Why Are College Athletes Asking The NCAA To Pull Championships?

The question of whether or not trans athletes should be allowed to play on male or female sports teams that are in opposition of their biological sex has been ongoing for a while now. Advocates for inclusion argue that we live in a diverse society and that barring trans athletes from certain sports teams would do little more than inflame athletes for no reason. The opposition contends that including trans athletes would be too unfair. 

Many state legislatures have been working to pass laws that bar trans women from playing on women’s sports teams and trans men from playing on men’s sports. Two such bills are on the move in Mississippi and South Dakota, while another has already passed muster in Idaho.

Now, hundreds of college athletes have come forward, signing a letter drafted to the NCAA to request pulling championships from those states with anti-inclusivity laws on the books.

The letter begins, “We, the undersigned NCAA student-athletes, are extremely frustrated and disappointed by the lack of action taken by the NCAA to recognize the dangers of hosting events in states that create a hostile environment for student-athletes.”

The letters continues by addressing NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA’s Board of Governors directly: “You have been silent in the face of hateful legislation in states that are slated to host championships, even though those states are close to passing anti-transgender legislation.”

The complaint found support from GLAAD and Athlete Ally, and was signed by athletes attending a diverse set of around 85 schools including Ivy League institutions.

The state laws barring trans players allow a sports team to force a player to undergo a genital exam, genetics test, or hormone test to determine biological sex if called into question. 

The letter continued, “It is imperative that we know we are safe and supported in the NCAA no matter where we travel to compete. The NCAA claims to prioritize the safety, excellence, and physical and emotional well being of its student athletes and asserts that all athletes deserve a fair shot.”

So far, they do not.

Some Analysts Contend That Colleges Were Already Failing Before Coronavirus Crisis

We recently published an article exploring the possibility that colleges might soon go bankrupt as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis — but many financial analysts were quick to remind us that this is a problem that has been brewing for years. Coronavirus might be the final nail in the coffin, but it certainly wasn’t the first. As of late 2019, one in five colleges were already on track to face bankruptcy in 10 to 25 years.

A traditional debt settlement law firm might help college personnel avoid bankruptcy, but won’t necessarily prevent a college from “going out of business” in the traditional sense. This is especially true when you consider the reasons for the financial stress: fewer students wish to continue onto higher education because of rapidly climbing costs, and others don’t feel like they have the financial capabilities to enroll in the first place.

Moody Investor Services Associate Managing Director Susan Fitzgerald commented on the financial pressure colleges are experiencing: “It’s here to stay. I think we see the higher education sector is in a period of real transformation in terms of how students learn and where they learn.”

Another reason that schools are shuttering their doors forever is based on demographics in certain geographic locations like the Northeast, where much of the population is aging and the younger generations simply don’t have as many kids. In 2019, Green Mountain College closed in Vermont. It had been offering higher education to students for 185 years when officials made the decision to close up shop. Newbury College in Massachusetts also closed in 2019. 

Former Newbury College President Joseph Chillo, “It is no secret that weighty financial challenges are pressing on liberal arts colleges throughout the country. Newbury College is no exception.”

Massachusetts Mount Ida College closed in 2018 without much lip service, which left around 1,500 students wondering how they would transfer credits or complete their education. This particular closure resulted in a new state law to force state education officials to make private college financial woes known to the public. 

Many of the most vulnerable liberal arts schools rely on sports programs to keep them afloat — and we, in turn, love covering those programs. But sports won’t be enough to repair the recent damage done by the COVID-19 crisis. That means many schools are rethinking how they approach revenue. What that means for sports programs in general is anyone’s guess. It could go either way: there might be unprecedented growth in the number of programs, or the school closures might result in the unprecedented decline of sports programs.

Hiram College President Lori Varlotta said, “We’ve added new majors to our conventional liberal arts programs; majors that we call market-driven; majors that pave a very concrete pathway to various types of 21st-century careers.”

Because liberal arts colleges are experiencing this period of financial turmoil, many more are trying to make the transition to business or science to prop up the reduction in revenue.

Will Fans Return To Football This Autumn?

The recent depression of national interest in football is a common story after February’s dismal Super Bowl ratings. The expectations in the run-up to the big event were high, after all, in part because it was assumed that a year of being shut-up indoors for quarantine or social distancing would spur excitement — finally, something to be happy about! But that’s not the way it happened. 

Stadiums were obviously not filled to capacity because of general COVID-19 precautions and restrictions, but why on Earth were television ratings down? Fans of football had nothing to do but sit at home and watch the game!

This has the directors of college sports programs especially worried. Many universities were forced to cut spending on sports programs (others actually took the opposite approach, but they were the minority), and rely on crowded stadiums to generate sufficient revenue to justify a team’s existence. What happens to college sports if the fans don’t come back this fall?

