Tag Archives: football

Show Me the Money

­­Whether or not college athletes should get paid has become a controversial topic in sports in recent years.

College sports as a whole pull in about twelve billion dollars annually from television, marketing, school ticket sales and student fees, but NCAA players get none of it.

Ninety-six percent of the money the NCAA generates is used to build stadiums and sports facilities, pay staff, coaches and to buy sports equipment.

“I don’t think we should have an actual income for playing,” said CSUN baseball player and starting pitcher Conner O’Neil. “However, I don’t think we should have to pay to go to school either.”

It’s no secret that being a college-student athlete is hard work and takes outstanding time management and balancing skills, but along with that comes many positive benefits and potentially life-changing opportunities.

“I think besides those being on scholarship or getting a free education, they have access to strength and conditioning coaches, sports psychologists, facilities, good coaching,” said CSUN Kinesiology Professor and expert in sports psychology Dr. Jacob Jensen. “I feel like all of that adds up to thousands and thousands of dollars, and I don’t see that they need to be getting paid more than that.”

Electronic Arts’ most popular video games were NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball, but EA Sports has discontinued its college video game series amid lawsuits raised by former players seeking compensation against the NCAA. The students sued the NCAA claiming that the organization had violated US antitrust laws, by prohibiting the athletes from receiving any of the revenue the NCAA earned by selling their likenesses.

Although this topic has been an ongoing debate, what separates professionals from amateurs is the ‘business aspect’ of sports, and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.

Moderator: Kiesha Phillips

Anchor: Celene Zavala

Producer: Jordan Williams

Social Media Editor: Delmy Moran

Reporters: Delmy Moran, Brittni Perez, Kiesha Phillips, Daniel Saad, Jordan Williams, Celene Zavala

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Freedom to Kneel

San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick re-ignited athlete-driven protests with his stand against police brutality, and he’s empowered many other athletes to speak out.

In 2015, The Washington Post documented close to a thousand fatal shootings by police, ninety-three of which involved people who were unarmed. Black men accounted for about forty percent of the unarmed people fatally shot by police, and were seven times as likely as unarmed white men to die from police gunfire.

Now the argument over whether or not professional and collegiate athletes should be able to use their platform as a personal means of expression has become a large national issue.

This isn’t a new movement. Athletes like Mohammed Ali and 1968 Olympic Medalist Tommie Smith are known for making athlete-driven statements decades ago.

Since athletes are technically at work when they decide to make these protests, the debate stems from whether or not they should be penalized for doing so.

“Some of them may feel they are not at that level to take that risk,” CSUN Africana Studies Professor David Horne said. “[Their employers might say] ‘we expect you to not conduct yourself in a way that would embarrass the team or the business’.”

But athletes have only their professional platforms to make a statement. Whether they are in an interview or on the field, they have a limited amount of airtime, but they often have a large following.

“It’s their right to do so,” said Reverend Jewett Walker, President of 100 Black Men of Los Angeles. “If someone chooses to do that, I think we should embrace that, honor that, and respect it.”

Many athletes have messages that aren’t meant to start controversy.

“My responsibility was to be an example,” said CSUN Women’s Basketball Coach, and former college basketball player, Jason Flowers, “so somebody that had the same background as me could look [at me] … and say ‘that person was able to succeed, and I’m capable of it too’.”

Moderator: Jordan Williams

Anchor: Kiesha Phillips

Producer: Daniel Saad

Social Media Editors: Delmy Moran and Celene Zavala

Reporters: Delmy Moran, Brittni Perez, Kiesha Phillips, Daniel Saad, Jordan Williams and Celene Zavala

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Touchdown in Inglewood

Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers left the Forum for Staples Center in 1999, the city of Inglewood has been missing a sports team.

But now, the Saint Louis Rams are returning to the sunny state; NFL owners voted voted 30-2 in favor of the move, and announced the team’s comeback to settle in Inglewood, California.

