Posted June 20, 2014

O’Bannon v. NCAA, day 10: Second week ends with Mark Emmert, Jim Delany on stand

Legal Matters, Mark Emmert, NCAA, O'Bannon v. NCAA
Jim Delany

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany took the stand on Friday in O’Bannon v. NCAA. (Jason Szenes/Getty Images)

The O’Bannon v. NCAA trial capped its second week of proceedings on Friday with continued testimony from NCAA president Mark Emmert and new testimony from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

Emmert’s questioning began with reference to a memo from former NCAA executive Wally Renfro, one that alluded to the relationship between present-day college athletics and amateurism. Continue Reading

Posted June 19, 2014

Eastern Michigan installing gray turf at Rynearson Stadium before 2014 season

Eastern Michigan Eagles, MAC
Eastern Michigan football

Eastern Michigan will play its home games on gray turf beginning this fall. (Steven King/Icon SMI)

Eastern Michigan’s football field will look very different this fall. The Eagles plan to install gray turf at Rynearson Stadium, the school announced on Thursday. The new FieldTurf Revolution surface will be predominantly gray with green and white trim. It will be installed by Aug. 30, when the Eagles open their season at home against Morgan State.

According to Eastern Michigan, the same FieldTurf Revolution surface is currently being used in the NFL by the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as by Notre Dame. In a statement, Eagles coach Chris Creighton said the plans for the field show the school’s commitment to the program. Continue Reading

Posted June 18, 2014

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl to become Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl beginning in 2014 season

Bowls

The Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl located in St. Petersburg will be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl beginning in the 2014 season, the bowl announced on Wednesday.

BitPay will serve as the bowl’s title sponsor for three seasons through 2016. The ’14 installment will be played on Friday, Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. The game will feature teams from the ACC and the American Athletic Conference and will air on ESPN. Continue Reading

Posted June 17, 2014

Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner will retire on August 1

Penn State Nittany Lions
Dave Joyner

Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner is set to retire from his role in August. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner will retire from the university on Aug. 1, the school announced on Tuesday. Joyner’s departure was first reported by David Jones of PennLive.com.

Joyner was named athletic director in Nov. 2011, when he replaced Tim Curley in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. Joyner hired Bill O’Brien to replace Joe Paterno as head football coach, and Joyner also hired James Franklin this past January after O’Brien left to take over the NFL’s Houston Texans. Continue Reading

Posted June 17, 2014

James Franklin and Penn State laying a foundation for the future with 2015 recruiting

Big Ten, James Franklin, Penn State Nittany Lions, Recruiting
Brandon Wimbush

Prized QB prospect Brandon Wimbush gave his commitment to Penn State on May 6. (Photo courtesy of Rivals.com)

BALTIMORE — A few days before Penn State notched another recruiting triumph, quarterback Brandon Wimbush and offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins exchanged direct messages on Twitter. The two sought-after prospects in the class of 2015 were close to making their college decisions, and both were strongly considering the Nittany Lions. Wimbush asked Jenkins which school he was favoring. Jenkins said Penn State.

Wimbush, who received a scholarship offer from Alabama only days earlier, had a similar mindset. The players coordinated the timing of their announcements, and both verbally pledged to the Nittany Lions on May 6. Continue Reading

Posted June 17, 2014

NCAA president Mark Emmert set to testify in Ed O’Bannon trial on Thursday

Mark Emmert, NCAA, O'Bannon v. NCAA
Mark Emmert

NCAA president Mark Emmert expects to testify on Thursday in the Ed O’Bannon trial. (David J. Phillip/AP)

The face of the NCAA expects to take the stand this week in the high-profile Ed O’Bannon trial. NCAA president Mark Emmert is set to testify on Thursday, Emmert told USA Today‘s George Schroeder.

