For 33 years, I taught classes at the University of Missouris
main campus in Columbia. Every year, I felt my indignation kick in
as students, fellow faculty, administrators, staff, alumni and
townspeople with no direct connection to MU seemed to show more
concern about the football and basketball teams than about teaching
It turns out some folks have been feeling similar indignation
since the 1850s, with the dawning of intercollegiate athletics.
Ronald A. Smith, a professor of sports history at Pennsylvania
State University, has documented the indignation and the failed
attempts at reform in a book remarkable for its breadth and
The book is part of a series called Sports and Society
published by the University of Illinois Press, with headquarters in
Urbana. A list of all the books forming the series is at the back
of Smiths tome, and is impressive. There have been 50 titles so
far, including a previous book by Smith about football at Harvard
University during 1905.
For would-be reformers of college athletics such as myself,
Smiths book is profoundly depressing. Even a future president of
the United States, Woodrow Wilson -- generally considered an
intellectual -- became an unabashed advocate of big-time sports at
his university, Princeton, helping coach the football team. When
Wilson ascended to the presidency of Princeton, he saw the
out-of-control boosterism from a different perspective, and tried
to institute measures that would have brought athletics and
academics into better balance. He failed. Smith quotes Wilson as
saying, The sideshow has swallowed up the circus.
To understand what went wrong (or, a majority might argue, what
did not go wrong), Smith examines the mania for college athletics
from multiple perspectives: students, student-athletes on
scholarship, faculty, coaches, athletic directors, university
presidents, university governing boards, alumni, nonalumni fans of
the teams, financial donors to universities, legislators, judges,
journalists, outside study and advocacy groups, plus, later, the
National Collegiate Athletic Association. Not so incidentally, the
NCAA began its life during the first decade of the 20th century,
primarily in response due to deaths and serious injuries on college
At first, reformers believed university presidents -- often
fervent academics with doctorates -- would lead the way to sanity.
Wrong. Smith has studied the papers of countless university
presidents, current and former. His conclusion: Presidents are
knowledgeable about the problems in athletics, but they are often
the chief cheerleaders for their institution, and though they often
offer high-sounding words about reform, their actions do not always
coincide with their rhetoric.
For all its interesting, super-heated language, the book is
scholarly to the extreme and relentlessly chronological. Smith
opens with a rowing (crew) competition between Harvard and Yale
universities in 1852, and builds from there.
Oh yes, getting back to academics, the stated primary purpose of
colleges and universities: Smith says Nearly always, a stated
reason for reform (of athletics) has been to further academic
integrity. Seldom has this been the primary accomplishment of
How come? Here is Smith again: It is difficult, if not
impossible, to attempt to create athletic programs that are
educationally sound and based on principles of amateurism when the
historical model for well over a century is professional in many
respects and generally financed commercially.
Reformers operate from other motives, too. On many campuses,
big-time athletics damage morale of faculty and staff, who see
stratospheric football and basketball coaches salaries as
everybody else swallows reductions. Athletic programs sometimes
increase budget deficits rather than earn money for the campuses.
Furthermore, students sometimes suffer serious injuries due to the
brutality that comes along with the winning-at-all-costs
So, I will continue my tiny protest by boycotting MU football
and basketball games and occasionally speaking out. Many of my
colleagues and friends will make fun of me, as they always have,
and I will probably die without seeing even a bit of meaningful
Steve Weinberg is a book reviewer and author in Columbia,
'Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic
By Ronald A. Smith
University of Illinois Press, 344 pages, $30
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri House voted Wednesday to require information about the governors travel to be posted on a state website, emphasizing lawmakers concern about how Gov. Jay Nixon has used state planes.
House members voted without dissent to require that gubernatorial travel records be posted to an existing website that already includes information about state expenses. Budget Committee chairman Ryan Silvey, who suggested requiring the travel information be posted, said getting records about Nixons travel had been time-consuming and that posting the details online would boost transparency.
Under the measure, the dates, time, destination and duration of trips would be posted. Plus, the purpose of the trip, passengers accompanying the governor, and detailed travel expenses would need to be disclosed.
One of the things we had a hard time finding transparency in is travel, said Silvey, R-Kansas City.
