Ohio State panel illuminates discussion on paying college athletes

Vince Doria (far right), Matt Mitten (second from right), Joe Nocera (second from left), and Andrew Zimbalist (far left) are introduced on Friday at the Sports Society Initiative’s forum on paying college athletes. Credit: Mitch Hooper | Lantern reporterThe topic of financial compensation for collegiate student-athletes has been sweeping the nation in recent years, and on Friday, Ohio State, home to one of the country’s most profitable athletic departments, was at the forefront of that discussion.Two separate panel discussions — the first featuring sports policy analysts and writers, and the second consisting of seven former Buckeye athletes — were held on campus in an event organized by the university’s Sports and Society Initiative. The three-hour conversation, titled “Paying College Athletes,” encompassed nearly all sides of the debate, from legal and political angles, to methods and realities of implementation, and to athlete testimonies and alternatives. Dialogue among the panel members was passionate, insightful and respectful, although it jumped around frequently. Yet, that is inherent with any conversation about financial compensation for student-athletes. The issue is so complex, like splitting the atom, that any discussion on it could seem scattered because there are myriad factors to consider and understand.Kristin Watt, an attorney and former OSU basketball player in the 1980s, does not support a pay-to-play model, but she, like the few other panelists with a similar position, completely acknowledged the inequities in the current system. Although she said there likely will be inequities no matter what, there are “absolutely” problems that can be fixed.“Forums like this, I really want to congratulate Ohio State for putting this on,” said Watt, who was on the second panel. “The more we talk about it, the more issues get out and the more people get educated … That’s what helps spur changes.” A high point during the event was when former OSU running back Maurice Clarett delivered his opening statement. Despite his dominant freshman season for the Buckeyes in 2002, Clarett is infamous for his off-the-field tribulations, which included accepting improper benefits that played a role in his dismissal from the university and spending more than three years in prison on multiple charges. When Clarett spoke, the some hundred people in the audience were captivated, clinging to his every word. Clarett said he “absolutely” supports a pay-for-play model for collegiate athletes, citing his personal story as evidence. Growing up in the poverty in Youngstown, Ohio, Clarett said he took money under the table to help him pay personal expenses, namely fixing his car’s transmission. “My spiral of events wouldn’t have happen if I had money,” Clarett said passionately. Clarett said his situation — coming from poverty and needing support beyond just an academic scholarship — is no anomaly. Clarett also spoke poignantly about the lack of emphasis that some programs place on education. Clarett said he was nowhere near the education level needed at OSU and that he was shuffled through classes just to stay eligible. This is common, Clarett said, with those coming from inner city schools. At one point, amid the Youngstown native’s emotional soliloquy on academics, Lawrence Funderburke, a panelist and former OSU basketball player, interpreted. “Preach it,” he said. “Keep preaching.”As Clarett’s opening statement wrapped up, a few members of the audience stood up, applauding. Vince Doria, former Senior Vice President and Director of News at ESPN, started the discussion on the first panel. Doria, an OSU graduate, acknowledged his past employer’s role in the growth of big-time college athletics through massive television deals, yet he said he supports a pay-to-play system. His proposal contains different tiers of payment for players in revenue sports based mostly on playing time. It might not be perfect, Doria said, but at the very least, it “begins to address the unfairness of the current system.” A key portion of Doria’s rationale for supporting additional compensation beyond academic scholarship is that the notion of providing education is misleading, he said. “A scholarship is really the opportunity to achieve an education,” he said. Doria said with the vigorious schedule that athletes have because of games and training, they don’t get the same chance to work outside of the classroom to really take full advantage of the scholarship and obtain a comprehensive education. Joe Nocera, a sports business columnist at The New York Times and co-author of “Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA,” is outspoken about the reforms he feels are necessary. Nocera left no room for where he stood on the issue, enunciating his clear support for paying student-athletes. In fact, Nocera said he even believes that the term “student-athlete” is incorrect.“(The NCAA) shouldn’t call them student-athletes, but rather athlete-students or employee students, because that’s what they really are,” he said. “Let’s be honest about what the NCAA is. … it’s a cartel.”Former OSU basketball player Kristin Watt (right) speaks at a forum about paying college athletes while former OSU running back Maurice Clarett (left) listens. Credit: Mitch Hooper | Lantern reporterWhen Nocera first began writing about the injustices he believes college athletes face, he said he got emails from readers asking why he was spending his time writing about it. His explanation, delivered passionately on Friday, pierced the crowd.“This is not a sports issue. This is a human rights issue and civil rights issue,” said Nocera, who also brought up the NCAA’s transfer policy, which he denounced. “I came at this through the prism of rights, not pay.” Watt, the former OSU basketball player, was not alone in her opposition to a pay-to-play model. Joining her in dissent was a Marscilla Packer, a fellow former OSU basketball player, Funderburke and Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts. “I think there are meaningful reforms that can address the economic injustices without going for the pay-for-play model,” said Zimbalist, who cited concerns over growing television revenue and the complicated tax-exempt status donations to athletic departments have. Some of the most common agreed upon reforms that did not involve a direct cash payment included guaranteed scholarships lasting at least four years. Currently, they are for one year, with the option to be renewed. Lifetime health insurance was another proposal that seemed to be agreed upon by all 11 panelists. Nocera said it’s clear that if an athlete sustains injuries while playing sports in college for a university, it’s the school’s duty to make sure the individual has the proper care he or she needs during his or her lifetime. Funderburke, who founded a youth organization after retiring from the NBA, said he has a five-point plan to help student-athletes that does not involve a pay-for-play system. It included mentoring arrangements, life-skills courses for athletes, a deferred-savings stipend and a family emergency fund. “We’re never going to be fair or equitable, but we can at least be sensible,” he said. If there is one thing the panel illustrated, it’s that there is a lot to consider when looking to address injustices in college athletics. Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but having open forums like the panel can prove to be instrumental, said Kelly Trent, a former OSU golfer who is “on the fence” on specifics but agrees collegiate sports are littered with inequity. “For this thing to advance, it’s going to take some giving on both sides,” said Doria, the former executive at ESPN. “And the history of the NCAA in that area hasn’t been good.” read more

