Category Archives: Athletics

The business of college sports.


Embattled Athletic Director Is Out at U. of Michigan

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has announced that David Brandon, the embattled athletic director whose job has been on thin ice for months, will resign, according to news-media reports. The university’s president, Mark S. Schlissel, made the announcement at a news conference on Friday afternoon.

The Detroit Free Press reports that questions over Mr. Brandon’s job security have stemmed, in part, from a strained relationship with the university’s Board of Regents. Before he was appointed …


Pa. University Cancels Football Game After 5 Players Are Arrested

California University of Pennsylvania has canceled Saturday’s home football game and suspended five players from the university after the players were arrested and charged in connection with an incident that the institution suggested involved violence, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The university did not identify the players, nor did it release details about the incident. It said the Vulcans’ home football game on Saturday against Gannon University had been called off.

Geraldine M. Jones…


Reform Group Proposes Academic-Integrity Rules for Athletics

The Drake Group, which promotes academic integrity in college sports, has released a list of guidelines it urges all colleges and universities to adopt in the wake of “recent academic scandals” related to athletics. Among other items, the group suggests that:

  • Freshmen be required to wait one year before playing sports if their standardized-test scores are a certain amount below the mean of the student body.
  • Athletics programs undergo a national “peer review” process once every 10 years.
  • Academi…

NCAA Touts Higher Graduation Rates, but Numbers Remain Fuzzy

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Tuesday released its annual graduation rates, reporting that 84 percent of athletes who entered Division I institutions in 2007 graduated within six years. That is a two-percentage-point increase from the year before, an improvement that Mark Emmert, the association’s president, called “nothing short of remarkable.”

But there are some big problems with how the NCAA calculates its graduation rates. While most observers agree the association’s metric…


Trend in Athletes’ Benefits Widens as Pac-12 Guarantees 4-Year Scholarships

The Pac-12 Conference on Monday adopted a package of reforms for athletes that includes improved health-care benefits and guaranteed four-year scholarships for athletes in all sports at its 12 member universities. The Big Ten Conference announced similar changes earlier this month.

The Pac-12 and the Big Ten are among the five powerful conferences that the NCAA is giving new latitude to make their own rules. The others in the “Power Five” group are the Atlantic Coast, the Big 12, and the Southea…


Another Florida State U. Football Player Faces Investigation

A Florida State University running back, Karlos Williams, is under investigation by the Tallahassee police over an accusation of domestic battery, The New York Times reported. The police department confirmed that it had received the case but released no further details.

The university said in a statement on Monday that it was “aware of” the investigation of Mr. Williams and that his status with the team was under review.

Mr. Williams is the third Florida State starter to face an abuse claim in t…


West Virginia U. Expels 3 for Role in Rioting After Football Victory

West Virginia University has expelled three students for their part in destructive rioting on Saturday after the football team upset Baylor University. Law-enforcement agencies also charged 11 other students with crimes.

“We have made it clear that this university will hold students accountable for their unlawful behavior,” said the university’s president, Gordon Gee, in a written statement. “We will not allow individuals to remain enrolled who commit these crimes and damage the reputation and…


3 Questions Left Unanswered by Chapel Hill’s Academic-Fraud Report

After the latest report of academic fraud at the University of North Carolina flagship was released on Wednesday, administrators said that, disturbing as the findings were, the campus’s four-year nightmare might finally end.

“I believe we now know all that we are able to know about what happened and how it happened,” said the system’s president, Thomas W. Ross, according to an account in The Daily Tar Heel.

But the 136-page report, the result of an investigation led by a former federal prosecuto…


3 Key Findings in Chapel Hill’s Academic-Fraud Investigation

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Wednesday announced the findings of a long-awaited, independent investigation into academic fraud in its department of African and Afro-American studies. The comprehensive, 136-page report tells a gripping narrative full of new revelations in the prolonged scandal. The findings take aim at a number of people at Chapel Hill who have previously been implicated in the scandal but who have denied any knowledge of or role in the alleged fraud.

Here a…


Air Force Academy Review of Athletics Finds Nothing Worth Investigating

The U.S. Air Force Academy’s Office of Inspector General has completed an “inspection” of the institution’s athletics department that was begun in the wake of a player-misconduct scandal but has found nothing that merited a full investigation, the academy said in a news release on Tuesday.

The inspector general, Col. David Kuenzli, emphasized in the news release that an inspection is not an investigation. Investigations are based on specific allegations of violations of laws or of Air Force or…