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With sports app on the rise, TV broadcasters are right to be concerned

Time consumers spend on sports applications has risen 210 percent from a year ago, a troubling trend for traditional sports television. This shift away from conventional viewing, towards “cord-cutting,” has the TV industry worried.

Despite the rise of streaming sports and a myriad of applications, the sports market may still be too difficult to crack, writes Dean Takahasi of VentureBeat.

Teams in Major League Baseball are making multibillion deals with cable companies to broadcast games locally — when the likes of the San Diego Padres (with one winning season in the past seven years) can sign a $1.4 billion deal for broadcasting rights, that’s a sign that cable sports is alive and strong. Even though all major sports leagues offer streaming options, viewers cannot watch local games on any source other than cable, satellite, over-the-air broadcasts

Live sports is cable’s last stronghold, and the enormous ratings generated by the NFL prove television far from its death bed. Even so, the continued trend away from conventional broadcasts is something worth monitoring as streaming services and mobile apps become more advanced.

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UNC probe finds rampant academic fraud

According to Yahoo! Sports, the University of North Carolina Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes has been found “culpable of creating easy, non-show classes that catered to student-athletes in an effort to give them better grades.”

The news came out of a press conference Wednesday by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein, who said about 1,500 student athletes were ushered into bogus classes in order to keep eligibility based on NCAA rules over a span of 18 years. Wainstein’s report, according to Yahoo! Sports, is far greater than previously reported by the school or the NCAA.

Wainstein said many academic and athletic officials knew about the scheme, which began with Deborah Crowder, a longtime manager for the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, and gave student-athletes inflated grades for what Wainstein termed “paper classes.” Paper classes were essentially classes that were independent study, had no professor and just required a paper at the end of the term. According to Wainstein, Crowder never gave students a grade unless they actually submitted a paper, but she awarded “artificially high” grades to papers submitted regardless of content.

The NCAA and UNC released a joint statement Wednesday saying they “continue to engage in an independent and cooperative effort to review information.”

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NHL postpones Ottawa game due to shootings

In the wake of violent outbursts in Canada’s capital city, the National Hockey League has announced that its scheduled Wednesday night game between the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs would be postponed, according to a release by the league.

The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy to all affected by the tragic events that took place this morning in downtown Ottawa … The date and time of the game will be announced at a later date.

Gunfire broke out in the Canadian Parliament building Wednesday morning, resulting in the death of a Canadian soldier on guard near the National War Memorial building, according to Bike Brehm of USA Today Sports. The Maple Leafs were in town and heard gunfire from their hotel rooms, according to Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star.


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NCAA: Mo’ne Davis can profit from her likeness

After appearing in a Chevrolet commercial that aired during Game 1 of the MLB World Series Tuesday, Little League pitcher Mo’ne Davis’s eligibility to play college sports for the NCAA remains intact, according to Darren Rovell for ESPNW.

Davis, the 13-year-old pitching phenom from Philadelphia, appeared in a 60-second commercial recapping her journey during the Little League World Series this past summer. She was the first girl in Little League history to pitch a shutout, according to Rovell.

Some however, like Ty Duffy of The Big Lead, question the NCAA’s motives. The NCAA sanctioned UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma for contacting Davis, even though contact was made without the intention of recruiting.

This fits within the past NCAA precedent, which has been doing whatever seems convenient at the time. Right now, that is not taking a substantial public relations hit over a popular young athlete who might compete in college athletics. Earning off-the-field income might be legal [in five years] anyway.


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NASCAR’s Sprint Cup hits low rating on ESPN

Ratings and viewership for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race at Talledega Sunday, its sixth race in the Chase for the Cup, reached its lowest mark in a decade, earning a 2.7 final rating and 4.3 million viewers on ESPN. The mark was down 13 percent in ratings from last year, and down 16 percent in ratings from 2o12.

ESPN’s coverage of the race marked its lowest rating since 2o00 and its least-viewed since 2001, according to a report by Sports Media Watch. Talladega’s spring race hit a ten-year low on FOX in both ratings and viewership as well.

According to Sports Media Watch, 23 of the 28 NASCAR races this season have hit ten-year lows in either or both measures, including the Daytona 500, Martinsville, Darlington, Richmond, Dover, Michigan, Loudon, Atlanta, Chicago, and Kansas.

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Oklahoma State, NCAA issue joint statement regarding SI allegations

Last September, Sports Illustrated released a five-part expose entitled, “The Dirty Game.” The piece, co-written by George Dohrmann and Evan Thayer, was the result of a 10-month investigation of the Oklahoma State football program. According to the writers, the investigation revealed “the measures that a program will take to become elite — and the collateral damage that follows.”

Following a 13-month investigation by both the NCAA and Oklahoma State, a joint statement issued by both groups regarded the accusations made by Dohrmann and Thayer as “fundamentally unfounded,” reports John E. Hoover of the Tulsa World.

It also was a supremely sloppy effort by the magazine’s reporters and vast staff of editors to publish the finger-pointing accusations of a group of athletes who repeatedly and selfishly chose to violate an established standard of rules.

It was all hearsay. No proof, no paper trail — at least nothing that turned up in the NCAA’s 13-month investigation, and very little that merited publication in America’s most popular sports magazine.

The NCAA’s investigation found three possible Level II violations, relatively innocuous in comparison to the allegations made in “The Dirty Game.” For its part, Sports Illustrated appears to be standing behind the story and its writers, according to a statement released Oct. 21.

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Sports Illustrated writer Klemko charged with misdemeanor battery

Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko, best known for being briefly jailed while covering the Ferguson, Missouri, protests earlier this year, has once again found himself at odds with the law. The circumstances are a bit murkier this time around, however.

CBS Chicago reports Klemko was charged with hitting a cab driver in Chicago early Saturday morning.

Chicago Police say 27-year-old Robert Klemko is charged with misdemeanor battery and criminal trespass after a fight with a cab driver. Police say Klemko got into a verbal altercation with the driver, hit him and took off in his cab around 12:55 a.m. Saturday in the 900 block of Pine Grove.

Klemko writes for Peter King’s MMQB site, part of Klemko has not made any statements regarding his arrest, nor has Sports Illustrated. The only mention of the incident has been several tweets from King standing by the 27-year-old journalist. 

A court date has been set for Nov. 13.

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