University of California, Santa Barbara was playing the University of Hawaii last night when a fan confronted one of the college basketball coaches.
Hypervocal.com reports that University of Hawaii coach Gib Arnold disputed a foul call, prompting an unidentified man to come out of the bleachers and onto the court (video below).
The fan got in Coach Arnold's face until University of Hawaii players Christian Standhardinger and Garrett Nevels pushed him away.
The fan motioned for the players to fight him but then quickly ran off the court.
The fan, who turned out to be a Santa Barbara student, was taken out of the basketball arena by security guards.
“The student will obviously face legal action,” Santa Barbara athletic department spokesman Bill Mahoney told the Associated Press. “He will also be subject to action from a judicial review board through UCSB student affairs ... I can’t speculate on the penalties.”
Utah Valley defeated New Mexico State in a 66-61 overtime win last night, but the real action began after the basketball game was over.
New Mexico's K.C. Ross-Miller reportedly threw a basketball at Utah's Holton Hunsaker, which sparked a shoving match and caused fans to storm the court in Orem, Utah, reports NBC Sports (video below).
UVU students attacked NMSU players in a melee that may end the practice of court-storming in college basketball, noted The Bleacher Report.
Eventually, the stadium staff restored order.
"I hated to see the game end that way," Utah Valley center Ben Aird told the Daily Herald. "When you are out there, at first you are like, 'What's happening?' The faculty got out there, and although you want to help break it up, they told us that we had to get out of that situation and let them handle it."
According to ESPN, Ross-Miller has been suspended.
"No matter what provoked K.C., what he did was inexcusable and hence the suspension," New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies said today. "It is an honor and a privilege to wear an Aggie uniform, and a responsibility comes with that privilege."
University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam recently announced that he is gay, which will likely make him the first openly gay player in the NFL next season.
Sam's sexual orientation has caused controversy inside and outside of the sports world.
Pouring fuel on the fire is a recently-surfaced video (below) of Sam dancing without a shirt at gay club in a Columbia, Mo. The video was shot at the The SoCo Club back in October 2013, notes TMZ.
According to the Daily Mail, Sam danced with women to Michael Jackson's tune "Rock With You."
Also making the rounds on the Internet are pictures of Sam with a man who is allegedly his boyfriend, reports MediaTakeOut.com.
The issue of college athlete compensation has received a lot of attention lately. Though it’s long been common knowledge that universities make billions of dollars off of their athletic programs, the question of whether college athletes should receive a piece of this cash mountain is starting to be taken more seriously.
This week, the National College Players Association (NCPA) took a major step on the pay-for-play front. The association filed a petition on behalf of the football players at Northwestern University seeking to grant college athletes employee rights with the NCAA. The petition was submitted to the National Labor Relations Board and included union cards signed by a number of Northwestern players.
"This is about finally giving college athletes a seat at the table," said NCPA President Ramogi Huma. “Athletes deserve an equal voice when it comes to their physical, academic and financial protections."
The standard retort to the idea of paying college athletes is that they are compensated through scholarships. Though this idea does deserve to be taken seriously, there are a few issues with it.
For starters, most college athletes do not receive full scholarships. Many do not receive scholarships at all. Factor in the estimated 40 hours a week required to play most college sports – and the fact that the NCAA makes nearly a billion dollars annually off of these sports – and a case starts to form.
College players work like employees for the NCAA. Their work is the product the NCAA sells. This is the same employee-employer dynamic seen in the professional world. NCAA officials maintain that athletes are primarily students, and that college sports are a part of their educational experience. Accordingly, they say, athletes should not be professionalized (see: paid).
But if this is true, why are NCAA executives aloud to treat college sports as a business? If college sports are about education – not money – why is the NCAA allowed to sell tickets, advertising, and apparel like a professional league? Universities made an estimated $6.4 billion in 2012 from athletic programs. For reference, the NBA and MLB posted $5 and $8 billion in revenues respectively during the same year.
I certainly don’t have all the answers to these questions, but I do think they’re worth considering. Here’s what Northwestern University quarterback Kain Colter had to say about the petition filed by his team this week.
"The action we're taking isn't because of any mistreatment by Northwestern," Colter said. "We love Northwestern. The school is just playing by the rules of their governing body, the NCAA. We're interested in trying to help all players -- at USC, Stanford, Oklahoma State, everywhere. It's about protecting them and future generations to come.
"Right now the NCAA is like a dictatorship. No one represents us in negotiations. The only way things are going to change is if players have a union."
This is likely just the tip of the iceberg of this movement by players. They’re not just seeking financial compensation, either. The NCAA currently absolves itself of any legal or medical responsibility for injuries suffered in NCAA sporting events or practice. I don’t know what the solution is to the flawed dynamic between the NCAA and its players, but I do know this: something is not right here.
University of Connecticut (UConn) president Susan Herbst publicly condemned recent comments made by Ernest Jones, an assistant coach for the UConn football team.
Jones (pictured) said on Jan. 11 that he encouraged his players to put Jesus “in the center of our huddle.”
In an interview with The Courant, Jones stated: "We're going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that's something that is important. If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships then you better understand that this didn't happen because of you."
"This happened because of our Lord and Savior. That's going to be something said by [UConn Head Coach] Bob Diaco. That's something that's going to be said by Ernest Jones. That's who we are," added Jones.
UConn Athletics spokesperson Mike Enright told NBC Connecticut that Coach Diaco received several emails from fans about Jones' comment. Coach Diaco assured the public that organized religion does not have a role in the football program.
Additionally, Herbst wrote on Jan. 14 in The Courant:
It should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students. This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field.
This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field. Our athletic director and coach Bob Diaco agree wholeheartedly with me, and have made this clear to their staff.
