Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 NHL Draft Notes: From Minnesota With Love.

As I was watching the 2011 NHL Entry Draft Friday night, recently without a home team to cheer for (Jake was the last straw in a long, masochistic relationship with that team), I thought, “hey, I like John Buccigross and Bill Simmons. They do those ‘watch a game/event and give my thoughts as it goes along’ pieces, why can’t I?” So I did. As it went along, I wrote down my thoughts during the first round of the draft, for your reading pleasure!

7:03pm – Mention #1 of the trade. Grr. This isn’t starting well.
7:08pm – No Doug MacLean sightings. This is good.
7:25pm - Sharp, sharp jersey for the Oilers. I’m liking the darker blue and orange. Congrats, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins!
7:27pm – Tambellini denies Ryan Smyth back to Edmonton minutes after Dreger reports it… hmm? (Edit: As of 10:50am on Saturday, nothing’s official either. Odd.)
7:32pm – I hope more Euros follow Landeskog’s lead and play major-junior Canadian hockey in their draft year.
7:34pm – Loving this “Go Jets, Go!” chant on the feed. Great to see them back!
7:40pm – Larsson drops to the Devils? Lucky ducks, that’s exactly the player they need…if they take him. Huberdeau #3. Florida keeps getting great talent. Dale Tallon is a hell of a builder.
7:48pm – Great pick, Jersey! They needed a top offensive defenseman, and Larsson can be just that.
7:54pm – Is Garth Snow channeling Barry Melrose? #mullets
7:56pm – Strome will be unbelievable with Tavares… nice pick! Too bad their owner is a little out there. And they still are paying Rick DiPietro.
7:59pm – Mika Zibanejad: a fantastic name and one of the hottest-rising prospects in this draft. Ottawa’s gotta be happy with that addition.
8:04pm – Winnipeg’s on the clock. I love everything about this. Go Jets Go!
8:09pm – Seeing Claude Noel still fills me with rage. That’s not going to change.
8:11pm – First pick of the new Jets era: Mark Scheifele? Congrats, kid. You’re now Trivial Pursuit-fodder. I have a feeling you’re going to be another late bloomer ala Ryan Johansen last year.
8:13pm – All this Sean Couturier dropping is reminding me of Angelo Esposito in 2007.
8:15pm – Please don’t mention the trade.
8:17pm – Of course they mentioned it. Mention count: 2.
8:18pm – Mention #4…and they take Couturier.
8:22pm – Mention #5… Comparisons to Jordan Staal? Um, okay.
8:24pm – Seven mentions, and Holmgren is saying nothing but BS right now. That’s your GM, Philadelphia.
8:26pm – The rich get richer with Dougie Hamilton. “Thanks for the Cup, Toronto.” –Peter Chiarelli   Still think Kessel was worth it, Burkie? Hamilton, Jared Knight, and Tyler Seguin…dang!
8:30pm – The hometown crowd is going… Wild! Sorry, bad pun.
8:38pm – AGH ADAM FOOTE. I’d say he’s a classy player and person... but I don’t enjoy lying.
8:40pm – Duncan Siemens … Grant Clitsome … what’s next?
8:47pm – I don’t care if he plays D; Ryan Murphy’s a monster in the offensive zone. I could watch his highlights all day.
8:48pm – Paul Coffey loves Ryan Murphy? Go figure, a one-dimensional offensive player loves another one.
8:52pm – SVEN! Quick guy out of Switzerland off to Calgary! Portland has a power program right now. Three Top-15 picks in the last two drafts.
8:57pm – Sven Baertshi second Euro to play in CHL and be a first round draft pick this year. Keep up the trend!
9:01pm – Oleksiak is HUGE. 6’7" defender. First NCAA guy drafted this year. Seeing him beside Bettman makes my night. Tiny little troll-man.
9:03pm – So which cheap grunt of a player will be drafted by New York this time?
9:11pm – NYR just have awful luck. First Cherepanov, then the Boogeyman. Sad, tragic stuff.
9:15pm – Is it just me, or does Terry Pegula act like he’s 94?
