Category Archives: Athletics

The business of college sports.


Physics Professors Tackle the NFL’s ‘Ballghazi’ Scandal

The National Football League’s “Ballghazi” scandal (also known as “Deflategate”) continues to threaten our national innocence, and some news media have turned to academe for answers.

After winning their conference-title game on Sunday, earning a place in the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots came under suspicion because 11 of the 12 footballs they supplied for the game were found to be underinflated two pounds per square inch below the league’s minimum standard, arguably making them easier to…


California Regents Shelve Policy Tying Coaches’ Bonuses to Academics

The University of California’s Board of Regents has for now shelved a policy that would have tied the bonuses paid to athletic coaches to the academic performance of their athletes, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Some critics on the board, including Gavin Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, said this week that the policy was too weak and did not set high enough academic standards.

The regents decided to send the policy back to the office of the system’s president, Janet Napolitano, f…


Chapel Hill Faces Second Lawsuit Over Sham Courses for Athletes

Two former athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have named the institution in a lawsuit, the second one filed over a long-running scheme of fake classes exposed in full last year, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

Rashanda McCants, a former women’s basketball player, and Devon Ramsey, a former football player, are represented in the suit by Michael Hausfeld, the lawyer representing a former University of California at Los Angeles basketball star, Ed O’Bannon, in his law…


NCAA Restores Penn State Football Wins Forfeited After Sandusky Scandal

The NCAA has agreed to restore 112 football victories stripped from the Pennsylvania State University football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal, the Associated Press reports. The new agreement, proposed by the NCAA on Friday and approved by the university’s Board of Trustees, also resolves a long-running lawsuit challenging the NCAA’s punishments by spending the $60-million fine it imposed on Penn State within Pennsylvania.

The NCAA has been gradually rolling back the …


Adams State U. Changes Policies in Response to ‘Chronicle’ Investigation

Adams State University has frozen enrollment in its print-based correspondence courses in response to an investigation by The Chronicle detailing how a former coach helped athletes across the country cheat to become eligible to compete, according to a statement on the university’s website. Adams State has also commissioned an outside review of its student-verification process and canceled a mathematics course mentioned in the Chronicle article.

The article states that the former coach, identifie…


Clemson Tells UBooster, an Athletics Fund-Raising Site, to Cease and Desist

[Updated (1/15/2015, 6:45 p.m.) to include details from the company's reply to the university.]

Clemson University has distanced itself from a new athletics fund-raising website called UBooster, which allows visitors to pledge money to colleges if they sign prized recruits, The Greenville News reports.

The website held a launch event on January 5, and three days later W.C. (Chip) Hood Jr., the university’s general counsel, sent a letter telling the company behind the site to “immediately refrain…


Penn State and NCAA Reportedly Seek a Deal That Would Restore 111 Paterno Wins

Pennsylvania State University is reportedly seeking a settlement with the NCAA over penalties the association imposed for the institution’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the settlement could include restoring 111 wins that had been stripped from Coach Joe Paterno’s record, and designating the $60-million fine against the university to be used for child protection within Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said two alumni-e…


Woman Alleging Rape by U. of Oregon Basketball Players Sues College and Coach

The woman who accused three University of Oregon basketball players of raping her has sued the college and its head basketball coach, Dana Altman, The Register-Guard reports.

The student, identified as Jane Doe in the complaint, alleges that the college and the coach made winning games a higher priority than investigating her claim that she was assaulted by the three players, who have since left the university.

The lawsuit also argues that the college should have known of the threat posed by one…


Dartmouth Accuses 64 Students of Cheating in Popular Course

Dartmouth College has accused 64 students of cheating in a “Sports, Ethics, and Religion” course taught last fall, the Valley News reports. Randall Balmer, chairman of the religion department, discovered in October that absent students in his class were passing their clickers to classmates who were present to answer in-class questions on their behalf.

Mr. Balmer told the newspaper that most of the students involved had been suspended for a semester. In the fall he counted 43 students who handed …


Knight Commission Study Shows Willingness to Shake Up Structure of College Sports

A survey of university presidents, athletics administrators, and coaches in three states indicates a willingness to shake up the structure of college sports, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics said on Wednesday. The new study by the commission also found, not surprisingly, that within Division I, opinions on what should be done vary wildly.

Among the study’s main findings:

  • Nearly half of respondents said they were either “interested” or “very interested” in considering alternati…