By Vince Nicastro*

  1. The University of Michigan recently selected Warde Manuel as their new Director of Athletics.  Michigan is considered one of the marquee jobs in all of college sports.  Interestingly, the school seemed to focus on candidates who had more traditional experience in college athletics.  No doubt this was influenced by the Dave Brandon experiment, as well as by former Villanova and Boston College AD, Gene DeFilippo, who assisted in the search process.
  1. While watching this year’s college football playoff games, it occurred to me that many people view this as the “real” world of college sports. This level of football, and the accompanying attention, is actually an alternate universe of college sports.  So, it’s easy to understand why the public at large thinks it is too professionalized.
  1. I recently read that the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball residence hall (yes, a dorm specifically dedicated to men’s basketball) was in line for a proposed $21M renovation. It was opened in 2012.  That’s what I call wear and tear.
  1. Jim Harbaugh at Michigan continues to push the envelope on many issues in college football. He recently announced that he would take his team to Florida for a week over spring break for a spring football training camp.  This has quickly drawn criticism from many sectors of the college sports world, particularly in light of the focus on student-athlete time demands. Not a surprise if this practice is ruled impermissible soon.
  1. National Signing Day has become a carnival. The lengths schools and coaches are going to promote their incoming 17-year-old recruits are just over-the-top.  And, we wonder why there are so many critics of college sports.

* Vince Nicastro is the former Athletic Director for Villanova University, and currently serves as Associate Director for the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law.


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