Monday, October 31, 2011

Phil Dawson: "The greatest kicker in Browns history"

By Tony Grossi

October 29, 2011

Hey, Tony: How does Phil Dawson's field goal percentage compare to that of opposing kickers in Browns Stadium? -- Chadrick McNeal, Elida, Ohio

Hey, Chadrick: Your question would take a great deal of research to answer. I may pursue it because I suspect Dawson's percentage at home is a lot better than opposing kickers. I liken Dawson to Matt Bahr, who had better numbers in the kicker's graveyard known as Municipal Stadium than on the road. I know it's heresy, but Dawson in my opinion is the greatest kicker in Browns history. Kickers are bigger, stronger and more accurate than at any time in NFL history.

Making a strong case for Phil Dawson as MVP


By Terry Pluto

October 31, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO -- Scribbles in my notebook after the Browns' 20-10 loss in San Francisco:

I'd like to see the no-huddle offense given a real try, and some screen passes. But I also know that suddenly thinking the Browns can fire the ball downfield is not being realistic.

Maybe Montario Hardesty's calf injury isn't a big deal. But let's face it, durability has been a problem for him. Prior to last season's knee surgery, he had knee and other injury issues at Tennessee before rushing for 1,345 yards as a senior. He carried the ball 33 times for 95 yards in the Browns' 6-3 victory over Seattle on Oct. 23, but was gone after two carries Sunday.

Phil Dawson kicked a 52-yard field goal and is a career best 4-of-4 on field goals of at least 50 yards this season. He is 10-of-10 in field goals when they aren’t blocked, and a strong case can be made for him being the MVP so far this season.

After two dismal performances, the special teams were very good. San Francisco's Ted Ginn's longest return was for 22 yards. Brad Maynard did a super job with his directional punting, keeping the ball high and near the sidelines. Joshua Cribbs' had a 31-yard kickoff return (second-longest allowed by the 49ers this season), and his 17-yard punt return was the longest given up by Brad Seely's unit.

Dawson said special teams coordinator Chris Tabor surprised and pleased the players when he showed a 15-minute video on Saturday night ... not of their mistakes, or of the 49ers... "but of the things we did well this season. It reminded us that we can be pretty good when we do the little things."

D'Qwell Jackson not only had three goal-line stops, but the linebacker had five tackles for losses. But the Browns could manage only one quarterback hit (by Brian Schaefering) and one sack (Phil Taylor) on Alex Smith, who had lots of time to throw. Part of the reason was Frank Gore and an effective power running game -- 39 carries producing 174 yards.

Friday, October 28, 2011

San Francisco 49ers' Ted Ginn Jr. followed his father's path

By Cam Inman

October 27, 2011

Ted Ginn Sr. would rent a van every June and load up the precious cargo: young, promising but overlooked high school athletes.

They would depart from the Cleveland area and travel to colleges all across the country, determined to make an impression on others -- not to mention themselves.
Two of those players now start for the 49ers: wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and strong safety Donte Whitner.

"I felt everybody wanted to go to Texas and Florida to get athletes, and I wanted to change that," Ginn Sr. said by phone Thursday. "I had to turn the heads of the universities to make people see that there is greatness in Cleveland, there is greatness in Ohio, there is greatness at Glenville High School.

"Those guys were the pioneers."

Since those trailblazing days, Ginn, the head coach at Glenville, has helped more than 100 players earn college scholarships and launched a school for at-risk boys. He and his wife will make the trip west to watch the 49ers face the hometown Browns on Sunday -- only this time by airplane rather than rental van.

"It was all his vision. I know for a fact me and Teddy are in the National Football League because of him," Whitner said. " ... We didn't really believe that we could make it to this level."

The younger Ginn and Whitner were teammates at Glenville and Ohio State before starting their NFL careers with lowly franchises in Miami and Buffalo, respectively. Now 26, both are flourishing in their first year together in San Francisco.

