A while back, after a particularly egregious mistake arose on the Fox News morning program “Fox & Friends,” this blog called for the network to pull the plug on the show, which consistently produces the most embarrassing content in the embarrassing category of cable news. Today, a morning show on Fox News added another really dumb mistake to the pile. This show is not “Fox & Friends” it’s “Fox & Friends First,” which airs really early (5 a.m. EST). Slightly different name, same stupid result: “Fox & Friends First” host Heather Childers today said that the Connecticut Huskies had become “NAACP national champs,”
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
The face of Big 12 football changed dramatically on 12-12-12.
Texas Tech hired former Red Raider quarterback Kliff Kingsbury as its head football coach just days after Tommy Tuberville’s surprising departure for the University of Cincinnati.
Kingsbury, 33, played for the Red Raiders from 1998-2002 and finished his career with 39 school records, 13 Big 12 Conference records and 7 NCAA Division I-A records. He was only the third player in college football history to throw for over 10,000 yards, gain over 10,000 yards in total offense and complete over 1,000 passes.
Kingsbury is also a former NFL quarterback, having won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots as a back-up.
In January 2012, he took over the position of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M University. The Aggies led the SEC in scoring and ranked third nationally in total offense with Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who set the conference record for total offense with 4,600 yards.
Notre Dame Scores a First: No. 1 in Football and in Graduating Its Players - Players - the Chronicle of Higher Education
Notre Dame’s football program this week became the first to earn a No. 1 ranking in the Bowl Championship Series standings while having the nation’s top graduation rate.
The Fighting Irish had a 97-percent NCAA Graduation Success Rate in the most recent period. That’s more than 20 points higher than the results of any of the other top-five BCS programs.
The team’s Academic Progress Rate, a more accurate NCAA measure of players’ real-time academic performance, is 970, putting it in the top 70 to 80 percent of football programs nationally.
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, shared a few thoughts with The Chronicle about the challenge of balancing academics with a sports-crazed culture.
The NCAA sanctions announced last week have assuaged nationwide anger over the horrendous sex crimes in and around the football program at Penn State. In sports terms, the penalties pack a wallop designed to curb the university’s athletics prowess for years ahead. They include a record $60-million fine and the elimination of 20 total scholarships each year over the next four years. While some critics have regretted that the NCAA did not revive its “death penalty”—disbanding the Penn State football team for an entire season or more—others consider those punishments equally severe.
By all accounts, NCAA President Mark Emmert acted boldly. Discarding his arcane rulebook, he rose above the association’s chronic preoccupation with petty payola, like discounted tattoos for college athletes. Having deferred to Pennsylvania’s continuing prosecutorial process, with its jurisdiction set properly in law, Emmert reasserted the NCAA’s tradition-based power over big-time college sports.
This sudden intervention is politically shrewd for the NCAA, at least in the short term. Coming after a sensational investigative report from a former FBI director, Louis J. Freeh, it satisfies urgent public demand to smack Penn State for enabling monstrous serial crimes for more than a decade. The impact, visible in news photos of gasping television viewers, has played to sports fans’ hunger for victorious clout.
Yet the temporary satisfaction is worse than misleading. Emmert’s penalties target collateral or innocent people while sparing NCAA policies that facilitate exploitation of every kind. The NCAA’s conscious design is skewed toward tyranny. It shuns the checks and balances of healthy governance. Beneath cheers and boos over Penn State, the NCAA’s vengeful stance only obscures the clear resolve needed to address the conflict between sports and academics at major universities.
Emmert took advantage of the Freeh report to straddle a crucial divide. Was the Penn State cover-up caused by extreme but isolated human failure—a freakish aberration, unlikely to be repeated—or by the general culture of commercialized NCAA sports? Apart from its comprehensive detail, Freeh’s report begs notice for its careful scope, which confines blame to the five officials already fired or indicted: the former president, Graham B. Spanier; a vice president, Gary C. Schultz; the athletic director, Timothy M. Curley; the late football coach, Joe Paterno; and the convicted child molester, Jerry Sandusky.
The tragedy of child sexual abuse that occurred at our University altered the lives of innocent children. Today, as every day, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse.
