In the tournament, you'll see an incredible array of athletes displaying skills that, they and their families and their agents hope, may land them a professional contract. The question is, should college athletes be paid for their labors? Many of them believe they should. And so do I. The recent Knight Commission report shows that intercollegiate athletics today is one part altruistic sport-for-its-own-sake and many more parts commercialism, quasi-professionalism, and exploitation.
SPORTS
May 2, 2004 | By Frank Fitzpatrick INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Embarrassed by dismal graduation rates, concerned by growing public cynicism and threatened with congressional intervention, the beleaguered NCAA last week unveiled its latest attempt at academic reform. At a meeting in Indianapolis on Thursday, the governing body for college sports approved new rules that, beginning in 2006, will take away scholarships and postseason eligibility from athletic programs that fail to hit still-unspecified graduation targets. According to the 2003 NCAA Graduation Report, only 44 percent of basketball players and 54 percent of football players graduated within six years.
SPORTS
September 8, 2004 | By Mike Jensen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An analysis by an economics professor at Cornell, released yesterday by the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, found that success in big-time college sports has "little, if any, systematic effect on the quality of incoming freshmen an institution is able to attract" and that success also is unlikely to have much impact on overall donations to a university. "I was surprised in general at the findings," said Cornell professor Robert Frank. "Like so many other people, I had heard the anecdotes of the supposed benefits of big, big athletics and there really isn't much to support that.
SPORTS
February 8, 2005 | Daily News Wire Services
A jury in St. Paul, Minn., awarded three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond $3.46 million in his contract dispute with a bicycle accessories maker. PTI Holdings Inc., of New York, dropped LeMond's name from its helmets, seat covers, locks and other items after deciding his celebrity status had faded. His contract called for a 10-year deal, but PTI dropped the LeMond accessories in 2002 before it expired, choosing to sell products under the Schwinn name instead, said one of LeMond's attorneys, Margo S. Brownell.
SPORTS
January 31, 2006 | Daily News Wire Services
A panel of the Knight Commission, which promotes reform in college sports, heard some sobering comments yesterday in Washington about summer-league basketball coaches. Joe Wootten, who has coached three state championship teams at Bishop O'Connell High in Arlington, Va., told the panel of summer-league coaches who offer players up to $15,000 or seedy trips to Las Vegas to join their teams, all in violation of NCAA rules. "They probably recruit 10 times more than any college coach ever does," Wootten said.
SPORTS
February 3, 2004 | Daily News Wire Services
Colleges and universities should revive their policy of banning freshmen from varsity sports, former men's basketball coaches Dean Smith, of North Carolina, and Terry Holland, of Virginia, told the Knight Commission yesterday. The NCAA's ban on freshman eligibility was eliminated in 1968 for all sports except football and basketball, and in 1972 for football and basketball. "Say, 'You have to prove you're a student first, before you can have the privilege of playing basketball,' " Smith said.
NEWS
October 16, 2007 | By Frank Fitzpatrick INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Despite frequent calls for reform, the disconnect between college athletics and academics remains significant, according to a survey by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics that was released here yesterday. The topic of a daylong discussion at the National Press Club, the nationwide survey of 2,071 faculty members suggested a widespread cynicism among professors over the growth and impact of the $8 billion-a-year college sports business. It depicted an educational landscape in which academics resent the multimillion-dollar salaries paid to football and basketball coaches, believe sports decisions are driven not by college administrators but by the entertainment industry, and feel that athletics get priority over education.
SPORTS
November 2, 2011 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
If you are puzzled by the large-scale game of musical chairs underway in the nation's top college sports conferences, here's a simple explanation: Fourteen billion dollars. That's the aggregate worth of the five major football leagues' current TV contracts, the fevered pursuit of which has prompted the process of massive conference realignments. Those deals guarantee the participating schools $1.1 billion annually over the next 14 years. Penn State, for example, will reap $19.3 million a year from Big Ten agreements with ABC, ESPN, CBS, and its own Big Ten Network - and much more should that conference channel exceed expectations.
SPORTS
April 1, 2009 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the cash-strapped context of the Big Five, it's not surprising that Villanova has been the only Philadelphia team to reach the Final Four since 1980. The Wildcats, who will play North Carolina in a national semifinal Saturday night, spent $4.9 million on men's basketball last season. That was $2 million more than St. Joseph's, $1.9 million more than Temple's, and nearly seven times what Penn spent. But nationally, where Division I-A football schools tend to dominate in basketball as well, the Wildcats' appearance in Detroit this weekend is something of an oddity.
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SPORTS
June 28, 2013
The most interesting line on new Big East commissioner Val Ackerman's resume may not be that she was first president of the WNBA or former president of USA Basketball. Ackerman also has served on the Knight Commission, kind of an in-house (but mostly ineffectual) critic of college sports. For years, the Knight Commission has argued that college presidents haven't taken sufficient charge of the sport, allowing big-money interests to rule the day. It was very much the presidents of the new Big East who took charge of the commissioner search.