Their path was laid by the elder Ginn, whose had an immeasurable impact in the Cleveland community. Among the slew of athletes he has helped earn scholarships is Troy Smith, who won the Heisman Trophy at Ohio State in 2006 and played quarterback for the 49ers last season.

"He means a lot to the community, to the people, to the kids," Ted Jr. said of his dad, noting the good examples he has to show others. "It makes his job a little easier. He can say, 'Hey look, it can happen for you if you do this, do that.' "

Five years ago, the all-male Ginn Academy opened, and enrollment has risen steadily to 300 students. Ted Jr. paid a visit during the 49ers' five-day layover in Ohio last month. In showing them that he's just a regular guy, the 49ers' speedy return man may have very well saved a few lives, his father reasons.

"We came from an environment that didn't have expectations," Ted Sr. said. "I started teaching expectations, then it takes kids like them to achieve it to give the next group hope."

That message echoed throughout a rental van nearly a decade ago. The Ginns and other prospects were a traveling showcase, rolling from state to state. They would bunk at hotels and sometimes get caught with too many people in a room. Those seven to 10 passengers learned they were just as talented as the Florida and Texas players labeled No. 1 by the recruiting magazines.

"We'd go around to schools -- from Purdue to North Carolina State to Florida to Miami -- and we were competing against all these kids," Whitner said. "We would start to gain more and more confidence."

Glenville became a talent pipeline to Ohio State, starting in 2002 with Smith, who referred to Ted Sr. as "my dad" in his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech.

Whitner traced his work ethic to his high school days with the elder Ginn. At the time, Whitner's father, Lindsey Robinson, was in jail on robbery and drug charges. Whitner lived with his mom but would get daily rides from Ginn, who also would take the boys to a personal trainer after practice and then back to the Ginn house for protein shakes.

"He was really tough on us," Whitner said. "I was almost his son in high school. I am his son."

Whitner signed a three-year, $11.75 million contract with the 49ers this summer and reunited with Ginn, who was traded from Miami to San Francisco in April 2010.

Together they've contributed to the 49ers' hot start. While Whitner has solidified the secondary, Ginn's return skills are among the league's best; Ginn scored touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns to clinch the season-opening win over Seattle.

On Sunday at Candlestick Park, Ted Sr. will get to watch both of his sons in action, a culmination of the dream hatched on cross-country van trips many years ago.

"I gave them a game plan and a blueprint on how they need to go through life, to achieve things they're able to achieve," Ted Sr. said. "Then I gave them a work ethic that they didn't like. Now they understand why that work ethic they had in high school has paid off -- to get paid for something they love."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

San Francisco 49ers: Players That Could Make the Pro Bowl

San Francisco 49ers Ted Ginn Jr. has electrified crowds and his team with stellar punt and kick returns in 2011.

By Alvin Cadman

October 26, 2011

While the San Francisco 49ers are not yet at the halfway mark of the 2011 season, it's not too early to highlight the impact players that have the Red and Gold at 5-1 entering Week 8.

Their early season success is due in large part to contributions from all sides of the ball playing at a Pro Bowl level. And even though they may not need such performances against their lowly NFC West rivals, they'll need to reach that lofty level of play against the likes of Baltimore in November and Pittsburgh in December to prove to theirNFL naysayers that the 49ers belong with the league's elite.

Defense has been the main story, as the Niners are second in the NFL in rushing defense and takeaway/giveaway differential. The front seven have lived up to their preseason billing, but the secondary has surprised many and remained stable even in difficult matchups.

The 49ers offense had many question marks before and at the start of the season, only to silence their critics with consistent play from quarterback Alex Smith and a rebound of sorts from tailback Frank Gore. Their effectiveness while minimizing mistakes has allowed head coach Jim Harbaugh the luxury of leaning on the defense when necessary.

Special teams has also provided many bright spots on the season, whether it be the accuracy and strength from kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee, or the return success from Ted Ginn Jr.

