Category Archives: Athletics

The business of college sports.


U. of Illinois Football Coach Is Fired Over Allegations He Mistreated Players

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s head football coach has been fired after an investigation found he encouraged injured players to stay in the game. According to a statement issued by the university, external reviewers found Tim Beckman had made “efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries.”

“The preliminary information external reviewers shared with me does no…


Are College Football Coaches About to Start Fining Players?

Earlier this year, the NCAA voted to allow colleges in the five biggest athletic conferences to increase athletes’ scholarship money so that it would cover the total cost of attendance — not just tuition, fees, room and board, and books.

In the ensuing months, colleges have moved to define exactly how much extra they’ll begin offering players, with some deciding to spring for more than $4,000 extra per athlete.

But for some athletes, that money might come with strings attached.

The defensive coo…


Auburn Reversed Course on Cutting a Major Favored by Athletes

Auburn University was on the verge of scuttling a low-enrollment, unpopular academic major in 2013, but changed course after the athletics department weighed in, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to documents and emails reviewed by the newspaper, the provost had recommended suspending the program, called public administration, in 2012. The political-science faculty, which oversaw the program, agreed that it contributed little to the academic mission of the university and voted 13-to-0 t…


Investigation Skewers Baylor U.’s Handling of Rape Case Involving Football Player

(Last updated 8/23/2015, 10:30 p.m., with sentencing information.)

An investigative report by the magazine Texas Monthly raises troubling questions about Baylor University’s handling of a sexual-assault case involving a football player. According to the article, although Baylor knew Sam Ukwuachu, a defensive end, had been indicted on charges of raping a Baylor soccer player, the only public word it issued was that he was expected to return to the team this fall.

Mr. Ukwuachu was convicted on Thu…


Colleges Paying Out Millions More to Players in Response to NCAA Rule Change

The biggest sports programs in the country will be paying their players millions of dollars more this year in response to a rule change allowing athletic scholarships at major-conference colleges to cover the full cost of attendance. As part of an analysis of 92 Division I colleges, USA Today reports that Auburn University will increase its spending, in the aggregate, the most — by $2.1 million total.

A Chronicle analysis of the 65 wealthiest NCAA institutions showed in April that at least 15 pr…


NLRB Dismisses Northwestern Football Players’ Bid to Unionize

[Updated (8/17/2015, 1:26 p.m.) with comments from Northwestern and from a leader of the union drive.]

The National Labor Relations Board declined on Monday to rule on whether Northwestern University football players are employees of the college, effectively dooming their bid to unionize. The ruling supersedes a regional office’s 2014 decision in the players’ favor.

In its decision, the board wrote that considering the athletes’ case “would not promote stability in labor relations,” and cited “r…


U. of North Carolina Reports New Potential Violations to NCAA

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced on Friday that its officials had reported additional potential violations to the NCAA that may implicate the women’s basketball and men’s soccer teams.

The university said in a written statement that, in the course of preparing to release emails from the Wainstein investigation into Chapel Hill’s academic-fraud scandal, it had uncovered “additional examples of possible instances of improper academic assistance provided to a few former wom…


U. of Minnesota’s Former Athletic Director Drew Gender-Bias Complaints

Norwood Teague, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities athletic director who resigned last week amid reports that he had sexually harassed two female employees, was the subject of two gender-discrimination complaints dating to 2012, the Star Tribune reported.

One of the complaints was filed by Regina Sullivan, a senior associate athletic director at the Twin Cities campus, who was fired by Mr. Teague in October 2012, about five months after he took the job. Ms. Sullivan said Mr. Teague had told…


U. of Minnesota’s Athletics Director Resigns After Sending ‘Inappropriate Texts’

The athletics director at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities resigned on Friday amid reports that he had sexually harassed two university employees.

Norwood Teague said in a videotaped statement that he had sent inappropriate text messages to the employees after drinking too much at a university function, MPR News reported. He apologized in the statement on Friday morning. “I behaved badly towards nice people and sent truly inappropriate texts,” Mr. Teague said, adding that he planned to se…


Vanderbilt Football, Plagued by Rape Charges, Apologizes for Tweet About ‘Permission’

A tweet from the Vanderbilt University football program’s Twitter account that declared “We don’t need your permission!” sparked an uproar on Thursday, as four former players face charges stemming from an alleged rape. Here’s a screenshot of the tweet, which has since been deleted but survives, in duplicate form, courtesy of The Tennessean:

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 2.20.45 PM

The Vanderbilt account later apologized on Twitter: