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Link – San Jose State counting on football ‘revenue games’ to increasingly fund entire department

This is part of the reason why getting rid of these blowout games is complicated, among other changes we might consider with big time college football:

“Getting eight-figures over the years is nothing to overlook at a Mountain West program and the Chronicle notes that nearly six percent of the entire athletic department budget ($1.525 million of the overall $26.5 million figure) in 2018 will come directly from SJSU playing at Oregon and Washington State this season.”

As fans we can complain about a school like SJSU going on these trips and getting blown out, but how many non-revenue sports don’t even exist there if not for these games? How many scholarship opportunities are lost? How many female students lose the opportunity to play sports without that extra 6% of the budget?

That’s also why, as much as I am not in favor of the current student athlete status in places like Ohio State and Alabama, where tens of millions of dollars are made on the backs, and risks, of kids who get little financial benefit from playing, we can’t simply take that money and start handing it out to football players either. That money is currently funding a lot of other programs and opportunities that won’t be there if we did that. It’ complicated. Though we can probably all agree the coaches and directors making millions in this system is unseemly, that’s not the only place that money goes. It also goes to help make sure there are opportunities for lots of other kids beyond the football team.

How do we dismantle the crud that comes along with big time college athletics, without creating a system where other sports simply go away?

https://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/09/14/san-jose-state-counting-on-football-revenue-games-to-increasingly-fund-entire-department/

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Link – Here’s why Illinois, not Northwestern, has brutal Big Ten East crossover games in the future

This is a side-effect of conference conglomeration.

“The Big Ten on Wednesday released its football schedules for 2022-25, and not every fan base is thrilled with the division crossover games.

Take Illinois. The Illini appear to be have been dealt 2-7 against a pair of aces. They will face Penn State four times, Michigan and Michigan State twice and the following teams once: Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana and Rutgers.

Northwestern, meanwhile, gets Maryland four times, Ohio State and Indiana twice and Penn State, Rutgers, Michigan and Michigan State once.”

It’s simple. The more teams your conference has, the more each of those teams is not playing against equal competition. The Big Ten has seen this with Wisconsin over the last few years, who have a very good team, but the much easier road to winning their division than anyone in the East, assisted by not playing Ohio State, for example.

When the conference had 10 teams and 8 conference games, the team you didn’t play could have some effect on the conference championship. When it went to 11, 12 and then 14, that effect only grew. The more unbalanced the schedule becomes the more likely someone is going to win a conference championship without really having to face the toughest teams in their conference.

And unless you want to play 26 game seasons, and play everyone home and home, that’s just the way it is. It will never really be fair.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-illinois-northwestern-future-big-ten-schedules-20180829-story.html

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Link – The Loser Point is Hurting the NHL

I had not realized this. The current system only makes it seem like there’s parity in the NHL because most teams are not that far behind, but it also makes it harder to actually make up ground.

“Since the 2005 lockout, 88 percent of teams that are four or more points out of a playoff spot after Nov. 1 have missed the postseason. Climbing out of a four-point hole seems easy, but in reality it is not. The loser point makes it seem as if teams stand a chance once they get behind in the standings early on in a calendar year, but the feat is much more difficult due to the one-point cushion for extending the length of a game.”

The owners like the appearance of parity, because it keeps a teams fans interested longer into the season, but will fans start to pay attention to this stat, and act accordingly? That may be the only thing that forces a change.

The Loser Point is Hurting the NHL

Link – Athlete suicide shines spotlight on mental health education in young people

This story is tragic. An 18 year old potential Olympic athlete takes her own life because no one noticed she might need help with the pressure?

“She had been selected for the British team for the Junior World Championships in New Zealand in August and was tipped to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

However, she missed a flight to join the GB squad for training and disappeared from the French ski resort of Les Gets shortly afterwards. It later emerged that she took her own life on her 18th birthday.

“Ellie wanted to be the best and not let anybody down,” Ellie’s dad, Tony, said speaking to BBC South East. “Unfortunately it all came about from missing a flight which then meant she didn’t go training with the GB squad.

“She felt she’d let them down, felt she’d let me down and just tragically it just takes one silly little thing like that to tip someone over the edge, because there’s a lot of pressure on children.”

Citing the pressure Ellie was under, and revealing a pre-existing mental health issue, her father added: “Mental health awareness needs to be really looked at and made more public.”

Mr Soutter is absolutely right, but the issue is more fundamental than just awareness. Ellie would have undoubtedly had many hundreds of hours of coaching to prepare herself physically for her career and competitions, so why was her mental health not addressed in the same way? “

Let’s hope that Elle Soutter’s death will provide a lesson for not just the sports world, but all of us.

http://www.thriveprogramme.org/suicide-prevention-education/

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Link – Maryland Terrapins football culture toxic coach DJ Durkin

A kid died in May after a workout, and while the investigation is ongoing, if even half of the stuff in this story is true, Maryland should fire everybody, and start settlement talks with the family.

“I would never, ever, ever allow my child to be coached there.”
Former Maryland staff member”

The bullying, the working out well past the point of exhaustion, the humiliation, all of it is something we just shouldn’t tolerate. The fact that their head coach spent time working under such luminaries as Harbough and Meyer should make all of us question what goes on in big-time college football.

There was a time when this was just the way things were done by football coaches. Now we know better. We have much better information about how to keep these guys healthy, and the damage that can be done when you don’t. If an offensive lineman collapsed during a sprint and the trainer’s reaction was to tell other players to “drag his ass across the field” instead of immediately getting medical treatment? There shouldn’t be anything left of that staff/administration.

It’ a game. No one should have to die to prepare to play it.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/24342005/maryland-terrapins-football-culture-toxic-coach-dj-durkin