DIII moves to eliminate football two-a-days

I saw an interesting post from the NCAA in my Facebook newsfeed this evening.

This jumped out at me. Two-a-days are one of those traditions that has always seemed baked into football culture. That’s what August is all about. The pros do it. Colleges do it. High schools do it. Doing otherwise would be crazy! Or would it?

Science is changing the sport of football. It’s actually changing all sports. We’re learning more about the way heat impact athletes of all ages. We’re learning more and more about concussions. We’re learning a lot more about overuse injuries.

We need to weigh what science is teaching us with all the promise and benefits of sports (at all ages). We need to continue to make sports safer for every athlete while doing everything we can to preserve the integrity of the game.

Former Collegiate Athletes Thrive

Former student athletes who received a bachelor’s degree are generally doing better than their non-students athlete counterparts. That is the conclusion of a 2016 NCAA study conducted with Gallup that evaluates how former NCAA student-athletes compare with non-athletes in a series of key areas of well being. They also looked at whether there are differences in these same areas between former student-athletes who played football and men’s basketball as compared with former student-athletes who played other sports.
To help the NCAA answer these questions, Gallup used the Gallup-Purdue Index to analyze outcomes in three broad categories: • Great Lives: Well-Being • Great Jobs: Workplace Engagement • Great Experiences: Alumni Attachment Each of these categories includes a set of sub-measures which, when taken as a whole, provide a comprehensive picture of the current lives of these graduates. Additionally, there are measures that examine their educational attainment and key collegiate experiences. Through this combination of metrics, Gallup is able to establish that in terms of well-being, former student-athletes are faring better than their non-student-athlete peers in multiple areas.

Continue reading

Five Myths About Women’s Sports

The Washinton Post’s Liz Clark wrote a piece last year entitled Five Myths About Women’s Sports. All of it is worth reading. But the fourth myth, Title IX is hurting men’s sports is particularly interesting since there is a particular minority who try to blame Title IX for the problems that some of the Division I men’s programs have hade.

From the piece in the Washington Post (emphasis mine):

Men’s college sports that don’t generate a profit — wrestling, tennis, gymnastics — are endangered species. To close multimillion-dollar budget shortfalls, athletic directors increasingly are dropping men’s sports teams and the scholarships and educational opportunities they represent. In response, the American Sports Council (formerly the College Sports Council) was created to rally support and spread the word that a wrongheaded application of Title IX, the U.S. law that guarantees equal opportunity for men and women at schools receiving federal funds, is the culprit.

“The long-term impact,” Eric Pearson, the organization’s chairman, wrote in the National Review, “. . . is that colleges will continue to eliminate men’s teams in order to comply with Title IX’s gender quota.”

It’s a fallacy. The real battle lines are between college sports’ “haves” ( football and men’s basketball) and its “have-nots” (men’s Olympic sports and women’s sports), as three-time Olympic gold medalist and law professor Nancy Hogshead-Makar explains in her book “Equal Play: Title IX and Social Change.”

The richest athletic departments compete in the NCAA’s Division I. And the richest among them — the roughly 65 that play big-time football, many with annual budgets of more than $100 million — generate and spend the lion’s share of their men’s budgets (78 percent) on two sports, football and basketball. The other men’s teams divvy up what’s left.

If their departments run deficits, Division I athletic directors can either rein in spending or eliminate a sport. Many, the University of Maryland included,have done both. In the past decade, Division I schools have cut 121 men’s non-revenue sports programs. But in Divisions II and III, which don’t compete in big-time football, men’s non-revenue sports are thriving, with more than 400 teams added in the past decade. If wrestling vanishes, blame football, not Title IX.