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Five questions to ask about Ohio State – Illinois

1. Will Terrelle Pryor continue taking care of the ball on the road? Pryor is third in the Big Ten in total offense with 302 yards per game. He is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week after recording six total touchdowns last week against Eastern Michigan. But the key stat for No. 2 is that he has only turned the ball over twice this season. OSU becomes nearly unbeatable if Pryor takes care of the football, but this is the first time the Scarlet and Gray have played away from Ohio Stadium this season. 2. Can “Boom” and “Zoom” get on track? Between them, Dan “Boom” Herron and Brandon “Zoom” Saine have six rushing touchdowns and 361 yards rushing. Even their yards-per-carry average of 4.6 (Herron) and 4.7 (Saine) are solid. But anyone who has watched the first four games would say these two running backs could do better. Saine appears to be having trouble changing direction and finding the right holes. Herron has trouble breaking past the second level of the defense. Right now, Pryor is OSU’s leading rusher. 3. Will the Illini break OSU’s 100-yard individual rusher streak? Illinois running back Mikel LeShoure has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the Fighting Illini’s three games in 2010. It has been 27 games since the OSU defense allowed a 100-yard rusher. The “Silver Bullets” have only allowed seven 100-yard rushers since the start of the 2005 season, fewest in the nation. Something’s got to give. But consider this: Illinois has played Missouri, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois to open the season. Chances are LeShoure will have trouble getting to the century mark. 4. Does anyone know what Illibuck is? Whenever OSU and Illinois meet, the Illibuck trophy is at stake. The original Illibuck was a live turtle. But the grind of traveling back and forth between Champaign and Columbus took its toll and Illibuck died in the spring of 1927. His successor, a wooden replica, has been used ever since. Members of two of the schools’ junior honorary societies meet at halftime of the game to award Illibuck to the previous year’s winning school. OSU leads the series 62-30-4 and has a 33-12 advantage in Champaign. 5. Will OSU have another close call in Memorial Stadium? Although Illinois’ last victory over OSU in Champaign was nearly 19 years ago, a 10-7 win on Oct. 12, 1991, the last four times OSU has visited Memorial Stadium, the scores have been close. OSU won 24-21 in 2000, 23-16 in overtime in 2002, 17-10 in 2006 and 30-20 in 2008. However, none of those OSU teams boasted the combination of a high-scoring offense (third in the nation in points) and suffocating defense (No. 19 in points allowed). Coach Jim Tressel said the difference between playing at home and playing on the road is pretty clear-cut in terms of dealing with hardship during the game. “You’re going to have some adversity,” Tressel said. “You’re not going to have that crowd there to help you through it. So you better play as well or better than you’ve ever played this year if you want to be successful.” read more

