Marsha Blackburn and Cory Booker — now there’s two names you don’t expect to see co-authoring a Senate bill. But I guess if there’s one thing that can bridge the ever-widening political chasm in the United States, it’s the universal experience of being fed up with the NCAA.
Yesterday, the NCAA Accountability Act of 2021 was introduced in the Senate in an attempt to bring due process and equity to the NCAA’s infraction investigation process.
This new bill will crack down on the crackdowns, giving NCAA violations a two-year statute of limitations, meaning that any misstep reported two or more years after it happened will no longer be eligible for investigation. The previous statute of limitations was four years.
The NCAA will have 60 days after launching an investigation to notify the school that such an investigation is being launched, and then will be required to hold the hearing within a year after the notice is given.
The NCAA will also have a limit of eight months to give the school a detailed report on the allegations that they are facing, and will no longer be able to use confidential sources as evidence in presenting these allegations. It will also overhaul the appeals process. If the bill passes, and the NCAA were to violate its restrictions, the organization would face a fine up to $15 million and a removal of a member of the Board of Governors.
The college sports landscape has experienced the equivalent of an earthquake registering on the upper end of the Richter scale over the past year or so, as a new constitution proposes some pretty major changes in governance and the organization tries to figure out how to handle name, image, and likeness (NIL) regulations. Facing criticism from all sides and an unfriendly Supreme Court decision, the organization’s unyielding and largely unregulated grip over the lives of college athletes is slowly being loosened.
This is, in short, great news for participating schools, and bad news for an organization already backlogged with years-old investigations into infractions. A major issue with the current NCAA investigation structure is that, often, players and coaches who weren’t at the school when the infraction occurred are receiving the brunt of the punishment, whether that be a postseason ban or a scholarship reduction, years after the player or coach who broke the rules has left the school.
The NCAA discipline process is notoriously random and subjective in the schools they choose to penalize as well as the penalties they choose to enforce. Cooperation is punished, non-cooperation is overlooked, schools with very similar cases receive very dissimilar consequences.
Athletes still await a national set of rules for NIL, which have as of yet been determined state-to-state, a divide that is sure to cause some problems as the program grows and athletes and sponsors have to determine which fine line they must walk in whatever state they’re in. But the very presence of NIL deals — and particularly, Adidas’ new widespread sponsorship announcement — schools involved in a 2017 FBI probe into illegal recruitment using Adidas reps may have some more ground to stand on against the quickly-destabilizing NCAA.
There are currently four schools under investigation from the 2017 probe— LSU, Kansas (who are playing in the Final Four this weekend, coached by the man under investigation), Louisville, and Arizona — who, five years later, still await a decision from the NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolution Process. Tennessee is also under investigation for infractions from their previous football staff, all of whom have since departed, and Memphis awaits a decision from an investigation that started in 2019.
Chelsea FC: Brilliant Badiashile leading way for new signings as Thiago Silva partnership blossoms
His promising early form at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea will hope, hint at better times to come through their new signings.
The arrival of French centre-back Badiashile at the start of last month kick-started a record January spending spree of more than £300m.
After Chelsea were sent spiralling into crisis with defeats by Manchester City and Fulham, Badiashile made his debut in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
After the Blues claimed a further two clean sheets in 0-0 draws away at Liverpool and at home to Fulham, he is building an impressive partnership with Thiago Silva.
Badiashile was one of five new signings to feature in Friday’s 0-0 draw with Fulham. He started alongside £106.8m Enzo Fernandez, who started well but faded over 90 minutes, £89.5m Mykhailo Mudryk, who struggled over 45 minutes while carrying a cold, and £30m Noni Madueke, who was bright after being brought on at half-time.
“What a waste of money” was the regular chant from the Fulham fans in the away end.
That felt harsh in Badiashile’s case. With his size and speed, he looks like a perfect partner for 38-year-old veteran Silva.
In addition, he showed the ability to play brilliantly out of Fulham’s well-drilled press and he coped in his duels against Aleksandar Mitrovic.
There is still adaption to be done, as Graham Potter barked instructions about his positioning in relation to Silva.
However, using French to communicate with the former Paris Saint-Germain captain, Badiashile has helped steady the ship in the absence of the injured Wesley Fofana, and with Kalidou Koulibaly out of form.
While still only averaging just 1.05 goals per game in the Premier League, Chelsea will draw more than they win unless their new midfielders and forwards step up.