Dynamic Pricing Partners recently conducted a survey that provided a promising result: 72 percent of colleges believe crowds this fall will lead to full stadiums.

Dr. Michael Lauzardo, the Florida Director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at UF Health, said, “I want to be in a full stadium again. I want to be able to watch the game with people in the stadiums without cardboard cut-outs.” He added, “The more you’ve been in lockdown, the more you’re in lockdown. You’re just scared. You’re worried. It just messes with you.”

But others suggest stadiums might not fill up at all because the mob mentality regarding these public gatherings has already evolved. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, “There is a psychology of public assembly that will probably evolve. People are going to have to ask themselves if they want to sit cheek by jowl with people they don’t know and maybe people that don’t have masks. You don’t know if they’re vaccinated or not.”

Will American Universities — And Their Sports Programs — Go Bankrupt Because Of COVID?

To say that the coronavirus pandemic has been traumatic for most of us would be a massive understatement. The economy is in tatters. Many people have lost their jobs. The government has routinely spent too much time debating how the country would best be served during the pandemic, and too little time actually helping. And over a half-million people are dead — mostly our beloved grandparents.

But American institutions are under tremendous pressure because of the COVID-19 tragedy as well. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses have shuttered their doors forever. College sports programs have been shut down, many never to reopen — and the revenue they generate has vanished as well. Many are asking whether or not our colleges will go bankrupt as a result of this pandemic. And what will happen if they do?

While many fear the closure of colleges will escalate in the next ten to fifteen years, others aren’t nearly as worried. Professors Antony Davies and James Harrigan of the Duquesne University and the University of Arizona, respectively, argue that higher education will only become stronger as a result.

The pair wrote: “Just like any other venture, colleges will go out of business when they become insolvent. There is nothing special about a college in this respect. Since 2016, some 52 colleges and universities have closed their doors or merged with other institutions. With the new reality of COVID-19, this trend will accelerate. Big state schools and those in the Ivy League will come out the other side to be sure. But small liberal arts colleges will not be nearly so fortunate.” 

You can click on https://www.t-plaw.com/ for more information on individual or business-related bankruptcies, which are becoming more common lately — mostly because of the economical impact of COVID.

The professors argue, “But that’s only the beginning of the very bad news for at-risk institutions. The COVID-19 related downturn has caused any number of young people to ask themselves whether they want to go to college at all given the exorbitant costs. For the first time in decades they are asking the right sorts of questions about college. The most important question, of course, is whether college is a good investment.”

To be fair, these questions have been asked on a smaller scale for years as college tuition costs have skyrocketed. There’s no debate on whether or not America needs higher education for its economy to thrive, but not everyone wants to go if it puts them in a financial hole for the rest of their lives. What’s the end result of this quandary? We can expect the arguments on free college for all to become stronger in the coming years — because without skilled workers, America will fall behind the rest of the world. 

The pair of professors believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, because colleges that survive the financial crisis will have to focus their efforts on delivering the best education for a lower cost rather than delivering a desired college experience at a higher cost. College sports programs should experience a grace period as a result.

Some Schools Have A Different Strategy For Fixing COVID-19 Financial Woes

The coronavirus pandemic has left us with a changed world — and some are wondering if we’ll ever get back to normal even after the population is immunized and the threat of COVID-19 dies down. With over half a million people dead in the United States alone, it’s a fair question. One of the consequences for schools around the country were deep budget cuts, many of which were applied to sports programs.

After all, isn’t entertainment frivolous spending?

New Jersey Fairleigh Dickinson University officials don’t believe it is. Instead of cutting sports programs, the school’s board has decided to add new ones across the board. There will be a new men’s volleyball team and a women’s lacrosse team. Both of these programs require new leadership positions to be filled. 

The reason is simple: the cancellation of school sports programs resulted in millions of dollars of revenue loss. People pay to watch entertainment, and those dollars are invested into education.

FDU Director of Athletics Brad Hurlbut said, “We were looking at our financials, and like it was for everybody, it was bleak. We needed to come up with a plan to ease those fears that the university had and we had as an athletic department.”

But filled stadiums aren’t the only source of revenue generated by college sports programs. Without those programs, many students won’t have any interest in attending at all — and certainly the scholarship dollars they might bring with them won’t be acquired by the college.

Athletic Director Jason Young paired with an economist to determine the overall benefit of the news sports teams. 

Young said, “I presented back in June to the leadership group of the university. That got some different looks, but it allowed us to peel back the curtain of the financial structure of our athletic department and really start diving in. That was the opening crack for us.”

Why Are Medical Malpractice Claims So Common After Sports Injuries?

