In Fake Classes Scandal, UNC Fails Its Athletes—and Whistle-Blower: Beginning in the 1990s and continuing at least through 2011, UNC’s Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies offered more than 200 lecture courses that never met. The department also sponsored hundreds of independent study classes of equally dubious value. Internal reviews have identified forged faculty signatures and more than 500 grades changed without authorization. The students affected were disproportionately football and basketball players. Behind the cover of this week's edition.
The most valuable "brands" in sports:
A Forbes click-through-the-pictures list of the 40 most valuable brands in sports. It's divided into 4 categories (top 10 in each): businesses, teams, events, and athletes.
How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers: Easterbrook lights into the NFL and politicians.
R&A will look at gender issue after British Open: TL;DR: Ain't no big thang, chums.
"The names are all included in an extraordinary batch of records from Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic tucked into a two-story office building just a hard line drive's distance from the UM campus. They were given to New Times by an employee who worked at Biogenesis before it closed last month and its owner abruptly disappeared. The records are clear in describing the firm's real business: selling performance-enhancing drugs, from human growth hormone (HGH) to testosterone to anabolic steroids."
The Aboriginal Innings: Australia's first national cricket team were all indigenous. What has happened since then? A thoughtful piece from the Global Mail.
HoboJacket: Some MIT guys have a... great? idea: buy clothes from schools you hate and give them to the homeless. They get warm, and you get the chance of seeing someone begging for spare change in a Bulldogs jacket. Is this a brilliantly terrible idea or a terribly brilliant one?
Marvin Miller, 1917-2012: Miller, the most important figure in the MLBPA's history, died today at 95. He helped Curt Flood challenge the reserve clause, which led to free agency and the wonderfully peaceful sports labor situation we have today.
SpoFi Holiday Giving Project: One World Futbal: Inspired by images of Darfur child refugees playing soccer using trash instead of a ball surrounded by barbed wire, amid hovels made of plastic, cardboard and sticks Tim Jahnigen developed a ball made of a closed-cell foam that makes it durable, doesn't need a pump to inflate and has a "cap" that allows the ball to re-inflate, even if punctured. Since so many of us are soccer fans I thought we might band together to buy a few balls for the project as a group holiday project. The cost is $25 per ball and I'd like to try to raise $500.
UCI claims 'moral authority' to lead cycling: Agreeing that wrong-doing uncovered by other investigators after years of denial (and possibly coverup) enables one to retain "moral authority." Mmmkay!
In Stadium Building Spree, U.S. Taxpayers Lose $4 Billion: Quantifying what has long been a sore point on SpoFi. Includes a nice contrast between Jerry Jones' public palazzo and the even more expensive but privately financed new stadium in the Meadowlands.
Boom goes the dynamite! Explosive book about Armstrong doping comes out.:
After reading the book, no doubt is left in the reviewer's mind as to Armstrong's guilt.
Sports Artist Leroy Neiman Dies: Legendary sports artist Leroy Neiman died Wednesday at 91. "I've zeroed in on what you would call action and excellence. ... Everybody who does anything to try to succeed has to give the best of themselves," Neiman said in a 2008 interview.
North Dakota voters overwhelmingly decide to do away with UND's 'Fighting Sioux' Nickname: As a part of yesterday's primary election, more than two-thirds of voters cast "yes" for Measure 4, overturning the Legislature-passed code from 2011 which required UND to use the Fighting Sioux nickname. The measure also passed in Reservation County, which encompasses most of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation.
Should athletic scholarships come with a 4-year guarantee?: If you buy that star athletes are compensated with a valuable education, consider this complicating fact: An athletic scholarship is not a four-year educational guarantee. What few college sports fans—and not enough college recruits—realize is that a university can yank that scholarship after one, two, or three years without cause. Coach doesn’t like you? He’s free to cut you loose. Sitting the bench? You could lose your free ride to a new recruit. From Slate.com
scha·den·freu·de: "Pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune."
N.J. state troopers face probe for 'Death Race 2012' down Parkway to AC: Brandon Jacobs, recently of the Super Bowl champion
NJNY Giants, was one of the alleged racers. "In the complaints, obtained by The Star-Ledger, witnesses said that in the early afternoon of March 30, they saw two State Police patrol cars with their emergency lights flashing driving in front of and behind the southbound caravan, which included dozens of Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and other vehicles, all with their license plates covered with tape."
Fair Ball Uganda Documentary: Short film on the Uganda/Canada Pearl of Africa Series Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Aftershow travelling through Uganda, Jimmy Rollins raps in Uganda, Uganda's Mr Baseball & Images of Uganda
Super Bowl Mayor’s Bet: Politicians' bets over sporting events tend to fall into one of a few categories: There's the Food Bet, in which both sides offer up local delicacies. There's the Good Deed Bet, in which the losing mayor (or governor, or whatever) must perform some sort of community service. There's also the Do-Something-Embarrassing Bet, which usually involves wearing the winning team's jersey in front of cameras, but can take other forms as well.
Paterno speaks for 1st time since firing: Speaking to a WaPo reporter in his hospital room, "former Penn State coach Joe Paterno says he 'didn't know which way to go' after an assistant coach came to him in 2002 saying he had seen retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy."
