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What The Petrino Scandal Reveals About Transparency In Sports
Thanks to Arkansas law—and Petrino’s apparent inability to buy a disposable cell phone to stay in touch with certain female friends—we now know quite a bit more about the events leading to Petrino’s firing than perhaps Jeff Long and Arkansas officials would like. Yet all this transparency serves an important purpose. And it’s not upholding the “public’s right to know.” That’s a self-serving media invention. No, the real benefit here is to future universities that might consider hiring Petrino.
Published April 16, 2012 - 4:28pm
Petrino Firing Needed For Arkansas’ Long-Term Competitiveness
It would be inaccurate to look at Bobby Petrino’s firing as a case of “ethics and morals” trumping wins. Judging by his Tuesday evening press conference, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long was not engaged in moral grandstanding or some Roger Goodell-like effort to show everyone that he was in charge. Long made a calculated long-term decision that he believed was in the best interest of the Razorbacks football program.
Published April 11, 2012 - 8:20am
Jeff Long’s Priority Is To Protect The University of Arkansas
Jeff Long, the vice chancellor and athletics director at Arkansas, clearly heeded the lessons of Penn State. When coach Bobby Petrino informed Long on the afternoon of April 5 that he had previously misled the university about the circumstances of his April 1 motorcycle accident, Long moved within hours to place Petrino on paid administrative leave and held a late-night press conference to inform the press.
Published April 6, 2012 - 1:31pm
Faith & Football: The Battle Over Religion In The Locker Room
The issue is not so black-and-white. In the context of a single classroom, the professor is responsible for teaching a limited, single subject. The role of a football coach like Mike London or Mark Richt is much broader. We commonly hear coaches are responsible for “molding young men,” not just teaching them the mechanics of the spread offense. When players get into trouble, administrators and the press don’t blame the chemistry or physics professors. They hold the coaches responsible.
Published April 4, 2012 - 8:45am
Athletic Departments Face Uphill Battle In Social Media Monitoring
Last month, I reported on the relationship between several SEC athletic departments and U-Diligence, a company run by a former Department of Defense anti-narcotics contractor that specializes in “monitoring” social media usage by student-athletes. Recently, there has been signs of blowback against this type of activity.
Published March 20, 2012 - 8:34am
Could There Be Such A Thing As Too Much College Football?
The recent wave of realignment has forced all the conferences to look at every aspect of their in-conference, non-conference and postseason scheduling. SEC leaders have begun talks to add a ninth conference game—over the strenuous objections of the coaches—while officials from all BCS conferences discuss how to best structure the postseason going forward.
Published March 13, 2012 - 8:17am
College Football Ramifications For “Bounty-Gate”
If you’re a diehard college football fan who views the NFL as little more than a weekend gambling diversion, you may look at the Williams affair and dismiss its relevance to your beloved SEC team. But the same cultural shift Goodell is trying to stay ahead of with the NFL affects all levels of football. The concussion issue is even more acute at the high school and college level, where skittish parents play a major role, and where the lack of financial rewards (relative to the NFL) makes it easier for a player to walk away.
Published March 6, 2012 - 2:16pm
Financial Data Backs Up SEC On-The-Field Domination
As one would expect, the SEC dominates the numbers as it does the BCS. The SEC ranked first in revenue among the conferences, reporting $244.4 million in 2010. Only the Big Ten was competitive at $232.4 million. Surprisingly, the Pac-10 came in sixth, behind all of the other automatic-qualifier conferences.
Published February 29, 2012 - 9:55am
Maryland Blocks QB Transfer To Vandy & Media Overreacts
Nick Saban is a bully and a hypocrite who won the national championship last season. Randy Edsall is a bully and a hypocrite who won two games last season. That distinction makes Edsdall, entering his second season at Maryland, a prime target for media pundits forever in search of reasons to condemn college football. It also shows how skewed the media’s priorities are when it comes to dealing with injustices, real and imagined.
Published February 21, 2012 - 9:22pm
The Rise Of “Tim Tebow Bills” In High School Football
In college sports, we’ve seen the damage well-intentioned political meddling can do in the form of Title IX. What starts out as a simple idea — women should have the same access to sports as men — turns into a Tsunami of unforeseen consequences and paralysis. One of the major stumbling blocks to meaningful NCAA reform is the fear of how any substantive change, such as paying football players stipends, might trigger the wrath of federal Title IX watchdogs.
Published February 9, 2012 - 9:05am