9:16pm – Wow, the NA-only trend for the Sabres is over!
9:24pm – And another French Canadian goes to Montreal. Good dman, good fit.
9:28pm – Nevermind. Beaulieu's not French Canadian.
9:33pm – Dang. Brent Burns to San Jose. I like that pickup.
9:36pm – Mark McNeil to Chicago. Compared to… Manny Malhotra? Whaaaa?
9:40pm – Bettman is a troll. A tiny troll of a man.
9:41pm – Oscar Klefbom is such a boom or bust prospect. I’m scared for his future. Could be huge… or burn out fast.
9:48pm – And now for the last first round pick in Phoenix Coyotes history?
9:50pm – It’s a crying shame to see Russia’s fall from glory. Sign the dang transfer agreement already. Quit being a pain.
9:51pm – YEAH CONNOR MURPHY! Former CBJ assistant coach Gord Murphy’s son. But will he be the last Phoenix first rounder ever? I’d think so.
9:56pm – Stefan Noesen: a true Texan in the NHL? Cool. Don’t like Corey Perry-comparisons, but eh.
10:01pm – Disaronno commercial #6 on the night… Product placement much?
10:05pm – Toronto trades up for … Tyler Biggs! Another mean, nasty American kid for Burke.
10:06pm – I like the Ohio connection. Biggs from Cincinnati, going to Miami (OH), just like Brian Burke’s late son, Brandon.
10:10pm – Go figure. Detroit trades out of the 1st round… again. Gets two second round picks. Who wants to bet they go off the board for some obscure Euro, who’ll be a superstar?
10:15pm – Joe Morrow of the Portland Winterhawks taken by the Pittsburgh Penguins. ANOTHER Winterhawk in the first round. #dynasty
10:19pm – Sens picking for third time at #24—Matt Puempel out of Peterborough. Another scoring monster to the anemic Sens.
10:24pm – These Dominos commercials with the kids is getting on my nerves. Whiney kids. Blech.
10:36pm – Brian Campbell waived NTC to Florida Panthers? Well then. I’d heard a different rumor on Campbell today.
10:39pm – Stan Bowman is a busy man. Could they have cap flexibility? That’s a marked difference from last summer. Should be interesting come July 1st.
10:42pm – Steve Yzerman and Guy Boucher. Classy, classy men.
10:43pm – And there goes our first Russian. Vladislav Namestnikov from the London Knights. Grew up in Michigan, knows English. Not your typical homelander. Could be a very good pick for the Lightning.
10:49pm – Stan Bowman doing work. When will Campbell be moved?
10:52pm – Great start to the draft for the host city, Minnesota. Lots of talent coming in.
10:56pm – No love lost between Minnesota and Vancouver. No wonder Mike Gillis didn’t announce the pick. #underlingsdoingdirtywork
10:58pm – Nicklas Jensen to the Nucks at #29. Strikes me as a very Vancouver player. Maybe because of Jannick Hansen haha. Another Dane in the CHL… I’m liking this.
11:00pm – Still no Campbell trade. Cool to see it unfold before our eyes, though.
11:02pm – Y’know, I’d give almost anything to be a fly on the wall for an NHL draft room ala Gare Joyce in 06 and 07. Or just work the draft. Either would make me happy.  Where's next year's draft again?
11:05pm: Another Swede playing in the CHL goes to Anaheim at #30. I like this trend a lot, gets Euros acclimated to the North American game. Is that obvious yet?
11:06pm: Hot Swedish mom and bug-eyed bow-tied brother alert. Oh, the NHL Draft.
11:07pm: Semi-official: Brian Campbell to Florida for Rusty Olesz. Interesting!
11:08pm: Day 2 tomorrow: can’t wait to see my team draft! But wait… I don’t have one. :/ Awkward.

-Ryan Pratt

Monday, June 27, 2011

HIO: WWC 2011 Players to Watch

Yesterday morning, U.S. time, the 2011 Women's World Cup kicked off in Germany. The powerhouse host nation are looking to win their third WWC in a row, after winning the trophy in 2003 and 2007. However, the United States and others are looking to derail Germany's road to the final.