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House approves Runestad bill cracking down on corrupt process servers

first_img27Feb House approves Runestad bill cracking down on corrupt process servers State Rep. Jim Runestad’s legislation creating more accountability for officials tasked with serving legal notices was approved today by the Michigan House.Runestad, of White Lake, said ensuring people are given proper notice of court proceedings is fundamental to their due process rights.“Our judicial system relies on process servers to do their jobs honestly and effectively,” Runestad said. “Falsely claiming to serve a legal notice can have serious consequences. We need to make sure process servers understand the magnitude of their responsibilities.”Under current law, unethical process servers are almost never held accountable in court.“In rare situations they may be held in contempt of court, which usually results in a fine or, at most, 90 days in jail,” Runestad said.House Bills 4666, sponsored by Runestad, and 4670, sponsored by Rep. Joe Bellino, of Monroe, classify the false certification of personal service as a felony.“Our legislation creates a declaration process servers must sign under penalty of perjury, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison,” Runestad said. “This sends a clear message that process servers must do their due diligence and ensures fraudulent service is prosecuted in Michigan.”Runestad said stories like those of Detroit resident Carnell Alexander inspired him to introduce the legislation.Alexander, who testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of the bill, said 29 years ago a process server claimed to serve him at his father’s house with paperwork related to a child support claim. He was incarcerated at the time, and never received notice of the court proceedings. As a result, Alexander said he was ordered to pay more than $130,000 in child support for a child who isn’t his.“I’m very happy to hear this legislation has passed,” Alexander said today. “I believe the process server should be held accountable on making sure papers are properly delivered, and that there are no discrepancies.”Jeff Kirkpatrick, vice president of the Michigan Court Officers, Deputy Sheriffs and Process Servers’ Association, praised Runestad for taking the lead on the legislation.“Michigan citizens have found their bank accounts frozen, their wages garnished or their property seized, all because a few unscrupulous process servers file false proofs of service with the court,” Kirkpatrick said. “Our association, like Rep. Runestad, wants to stop this practice in Michigan. House Bill 4666, making it a felony to sign a false proof of service, is a great first step.”The bills now move to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Runestad Newslast_img read more

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House votes for Rep Theis plan setting requirements to protect children

first_img24May House votes for Rep. Theis plan setting requirements to protect children Categories: News,Theis News Michigan’s children will be protected under legislation approved today by the state House, state Rep. Lana Theis announced.“Although most doctors have the best of intentions in treating their patients, we must do our best to prevent what happened with Larry Nassar’s survivors,” said Theis, a member of the House Law and Justice Committee. “Parents and children should have as much information as possible when doctors are recommending invasive medical procedures for children. They must be able to understand the necessity of such a procedure.”Under the legislation, procedures involving pelvic area penetration of minors is prohibited without meeting certain conditions:The medical treatment is within the professional’s scope of practice;Another health care professional is in the room during the procedure; andWritten consent on a standardized form is obtained from a person authorized by law to provide consent, such as the child’s parent.The bill does allow for exceptions, such as a medical emergency or for services relating to the patient’s gynecological or reproductive health.The plan is part of a 28-bill bipartisan package approved by the House to increase protections to Michigan’s residents in the wake of the Nassar sex abuse scandal.“This plan will go after sexual predators, help survivors and protect Michigan’s residents,” said Theis, of Brighton. “We took part in nearly 20 hours of testimony in committee alone, engaging medical professionals, educators, subject experts and survivors of Nassar’s crimes. This plan is a solution to better protect our children, while strengthening punishments against anyone who engages in sexual misconduct.”House Bill 5793 advances to the Senate for its consideration.#####last_img read more

