Category Archives: Athletics

The business of college sports.


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.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 11.21.01 AM

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…


Why the NCAA Lost Round 1 of the Amateurism Fight, and What It Means

A federal judge handed down a landmark legal victory for student athletes on Friday, ruling that the NCAA’s amateur model constitutes an antitrust violation by limiting the amount of revenue athletes can make off their names and likenesses.

It’s been a long and winding road for Ed O’Bannon, a former University of California at Los Angeles basketball star, and his fellow plaintiffs. Here’s what you need to know to get caught up:

So are college athletes going to be paid now?

No. Judge Claudia Wil…


Judge Rules Against NCAA in Key Antitrust Case

[Updated (8/8/2014, 7:50 p.m.) to include the NCAA's statement.]

A federal judge in California ruled on Friday that NCAA rules barring college athletes from sharing in the revenues produced by the use of their names and likenesses violate antitrust law, handing the plaintiffs a key win in a case that has threatened to upend the association’s principles of amateurism, CBS Sports reported.

For a short analysis of why the NCAA lost and what the decision means, see this Chronicle post.

In a 99-page


U. of Maryland Will Pay $31-Million to Settle Lawsuits Over Exit From ACC

The University of Maryland will pay the Atlantic Coast Conference $31.3-million to settle lawsuits over how much money, if any, the university owed the conference after it withdrew to join the Big Ten Conference, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The ACC had demanded that Maryland pay an exit fee of $52-million, and the conference withheld $31.3-million in revenue while the battle played out in court. Maryland’s payment to settle represents that forgone revenue.

Maryland announced it was withdrawing fr…


NCAA Approves Changes to Give Big 5 Conferences More Autonomy

As expected, the NCAA has voted to approve a series of governance changes that will give the five biggest athletic conferences more freedom to operate independently.

According to an NCAA news release, the Division I Board of Directors voted, 16 to 2, to approve the new rules. Officials in the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-12, and Southeastern Conferences have said the new model will allow them to further help their players.

Read the Chronicle reporter Brad Wolverton’s analysis of the …


College of Charleston Fires Basketball Coach Accused of Mistreating Players

The College of Charleston said on Tuesday it had fired Doug Wojcik, its head men’s basketball coach, who had been accused of verbally abusing and threatening players, The Post and Courier reported.

The college had started two investigations into Mr. Wojcik’s actions as coach. The first resulted in a 50-page report containing allegations that Mr. Wojcik had lashed out at players and threatened them. The second was ordered by Charleston’s new president, Glenn F. McConnell.

In a written statement,


Chapel Hill Whistle-Blower Plagiarized Parts of Her Thesis, Critics Say

Critics of Mary C. Willingham, the former learning specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who raised questions about the literacy of athletes there, have scoured a master’s thesis she wrote in 2009 and say they have found evidence of plagiarism, the News & Observer reports.

The critics have posted online several examples from the thesis in which Ms. Willingham apparently borrowed phrasing from other sources and failed to put those words inside quotation marks. In most of t…


How NCAA’s Concussion Deal Affects Current, Former, and Future Athletes

The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Tuesday it had reached a tentative agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit over concussions in college sports. Rather than pay damages, the association has laid out terms that will have implications for current, former, and future college athletes. Here’s a breakdown:

If you used to play college sports, you are eligible for a medical evaluation for head injuries at the NCAA’s expense. It doesn’t matter what sport you played or when you…


NCAA Settles Head-Injury Case, With $75-Million for Testing and Research

The National Collegiate Athletic Association will provide $70-million for concussion testing and diagnosis as part of a proposed settlement agreement to resolve a class-action lawsuit over its handling of head injuries, according to news reports and an announcement by the association.

The NCAA has faced a string of lawsuits in recent years alleging that it has failed to protect college athletes from concussions. And this month the NCAA released a set of guidelines for concussion management, thou…