Assuming their stellar play on the field continues, here are eight players that the San Francisco 49ers can plan to have in this season's Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

Returner Ted Ginn Jr.

While Ted Ginn Jr. continues to learn and grow as a receiver, his kick and punt return specialties are unquestionable.

He's tops in the NFC in kickoff return yardage and punt return average. Ginn is also second in kickoff return average and 3rd in punt return yardage. He keeps the momentum going when the offense and defense has done their jobs, seemingly sparking the 49ers to continue battling in close games.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Phil Dawson named to USA Today Honor Roll

By Jarrett Bell

October 25, 2011

Honor Roll: Week 7

Stud of the week: Drew Brees. For the first time in more than a month, the Saints quarterback didn't pass for 350 yards. That snapped his NFL-record streak at four games. No matter. In just three quarters before getting a rest, Brees completed 31 of 35 passes for 325 yards and scorched the Colts' defense for five TD passes to propel the Saints to a 62-point outburst that matched the most points in a game by a team since the 1970 merger.

Rookie of the week:
DeMarco Murray. What a coming-out performance. In his first NFL start for the Cowboys, the third-round pick from Oklahoma torched the Rams for a franchise-record 253 rushing yards. The big day began with a TD jaunt that covered 91 yards, which surpassed his total from the first five games (71 yards). Then Murray topped Tony Dorsett's club mark for yards in a game by a rookie (207 yards) and the single-game mark by Emmitt Smith (237 yards) that stood for 18 years. Murray also left little doubt that St. Louis -- which entered the weekend ranked 32nd in rushing yards allowed -- indeed has the league's worst run defense.

Special teamer of the week: Phil Dawson. The most prolific scorer in a game defined by horrendous offense, the Browns kicker booted 52- and 53-yard field goals -- the difference in squeaking out a win against the Seahawks. Sure, Dawson had 48- and 24-yard attempts blocked. But despite nursing a bruised thigh, he managed to connect on two booming kicks from more than 50 yards when his team could really use the points.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Unsung Heroes From Week 7 in the NFL

October 25, 2011

By Josh Tinley

Here are just a few of the unsung heroes from Week 7 in the NFL:

Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns placekicker
It may be a stretch to call anyone involved in Sunday’s 6–3 snoozer between Cleveland and Seattle a “hero,” unsung or otherwise. But Browns kicker Phil Dawson did everything that was asked of him and accounted for all 6 of Cleveland’s points.

The Browns’ offense didn’t make Dawson’s job easy. His first field goal attempt was from 52 yards out; the second was a 53-yarder. Dawson hit them both. Dawson also did a nice job with kick-offs. The Seahawks didn’t return any of Dawson’s kicks beyond their own 21 yard line.

Oh, and Dawson played most of the game with a bruised thigh.

James Anderson, Carolina Panthers linebacker

Cam Newton continued his campaign for Offensive Rookie of the Year Sunday by leading the Panthers to a 33-20 win over Washington. Steve Smith returned to 2008 form, catching 7 balls for 143 yards. But the Panthers’ offensive stars got plenty of help from players on the other side of the ball, particularly lineback James Anderson.

Anderson led Carolina in tackles with 12, including 10 solo tackles and 2 tackles for a loss, one of which was a sack of Washington QB John Beck. Anderson also recovered a fumble late in the second quarter, setting up a 45-yard field goal that gave the Panthers a 9-6 lead going into halftime.

Houston Texans offensive line

Last week the Baltimore Ravens defense sacked Texas quarterback Matt Schaub four times; two weeks ago, the Raiders sacked him thrice. Sunday, thanks to Texans tackles Duane Brown and Eric Winston and guards Wade Smith and Mike Brisiel, the Titans defenders never touched him.

