Category Archives: Athletics

The business of college sports.


College Presidents Have Authority to Reform Athletics, 3 U.S. Senators Say

Three Democratic U.S. senators sent letters on Thursday to the presidents of the colleges that make up the five major athletic conferences, asking them to complete a survey about the experiences of athletes at their institutions, CBS Sports reports.

Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Cory Booker of New Jersey wrote that they had become “increasingly frustrated with the lack of meaningful progress by the NCAA and its member institutions.” The survey features 21 qu…


U.S. Investigates Alleged Sexual Hazing on W.Va. College’s Baseball Team

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating Davis & Elkins College, a small, private institution in West Virginia, regarding complaints of hazing and sexual harassment involving the college’s baseball team, The Charleston Gazette reported.

A lawyer representing a former student baseball player said his client had left the college and had given up an athletic scholarship after allegedly being subjected to unwanted sexual touching multiple times by at least one upperclassman on the team. The…


Paterno Estate Can Challenge NCAA Sanctions Against Penn State, Judge Rules

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that a lawsuit in which the family of the former football coach Joe Paterno challenged the NCAA’s sanctions against Pennsylvania State University can go forward, but the judge pared back the scope of the suit and said three active members of the university’s Board of Trustees, among other individuals, could not remain as plaintiffs in the case, according to reports by the Centre Daily Times and the Associated Press.

The ruling, by Senior Judge John B. Leete of the …


NCAA Lifts Penn State’s Postseason Ban and Will Restore All Scholarships

Pennsylvania State University’s bowl ban has been lifted, and all of its football scholarships will be restored for the 2015-16 season, the NCAA announced on Monday.

The association’s executive committee cited the university’s “significant progress toward ensuring its athletics department functions with integrity” in voting to approve the measures. George J. Mitchell, who was tapped by the NCAA to oversee the university’s reform efforts in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal, recomm…


Florida State U. Launches Inquiry Into Rape Allegation Against Star Quarterback

Florida State University has launched a new inquiry into the rape allegation involving its star quarterback, Jameis Winston, The New York Times reports. The Times quotes the lawyer for Mr. Winston’s accuser as saying the university interviewed the woman last month as part of a new disciplinary investigation.

The female student, who has since transferred to another institution, accused Mr. Winston of raping her in 2012. The local prosecutor said there was not enough evidence to charge Mr. Winston…


NCAA Releases Handbook on Athletics’ Role in Campus Sexual Assault

A handbook released last Friday by the NCAA calls on member institutions to fully cooperate with sexual-assault investigations and to educate their athletes on methods of response and prevention, among other things. The 50-page handbook is meant to be an educational resource for colleges and does not include any punishments for noncompliance.

“The [NCAA's] executive committee acknowledges that it is our members’ collective responsibility to maintain campuses as safe places to learn, live, work…


Coach at U. of Minnesota Resigns After Sex-Harassment Investigations

The head coach of the women’s gymnastics team at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities resigned last week after investigations into complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation, the Star Tribune reported.

The university determined that the coach, Meg Stephenson, had retaliated against someone after an athlete complained that she had been harassed by Ms. Stephenson’s husband, who was a volunteer assistant coach of the squad. Ms. Stephenson’s husband, Jim Stephenson, was the team’s head…


Top Football Coaches Are Worth the Millions They’re Paid, Study Finds

College football coaches whose multimillion-dollar contracts often place their compensation well above that of their institutions’ presidents are worth the money, argues a new study publicized in The New York Times.

The study, conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University, compares the contracts of highly paid coaches at colleges with those of chief executives at publicly traded companies. The researchers found that both groups’ compensation is consistent with the economic value of the progr…


Notre Dame Football Players Are Questioned in Academic-Fraud Inquiry

The University of Notre Dame said Friday that it had begun an investigation into suspected academic fraud involving several students, including four members of its football team.

Notre Dame officials said that a member of the university’s academic staff had raised suspicions that students had submitted papers and homework that were written for them by others. Notre Dame said it had informed the NCAA because of potential rules violations, and said the four players would be held out of practices …


College on the Cover: Doom and Gloom Through the Decades

Behold the cover of next month’s issue of The Atlantic, unveiled on Thursday.

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The cover story profiles Ben Nelson, president and CEO of the Minerva Project, a start-up seeking “to replace (or, when [Mr. Nelson] is feeling less aggressive, ‘reform’) the modern liberal-arts college,” writes Graeme Wood.

Questions like “Is college doomed?” are loaded. The Atlantic cover qualifies its bold query by stating in the subhead that “college” refers to “traditional universities.” And “doomed” would more a…