Category Archives: Athletics

The business of college sports.


Rutgers Fires Football Coach and Athletics Director

Rutgers University has fired its athletics director and head football coach, the institution’s president announced in a statement released on Sunday afternoon, confirming reports published earlier in the day by NJ Advance Media and other news sites.

In his statement, the president, Robert L. Barchi, said he had met with the athletics director, Julie Hermann, and the coach, Kyle J. Flood, on Sunday and had informed them that he “was exercising the university’s right to terminate their contracts w…


Diving Coach at Towson U. Is Charged in Locker-Room Recording Incident

A diving coach at Towson University has been criminally charged after students found a smartphone recording them in the team’s locker room last month, The Baltimore Sun reports.

Maureen Mead was charged in Baltimore County Circuit Court with felony interception of communication, and misdemeanor peeping Tom and altering evidence. Members of the women’s swimming and diving team discovered the phone in October.

Ms. Mead was suspended in October, Marina Cooper, the university’s deputy chief of staff…


After Decades of Hand-Wringing, U. of North Dakota Has a New Nickname

The University of North Dakota, at long last, has a new nickname, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

“Fighting Hawks” will replace “Fighting Sioux” as the university’s new moniker, ending a decades-long struggle over whether to discontinue the longtime Sioux mascot, which some students, faculty members, and alumni assailed as racist. Among the forces opposing the nickname’s removal were several lawsuits and, most recently, a former mayor’s effort to trademark the possible replacements.

The new nick…


Football Player Who Almost Died in Practice Cannot Rejoin Team, Court Rules

A former Towson University football player who nearly died of heat stroke during a practice cannot rejoin the team, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday. The Baltimore Sun reports that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a district court’s ruling earlier this year that the public university could not bar Gavin Class from again suiting up for the team.

Mr. Class collapsed at an August 2013 practice, and nearly died of heat stroke. He had more than…


Missouri Football Coach Who Supported Protests Will Retire

Gary Pinkel, head coach of the University of Missouri’s football team, whose endorsement of players’ protests of racism helped draw national attention to the flagship campus, is resigning at the end of the year for health reasons. According to a statement from the university, Mr. Pinkel received a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in May and decided late last month that he would retire at the end of the year.

“I still feel good physically, but I decided that I want to focus on enjoying my remain…


A Year After Fake-Classes Investigation, Chapel Hill Fires 2 More Employees

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has fired two more employees over their roles in a fake-classes scheme that was exposed in detail last year. In a statement, the university said it had fired Brent Blanton, associate director of the university’s Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes, and Travis Gore, an administrative assistant in the department of African-American studies.

The university also disciplined one other employee — Roberta Owen, a professor and former senior as…


U. of Illinois Fires Athletic Director After Full Report of Former Coach’s Misconduct

The University of Illinois fired its athletic director on Monday, the same day it released a report detailing misconduct by a former football coach, Tim Beckman, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Mike Thomas has done a good job of leading through recent challenges,” the university’s interim chancellor, Barbara Wilson, said in a written statement. “Decisions such as these are always difficult, but we have to focus on the best interests of our student-athletes. I believe this decision allows everyone …


U. of Missouri President and Chancellor Resign Amid Mounting Protests Over Racism

[Last updated (11/9/2015, 5:40 p.m.) with news that R. Bowen Loftin would also resign.]

A week after a graduate student, Jonathan Butler, said he wouldn’t eat until Timothy M. Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri system, resigned, Mr. Wolfe announced on Monday he would step down.

The flagship campus’s chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, announced late Monday afternoon that he too would step down from his post. Specifically, he said he would be making the transition to a new, research-focused …


U. of Missouri Chief Resists Calls to Resign After Football Team Joins Protest of Racism

Update (11/9/2015, 12:06 p.m.): Timothy Wolfe announced on Monday he would resign. Read more here.

Timothy M. Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri system, responded to increasing calls for his resignation by saying on Sunday that “change is needed” and that his administration was working “around the clock” to deal with concerns raised by protesters angry over the university’s handling of racial controversies. But his remarks, in a statement released by the university, made no mention o…


Another Athletics Administrator at U. of Minnesota Quits

Mike Ellis, associate athletic director at the University of Minnesota, has resigned following anonymous complaints against him, The Star-Tribune reports. Mr. Ellis had previously been on voluntary leave.

In his resignation letter, posted by the newspaper, Mr. Ellis denied any wrongdoing, calling allegations against him “unsubstantiated.” The Star-Tribune had previously reported that the anonymous complaints against Mr. Ellis concerned pornographic images on his cellphone.

Mr. Ellis’s resignatio…