The 16-team tournament is comprised of 4 groups, containing 4 teams. Yesterday, Group A kicked off their first set of matches. In the first game, France topped a rather surprisingly sluggish Nigerian side, 1-0. The second and final match of the day proved to be more of an exciting one. The host and tournament favorite, Germany, fought to a 2-1 victory over Canada. Germany jumped out to an early lead in the 1st half as Christine Sinclair struck a beautiful free kick from about 20 yards out late in the second half for Canada. The Germans held on the for lead in front of a sold out 73,000 in Berlin.

Every match of the 3-week tournament is being carried by ESPN. The United States open up their group play on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. ET against North Korea. For a complete schedule of tournament play, click here.

  Top 5 Players to Watch

While Germany are the favorites in this tournament and perhaps they comprise the best team, there are several players to watch throughout the Women's World Cup. In no particular order, here are my top 5: 

Marta, FW, Brazil
The FIFA Women's Player of the Year for the past five years in a row, Marta is the total package. Crafty with the ball, quick, and deadly inside the box, she is the heart of the Brazilian team. The Pele of the women's game, if she can find her form early and the traditionally Brazilian defense can stay strong, Brazil will make it far in this tournament. 

Hope Solo, GK, United States
While she has never been the most popular player to those familiar with women's soccer, Hope Solo is easily the top goalkeeper in the world. With quick hands and cat-like reflexes, Solo was kicked off the team at the World Cup in 2007 after being benched. If she can keep her outbursts in check, which all signs point to that she will, she should have an excellent tournament. 

Kerstin Garefrekes, MF, Germany 
Standing at close to 6 feet tall, Garefrekes is the embodiment of the physical German midfielder. She is surprisingly quick with the ball at her feet given her height and finds herself in excellent goal-scoring opportunities even as a midfielder. She is just one of the many quality players Germany has and will rely on in this tournament. 

Kelly Smith, MF, England
While not traditionally a power in the women's game, England are driven by the physical and well-passer that is Kelly Smith. A solid figure in the middle of the park with a keen eye for making the killer pass, Smith is most likely playing in her last World Cup at the age of 33. 

Lisa DeVanna, FW, Australia
I, for one, would love to see DeVanna and Marta in a foot-race. DeVanna is a pacy dribbler at-heart and are the Aussie's best attacking threat. If they can spring her in-behind the opposition's back-line, count on her burying the ball in the back of the net. 

For more information on the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany, visit

In addition to serving as President of the Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU), Kevin Giordano is a 2nd year Sport Management major at Drexel University with industry experience working in men's and women's professional soccer and collegiate athletics. To contact or connect with Kevin, you can follow him on Twitter (@KevinGiordano) or connect with him here on LinkedIn.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Road From Worst to First

After a dismal 2010-2011 season, does the worst team in the NBA have a promising future when looking forward to the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft? I’d say so. In the last few years, the Minnesota Timberwolves have used their high draft picks to acquire some very successful college players with the intent to develop their talents for the NBA. It seems to be about time that those acquisitions actually pay off.

Two years ago they drafted back-to-back point guards in Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio, but not until yesterday did Rubio finally join the team. Kevin Love, Wes Johnson, and Michael Beasley could be staples in the frontcourt of the ‘Wolves to build the foundation. All three of them are athletic big-men, and scoring weapons. Johnson’s former Syracuse teammate Flynn is a perfect 2-guard option for Minnesota. Flynn can handle the ball when Rubio is not playing, but is a natural shooting guard by definition. Wayne Ellington, Lazar Heyward, and Anthony Randolph are all young, athletic players eager to learn, and can provide decent depth on the bench.

