California Universities May Be Banned From NCAA Championships If SB 206 Passes

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA- NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a letter last week that college athletes from universities in California could be barred from competing for NCAA Championships, if a bill that allows athletes to be compensated passes.


Darron Cummings/Associated Press

SB 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, was introduced by two California state senators earlier this year. The bill, which was approved by the State Senate last month, would allow athletes to earn money using their name, images, and likenesses beginning in January of 2023.

However, the bill would not allow public or private universities to pay their student-athletes directly.

Last week, president Emmert sent a letter to two State Assembly committees where he recognized the efforts that have been made to develop the bill. However, he also expressed his belief that it would have a “negative impact,” on the athletes the bill seeks to help.

“We recognize all of the efforts that have been undertaken to develop this bill in the context of complex issues related to the current collegiate model that have been the subject of litigation and much national debate,” said Emmert in his letter to the chairs of two State Assembly committees. “Nonetheless, when contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships. As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist.”

Since the state senate already passed SB 206, the bill would need to be approved by the Assembly`s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee on Tuesday, when they are scheduled to meet.

If the bill is approved by the committee, it would then need to be approved by July 11 by the Higher Education Committee in order for it to remain alive for the rest of the year.

President Emmert asked the committee to, “postpone the consideration of the bill, while the NCAA reviews its rules concerning athletes` ability to make money from their names, images and likenesses,” according to USA TODAY`s Steve Berkowitz.

As it currently stands, NCAA college athletes are not allowed to receive any direct payments for their athletic talents. This includes endorsement deals, selling their autographs, and direct payments by recruiters attempting to lure an athlete towards a particular school.


California Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) said her bill would allow athletes to “earn money from their talent… while retaining amateur status,” according to the Los Angeles Times. 

In 2018, the NCAA nearly made $1.1 billion in annual revenue during the its 2017 fiscal year, which marked the first time in history that the association surpassed the $1 billion mark.

State senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said the bill is not only a “civil rights issue,” but also a “fairness issue.”

“These men and women put butts in seats of arenas and stadiums all across the country and the universities make millions of dollars selling their jerseys and other paraphernalia…but these athletes benefit not one dime,” said senator Bradford. “This is a civil rights issue. This is a fairness issue.”

If the bill proceeds and goes into effect in 2023, the ban on California universities could potentially affect 23 NCAA Division 1 schools, which include four from the Pac-12 Conference.

By, Luis Zuniga

Contributions by, the Los Angeles Times, Bleacher Report, USA Today, CNN, Deadspin, and Sports Illustrated

Photo, Darron Cummings/Associated Press


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Chaos Surrounding CAF Leads To Potential Intervention By FIFA

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA—Amid recent chaos involving top leaders in the Confederation of African Football, the executive committee passed a motion on Wednesday to seek help from FIFA to run the confederations day-to-day operations, according to multiple sources.

FATMA SAMOUR.jpg Foto-net


 Fatma Samoura, 56, became the first female Secretary General of FIFA in May of 2016, after being appointed by President Gianni Infantino.

Samoura will be directly involved in the governance of the CAF for a six-month period, while taking on the role of the “FIFA High Commissioner for Africa,” beginning August 1,, 2019 and ending on January 1, 2020.

According to an internal document seen by the New York Times, FIFA argued that in order to improve the CAF`s image and reputation, “the rule of the temporary FIFA High Commissioner for Africa would be to conduct a root-and-branch review of governance of the confederation, oversee operational management of the organization, and recommend where needed a series of reform efforts.”

This decision marks the first time in history that FIFA will be directly involved in managing a confederation such as the CAF, due in large part to the fact that the organization is not one of the more than 200 national associations that make up FIFA.

As a result, a vote by the CAF`s executive committee was required for the process to continue.


The decision comes in the wake of FIFA`s open investigation on CAF President Ahmad following complaints of both financial and sexual harassment. He was interrogated by French authorities earlier this month as a, “part of a probe into corruption, breach of trust and forgery,” according to the BBC.

Despite being detained, President Ahmad was released and has refuted all allegations made against him, while signaling them as “false.”

According to a leaked brief, “the FIFA High Commissioner for Africa would act under the supervision of both the CAF President and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.”

Though a majority of the executive committee leaders voted in favor of a motion that would seek FIFA`s assistance, some of the members were opposed to the idea.

One member described the involvement of FIFA as a “trap,” which the confederation fell into following the lack of their own “forensic audit.”

Despite the fact that the majority of the executive committee of the CAF voted in favor of the motion on Wednesday, the CAF`S General Assembly, which is the supreme body of the organization, will still need to rule on whether or not to allow FIFA to intervene. The decision will be made at a meeting being held in Cairo next month.

