Everything College Sports

For those interested in all things college sports

The ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament (Part 1)

Hello all, I appreciate Dr. Lawrence allowing me to contribute to this blog. My name is Jeremy Hammond and I am a ’08 graduate of Ohio University in the sport management undergraduate program. I am now the Event Services Coordinator for the Georgia Dome. My job grows every day and I am surrounded by great people to learn from. My favorite part of the job is the interaction with the client-whether it be the ACC, SEC, Falcons, the bowl, GHSA-building relationships and gaining their trust. The program at OU prepared me for what I hope will be a long career in this industry.

The ACC is coming back to Atlanta for it’s Men’s Basketball Tournament (March12-15) for the first time since 2001. When an event of this scale comes to town, it takes a city-wide effort to make it a success. For the last 8-9 months, staff from the Georgia Dome, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta Sports Council, and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau have been collaborating to ensure that the ACC walks away March 15 thinking “no-one does it like Atlanta”. Continue reading

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Basketball, College Sports Business, Facilities and Events | | Leave a comment

Five Keys to the Game

In all my interaction over the years with students, whether it was during my time with the Portland Trail Blazers or events hosted by Sports Career Consulting (SCC), the question I get asked most frequently is focused on what steps are necessary for pursuing a career in sports.  It is a great question to be sure, and obviously one that many students would like to see answered.  It is not, however, one that is answered easily, nor is it one with any “correct” answer or  a magical solution.  The good news is that there are several key pieces of advice anyone interested in a career in sports should be aware of and we’ll share them in today’s blog post.  Rest assured that this is not any complex formula by any stretch, but one that I can assure you is paramount to breaking into the industry.  Here are our five keys to the game…

Five Keys to the Game

Key #1:  Be Passionate

Regardless of which career path you choose (sports, entertainment or otherwise), find something you can be passionate about.  Passion is one of the primary, underlying characteristics shared by the majority of people who find success in their chosen field.  Take Kobe Bryant for example…one could argue that very few have played the game of basketball with more passion.  It is that passion that drives Kobe to be one of the best (if not the best) basketball player in the world today.

Do not think for a second, however, that you need to be an athlete to be passionate about something. Consider Phil Knight, founder of Nike, who used his passion for running to fuel a passion for developing (and later selling) the perfect running shoe.  His passion turned into a multi-billion dollar global brand. Knight’s passion was one of the key ingredients in the recipe for Nike’s success. Continue reading

February 26, 2009 Posted by | College Sports Business, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | , | Leave a comment

“Managers” for High School Football Players?

We all know that there are some key “players” in the basketball recruiting world. Many people question the ethics around relationships that develop between these young players and those that “help” them get recruited.

It seems that in at least in Kansas, football might be headed down that same path.  In a New York Times Article from Feb 3rd, Brian Butler identified himself as the trainer and manager of top high school football recruit Bryce Brown. In fact, the article stated that, “To get to Bryce Brown, coaches must go through Butler. He handles Brown’s workouts, recruiting and news media requests.” WHAT? This is a high school player, right? Not someone gearing up for the NFL Draft. Oh, and Butler also sells information on Brown and other players over the internet for $9.99/month or $59/year if you are interested.

For those not aware, Bryce Brown did not sign on national signing day and has yet to sign an NLI. The scholarship and NLI papers issued by Miami  (where he verbally committed in Feb 2008) on Feb 4th for signing day expired on Feb 18th and an anonymous representative from Miami was quoted as saying they would not issue new papers.  Amazingly, Butler was unaware scholarship papers expired at all and that Brown would sign on March 16th. Between his verbal commitment and his brother playing at Miami there was significant speculation he would end up there. However, Brian Butler also has indicated that Brown could skip college and enter the CFL for “$5 million a year for 3 years”. One problem with that math is that the CFL salary cap is $4.2 million and  the highest paid player is making $500,000 in the league right now with the league minimum about  $40,000. Continue reading

February 22, 2009 Posted by | NCAA Compliance Issues, Recruiting, Rules Violations, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Student-Athletes Deserving of SASS Services

Northern Illinois University, The Jeffrey & Kimberly Yordon Academic & Athletic Performance Center

Northern Illinois University, The Jeffrey & Kimberly Yordon Academic & Athletic Performance Center

With March Madness right around the corner, college basketball fans are gearing up for weekends chalked full of buzzer beaters, amazing shots and the excitement only a win or go home format can bring. However, what about the student-athletes competing in these events while also keeping up their class work? What demands are they facing from professors while fans cheer their every move?

When I first arrived on campus as your average college student, I was told, “If you go to class, it doesn’t really matter how you do on the assignments. You will learn and the professors will pass you.” This adage proved to be true for most courses—going to class facilitated learning and helped me make the grade.

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February 18, 2009 Posted by | Academic Support, Uncategorized | | 3 Comments

On the Value of Experience…

The following was written by Matt Lynch, Assistant Director of Media Relations at Boston College and posted with his permission.