Lawmakers have begun taking a closer look at Gov. Jay Nixons travel. Earlier this year, Republican and Democratic House leaders said they planned to block state departments from helping to pay for gubernatorial travel in the state spending plan that takes effect in July.
The legislation needs another vote before moving to the state Senate.
The governors office has billed a specific department and sometimes split the costs among about a dozen state offices when the trips have no direct connection to specific agencies.
Nixon has defended his travel. Previously, the governor said it was both appropriate and efficient to bill departments, especially when agency officials accompany him on trips related to issues they oversee.
Nixon also contrasted his approach -- in which the costs, passenger lists and destinations of his flights are a public record -- with that of his predecessor. Former governor Matt Blunt traveled on private planes that were paid for using campaign funds, which saved the state money but did not allow others to know who was flying with him. Blunt used a state airplane after announcing that he would not seek re-election.
The gubernatorial travel portion was part of a broader bill that expands the information on the Missouri Accountability Portal. Under the bill given first-round approval Wednesday, details about school districts and municipal and county governments also would be posted to the website. Among the information to be posted online would be the budgets for local governments and the salaries, benefits and extra duty compensation of employees.
(NECN: Tom Langford) - From cold weather delays, to trash on the trains, citizens who ride MBTAs commuter rail lines can sound off about their concerns this morning.
Hugh Kiley, the general managers of the MBCR - the company that operates the Ts commuter trains - meets riders at North Station, and apologizes for all the delayed and canceled trains this winter.
The series of snowstorms wreaked havoc on train equipment and on the life of a commuter.
It was nuts, said one commuter. People were frustrated and it was cold and you look up at the board and all the trains were canceled and people are saying, my trains canceled, now what? And theres not many options, youre just stuck.
Those are complaints that Kiley wants to hear about.
Its a good listening, he said. It gives everyone an opportunity to put the issues on the table and for the MBCR to take those issues back and think about them and put action plans against them to go back to restoring the credibility of our railroad to the customers.
Thats already happened with some commuters, who are giving the railroad the benefit of the doubt.
I think I understand why it would be difficult in the winter.
Snowstorms are a snowstorm, theres nothing you can do about it, really. Welcome to New England!
But Kiley says, he hears the commuters who say the trains need to be more reliable... and hope more maintenance and better communication about delayed trains will help restore commuter confidence.
Wed hopefully like to have people back that may have left for other forms of transportation comeback to using our rail lines, said Kiley.
SAN ANGELO, Texas --
As the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce celebrated 95 years of service at its annual banquet in January, it also looked forward to a 2011 of continued dedication to its mission: promoting business.
Economic growth and stability are primarily accomplished through the retention and expansion of existing jobs, along with the creation and attraction of new ones. Therefore, the majority of activity planned by the San Angelo Chamber in 2011 is focused on services to existing employers.
In the chambers goals, you will find many examples of traditional business support functions, such as marketing opportunities, networking events, and referral services. But you will also discover many less traditional focuses that contribute to business success and job growth, including leadership training, education and training pursuits, diversity business support, legislative advocacy, drag boat races and social networking guidance.
Under Board Chairman Jim H. Hughes 2011 theme of Team San Angelo, the chambers focus will include a heavy emphasis on the following partnerships:
Whether its assisting businesses with formulating or updating a business plan, financing options, facilities, job training or regulatory issues, the chamber is working closely with economic development allies that include the City of San Angelo Development Corp., Angelo State Universitys Small Business Development Center, Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley, Downtown San Angelo, the Incubator and many others.
Public Sector Partnerships
The stage is set for close interaction with the city of San Angelo at many different levels, including economic development planning and execution, tourism and event promotion. We also have activities planned interfacing with Tom Green County, state Rep. Drew Darby and state Sen. Robert Duncan, US Congressman Mike Conaway, US Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, Goodfellow Air Force Base, the Texas Department of Transportation, the San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization, and several other entities.
Education and Workforce Training
Through the San Angelo P-16+ Education Partnership, the chamber is actively involved in everything from pre-kindergarten to lifelong learning and workforce training. Partnering with the chamber in these areas are the San Angelo Independent School District, ASU, Howard College, the West Texas Training Center, private and charter education, and Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley.