By, Luis Zuniga

Contributions by, Inside World Football, BBC, and the New York Times

Photo, Foto-net


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College Club Sports On The Rise

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA- When people think of college sports, they often think of the NCAA. However, a new trend has begun to spread throughout various collegiate institutions. College Club Sports have risen in not only popularity, but also in numbers. Today, California State University Northridge Sports club coordinator, Nathan Warden, said sport clubs have continued to grow in numbers at the university.

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Credit, CSUN Men`s Volleyball Club

According to the NCAA`s website,more than 460,000 student-athletes- more than ever before- compete in 24 sports every year.

At CSUN alone, there are around 18 NCAA sport teams which include men`s baseball, basketball, cross country and soccer to name a few. They also include women`s basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and tennis amongst others. However, the number of sport teams dwindle in comparison to the universities 29 official sport clubs.

Nathan Warden has been the sports club coordinator at CSUN for three years. As the coordinator, Warden`s job consists of scheduling, hiring coaches, managing budgets, and advising teams on how to run their clubs. He said sport club teams are larger than the universities NCAA teams in terms of numbers.

“We`re bigger than athletics in terms of the student athletes that we have,” said Warden. “We have almost anywhere in between 800 to 1000 athletes every year between all of our sport clubs.”

Though both forms of athletics compete at the collegiate level, there are some key differences between them, particularly when it pertains to the level of competition.

However, the structure of both is also very much different.

The NCAA was founded in 1910. As a result, the association has had strict rules and a system in place that athletes, coaches and administration have had to follow for 109 years. Sports clubs on the other hand, tend to have a larger sense of freedom.

The student athletes and club presidents of each team have a say in the way their organization will be ran.

“At the sport club level, the clubs are managed and led by students,” said Warden. “The men`s rugby president, as an example, will decide who they want to hire as a coach and they will set the practices and their own game schedules.”

This sort of voice and freedom allows sport club participants like Eric Sanchez, 24, to manage the workload that comes with being a college student-athlete.

“It was more of a team decision in terms of what time practices would be,” said Sanchez, a first-year member of the CSUN men`s volleyball club team. “We never actually had conflicts with exams, unless you were taking a Saturday exam because most of our games are on weekends.”


Sanchez also said that due to the flexibility that club athletes like himself are given, they are allowed to miss practice without fear of repercussions, as long as they notify someone, and the reasoning is school related.

Though people pride themselves on earning scholarships and becoming NCAA athletes, sport club players have to make the team, pay fees and meet the GPA requirements set by each individual club.

According to the 2017-2018 Annual Report provided by CSUN`s Associated Students, sport clubs like the men’s volleyball club had 33 participants who`s dues were $575 for the year, while the women’s volleyball club had 19 active members who paid $275 in dues per semester.

As a result of having to pay to play, participating becomes a hobby rather than an obligation for these athletes. Sanchez said that although he doesn`t think college club sports are as important, he recognizes that participating gives students a break from school and allows them to represent their university.

“I don`t feel it`s that big of an importance,” said Sanchez. “Just because you have to pay for it. It’s not something you`re sponsored for, getting for free or getting any benefit out of. It`s something you want to do for yourself.”

He also compared sports clubs to the sororities and fraternities that can be found at most universities in the country.”

“It`s kind of like the same scenario as a fraternity or sorority,” said Sanchez. “You`re doing it to network, meet people, and enjoy something you`re going to enjoy for a long time.”

Though most high school athletes dream of becoming a division 1 player at an NCAA school and moving on to become professionals, there just aren`t enough spots for everyone. As a result, thousands of athletes are turning towards college club sports to continue staying fit, networking, and participating in something they enjoy.

Credit, Eman Boateng

Credit, Luis Zuniga

By, Luis Zuniga

Contributions by, NCAA, CSUN Sport Clubs, Go Matadors, CSUN 2017-18 Associated Students Annual Report, and the New York Times

Photo, CSUN Men`s Volleyball Club

Video, Eman Boateng


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Is Being Average Wrong?

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – Athletics are a large part of the high school experience. Coaches often adopt the saying, “you`re a student first and an athlete second.” However, teams constantly lose players to grades. So, classroom performance is as important as performance on the field or court said one high school athletic director yesterday.


Credit, East Valley High School

East Valley High School Athletic Director, Franklin Medrano, has been the athletic director of the school since 2015. He said that the problem starts in middle school.

“You go to middle school and you get promoted,” said Medrano. “Even if you fail your academics, you get moved on to the 7th grade or 8th grade. Once they get to high school, they come with that mentality.”