NEWS
April 1, 2013 | By Larry Platt
As you read this, I'll be getting my game face on. See, NCAA March Madness is my favorite time of year. The raw emotion of the games, the Cinderella stories of teams like our own La Salle, the creative voice of the fans ("That's all right/That's OK/You'll be working/For us someday," the Duke student body will chant on those rare occasions when they lose) - it all adds up to unparalleled entertainment, rivaling the best story lines on HBO or Showtime. But my fandom has always come with an asterisk.
NEWS
August 6, 2012 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
On July 23, as grim Penn State athletics employees watched NCAA president Mark Emmert cite their football program as an example of college sports' worst excesses, workers across the street were busy constructing a $102 million hockey arena set to open next year. Visible all around University Park that morning were the by-products of a $176 million project to renovate and construct other sports facilities - a $30 million baseball stadium; $16 million multisport building; $2.1 million tennis center; as well as upgraded soccer, lacrosse, golf, and swimming venues.
SPORTS
November 2, 2011 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
If you are puzzled by the large-scale game of musical chairs underway in the nation's top college sports conferences, here's a simple explanation: Fourteen billion dollars. That's the aggregate worth of the five major football leagues' current TV contracts, the fevered pursuit of which has prompted the process of massive conference realignments. Those deals guarantee the participating schools $1.1 billion annually over the next 14 years. Penn State, for example, will reap $19.3 million a year from Big Ten agreements with ABC, ESPN, CBS, and its own Big Ten Network - and much more should that conference channel exceed expectations.
SPORTS
October 25, 2011 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
MORE THAN 300 major college football and men's basketball players are telling the NCAA and college presidents they want a cut of ever-increasing TV sports revenue to fatten scholarships and cover all the costs of getting a degree, with athletes picking up still more grant money when they graduate. The players from Arizona, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Purdue and UCLA have signed a petition asking the NCAA to "realize its mission to educate and protect us with integrity. " The National College Players Association, an athletes' advocacy group, provided the Associated Press with copies of the document.
SPORTS
October 25, 2011 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - As seismic conference shifts and what he termed "scandals du jour" continue to rattle and reshape the college sports landscape, NCAA president Mark Emmert promised reformers Monday that drastic responses were both necessary and near. "The normal course of business is not enough anymore," Emmert told a meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. "Student-athletes are students who happen to be athletes, not the other way around. " While conceding there was little the NCAA could do to stop the ongoing "conference panic" - the money-driven transformation of such long-stable conferences as the Big East and Big Twelve - Emmert said the NCAA would address such other hot-button issues as poor graduation rates, freshman eligibility, academic reform, and increased compensation for athletes.
SPORTS
April 1, 2009 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the cash-strapped context of the Big Five, it's not surprising that Villanova has been the only Philadelphia team to reach the Final Four since 1980. The Wildcats, who will play North Carolina in a national semifinal Saturday night, spent $4.9 million on men's basketball last season. That was $2 million more than St. Joseph's, $1.9 million more than Temple's, and nearly seven times what Penn spent. But nationally, where Division I-A football schools tend to dominate in basketball as well, the Wildcats' appearance in Detroit this weekend is something of an oddity.
NEWS
October 16, 2007 | By Frank Fitzpatrick INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Despite frequent calls for reform, the disconnect between college athletics and academics remains significant, according to a survey by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics that was released here yesterday. The topic of a daylong discussion at the National Press Club, the nationwide survey of 2,071 faculty members suggested a widespread cynicism among professors over the growth and impact of the $8 billion-a-year college sports business. It depicted an educational landscape in which academics resent the multimillion-dollar salaries paid to football and basketball coaches, believe sports decisions are driven not by college administrators but by the entertainment industry, and feel that athletics get priority over education.
SPORTS
May 15, 2007 | By Frank Fitzpatrick INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Better than 90 percent of Division I athletic programs spend more than they earn, by an average of $7.1 million annually, according to figures released yesterday by NCAA researchers. The statistics, for 2004-05, were included in a report urging the NCAA to standardize its procedures for collecting financial data, which was presented during a meeting of the Knight Commission, a college sports watchdog agency. Only 22 of the 313 Division I athletic departments were self-supporting, the study noted.
SPORTS
February 1, 2006 | By Jeff McLane INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Myron Rolle's big-fish-in-a-little-pond days are over. He's still quite the catch, but the pond has turned into an ocean, and the ocean is quite a ways from home. The realization hit the Galloway Township, N.J., native just three weeks into his first semester on the sprawling campus at Florida State. "I'm one of 40,000 students, and not one person could probably pick me out," Rolle said. "I'm a nobody. " In Tallahassee, that may be true. But among college football watchers, he is in an elite group, even if that clique is growing with each passing year.
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