In addition to the players already in place to return in the fall, the Timberwolves have two first round draft picks to work with. The second overall draft pick, according to most mock drafts, is expected to be Derrick Williams, the small forward from Arizona. Some people believe he isn’t a good fit for Minnesota, and although they would be better off with a talented guard, there isn’t a decent option in this draft that deserves the second pick. They may choose to trade the pick, but I believe a better decision for Minnesota would be to keep Williams, use him to build up their organization, and shop around for someone who wants to pick up Beasley. Williams and Rubio, as two new guys with the club, have the potential to work really well together with their styles of play. If you’re a team like the Timberwolves, you need to make drastic changes, and finding replacements for the declining Beasley is the best way to go. 

-Hayley Zedeck

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NBA Mock Draft

And here we are again! The playoffs are over (as are sports that I can care about until late August), and it’s time for one of my favorite times of the year: draft week! I love the NHL, but I’ve spent more time on the NBA this year and feel a little better versed, so here’s my first round mock draft, for your reading pleasure:

1.       Cleveland:          Kyrie Irving, Duke — As much as they want you to think they might take Williams one, Irving gives the Cavs a star to build around. He’s polished and skilled: exactly what Cleveland could use.

2.       Minnesota:        Derrick Williams, Arizona — If Minnesota actually draft here, I will eat my hat. Whoever drafts here will take Williams, a monster college player who is most useful as a stretch four for a team, not at the small forward like he wants teams to see him as.

3.       Utah:     Brandon Knight, Kentucky — With DWill traded to NJ, Utah needs a star to replace him at the point. Knight could be that player, although more of a scorer than Williams. He can also play some 2-guard with his outstanding shooting.

4.       Cleveland:          Enes Kanter, Kentucky —The best big in the draft, despite the fact he sat out the year from being rule permanently ineligible. Gives Cleveland another asset to build around.

5.       Toronto:              Jan Vesely, Czech Republic —Athletic and a huge 6’11’’ for a SF, Vasely gives Toronto an improvement longterm over anyone on the roster currently.

6.       Washington:      Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State —The Wizards have offensive firepower in last year’s top pick John Wall. Leonard gives them a versatile defender to continue building with.

7.       Sacramento:      Kemba Walker, UConn —Character, leadership, clutch performance are words to describe Kemba Walker, and all things that Sacramento could use with guys like Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins recently drafted.

8.       Detroit:                Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania — A great, polished big that can complement Greg Monroe well. Good building block for the Pistons.

9.       Charlotte:           Jordan Hamilton, Texas —A great shooter on the wing, Hamilton can step in and be a weapon.

10.   Milwaukee:       Klay Thompson, Washington State — Milwaukee need scoring on the wing, and Thompson brings that to the table.

11.   Golden State:    Bismack Biyombo, Congo —The Warriors need defense badly, and Biyombo can provide that. Questions abound on what he can do offensively, however.

12.   Utah:     Chris Singleton, Florida State — A very athletic 3 who can guard multiple positions. A replacement for soon-to-be free agent Andrei Kirilenko. A big man could also be an option here.

13.   Phoenix:              Marcus Morris, Kansas —Morris brings toughness to a mostly soft frontline.

14.   Houston:             Tristan Thompson, Texas — Houston needs size in the paint, and Thompson bring some to the table, albeit not a center.

15.   Indiana:               Alec Burks, Colorado— They need an improvement at shooting guard. They didn’t bring him in for a workout, but can’t pass on the talent at this point. They pray he can learn to shoot.

16.   Philadelphia:     Markieff Morris, Kansas —Brings size and some skill to the Sixers.

17.   New York:           Jimmer Fredette, BYU — There’s lots of talk that he’s going to go much higher. Personally, I just don’t see it as a smart move. He won’t fall past the Knicks.

18.   Washington:      Marshaun Brooks, Providence —Another shooter to play with John Wall? Sounds good to me!

19.   Charlotte:           Nikola Vucevic, USC —Charlotte needs size inside, and no player is flying up the draft boards like Vucevic right now.

20.   Minnesota:        Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania — If not here, where? He has a very North American game in his 7’0’’ Euro body.  

