B Page -- April 29, 2010

NCAA Bowl Analysis

Continued from A Page

The question S/A-Cleveland posited, “Is the MAC going to try to use some of the revenue from the five bowls (and maybe it isn't all that much) and contain a better portion of it within in the football programs in the league and at the individual schools to improve such programs as tutoring, study tables, counseling, planning and preparing better for a graduation schedule?” was never asked and it was not because of a lack of time.

After a few softball-typequestions were asked from mainstream media members (and they incidentally all referred to him as “Jon” as opposed to “Dr. Steinbrecher” despite the man having earned a doctorate, but maybe they address their physicians by first name as well) the moderator asked if there were any more questions, at least five seconds of dead air followed (audio file attached).

Of course the bar-stool type questions were important to answer as well, but it would have made sense to at least say “yes” or “no,” that the added revenue is going to or not going to benefit (particularly in the academic area) those male Student/Athletes who play a big part in generating the funds.

If it is because of feminist dogma having been a large part of college curriculum the past 40 years or for some other reason, men are not going to and staying in college at the numbers they were in previous generations. In the 1950s men made up about 90 percent of all college students but today make up only 40 percent. Title IX has been a good thing for binging more female Student/Athletes into colleges, but the question remains over whether that has been at the expense of actual and would-be male Student/Athletes.

The men’s Division I basketball tournament generates enough revenue to allow athletic programs to do neat things without going into the red (some of them have gone into the major red by the millions anyway). For instance, Mount Union’s football team almost annually plays five rounds of playoff games after the regular season. This five-week Division III tournament does not pay for itself. Much of he cost is covered through monies from the men’s D-I basketball tourney. In fact, the NCAA tries to avoid air travel until the Stagg Bowl for this tourney to keep the costs down.

Every level of college football (including NAIA and JUCO) has a playoff system except D-I, which has only the BCS Series. That has only been recent after it finally did away with the opinion championship that lasted for about a century.

The answer usually given for why D-I-A does not go to a single elimination tournament is that they do not want to give up the bowl revenue. Yet, when other reporters asked the MAC coaches questions about how the bowls helped them financially, they dodged the questions or merely deferred to, ”There really is not much money in those Bowl games other than the BCS.”

In money matters, most things are relative. The phrase “A lot of money” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Certainly, this is not to take a stab at the MAC since it is an excellent conference. This is merely used as an example to elucidate the more salient and national/general point that needs to be contemplated and debated here.

The irony is that Div. I football and men’s college basketball generate more revenue than just about everything else athletically combined yet those are the two sports that have the highest risk of those Student/Athletes who do not graduate despite attending college for four or five years or at least one or a half. On a more social level, one demographic has more male members in American prisons and jails than in colleges.

The fact is that football is a very masculine sport. If colleges want to attract and keep more men in colleges, football is a good route to go. Locally, statistics will reveal that additions of football have ramped up male enrollment at colleges such as Lake Erie in Painesville and Notre Dame in South Euclid. Whether these males are on the team or not, it brings in more males (Saturday afternoon football has been a staple of colleges since those old photos of the Princeton, Yale, Harvard and Rutgers guys in sweater in the 1800s). Incidentally, NDC’s male enrollment has increased dramatically over the past eight years with the addition of a dozen new men’s sports programs including football, making adding and keeping sports in general for male college students is a strong motivator for attracting and keeping those male students.

In fact, the only Cleveland-area Student/Athletes to be on a national championship team of any kind  this past Winter Sports Season were those on the NDC wrestling team, another masculine sport. Title IX was good for equalizing, but it seems as if whenever a male sport is dropped to have an equal number of female and male sports, it tends to be more often than not a masculine sport like football, wrestling or hockey – whether this is social engineering or not. Kent State had to drop men’s varsity hockey for no other reason other than it did not have a women’s team.

This writer has been on both ends. One of his three college alma maters dropped its football program about 10 years ago and another one is exploring adding one here in the second decade of the century. When the football coach at the former school tried to send an appeal letter to alumni to help save the football program, the college president intervened and discredited him. So much for free speech!

Now that damage has been done and those at the latter school are starting to realize this, which is why football is in a serious exploration process. Whether it is through bowl games, tournaments, more TV revenue, greater sponsorships, or through some other means, great sums of money are being brought in by those Student/Athletes participating in American football. Let’s just hope that it goes to help them succeed at the primary reason for their being there in the first place – their academic programs.

Listen to Q&A with Dr. Steinbrecher by clicking on link:



OAC Track Preview

Continued from A Page

Ohio Northern edged Baldwin-Wallace to claim its first women's outdoor title as the Polar Bears finished the meet with 125 points while the Yellow Jackets totaled 108. Capital and Otterbein tied for third with 97 points, and were followed by Marietta (82), Mount Union (78), Wilmington (69), Heidelberg (63), John Carroll (42) and Muskingum (16).

On the men’s side, nine individual champions from a year ago return to defend their titles led by Ohio Northern senior Alan Bowsher, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs en route to being honored as the 2009 Most Outstanding Distance Runner. 

Baldwin-Wallace looks to senior Greg Patrick, who won the shot put and finished second in the discus to earn the 2009 Most Outstanding Field Athlete honor while junior Kevin Phipps attempts to repeat as the discus champion.
Greg Patrick

Heidelberg returns senior Julius Higginbotham in the long jump and sophomore Jordan Karnes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. 
Elyria High alumnus Julius Higginbotham 

Muskingum will be led in the field by senior Jarryd Ridgeway and junior Demetrius Bailey. Ridgeway placed first in the javelin and Bailey won the triple jump. 

Wilmington sophomore Braden McMonigle and Otterbein sophomore Austin Curbow return to defend their titles in the high jump and 110-meter hurdles (15.36) respectively.

On the women’s side, 11 individual champions will be returning as meet host Mount Union returns four individual champions in seniors Aubrey Loy in the triple jump and Heather Stalter in the 10,000-meter run, junior Annie Patton in the javelin and sophomore Aubree Jones in the discus. Stalter also finished second in the 5,000 meters a year ago to be named the 2009 Most Outstanding Distance Runner. 

Capital also has four standout performers with sophomores Kwesi Seabrook in the 400-meter dash and Sarah Trick in the 800-meter run, senior Jessica Starks in the 200-meters and junior Emily Goerig in the shot put. Goerig also finished second in the discus to claim the 2009 Most Outstanding Field Athlete honors. 

Ohio Northern is led by sophomore Nicole Hope in the long jump, Wilmington returns senior Callen Martin in the 100-meters and the long jump and Baldwin-Wallace senior D’Arcy Hlavin returns in the 1,500-meters to round out the list.


The top three relay teams and individuals earn All-OAC honors for the 2010 season.

For the second straight year an OAC school will host the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet.  Marietta had the honors in 2009 and this year Baldwin-Wallace will host the nation's best on May 27-29 in Berea.