According to Schroeder and USA Today‘s Steve Berkowitz, the O’Bannon plaintiffs originally put Emmert on their witness list and asked U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken to require him to appear as part of their case. Wilken rejected the plalintiffs’ request, but Glenn Pomerantz, the lead attorney for the NCAA, discussed the ground rules for Emmert’s testimony with Wilken during a pretrial conference. Continue Reading

Posted June 16, 2014

Notre Dame reserve wide receiver Will Mahone arrested on five charges

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Player Arrests
Notre Dame helmet

Notre Dame wide receiver Will Mahone was arrested on five charges over the weekend. (Patrick Green/Icon SMI)

Notre Dame wide receiver Will Mahone was arrested over the weekend in Austintown, Ohio, and faces five charges, including three felony charges, according to a police report from the Austintown Police Department. The report states that officers found Mahone allegedly “head butting and punching vehicles” and “attempting to fight several individuals” early on Saturday morning. Mahone, an Austintown native, allegedly resisted officers’ requests to get on the ground. A bystander helped an officer subdue Mahone and forced Mahone into a seated position.

Mahone then allegedly yelled obscenities at the officer as police attempted to move him into the back seat of a patrol car.

Continue Reading

Posted June 16, 2014

O’Bannon v. NCAA, day six: Determining whether big-time athletes are students first

Ed O'Bannon, Legal Matters, NCAA, O'Bannon v. NCAA
Chase Garnham

Ex-Vanderbilt LB Chase Garnham (36) said he was “an athlete first, a student second.” (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

OAKLAND, Calif. — The plaintiffs in Ed O’Bannon v. NCAA took direct aim at the association’s stated purpose on Monday as attorneys tried to paint big-time college football and men’s basketball players as athletes who happen to students. The NCAA’s preferred narrative states that the players are students who happen to be athletes. In fact, it’s the association’s stated reason for existing.

From the NCAA’s 2013-14 Division I manual: “1.3.1 Basic Purpose. [*] The competitive athletics programs of member institutions are designed to be a vital part of the educational system. A basic purpose of this Association is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body and, by so doing, retain a clear line of demarcation between intercollegiate athletics and professional sports.” Continue Reading

Posted June 13, 2014

O’Bannon v. NCAA, day five: Dan Rascher and the big business of college football

Ed O'Bannon, Legal Matters, NCAA, O'Bannon v. NCAA
Ed O'Bannon vs. NCAA trial, day five: Big business of college football revealed

Ratings ‘shot up’ for Texas A&M’s opener against Rice after Johnny Manziel (center) served a first-half suspension. (Erich Schlegel/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

If you weren’t sure the NCAA was big business before, then the fifth day of the O’Bannon v. NCAA trial sure hammered that home. Just as it was reported that the NCAA had hired new lobbyists to try and defend the nature of amateurism, in California a majority of Friday’s proceedings featured sports economist Dan Rascher, a witness called on by the plaintiffs, trying to establish the NCAA is a lot more like professional sports leagues than it would care to admit.

Rascher previously estimated in unsealed court documents that were revealed back in February that a player on Alabama’s football team in 2010 would have enjoyed a windfall of $47,330 from broadcast revenue that year alone. Over the course of his testimony on Friday, Rascher argued that there was a $1.3 billion surplus from the 69 major conference teams, according to Equity in Athletics Data (EADA), and that the total broadcast revenues from 2005-11 were $6.4 billion in Division I. He went on to explain that the NCAA basketball tournament generates more advertising revenue than any other sporting event in the United States. Continue Reading

Posted June 12, 2014

Report: Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips resigned due to photo with recruit

Florida Gators, Joker Phillips
Report: Joker Phillips resigned over photo of alleged illicit meeting with recruit

Joker Phillips was reportedly photographed with a recruit in a restaurant during the NCAA’s recruiting dead period. (James Crisp/AP)

Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips was forced to resign after the NCAA received a photograph of Phillips allegedly committing a recruiting violation, Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reports.

According to Robinson, the photograph showed Phillips sitting in a restaurant with a high school recruit during an NCAA-mandated dead period. Such a scenario would be a likely secondary violation if it was considered part of the “bump” rule, in which a coach unexpectedly comes into contact with a recruit. But the violation would be considered major if the contact was prearranged. Continue Reading