“We provide student-athletes with unparalleled educational and athletic opportunities, and that should be pay enough. We don’t want to directly compensate them, and don’t feel we should have to.” Those were, essentially, the arguments of Pac-12 COO Jamie Zaninovich and Stanford Senior Associate Athletics Director Kevin Blue at last week’s Stanford Sports Innovation Conference hosted…
Stanford softball’s collapse first became evident at the end of the 2014 season, when a faction of the team presented athletic director Bernard Muir with sweeping allegations against 18-year head coach John Rittman — allegations that have since been disputed by at least half of the team. A group of parents and former players supported those allegations, which also implicated Rittman’s assistants and the team’s trainers. Just 18 days after that contingent met with Muir, Rittman resigned.
Of the 213 athletes from 25 varsity sports that responded to a survey conducted by Psych 78Q: The Mental Health of Collegiate Athletes, 83 percent wished that their team had a sports nutritionist, 73 percent said they wanted a sports-specific psychologist and only about 40 percent agreed that they felt comfortable approaching their coach with questions and concerns. The Emotional Well-Being and Assessment of Campus Resources Survey — initiated by senior rower Christina Bax — led to a presentation to various members of the Athletic and Psychiatry Departments and the AARC on how the student-athlete experience could be improved.
Although many college football programs have recently incurred heavy financial losses due to bowl game participation, the Stanford athletics department has seen both an increase in season-ticket renewals and national profile in the aftermath of the 2013 Rose Bowl.