All Articles Tagged "college football"
This weekend was filled with rumors and breaking news that Penn State coach Joe Paterno had died. After many retractions and corrections, it has been confirmed that Mr. Paterno passed away early Sunday morning from lung cancer complications.
Joe Paterno, whose tenure as the most successful coach in major college football history ended abruptly in November amid allegations that he failed to respond forcefully enough to a sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant. The longtime Penn State head coach was diagnosed with what his family had called a treatable form of lung cancer shortly after the university’s Board of Trustees voted to fire him.
Paterno, who was affectionately known as “JoePa” by generations of his players and football fans alike, was widely admired in football circles for what he called his “Grand Experiment” — his expectation that big-time college football players could succeed on the field while upholding high academic and moral standards away from the gridiron.
In October, state authorities charged two university officials with misleading investigators and failing to report alleged sexual abuse in 2002, after a Penn State assistant told a grand jury he saw former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky performing what appeared to be anal sex on a boy in a shower at the football complex.
The assistant reported it to Paterno the next day, who said he passed the report along to then-Athletic Director Tim Curley and another university executive, Gary Schultz.
Curley and Schultz left their positions shortly after the grand jury report was revealed. The next month, the university fired Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier.
At the time, he said in a statement released by his son, Scott Paterno, that he was “distraught” over the sex abuse scandal.
In an interview with the Washington Post published January 14, Paterno said that he felt inadequate to deal with the allegations.
“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was,” the Post quoted him as saying. “So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”
Almost anyone with basic knowledge of college sports rules knows that financial incentives are illegal. But, college sports fans can’t make it through one year without hearing about some scandal, big or small, involving some high profile player receiving compensation. From the likes of the SAT scandal of Derrick Rose, to the Cam Newton fiasco, to USC’s Reggie Bush situation and even former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel resigning for NCAA rules violations — these incidents are not taken lightly in the sports world. The most shocking NCAA scandals also make juicy mainstream media coverage.
Such as this: According to news reports, a booster to the University of Miami football program by the name of Nevin Shapiro is singing jailhouse confessions about giving money, gifts and prostitutes to numerous football players at Miami — and claims that coaches were aware of this activity. Up to 73 players have been identified along with coaches and support staff. According to Shapiro, University of Miami officials looked the other way while this was happening.
So what else is new? The press is going crazy over this, reporting it as “the craziest scandal in NCAA history.” Please. It’s not so much that this latest incident happened — it’s that it happened on such a large scale. It’s more shocking that folks are so shocked.
Honestly, most fans know this type of recruiting activity starts at the high school level for high profile players and it continues well into college until said person makes it to the professional leagues. But bloggers, reporters and pundits alike are throwing around the phrase “death penalty” with regards to levels of possible sanctions to be imposed on Miami as punishment for paying players to play. Everyone knows yanking Miami’s football program would have major ripple effects and most people are confident the NCAA doesn’t want to back itself into a corner by setting this precedent.
“Marc is DEFINITELY not getting paid,” the father of suspended USC athlete Marc Tyler recently told TMZ. “I don’t know what he was thinking when he said it.”
But it’s too late to take back those words, and the damage is done: The USC running back has been suspended because he publicly joked about being payed for playing football by the school.
The USC senior was suspended after saying into a TMZ camera: “USC … they breakin’ bread!” — or pay ballers, a taboo practice banned in college sports.
Following the university’s decision, head coach Lane Kiffin released a statement:
I was very disappointed when I learned of Marc Tyler’s inappropriate comments that were captured by the media last week. That is not the way that we expect our players to represent USC and our team.
I have consulted with athletic director Pat Haden and I am suspending Marc for our upcoming season opener and potentially further, and in the meantime I am also suspending him from all team activities.
Although Marc may find this punishment severe, it is imperative we continue to have a high standard for player behavior. Marc needs to work hard to show us that he can meet the standards of being a USC football player.
Marc has since offered sincere apologies. But that might not be enough in the wake of the recent scandal involving NFL star Reggie Bush.
Bush had his Heisman Trophy stripped from him last year when found guilty of numerous NCAA violations. While playing for USC, Bush received cash, gifts and other benefits according to the governing body. AOL News reports that as a result of findings against Bush and other students, “the NCAA hit USC’s football program with a two-year postseason ban, reduced scholarships for football and men’s basketball and put the school on probation through June 2014.”
Bush was the first player to be stripped of this prestigious trophy in the Heisman Trust’s 75-year history. The shame associated with this scandal must still be felt sharply in the football locker rooms of USC. It seems obvious that given such a difficult context, joking about getting paid to the number one gossip site in the world is the last thing a USC football player should do.
Even if Tyler is not getting paid, college sports are still a billion dollar industry, and are definitely run that way. Marc Tyler, who was filmed outside a club at the time of these statements, might want to learn to tone down the jocular chatting — if he wants to keep his (unpaid) job. No boss puts up with that type of lip.
(The Root) — Joe Schad of ESPN is reporting that one day after Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said his conference members had discussed the concept of paying student athletes more than the scholarship money awarded now, several other power brokers in college football weighed in on the topic. Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said, “Something has to give on this issue. Universities justify spending tens of millions of dollars on coaches’ compensation, with a seemingly insatiable appetite for more growth. At the same time, a small fraction of that amount is spent on all scholarships for all student athletes. Unless the student athletes in the revenue-producing sports get more of the pie, the model will eventually break down. It seems it is only a matter of time.”
(NY Times) — Among all the bowl teams this season, Auburn has the highest disparity in the graduation rates between white players (100 percent) and black players (49 percent), according to a study at the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. Jim Gundlach, the Auburn sociology professor who uncovered the academic abuse, saw the decline in the team’s ranking as progress. “A genuine consequence to this has been that the people who want to do things right have gotten a bit more grasp over what the university is trying to do,” he said. Auburn’s athletic director, Jay Jacobs, declined to comment. The Tigers’ second-year football coach, Gene Chizik, said of his team’s academic performance and support, “We do a great job, so we’re not concerned with that.” When pressed on the issue of graduating black players, Chizik said, “Those are circumstances; there’s all kinds of different things.”In 2006, Auburn football was No. 1 among public universities in the academic ranking, alongside private institutions like Duke and Boston College. But some irregularities had caught Gundlach’s attention two years earlier.