Archive for February, 2012

Sign On The Dotted Line, Please

Posted: February 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Within the past week and a half, one of the major reform changes was put to vote. Every university in the country had the option of voting for or against the new multi-year scholarship rule. The NCAA established this rule with the hopes of allowing schools to offer multi-year scholarships to players, rather than the one-year renewable scholarships that have always been in place. The change makes it a more secure environment for student-athletes in terms of stability within their respective programs. That is, a coach would be unable to tell a player to leave solely based on athletic performance.

Schools and conferences against the multi-year scholarship legislation needed 207 of 330 votes—a five-eighths majority—to overturn the rule that was established by the Division 1 board last October.

They received only 205. A mere two votes slipped away and the legislation has been passed.

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We Want Stipends

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Money Talk

With all this talk about paying athletes an extra chunk of cash, it will be interesting to see which “g” comes out in college players—graciousness or greed that is. Take a minute to listen to this short podcast promo about the upcoming radio segment on the stipend legislation and the opinions of your local Boston ballers.

The Thin Ice Just Got Thicker

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

The battle over NCAA reform continues to stir up controversy and questions regarding the changing status of the laws enacted. The most recent debate involves a sport not usually talked about in the same sentence as basketball and football in terms of reform and legislation. It usually doesn’t generate a large amount of money to the athletic department, nor does it usually make the front page of the sports section. But loyal fans never fail to bundle up and follow the dirty, physical, drop-your-gloves-and-put-your-fists-up sport of hockey.

 

The Feb. 13th article written by Joe Nocera, the op-ed columnist for the New York Times who has been consistently following NCAA reform, deals with hockey players and the more professional style of handling these athletes. College hockey allows players to deal with family advisors, a legal spin on professional agents, without a second thought by the NCAA. Like Nocera questions in the article, “is this a quid pro quo?” Well obviously. The NCAA turns the other cheek as hockey players continuously deal with these advisors, gaining advice and insight that will ultimately benefit their sports careers. But no contract is signed, no deal has been made, and no agreements have been established between player and advisor. So why wouldn’t this situation be suitable for all athletes? Like Nocera states, “It makes perfect sense to have agents advise young hockey players as they approach critical life decisions.”

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This map presents all of the schools that played in the 2011 NCAA March Madness Tournament. The schools are categorized by the graduation rate for that year. A major call for reform has been the fact that schools are focusing too much on sports and not enough on education. Each pin point marks the school, the graduation rate, the conference the school participates in for athletics as well as the athletic website for each school.

Graduation Rate Key:

<20% – Blue     21%-40% – Red     41%-60% – Yellow    61%-80% – Green    81%-100% – Purple

When thinking about NCAA reform most people tend to jump to the sports side of things. Student-athletes are supposed to excel on the court, field, ice and so on. But what many people forget is that although all of the championships and sweet gear may seem like the number one priority for coaches and athletes, there would be no college sports without, well, college. It’s education people!

 

Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, has been a major influence in the call to NCAA reform. Duncan calls education, “the most pressing issue facing America,” and urges the NCAA to make radical changes to ensure that student-athletes don’t forget why they’re in college to begin with.

Here are some links to read in which Duncan responds to reform and initiates his ideas:

Arne Duncan Urges College Leaders To Continue NCAA Reform — Duncan feels more needs to be done in 2012. He called on Bowl Championship Series schools and conferences to set aside some of their money for a student-enhancement fund. Should such a big chunk of money be set aside?

Duncan Calls For NCAA Reform, Says March Madness Rewards Teams With Poor Academics — Duncan calls for stricter academic requirements and says that schools that graduate less than half of their players should be banned from post season play. If that were the case, 10 of the 68 men’s basketball teams in the 2011 March Madness tournament would be ineligible. Are we rewarding teams for failing?

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, NAACP President Ben Jealous Call for NCAA Reform — Duncan teamed up with NAACP President Ben Jealous in an effort to minimize the gap in graduation rates between white and black men’s basketball players. The red flag fact that has people talking is that most of the players earning the large share of NCAA revenue are black, while the individuals receiving the money are white. Fair?

What’s Missing From March Madness? Better Academics — This editorial piece has Duncan talking about his research with the Knight Commission on revenue and skewed rewards. Again, where should this money be going?

Enjoy!