“All of those things came together,” said Marc T. Little, President of Inglewood/Airport Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Board of Directors. “The Forum being sold to Madison Square Garden, which sent a message to the development community that anything can happen in Inglewood; Mayor Butts leading and uniting a divided city council, that sent another message that deals could get [made]; and then ultimately, the moxie of the owners of Hollywood Park: getting that property entitled was no small feat.”

In the past couple of years, many groups were working to bring football back to Los Angeles, arguing that a football team is good for fans and for the economy.

“Potentially there could be a fair number of jobs for the local area,” said CSUN Department of Urban Studies and Planning Robert Kent. “[But] it’s important to note that the benefits are [often] over-promised, and sometimes there’s not as many jobs as the hype would have it.”

Still Inglewood offers a lot to any team. LAX is nearby, and three freeways, the 405, the 110 and the 105, are also in the area to help traffic flow to football games.

“Inglewood is ideal for a lot of reasons for the stadium: the proximity to LAX, the proximity to three freeways, a city that is known for sports,” Little said, ” and a community that has voted to allow it. All of those things together make football very, very promising for our city.”

The Rams’ return to Inglewood offers more than jobs, business, and sports for area residents.

“It gives them role models,” Inglewood High School Football Coach James Sims said. “You’ll have some Rams [players] that will definitely come be a part of the [high school] program, to do public speaking…to run a camp at the high school. And that’s my main concern with the Rams coming in, how will the schools benefit from it.”

The Rams are expected to start next season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and play there until the new $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood is complete.

The NFL owners’ vote also included a provision to allow a one-year option for the San Diego Chargers to join the Rams at the new stadium.

“The community is behind it,” Little said. “And I think we’re all looking forward, and we’re all excited.”


Moderator: Harry Abelson

Anchor: Anna Logan

Producer: Harry Abelson

Social Media Editors: Glenna Dixon, October Primavera

Reporters: Harry Abelson, Jasmin Dalton, Glenna Dixon, Kiara Draper, Anna Logan, October Primavera

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Redshirting: Changing the Game

The growing trend of parents redshirting their children prior to high school athletic competition leaves youth sports torn between ethical values and winning.  

The phenomenon, traditionally used by athletes competing in the NCAA, is now shifting towards kids as early as kindergarten.  This parentinitiated process is a way for a child to gain physical advantages compared to his or her peers, as well as attract the attention of college coaches and recruiters.    

Most organizations and sports programs do not see the practice as enough of a threat to enforce regulations against it. Yet other entities, such as the New Jersey state legislature, are pushing to end redshirting.

“Right now, it’s not [considered] cheating,” New Jersey State Senator Richard Codey (D-Essex) said, “but we know it is. It’s trying to game the system.”  

Despite several gray areas in the bill, many do believe parents should take into consideration all the ramifications of such actions.

“We really need to think about kids’ rights to an open future,” CSUN Kinesiology Professor Doug McLaughlin said. “Some people in our society value sports too much, which causes people to do things that are problematic.” McLaughlin said if parents decide to redshirt their children for sports, they have only a 50-50 chance at best of seeing success after high school.

A Notre Dame University study found that kids who repeat a year of school between kindergarten and sixth grade, are 60 percent less likely to finish high school.

“It’s tough enough to be a teenage boy and have your parents tell you you’re not good enough so we are going to hold you back,” said President of William S. Hart Baseball, Michael Eberle. “The kids are [the] victims at stake.  I’m just not sure that is a positive message.”

Former college football player and current high school football coach Trajuan Briggs said his perspective on the trend has changed through the years.

“As a player on the high school level, I thought it was a bit unfair.  Since this kid is now in my recruiting class, what if he gets the scholarship I was suppose to get?” Briggs said.  “Once I got to college, my outlook on those types of players changed.  It didn’t bother me at all.  I knew I was going to have to compete with 23-year-old juniors as a freshman and rely on my skills.”

As a coach, Briggs has seen the trend occur several times.  