The chamber will continue its historic collaborations with more than 60 nonprofit organizations that provide services in San Angelo and the Concho Valley.
For detailed information on the goals and projects that the chambers Convention amp; Visitors Bureau, Economic Development Division and Membership Services Division have committed to, please come by the San Angelo Visitor Center, 418 W. Avenue B, and ask for a copy of the chambers 2011 Plan of Action and Annual Report.
Phil Neighbors is the president and CEO of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOONE--Challenges related to personal relationships, followed by depression and anxiety are among the top stressors of today's college students.
"Difficulty dealing with relationships, whether it's relationships with friends or family members or intimate relationships, has been the No. 1 stress-related issue facing our students for as long as I have been in college counseling," said Dr. Denise Lovin, a psychologist in Appalachian's Counseling and Psychological Services Center since 1996.
"Developmentally, a focus of college students is on family relationships and how they are changing, living with a roommate for the first time, and developing intimate relationships," Lovin explained. "College is a time when students are coming to know who they are in relation to another person."
A group of Appalachian students called Mental Health Ambassadors is expanding the work of Lovin and other counselors to help students to deal with their struggles associated with relationships and transitioning to college life.
The ambassadors don't provide one-on-one counseling with students. "That's not what they are trained to do," Lovin explained. "They are trained to give presentations on a variety of mental health topics, such as conflict management, healthy self-esteem and stress management. It's been really popular," Lovin said of the program, both in terms of membership and presentations.
The ambassadors receive a two-day orientation and meet weekly to discuss a variety of topics. They work in pairs to present programs to classes, student clubs, fraternities and sororities and student-athletes. The programs, typically 50-minutes long, are designed to facilitate conversations with students about the various issues they face.
"Research shows that the greatest influence for positive behavior is peer pressure," Lovin said. "The Mental Health Ambassadors help us raise awareness about mental health issues and struggles and encourage students to take better care of their mental health, and if needed take advantage of the Counseling Center's services. They also help remove the stigma associated with seeking counseling services. It sends a powerful impact when that message comes from a peer rather than a psychologist or other professional in the field."
The 16 students in the MHA organization tend to be majors in areas such as psychology or social work, but membership is open to any interested sophomore, junior or senior. "It's open to any student who is invested in promoting positive mental health. It also provides a way to meet other people with that shared passion." Freshman aren't accepted as mental health ambassadors as Lovin and others in the counseling center believe it's important for the ambassadors to have had a year's experience as a college student.
A recent national survey indicated that 52 percent of college freshmen rated their emotional health as above average, compared to 64 percent of freshmen who viewed their mental health as positive in 1985. The survey, "The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010," listed stress related to the economy, worries about college debt, depression and other factors that are affecting students' mental and emotional health.
"A lot of our students are coming to college with a lot on their plate," Lovin said. "The Mental Health Ambassadors help them develop positive ways of coping with the stress in their lives and realize that they are not alone and that a lot of students are struggling with stress."
Students interested in becoming one of Appalachian's mental health ambassadors should contact Lovin at email@example.com or Leslie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply is March 4.
If youre looking for Places in Europe you can visit without breaking the bank, youll find the lowest hotel prices in the East and in Iberia. But you can find reasonable prices in dozens of other cities. Just stay away from Switzerland and Scandinavia. And for airfares and travel around Europe, keep looking for the various sales that suppliers keep holding.
Trivago, the big British-based hotel price comparison site, just released its latest report on average hotel prices in 50 major European cities. Only one city -- Budapest -- came in at under $100 a night for a double room, but average prices in Krakow, Prague, Granada, Sofia, Bucharest, and Seville were $125 or less and Athens, Berlin, Bologna, Dresden, Florence, Hanover, Istanbul, Lisbon, Naples, Nice, Palermo, and Valencia all showed as less than $150. These figures are averages and include lots of hotels of primary interest to business travelers. But I believe that relative price comparisons are pretty good, even at the budget level.
