Anonymous Genius: Fighting elitism with sexism and racism

I went to Duke, but I get it. The country is tired of hearing about how great it is. Ever since the back-to-back titles in ’91 and ’92, they’ve been overexposed and at times overrated. Plenty of reasons to get a little irritated. Then there’s this from “RealTalkIowa,” the latest nominee in our “Anonymous Genius” series: Must be the fat chicks and little Asian kids are spending too much time at the library. Maybe this is why the Duke atmosphere is thought to be fading. Dukies used to be mean! I mean — they threw Twinkies on the court when … Continue reading Anonymous Genius: Fighting elitism with sexism and racism

Questioning the place of sports in college: Drop football, save academics?

A Chicago-area junior college has dropped its football program. Sad day for student-athletes? A tale of Title IX excess? No, says the Chicago Tribune‘s John Keilman (listed as “reporter” though this is clearly an op-ed). I think a lot of bigger schools would be well-advised to study Harper’s sensible example. What would they discover if they put their athletic departments under a similar microscope? Do their teams really add to the educational experience? Or have they drifted into isolated orbits, estranged from their schools’ true purpose? I have a feeling that if other colleges and universities had the courage to … Continue reading Questioning the place of sports in college: Drop football, save academics?

Solving the CONCACAF scheduling problems

The only people who seem happy with the CONCACAF Olympic women’s soccer qualifying format are the players who have padded their career goal totals against the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. The mismatches are one problem. Here’s another: If either Canada or the USA should slip up in the final group-stage game, they’ll have to play each other for one berth in the Games. To make matters worse — if Canada loses tonight against Costa Rica, the USA will be in the situation of getting a much better matchup with a loss than with a win. No one thinks the U.S. … Continue reading Solving the CONCACAF scheduling problems

U.S. lineup vs. Guatemala: Some changes, but the right ones?

Abby Wambach is still in the lineup, exposing her various aches to another game on artificial turf in the midst of a five-game stretch. Not sure that’s a good idea. There are a few changes: RB: Heather Mitts for the injured Ali Krieger CB: Becky Sauerbrunn for Rachel Buehler LB: Kelley O’Hara for Amy LePeilbet CM: Lori Lindsey for Shannon Boxx RM: Megan Rapinoe for Heather O’Reilly LM: Amy Rodriguez for Tobin Heath Remaining in lineup along with Wambach: Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Lauren Cheney, Carli Lloyd. Continue reading U.S. lineup vs. Guatemala: Some changes, but the right ones?

How education helps athletes

Monica Gonzalez wasn’t writing specifically about high school and college soccer here, but she makes an argument here that bolsters the notion of keeping the USA’s “school and soccer” combination alive: Education affects sports performance. Think of it as a gym for the mind. Sitting through classes hones concentration. Incorporating studies into life trains discipline and focus. And studying for finals prepares one for stress and pressure. Every player on Canada and the U.S. has either finished college or will soon. I can say the same for only half of the Mexican womens team. Even fewer on the Mexican mens … Continue reading How education helps athletes

The war on nonrevenue sports, ctd

The argument as laid out in Sports Illustrated: 1. There’s a lot of money flowing into big-time college sports. 2. They should give some of that money away toward charitable causes. 3. But wait, many athletic departments are actually losing money. So … “The first obligation is to restore fiscal sanity by using [the savings in salary] to plug that hole,” says Zimbalist, who also proposes reducing the number of football scholarships, having FBS schools cut spending on nonrevenue sports and instituting an NCAA football playoff. The Zimbalist here is Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College professor who has done pretty much all … Continue reading The war on nonrevenue sports, ctd

The UFC’s curious response to ESPN’s piece

(Editing a little after listening to the Josh Gross podcast with Outside the Lines reporter John Barr.) I have to start with a disclaimer, of course. If there’s a dispute between the UFC and ESPN, then I’m in the bad situation of being beholden to both sides. I’ve done some freelance work for ESPN, though none for Outside the Lines and very little (one story) relating to MMA. I also have reasons for keeping up good ties with the UFC. So in writing about the dispute over the Outside the Lines story on UFC fighter pay, I’m either being incredibly stupid … Continue reading The UFC’s curious response to ESPN’s piece