college sports http://michiganradio.org en Should college athletes be considered school employees? http://michiganradio.org/post/should-college-athletes-be-considered-school-employees <p></p><p></p><p>Earlier this spring, the National Labor Relations Board made big headlines when it granted Northwestern University football players permission to unionize if they chose to.&nbsp;</p><p>That decision has opened up a big national discussion and debate over whether college athletes should be recognized as school employees.&nbsp;</p><p>So we wanted to bring in sports commentator and coach, John U. Bacon. His most recent book is<a href="http://johnubacon.com/fourth-and-long-the-fight-for-the-soul-of-college-football/"> Fourth and Long: the Fight for the Soul of College Football</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Tue, 06 May 2014 19:28:58 +0000 Stateside Staff 17452 at http://michiganradio.org Should college athletes be considered school employees? Tackling the student-athlete double standard http://michiganradio.org/post/tackling-student-athlete-double-standard <p>What happens at the intersection of college athletics and college academics?&nbsp;</p><p>To what degree are student athletes allowed to get by with a lighter academic load, enabling them to play the games that are such moneymakers for the school and the NCAA?</p><p>That question is being asked more frequently today, often to the great discomfort of those who run colleges and universities, and their athletic programs.</p><p>To talk about the student-athlete double standard, we welcomed Paul Barrett of Bloomberg Businessweek. His recent piece is titled, "<a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-27/in-fake-classes-scandal-unc-fails-its-athletes-whistle-blower">In Fake Classes Scandal, UNC Fails Its Athletes – and Whistle-blower</a>." &nbsp;</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:31:06 +0000 Stateside Staff 17223 at http://michiganradio.org Tackling the student-athlete double standard Move toward a college football player's union should be a wake-up call for the NCAA http://michiganradio.org/post/move-toward-college-football-players-union-should-be-wake-call-ncaa <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb2dafbb-2ca3-b35c-fd1d-bf491f003b67"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Last week’s ruling made a big splash, but it’s actually very narrow. The decision by the National Labor Relations Board applies only to private schools. Further, the players still have to vote on it, and the university is going to appeal, in any case.</span></span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1;">But the players have been very shrewd, starting with their leader, senior quarterback </span>Kain<span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1;"> </span>Colter<span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1;">. I got to know him while researching my latest book, and he’s a very impressive young man. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:33:24 +0000 John U. Bacon 17100 at http://michiganradio.org Move toward a college football player's union should be a wake-up call for the NCAA Viva la bearcat! The most wonderfully bizarre mascots of the NCAA http://michiganradio.org/post/viva-la-bearcat-most-wonderfully-bizarre-mascots-ncaa <p>The Madness of March has officially commenced, bringing along its usual mix of bracket trash talk, early upsets, and billion-dollar promises.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And, of course, mascots.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For Michigan fans, March Madness has brought out our usual suspects: the Wolverines, the Spartans, and, for a fleeting moment, the Broncos.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And while many (</span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/president-obama-picks-michigan-state-win-mens-ncaa-tourney" style="line-height: 1.5;">including the president</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">) think that the Great Lakes State has some winning teams, on a mascot level, we sure don’t compete.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The St. Louis </span>Billikens<span style="line-height: 1.5;">? The Tulsa Golden Hurricane? And what in the name of all things sports is a </span>Bearcat<span style="line-height: 1.5;">?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So here it is, in all its glory — a glimpse of some of the mascot heroes of this year’s &nbsp;March Madness.</span></p><p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">How a vaguely scary good-luck charm became a fifth-seeded mascot</span></strong></p><p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 16:45:16 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16932 at http://michiganradio.org Viva la bearcat! The most wonderfully bizarre mascots of the NCAA Write these 2014 sports predictions down. You won't be disappointed. http://michiganradio.org/post/write-these-2014-sports-predictions-down-you-wont-be-disappointed <p>Since I review the year in sports each December, my editor thought, “Hey, why not preview the year in sports in January?!?”</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Why not? Because I have no idea what’s going to happen. Nobody does.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">That’s why we watch sports: We don’t know how it’s going to end. It’s also why we shouldn’t watch pregame shows: everybody is just guessing.&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 13:49:57 +0000 John U. Bacon 16064 at http://michiganradio.org Write these 2014 sports predictions down. You won't be disappointed. Pressure builds on Michigan Football as Athletic Department's budget grows http://michiganradio.org/post/pressure-builds-michigan-football-athletic-departments-budget-grows <p>I’ve often joked that some Michigan football fans aren’t happy unless they’re not happy.&nbsp; But after 11 games this season, even they could be excused for having plenty to be unhappy about. A week ago, the Wolverines were 3-and-4 in the Big Ten, with undefeated Ohio State coming up next.&nbsp;</p><p>The Wolverines had been surprisingly bad all season -- until the Ohio State game, when they were suddenly, surprisingly good, falling short by just one point in the final minute.&nbsp; It was the first time I have ever seen Michigan fans feeling better after a loss than before it.&nbsp;</p><p>Still, the heroic performance was bittersweet.</p><p>Where was <em>that</em> team all year?&nbsp; Which team will return next year – the one that got crushed by Michigan State, or the one that almost beat the Buckeyes?</p><p>But Michigan’s bigger problems are off the field, not on it. Fri, 06 Dec 2013 16:42:52 +0000 John U. Bacon 15552 at http://michiganradio.org Pressure builds on Michigan Football as Athletic Department's budget grows