Category Archives: Uncategorized

NCAA: Does the punishment fit the crime?

Last week, the NCAA passed down sanctions on University of Miami for their illegal recruiting activity. Nevin Shapiro initially gained access to the athletic department as a donor and eventually befriended coaches and administrators. He hosted parties for student-athletes and recruits at his home, on his yacht, at local bowling alleys and in strip clubs. The NCAA concluded that his actions provided improper benefits to these athletes, including paying for meals, hotels for acquaintances, meals for family members, and buying clothes and Christmas gifts for children of some student-athletes.

As a result of these actions, the University of Miami’s athletic program is on probation for three years. They lost nine football scholarships and three basketball scholarships  over the next three years. The basketball coach was suspended for five games and former assistant coaches in both football and basketball received two year show cause penalties. Finally, any staff member who sends inappropriate texts to a potential recruit will be fined for their actions.

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So is this fair? Many people feel that these sanctions are way too lenient, especially in comparison with the penalties passed down upon Penn State a few years ago. Players actually participated in these activities, reaping the benefits of these illegal recruiting techniques. With Penn State, however, the players had nothing to do with the actions of Jerry Sandusky yet found themselves in a program completely destroyed by the sanctions, which were made before a thorough investigation was completed.

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“I didn’t even know who Sandusky was,” said former Penn State player who ended up transferring elsewhere. “I never met this man yet felt the impact of his individual actions. It is really unfortunate that such a reputable program suffered for actions by a sick man. Entire traditions were lost as a result of the horrible decisions of a retired coach.”

Penn State’s original sanctions included about $60 million in fines, 13 years of vacated wins under legendary coach Joe Paterno, the loss of scholarship money and a bowl ban. Just recently, the sanctions were reduced, granting Penn State the ability to gradually restore scholarships as a result of their compliant behavior and extreme efforts. Penn State went on to donate $59.7 million to 26 victims of Jerry Sandusky.

“There is no doubt folks will have a difference of opinion on whether the penalties were too severe or too light,” Banowsky said on a conference call. “We don’t put cases against each other based on the unique nature of each case. In this case, we felt the institution’s self-imposed penalties were significant and unprecedented. The level of cooperation in the case was commendable. Those were factors that weighed into the committee’s thinking.”

It is unquestionable that the actions of both of these schools needed to be addressed and reprimanded. What they did was wrong and completely unacceptable. The question becomes, who is the NCAA trying to punish? Student-athletes should not be punished for the actions of those running their programs. If involved, then it’s fair game but if the athletes did not take part in the controversy, why should they bear the brunt of it?

What do you think about this situation? Do you think these sanctions are fair?

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Fan On the Go

Talk about a crazy week! I have been on the go non stop (hence my lack of posts) and am looking forward to weekend of fun, football and hopefully a few wins by the Yanks. My busy schedule got me thinking about the best ways to follow your teams, even if you don’t have time to watch every game.

1. Download the ScoreCenter App (available for iPhone & Androids)

I live and die by this app when it comes to getting my sports news. This app makes it easy to follow your teams on the go with personalized scoreboards, updates and headlines sent directly to your mobile device. Choose which leagues or teams you want to follow and never miss another big play!
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2. Follow sports accounts on Twitter

Twitter is another great place to get all the updates and information you need in one place. Most teams and sports organizations have their own account where they tweet updates, scores and anything else you would want to know about their teams. Find your favorite team on Twitter or follow the accounts below for news on everything sports.

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Many sports writers and analyst are also present on Twitter. Follow your favorites for their perspective on current events!

3. Follow a few sports blogs

You may not have to time to follow everything sports, but many blog writers make it their priority. There are thousands of sports blogs on the Internet. Some are sponsored by leading sports news outlets, such as ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, and the NY Times, just to name a few. News sites typically have a sports page along with their blogs.

I use RSS Notifier to follow my favorite blogs. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a technology that allows you to subscribe to different blogs or websites. You receive updated material in one RSS feed rather than having to visit each website to see what is new. The RSS Notifier alerts me whenever there is a new article or post.

4. Fox Sports RSS Feed

Recent discovery! Fox Sports now offers an RSS feed feature. Like the ScoreCenter app, the RSS feed is a simple way to get all the latest news in one place. Users can now receive notifications whenever their favorite sections of FoxSports.com are updated. You can customize by team, league, or even sports writer. The site collects all the information you want into one feed, allowing for one-stop updates.

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If all else fails, a simple Google search will also give you the latest on your team. Let me know how your tips for staying up to date with your sports news!

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Cheerleader Turned Sports Fan

IMG_0572I was six years old when I picked up my first set of pom pons. I have to be honest though, I wasn’t interested in the football games when I first started cheerleading. The only thing I wanted to do was compete. I dreaded every game I had to cheer at and counted down the seconds from the first snap of the game.

I took a stab at playing softball when I was 7 years old. My career started with hit, which ended up being my first and last. I didn’t swing the bat again that season, finding much satisfaction in a walk (which wasn’t hard considering I was about 3 feet tall with a very small strikezone).  I spent my time in right field working on my gymnastic skills and even did a few cheers for my team while playing the outfield. Comparable to Ricky Henderson (Hall of Famer who holds the record for most unintentional walks), I retired with a ton of walks, an admirable on base percentage and that one lonesome hit. I however, am still waiting for my Hall of Fame induction 😉

So I stuck to cheerleading and little by little began enjoying the games.  I learned the fundamentals of football and analyzed each game with my dad. I went from hating standing on the sidelines to loving every second of it. I have the best view in the house and am literally feet away from the action. Does it get any better?IMG_0566

I always used to say to my mom that cheerleading was a hard thing to stay involved in after you give it up. There’s no professional cheerleading league to follow or recreational adult teams to participate in. When it’s over, its over.

I realize now that this is not necessarily true in my case. While my days of standing on other peoples’ hands are numbered and I won’t do back flips for the rest of my life, the cheerleader in me will never die. I will always be a sports fan, always cheer on my teams (Yankees and Cowboys!) and forever cherish the love of sports that cheerleading helped me develop.

So welcome to my blog, a female fan’s perspective on everything sports.  I will be doing a lot of writing on current events, controversies, the big games along with how I celebrate them (recipes and tips to come). Stay tuned for an inside look of my very own sideline perspective!

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