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In This Issue… Currencies rally strongly this m

first_imgIn This Issue… * Currencies rally strongly this morning… * Home Prices keep falling… * Baby steps for stabilization… * Carney has harsh words for U.S. economy… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! The Golden Scenario… Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! And Happy Chinese New Year! The NFL Championship games yesterday were very entertaining, eh? The two brothers that coach different teams went from a chance to match wits in the Super Bowl, to going home… Too bad… it would have been a good story. Should be an interesting week, as the ECOFIN people meet, and Greece is still working on their debt, and… this will be my first full week of work in over a month, so all-in-all, pretty interesting! What I also found interesting on Friday, was the price action of Silver… I don’t know if you follow Silver or not… I do, very closely, I might add! But Silver was outperforming Gold by a long shot, rising over $1 on the day, which you don’t normally see in the Silver price action. My colleague, Aaron yelled over the desk and asked me what was going on with Silver, as he too watches it closely… I couldn’t really find anything out there, so the thought came to me very quickly, that Silver must be playing “catch-up”… I don’t know if you follow this stuff or not, and I don’t really put that much emphasis on this, but from time to time I come back to it, and that is the Gold/Silver ratio… but what was once thought as a real indicator for Silver, has to be pushed to the back of the closet these days, for the Gold-Silver ratio has spread out to over 50:1… That’s pretty crazy stuff… and doesn’t look right… So, maybe, just maybe, Silver was playing catch-up to Gold, which had gained over $90 so far this year, and Silver’s gains were negligible until Friday… Both metals are up this morning, so we have that going for us, eh? The Aussie dollar (A$) touched $1.05 this morning, and is spittin’ distance from the figure now. And, looky there, it’s back over $1.05! Just like that! I would say that the A$ is benefitting from a lower than expected PPI (wholesale inflation index) number… Which indicates to me that the markets still have an appetite for rewarding currencies that have been debased to promote growth. If you’re an Aussie bond holder, this is what’s called the “golden scenario”… That’s when rates are being cut, and the currency maintains its value or even increases in value. The bonds & currency rallying, = the golden scenario… When I was a foreign bond trader, I saw this happen only a few times… I saw it Germany in the mid 90’s, and in Aussie and New Zealand around the same time… I haven’t traded foreign bonds since 1998, and don’t recall if there were other instances since then. But, it’s happening now… The thing about the golden scenario, is that it doesn’t last long… The euro begins another week as the most talked about currency, with the U.S. dollar coming in second, and the renminbi placing third. The euro is trading above 1.29 this morning, as it has range traded for over a week now, but around the 1.29 level, which is probably driving the analysts that have called for a collapse of the euro, crazy… I’ve told you probably 3 or 4 times since the year began what I think the euro will do this year… So, as to not beat a dead horse (no animals were hurt), I’ll go to what I really want to point out this morning about the euro… In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the economic data from Germany to be better than forecast for them. We’ve seen the Italian and Spanish bond auctions go quite well, with more bonds sold than planned and at lower yields! And money market rates have eased… I talked about the beginnings of a stabilization here on Friday, and I just can’t help but think that this is just the beginning. Now that doesn’t mean that everything we see from here on out from the Eurozone is good… baby steps, wobble, go backwards sometimes, and even stumble… So… we have that to watch for. Well, every winter, about 2,600 political, business and financial leaders in Davos, Switzerland for a 5-day boondoggle. There are always some very good sound bites from Davos, and this year will be no different. You’ll see the Eurozone contingent continue their attempt to calm the markets, and then you’ll have the euro naysayers, like George Soros doing his best to deep six the euro… Speaking of deep sixing something… I can’t put enough emphasis on this folks, but the Asian countries are removing dollars from their terms of trade. One by one, the Asian countries draw up new currency swap agreements, that basically exchange the two countries’ currencies, and removes dollars from the terms of the trade. This has long been one of the benefits to having the reserve currency of the world, for if two countries wanted to