Medical malpractice claims are filed for a number of reasons: an injury related to treatment, delayed diagnosis of a dangerous or life-threatening disease, and even clerical errors have been known to result in a lawsuit. But these types of claims are more common when the patient is a prominent sports figure or an up-and-coming athlete in high school or college. Why is that?

The answer is simple: people who have the most to lose have the best reasons to file a lawsuit to recoup damages after medical malpractice.

Consider this: when a high school athlete is on track for a great scholarship for a prestigious school, but a medical mistake costs him the opportunity, what should he do? When a college athlete is on track for placement on a great team, but a medical mistake costs him the opportunity, what should he do? When a professional athlete is on track to make his next millions, but a medical mistake costs him his career, what should he do? Most victims of medical malpractice are left traumatized by the experience, but it can be especially bad if your expected future is undercut in the process.

Young Jarryd was one such athlete whose story followed this path. He came down with Compartment Syndrome. After surgery, most individuals are up and running again within a month. But Jarryd’s surgery didn’t go as planned. When he left the hospital, the pain in his leg intensified. He consulted with his surgeon immediately and was told that the pain was expected. He was told to wrap the area and take anti-inflammatories for swelling and pain — but the pain only got worse.

It was only then that Jarryd was told he had a rare infection. Over the next year, he would undergo at least four surgeries. Jarryd lost a great deal of muscle in his leg as a result.

When Jarryd and his family decided to open a medical malpractice case to investigate the possibility of wrongdoing, the hospital denied fault — but it was later discovered that the surgery had caused trauma to an artery, which led to the pain and swelling. Without relieving the pressure, the end result was nearly guaranteed. The muscle in Jarryd’s leg died.

Malpractice cases are among the most common types of personal injury lawsuits launched in the United States, in part because hospitals have a history of shielding doctors and surgeons with lawyers of their own. It’s a story with two distinct sides. Surgery always has risks, and humans will always make mistakes — especially when their job involves such delicate maneuvering around fragile tissues and organs. But denying the wrongdoing has become far too common. Patients have the right to compensation, especially when their bright futures are squashed as a result.

Had Jarryd’s surgeon accepted the possibility of a mistake earlier, the boy’s muscle might have been saved and he might have been able to have a long, fruitful career. Sadly, that’s not going to happen.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Victorious After Super Bowl LV: What Next for Tom Brady?

Tom Brady won his seventh Lombardi Trophy when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers slaughtered the Kansas City Chiefs 31 to 9 on Super Bowl Sunday. The game was also notable because it made history (or in Brady’s case, cemented it — he now has two more trophies than anyone else). But the Bucs were the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium. What an exciting game!

The 43-year-old Brady was helped out by Todd Bowles’ defense. The iron quarterback made off with 201 yards and an impressive three touchdowns. Brady ties Gronk with 14 postseason scoring connections. 

This was a hotly anticipated game, as Patrick Mahomes was looking to win his own trophy — but the Buccaneers managed to slash their offensive measures to ribbons. Fans were quick to notice that Tampa’s defense was in control of the line of scrimmage during every single quarter of the game. The pressure on Mahomes was intense, and this is where Brady’s experience over his opposition shone through. 

In the 56 games Mahomes has played for the Chiefs, the Bowl was only the second time he was held without a touchdown. We can only imagine the utter humiliation he must feel at being so outclassed at every level. The game also marked the first double-digit loss of his career. Whoops!

It’s worth noting that Tampa’s Week 12 performance against the Chiefs was miserable, which makes this comeback especially impressive. To say that Tampa learned from its mistakes is a massive understatement. 

Other takeaways:

Home stadium advantage is real, and Tampa certainly benefited from it greatly. The game coordinators showed their top-notch capacity for decision-making as well. Tampa’s defense allowed Brady to work his magic basically unchecked, which pretty much ended the game for the Chiefs.

When Will Major League Baseball Begin In 2021?

Football season is over! While most red-blooded Americans are standing around in a crazed stupor wondering how and why they’ll have to wait until this fall for the next season to begin, the rest of us are left yearning for America’s true sport — baseball. The MLB recently announced the season schedule. Much to everyone’s surprise, it marked the fourth season in a row where all 30 clubs will play on Opening Day (which has been scheduled on April 1st in a perhaps tactically erroneous move). 

April 1st might mark the first time all Major play their first game on the same day since the 1968 season.

Nowhere are fans more excited than in NYC. Spring training for the Mets and Yankees will begin on March 1st at 1:05 PM, providing them with a full month to gear up for the season. 

The major TV networks are gearing up as well. ESPN is preparing to offer coverage on Opening Day, noting that George Springer will be watched by fans as he plays his first game as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays (which will be battling the New York Yankees. Fox will chime in on April 3rd to mark another occasion: The Philadelphia Phillies will be hosting the Atlanta Braves. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the schedule for season-long updates.