However, some places are targeting the gap in education and athletics.  For instance, Dayton public schools in Ohio lowered the academic standards for athletes in 2017.

They ruled to allow athletes with a GPA of a 1.0 to a 1.9 participate, if they attend tutoring. The athlete must also show improvement in their academics.

For example, if their starting grade point average was at a 1.1, they would need to improve to a 1.2 at the very least to remain eligible the following quarter.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association currently allows schools to set their own standards. As a result, prior to the 2017 ruling, Dayton schools had a 2.0 GPA as their minimum requirement for athletic participation.

However, each state is different.

For example, the California Interscholastic Federation, which is the governing body for high school athletics in the state of California, requires athletes to maintain a 2.0 GPA before and during the season. If they fail to maintain the minimum of a C average, they become ineligible to participate.

Medrano said there`s been talks with CIF about allowing student athletes to practice, despite not having the minimum requirement.

“We`ve been talking about allowing our players who have less than a 2.0 practice,” said Medrano. “But not participate with the sports team,”

During a meeting with all of the athletic directors, Medrano said they received a survey with questions asking if they should allow athletes who don`t meet the requirement, practice but not participate in official games. However, he said his vote was a no.

He said in order for a policy like that to work, athletic directors would need full support. Medrano suggested that a committee whose task is solely to focus on the athlete’s grades would need to be formed.


“There should be a committee that works with these students,” said Medrano. “Someone who can work with the athletes after school and check their GPA not only at the end but work with them throughout the school year.”

Though some argue a 2.0 is sufficient and are opposed to lowering the GPA requirements, others like coach Salvador Plascencia believe a lowering would benefit the athlete.

“Lowering the GPA requirement to at least a 1.75 might be a good idea,” Plascencia said. “For those students who need the extra encouragement to participate in sports and not give up hope and drop out of high school.”

It’s been reported that participating in high school sports can keep a student in school, some people think that the athletes become more popular than non-athletes. Most coaches and former athletes say high school athletics taught them valuable life lessons.

Among the most common named are teamwork, respect, dedication, hard work and being a punctual person.

However, there Is still a large debate as to what is an appropriate requirement for these students. Some argue a 2.0 teaches athletes that it`s appropriate to aim for the bare minimum, while others find it still too high.

A poll conducted on Twitter by Life Beyond the Whistle found that of 118 voters, 47 percent of them said a 2.0 should be the minimum requirement while, 44 percent said it is still too low. 6 percent said it should be up to states to decide the requirement, while only 3 percent of the voters said it should be less than a 2.0.

Though the National Federation of State High School Associations reported that nearly eight million athletes participated in high school sports during 2018, it seems that a nationwide eligibility rule must be addressed amid the recent discussions in various states.

Credit, Rickie Edison

Credit, Luis Zuniga

By, Luis Zuniga

Contributions by, Dayton Daily News, NFHS, Life Beyond the Whistle Twitter, The Beaufort Gazett, ABC Action News and The New York Times

Photo by, East Valley High School

Video, Rickie Edison


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Officials Dismissed Bibby After State Championship Game

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – Newly released emails from the Paradise Valley Unified School District indicate that officials did not dismiss former NBA guard, Mike Bibby, as their varsity basketball coach, until two days after their state championship game.


Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic

In late February, the Arizona Republic published an article that revealed sexual assault allegations made against the former NBA star by a teacher at the school.

Superintendent James Lee and Becky Kelbaugh, a spokesperson for the district, said the district did not receive direct information from the Shadow Mountain teacher until Feb. 25, days after the basketball state championship game. However, Lee said in a statement that they would not prioritize winning a championship over doing the right thing.

We would never put allowing a coach to coach in a state championship over doing the right thing,” said Lee in a statement to 12 News. “The Phoenix Police Department directed the district not to disclose that they were conducting an investigation about the coach.”

Last month, Kelbaugh said the Phoenix police department had contacted the district in regard to allegations of sexual assault on Feb. 14, but the emails released have shown that there was no apparent disciplinary action indicated until Feb. 25, when the Arizona Republic received a copy of a restraining order against Bibby and began asking questions.

On Feb. 8, a Shadow Mountain teacher told a colleague that Bibby had assaulted her in February of 2017 on school grounds. She said Bibby grabbed her by her waste and pulled her into his car, where he allegedly groped her until she was able to get away from him.

AZ Central reports that the emails revealed this was not the first time there had been complaints made against him.

In February of 2018, several people complained over email, after Bibby was quoted in a bleacher report article.

He allegedly told his Shadow Mountain players to, “put those motherf–kers in the hole we’re gonna dig for them … We’re gonna kick their ass like we’re supposed to do.”