trade Oil, they would have to convert their currencies to dollars and settle the transaction in dollars. This kept dollars in each country’s reserves by the truck loads… But, first it was China alone signing swap agreements to remove dollars from the terms of trade. Then Russia joined in, and now India is jumping on the bandwagon. India and Iran have signed a currency swap agreement for Oil… Now… let me be clear here… I do NOT want to see this happening, for I live here, work here, and use dollars for my gas, groceries and giggles. And… once I’m gone, my kids and grandkids will learn what it’s like to not have the reserve currency of the world… It’s a sad thing… However, since I began writing in 1992, I have always made it a point to not let my love of country get in the way of telling like it is… I was even called unpatriotic years ago… and that hurt! But… at the same time, I warned and warned about the growing debt, and people thought I was nuttier than a fruitcake. Well… when countries turn away from using your currency, I think I speaks volumes… So… how does that fruitcake taste these days? Last Friday, we saw the latest Existing Home Sales data, which was pretty strong… But here’s the thing I keep harping about… Home Prices… The national median sales price of existing homes fell 2.5% in December year-on-year. This is the thirteenth straight monthly decline in home prices. Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 32% of the total sales… So, all in all, I would say the data was not good… 1/3rd of the sales were forced by foreclosure, and the median home price fell 2.5%… I don’t think home prices have found a bottom yet… One of the reasons I feel strongly about that is the fact that the “robo-signing” case that held up foreclosures in 2011, has been settled, which means foreclosures could really ramp up in 2012, pushing prices downward. The data cupboard is empty today and doesn’t really get restocked later this week… We will have a FOMC (Fed Reserve) meeting on Wednesday, but since the Fed told us that interest rates are going to remain at current levels until mid 2013, this is a little anti-climatic, eh? OK… back to the currencies… Well… I guess the Bank of Canada’s (BOC) bunker mentality is beginning to pay off for them, but I’m sure they didn’t really think that this would happen… The “this” I’m talking about is a larger than expected drop in consumer inflation. Canadian CPI fell .%6% in December from the previous month, and the year-on-year rate stands at 2.3%… Still higher than the target rate of 2%, but moving in the right direction as far as the BOC is concerned… The Canadian dollar / loonie took the data and digesting it, moved lower… The loonie is attempting a rally this morning trying desperately to grab onto the coat tails of the Aussie dollar. Remember when I told you that we could see a “pop” in the Swiss Franc, should then Swiss National Bank (SNB) President, Hildebrand, resign, as the markets would want to test the resolve of the new President? Well… Let’s see… the franc has really been on a run in the past 10- days and has climbed back to a dollar price of $1.0750… After falling to a $1.04 handle… I think this is simply the markets testing the SNB, folks… nothing to hang one’s hat on for any extended period of time… Leave this to the “traders”… Ok… I mentioned at the top, and then forgot to talk about it until now… But the Greek / private creditors meetings have stalled on a deadlock over the interest rates to be paid. People close to the meetings still believe that an agreement will be ironed out soon. Did you see what the Bank of Canada’s Gov., Mark Carney, had to say about the U.S. economy? Well, you had better sit down for this… Mr. Carney said that the “U.S. economy might never recover.” He went on to say that, “it will take many more years for the U.S. economy to get back on its feet, and it might never completely recover. In fact, they are not in our opinion ultimately going to get back fully to the U.S. we used to know.” Then he made a statement that qualifies him as a recent addition to the “Mr. Obvious Club”… when he said, “If Canada is to grow it must look beyond the U.S. for trading partners.” Then there was this… my friend, and former colleague, David Galland, did it again this past weekend… He wrote something that made me want to pump my fist in the air, and say “Yes”! I don’t have the room here to do him justice, but he wrote about the U.S. Government meddling in the economy and in private business… If that’s the stuff that interests you, and I would hope it did… then click here and read the first part of the letter on Government meddling: after clicking the link, then click on the “contrarian’s View of Argentina”… https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2031/IMG4460.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

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