Whats heartening to me is the range of cities at the lower end of the price spectrum. You can enjoy a terrific vacation in any of the lowest-cost group. And I was frankly a bit surprised to see such A-list destinations as Berlin, Florence, Istanbul, and Nice in that lower-quarter group.
In case youre interested in the other end of the scale, Geneva topped out with an average price of an incredible $372 per night. Others scoring above $200 include such perennial high-cost destinations as Oslo, Stockholm, London, Milan, Paris, Copenhagen, and Venice. Given the strength of the Swiss franc, many of you will want to avoid Switzerland entirely this year -- despite its many charms. You can peruse the entire list at .
The University of Kentucky will establish a committee to examine the oversight of the athletics department, UK president Lee T. Todd Jr. and Britt Brockman, chairman of the board of trustees, said on Tuesday.
Brockman said he hopes the committee will provide a clear idea of how UK compares in athletics oversight among benchmark schools in the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference.
Brockman said he and Todd, who will retire from the presidency in June, have been discussing the idea of such a committee for several months.
However, the news about an oversight committee came just two weeks after Todd announced that he had extended the contract of Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart until 2019 and given him a raise of $125,000 to $600,000 on his annual base salary.
Several trustees said last week that they should have been consulted before Todds decision on Barnharts contract. Todds retirement means the incoming president will have an athletics director selected by Todd in place for eight years.
Todd told the trustees that he understood their concerns about the timing of his extension of the contract.
I hope you dont hold my timing ... against Mitch, Todd said.
Few details about the composition of the committee or its objectives were available.
Brockman said he will appoint a committee of six or seven members. And Todds office is gathering data on athletics oversight at other SEC schools.
Brockman said he does not know how the committees operate at other schools. Were going to see if we need to change anything or not, he said.
Committee members will prepare a report on oversight at other schools. Brockman said that SEC commissioner Michael Slive may be invited to provide input on athletics oversight.
Although Barnhart has been involved in the discussions about the committee, Wendell Bell, a member of the athletics board, said Tuesday that he was not aware that the committee was being established.
Specifically I was not aware, he said. But in our meetings were always given ... benchmarks to other schools in the SEC on various issues.
Other members of the athletics board did not return phone calls late Tuesday.
Although Todd described the athletics department as one that I dont have to worry about, he said that candidates for the presidency should be questioned about their ideas for athletic governance.
While the idea for a committee to oversee UK athletics is apparently a new one for the university, other states already have athletics oversight in place.
The state university system of New York last year created an athletic oversight officer to serve as a watchdog over athletic programs at all of the state systems universities. His duties include making sure schools comply with NCAA rules and monitoring the admission and academic progress of student athletes.
Earlier this month, University of Iowa officials questioned the efficacy of a Presidential Committee on Athletics that has been in effect for at least a decade. The universitys president downgraded the oversight group to an advisory role.
The board also passed two items regarding the search for a UK president:
The process will remain confidential until the search committee chooses finalists and names of final candidates will become open only if all finalists agree.
One preferred candidate will be brought to the campus and introduced before a final contract is executed.
James Stuckert, chairman of the search committee, said the confidentiality provision was critical to applicants. Weve got people waiting in the wings predicated on these motions, he said.
The first round of candidate interviews is to be held March 22 to 23.
Staff trustee Sheila Brothers said that she would vote for the confidentiality motion, but wondered whether she was getting reliable information about the importance of a closed search, saying she thought there is a vested interest in keeping the process closed.
In other action, the board approved a $23 million upgrade of the UK Student Center. Work will probably begin this summer and be completed by December 2012.
Im really excited about this project, said student trustee Ryan Smith. Its been a long time coming.
The board also accepted a gift of $500,000 and a pledge of $1 million from car dealer Don Jacobs of Naples, Fla., and a gift of $500,000 and a pledge of $1 million from the Don Jacobs Charitable Foundation for the new Chandler Hospital health education center and emergency department and to establish the Don Jacobs Special Projects Fund.
It also approved spending $51.8 million for a system to keep electronic health records. That will include $26 million in federal funds; $15 million from a tax-exempt lease/purchase agreement and $11 million from UK HealthCare operations.
