Category Archives: Athletics

The business of college sports.


Wrongly Fired Coach Reclaims His Job, but Faces a Player Rebellion

Todd Hoffner, who recently won his job back as head football coach at Minnesota State University at Mankato in an arbitration decision, reclaimed the job on Wednesday, only to be blindsided by a player rebellion, the Star Tribune newspaper of Minneapolis reported.

Mr. Hoffner was removed from the coaching job in August 2012 following allegations that he had made pornographic videos of his young children. He then was fired for unspecified reasons in May 2013, six months after a judge threw out th…


U. of Utah and Tribe Reach Deal on Use of ‘Ute’ Name

The University of Utah and leaders of the Ute Indian Tribe on Tuesday announced that they had reached an agreement that allows the university to continue using the “Ute” name and drum-and-feather logo for its athletics teams, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The five-year agreement commits the university to financing scholarships for American Indian students, with a permanent scholarship category designated for Ute members. The university will also appoint an adviser to its president, David W. Pe…


Review Didn’t Support Researcher’s Claims on Athletes’ Literacy, UNC Says

Three outside experts hired by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to review a learning specialist’s findings about the subpar reading abilities of Tar Heel athletes did not find evidence to support those claims, the News & Observer reported.

The researcher who made the original assertions, Mary C. Willingham, was featured in a CNN report in January about the literacy levels of football and basketball players. Her views sparked a backlash from Chapel Hill’s administration, and the …


Arbitrator: Minnesota State-Mankato Should Reinstate Coach It Fired

An arbitrator has ruled that Minnesota State University at Mankato should reinstate the head football coach it fired last May because the university had no grounds for dismissing him, The Free Press, a local newspaper, reported.

The coach, Todd Hoffner, had been removed from coaching duties in August 2012 after videos of his naked children were found on a university-issued cellphone. Prosecutors charged Mr. Hoffner with creating child pornography, but in November 2012 a judge dismissed th…


Complaint Says Chapel Hill Directed Male Athletes to Inferior Courses

An advocacy group for college athletes alleges in a federal complaint that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discriminated against male athletes, particularly black male athletes, by shuttling them into “no show” courses that required only a term paper at the end of the semester and that were the basis of an academic-fraud scandal that has hit the university in recent years, The Herald-Sun, a newspaper in Durham, N.C., reported.

In the complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of E…


Retired Professors Urge Colleagues at UNC to Confront Academic Scandal

More than 30 retired faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are urging their faculty colleagues to seek answers from the administration on questions surrounding the institution’s academic-fraud scandal, the News & Observer reported.

The scandal involved revelations of no-show classes in Chapel Hill’s department of African and Afro-American studies. Many of the questionable classes enrolled a disproportionate share of athletes.

The retired faculty members raised their …


Painting of Vanderbilt U.’s Football Coach to Be Redone After Complaints

A painting of Derek Mason, Vanderbilt University’s new football coach, on a mural near the campus will be redone after it drew opposition from the university’s chapter of the NAACP, The Tennessean reported.

Akailah Jenkins, president of Vanderbilt’s NAACP chapter, said the group thought the painting was “reminiscent of the minstrelsy era, in which black people’s skin was darkened and their lips were made whiter in order to exaggerate their race in order to put them in a sharp contrast with the w…


Reactions to the Ruling on College Athletes’ Bid to Form a Labor Union

Football players at Northwestern University on Wednesday won a major victory in their initial bid to form a labor union, when a regional official of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that they are employees who can unionize.

The ruling, by Peter Sung Ohr, the NLRB’s regional director in Chicago, has the potential to remake the world of big-time college sports. Northwestern said in a statement on Wednesday that it disagreed with the decision, asserting that its athletes are students and no…


Coach’s Hiring at U. of South Florida Is Scrapped Over Inaccuracy on Résumé

The University of South Florida has rescinded an offer to hire Steve Masiello, the men’s basketball coach at Manhattan College, after officials learned that he never graduated from the University of Kentucky, as he had indicated on his résumé, according to reports by The Tampa Tribune and ESPN.

The newspaper reported that the university and the coach had reached an agreement in principle on a five-year contract that was contingent on the verification of his credentials. His biography on Manhatta…


NCAA Board Could Expand Beyond College Presidents

A new proposal calls for expanding the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors to include an athletic director, a faculty athletics representative, and a student, each of whom could gain voting rights alongside college presidents and chancellors, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

The proposal, presented by a steering committee charged with overhauling Division I governance, would give the five wealthiest conferences substantial voting power on a proposed new rule-making council—an important step in …