Though he has yet to comment on the situation, Bibby`s lawyer Donald Harris, has made it clear that he did not commit the acts he is being accused of.


Michael Bibby did not participate in a sexual assault of any way, shape or form that was alleged by this lady two years ago,” said Harris.

Bibby, a Shadow Mountain alumnus, has been coaching there for the past six years. During his time there, he has won five state championships. He was dismissed two days after winning his fourth straight title.

He attended the University of Arizona and proceeded to play in the NBA for 14 years on six different teams: the Vancouver Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat and the New York Knicks.

By, Luis Zuniga

Contributions by, 12 News,, Arizona Central, The Arizona Republic, Bleacher Report, USA Today and AZ Family

Photo by, Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic


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Brunel University Provides Female Athletes With Sports Hijabs

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – Brunel university in London announced that they have become the first UK university to provide a sports hijab for their Muslim women athletes.


Brunel University London Instagram

 The university`s​ decision to launch these hijabs came after a 2017 study by Sports London, revealed that “just 18% of Muslim women participate in regular sport, against 30% of the UK`s female population as a whole.”

They are hopeful that this initiative will make sports more inclusive for these Muslim female athletes.

Ranjeet Rathore, President of the Union of Brunel Students, said that despite the gap in sports participation, a lot of Muslim women were still participating.

“Of course, they were participating in sports on their own and in private, said Rathore. “But they weren’t really going out to competitions or using sport as a social tool to get involved in activities.”

Brunel`s hijab will cover the neck and hair area while leaving the face exposed. It will be made out of materials that are designed to keep the user cool while still respecting their religious values.

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Rathore said that, “the new hijab is made of really light, high-quality material which is light on the head, and contains small pores which allows the skin to breathe more easily.”

The traditional hijab is made out of cotton, which can make it hot and uncomfortable to wear while participating in sports or any physical activity.

Faith Al Saad, a business management student at Brunel thinks the new hijab will be a “lifesaver.”

The traditional hijab is basically a cloth you wrap around your head and then pin down,” said Al Saad.You can’t really run in it, it’ll literally fly off. The pins come out and it falls off – it’s not comfortable.”

She continued by stating that “the traditional hijab gets in the way. Wearing the sports hijab makes it ten-times easier.”

The hijabs that Brunel will provide for their students come in two sizes and “Brunel blue.” They will cost £15, the equivalent to about $20, which is cheaper than the hijabs launched by Nike in 2017.

By, Luis Zuniga

Contributions by, Brunel University London, BBC, Her, and the National

Photo, Brunel University London Instagram


What is a Hijab?

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Nike`s 2017 Sports Hijab









Search For Emiliano Sala And Pilot Called Off

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – Officials announced on Wednesday that the search for Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala and his pilot, has gone from a rescue mission to a recovery mission.

emiliano sala.jpg


The rescue mission had been handled primarily by the Guernsey police. However, on Thursday they said that the chances of 28-year-old Sala or his pilot, Dave Ibbotson, still being alive, were “extremely remote.”

John Fitzgerald, the chief officer of Channel Islands Air search, told BBC that he thought there was very little hope for positive news.

“Sadly, I really don`t think, personally, there is any hope,” said Fitzgerald. “At this time of the year, the conditions out there are pretty horrendous if you are actually in the water.”

“I think even the most fit person if they are in the water, would not last longer than a few hours,” said Fitzgerald.

The plane carrying Sala was flying from Nantes in Western France towards Cardiff. The plane had been flying at 5,000 feet but descended after the pilot requested to descend to a lower altitude.

Reports say that the radar lost contact with the A-46-310P Malibu aircraft at 2,300 feet before it disappeared near Channel Islands before 8:30 p.m. on Monday evening.

It is also being reported by the media in Argentina that before disappearing, Sala sent a WhatsApp voicemail where he reportedly said, “I`m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart.”

Salas` father, Horacio Sala, spoke to Argentine media and said he just wants them to find his son.

“The hours go by and it makes me think of the worst,” said Horacio. “I just want them to find him.”pollo loco

Salas was in Nantes on Monday to say his final farewell to his former teammates before joining his new team in Cardiff.

His last Instagram post was a photo of himself alongside his former Nantes FC teammates with the caption, “La ultima ciao @FCNantes,” which in English translates to, “the last goodbye.”

Sala, had just moved to the English Premier League after signing a deal reportedly worth more than $19 million with Cardiff City. He was scheduled to start practicing with his new team this past Tuesday.

By, Luis Zuniga

Contributions by, Fox News, BBC News, NY Times, the Washington Post, the Daily Beast and CBS news

Photo, CNN

Video, The Telegraph


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