21.   Portland:             Kenneth Faried, Morehead State — The dominating rebounder goes to Portland, the exact player they’re rumored to have wanted last year before he pulled his name out.

22.   Denver:                Tobias Harris, Tennessee — A versatile player that can really give Denver someone who can do a lot at either forward position.

23.   Houston:             Jeremy Tyler, Tokyo Apache – Houston needs size inside (sorry Chuck Hayes, a 6’6’’ center isn’t cutting it) and Tyler, for all his problems, might be a good fit.

24.   Oklahoma City:                 Nikola Mirotic, Serbia— A talented foreign player will just stay overseas for a few years, to OKC’s contentment.

25.   Boston:                JaJuan Johnson, Purdue — Boston is getting up there in age and has had some issues with depth inside. Johnson’s an explosive player that can help out.

26.   Dallas:  Josh Selby, Kansas — I hate agreeing with ESPN, but I think this is a good fit. Dallas is getting older, and Selby, on a team full of vets, could really thrive.

27.   New Jersey:       Reggie Jackson, Boston College  — While I think Darius Morris is a better player, someone has given Jackson a promise to draft him, and this seems like the likeliest landing spot.

28.   Chicago:               Justin Harper, Richmond —He’s a great shooter who can stretch the floor, a welcome asset for the Bulls.

29.   San Antonio:      Davis Bertans, Latvia — If there’s a player in the draft who plays a similar game to Dirk Nowitzki, it’d be Bertans. The Spurs have a good track record with international projects, which also helps.

30.   Chicago:               Charles Jenkins, Hofstra —A dominant scorer who can play point guard in a pinch? Sounds like a great fit with D-Rose.

--Ryan Pratt

Thursday, June 9, 2011

#BreakingSportsNews is Trending

Just about everybody is on social media in some way. Teams use it for free advertising. Athletes use it for shameless self-promotion. We common folk use it as a 24 hour a day study break. But how big has social media really become in the sports realm?

In the past two weeks, the sports world has received two huge news stories through Twitter. After 19 years of thunderous dunks and unforgettable moments, the "Big AARP" (otherwise known as Shaq) announced his retirement on Twitter. The second breaking news story came from the thumbs of Tiger Woods. Earlier in the week Tiger announced that he would not be competing in the U.S. Open this month, citing his lingering knee troubles.

The athletes seem to understand the benefits of social media however; the teams and leagues lag far behind. Why is there such a gap? The NBA has been successfully using Facebook and Twitter to take their brand overseas. The UFC has been successfully using social media to continue their exponential growth. The UFC has also added a unique new incentive program. The fighters who have the widest reach on Twitter and have the most creative content will receive bonuses. The UFC has set aside $240,000 for the program.

Social media is changing the way sports media works. Many teams and leagues continue to take the traditional media approach. UFC is an up-and-comer so the new streamline of social media makes sense. More and more athletes are using Twitter to make important announcements, so the fans can find out the same news the insiders are and at the same time. Social media brings interaction between players and fans to the next level. The teams and leagues need to follow the players on this one.

- Written By Kevin Rossi

Monday, June 6, 2011

HIO: Soft and Boring

Soft and boring. Two words society has brandished upon women's sports. These stereotypes have plagued the aspiration of many to close the gap between men's and women's sports.

Take for example the one sport I know best, soccer. The US Men's National Team (USMNT) is prepping for the Gold Cup, the premier tournament between North American and Caribbean nations. Meanwhile, the US Women's National Team (USWNT) is prepping for this month's World Cup in Germany, the premier tournament in the world in women's soccer.

Both the USMNT and the USWNT played friendlies this past weekend as tune-ups for their respective tournaments. On Saturday, the men faced and lost to the top team in the world and reigning world champions, Spain. On Sunday, the women took on and beat a Mexican side that beat them mere months ago to force the USWNT to play more games to qualify for the World Cup.

Saturday's fixture between the USMNT and Spain drew 64,121 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. The game attracted the largest crowd in U.S. Soccer history in the New England Area. Meanwhile, Sunday's fixture between the USWNT and Mexico drew just 5,852 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

While the upcoming Gold Cup tournament for the men is big for the team and U.S. Soccer, it is nothing compared to this month's Women's World Cup for the women. That begs the question, why the disparage between the games this past weekend?

