April 4, 2013, 4:55 am
Atlanta — March Madness has long been one of the most anticipated events on the NCAA calendar, culminating in a weekend-long celebration enjoyed by thousands. But this year, the glow around the game is not as bright, a reflection of a mixed set of challenges the association faces.
This week, much of the buzz has centered around Mike Rice, the former men’s basketball coach at Rutgers University, who was fired on Wednesday after ESPN released a startling video of him kicking and berating players. While some coaches say the Rutgers situation is extreme, it has has raised questions about the culture of basketball and what some say is an imbalance of power between big-money programs and their players.
The association has its own problems. Two summers ago, NCAA leaders were struggling to find adjectives strong enough to describe a spate of scandals at the highest level. This year Mark …
December 14, 2012, 9:00 am
When I visited Ohio State University this fall for my piece on Jason Singleton and the big changes the Buckeyes have made in athletics oversight, Gates Garrity-Rokous had been on the job only a few weeks.
Mr. Garrity-Rokous, a former executive at GE Capital America, was hired in September to oversee the new Office of University Compliance and Integrity. He wasn’t available to talk in person when I was there, but joined in by speakerphone in what may be the largest conference room in college sports (seriously—the table alone could probably seat 30 people).
Ohio State’s new chief compliance officer, to whom the athletics-compliance unit now reports, has never worked in college sports. But he was well versed in the recent scandals at Ohio State, and already had a bone or two to pick with the NCAA.
“The NCAA is the only enforcement entity that doesn’t truly credit voluntary…
December 11, 2012, 11:57 am
If you’re looking for a job in college sports these days, the compliance office may be the place to turn, as some big universities are adding scores of positions in response to costly NCAA scandals.
This week I look inside one of those programs, Ohio State University, which has doubled its athletics compliance staff since its tattoos-for-memorabilia scandal. The Buckeyes now have 14 full-time rules enforcers, with an annual athletics-compliance budget of $1.1-million.
Ohio State has over 1,000 athletes—more than double the number of some Southeastern Conference programs—so it probably needs more monitors than most athletic departments.
Having more people won’t necessarily help it avoid future problems, but the supersized staff sends the signal to the NCAA that the university is doing everything possible to keep its eye on things.
At a time when the Division I Committee on…
November 5, 2012, 12:05 pm
Jim Tressel didn’t resign as Ohio State’s football coach last year—the university’s president asked him to step down, according to an article in this week’s Chronicle.
“I made that decision,” Gordon Gee, Ohio State’s president, told The Chronicle’s Jack Stripling. “There’s no doubt about it. I do know this: No one doubts that I’m in charge.”
Mr. Gee’s story appears to break with the coach’s and Ohio State’s public narrative that Mr. Tressel had come to the decision on his own, Mr. Stripling reports.
In a statement Mr. Tressel released in May 2011, he said that he and university officials had “agreed” he should resign in response to revelations about a tattoo-parlor scandal. Gene Smith, the university’s athletic director, said at the time that the coach had “decided to resign.”
But Mr. Gee now says he himself made the difficult decision to dismiss the coach, who had spent a …
September 5, 2012, 9:02 am
Fed up with scandals at Pennsylvania State University and in other big-time athletic departments, college presidents have pushed for more control over NCAA decisions during the past year. But on their own campuses, many presidents lack clear authority over sports, a Chronicle analysis has found.
Of the presidents or chancellors who oversee the 25 biggest athletic departments, not a single one has contract language related to oversight of athletics. That includes Rodney A. Erickson, who was named president of Penn State following a breakdown in university leadership during the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal. Employment agreements for top officials at Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which have both faced major NCAA sanctions in the past year, do not spell out any specific powers.
More common in presidential contracts, The Chronicle found, …
May 16, 2012, 5:00 am
“When we make it, we have a right to spend it,” Texas’s football coach Mack Brown tells USA Today Sports. “That’s the way America is.”
Brown, who earns more than $5-million a year, is Exhibit A of the Longhorns’ largesse. He pockets more than four NCAA Division I institutions spend on their entire athletics program, USA Today reports. (Under Brown, Texas won the national title in 2005, but has gone 13-12 the past two seasons.)
Texas, one of 22 Division I public institutions to operate in the black, has plenty to go around. Last year it brought in more (just over $150-million) and spent more ($133.7 million) on sports than more than 200 public Division I colleges, according to the newspaper’s annual database of spending in big-time college sports. Ohio State was a distant second in both categories.
Texas and Ohio State aren’t the only department with deep pockets. Ten programs…
May 4, 2012, 1:07 pm
Take your pick on which is the most damning statement about the Rutgers athletic department, based on a report by Bloomberg News this week examining spending in big-time sports:
a) Rutgers gave $28.5-million from the university budget and student fees, or almost $1,000 per student, to finance sports during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011.
b) The $19.4-million that Rutgers allocated to athletics from its general budget would have been enough to hire about 256 assistant professors or 132 full professors, based on salary figures provided by the university.
c) Fiscal 2011 included the first losing football season in six years. Ticket sales for all sports, led by football, plunged by $3.1-million; donations fell $1.5-million; and income from royalties and licensing declined $477,558.
It was the second-consecutive year that Rutgers topped Bloomberg’s list of universities that…