Archive for June, 2011

I recently read an article where the writer announced the top 10 toughest places he thought there was to play. You may or may not have heard of him but he writes for Yahoo Sports, his name is Jason King.  Here’s his rankings, and I’ll spoil it now Wisconsin was his 4th toughest and Purdue was his overall 9th toughest place.  But, like promised, here you go:

  1. Allen Fieldhouse = Kansas
  2. Cameron Indoor Stadium = Duke
  3. Carrier Dome = Syracuse
  4. Kohl Center = Wisconsin
  5. The Pit = New Mexico
  6. Rupp Arena = Kentucky
  7. Comcast Center = Maryland
  8. Petersen Events Center = Pittsburgh
  9. Mackey Arena = Purdue
  10. Bramlage Coliseum = Kansas State

Also mentioned were: North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Villanova, Arizona, Michigan State, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Texas, BYU, and Memphis. 

I agree with most of his rankings. However, I don’t see how The Pit for New Mexico made the list at all and I disagree with the Comcast Center’s placement.  What in the heck has New Mexico done in the last 20 years basketball wise? Nothing is what I can think of.  And Maryland hasn’t been good in years. To me when considering what arena’s should be thought of as “tough to play in” I think of the program’s recent success.  How well do they thrive off their crowd? How dominant is this team? Especially at home? When I think about the toughest places to play I don’t think about how the arena was constructed, how many people can fit inside, nor how loud it could get if everybody in the stadium was screaming.  Personally, New Mexico and Maryland just don’t cut it.  If you ask me North Carolina and Michigan State (or even Texas) should be moved onto the list in place of New Mexico and Maryland.  Oh well I suppose. Everybody has the right to their opinions and has the right to express them.  Shortly I will post my rankings of the toughest places to play in the Big Ten.  And, if you’re a Nebraska fan I apologize now, I have them 12th out of 12. So, stay tuned for my opinions on the toughest Big Ten arenas to play in!


Thanks for reading!


Should NCAA Student Athletes be paid?

The new hot topic among all college athletics is whether or not college athletes should be paid.  The first that I’ve heard to address this topic is Penn State’s assistant football coach Jay Paterno and the Big Ten Conference.  I’ve heard rumors that the Big Ten will be giving their athletes $5,000 for their participation.  I have no idea whether or not this is true. From my current research there’s no actual evidence that this is true.

Assistant Penn State Football coach Jay Paterno

Jay Paterno has stated that the NCAA should not withhold athletes from making money for their participation.  Jay Bilas of ESPN even went as far as to say, “I believe barriers should be removed that limit an athlete from receiving fair compensation for his or her image and likeness”.

I find that to be a very strange statement from such a renowned, and some would argue; well respected, author from ESPN.  However, we’re all permitted to have and share our opinions.  That’s what makes America better than Canada (That and Hockey. Get it. It’s a joke about Boston beating Vancouver for the Stanley Cup).  My first thoughts on this subject however leave me to feel that paying college athletes is wrong and dumb.  Isn’t that what professional athletics is for?

ESPN writer Jay Bilas

After much debate with myself on this subject I’ve decided that I disagree and agree that college athletes should be paid/compensated/or what have you depending on the level they play at.

Division I: No. Most of these athletes have some portion of their tuition, room and board, and other school fees paid for, if not all of it.  I realize that these athletes bring in a lot of money for the schools and institutions they play for. However, they’re getting paid in a sense. Their education is being paid for and they get to travel a bunch for games for free! Not to mention they get compensated for trips home for multiple reasons (I also consider D I AA in this category).

Division II: I feel that D II athletes shouldn’t be paid either. I’m not quite sure how much money these students are given for their tuition bills in scholarships or how much free apparel they receive but I still don’t think these athletes should be paid or compensated for merely being an athlete.  They also get to travel for free to and from games.

Division III: Interestingly enough I do think D III athletes should receive small monetary amounts for their performances.  As a graduated D III athlete I feel a small compensation would help these athletes out a whole bunch! I don’t think they should be paid anymore than $1,000 a year (which I think would be too much anyway) but, I do think they should get some sort of compensation for their services to the institution.  Maybe it was just the school I attended but I received no pride apparel to show my love, passion, and support for my team or other teams at my school. I attended as many games, for other teams at my school, as I could and to support my Buccaneers I had to wear Beloit Buccaneer Football shirts.  We also didn’t travel too far and the places D III schools are aren’t much to look at nor spend time in.  Personally, I think D III athletes should be given a small amount of money to help pay for food, admission to other sporting events, and school apparel to show their school spirit around campus and at other athletic events.

I realize how much time and commitment it takes to play college athletics.  I’ve been there and lived it. I wouldn’t change anything from my college athletic career but, having a few bucks sent my way at the D III level would have been very nice and extremely helpful.  However, I know for a fact that in the upper levels of the NCAA athletes are taken care of very generously and well.  If the NCAA starts paying athletes where will the NCAA go to next? I don’t want to think about it, honestly.

I’m already not too happy with NCAA basketball as it is at the moment. With the new rule changes I’m pretty angry about the charge arc being implemented into the game.  But, that’s another issue.

Yes, college student athletes spend a lot of time preparing (2 hour workouts all year, games =being there 3 hours early for home games and more for away games + the time it takes for the game, 4 hours of meetings in a week, 15 hours of practice each week, a lot of time per week is needed in order to be succesful come game time)  for their sport even during the off season (I worked out during the winter, winter break from school, spring, and summer break for football) so I understand the costs of being an athlete. The gym membership cost is just one example. There are many costs but also many more benefits of being a college athlete, there’s no reason to start compensating and paying student athletes.  Overall, I do not feel student athletes should get paid. However, I have different feelings for each playing level.  But, in the long run they are STUDENT Athletes. Students first and athletes second.  So, why should they be paid unlike their counter parts who come to cheer them on during their games? Again, A whole other issue.