Okay, the men took on Spain, the number one team in the world. Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos were all on the pitch on Saturday afternoon in sunny Foxborough. Though, the women are on the precipice of a World Cup! Remember the hype from the men's World Cup in South Africa last summer? Did you even know the the Women's World Cup is this summer? My point exactly.

Regardless, the good news is that World Cup in Germany is expected to draw attendance numbers close to the 1999 tournament in the United States. Already, the opening match between Germany and Canada on June 26 is already sold out. The match will be held in Berlin's Olympiastadion, of 70,000 capacity.

Clearly, the disparage exists between men's and women's soccer at the national team level in the United States. To close the gap, let's hope the USWNT can brush off their poor form as of late and win the World Cup. In a perfect world, the win would trigger the same (if not more) national support that the 1999 World Cup win and also boost awareness and attendance of Women's Professional Soccer.

Time will tell. Let's hope that can lessen the disparage between men's and women's soccer, and sports in general. I just wish for a day when soft and boring are labels of the past.

In addition to serving as President of the Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU), Kevin Giordano is a sophomore Sport Management major at Drexel University with industry experience working in men's and women's professional soccer and collegiate athletics. To contact or connect with Kevin, you can follow him on Twitter (@KevinGiordano) or connect with him here on LinkedIn.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Big Ten and SEC Toss Around Idea of Paying Players

In the past month, both the Big Ten and the SEC have discussed the idea of paying their football players.  Most recently, University of South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier suggested a $300 per game stipend.  In light of the recent college football player payment buzz, here is a paper I wrote back in English in winter term explaining why paying college athletes won't work.

The debate goes back to the 1980's with the pay-for-play scandal surrounding the Southern Methodist University football team and is more relevant than ever with the scandals surrounding Reggie Bush and Cam Newton today. Should college athletes receive pay for their performance? The thought of paying an athlete may seem logical to many upon first glance considering professional athletes in the United States regularly sign multi-million dollar contracts. Upon further examination; however, it will be found that paying a college athlete for their performance would not work due to many complications. There are a multitude of questions surrounding the debate, with many being directed toward those who believe that college athletes should be paid. How would such a system work? Who would be the ones receiving pay? Just because the current system of disciplining college athletes who accept improper benefits does little justice does not mean the current system can be replaced with a system that would likely lead toward further corruption and commercialization of college athletics. Paying college athletes for their performance will never work financially because of the lack of revenue producing sports and profitable athletic departments, complications with Title IX, it violates the definition of amateur athletics, and athletes are already compensated.

Paying college athletes is impossible because there is a limited number of revenue producing sports for each school and profitable athletic departments. A revenue producing sport at a school is one that sells tickets to their events, relying on more than donations and fundraising. At Drexel University there are only three revenue producing sports: men's basketball, women's basketball, and men's lacrosse (DU Athletics). Although schools may have revenue producing sports, that still does not mean that they are profitable sports. "The NCAA says that about two dozen of its member athletic programs, all of them big-time Division I schools, make a profit, among its more than 1,000 member institutions" (Howard). With almost all college athletic programs losing money and having to rely on donations and gifts, there is no way that college athletes can or should be paid. The two most profitable sports in NCAA Division I athletics are football and men's basketball, mainly because both sports have the largest television broadcasting rights deals. The NCAA recently signed a 14 year $10.8 billion TV, Internet, and wireless rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting for the rights to broadcast the NCAA "March Madness" Men's Basketball Tournament (NCAA). The NCAA broadcasting rights deal with CBS and Turner does not even include regular season games, only post-season games! The huge television contracts however are the subject of debate for many, considering the athletes get nothing. Sports Illustrated writer Frank Deford goes as far as to compare the athletes receiving nothing to slavery; "It's absolutely evil that only here in the United States do we allow this unscrupulous nineteenth-century arrangement to continue to exist -- and nobody anymore hardly even bothers to bring up this awful injustice" (Deford). Comparing college athletes to slaves is ignorant and insensitive considering college athletes generally receive four year full scholarships. The question still looms however, who benefits from the huge broadcasting rights deals? The answer is everybody. The NCAA receives the money which is then split up between conferences. After the conferences receive the money, it is then split up and given to schools in each respective conference. In the end the schools benefit, but why does that money earned not trickle even further down to the players? It all goes back to schools' athletic departments, the same ones lacking revenue producing and profitable sports. With schools having few revenue producing sports and even fewer earning profit, the money the schools receive is reinvested in the athletics department to fund all of the sports teams. With the lack of revenue producing sports and profitable athletic departments in college athletics, there is no way that college athletes can receive payment for their performance.