The Texans went to Nashville on Sunday a half-game behind Tennessee in the AFC South. They left Tennessee with a 41-7 win and a half-game lead. In addition to protecting Schaub, the Texans’ O-line did a nice job opening lanes for Houston’s backfield tandem of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Foster rushed for 115 yards on Sunday, Tate for 104.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cleveland Browns ride a relentless defense and kicker Phil Dawson's two long field goals to 6-3 triumph over Seattle Seahawks

October 24, 2011

By Tony Grossi

Tony Grossi’s Take

• Offense: Not many points, real or style. But it managed to do two things -- convert third downs and dominate time of possession. Montario Hardesty ran hard, took a lot of punishment and didn't turn over the ball. Colt McCoy played with a lot of toughness. Bottom line: You want handoffs. You got handoffs.

• Defense:
They deflated the no-huddle attack by forcing four three-and-outs and also punts after five and four plays. A great goal-line stand kept them out of the end zone after giving up a 38-yard pass play. Forced two turnovers. Bottom line: Yielded 2.7 yards per play.

• Special teams: Phil Dawson's field goals of 52 and 53 yards won the game. Otherwise, breakdowns continued. Seattle blocked two field goals and ripped off a 72-yard punt return, though it was reduced to 36 by a penalty.Bottom line: Brad Seely must be rubbing his hands in anticipation in San Francisco.

• Coaching: Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron saved this day. Without an outstanding performance on defense, the Browns are in a heap of trouble with games up at San Francisco and Houston. Bottom line: Survival.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ted Ginn Jr.: Just Get Him The Damn Ball

By David Fucillo

October 17, 2011

One 49ers player that has a huge impact on the team but often gets easily overlooked is Ted Ginn Jr. Ginn made his first start at wide receiver for the 49ers yesterday, but his overall performance once again proved how great a trade the 49ers made in landing him for a fifth round pick last year. Although Ginn has not made a monster impact in the passing game, his contributions in special teams and other areas have really been monstrous for the 49ers.

Even if Ginn did next to nothing after the two touchdown returns against Seattle, it would probably still be a solid enough season. However, we're really playing with house money at this point. Against the Detroit Lions, Ginn returned three punts for 72 yards and averaged 26.5 yards per kickoff return. He also mixed in two receptions for 21 yards and two rushes for 24 yards.

We've know how awesome a return man he is for some time now. I think it was Chris Berman who said he that next to Devin Hester, Ginn was the most electrifying return man this season. He proved it yesterday with his monstrous 40 yard punt return that set up the 49ers eventual winning touchdown.

However, the 49ers are gaining additional value just by figuring out ways to quickly get the ball in his hands. His two rushes were on a reverse and an end around. When you have speed like Ginn, the key is really just getting the ball in his hands with a little bit of space. Defensive ends and linebackers are not going to catch him when he gets up to top speed, so it makes all the sense in the world to get him the ball on these kinds of plays.

I realize these plays can't just be rolled out whenever the 49ers please. This comes back to the game-planning that has been so successful thus far. The 49ers don't always need a big impact play from Ginn, which prevents them from over-using the plays and hurting their value. That has happened a bit with some of the Wildcat teams around the league to the point that the "Wildcat" has sort of quieted down as the next big trend.

That's not to say the end around and reverse will go in or out of vogue, but with a weapon like Ted Ginn, it makes all the sense in the world to do whatever you can to get him the ball in space. Thankfully the 49ers are mixing in just enough of that to have success.

Friday, October 14, 2011

College sports teams are big business, and some coaches are cashing in

Cleveland-based sports agent Neil Cornrich, who represents some of the highest-paid football coaches in the country, including Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, said their compensation simply reflects that of a successful business model -- where results, on and off the field, are rewarded.

"The best coaches are creating significant added value, resulting in greater proceeds from marketing, licensing and ticket sales, increased charitable donations and a rise in student admission applications," he said. "Consequently, there is more competition for top-producing coaches at all levels."

By Bill Lubinger

October 14, 2011

AKRON, Ohio — Akron's national image was tires, blimps and LeBron James.

Then, Caleb Porter and his University of Akron men's soccer team won the NCAA Division I national championship -- the first ever at Akron.