Arkansas State came from behind to win the GoDaddy Bowl against Ball State last night, 23-20.
An unusual play by Arkansas State happened in the second quarter when wide receiver R.J. Fleming crouched behind the offensive line, reports CBS Sports.
The 5'9" Fleming took the ball, but waited until Arkansas State quarterback Fredi Knighten did a fake hand off before running around the left side of Ball State's confused defense.
This unusual misdirection play is called "Hide The Midget," according to ESPN's Carter Blackburn (video below).
Fleming gained 27 yards on the play in a drive that resulted in a touchdown to tie the game up at halftime.
The play was reportedly invented by former Arkansas State coach and current Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.
This time the play was called by Arkansas State's interim head coach John Thompson, who was hired by Malzahn in 2012 and coached the team to a 17-13 victory in last season's GoDaddy Bowl.
According to AL.com, Arkansas State's new head coach Blake Anderson is not keeping Thompson or any other current coaches, but Thompson had kind words for his former team after the game.
"I am blessed that I was able to stay here and spend two years here and come back home for two years and enjoy the people back here,'' said Thompson. "It was a great two years. You're going to win a lot of games with these young men, no matter what's going on. I am grateful that I had that opportunity. It was a fun way to go out tonight. I love those players, I just love those players. God was good and answered a lot of blessings."
In a bittersweet moment after winning his second bowl game, Thompson added that his job search "will probably start tonight."
The Oklahoma Sooners waged a stunning upset in the Sugar Bowl yesterday when they defeated the heavily-favored Alabama Crimson Tide 45-31.
Not all the action was on the field, however, as an unidentified Alabama mom sprung into action and leaped onto an Oklahoma fan in the stands (video below).
The mom from Alabama even threw in some wild kicks for good measure, notes the Kansas City Star.
The Oklahoma fan, who identifies himself as Michael Connolly, recently told Sports Illustrated his side of the story.
Connolly claims there was some mutual razzing back and forth between him, his fellow Sooner fan and the mom's family. At one point, the mom's teen yelled at Connolly and his friend to walk over and fight, but they refused.
"That was when the woman came down and the video started," recalled Connolly. "She was screaming at me, and sticking her tongue out at me so I asked, Are you trying to make out with me?' And my friend was yelling 'Kiss her! Kiss her!'"
"That's when she walked away, and then jumped me," added Connolly. "When she kicked me, it left giant boot marks on my shirt. I'm not sure if the guy restraining her was her husband or not, they weren't sitting right next to each other, but she was kicked out of the game and her two daughters were crying."
Former Heisman trophy winner and ex-NFL player Tim Tebow has been hired to be an on-air college football analyst by ESPN.
After only a few seasons in the NFL, the still-free agent will be sharing his wisdom on ESPN's newly-formed SEC Network in August 2014.
Tebow will appear on "SEC Nation," a pregame football show that will broadcast each week from a different SEC campus. Tebow will also lend his gridiron expertise on ESPN’s Sportscenter and ESPN Radio, notes FTVLive.com.
“I am so excited that ESPN has given me this incredible opportunity,” Tebow stated in a press release. “When I was six years old I fell in love with the game of football, and while I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of the unparalleled passion of college football and the SEC.”
Tebow will make his first appearance during the pregame show of the 2013 VIZIO BCS National Championship on Jan. 6.
Ian Rapoport, of NFL.com, tweeted today that Tebow's football career may not be over:
Tim Tebow has an out-clause in his deal with the SEC Network if an @NFL teams comes calling. Not over yet, folks #Tebow.
Tebow gained fame by praying ("tebowing") on football fields, which led to huge groups of fans gathering whenever and wherever he practiced.
He also appeared in a controversial Super Bowl anti-abortion ad for the Christian ministry Focus on the Family.
Greg Lupfer, a defensive line coach for Colorado State University, has been suspended after using a gay slur against a Washington State University player in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 21.
According to SBNation.com, Washington State University quarterback Connor Halliday had just thrown a touchdown pass in the first quarter when Lupfer reportedly called him a “f------."
The gay slur was caught on a sideline camera (video below) and investigated by Colorado State University's athletic department. The school suspended Lupfer for two weeks without pay and is requiring him to take anger management and diversity training, noted The Denver Post.
"I am deeply sorry for my behavior, which does not represent who I am or my values," Lupfer said in a statement. "I embrace the opportunity to participate in anger management and diversity sensitivity training. I was angry and careless with my words, and my words hurt many people. I sincerely apologize to the GLBTQ community for causing pain by using a slur without considering its meaning. I take ownership of my words and fully understand why people are very upset.”
Ultimately, Colorado State University did prevail by staging an amazing comeback to win the game, 48-45.
Kenneth Tarr allegedly made and recorded several prank calls to NFL and NCAA football coaches, which were uploaded to the web, causing embarrassment.
Now, Tarr is behind bars in Hollywood, Calif. on a $20,000 bail and charged with felony eavesdropping, reports NBC News.
Under California law, people cannot record others on the phone without their consent.
“The recording of the coaches did create some controversy within the ranks of the NFL,” LAPD Detective Mark Reyna told CBS Los Angeles (video below).
In October, Tarr told Deadspin.com that he had crank-called NBC Sports' Tony Dungy about a fake head coaching job at the University of South California.
"I'm like the world's most safe criminal," said Tarr.
Tarr reportedly provided more of the fake job offer phone calls to Deadspin.com, including calls to University of Hawaii coach Norm Chow, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
“Our investigation is ongoing and includes coaches from across professional sports,” Reina told NBC News. “We will be analyzing evidence taken during the service of our search warrant to determine if there are additional victims we are not aware of.”