Category Archives: Athletics

The business of college sports.


Budget Cuts Prompt U. of North Dakota to Eliminate More Than 100 Positions

The University of North Dakota will cut 138 positions, including 51 on the faculty, in response to state budget retrenchment, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

The institution’s interim president, Ed Schafer, announced the cuts at Thursday’s meeting of the state’s Board of Higher Education. The university, in Grand Forks, faces a $21.5-million reduction, the AP reported.

Earlier this month the university announced it would eliminate its men’s golf and baseball programs because of the bu…


Who’s Going to Be Punished for the Worst Academic Scandal Anyone Can Remember?

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s fake-classes scandal is one of the worst athletic-impropriety-meets-academic-fraud dramas that anybody can remember. Following the release in 2014 of an expansive and damning report by a former federal prosecutor, Kenneth L. Wainstein, Chapel Hill watchers were quick to ask: What’s the NCAA going to do about it?

They got their first major signal on Monday, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association released its amended Notice of Allegation…


NCAA Blocks 23 Teams From Postseason Play for Poor Academic Performance

Twenty-three Division I teams will be banned from postseason play in 2016-17, two more than the year before, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s annual report on Academic Progress Rates.

The scoring system measures athletes’ academic progress and retention on a 1,000-point scale. Teams must attain an annual score of 930 to remain eligible for pre- and postseason competitions.

A total of 31 teams will be penalized this year, the association said. Many of the teams facing p…


Berkeley Will Pay $4.75 Million in Settlement Over Football Player’s Death

The University of California at Berkeley has agreed to pay $4.75 million in a settlement with the family of a deceased football player, Ted Agu, who died after an off-season conditioning session in 2014, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The player’s family sued the university after his death, alleging that coaches had failed to assist Mr. Agu during a vigorous workout and also had failed to disclose to the coroner’s office that Mr. Agu had sickle-cell trait, a blood condition that leaves tho…


As Controversy Swirls, Former Baylor Football Player Is Charged With Rape

The police in Waco, Tex., have charged a former Baylor University football player with raping a student, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports. Shawn Oakman, who played defensive end and graduated in December, had previously declined to comment when the newspaper reported that he was being investigated.

The alleged rape occurred in early April. The student alleges that Mr. Oakman forced her onto his bed and raped her after they met at a bar. According to an affidavit quoted by the newspaper, Mr. Oakma…


Illinois Will Pay $625,000 to Settle 2 Athletics Lawsuits

The University of Illinois has reached two separate settlements, with the former football coach Tim Beckman and with seven women’s basketball players, respectively, the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday.

Mr. Beckman was fired in August 2015, one week before the season opener, after an investigation confirmed claims of player mistreatment. Investigators found that Mr. Beckman had tried to “deter injury reporting” and had pushed players to dodge or postpone medical treatment so they could contin…


Former Vanderbilt Football Player Is Found Guilty in 2013 Campus Rape

Cory Batey, a former football player at Vanderbilt University, was convicted late Friday of aggravated rape and several related charges for his role in the 2013 assault of an unconscious woman in a dormitory room, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Batey was one of four former players accused of participating in the assault, although he was the only one on trial. Mr. Batey and another player, Brandon Vandenburg, were convicted last year in the assault, but a mistrial was declared after lawyers le…


Coach Fired Amid Inquiry at Berkeley Has New Job in Nevada

Yann Hufnagel, the former assistant basketball coach who was fired last month by the University of California at Berkeley after being accused of sexually harassing a female reporter, has a new job at another university. He was hired on Friday by the University of Nevada at Reno, according to news reports.

Mr. Hufnagel had been fighting his dismissal at Berkeley, announced in mid-March, but he dropped his appeal on Thursday, citing a “toxic environment” on a campus that has been embroiled in cont…


New Rape Allegation Brings Baylor Under Further Scrutiny

[Updated (4/8/2016, 7:44 p.m.) with the disclosure of the athlete's name.]

An allegation of sexual assault against a Baylor University football player has brought renewed scrutiny to the troubled university’s handling of the issue.

A prominent player there is being investigated for sexual assault by the Waco Police Department, reports the Waco Tribune-Herald. The player, later identified as Shawn Oakman, declined to comment, saying, “I don’t know what you are talking about,” when asked about the…


Former U. of Southern Mississippi Coach Directed Cheating Ring, NCAA Says

The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Friday that, according to its investigation, the former University of Southern Mississippi men’s basketball coach, Donald J. (Donnie) Tyndall, ”acted unethically and failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance when he directed his staff to engage in academic misconduct.”

A report on the investigation says that Mr. Tyndall “directed members of his staff to complete fraudulent coursework for seven prospects so they could be immediately e…