Against this backdrop, Penn State accepts the penalties and corrective actions announced today by the NCAA. With today’s announcement and the action it requires of us, the University takes a significant step forward.
The NCAA ruling holds the University accountable for the failure of those in power to protect children and insists that all areas of the University community are held to the same high standards of honesty and integrity.
The NCAA also mandates that Penn State become a national leader to help victims of child sexual assault and to promote awareness across our nation. Specifically, the University will pay $12 million a year for the next five years into a special endowment created to fund programs for the detection, prevention and treatment of child abuse. This total of $60 million can never reduce the pain suffered by victims, but will help provide them hope and healing.
The NCAA penalty will also affect the football program. There is a four-year ban on all post-season games, including bowl games and the Big Ten Championship game, and a future reduction in the number of football scholarships that can be granted. We are grateful that the current student athletes are not prevented from participation because of the failures of leadership that occurred. Additionally the NCAA has vacated all wins of Penn State football from 1998-2011.
We also welcome the Athletics Integrity Agreement and the third-party monitor, who will be drilling into compliance and culture issues in intercollegiate athletics, in conjunction with the recommendations of the Freeh Report. Lastly a probationary period of five years will be imposed.
It is important to know we are entering a new chapter at Penn State and making necessary changes. We must create a culture in which people are not afraid to speak up, management is not compartmentalized, all are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards, and the operating philosophy is open, collegial, and collaborative.
I’ve been thinking about the PSU scandal for a while now, and talking to quite a few people: some who work in higher ed, some who are Penn State fans (and fans of other teams) and some who are simply outraged at the amount of covering up and passing the buck that went on (and to some extent continues).
As I’ve been thinking, I’ve begun to make a connection with the current presidential campaign, and specifically the Bain saga.
We’ve been castigating Mitt Romney for exemplifying the modern notion of institutional/individual responsibility, whereby Romney claims to have no responsibility for decisions made by an institution in which he played a substantial role, while benefiting directly from those decisions.
If that’s a “bad” thing, then wouldn’t the opposite, “good” thing be for people who are members of an institution to accept responsibility for the failings of that institution even if they as individuals are not responsible for those failings?
I’m not going to disagree with the idea that, under a program suspension scenario, players should be allowed to transfer away. But if we’re going to make value judgements, voluntary self-punishment is exactly what I think Penn State should have done: self-suspend for two years (say) and then re-evaluate. Accept responsibility for the failings of your institution and work to overcome them.
If they had done this (i.e., suspended the program), and a core of players, coaches and administrators had said “this wasn’t our fault, but we’re going to make something good come out of a bad situation”, and had then stuck together and waited the suspension out, I think that it could have been the groundwork for a true healing process.
Anyway, these are half-formed thoughts. My overriding sense is that the NCAA punishment is just further “business as usual”, and as such, it doesn’t do much to restore the image of college football.
More bad news for Penn State: The NCAA says it will issue sanctions Monday against the school over the child sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky.
The announcement came the same day the school removed the famed statue of legendary football coach Joe Paterno from outside the Penn State football stadium. Our colleague Eyder Peralta has written more about that move.
The Associated Press reported Sunday that the NCAA said it would levy “corrective and punitive measures” against Penn State over the scandal. On its Facebook page, the NCAA said it would outline those sanctions at a news conference Monday.
According to the AP: “NCAA President Mark Emmert hasn’t ruled out the possibility of shutting down the Penn State football program in the wake of the scandal, adding that he had ‘never seen anything as egregious.’”
Jenna Talackova was born a man. She began the process of becoming a woman at age 14 with hormone treatments and then had surgery at the age of 19.
“I have always dreamed of being in the Miss Universe competition and having an opportunity to represent my country, Canada,” said the 23-year-old beauty contestant. “I was told by representatives of the Miss Universe Canada Pageant that I could not compete because a rule stated that I had to be a naturally born woman,” she said.
The Miss Universe Pageant is owned by Donald Trump who, after much attention, changed his mind and said Talackova could compete. But, Talackova’s attorney Gloria Allred says, she and her client want the “naturally born” rule eliminated.