Bottles tied to genitals in Manitoba hockey hazing: A 15-year-old hockey player in Manitoba was forced to parade around the dressing room with water bottles tied to his genitals, the teen's parents alleged in an effort to end hazing rituals in minor hockey.
Two teams, Two countries, One passion: This summer, the Ugandan Little League team’s hard work and determination had won them the title of 1st African team in history to earn the right to compete in the Little League World Series. Winning the Middle East/Africa Division for 11 and 12 year olds against Saudi Arabia in July, earned them an all-expenses paid trip to the August 2011 World Series in Williamsport, PA., USA. The youngsters were scheduled to play the Canadian team from Langley, BC, in what would have been an historic moment for Africa. However, just 2 weeks before that game was to take place, Uganda's request for visas was denied by the U.S. State Department. The following is a short film interviewing with some of the Ugandan players & coaches: Baseball changing lives in Uganda
The Shame of College Sports: A litany of scandals in recent years have made the corruption of college sports constant front-page news. We profess outrage each time we learn that yet another student-athlete has been taking money under the table. But the real scandal is the very structure of college sports, wherein student-athletes generate billions of dollars for universities and private companies while earning nothing for themselves. Here, a leading civil-rights historian makes the case for paying college athletesand reveals how a spate of lawsuits working their way through the courts could destroy the NCAA.
Minor Journey, Major Dream: Dirk Hayhurst's priorities change, not goal: For Dirk Hayhurst, the pitcher who writes books — or is it the writer who pitches? — major league dreams have transformed into adult realities. But his outlook is different now. Major League Baseball is not the fantasy it once was. He has experienced it, meaning it is real for Hayhurst. And “real” brings the good and the bad. As he enjoyed success with his book, he struggled with baseball. Hayhurst dealt with depression in 2010, a season spent injured, not competing against opposing hitters, but competing with self-doubt and loneliness.
Plenty of Good Seats Still Available: The collapse of the sports ticket bubble: A few months ago, it seemed like M.L.B. was in the throes of a ticket apocalypse. Through the first 2 weeks of the season, 6 teams had set all-time single-game lows at their current homes. The surprising Cleveland Indians led the A.L. Central in the standings, but remained in the cellar at the turnstiles. The New York Yankees, whose ultrapricey new stadium has been beset by empty seats since it opened in 2009, hosted record-low crowds for 4 games in a row. It was as if fans, having quietly absorbed more than a decade of price hikes and the advent of $9 beers, had spontaneously decided to go on strike. Last fall, the New York Giants demanded that fans pony up as much as $20,000 for "P.S.Ls" before being allowed to buy season tickets at the New Meadowlands Stadium. That may have been a workable price point when ground was 1st broken for the stadium 3 years prior, but fans balked at the hefty fees in 2010. What was once a lengthy ticket wait list quickly evaporated, leaving the team with thousands of empty seats on its new building's opening day.
"The Best Team I Ever Covered": Sports Illustrated has been asking writers & retired writers about the best teams they ever covered.
Michael Irvin Champions Equality: Former Dallas Cowboys great Michael Irvin appears shirtless on the cover of this month's gay men's magazine Out and discusses his passion for equality issues. The former Cowboy wide receiver known more for his hands, motor mouth, flashy clothes and cocaine use says he will support any current player who decides to come out... "If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him. ... When a guy steps up and says, 'This is who I am,' I guarantee you I'll give him 100 percent support."
Anthony Galea’s path from treating superstars to pleading guilty : There was a time when Anthony Galea was on the front lines in the war against doping in sport. When disgraced Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson made his comeback in 1991, Dr. Galea was there as a certified doping-control officer, watching over him while he peed into a vial. He once issued a public warning to Toronto parents about the torrent of steroids flowing through high-school locker rooms. He has railed against the win-at-all-costs attitude ruining sport, saying “that’s why there is an increasing use of drugs to enhance performance.” Yet this week, Dr. Galea stood before a U.S. District Court judge and uttered “guilty” to the charge that he repeatedly carried misbranded drugs across the U.S.-Canada border, and admitted in an agreed statement of facts that he smuggled restricted drugs, including human growth hormone, to professional football and baseball players. Now the 51-year-old father of seven could go to prison after acknowledging that he crisscrossed the United States, met athletes in their homes and in hotel rooms, and practised medicine without an American licence. It has threatened to ruin his career, the end of a remarkable arc that saw him go from a Toronto strip mall to the Toronto Argonauts clubhouse to making house calls for golfer Tiger Woods, former NFL rushing leader Jamal Lewis and baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez.
Charlie Pierce Remebers The National: Not to jam the place up with Grantland pieces, but this is a good one.
"The history is too easy to uncover. The myths don’t stand a chance.": Joe Posnanski on how easy access to data affects our view of sport.
The Supreme Court Don't Wanna Hear It: if you're a cheerleader, you must cheer: even for the kid with pimples. And the kid who only made the team because he's the coach's son. And, uhm, that kid who raped you.
Where Title IX apparently doesn't apply both ways: "I'm sick of boys dominating the game,'' Gloucester field hockey coach and athletic director Kim Patience
Play fair, run fast and smile for the camera : Why America is different: "Our sports aren't like real life because we want them to be fair."
Out of Bounds: Sex and the AFL. Some thoughts on sport and its effect on men, women and our power relationships. Sample quote for US readers: “Psychiatry has not taken enough interest in jock culture as a window into other American pathologies.”