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March graduation rate madness

 

 

A quick prediction for this year’s NCAAs — Black male basketball players’ graduation rates will remain virtually unchanged. While nearly everyone is filling out their brackets, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) released on Monday its annual study on the academic performance of the players in the NCAA Division I tournament teams. The study’s primary author, TIDES Director Dr. Richard Lapchick, compares the graduation rate data of Black and White male basketball student-athletes.  

“There is not much good news to report as almost every category examined remained the same or got worse,” wrote Lapchick. The women teams’ report was released Tuesday. A more detailed analysis will be in next week’s “Another View” in the MSR print edition. Continue Reading →

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March Madness begins

 

 

Let’s be perfectly clear from the start — this and all subsequent columns are March Madness cliché-free. We won’t be talking about dancing or getting tickets punched here. The Gophers women basketball team plays Thursday in the 2014 Big Ten women’s tournament in Indianapolis — they face 11th-seeded Wisconsin at approximately 8 pm local time. Minnesota (19-11, 8-8 Big Ten) as the sixth seed goes into Indy on a modest two-game winning streak, but more importantly, especially for further post-season considerations, the Gophers have won seven of their last 11 contests. Although the team finished with a positive conference record for the first time since 2009, from now on U of M’s “second season” record must stay above .500. Continue Reading →

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Ever wonder how much college sports cost? Here are more numbers.

 

 

All 23 University of Minnesota sports teams generate revenue, but only football, men’s basketball and men’s hockey in the last two years have been profitable, according to reports supplied by the school. Each sport’s total operating revenue includes but is not limited to: ticket sales, state or other governmental support, NCAA/conference distributions, broadcast rights, program ad concessions sales, parking, licensing and advertisements, and endowment and investment income.  

 

After expenses, football ($32 million) in 2012 and 2013 made nearly twice what men’s hoops earned ($18.6 million) and thrice what men’s puck ($9.5 million) made.  The other Gopher programs, however, spent at least twice as much as they reportedly made:

Women’s hockey — $1.6 million in revenues; expenses — $2.4 million

Women’s basketball — $1.2 million in revenues; expenses — $5.1 million

Rowing — $874,000 revenues; expenses — $2.2 million

Women’s track/cross-country — $837,000 revenues; expenses — $2.4 million

Baseball — $767,000 revenues; expenses — $2.2 million

Women’s swimming & diving — $648,000 revenues; expenses — $1.7 million

Women’s gymnastics — $418,000 revenues; expenses — $1.3 million

Wrestling — $550,000 revenues; expenses — $1.8 million

Volleyball — $404,000 revenues; expenses — $2.3 million

Softball — $359,000 revenues; expenses — $1.7 million

Women’s tennis — $307,000 revenues; expenses — $975,000

Men’s swimming & diving — $294,000 revenues; expenses — $1.5 million

Men’s golf — $252,000 revenues; expenses — $1 million

Women’s golf — $232,000 revenues; expenses — $885,000

Soccer — $308,000 revenues; expenses — $1.5 million

Men’s gymnastics — $182,000 revenues; expenses — $1 million

Men’s tennis — $162,000 revenues; expenses — $896,000

Men’s track and field/cross-country — $377,000 revenues; expenses — $2.2 million

 

To those opponents who profess college sports spend too much and bring in little to show for it, these numbers support their argument. But for those who argue that women’s non-revenue sports (all but basketball and volleyball) fall in this category as loss leaders, their male non-revenue counterparts are just as much ‘losers.’

Finally, in the final analysis, running a Division I sports program is expensive. Based on the aforementioned figures, we now know just how much. Continue Reading →

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College sports: where the money goes

 

The Knight Commission on Sports recently reported that college athletic spending is three to 12 times more than is spent on academics. Recently, the MSR received the most recent reporting data from the University of Minnesota, and we examined 2012 and 2013 revenues and expenses for all 25 men’s and women’s sports programs at the school. We chose six of them — women’s basketball (WBB), women’s hockey (WH) and volleyball (VB); men’s basketball (MBB), men’s hockey (MH) and football (FB) — because they are revenue generating sports. Rounded in thousands of dollars, monies generated from ticket sales greatly varied among the six teams:

 

FB — $11.2 million in 2012 and $11.4 million in 2013;

MBB — $5.6 million (2012) and $5.2 million (2013);

MH — $5 million (2012) and $5.1 million (2013);

WBB — $261,000-plus (2012) and $269,000-plus (2013);

