via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading

In the NCAA, a Free Plane Ticket Is a Crime, But Sexual Assault Isn't

Patrick Witt lost his shot at a Rhodes but not a chance to play in the biggest game of his career despite a serious accusation against him.

The story of Patrick Witt has all the makings of a media firestorm: football, the Ivy League, a Rhodes scholarship, and—as of this week—sex. Witt, Yale’s starting quarterback, was simultaneously hailed as a hero and mocked as a moron last fall, when he chose to forfeit his Rhodes interview in favor of playing against Harvard. Now, it appears the choice might not have been his in the first place.

Turns out the Rhodes committee had suspended Witt’s candidacy after learning that a classmate had accused him of sexual assault, according to reporting in The New York Times. Yale was notified of the decision but took no visible disciplinary action against Witt. He played in “The Game,” got trounced by the Ivy champion Crimson, and is no longer on Yale’s campus but has not graduated.

Keep Reading

Do College Sports Affect Students' Grades? A Defense of the NCAA

A new study linking students' grades to the football team's success is one of many ludicrous claims about how college sports are ruining America.

Last year is likely to go down as the worst in the history of college football. When a Yahoo Sports investigation in August revealed that a University of Miami booster had provided illegal benefits to players for years, it seemed inconceivable that the scandal would only be the second-worst to hit the NCAA in 2011.

Then, just before Christmas, a trio of economists declared that “big-time sports are a threat to American higher education.” The National Bureau for Economic Research published the study, which examined the relationship between a university’s success on the football field and its students’ grades—not those of the players, but their classmates and fans. Using data from the University of Oregon, where they are based, the three researchers concluded that students—especially male students—earn lower grades when the Ducks are winning games. “Our estimates suggest that three fewer wins in a season would be expected to increase male GPAs by approximately 0.02, or to reduce the gender gap by seven to nine percent,” the authors write.

Keep Reading