Predictably, Porter's phone rang off the hook with job offers for higher pay and profile.

To keep him, Akron made him one of the highest-paid soccer coaches in the country. Getting the university president and board to approve the reward wasn't a tough sell.

"I think," said Athletic Director Tom Wistrcill, "they recognized the impact that a national champion has on a campus."

Impact, as in value: the value of visibility, positive exposure and pride -- especially for alumni called on for donations.

But investing in coaches and their staffs comes at a cost. A recent Knight Commission survey of 95 college presidents found escalating coaches' salaries were the single largest contributor to the unsustainable cost of college athletics. Unsustainable, as in, sports and scholarships get cut.

So who are the real winners in college athletics?

A Plain Dealer analysis of 2009-10 records filed with the NCAA found that 10 of the 11 Division I public universities in Ohio spent more on salaries and benefits for coaches and other athletic department personnel than on scholarships for their student-athletes.

The lone exception -- Ohio University -- spent about the same on each.

And Ohio's two largest universities -- Ohio State and Cincinnati -- topped the amount invested in scholarships just on coaches.

Ohio State spent more than $16 million on coaches in 34 sports -- about $4 million more than on athletic scholarships for students.

Cincinnati spent almost $2 million more on coaches than scholarships.

"The market says you have to pay that amount to have the best coaches," said Ben Jay, an associate athletic director at Ohio State. "We don't decide that. The market decides it for you."

Ohio State, with a self-funded annual athletic budget of $123 million, is on a financial level of its own statewide. But like a tiered fountain, the trickle-down for coaching salaries often starts there.

When so-called "midmajors" -- Division I schools a notch below the Ohio States, USCs and Notre Dames of the world -- fill coaching vacancies, they usually promote from within or compile a candidate list of top assistants from winning programs at the highest level, which raises the ante.

Ohio State, for instance, pays some assistant football coaches as much as $350,000 a year.

When Kent State hired Darrell Hazell to coach its football team before this season, he was making $264,804 as an Ohio State assistant. Kent is paying him $300,000 per year, plus incentives -- an amount toward the lower end of the scale for the Mid-American Conference.

Cleveland State baseball team was casualty of state fund cuts

When college athletics rely so heavily on student fees, taxpayers and donors to survive, sports can wind up on the cutting-room floor.

Among the latest locally: Cleveland State's baseball program.

Cuts in state funding this year forced CSU to order every department to trim its budget by 8 to 12 percent, athletics included. Division heads were told to slash specific programs, not make cuts here and there.

In reviewing the department, Athletic Director John Parry and his staff zeroed in on the baseball team. Its budget ran about $450,000 a year, plus $50,000 to $75,000 annually for general fees, which included renting vans to transport the team to home games at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon and the $15,000 a year it cost to rent the ballpark.

The athletic department determined it would take a few hundred thousand dollars a year more to make the program successful. That, plus 30 years of losing, Parry said, made the team vulnerable. So baseball got axed.

The timing was a little odd, given that CSU had floated the idea of starting a football team as recently as last year. Students polled liked the football idea but didn't want to pay higher fees to have a team. State budget cuts ended that discussion.

--Bill Lubinger


Big spending sometimes can lead to big winning

Spending is no guarantee of a championship, but a case can be made that the University of Akron's big investment in a traditionally low-profile sport has paid off.

Even before claiming the NCAA men's soccer championship last season, the Zips spent on the sport like no other public university in Ohio, the latest financial filings with the NCAA for the 2009-10 school year show.

There are limits on men's soccer that the NCAA imposes. The staff is limited to a head coach and two assistants; and scholarships are limited to 9.9, which can be split among several players.

Some schools such as Bowling Green and Cleveland State opt to use just one assistant. BGSU and Cincinnati used two fewer scholarships than permitted.

Akron, like Ohio State, operated near both NCAA limits. And then in other areas, Akron outspent every other public Division I men's soccer program in Ohio, including Ohio State.