Arriving in the weeks after Badiashile, the likes of Fernandez, Joao Felix, Mudryk and Madueke have not had as much time to adapt to their surroundings.
With Chelsea still in 10th place and increasingly falling behind in the race to qualify for Europe, they must follow Badiashile’s lead and hit the ground running before time runs out.
Reporter’s notebook: Jesse Marsch’s Leeds side showed encouraging signs at times but lack of points cost him his job | Football News
Jesse Marsch was approaching his one-year anniversary as Leeds United head coach before the decision was taken on Monday to relieve him of his duties.
The defeat to Nottingham Forest a day earlier had been the final straw for the Leeds board, who were all aligned in the view that a change was necessary after almost three months without a Premier League win.
The recent statistics paint a grim picture for Leeds. Seven Premier League games without a win and just two wins in the last 17 league games. And against Forest, although they dominated in the first half and created the better chances, a worrying pattern had started to develop which had become a huge concern for fans. Leeds were producing performances with lots of positives, but not enough points.
There is little doubt that a large proportion of the fan base had lost patience with Marsch, and they made their frustrations clear at the full-time whistle on Sunday with calls for a change of head coach.
What is very evident is that Leeds have not kicked on this season. At times there have been really promising signs, but the fans and the board at Leeds wanted more. Marsch will feel that with time he could have delivered more, but he was also realistic enough to know that he was walking a tightrope.
I got to know Jesse well during his 12 months at Elland Road and it was abundantly clear he cared passionately about the club. He understood what it meant to be head coach of Leeds United and what the club meant to the city and the fans. And he has to be given great credit for keeping Leeds in the Premier League last season.
Although it hasn’t worked out for Marsch this season, there is a strong argument to suggest that the next Leeds boss will be in a great position to move the club forward.
Patrick Bamford and Luis Sinisterra are now fit, and the January additions should make the starting line-up stronger. The club has also invested heavily in young players and one of those, Willy Gnonto, has emerged as one of the shining lights of the season.
Those factors have created an expectation that Leeds are better than their current league position, and that means a reluctance to accept another season fighting to avoid the drop. It also means that there are reasons to be optimistic about the future.
The process of finding a replacement for Marsch is already underway and Leeds hope to make a swift appointment. A move for Marcelo Bielsa is highly unlikely, but West Brom boss Carlos Corberan, who worked under Bielsa, is a candidate, while Ange Postecoglou at Celtic has also been linked.
It is also worth noting Leeds have a track record of leftfield appointments, so as they work through their list of targets, there is a good chance that a candidate emerges that could surprise everybody.
In the meantime, Michael Skubala, Paco Gallardo and Chris Armas will take training at Thorp Arch, and will be in the dugout for Wednesday’s Premier League fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
February 8: Manchester United (A) – kick-off 8pm
February 12: Manchester United (H) – kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports
February 18: Everton (A) – kick-off 3pm
February 25: Southampton (H) – kick-off 3pm
March 4: Chelsea (A) – kick-off 3pm
March 11: Brighton (H) – kick-off 3pm
March 18: Wolves (A) – kick-off 3pm
Tom Brady in his underwear is taking over Twitter
It’s Super Bowl week, and if you thought Tom Brady was going to let this week go by without being all up in your timeline…well. Just a week after announcing he’s retiring from football (you’ll never convince me he didn’t play an extra year just to stick it to Adam Schefter), Tom Brady has dropped his first thirst trap on Twitter. Or, attempted thirst trap. Actually, IS this a thirst trap?
As will many things Tom Brady, the attempt to be cool and edgy just winds up being sterile, boring, and kinda sad. A beige man in a beige room in beige underwear with a “pleass clap” look on his face.
And because OF COURSE:
Yes, Tom. We all knew the plug as coming. I’m not sure what color “heather crimson” is supposed to be, but I believe this is what we used to call “puce,” which… meh. The fact that there is something called the “Brady Boxer Brief” is enough to make me want to stick my head in the oven, because you know there are guys in New England burning up the internet right now to wear the same undies as their hero. And even more so because no amount of refusing to mask during COVID, vouching for Antonio Brown, stumping for Donald Trump, or getting a PPP loan during a nationwide pandemic is enough to get people to stop buying what this guy is selling. He’s even gotten to Jane Fonda, for crying out loud.
Of course, this entire thing was set up by Brady’s own brand:
So…whatever. It’s Super Bowl week and everyone is talking about Tom Brady, which is exactly how he wants it to be.
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