Meadville Tribune

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Sports

October 30, 2013

Is the NCAA a sinking ship?

Can things get much worse for the embattled NCAA?

The enforcement division looks like a toothless tiger. Players are demanding to be paid. An antitrust lawsuit brought by former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon threatens the association’s long-standing claim of amateurism protection. College presidents are calling for “transformative change” in how the NCAA operates, a feat it wants accomplished by next summer. And, oh yes, the five major football conferences are looking at pulling out and operating their sport and national playoffs under a new umbrella.

By comparison, the NCAA’s myriad problems make the Obama Administration’s roll out of the Affordable Care Act look smooth.

The daily flow of bad news chronicling the NCAA seems to fall somewhere between damaging and defeated. NCAA President Mark Emmert looks as unsteady as a boxer stunned by a left hook.

Sweep away the grandeur of attending a big-time college football game on a glorious autumn afternoon and what is hidden from the public’s view is too few men fighting over too much money.  In a relatively short time span, major college sports have become a big, big business where winning drives the bottom line.

In a strange announcement, Emmert recently suggested that maybe the time has come for the best athletes to consider skipping college and going straight to the pros – a case in team sports that’s only permissible in baseball, where kids fresh out of high school can head to the lowest levels of the minor leagues and begin working their way up. College basketball’s best players generally spend at least a year on campus before accepting the NBA’s riches. NFL rules require players to wait three years after graduation from high school to enter the draft.

That idea won the endorsement of other conference leaders. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany questioned why colleges should be the minor leagues for professional sports. It is easy to understand the frustration coaches and athletic directors must feel in seeing their star players leave early, but what’s to be gained by having the best players bypass college athletics altogether?

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Sports
  • Sliding into second District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs

    Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
    “Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers camp Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
    Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • District 1 dominates at East Regional

    Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kissing the bricks Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal

    There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
    And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen doping Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise

    Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
    The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
    The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

    July 25, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 looking forward to bigger goals

    The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville's magical season comes to an end

    The state run is over for the Meadville Junior League All-Stars.
    Guess they’ll just have to content themselves with a District 1 championship, a Section 1 championship and an incredible turnaround from the year before.

    July 24, 2014

  • AP source: Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1

    The Cleveland Browns may soon learn whether they’ll have Josh Gordon this season.

    July 24, 2014

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A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

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