The Zips paid more than Ohio State for their head coach ($260,757 including benefits vs. $164,486), their assistant coaches ($77,216 average vs. $67,880) and their uniforms and equipment ($42,131 vs. $8,882). And Akron ran a financially huge soccer camp that netted about $160,000, nearly eight times as much as Ohio State's.

So generous was the spending that the average pay for Akron's assistant coaches exceeded the head coaching pay at Cleveland State ($66,594), Bowling Green ($72,881) and Wright State ($58,867). Plus, coaches at those three schools had only one assistant each.

So what happened the next season? Home attendance of 3,213 per game ranked second nationally and Akron won the 2010 NCAA soccer championship.

-- Rich Exner


Kent State President Lester Lefton said he's comfortable with Hazell's salary, and that of new KSU men's basketball coach Rob Senderoff, the university's fifth basketball coach in 16 years. Senderoff, a former Kent assistant, was promoted when head coach Geno Ford left for Bradley University and an annual $700,000 contract that more than doubled his salary.

In its 16-year run of basketball coaches, Kent paid the first one a base salary of $77,500 -- a number that hit $120,000 just five years later. Senderoff is getting $250,000 -- a base salary that, even when adjusted for inflation, has more than doubled since 1996. And that's at a school considered among the more frugal.

This year, Akron reasoned that the coach of the best men's soccer program in the country deserved to get paid accordingly.

To keep Porter, who declined through an athletic spokesman to comment for this story, Akron extended his contract 10 years and raised his base salary $100,000 to $270,000 a year, plus incentives. He also gets $800 per month for a car allowance, up to $7,500 a year for a club membership, a retention bonus of $15,000 a year in an escrow account and $80,000 a year to help promote the university. Akron also rebuilt the soccer stadium.

Such compensation outside of football and basketball, the top revenue sports, is rare. The other exception in Ohio was Miami hockey coach Enrico Blasi, who made $566,154 -- a base salary of $300,000, plus benefits and bonuses for such accomplishments as winning the league, being named Coach of the Year and reaching the NCAA Frozen Four.

Miami Athletic Director Brad Bates said the total actually reflects more than one year of compensation because Blasi's contract was reworked during the season. Bates also said increases in the hockey coaches' salaries and the program's operating budget were covered by private donations.

Kent State's Lefton believes college sports are on a financial "collision course with itself" because the rising cost of coaches and sports facilities is untenable.
"What's the breaking point? I don't know what the breaking point is," he said. "It's tough to justify a coach making three times more than our faculty members."
Most college coaches don't.

In 2010, a typical Division I head men's tennis coach made about $49,000 annually; and a Division I head women's golf coach about $52,000, according to the NCAA. Most Division II and III coaches make less than their Division I counterparts.

But for high-revenue sports, such as football and men's basketball, coaches are often compensated much better than faculty and even some college presidents:

• Ohio State pays the most in the state for full professors, averaging about $160,000 in pay and benefits in 2009-10, according to the American Association of University Professors. Professors can make extra money from speaking and consulting fees, but not to the extent that coaches can, through shoe sponsorships and television, radio and event appearances.

• Meanwhile, compensation, including benefits in 2009-10, for Ohio's public-university head football coaches ranged from about $202,000 at Kent State to $3.5 million at Ohio State.

• And the median cost of employing a college president nationally was about $440,000, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee topped the list, pulling in more than $1.8 million, counting bonuses, benefits and deferred compensation. Before former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel resigned, he was making about twice that -- enough to cover in-state tuition, fees, room, board and books for 166 students for an entire year.

And he wasn't even the highest-paid college football coach in the country.

That title belongs to Alabama's Nick Saban, who has hopscotched 13 teams in college and the NFL -- with no coaching stop longer than five years -- to an annual salary of more than $5 million. By comparison, his university president has a base salary of about $500,000.

