College Sports News & Notes July 2011

College Sports News & Notes July 2011

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We’re in the middle of summer which means that fall sports is still quite a way off from starting. However, college football players will begin practice in the first week of August, just five weeks after the University of South Carolina won the College World Series on June 28 to end the last athletic season. Truly, college sports is almost a year-round endeavor, starting and finishing when classes are not being held.

Though July is the bottom of the college news cycle, there are some stories worth exploring. The following is our summation of midsummer news, college sports style:

Nebraska is now part of the Big Ten Conference, a mostly midwestern conference of 12 schools. That move was made official on July 1, allowing the Cornhuskers to compete in one of the most storied athletic conferences in America. Let’s see how the Big Red fare among its new competition.

Hockey is the talk of college sports, particularly for schools out west. A new “super league” for western teams is being considered, but not everyone thinks that this is a good idea. Writing for College Hockey News, Mike Machnik notes that this new league is “what everyone wanted,” but worries that the haves will prosper and the have nots will fall to the wayside.

Budgets cuts are hurting everyone from the smallest colleges to the major universities. Especially hard hit are junior or two-year colleges which is forcing a number of schools to cut or suspend teams in a bid to balance budgets. “The Washington Post,” detailed the problem some student-athletes face including Chelsea Collins who committed to playing softball at Jefferson State Community College, but soon found that the school dropped softball. She then enrolled at another school, but that one dropped its entire athletic program, forcing her to look elsewhere once again. For those schools still playing sports, many have had to reduce schedules to stay afloat.

College athletics is controversial in itself. That controversy often includes debates about paying athletes who derive little from programs that net some schools hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Football and basketball coaches enjoy million dollar salaries, alumni enjoy pristine box offices and other students get to attend most games for free. This imbalance has been noted by Eric D. Graham who says, “…college athletics is a system of pimps and hoes.” Making an impassioned plea to share the wealth in his piece published to the “BlackAthlete Sports Network,” Graham urges colleges and universities to change the system, but failing that he urges collegiate players to initiate a boycott.

Next month we’ll resume our college football coverage, giving you an early look at 2011 season which kicks off on September 1. Join us — you won’t be disappointed!

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Categories: Collegiate Sports