There are some pageants specifically for transgender women and transvestites, but Talackova wants to compete in mainstream pageants. Allred said allowing Talackova to compete but not changing the “naturally born” rule doesn’t address the problem.
That rule has already been dropped from most sports from high school to the Olympics. Transgender people can compete in high school, college, the Olympics and the LPGA. The NCAA amended its transgender policy just last year.
Fall Saturdays, when Nittany Lions fans fill up 107,000-seat Beaver Stadium, have always defined Penn State University. But after a widely publicized sex-abuse scandal shook the football program—and the university itself—to its core, Saturdays here will never be the same.
Plenty of places love to sell their virtues, but people wear their values on their sleeves here. Tradition, pride, and honor run deep in this central Pennsylvania valley. They are part of a small-town culture that teaches people to trust their neighbors and stay loyal at any cost.
This week the Penn State family drew close as it faced allegations of the most heinous kind: The children among them weren’t safe, betrayed by some of the most respected of their men.
Law-enforcement officials say at least nine young boys were sexually assaulted at the hands of a former Nittany Lions football coach over a 15-year span, while university leaders allegedly did nothing to stop it.
John S. Nichols, an emeritus professor at Penn State who chairs the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, a national sports-reform group, has long praised his employer for finding balance between athletics and academic work. The athletic department here, whose motto is “Success With Honor,” has always stood out among its peers. Players graduate. Faculty oversight is strong. And in the 58 years that the NCAA has tracked major violations, Penn State has never committed a single one.
Yet three years ago, Mr. Nichols warned of the dangers for an institution that holds itself above the rest.
“Under the mantle of ‘Live by the sword, die by the sword,’” he wrote in The Patriot-News of Harrisburg,”a major athletics scandal would become far more devastating for Penn State than for some peers which have become inured with repeated scandals.”
As he sees it, the stage was set.
Major-college athletes could receive up to $2,000 a year more in institutional aid and be granted multiyear scholarships under a wide-ranging set of proposals to be presented to the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors next week.
Other ideas under consideration include the elimination of foreign travel and nontraditional-season competition, reductions in regular-season games, fewer scholarships for big-time football and men’s and women’s basketball teams, and stiffer eligibility standards for athletes, according to an NCAA document obtained by The Chronicle.
The proposals, some of which have yet to be finalized, are the result of months of discussion by several NCAA committees charged with overhauling rules to deal with widespread problems at the elite level of college sports.
Equity issues underlie much of the work of the groups, whose proposals could lead to major changes to the NCAA rule book and the penalties that programs face for stepping outside the lines.
Billion-dollar TV deals and multimillion-dollar compensation packages for coaches have led to growing calls for paying athletes. While Mark A. Emmert, the NCAA’s president, refuses to go there, he supports the idea of giving athletes more money for travel and other incidentals, moving closer to covering their full cost of attendance. Median college costs at public universities exceed an athlete’s scholarship coverage by about $4,000, according to a recent USA Today analysis.
A proposal by the Student-Athlete Well-Being Working Group, one of several groups formed following an NCAA presidential retreat in August, would permit a Division I athlete on full scholarship to receive up to $2,000 in additional institutional financial aid, should his or her conference agree to provide the money. Athletes on partial scholarship would receive prorated amounts, with both figures changing annually based on the rate of inflation.
“This won’t eliminate things like players selling their memorabilia or finding other improper ways of getting money in their pockets, but we think it’s the right thing to do and the fair thing to do,” Graham B. Spanier, president of Pennsylvania State University and the group’s chair, said in an interview Thursday. “We’re optimistic it will be adopted by the board.”
He is also confident about his group’s proposal to begin permitting multiyear aid agreements (colleges are now only allowed to offer one-year renewable awards). Some coaches don’t renew players’ scholarships because they’re not performing as well athletically as the coaches had hoped, Mr. Spanier said, a practice that can reflect poorly on universities.
“If our real goal is to help students get degrees, we have to stand behind that” with multiyear aid, he said. “Once you make a commitment to an athlete, you should stick with that athlete if he or she is doing the best they can…”