It's been a wild year for the NCAA. At this week's national convention, Division I will be forced to modify or eliminate some of its reform initiatives, while Divisions II and III will look to ease recruiting regulations.
Submitted by Emily Tate on April 24, 2017 - 3:00am
A freshman at Wheaton College in Illinois was killed Saturday afternoon during a track and field event for which he was volunteering, The Chicago Tribunereported.
Ethan Roser, a 19-year-old student from Cincinnati, transferred to the private Christian college outside Chicago just a few months ago, ahead of the spring 2017 semester.
Roser, who was a member of the men’s soccer team at Wheaton, was volunteering at the track meet when he was accidentally struck by a hammer during a hammer throw event around 4:15 p.m.
Campus safety officials and paramedics rushed to the scene and helped Roser get to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“We are deeply grieved, but, because of our faith in Christ, not without hope,” said Philip Ryken, the president of Wheaton College, in a statement. “We ask people to pray for Ethan’s family, his friends and our campus community.”
Submitted by Emily Tate on April 24, 2017 - 3:00am
A College of Charleston student was kicked out of the campus recreational center last week for wearing a crop top during her workout, The Post and Courierreported.
Sarah Villafañe wrote in a Facebook post last Wednesday that she was repeatedly asked to “put on a shirt” at the gym but given no further explanation. She was wearing a cropped tank top, which extends slightly farther down the midriff than a sports bra.
“I’ve worn this same outfit all day. Went to three classes and spoke personally with each of my professors today and they didn’t have a problem,” Villafañe wrote in a Facebook post that has been liked more than a thousand times and shared and commented on by hundreds of users.
“But when I walked into the gym, they asked me to put on a different shirt,” she wrote. “Obviously I didn’t bring an extra shirt to the gym and wasn’t about to wear my flannel while working out.”
By Villafañe’s description, three separate employees, including the “boss,” came up to her and asked her to find a different shirt or to leave the gym.
“What is the issue? Why can’t I work out in this outfit? Is my belly button distracting to the general 85 percent male demographic that your gym serves?” she wrote. “I’m forced to leave, why? Honestly I’m so floored that I just got kicked out for this. Do better, College of Charleston.”
The George Street Fitness Center requires patrons wear “athletic attire” but does not specifically note the rules surrounding bare midriffs. A university spokesperson said the gym asks its attendees to wear T-shirts to reduce skin contact with exercise equipment for “sanitary reasons.”
Submitted by Emily Tate on April 11, 2017 - 3:00am
Benedictine College, a small private Catholic institution in Atchison, Kans., delayed the debut of its recreational yoga classes this spring after some at the college expressed concerns over the spiritual and cultural influences present in yoga teachings.
The college planned to roll out the yoga sessions alongside the opening of a new student recreation center earlier this year, according to Steve Johnson, spokesperson for Benedictine.
“It was meant to be a breathing and stretching exercise class for the health benefits and the stress relief,” Johnson said. “We never had any intent of it to be a religious class.”
However, some factions within the college worried that the yoga teachings would be tinged with “Eastern mysticism,” Johnson said. Still others felt that by excluding the spiritual aspects of yoga and stripping it down to a strictly physical exercise class, it could no longer be called yoga.
Benedictine did begin offering other fitness classes at the recreation center this spring, but the college decided not to offer the yoga class until they could get a better idea of how it should function.
It will be available to students this fall.
“What we’ve done is just kind of clarify that this is a class that is about exercise and doesn’t contain any spiritually or culturally sensitive material,” Johnson said.
Benedictine had already been offering a stretching and breathing academic course through the health education department. The substance of that course will not change, Johnson said, but the course will be renamed to reflect the absence of spiritual, religious or cultural associations.
A faculty group at Rutgers University passed a resolution last week to express its concern and disappointment in the university’s athletic spending, NJ.com reported.
A report on the finances of the athletics program, released about two months ago, revealed an almost $40 million deficit in the 2016 fiscal year.
In response, the Rutgers New Brunswick Faculty Group unanimously passed a resolution to publicly voice its position about the overspending.
“The New Brunswick Faculty Council deplores the university administration's continuing failure to eliminate or even reduce the athletics program's chronic deficit spending and its continuing reliance on millions of dollars in student fees and general university funds to pay for the program's deficits -- all of which harms the university's academic mission,” the resolution says.
The athletics director, Pat Hobbs, defended the decision in a statement, saying that the department is “writing what will be the greatest chapter in Rutgers athletics history. We will be competitive, and we will do that in a fiscally prudent manner.”
He explained the spending as an investment that will make the program stronger and easier to grow in the future.
Rutgers also joined the Big Ten conference to help the program “be in a position to generate a positive cash flow for the university,” a spokeswoman for President Robert Barchi said.
Previously, Barchi estimated that Rutgers’s membership in the Big Ten would result in $200 million in revenue in the first 10 years.
The cheerleading team at Coastal Carolina University was suspended indefinitely last week, leading to many questions and rumors but little clarity, The Sun Newsreported.
A spokesman for the university confirmed that the team is being investigated, but he would not go into details.
A local TV station, WMBF News, spoke with an unnamed cheerleader who said the university president received an anonymous letter about the team’s activities. Those allegations included prostitution, buying alcohol for minors on the team and paying people to complete class assignments for them.
After those allegations began to circulate last Thursday, the cheerleading team sent out a statement about “false accusations.”
“At this point in time, we no longer wish to be contacted about the current situation. The false accusations have led to harassment on campus as well as through social media and are beginning to negatively impact our daily lives as well as our studies,” the statement, which was intended to represent the entire 20-person cheerleading team, said. “As a team we ask the community to support us through these tough times, as we hope the situation will be cleared up shortly.”
The team’s website has been changed to redirect to the general university spirit page, and the cheerleaders will no longer be performing in a national competition later this month.
Submitted by Emily Tate on March 27, 2017 - 3:00am
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has accrued nearly $18 million in legal costs stemming from the decades-long scandal involving fake classes that appeared to benefit athletes disproportionately, The News & Observerreported.
The $17.6 million spent to date has gone toward an NCAA investigation, lawsuits filed by former athletes against the university, several law firms representing the institution, public relations costs to manage the scandal and the review, redaction and release of public records to news organizations. UNC has produced at least 1.7 million records related to the investigation.
UNC will not be paying off those legal costs with tuition dollars or state funds, officials told The News & Observer, and it’s very likely the university will be billed for additional legal fees in the coming months, as some of the lawsuits are ongoing.
The scandal in question spanned about 18 years and involved over 3,000 students -- half of them athletes. Some UNC employees were pushing students to take “paper classes” that were not taught by university faculty members and did not meet in person. In these courses, students received high marks on the single required assignment regardless of accuracy or quality.
It is widely considered one of the most far-reaching cases of academic fraud in higher education history.