Friday, April 17, 2009

A Player's View of an ACL Injury

McDaniel College basketball player Katherine Restrepo has undergone two reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgeries. In today's Reading Eagle, she writes about her experience, why women are at a greater risk for ACL injuries than men, and preventive measures that can be taken to help avoid the injury.

"Pivot. Pop. Scream. This sequence of events represents the cry of someone who has torn an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.

ACL tears happen more frequently as high school and collegiate sports become more competitive.

Almost every athlete has seen teammates sidelined due to an ACL injury, but it's hard to understand the major setback it creates until you suffer a torn ACL. Throughout my high school basketball career, at least three of my teammates tore their ACL's. Never once did I think this injury would get in the way of playing the sports I love. Within a span of three years, I tore both of mine.

In fact, I am recovering from my second ACL reconstruction surgery. This past basketball season at McDaniel College, I was down for the count."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

NCAA No Friend of Facebook When It Comes to Recruiting

By Justin Pope | Of The Associated Press
April 11, 2009

"College sports fans, be careful of the company you keep on Facebook.

You might get yourself -- and the program you support -- in trouble.

That was the lesson this week for Taylor Moseley, a North Carolina State freshman who expressed a common-enough opinion on campus when he started the Facebook group called "John Wall PLEASE come to NC STATE!!!!"

More than 700 people signed up for the group encouraging Wall -- a local standout and the nation's No. 1 basketball recruit -- to pick the Wolfpack by national signing day next week.

But the NCAA says such sites, and dozens more like them wooing Wall and other top recruits, violate its rules. More than just cheerleading boards, the NCAA says the sites are an attempt to influence the college choice of a recruit.

Moseley got a cease and desist letter from N.C. State's compliance director, Michelle Lee, warning of "further action" if he failed to comply. In an interview Friday, Lee said that people who act as boosters but fail to follow recruiting guidelines could face penalties such as being denied tickets or even being formally "disassociated" from the athletic program.

Adam Kissel, director of the Individual Rights Defense Program at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said the NCAA can impose rules on its member colleges. But universities -- especially public ones -- can't enforce them if it means punishing students in any way for expressing an opinion.

"A student doesn't lose First Amendment rights because of a contract the university signs with [the NCAA]," he said.

Moseley, the student, didn't respond to a request for comment, but the group has been renamed "Bring a National Title back to NC STATE!" and features a photo of Wall.

Though Lee sent Moseley the tough warning, even she finds the rule exasperating. The NCAA, she says, simply isn't keeping up with the technology reality.

''I think nationally the NCAA needs to address further Facebook and how these groups play a part in recruiting,'' she said. ''Is it realistic for us to be able to monitor them? What harm is a group like this causing? But as the legislation stands right now, this is the position we have to take.''

NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said the group considers its rules ''technology neutral.'' A Facebook page is simply a high-tech way to try to influence recruits.

The NCAA's concern is "intrusions into a high school student's life when they're trying to decide where to go to college," he said. He said the NCAA is keeping up with technology, noting new rules on text-messaging from coaches.

Christianson said the NCAA expects institutions to act as N.C. State did, reaching out to the creators of such groups to "educate" them about the rules. He added he was not aware the NCAA had ever initiated any action related to a Facebook group or notified an institution about one.

But dozens of Facebook groups are still up in plain site for current recruits, including Wall, and other top undecided basketball players such as Xavier Henry and Lance Stephenson.

Wall, a 6-4 playmaker, averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and nine assists for Raleigh Word of God this past season. He's the No. 1-ranked recruit in the country by both and, and among the last top players yet to commit. A Facebook search reveals groups including "Bring John Wall to Baylor," "John Wall Belongs at UNC" and "John Wall, come to DUKE!!"

Kissel, of the education rights group, and Aden Fine of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that while the NCAA -- a private entity -- could pursue sanctions against a student like Moseley (such as denying him access to an entirely NCAA-run event), it was troubling that the letter and threatened sanction came from the university.

"The school is potentially finding themselves in a tricky situation, because of the NCAA rules, but that doesn't mean public universities can censor lawful speech," Fine said.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Recession Alters College Admission Process

"Do you sit on pins and needles between now and May 1 wondering who is going to say yes?" CBS news anchor Russ Mitchell asked Jim Bock, the dean of admissions at Swarthmore College.

"Absolutely," Bock said. "So the big fear, the question I get all the time, is we want a class of 390 for next year, and we admitted 950 or 959. What if they all came? The anxiety for those who sit in my position is what will the yield be this year? Do we admit more, do we admit less less?"

At Swarthmore, Bock feels many parents don't realize that the average student who receives aid will get around $35,000 in financial help.

"Some of the most selective schools out there can actually be some of the most affordable options," Bock said.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Officiating Recruitment Effort Produces Results

April 1, 2009 - NCAA News Online

"A new program to encourage college students to become referees is off to a good “start” after producing newly registered officials to work five spring sports at the high school level.

The new Students of Today are Referees of Tomorrow (START) program – sponsored in part by three Division III conferences -- produced referees for baseball, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, softball, and track and field

The Capital Athletic Conference, Centennial Conference and Colonial States Athletic Conference, working in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), recently recruited 61 college students who participated in five February START classes held at schools in the conferences.

Planning has begun to offer a similar program during April, focusing on four sports.

The goals of the START program are to recruit new officials in all sports on the participating leagues’ campuses, and to increase opportunities for scholastic officials to advance to the intercollegiate level.

“The START program is an excellent recruitment vehicle for current and former student-athletes to stay in the game as officials in their favorite sports,” said Robert Lombardi, PIAA associate executive director."