April 3, 2016
HOUSTON - Such a dream Final Four matchup for the NCAA: one school under protracted investigation for past widespread academic fraud against a group that didn't have its head coach for this season's first nine games as part of serious NCAA sanctions that kept the school out of last season's March Madness festivities. North Carolina can expect to hear more about its NCAA fate anytime - except this particular weekend - while Syracuse has already put its transgressions in the rear view.
April 6, 2015 |
The Final Four is taking place in Indianapolis as scheduled, and, no doubt, the NCAA is quite proud of the inroads it made in the past week to ensure that same-sex couples will still be able to get their wedding cakes from religious-right bakers. After all, it's every couple's dream. That's not one of the specific rights the founding fathers addressed when fashioning the U.S. Constitution, but it's in there somewhere amid the philosophy of equality, tolerance, and the separation of church and state.
April 1, 2015 |
#BOYCOTTIndiana. It's all the rage. Indiana's 20th-century way of thinking has garnered the forces of social media to push back quickly and punitively. Say hello to the 21st century, Indiana. It's a time and place that frowns upon discriminatory, bigoted and homophobic legislation. Miley Cyrus is saying potty-mouth words about Gov. Mike Pence on Instagram. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is threatening to pull its biennial convention, scheduled for 2017, out of the state.
February 13, 2015 |
The NCAA last month gave Joe Paterno his football wins back, but the bronze statue of the coach that for years greeted visitors outside Beaver Stadium remains in seclusion. And a lot of people think that's wrong, a new poll shows. Of 1,023 Pennsylvania residents polled by Quinnipiac University, 59 percent said the statue of Paterno with his finger in the air should be restored to a prominent place on Pennsylvania State University's campus. A quarter of those surveyed said it should not. The poll numbers, released Wednesday, landed on the same morning that the state Senate majority leader repeated his contention that Paterno had been unfairly "scapegoated," criticized the NCAA president, and called for new probes into how the athletic association handled the fallout of the Sandusky sex-abuse case.
February 11, 2015
ISSUE | WAR WEARINESS Draft to the rescue There was a jaw-dropping statistic in a recent report that put the average number of suicides among soldiers and veterans at a staggering 22 per day. As a Vietnam-era veteran, I am appalled. The focus on treating vets is great, but it's not the solution - and the real solution, reinstituting the draft, is not popular. It's illogical to think that we can send a man or woman into a war zone for repeated tours, with brief stops back home, and not have psychological consequences.
January 19, 2015
THE LEGAL WORDS have been stacked now with such care. The news releases explaining the legal words have been massaged just so. Nowhere do they say that the NCAA, the pig, has just been slaughtered with its own knife. But that's what happened. The NCAA just wanted to be relevant again, don't you know. The big conferences run everything anymore, and the football behemoth has gone and swallowed the world, and the NCAA is left with its basketball tournament to run - a beloved tournament that, truth be told, isn't a pimple on football's ass. All of which leaves the NCAA with a continuing search to convince people it still needs to exist.
November 6, 2014 |
In the chaotic aftermath of Jerry Sandusky's 2012 arrest on child-molestation charges, the NCAA apparently was so intent on punishing Pennsylvania State University that it overlooked questions about its authority to do so, according to e-mails from the organization made public Wednesday. "I know we are banking on the fact that the school is so embarrassed they will do anything, but I am not sure about that," Kevin Lennon, the NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs, said in a July 2012 message to the NCAA's then-director of enforcement, Julie Roe Lach.
September 11, 2014 |
When football recruiting experts, real or imagined, attach a ranking or stars to a recruit, they're really setting odds. The more stars, the better the odds of a payoff for the school that lands the recruit. That's all it is. In football, more than most sports, evaluating 15- and 16-year-olds, trying to figure what kind of player they'll be at age 21, is a tough and risky business. In addition to the inherent danger of the sport, that's why Division I football teams get so many scholarships.
September 10, 2014 |
The NCAA, which enjoyed the view from its holier-than-thou pedestal when sanctioning the Penn State football program in 2012, completed its self-serving exacta on Monday, as it patted the program on the head and assumed the part of merciful overlord. There's nothing the NCAA likes better than a little grandstanding now and then, particularly when it comes to big-time college football, which it lost control of to the BCS conferences years ago. The NCAA still has a few areas in which it can swing a sword, however, and Penn State gave president Mark Emmert a free shot as a result of the Jerry Sandusky pedophile scandal.