Spencer Hall's Annual Mulling on College Football On the eve of the true first Saturday of NCAA football, Spencer Hall of Every Day Should Be Saturday publishes a slightly deeper essay than the rest of the season's football japery. This year touches on Americanism, violence, race, and bison. Yeah, bison.
ESPN's oral history of Marshawn Lynch's post-game celebratory trip in the injury cart after his Cal Bears knocked off the University of Washington Huskies in overtime. [more inside]
In honor of Thanksgiving, Sports Illustrated presents their 2015 Turkeys of the Year slideshow.
Playing in the Red: College athletic departments are taking in more money than ever – and spending it just as fast — a Washington Post report on how perennial NCAA powerhouses and aspiring contenders alike are using student fees to pay for exploding athletic department budgets. [more inside]
After years of fighting over keeping the records sealed, the NCAA has finally released to the public their internal documents on the Reggie Bush investigation, as part of the defamation lawsuit filed against the NCAA by former USC RB coach Todd McNair. The NCAA had argued that allowing the records to be unsealed would hinder future investigations, but such arguments were dismissed by the California courts, leading to the release. [more inside]
"MIT’s students, faculty, and alumni won 80 Nobel Prizes between 1944 and 2013. In that time, MIT football won a total of 80 games." Until this year. This season's MIT football team is undefeated, 8-0.
The NYT, following up previous maps examining the relationship between geography and baseball and basketball fandom, has released a college football fandom map. Like the previous maps, it's based on Facebook Likes and zip code data, so its accuracy may be a little suspect. But it's still fun, especially when it supports your preconceived opinion of a rival school! We discussed the baseball map previously.
Two years after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to prison for child sexual abuse (previously), the NCAA has lifted all remaining sanctions against Penn State and reinstated postseason eligilibity effective immediately, and a full roster of football scholarships starting in the 2015-2016 year. [more inside]
The NLRB has ruled that football players at Northwestern University are college employees and can form a union. [more inside]
Northwestern Football Players Are Trying To Unionize. More coverage from Deadspin, ThinkProgress, and Bleacher Report. The NCAA's predictable response.
Manifesto: People’s Union of American College Football: Make American Football Strong Like Bull, Smart Like Tractor. Under former capitalist system, American college football very unfair. Only few teams is climbing to top of heap, and is making all the money, especially more dollars on the television contract. Best, powerful teams is playing cupcake opponent, then flying across country to form conference alliance with faraway team, while also ignoring strong opponent right over next hill. People’s Union of American College Football is creating much better system. Each team is playing best quality opponents throughout season. Each team is being organized by geography, and must fight way out of home District to qualify for national playoff. Champion is last team standing, and is TRUE champion over all other teams in whole country.
Former college football powerhouse Notre Dame hasn't won a national title in a long time (1988, natch). They have a rabid fan-base (arguably the biggest in college sports) and the largest TV deal in the nation with NBC. This season they came from pretty much out of nowhere to land a spot in the national title game. The problem, however, is that the school and its fans are in fact horrible, no-good people. Presenting Drew Magary's A-Z Hater's Guide to Notre Dame! [more inside]
Penn State Fined $60 Million, Paterno Wins Vacated Since 1998: For its attempts to cover up a serial child molester in its coaching ranks, the NCAA has hit Penn State with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban, four-year loss of 10 scholarships, and the removal of all wins dating to 1998, taking away the late coach Joe Paterno's status as the winningest coach in college football's highest level. hat tip to Sportsfilter
An oldie but a goodie: Don Reese, then of the San Diego Chargers, talks about his own problems with cocaine and the widespread drug use in the NFL at the time. [more inside]
Today is National Signing Day, the first day a high school senior can sign a letter of intent and commit to a collegiate football program. Sports Illustrated is liveblogging announcements throughout the day. Get some background with a list of Players to Watch, or just enjoy the adorable friend accompanying Isaiah Crowell. But some say it has become too much of a circus to be good for the young players. And others want to recognize the real unsung heroes of the day.
"Do you hear that, Marcus? Do you hear it?" I yell. "You know what that is? That's Hollywood, baby. Hollywood's calling. You gonna answer the call?"
"I will never forget the first time I paid a player." Former sports agent Josh Luchs confesses to paying 30 college football players early in his career.
"It's a storm only a game theorist could love..." In the next few weeks, the NCAA College Football landscape may change completely. Or not. Either way there's a massive power struggle unfolding among college football conferences for big TV money, and an increasing gulf between the haves and have nots. [more inside]
First QB in NCAA history to win four bowl games. Patrick White has been a record setting quarterback during his four years at West Virginia University. An early season Heisman trophy candidate, White is the all-time rushing QB in history, and apparently, an unassuming ladies man.
As national signing day approached, a small town in Nevada got excited that one of its football stars would go to a big time college program. Finally on the fated day town notables and media gathered for a ceremony where, Kevin Hart, made his choice known. Then it all unraveled, he was never recruited at all.
Serfs of the Turf. Michael Lewis on the racket that is college football and the myth of the "student-athlete" football player.
This is the story of what happens when a naïve 15-year-old prodigy collides with an upward-reaching football program, some of whose players feel like they own the campus.
This is the story of what happens when a naïve 15-year-old prodigy collides with an upward-reaching football program, some of whose players feel like they own the campus. Brittany Benefield started college at age 15 with the dream of finishing law school before she turned 21. Didn't quite work out that way, and hers is an amazing story. Take the time to read this, and think about it. Would you fault her parents, for letting her get into something she wasn't ready for; the university, for letting this get out of control; the football program, for running roughshod over the school; or Brittany, for her own decisions?
Sometimes my faith in the world is restored. Not that a girl playing NCAA Division I football is going to change the world, but at least life's not all bad. Check out her teammates in the photo, they look genuinely psyched.
Duke kickers testify in gender case. Asked to rank her leg strength, Sims Lenhardt told jurors: "It was inferior to other guys out there. I would say 35 yards was probably the most she could kick."