Title IX has promoted equality between the male and female genders since it was put into law in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments. Title IX in sports forces schools to have proportional men's and women's athletic teams, opportunities, and benefits based on enrollment (US Dept. of Education). Many times, considering schools admit a similar number of males and females, schools have an equal number of men's and women's sports teams. Drexel University currently has eight NCAA Division I men's sports teams and eight NCAA Division I women's sports teams (DU Athletics). This is exactly where Title IX poses the financial issue for paying college athletes. Considering very few NCAA schools have profitable athletic departments and the two most profitable college sports are both men's sports, there is no way that the women in college athletics will be able to be paid as equally as men. Generally, the people who believe that college athletes should be paid ignore Title IX and say that only the football and basketball athletes should be paid. Realistically, that will never happen. If only the football and men's basketball athletes are paid, then there is a clear violation of Title IX because men's and women's benefits must be proportional to enrollment just like the number of teams and opportunities. Nowhere in Title IX does it state that benefits are proportional to revenue generated. Some men's athletes being paid and zero women's athletes being paid is definitely not proportionate at all. Once the benefits of one gender are out of proportion with the other gender at a school, then that school is out of compliance with Title IX and also out of vital Federal funding. Not only do almost all schools not have enough money in their athletic departments to pay all of their athletes proportionally, they definitely do not have enough money to pay some athletes and deal with a lack of federal funding. The double edged sword that is Title IX poses no possibility for a plausible system to pay men and women college athletes for their performance.

The NCAA, more formally the National Collegiate Athletic Association, is the governing body of almost all college athletics. As part of the NCAA rules, college athletes cannot be paid because it violates the financial clauses of their amateurism status. Under the amateurism section in the NCAA Athletic Eligibility Regulations, the NCAA states that athletes accepting payment or promise of payment in any form for their talent in that sport would make that athlete ineligible to play (NCAA). Once the athletes move from amateur to professional, just about anything could happen. Could you imagine college athletics working under a collective bargaining agreement just like the National Football League or Major League Baseball? It is absurd to think that there would be disputes between the NCAA and a players' union in college athletics. Labor disputes between the NCAA and the hypothetical players' union would severely devalue college athletics. Bill Plaschke, a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times, agrees saying that, "Colleges cannot pay players. To do so would hurt the very athletes supposedly being helped, devaluing intercollegiate sports until they're not worth the paper that a freshman linebacker's contract is printed upon" (Plaschke). Violating the definition of an amateur athlete, thus making the athletes professional, would completely change the make-up of the college athlete and a school's athletic department. College athletes would become marketable items just like any professional athlete, which would lead to commercialization of a single person instead of college athletics. The marketing and commercialization of single athletes instead of athletics as a whole or a single school is something that the NCAA severely frowns upon. Instead of working within the means of the schools' athletic budget, the athletic department would be acting like a professional sport franchise in the sense of wooing athletes with money. Paying college athletes would not work financially because violating the NCAA's definition of amateurism would turn college athletics to professional, creating even more of a financial burden on colleges.