WH — $45,000 (2012) and $87,000 (2013); and

VB — $119,000 (2012) and $147,000 (2013). Only Minnesota football ($34.5 million), men’s basketball ($16.9 million), and men’s hockey ($204,919) brought in money from post-season appearances, but not women’s hockey, despite the fact that they won consecutive national championships during the same time period. Continue Reading →

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Richard Sherman’s post-game comments overblown by information bubbles

 

 

 

The information bubble-blowers are ever on the job. In case you forgot, an information bubble is produced oftentimes by the media, sending out information that confirms any misbeliefs fans already have about a certain person — and usually that person is Black. I watched Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s post-game comments. If you are among those who don’t know what the young man said, here is the gist of it:

“I’m the best cornerback in the game,” said Sherman. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like [San Francisco’s Michael] Crabtree, that’s the result you are going to get.”

Sherman afterwards has been called everything but a child of God. Continue Reading →

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Would a Robinson Rule be just another ruse?

 

The only thing I like about a proposed “Eddie Robinson Rule” for college sports hiring is that it is being named for the late Grambling football coach. Otherwise, if the proposed law is modeled after the NFL’s Rooney Rule, I’m afraid it’s a recipe for deception, false hopes and tokenism. This week’s “Another View” published in the MSR sports section briefly discusses Richard Lapchick’s latest campus leadership report, where it notes again just how White (nearly 90 percent) of the campus leadership positions are.  

Here are the latest diversity report’s “lowlights”:

Coaches of color decreased by three, from 18 in 2012 to 15 in 2013. There was a two-percent drop in Black head football coaches (now 9.6 percent) from last year even though Black football players at the same time went up nearly three percent. Continue Reading →

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Metrodome farewells

 

 

The Minnesota Vikings’ final game in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome ironically ended in the same fashion as did their first-ever game there in 1982 — with a close win over division rival Detroit. After Sunday’s stadium-closing finale, the MSR obtained some final thoughts on the soon-to-be-closed Dome. “It meant a lot to me,” said KMOJ sports reporter Sam Williams after seeing his name on the big stadium “dome-o-gram” electronic message board during Sunday’s game. “I’ve covered the Vikings for about 16 years, and to have my name on the marquee for the very last time, why wouldn’t you love it? I love it,” admitted Williams. “It was great.”

Marcus Sherels set a single-season team record with the highest punt return average (15.2). Continue Reading →

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More Vikings impressions

 

 

According to an inside source, I wouldn’t be too far off when I said to them that there were more Black workers than Black fans at Sunday’s Minnesota-Cleveland football game at the Metrodome. A three-year Black female stadium worker told the MSR that she estimates at least 70 percent of the game-day workforce is Black – her husband has worked at the Dome for eight years.  As a result it’s safe to say that maybe three to five percent of the 63,000-plus in attendance were Black. “I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida,” says Sylvester Blue, who now lives in Dallas, Texas.  “I’ve been a fan since I was four years old, and I’m 48 now. I work hard all my life and for me to get a chance to come see them live and in person, that’s the ultimate for me.”

 

J.T. Jones, who was part of a traveling group from Atlanta, Ga. admitted that his group earlier talked about not seeing more Blacks at pro football games, whether in the Twin Cities or his hometown.  “We got a good price on tickets,” says Jones.  He added that a possible reason for the lack of Blacks at NFL games can be attributed to financial concerns.  “We can’t splurge as much as we want to.  We pick and choose what we splurge,” he explains.  “You look on TV and it never looks like there are Blacks at games.”

“I’m a big football fanatic.  I work hard to enjoy the things I love, and football is one of them. Continue Reading →

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HBCU coaches tend to see athletes as students first

 

The latest NCAA graduation rates report shows that overall Division I student-athletes graduate at 80 percent, but the oft-overlooked fact is that Black student-athletes graduate at least 20 percent lower than their White counterparts. Even a sport-by-sport breakdown analysis points out that Blacks lag behind Whites in every sport ranging anywhere from 12 percentage points (women’s basketball) to 23 points (men’s basketball). This “significant graduation gap” between University of Minnesota Black and White student-athletes over a five-year period was the focus of a MSRfront-page article this week. Sadly, most of us, especially in the Black community, rather direct our outrage toward who gets voted off reality show islands or dancing shows than publicly demanding an answer to why our Black athletes — most of which aren’t going to the pros after college — are not graduating from predominately White institutions at the same rate, if not better, than White athletes. Seemingly too many Black parents are delusional about getting rich quick off their son or daughter: University of Washington-Vancouver English Professor Thabiti Lewis recently offered such an example. Continue Reading →

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