Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sporting News: 2 Items

There are two recent items related to athletics and UC, but in very different ways. The first refers to an item that arose somewhat mysteriously in a prior Regents meeting during the public comments period. A group complained that UC-San Francisco might be opposed to a new sports stadium. But what the issue was or just who might be opposed and why was unclear.

UCSF Monday officially threw its weight behind the Golden State Warriors’ plan to build an arena across from its hospital in Mission Bay, but that support is contingent on reaching a binding agreement with the city on how to handle traffic on days when there are major events at both nearby AT&T Park and the new basketball facility. UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood said six months of talks with the Warriors and city officials have led to a workable plan to handle traffic and parking on most days. The plan includes beefed-up public transit as well as a “traffic separation” plan aimed at funneling arena-bound cars onto certain streets while hospital and neighborhood vehicles are routed onto others. But Hawgood cautioned that UCSF and the city are still “one or two months away” from coming to an agreement on a traffic “trigger” mechanism — what that might be is being negotiated — that would kick in during large dual or overlapping events. This trigger would be “binding and enforceable” and would “be put into effect only after all current and potential future mitigations had been attempted.” ...The high-stakes battle pits the Warriors and Mayor Ed Lee’s administration against the Mission Bay Alliance, a well-funded coalition of UCSF donors and biotech executives who have hired no fewer than four law firms to fight the project on legal grounds. UCSF’s position on the Warriors’ proposal requires a tricky political balancing act. UCSF wants to be supportive of Lee, who could be an important ally as the school seeks permission to expand its Mission Bay campus with new research buildings and a housing complex in Dogpatch. At the same time, there are UCSF constituencies that oppose the arena, including major donors, former board members and the powerful California Nurses Association...

Full story at

The sport of politics is clearly more fascinating than professional sports.


The second item (sent to me by Bette Billet) deals with a more conventional controversy about collegiate athletics and the issue of whether some of the major sports have become de facto professional teams playing under university umbrellas. The NCAA has proposed some rules which - if they were enforced to the letter - would produce notable changes. From the NCAA:

On Tuesday, the Division I Council sponsored a Committee on Academics-drafted proposal – the result of more than two years of deliberation – that would change the way the division regulates academic misconduct... The proposal would set the expectation that all students and staff members act with honesty and integrity and would define academic misconduct, impermissible academic assistance and other academic improprieties that may occur at a school...
  • Intercollegiate athletics programs shall be maintained as a vital component of the educational program and athletes shall be an integral part of the student body.
  • Academic misconduct legislation should be consolidated in one location in the Division I manual.
  • Involvement of staff or coaches in athlete academic misconduct should be an NCAA violation.
  • Schools must have and adhere to written academic misconduct policies...
The proposal defines impermissible academic assistance as:
  • Substantial academic assistance to a student-athlete not generally available to the school’s students or not expressly authorized by other Division I rules that causes the student to be declared eligible, receive aid or earn an Academic Progress Rate point.
  • Creating an academic exception for a student-athlete to improve a grade, earn credit or meet a graduation requirement that is not generally available to the rest of the student body and that causes the student to be declared eligible, receive aid or earn an Academic Progress Rate point falsely.

There is a devil/details issue and an interpretation issue wrapped up in the second item.

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