Thanks for reading….I would love to hear others thoughts and opinions on this issue so please leave a comment!!!!!

Jacob Tucker

The 5’11” guard Jacob Tucker has been drafted….Just a few days too soon it seems (before the NBA draft).  It was anounced that Jacob Tucker was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters. 

Jacob Tucker the High Flyer

Tucker won the 2011  NCAA Slam Dunk Contest.  Not only was he one of the shortest contestants he was THE only Division III contestant.  Tucker’s name was learned after he added a video of himself and his dunking skills on youtube in March 2011.  The short guard with “mad hops” didn’t dissapoint during the contest and took away the first place prize and bragging rights. 

Tucker played for the Illinois College Blueboys. The Blueboys are in the Midwest Conference at the DIII level. (I actually played football in the same conference).  I had the pleasure of not only watching this star but I also had the chance to talk smack to him while shooting free throws and such, but it didn’t really do much nor help much! Tucker, 5’11”, averaged 14.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 1.8 steals this past season at IC as a senior.  He also scored well over 1,000 points in his four year career with the Illinois College Blueboys.

Jacob is one of six players that were drafted by the Globetrotters this year.  When asked his thoughts about this amazing opportunity Tucker responded, “It’s definitely an honor because everybody knows who (the Globetrotters) are and I know all the good things they do besides just playing basketball. I’ve always wanted to be a part of something like that. I just need to look into the details of it before I agree to anything.”

Beer Sales?

West Virginia will start selling beer at Athletic Activities starting in the 2011-2012 seasons

West Virginia University has recently released that they will start serving beer at athletic sporting events.  To any, of age, college students this is awesome news.  Why is it awesome news to all, of age, college students and not just WVU students? This new move is a step forward to other schools making the decision to start making some easy money and funding some of their athletic programs the easy way! WVU announced that they will start selling beer at school football and basketball games.  Something their of age fans will appreciate very much.  Some could make jokes towards the Mountaineers about this decision but I applaud WVU! Here are just a few first thoughts on this decision as to why I like it.



Obnoxious WVU fan

West Virginia doesn’t usually have any problems getting fans into games or attracting fans to games. However, this decision will possibly make going to these games much more attractive.  Have any of you readers been to a NFL, NBA, or even a MLB game? If you’re of age and able to buy a beer you’re most likely to agree that this ability is awesome! It makes the game so much more enjoyable.  Yeah, the beer is way too expensive and over priced but that’s the least of most people’s worries who have spent way too much already on tickets!

Another issue that’s brought up when talking about this is underage drinking.  Do I think it’s going to stop underage binge drinking before these college games start? No, I don’t think it will stop. However, I don’t think it will be as much of a problem.  WVU also stated that A) no vendors would be selling in student sections B) you must have a valid, and of age, ID and C) only 2 beers would be sold during each purchase.  To me, I think students wanting to drink will not feel as pressured to binge drink before going to games.  Usually college students are pretty cool with buying for underagers (though that can get them in a whole bunch of trouble).  I feel that younger students will think to themselves, “Hey they sell beer at the games now. I can just drink a few there!”.  Some of you may be asking what if they don’t know anyone who is 21 years of age or older? Here’s my answer. Have you ever been around a group of college students? Most aren’t very shy and are willing to ask someone, “Hey where did you get that beer? Oh, you bought it? Would you mind buying me and my buddy one if we give you some extra cash?”.  That happens a lot on college campuses.  It’s unfortunate but it happens.  So, no I don’t think it will stop pre-game binge drinking by underage drinkers but it will calm it down a bit! Which is always good news.

I also like this decision because selling beer at a game is not only cheap but, it also brings in a lot of revenue.  By selling beer at games you have the ability as an institution to select the prices of the beverages.  This can really help you raise a whole bunch of money.  So who wouldn’t sell for a high price in hopes of making a lot of money and having the chance to cut down pre-game binge drinking? To me it’s a no brainer.  If you make the right amount you can also help fund other school athletics and activities with some of the revenue you’re bringing in from these sales.

I also feel that at some schools that do not have good attendance at major sporting events such as football and/or basketball selling beer could potentially help increase attendance at these events! And, if you’re increasing attendance because of this you’ll be making more money to use for your choice. Point proven.

Here’s my last and final thought/opinion on why I think selling beer at college games is a good decision/idea.  I went to a division III school, Beloit College, and played football.  My freshman year attendance at our games by students was terrible.  By my senior year student attendance was a whole lot better.  When there were more students it was much more fun to play and a lot more enjoyable to play. You could say having a crowd to play for is motivation to do well! I was also a huge fan of both our Men’s and Women’s basketball programs and loved going to their games.  But, I think going to these basketball games and being able to buy some beer would have been awesome.  I think any fan at our football games would say the same thing. I also think more people would have gone to any games thinking, “I like to drink. I love this school I go to. I kind of like basketball (or football). Why should I not go to this game and have a few beers?” Most of the kids I went to school with I know would go to the games and have a couple of beers.  And, it wouldn’t have meant anything to the players whether these students were there to drink or to watch. They’d just be happy to have more fans in the stands!

These are the following reasons why I think selling beer at NCAA sporting events is a good idea.  I’m sure after thinking about it more I’ll come up with more reasons as to why I like it and I’ll potentially come up with ideas as how institutions could make this the best possible choice for their school.  As for now I hope you enjoyed what you read and I hope that you are not afraid to voice your opinions or thoughts in my comment box! Thank you all for reading! Hope you all have a great day/night…I hope you enjoyed and hope you enjoy this last picture!

Have a nice day/night!