Goodbye, NFL

NFLI’m a lifelong sports fan. I have a master’s degree in sport management. I worked and consulted in professional and college athletics for many years. And I’ve been a fantasy sports geek for decades. I’ve invested untold amounts of time and money in sports. But in the case of pro football, enough is enough. I’m done with the National Football League. Continue reading

Not your father’s 49ers

49ersMaybe I’m naïve, but today’s San Francisco 49ers bear so little resemblance to the dynasty I grew up watching that it’s hard to imagine they wear the same red and gold. Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Steve Young…these aren’t just names in 49ers history – they’re symbols of a team that won with class, with integrity, and with character.

Surely there were legal issues and other misdeeds among the 49ers of yesteryear, and ultimately owner Eddie DeBartolo’s legal problems in an unrelated business venture cost him the franchise, but I don’t recall anything like what we’re seeing from today’s players. Continue reading

Scandal at Penn State: There are no words…

Television sports reporter Jackie Pepper posted on her blog today about the mess at Penn State that is rapidly engulfing the storied football program and indeed the entire institution. She very effectively details the legal responsibilities college administrators have – and the human decency that was evidently absent in this case. She said it all in her opening sentence: “The notion of several adults being made aware of the possible sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy and not reporting the incident to police is mind boggling.”

Sandusky and Paterno

Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno during happier times – when the public was unaware of Sandusky’s alleged molestation of children

Read her blog post here:

Blinded by Money and Power: Penn State Administrators Ignored Legal Responsibility, Empathy, and Human Decency

I’ve spent much of my career on college campuses and working in athletic departments. I ran youth basketball camps on a college campus years ago, staffed by coaches from the college. I cannot for the life of me fathom witnessing something like what is alleged at Penn State and not reporting it beyond my supervisor to legal authorities immediately – or hearing such a report from a colleague or subordinate and not calling the police.

As a parent to a child who has attended countless sports camps and clinics run by coaches, I’m speechless. There are no words to sum up what my reaction is.

There is no excuse – none – for thinking one’s responsibility stops at telling their boss and forgetting about it. Not when children are being molested. Continue reading

Dr. J the latest reminder that fame doesn’t always pay the bills

Dr. J at his height as an NBA superstar

I was saddened to read that Julius Erving – THE legendary figure in professional basketball in the mid- to late 1970s, before Bird and Magic, and the guy who was Michael before Michael – is auctioning off the mementos from his illustrious career, including his two ABA championship rings and his 1983 Philadelphia 76ers NBA championship ring.

While he denies he’s liquidating his collection to pay off a reported $200,000 debt to a Georgia bank, and in fact this may just be a case of a former star clearing out the closets, it’s hard to imagine his Most Valuable Player awards from both leagues and his three championship rings are just taking up space. Continue reading