Curious about new safety protocols implemented in the wake of the somewhat awkward 2020 season? Vaccine distribution won’t be in full swing until later this summer, so we can expect fan activity at stadiums to be diminished from the norm. 

Games will feature a bit of oversight from the COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee made up of at least one MLB operative, one MLBPA operative, and two physicians. They will ensure that health and safety protocols are implemented uniformly and that no local, state, or federal COVID-19 regulations are broken during the season.

Each of the MLB’s Clubs shall also present a written COVID-19 plan before consulting with government authorities and staff on site. This plan must then be approved by the aforementioned committee. The Clubs must also appoint two separate positions for the duration of the season: one Infection Control Prevention Coordinator and one Compliance Officer with relevant seniority. Those who take the positions will ensure that protocols in the Operations Manual are followed to the letter. 

Non-compliant teams will be sanctioned.

Players will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing before reporting for training in addition to taking a five-day quarantine at home. They must continue to quarantine until the results of testing are made available. PCR testing will also be required throughout the season, which will be conducted by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory using saliva collection kits. Players will be tested every other day during training, the season, and the postseason where applicable. 

Those who show symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 will be removed from the roster immediately.

Super Bowl LV: Tampa Bay Buccaneers VS Kansas City Chiefs

This football season has been surreal, if nothing else. Social distancing guidelines have forced even the most hardcore fans to watch games from home — and even then, it’s impossible not to notice the difference. The crowds, the noise, even the games themselves simply were not the same. Super Bowl LV will be a hard-fought battle between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. It will be completely different from anything that came before.

Will fans still have the opportunity to answer questions and make predictions prior to the game? Sure. But instead of doing it in person from a roaring stadium, it will be done from the comfort of one’s own home through Zoom. If you’re a fan of Tampa Bay, check out the media on Monday. Kansas will do their own on Tuesday.

You can tune into CBS Sports HQ from Tampa during work week hours every day from Monday, February 1 until Thursday, February 4.

Odds seem to be on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the trophy this year. The game itself will take place on February 7 at 6:30 PM after the Chiefs are flown in the night before to keep testing guidelines true and reduce the chance of coronavirus infection or spread.

7,500 tickets will be offered to vaccinated healthcare workers, which allows only 14,500 tickets to other fans. COVID-19 has placed strain on the numbers that a stadium can safely hold, but also caused fan interest to skyrocket. After all, no one has been out of the house for this type of recreation in a long time.

There’s a reason that so many people are excited for this season’s game. Tom Brady won the Super Bowl for two consecutive seasons nearly two decades ago, while Mahomes won the Bowl last year — and will want to accomplish the same feat this season.

Remembering One Of The Biggest Scandals In College Football

Way back in 2011 one such scandal emerged, evoking shocked groans from every corner of the football universe. Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team was indicted suddenly for a whopping 52 counts of child molestation, all of which occurred between 1994 and 2009 — only two years before the charges were made. He was convicted on 45 of those counts only one year later. He is currently serving a 30-year-sentence.

While these allegations of abuse were nothing compared to scandals like those that emerged from the catholic church or boy scout abuse by scout leaders, it still helped raise awareness about who we place trust in — especially when it comes to children and young adults, who may not know what to do or who to turn to in such cases.

What was worse than the abuse itself was the fact that at least three other people were eventually charged with trying to cover it up. School President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley were all charged with failure to report the abuse, obstruction of justice, and perjury for lying under oath. Another investigation into these counts of wrongdoing was commissioned by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

 

It was this investigation that helped uncover the fact that the aforementioned individuals — along with head coach Joe Paterno — had already been made aware of several allegations leveled against Sandusky as far back as 1998. According to the report, all of these individuals had completely ignored the allegations and failed to disclose any related information to the public. All related contracts with these men were terminated by the Board of Trustees.

 

The conduct resulted in sanctions imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The school was fined $60 million, all of its football victories from the years during which the abuse occurred were vacated, and the postseason was banned for 4 years. In addition, scholarships awarded to the school were reduced.

 

NCAA President Mark Emmert commented at the time that the sanctions were “not…just punitive, but to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture and daily mindset in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.”

 

The allegations against Sandusky only came to light after then Freshman Aaron Fisher (“Victim 1” reported molestation that had been occurring for several years. Then graduate assistance and assistant coach at Penn State Mike McQueary testified during the trial that he had caught Sandusky with a boy in the showers in an obviously sexual position on approximately February 9, 2001, and that he had reported this event to school officials (who would go on to deny that they heard those exact details).

 

One man, a former Penn State janitor, was not able to testify about a separate incident that he witnessed because he was diagnosed with dementia before the trial began. Other boys testified about many incidents, varying in sexual nature — but all illegal.