Perhaps the simplest answer on why college athletes should not be paid for financial reasons is that they are already compensated considerably. College athletes are not compensated through the traditional pay check but instead through scholarships. Included in an athlete's scholarship are typically tuition, a meal plan, tuition, and housing. Scholarships for each athlete can prove to be very expensive and some "may reach a value of $200,000 over a four-year period" (Chen and Sturgill). Many schools even go as far to give their student-athletes a small weekly or monthly stipend as further compensation, which is acceptable for living purposes. In addition to a scholarship, colleges give special treatment to their athletes "for example priority scheduling, tutoring assistance, and excused absences" (Chen and Sturgill). With the already rising costs in college educations, how can colleges be expected to give their athletes upwards of $50,000 per year in scholarship money along with payment for performance? It is not financially possible for colleges to pay their athletes for their performance. Colleges are paying their athletes to attend their school and play for their athletic teams through scholarships. Few college students will be making $50,000 per year when they graduate college, so college athletes should be elated that they are even receiving as much compensation as they currently are. It does not make sense for a school to pay their athletes any further for their performance because college athletes are already amply compensated through scholarships, stipends, and special treatment.

The debate about whether to pay college athletes or not has been dominating the sports world for decades now and there seems to be no end in the near future. There are stories each and every year about college athletes who received improper benefits. The solution to the problem of players receiving improper benefits is not to pay them; that would simply be hypocritical. Paying college athletes for their performance would never work due to a multitude of financial reasons. Due to the lack of revenue producing sports at each school and virtually zero profitable college athletic programs, there is no way college athletes can be paid for play. The complications that Title IX presents with paying both men's and women's a proportionate amount or dealing with a lack of Federal funding for being out of compliance are a financial hardship that no school wants to deal with. Paying college athletes would eliminate their amateur status defined by the NCAA making them professional, which would cause a huge financial burden on schools and create chaos beyond belief. Finally, college athletes cannot be paid for their performance because they are already paid through scholarships, stipends, and special treatment. Amateur athletes play for the love of the game. Professional athletes play for the money. Who would play for the love of the game if college athletes are getting paid?

-Written by Kevin Rossi

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Leaders and the Liars

And so it comes to a close.

The Tressel-ball era is over.

No more infuriatingly bad offensive teams, no more punting on 4th and short, no more just barely beating Navy or the MAC schools.  More importantly to me, hopefully no more constant domination of the Michigan Wolverines. Buckeye fans complained constantly when he was winning most of his games. Humility’s a trait lost on this bunch.

But there’ll be a good amount more of this:

Jim Tressel resigned early Sunday, after months of public scrutiny. He lied to the college football world, and we caught him in his lies. He was fully aware of the improper benefits his players were receiving, and not only failed to report them, but hid the truth from investigators. Worse yet, this doesn't seem to be the first time. Throughout this process, AD Gene Smith and OSU President Gordon Gee spoke their support for the embattled coach to the end.

Ohio State prides itself on being a model institution, starting with the Athletic Department’s mission statement. 
One of the core goals of OSU is:
“Integrity in all aspects of behavior - The highest sense of integrity shall characterize every aspect of policy, performance and programs in the OSUDA. All participants in the OSUDA shall exemplify impeccable integrity - be they student athletes, coaching staff, administrative professionals or support staff of the department.”
It goes without saying that Gene Smith dropped the ball here—instead of firing Tressel, he waited around for him to resign. This hypocrisy doesn’t make OSU look good, and it won’t protect them from the NCAA hammer. Now Ohio State has to pick up the pieces of their program, without one of the best coaches in their history and their respect in tatters. It’s hard to believe any top names, such as Bo Pelini, Urban Meyer, or Gary Patterson taking the job until after the NCAA’s punishment becomes known.

This golden era in Columbus is over. The Victors look to be back on track. Time will tell how much this will change the flow of college football in the next few years. The Buckeyes have a very talented roster, but they’ll be moving on with a first-time head coach. There will be no Boom Herron, Terrelle Pryor, or DeVier Posey for five games. Add in all the distractions around the program, can this team persevere? I don’t think so. The Sweater Vest has flown the coop.

By Ryan Pratt