Trojans Trashed by NCAA

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It may take a while for the Men of Troy to “fight on” after the crushing blow they received Thursday.

In a long-awaited decision, the National Collegiate Athletic Association severely punished the high-profile football and men’s basketball teams at the University of Southern California for improper commercial dealings involving Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush and basketball standout O.J. Mayo.

Disarming Big-Time Sports Spending

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WASHINGTON – In the wake of conference expansions largely predicated on lucrative television contracts, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics called Thursday for a new set of financial reforms in big-time college sports.

A Moving Goalpost

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The academic benchmarks the National Collegiate Athletic Association uses to determine whether teams’ athletes are progressing toward graduation no longer mean what they used to.

Competitive Cheerleading Advocates Undeterred

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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.

Wildcat Scratch Fever

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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.

NCAA Grades Coaches

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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.

Who's on First?

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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.

Up, Up and Away

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Harvard faculty members, to almost no one's surprise, find out that grade inflation prospers.

Any Given Weekday

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Football teams that can get prime billing on Saturday shy away from games during week, citing academic and logistical problems. But the financially vulnerable play them for national attention.

'Curriculum Review' for Athletics

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When campus budgets are tight and athletics departments are under the microscope, college and university administrators use a variety of methods to determine which teams to cut and which to keep. Some look at downsizing from a purely financial perspective, cutting sports that cost the most to operate, either overall or on a per-athlete basis. Others consider the win-loss records and popularity of their teams, trimming those it seems few on their campus will miss. That all goes to say that there is no tried-and-true method for determining a sport’s value to an institution.


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