For the second consecutive year, Syracuse UniversityAthletics has been nominated for an Emmy Award. The New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the nominations on February 17 in New York. Roger Springfield, executive producer of media content and special projects, produced and edited the music video titled The Greatest Season. It chronicles the unprecedented collective success of the athletic program and its teams during the 2009-2010 season. The video can be viewed online at SUathletics.com.
The nomination is Springfields sixth. He won an Emmy for Outstanding Sports Programming in 1995 and has captured 19 national Telly Awards in his career.
Just to be nominated alongside Major League Baseball Productions, the YES Network and MSG Network is a real honor, Springfield said. Our Athletics Director, Dr. Daryl Gross, sets the bar high for all of our teams and its incumbent on those of us who support those teams to provide our fans with the highest quality professional services possible. This sort of recognition shows that we are experiencing some success in our mission.
For Dr. Gross, it signifies yet another example of how his challenge to be extraordinary is being manifested throughout the athletics department.
This is exciting once again, said Gross, as our staff continues to lead the country in creation, being cutting edge and global.
The 54th annual New York Emmy Awards will be presented at a black tie gala event on April 3 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.
Atlanta, GA (Vocus/PRWEB) February 23, 2011
The Pedowitz Group (TPG), the worlds largest and most experienced demand generation agency, today publicized its professional Code of Conduct for vendor and partner relationships, further strengthening its standing as a trusted and respected industry leader.
The agencys code of conduct is based on its core values of integrity, results, innovation, service and personal growth. The intent of these standard rules of engagement is to protect partner relationships and confidentiality while enabling TPG to take a vendor-neutral approach with customers, providing them with the technology that best fits their business goals and objectives.
Everyone in the customer-partner-vendor chain should understand the relationships involved, said Phil Fernandez, president and CEO of Marketo. In a growing market like Revenue Performance Management, having resources like The Pedowitz Group helps clients make more informed decisions and ultimately be more successful. Transparency and integrity are essential to a successful partnership.
We value the strong relationships we have with our trusted partners and adhere to the highest standards of professional behavior and ethics when engaging with them, said Jeff Pedowitz, president and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Sharing these standards lets our customers and partners know we have always operated this way, and we always will. Transparency is a big part of our culture and another way TPG demonstrates our role as thought leaders in the industry.
Specifically, these ethical standards include:
Staying with the partner that brought us in. If a partner brings TPG into a client, under no circumstances will the firm switch to another partner to provide a similar service.
Not switching. TPG will not in any way help a customer switch from one of its partners to another partner.
Independent selection. If a client calls TPG directly and requests an objective and independent vendor selection, TPG will help the customer select the most appropriate technology for its needs.
Confidentiality. TPG will maintain the highest levels of confidentiality at all times, never sharing any information that is not in the public domain.
Avoiding all conflicts of interest. TPG will abstain from any relationship in which an explicit or implicit conflict of interest exists.
TPGs complete code of conduct is available here.
About The Pedowitz Group
The Pedowitz Group (TPG) is the worlds largest full-service demand generation agency. With a focus on delivering marketing and sales automation solutions, TPG drives sustainable revenue and return on investment for global clients. TPG helps clients create and execute demand generation strategies and tactics that generate top line revenue. TPG coined the phrase Revenue Marketer in 2009 and it is now a registered trademark of the company. Services include strategy, program design, system selection, implementation, integration, creative services and outsourced demand generation. Customers include such industry leaders as Comcast, Deutsche Bank, Intel and Palace Sports and Entertainment. For more information on how TPG helps clients become successful Revenue Marketers, please visit www.pedowitzgroup.com or blog.pedowitzgroup.com.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/2/prweb8157201.htm
A top Texas Republican leader is proposing new ethics reforms.
The legislation filed Tuesday by Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth takes aim at double-dipping spending abuses that have already sparked a criminal investigation. Gerens bill would clean up shoddy disclosure laws that have allowed lawmakers to pocket taxpayer money for political travel with little oversight or transparency. The AP reported extensively on the controversial spending practices that have drawn scrutiny from Texas prosecutors.
Gerens legislation would also require registered lobbyists to disclose their paid relationships with politicians. He said Texans should be able to know who lobbyists are working for and whether their relationships present any conflicts of interest.