Category Archives: NCAA

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What’s Better for Your Résumé—Captain of the Debate Team or Playing College Sports?

Playing college sports could have a big payoff after graduation, as employers in one recent study appeared to value the leadership skills of athletes above many other students.

The study, whose results are to be presented at a conference this week at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, asked employers to rate the value of experiences of more than a dozen types of students, including debate-team captain, resident assistant, and editor of the campus newspaper.

The employers, which were k…

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‘Just Another Day in the Suit’

Nick as Jonathan, the UConn mascot.

Arlington, Tex. — There are four UConn Husky mascots, all named Jonathan, and two of them are in service this weekend, as the university’s men’s and women’s teams are both in the Final Four.

The guy wearing the suit here is named Nick, a junior at the university, and he has no idea why the dog’s named Jonathan. (Apparently it has something to do with George Washington.)

Last year Nike redesigned the UConn logo, changing it from a solid white Husky to a sort of…

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What Kind of Students Are One-and-Done Players?

Arlington, Tex. — Every year around this time, a handful of elite freshmen declare their eligibility for the NBA draft. Kentucky, which started five freshmen in its national semifinal game on Saturday against Wisconsin, could have four or five players leave early.

Over the past eight seasons, Kentucky has had 13 “one-and-done” players—more than twice as many as any other program, according to The Washington Post. The team has taken its share of criticism for the tally over the years, with many p…

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He Calls the Shots at the Final Four

Arlington, Tex. — It takes thousands of people to make the NCAA men’s basketball tournament go, from the drivers of more than 200 buses shuttling everyone around the sprawling Dallas landscape to the more than 1,000 volunteers who greet visitors, scan tickets, and make sure your officially licensed beverage stays in the appropriately marked cup. (Beware, the cat mug.)

But if you’re looking for the person with the keys to open the most doors at the Final Four, it’s probably Brett Daniels, co-…

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March Madness’s Chief Cheerleader

Arlington, Tex. — Greg Shaheen left the NCAA two years ago, but his fingerprints are still all over its marquee event.

As head of championships at the association, he was the key architect of its $11-billion broadcast deal with CBS and helped oversee March Madness for more than a decade.

Since leaving the association, he has worked as a consultant to colleges and universities and provided guidance to many conferences. Come March, he knows nearly everyone who makes the three-week men’s basketba…

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NCAA Announces $100,000 in Research Grants

A year ago, the NCAA was taking heat over its canceling of the Scholarly Colloquium, a decision that some critics saw as a response to the unfavorable research that professors had presented about the association.

The association said it had pulled the plug on the conference and its associated scholarly publication, the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, because of poor attendance, a lack of profitability of the journal, and a failure to influence public policy. The spending—which had totaled so…

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Ed O’Bannon: ‘They’re Going to Change the Game’

"I never got into this for some type of payday," says Ed O'Bannon (shown in 2008). "As long as we move towards changing some of these rules, that's really all I care about." (Photo by J. Rosenfeld, via Wikimedia Commons).

“I never got into this for some type of payday,” says Ed O’Bannon. “… As long as we move towards changing some of these rules, that’s really all I care about.” (Photo by J. Rosenfeld, via Wikimedia Commons).

When he got the news, Ed O’Bannon was in a familiar place, standing in a basketball gym outside Las Vegas watching his son’s high-school team practice.

“There’s good news and bad news,” said his lawyer, Michael Hausfeld, in describing a federal judge’s split ruling in a lawsuit that has beco…

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NCAA Board Asks for Review of Online Classes for Athletes

Buried in an NCAA news release on Wednesday about football rules changes was word that the association’s Division I Board of Directors had asked for an examination of online courses and how much athletes should rely on them.

The board, which has assigned the NCAA’s Division I Leadership Council to review the issue, gave no indication about how prevalent online courses are for players, or how athletes’ reliance on such classes compares to the rest of the student population. Both seem like key que…

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In Reporting Concussions, a ‘Culture of Resistance,’ New Study Finds

If you’re not convinced that concussions are a major health crisis, you should check out a report released on Wednesday by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council.

The 309-page report—“Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture”—summarizes much of the current research on head trauma in college and youth sports, including a sharp increase in concussion rates despite a pattern of athletes’ underreporting the injury.

“Young a…

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Coaches’ Group Calls for More Teams in Proposed Elite NCAA Division

If the wealthiest athletics departments do as they have suggested and form a separate NCAA subdivision to have more say over rules and regulations at the highest level, they should be required to support more teams and add opportunities for students, according to a new proposal.

A group of 12 Division I coaches’ associations in such sports as soccer, volleyball, and swimming is urging the NCAA to increase the number of sports and the amount of financial aid a university would have to offer if it…