By Ken Reed
What Was Liberty Thinking?
I was surprised that Liberty University hired former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw as the school’s new athletic director.
I was shocked they chose to not even mention or address the fact that McCaw was suspended by Baylor for his “failure to adequately respond to multiple reports of sexual assault by football players.” McCaw’s background never even came up at the press conference announcing his hiring!
Moreover, as reported by Chris Norman of USA Today’s For the Win, Baylor reported that:
“[McCaw] and former football coach Art Briles had been informed about an allegation from a student-athlete that she’d been gang raped by football players. Baylor says McCaw and Briles failed to report any of that to judicial affairs.”
Apparently, this stuff doesn’t bother Liberty’s administrators.
“You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going,” said Liberty honcho Jerry Falwell, Jr. “This is an exciting time for us.”
Nice. Nothing like a win-at-all-costs (WAAC) outlook on life — especially for an institution that calls itself a “Christian” school.
“I’m a long way removed from my Sunday school days, but remain somewhat certain that most Christians consider properly dealing with — and thereby helping to prevent — sexual assault a more important goal than, say, claiming the Big South title in golf,” concluded Norman in his article.
New Blood Test Could Be Breakthrough for Concussion Diagnosis
A soon-to-be-released paper by researchers at the National Institute of Health gives hope that concussions will soon be as easily diagnosed through a blood sample as high cholesterol is today.
The news of the promising concussion blood test comes as sad stories continue to roll in regarding former NFL players who suffered — and died — with the crippling effects of CTE, a brain disease brought on by repetitive blows to the head.
A month or so ago, researchers at Boston University announced that Kevin Turner, a former NFL player, died at age 46 from a motor neuron disease brought on by CTE. Turner had been suffering from CTE symptoms since at least 2010. He was the lead plaintiff in a class-action case with the NFL that has yet to be settled through the legal system.
Research is now showing that repetitive subconcussive blows to the head may be as damaging over the long-term — if not more so — than full-blown concussions.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, a recent study from Robert Stern, a neuropsychologist at Boston University’s School of Medicine, the risk of cognitive impairment, depression, apathy or other behavioral disorders later in life increased steadily every 1,000 impacts, whether or not concussions were involved.
NFL TV Ratings Are Sinking; Many Theories As to Why
The NFL is losing its massive grip on us. For whatever reason, we aren’t enthralled with “America’s Game” anymore.
Through seven weeks, NFL ratings were way off for Sunday Night Football (down 19 %), Monday Night Football (down 24%), and Thursday Night Football (down 18%). A World Series game between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians crushed a Sunday Night thriller between the Dallas Cowboys (formerly known as “America’s Team”) and the Philadelphia Eagles. It was the first time since 2011 that a World Series game had actually beaten Sunday Night Football.
Speculation as to why the ratings have dropped to such a degree are all over the board: from the contentious election season, to the constant interruptions by commercials and referees’ penalties, to Colin Kaepernick’s protest, to the concussion issue, to the plethora of mediocre teams, to the NFL’s incessant marketing of its brand.
I suspect it’s a lot simpler than all of that. I think the primary reason ratings are down is because the NFL is just increasingly boring.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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