“It goes back to Pop Warner, where kids are being held back by the parents,” Briggs said. “And believe it or not, a lot of high school coaches look for that.  They feel like it is an on field advantage.” 


Moderator: Harry Bennett III

Anchor: Ayo Adelaja

Producer: Haley Kramer

Social Media Editors: Valerie Hernandez and Sofia Levin

Reporters: Harry Bennett III, Jarvis Haren, Valerie Hernandez, Haley Kramer, Sofia Levin and Mariah Robinson

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Friday Night Lights Out


That’s the word that every football player wants the chance to hear as often as possible.

But no player wants to lose the chance because of a head injury or concussion that happened during the game.

According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, four million high school students throughout the nation suffer head injuries and concussions every year.

In response to growing concern, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 2127, which limits middle and high school football teams to only two full-contact practices per week, and prohibits contact practice during the off-season. The new football restrictions go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

Ellis Green, former football player and 16-year football coach at Westlake High School, said he is already aware of how hard he pushes his players.

“It’s something you have to do in each sport, especially in football, “Green said. “However, there is a fine line when pushing a player to their limit.”

CSUN Assistant Athletic Trainer Ashley Meyer said reports of head injuries have increased, partly due to increased competitiveness, but also due to increased education among parents, coaches and trainers.

“Head injuries and concussions are such a hot topic right now,” Meyer said. “People are more aware of it, of what to look for, and how to prevent it. It is more so an increase of diagnosis than in the number of athletes.”

Green said football concussions were practically unheard of when he started coaching sixteen years ago, but now they are a main topic of concern.

“What this means is that coaches need to try to educate themselves, so that they can help educate the parents, and therefore educate their kids,” he said.

Meyer listed five key symptoms of identifying a concussion:

  • Headache
  • Fracture (contact head-to-head or head-to-ground)
  • Abnormal presentation of a person’s behavior (ex. feeling nauseous, dizzy, taking long to respond to questions)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Spotty vision

“We look at things such as long-term or short-term memory,” Meyer said. “We ask the [player] to remember a few words, and ask them few basic cognition questions. Balance is also another key thing, as they can’t fake that.”

June Dubreuil, who has three football-playing sons, emphasized the parents’ responsibility to be actively involved in their children’s safety.

“I will spend the money on helmets, shoulder pads and whatever else is necessary for my sons, even if I don’t have the money,” she said. “Football is a brutal sport and I want to protect my children.”

Green said football isn’t the only brutal sport.

“As of recent, football has gotten a bad rep,” he said. “There have been injuries in other sports like soccer, hockey and basketball, but you don’t hear about it all the time. It’s because football has two players banging their head against one another as they’re tackling. It’s a contact sport, but there’re a lot of contact sports.”

Green said the bond between a coach and trainer is important to injury prevention.

“There used to be a time where coaches didn’t like to hear a trainer’s input because they would remove a player off the game,” he said, “but times have changed now, as a coach understands where a trainer is coming from now.”

Many involved in youth sports say the benefits outweigh the risks.

“It’s really great, especially in team sports, having to learn how to depend on other people, and trust other people, and communicate effectively with other people, and work towards a common goal,” Meyer said, “and that’s a huge thing for people to learn, especially as a child or a young adult.”

“I have three boys,” Dubreuil said, “…and they were very physical, and keeping them active and in positive activities, it kept them from fighting, and it kept my china closet intact, and it was fun…and they care about winning and losing, and that’s important…They’re the men that they are because of athletics.”

“Very few [high school athletes] are going to become professional athletes, “Green said. “But all of them are going to have to go into the working world, and that’s where they’re going to show what they learned on the football field.”


Moderator: Candice Curtis

Producer: Candice Curtis

Anchor: Stephanie Murguia

Reporters: Danny Max, Bryan Ramirez, Stephanie Murguia and Gabriela Rodriguez

Social Media Editor: Gabriela Rodriguez

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