Outside the Lines (Sundays, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN) will present five pieces over four weeks starting on Sunday, Dec. 13 examining several hot-button issues facing college sports. A companion series on ESPN.com, including a database showing how much money flows into each of the 120 bowl-eligible college athletic departments and how it is spent, will start Friday, Dec. 11.
OUTSIDE THE LINES
A central figure in the academic fraud scandal at Florida State University attributes the university's problems to the caliber of students that longtime coach Bobby Bowden brought to Tallahassee in an effort to revive his program, the measures used to keep some of those students eligible, and the quality of the educations they received. On a campus where the average freshman had a 3.7 GPA, some athletes arrived with SAT scores nearly 340 points below the campus average for entering freshmen. Tom Farrey reports.
Rutgers University hired a veteran New Jersey politician to be its athletic director in 1998. But Bob Mulcahy's methods were seen as out-of-control, and he eventually lost his job. To many in the university, the expense was worth it as Rutgers has seen increased revenue, applications and unprecedented football success. Others wonder about the wisdom of entering into the college football arms race, which at Rutgers included a $5 million recruiting lounge. T.J. Quinn reports.
The Role of TV Money in College Sports (Sunday, Dec. 27)
In recent years, the expanding amount of money universities receive from networks for the rights to televise games has made college sports a bigger and bigger business. Several experts discuss the pros and cons of television’s influence on games played by student athletes. Steve Delsohn reports.
Mixed Messages: Ex QB Sues NCAA Over His Likeness (Sunday, Dec. 27)
After years of arguing that universities and the NCAA use them as unpaid labor in a tax-exempt, billion-dollar industry, student athletes are trying to get a piece of the pie. OTL examines this through a case in which former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller has filed a class-action lawsuit against EA sports and the NCAA. Mark Fainaru-Wada reports.
One-year renewable scholarships (Sunday, Jan. 3)
When John Calipari took over as coach at Kentucky, he promised to immediately revitalize one of college basketball’s most storied programs. A result was that a handful of underclassmen left the program. The purge highlighted one of the enduring myths about NCAA sports -- scholarships are guaranteed for length of a player’s college career. Tom Farrey reports.
Monetary Value of Tebow/McCoy/Bradford to their Schools (Friday, Dec. 11)
Tim Tebow (Florida), Colt McCoy (Texas) and Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) began the season as the Heisman Trophy front-runners. They played this season for the cost of their one year scholarship while their value to the school surpassed that. ESPN.com tracks the revenue these players generate through avenues such as jersey sales, licensing rights, marketing, game-day revenue, TV deals and university fundraising, and projects the value of their services if they were in position to negotiate a contract with the university. What, for example, is Tim Tebow’s monetary value to the University of Florida? Mike Fish reports.
Follow the Money (Friday, Dec. 11)
The ESPN Enterprise Group creates an online, searchable and rankable database from the financial statements of the 120 bowl-eligible college athletic departments. The reports show how the money flows into the school and how it is spent. Paula Lavigne reports.
Florida State & Academics (Sunday, Dec. 13)
An OTL-companion piece of the Florida State University academic-fraud scandal by Tom Farrey will post on ESPN.com.
The SEC (Thursday-Friday, Dec. 17-18)
The Southeastern Conference is an elite college sports conference with huge TV deals, eye-popping coaching contracts, a race to construct the best facilities, and an impassioned fan base. The SEC is one of the most successful conferences and with that comes issues. Mike Fish reports.
Endowed Scholarships (Wednesday, Dec. 23)
Universities are tapping into endowments as a source of funding athletic scholarships. Seventy of the 85 positions on USC’s football team are endowed with gifts that started at $250,000 per endowment two decades ago and now cost $500,000. Thirteen scholarships are privately endowed at Duke for men’s basketball, including one for the student manager and one for an assistant coach. At Michigan, former WR Braylon Edwards established a $500,000 endowment to fund a scholarship for the player deemed worthy enough to wear his old No. 1. ESPN.com examines this little-publicized revenue stream that helps keep athletic departments from sliding too far into the red. Mike Fish reports.