"Market forces," said Cleveland State Athletic Director John Parry, "have gotten away from the idea that a coach is an educator."

Coaching pay and benefits, 2009-10

Here are the head coaching salaries and benefits for selected sports at Ohio's public Division I universities.

Sources: University forms filed with the NCAA

Compensation includes salaries, benefits, bonuses, car stipends, pay from camps and other benefits from the colleges, foundations and booster clubs.

But coaches at big-time winning programs, with revenues fueled by multimillion-dollar media rights fees and shoe contracts, are also rainmakers.

Cleveland-based sports agent Neil Cornrich, who represents some of the highest-paid football coaches in the country, including Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, said their compensation simply reflects that of a successful business model -- where results, on and off the field, are rewarded.

"The best coaches are creating significant added value, resulting in greater proceeds from marketing, licensing and ticket sales, increased charitable donations and a rise in student admission applications," he said. "Consequently, there is more competition for top-producing coaches at all levels."

Kent State's Lefton said applications jumped 40 percent after the Flashes advanced to the NCAA men's basketball tournament's Elite Eight in 2002. Likewise, CSU saw a spike in admissions after its basketball team's remarkable run in the NCAA Tournament in 1986, and again in 2009 when it scored a first-round NCAA Tournament upset, according to Parry.

But in an NCAA-commissioned study of Division I athletic budgets in 2003, researchers found there was little to no connection between how much a university spent on sports and academic quality or alumni giving.

University presidents and their boards usually have to approve what coaches are paid, so if the complaint is that salaries have gotten out of hand, they have only themselves to blame.

Not that college administrators intend to legislate limits on how much a college coach can make. Although there are no income limits for presidents, athletic directors and faculty at public universities, the NCAA did try to cap the incomes of some coaches 20 years ago with something called "restricted-earnings" coaching positions.

The coaches sued and, in 1995, a federal judge ruled the NCAA had violated antitrust laws. The settlement cost the NCAA $54.5 million.

In the discussion about reining in the cost of college athletics, coaches' salaries are not even on the table.

"A day will come," predicted Kent State's Lefton, "when the cost of maintaining a Division I football team will seem exorbitant and will eclipse the budget of some universities. We're not there yet, but we're on a pathway that leads us in that direction."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Colts Dallas Clark Helps Fund Student’s Education


October 7, 2011

The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) and the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA), in conjunction with the Indianapolis Colts, have created the Hoosier Horsepower Essay Contest. Indiana High School seniors can enter the contest and win cash prizes to help fund their college education. Colts tight end Dallas Clark will once again serve as spokesperson for the program.

On behalf of Indiana’s corn and soybean farmers, the Colts will donate $100 to the program for each catch Clark makes this season. Clark has thirteen (13) receptions entering Sunday’s game against Kansas City. Four (4) Indiana high school seniors will each receive $2,000 to help defer college education related expenses.

“I’m excited to continue as the spokesperson for the Hoosier Horsepower Program,” Clark said. “A quality education is extremely important, but it isn’t cheap. I’m excited that every pass I catch helps relieve some of that financial pressure.”

To be eligible for the essay competition, applicants must be a high school senior in Indiana and plan to enroll in an accredited college or university within the United States pursuing either an associate or bachelor degree for the 2012-2013 school year.

Essay competition winners will be awarded based on a combination of factors. Academic achievement, leadership and community service will be considered in addition to their essay detailing how today’s farmers are working to tackle tomorrow’s needs for food, fiber and fuel.

“Partnering with the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Clark is a great way to connect with Hoosiers with their neighbors on the farm who continue to produce more food using less land, energy, and inputs every year,” said Jane Ade Stevens, executive director for ISA and ICMC. “This essay contest allows Indiana high school seniors to think about the important role Indiana’s farmers and their families play when it comes to providing not only food but also so many other products to the world.”

Winners will be announced prior to the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. All essays must be postmarked no later than Friday, February 17, 2012. Parents and students can go to to learn more.

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