Nowadays, one can hardly imagine a college football scene devoid of African American athletes. While black students still make up just a small fraction of overall enrollments at Division I institutions, the football field is another story altogether: about half of Division I football players are African American.
A federal judge's ruling last week that a Connecticut university cannot use competitive cheerleading to meet its federal Title IX requirements has only indirect immediate implications for the other 10 or so colleges that now sponsor cheerleading as a varsity sport, since none of them include the teams in their calculations to meet gender equity standards.
In a case highlighting how the National Collegiate Athletic Association is cracking down on the predatory recruitment of teenage basketball players, the association on Thursday punished the University of Arizona for major recruiting violations that took place during the tenure of Lute Olson, the legendary head men’s basketball coach who recently retired.
Hoping increased transparency will encourage head coaches to take seriously their players’ academic performance, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has released a searchable database of the Academic Progress Rates of all teams coached by current and former Division I coaches in six major sports since the NCAA introduced the scoring system in 2003.
A sports conference that always scheduled weekday basketball doubleheaders in which women’s teams played the first game — letting the men play in the later time slot — has altered the practice, after an anonymous sex discrimination complaint charged that this made the women’s games appear to be a “warm-up” act for the men’s games.
Now, hoping to avoid possible gender equity suits, other athletic conferences are considering similar scheduling changes.
College football is so notorious a breeding ground for controversy that it's difficult even to say what constitutes a scandal anymore. But a series of articles digging into the story behind the University of Washington's 2000 football season — which culminated in a Rose Bowl victory — managed not only to raise eyebrows, but to drop jaws, when they first ran in The Seattle Times in 2008.