I was asked by my friends at Ohio University to comment on the value of experience when looking for a job in college athletics. Since this is the season that Spring graduates are looking for jobs, I thought this was a good topic to present and I feel it cannot be stressed enough to students. Now that I am in a position where I look at resumes of those trying to get jobs and/or internships, I have realized that many students do not set themselves up to be successful after they graduate. There are a lot of different ways to “break in” to college sports and one way is not any better than another, however one thing is constant; you must get experience in an athletic department! Merely having a degree in sport management, journalism, communications, or business is not enough anymore if you want to work in college sports. Continue reading

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | | Leave a comment

What is wrong with Ohio courts? First O’Brien, now this…

Many of us subscribe to the need for reform in various areas of the NCAA’s management of student-athletes (SAs). The White v NCAA settlement a year ago was a strategic maneuver that provided for more funds to be disbursed to SAs, with the important inclusion of the opportunity, not mandate, to afford SAs Comprehensive Health Insurance, the same that we as Faculty receive by our employers.

It is true that during the present NCAA administration a more flexible, responsive, and preemptive approach to policy and litigation management has been initiated. The past few settlements have been received with criticism, arguing that the member institutions will bear the financial burden in years to come. Fair criticism has also been targeting the dangerous prospects of what some of these settlements and certain policy amendments could mean for possible future decisions in appellate courts. This concern is especially true pertaining to amateurism deregulation and commercialization, allowing for institutions to compete for more revenue. No one can deny, however, that these settlements made sense, avoiding any unforeseen mishaps in this nation’s Halls of Justice.

Let’s talk about the latter for a minute as Oliver v NCAA is rather problematic (the full opinion is embedded below this post).

Reform in intercollegiate athletics, when coming from the US system of Jurisprudence, should be founded on solid theory, convincing arguments, and research that regardless of constituents’ predispositions would make legal sense and would be respected for intellectual quality and practical clarity. We all have in our minds judges’ decisions that really shaped the way we look at things in legal, policy, socioeconomic, and political sense. What do you remember about such decisions that gave you goosebumps? This Ohio Ct. decision by Judge Tone probably fails in most aspects important and well cited decisions were able to muster.

As this decision is considered and the appeals prepared, the Amateurism Cabinet and various Committees in the new governance structure of the Association are figuring out ways to come up with either de-regulation, or legislative amendments that preemptively treat many of the cases US Courts or ADR bodies within the NCAA would hear. Regardless of recent settlements, I strongly believe the NCAA has every right and the duty to appeal, and appeal again, preserving amateurism, per President Brand’s recent State of the Association article. Here’s why, very briefly:

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February 14, 2009 Posted by | Baseball, Legislation, Reform, Rules Violations | , | 7 Comments

“When I went into college I was a boy, and when I left I was a man!” – Patrick Ewing

With pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training camps in less than a week and a half, I figured I would post about my favorite sport, and America’s pastime, baseball! Prior to my time at Ohio University, I attended the University of Missouri and served as the student manager and bullpen catcher for the Tigers baseball team. I had the pleasure of catching two first round pitchers as well as work with three major leaguers during my time at Mizzou. During my time I also witnessed at least five of our recruits forgo their collegiate career for the chance to play minor league baseball as an 18 year old and begin living their childhood dream. Of these five players that chose to pursue their professional career early, only one of the players is currently at a higher level within their team’s farm system compared to those who signed to come to Missouri, and came, the same year. For this reason, I believe that high school baseball players should attend college, unless they are offered a signing bonus upwards of $1 million.

The possibility of making a major league team is very slim as there are only 750 spots; spread throughout 30 teams with a 25-man roster. Keep in mind that there are over 220 MLB affiliated minor league teams, ranging from different types of rookie teams to AAA teams, with at least 25 players on each team. Doing the math that leads to over 5,500 affiliated minor league players. Along with these teams, there are independent leagues that have had some success in producing major league talent, see the Northern League or Golden League, as well as foreign players who have access to major league affiliated training facilities and leagues in their home country. This leads to a pool of roughly 10,000 professional athletes competing for 750 spots. With this being said, if one gets drafted in the first round or is offered more than $1 million, which is late first round money, later on in the draft, they should not turn down this opportunity. These players will get more chances and a longer leeway period than the lower paid minor leaguer.

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February 6, 2009 Posted by | Academics, Baseball, Uncategorized | | 5 Comments

Counter-Trend Spending & College Sport

I have to begin by letting everyone know that this topic (and a lot of the content of this post) is the result of an e-mail conversation I had with Nick Infante, the illustrious editor of College Athletics Clips. If you are not familiar with College Athletics Clips, it is a fantastic service that keeps professionals in college athletics up-to-date on news and events through providing summaries of articles as well as commentary pieces. Best of all, OHIO has paid for access for students through the library website (using your Oak ID).

Anyway, back to the topic. We all know that the country, and most of the world is in the midst of a recession. So, what is the best strategy for college athletic programs to survive and even thrive in this economic climate?  I’m not sure this post will answer the question, but I want to propose one idea that Nick and I think has some merit.

Can a case be made for going against the grain and increasing instead of decreasing spending in tough economic times? The term counter-trend spending (or as Nick puts it “ignore-the-recession spending”)  encompasses this idea.

Nick argues that, “Whether you’re a big-time athletic program, a beer brand or an appliance store, strategic spending during a recession could be an effective way to gain on competitors. Increased spending – on personnel, advertising, price promotions, etc. — could attract recruits, fans, coaches & staff (for big-time athletic departments); new customers, distributors and bars/restaurants (for a beer brand) and new shoppers (for an appliance store).”

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February 1, 2009 Posted by | College Sports Business, Finance, Marketing, Sponsorships and Sales, Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments