MoJo Author Feeds: Ian Gordon | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en This May Be the Most Radical Idea in All of Professional Sports <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><span class="section-lead">It's a foggy February</span> morning in San Francisco, and a classroom full of midcareer MBA students at the Presidio Graduate School listens, rapt, as Allen Hershkowitz tells his toilet paper story.</p> <p>Back in 2004, the Philadelphia Eagles <a href="" target="_blank">had recently moved</a> into a brand new stadium and wanted to become more environmentally responsible. The team reached out to him to talk about paper, one of his areas of expertise. It wasn't exactly exciting stuff, but Hershkowitz, then a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) with a track record of taking on ambitious projects, had done his homework: The Eagles' TP supplier was Kimberly-Clark, which was <a href="" target="_blank">getting wood pulp</a> from forests in the southern Appalachians that were home to, you guessed it, real-life eagles. "The people at the Eagles' stadium were wiping their butts with eagle habitat," he recalls. "That's what we call a branding liability."</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/green-sports300rail.jpg"></a> <div class="caption"><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>8 eye-popping stats on pro sports' environmental footprint</strong></a></div> </div> <p>Standing in front of his Business of Sports and Sustainability class in a gray wool suit with a blue dress shirt unbuttoned to reveal a silver Om pendant, Hershkowitz smiles at the memory. Ever since that meeting more than a decade ago, he has been at the forefront of the sports sustainability movement, first at the NRDC and now at his own group, the <a href="" target="_blank">Green Sports Alliance (GSA)</a>. What started as a one-off win in a football team's restrooms has morphed into a wide-ranging effort to promote energy efficiency, recycling and composting, better food sourcing, and species preservation&mdash;and, beyond all that, to <a href="" target="_blank">bring environmental messages</a> to America's sports-crazed masses.</p> <p>Since it started in 2010, the GSA has enlisted 134 pro sports teams, 142 venues, and nine leagues, including pro baseball, basketball, and hockey. At least 28 venues now use some kind of renewable energy; 20 stadiums have been LEED certified. The National Hockey League <a href="" target="_blank">has avoided</a> more than 38 million pounds of carbon emissions since 2012 by purchasing offsets and renewable energy certificates. Major League Baseball teams <a href="" target="_blank">use special software</a> called Green Track to monitor their energy and water use. The National Basketball Association <a href="" target="_blank">powers</a> its All-Star events and midseason Green Week with renewable energy and has even written to Congress, <a href="" target="_blank">calling</a> for tighter regulations on coal-fired power plants to help combat climate change.</p> <p>Much of this can be attributed to the 60-year-old Hershkowitz's ability to sell sustainability not as an obligation to the planet but as a smart financial move. "If we went to CFOs and were like, 'We want to talk about global warming,' they'd be like, 'Get the fuck out of here,'" he says. "It was all about business and the bottom line." He recalls one pro football exec telling him, "Allen, I know just by the way you look that I disagree with everything you stand for&mdash;but I like working with you because you save us money."</p> <p>For Hershkowitz, the bottom line isn't making owners happy but achieving the biggest possible impact. "This is 100 percent strategic," he says. Almost every major industry&mdash;energy, transportation, food, chemicals, textiles&mdash;has a stake in pro sports, either as suppliers or sponsors. Tweak a team's or a league's supply chain, and you might change the way an entire chunk of the economy does business. And then there's the potential to reach millions of fans. "Sixteen percent of Americans follow science," Hershkowitz says, citing a <a href="" target="_blank">National Science Foundation survey</a>. "<a href="" target="_blank">Seventy percent</a> follow sports." And many of them are not exactly sympathetic to the climate change agenda.</p> <p>"The question is, how do you change people's cultural attitudes?" he says. "How do you change their minds? You don't do it by arguing in Congress. You don't do it through talking heads on Sunday talk shows. You've got to connect with them in a place where they're open to changing their minds." And talking people into a place where they're ready to change their minds is one of Hershkowitz's talents. "Allen has a very good way of making friends with important people," says John Adams, the NRDC's founder. "He's not a bleeding violet."<br> &nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/keyssar_Hershkowitz_001-960.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Allen Hershkowitz</strong> Natalie Keyssar</div> </div> <p><span class="section-lead"><strong>hershkowitz is not</strong></span> much of a sports fan, either. Rather, he's a personable polymath who spits out data, poetry, and the occasional Henry David Thoreau quote. During boozy postclass dinners, he drops names (Elie Wiesel, David Stern, Billie Jean King) and regales his guest speakers and TAs with engaging anecdotes of his exploits. (As his former NRDC colleague Darby Hoover says, "I'm sure you've noticed: Allen <em>never</em> exaggerates at all.") His American Express card IDs him as DR. ALLEN HERSHKOWITZ / SCIENTIST AND POET.</p> <p>When I first got him on the phone, he peppered me with a dizzying array of factoids and stats. He let me know that there are 154 pro sports teams ("if you don't include professional lacrosse"), 90 of which share 50 animals as mascots or team names; 31 of those animals are endangered or at risk of going extinct in the wild.</p> <p>He was always good with numbers, something he attributes, in a roundabout way, to not speaking English until he was five. "A fact was a fact in Yiddish," he says, "and a fact was a fact in English." He was born in Brooklyn, the son of Holocaust survivors who'd both lost spouses and children in the war. They met at a postwar displacement camp and made their way to the United States, eventually starting a new family in Crown Heights' Orthodox Jewish community.</p> <p>Hershkowitz attended New York City public schools from kindergarten through grad school at CUNY, where he received a doctorate in political economics in 1986. He became an expert on recycling ("I was the only Ph.D. in garbage!"). In an article on one of his lectures, <em>The New Yorker</em> described him as "a handsome, slightly dishevelled man in a tan suit."</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Hersh_sidebar_960.jpg"></a> <div class="caption rtecenter"><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>It takes how much electricity to power an NFL game?</strong></a> Justin Fantl</div> </div> <p>In 1988, the NRDC brought him in to run its solid-waste program. "He was just full of energy and had a lot of electricity," Adams recalls. "I thought we had a real live wire." Hershkowitz remembers Adams telling him, "Don't do anything illegal, but whatever you do, be effective." At first, that meant trying to win political battles in Washington, DC, an experience that left him skeptical of official efforts to enact change. "Water doesn't freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit in Congress," he says. "It's all negotiable depending on how much you want to pay them."</p> <p>Hershkowitz's biggest political battle came when he proposed converting a polluted South Bronx rail yard into a high-tech paper mill that would recycle the city's paper. Hershkowitz lined up big-name boosters, including then-Vice President Al Gore and architect Maya Lin, who agreed to design the plant. But the plan crumbled due to local turf battles and the opposition of Mayor Rudy Giuliani. When <em>The New Yorker</em> covered the fight, it found Hershkowitz "a shaggy-haired and slightly worried-looking man." He jokes that he needed a second therapist by the time the project was officially dead. "I learned that the ruthlessness of the market does not go away because you have good intentions," he says. "I learned that there are cultural barriers to sustainability. I learned that nobody has a monopoly on virtue."</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/garden-master300rail.jpg"></a> <div class="caption"><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>The beginning of the end of stadium junk food? </strong></a></div> </div> <p>The game-changing moment came in 2004, when Hershkowitz attended a retreat at the Sundance, Utah, home of NRDC trustee Robert Redford. While discussing the Bush administration's stance on climate change, the conversation turned to the question of recruiting nontraditional allies. "You need to go to the ballpark," Redford chimed in. "You need to meet people where they're at."</p> <p>A few months later, Hershkowitz secured a meeting with surrogates to then-Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, to ask them to collaborate with the NRDC on environmental messaging. Redford narrated a $35,000 video the NRDC put together for the meeting, <a href="" target="_blank">even making</a> an appearance in the New York Knights jacket he famously wore in <em>The Natural</em>. The commish bought in, signing a comprehensive agreement to educate fans and promote energy efficiency, renewable power, water conservation, and recycling. When they finally met in person, Hershkowitz says, Selig took him by the shoulders and said, "Whatever you need, you let me know." To this day, Hershkowitz calls Selig "the greatest environmentalist in the history of sports."</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/MJ_Giants-Recycle1.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>The dirty work of going green: inside the recycling center at the San Francisco Giants' AT&amp;T Park </strong>Justin Fantl</div> </div> <p>Baseball was just the start. Hershkowitz set his sights on the NBA, the NHL, Major League Soccer, the US Tennis Association, the National Lacrosse League, cricket, Australian rules football, <a href="" target="_blank">Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon</a>, you name it. He perfected the art of nudging reluctant officials and owners to sign off on aggressive sustainability goals. Hoover, who helped develop the NRDC's sports greening project, recalls that when Hershkowitz faced pushback, he'd give teams an overly long time frame, like 10 years. Invariably, abashed owners or executives would respond, "Well, we want to get something done before <em>that</em>," and they'd move forward. The money to be saved on energy efficiency alone was often enough to get teams on board, but soon they went further: Eventually, the commissioners from the big four pro sports were talking about the threats posed by climate change. In the NHL's <a href="" target="_blank">first-ever sustainability report</a>, released last year, Commissioner Gary Bett&shy;man warned that climate change posed a serious challenge to the sport: No more ice, no more ice hockey.</p> <p>There's no one-size-fits-all approach. <a href="" target="_blank">Solar panels</a> at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, home of football's Seahawks and soccer's Sounders, generate more than 830,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough to power 95 homes. Los Angeles' <a href="" target="_blank">Staples Center</a>, home to the NBA's Lakers and Clippers and the NHL's Kings, replaced its conventional urinals with waterless units, saving 7 million gallons of water annually. Toronto's Air Canada Centre, home to the NHL's Maple Leafs and the NBA's Raptors, has an aerobic digestion system that converts <a href="" target="_blank">food waste into wastewater</a>. The San Francisco Giants recycle or compost nearly 96 percent of their fans' trash&mdash;including the 2,000 to 4,000 pounds of peanut shells that cleanup crews pick up after every game.</p> <p>Occasionally, big money and big egos trump good intentions. In 2004, Staples Center management installed custom tungsten-halogen lights for Lakers games that lit up the court like a stage and drew rave reviews from star Kobe Bryant. When the Kings and Clippers <a href="" target="_blank">agreed last fall</a> to switch to superefficient LEDs that created a similar effect, the Lakers chose to stick with their decade-old lights. So the arena still has two lighting systems: the brand new LEDs and the relative energy hogs that lighting experts have come to call "the Kobe lights."</p> <p>Beyond broad statements about millions of pounds of garbage recycled and millions of tons of carbon emissions reduced, it's difficult to quantify the green sports movement's overall impact since many leagues and teams will not disclose their environmental footprints, even after reducing them. Hershkowitz says it's more important to keep owners and execs focused on what they can achieve. "That was part of my deal with them: I will never force you to go public with this information when you don't want to," he says. "Reporting this to the public does not enhance the biosphere. Changing the operations enhances the biosphere."<br> &nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/att-final.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>Sorting fans' trash at AT&amp;T Park's recycling center </strong>Justin Fantl</div> </div> <p><span class="section-lead"><strong>given this lack</strong></span> of transparency, there's always the risk that the teams and corporate sponsors joining up with Hershkowitz are just looking for a PR win. "There's a definite danger for everybody to be co-opted by folks who want to talk green but don't want to do anything about it," says Jack Groh, who's been running the Super Bowl's greening efforts since 1993. A few years ago, for example, Monsanto tried to convince the NHL to let it be the sport's main sustainability sponsor. At the league's request, Hershkowitz laid out the deal's pros and cons; ultimately, it decided to pass. "You've got to walk the walk," he says. "You've got to be doing the stuff, and it's got to be authentic."</p> <p>And then there's <a href="" target="_blank">NASCAR</a>. With its enormous fan base and bad enviro optics&mdash;a race weekend can burn more than 5,000 gallons of fuel&mdash;America's largest spectator sport comes up again and again with Hershkowitz. NASCAR country is where he sees the biggest potential for growth and change&mdash;a true test of his vision of seamlessly packaging a serious environmental message inside mainstream culture.</p> <p>He has even dispatched his Presidio B-schoolers to consult with five tracks on their recycling programs as part of NASCAR Green, the sport's environmental-awareness campaign. It hasn't been easy, as is evident when his students report back to him in class one day. In Alabama, home to the Talladega Superspeedway, just 8 percent of trash is recycled or composted. (The national recycling rate is <a href="" target="_blank">almost 35 percent</a>.) The owners of the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth have made millions in royalties from fracking wells on their property&mdash;not an encouraging sign of their interest in going green. One student reports that an official dismissed his track's lousy recycling rate, saying, "You know we don't give a shit about this."</p> <p>As his students tick off the problems they've been butting up against, Hershko&shy;witz's shoulders slump. He'd started the Presidio-linked project in hopes of convincing NASCAR to go zero-waste. "Now," he says, shaking his head, "we're trying to convince tracks to recycle a bale of aluminum."</p> <p>But it's not like Hershkowitz to give up easily. When I mention to him that my dad and his best buddy used to make an annual summer trip to Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, his eyes light up. I can almost see him rifling through the stats in his head: In 2010, the <a href="" target="_blank">track installed</a> 25 acres of solar panels that will produce 72 million kilowatt-hours of electricity over 20 years, offsetting 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. "We've got to go to a race together," Hershkowitz says, eagerly. "They fucking <em>love</em> me at Pocono."</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/keyssar_Hershkowitz_005.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Allen Hershkowitz</strong> Natalie Keyssar</div> </div></body></html> Environment Longreads Climate Change Energy Sports Top Stories Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:00:12 +0000 Ian Gordon 279611 at Listen to a Honduran Coyote Tell You All About Last Year's Child Migrant Crisis <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>"You think the gringos are going to block that border? They're not going to block it, man."</p> <p>So says "Carlos," a Honduran smuggler interviewed in the latest story from <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Radio Ambulante</em></a>, the Spanish-language podcast created by novelist and journalist Daniel Alarc&oacute;n. In the fascinating <a href="" target="_blank">"El Coyote,"</a> Carlos discusses his own past as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, his road into the smuggling business, and how much money people like him actually make. (As he puts it: "You only keep 25 percent. If you charge $7,000, you are only left with $1,800.")</p> <p>But what struck me about Carlos' monologue was how he describes last year's <a href="" target="_blank">child migrant crisis</a>, when nearly 70,000 kids&mdash;mostly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador&mdash;were apprehended at the US-Mexico border, many without even trying to evade Customs and Border Protection agents. His goal, he implies, was just to get kids across the border; parents wanted them to be caught by CBP because, as minors traveling without a guardian, they'd have a chance to apply for different forms of deportation relief and potentially stay in the United States for good.</p> <p>Here's what he had to say (emphasis mine):</p> <blockquote> <p>What there was was an avalanche of young people, kids running away from our countries. We could tell you it was a wonderful time. You got the Central American kids, made them cross the Rio Bravo, and they were caught by Immigration&hellip;<strong>It's less money but it's safe money, because the parent wants you to hand the kid off to Immigration. So it's a safe bet. </strong>Now, ask me, what do the governments in our countries do about that? Nothing.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, the number of unaccompanied child migrants caught at the border this year is <a href="" target="_blank">down 48 percent</a> compared to the same time last year, thanks in large part to <a href="" target="_blank">Mexico's new, US-influenced crackdown</a> on Central American migrants.</p> <p>Check out the entire "El Coyote" segment, updated Tuesday with English subtitles, above.</p></body></html> MoJo Video Immigration International child migrants Thu, 04 Jun 2015 10:00:09 +0000 Ian Gordon 276566 at Short Takes: "Champs" <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Champs</strong></p> <p>BERT MARCUS PRODUCTIONS</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Champs</em></a> doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. Is it a paean to boxing mythology that relies on celebrity fans (Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige) to sing its praises? Is it a memoir of three iconic heavyweights: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Bernard Hopkins? Is it a sociological take on inner-city America and the criminal-justice system? Or, most interestingly, is it a stinging indictment of the sport's inadequate regulations&mdash;of predatory managers, brain trauma, and more&mdash;that led one journo to call boxing "laissez-faire capitalism run amok"? By aspiring to do too much, <em>Champs </em>delivers more of a glancing blow than a KO.</p></body></html> Media Film and TV Sports Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:20:06 +0000 Ian Gordon 269176 at Why the Duke Basketball Sexual-Assault Story Won't Go Away Quickly <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The Duke University student newspaper <a href="" target="_blank">reported today</a> that a player recently dismissed from the school's powerhouse men's basketball team had been twice accused of sexual assault. Moreover, it found that athletic department officials, including Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, knew about the allegations as early as last March but failed to act for months.<a href="#update">*</a></p> <p>According to the <em>Chronicle</em>, two different women claimed that junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon had sexually assaulted them during the 2013-14 school year. In October 2013, a woman told classmates at a retreat that Sulaimon had assaulted her; at the same retreat in February 2014, another woman made a similar claim. The <em>Chronicle </em>reported that the team psychologist was made aware of the allegations in March 2014, and that several key members of the athletic department&mdash;including Krzyzewski, several assistant coaches, and athletic director Kevin White&mdash;found out shortly thereafter.</p> <p>At a press conference, Krzyzewski <a href="" target="_blank">declined to comment</a> on the <em>Chronicle</em> article. But here are three reasons why this particular story won't be going away anytime soon:</p> <ul><li><strong>Slow response:</strong> Neither woman filed a complaint with the university or went to the local police in part due to "the fear of backlash from the Duke fan base," according to the <em>Chronicle. </em>Nonetheless, the allegations reportedly were brought to the coaching staff shortly after the second incident was disclosed. According to the <em>Chronicle</em>, most Duke employees are required to report sexual assault; under <a href="" target="_blank">Title IX</a>, the university must investigate any such allegations. "Nothing happened after months and months of talking about [the sexual assault allegations]," an anonymous source told the newspaper. "The University administration knew."</li> <li><strong>It's Duke, and Coach K: </strong>It has been nearly nine years since the <a href="" target="_blank">Duke lacrosse rape case</a>, which fell apart after months of intense scrutiny and media attention. Given the prominence of Krzyzewski and his program&mdash;he has the most wins of any Division I men's coach in history, and the Blue Devils are ranked No. 3 in the country&mdash;this story could gain a lot more traction as March Madness nears.&nbsp;Sulaimon was the first player Krzyzewski has <a href="" target="_blank">dismissed</a> in his 35 years at Duke; here's how the coach described the decision in a January 29 press release: "Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program. It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program."</li> <li><strong>It's yet another sexual-assault accusation against a college athlete: </strong>The Sulaimon story comes just days after a former Louisville University basketball player was charged with <a href="" target="_blank">rape and sodomy</a>. On January 27, two former Vanderbilt University football players were <a href="" target="_blank">convicted</a> on multiple counts of sexual battery and aggravated rape, a case dissected in a <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Sports Illustrated</em></a> feature last month. And in another highly publicized recent case, Jameis Winston, Florida State University's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and the likely No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, was accused but never charged of raping a fellow student. (The school recently <a href="" target="_blank">cleared</a> Winston of violating its code of conduct.)</li> </ul><p id="update"><strong>UPDATE, March 4, 2014: </strong>In a <a href=";utm_medium=twitter" target="_blank">statement</a> released yesterday to the <em>Sporting News</em>, Duke athletic director Kevin White had this to say about how Krzyzewski and the athletic department handled the Sulaimon situation:</p> <blockquote> <p>Any allegation of student misconduct that is brought to the attention of our staff and coaches is immediately referred to the Office of Student Conduct in Student Affairs, which has responsibility for upholding the Duke code of conduct. &nbsp;The athletics department does not investigate or adjudicate matters of student conduct, and cooperates completely in the process&hellip;</p> <p>These investigations are conducted thoroughly, in a timely manner, and with great care to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all students involved.&nbsp;Those procedures have been, and continue to be, followed by Coach Mike Krzyzewski and all members of the men's basketball program. Coach Krzyzewski and his staff understand and have fulfilled their responsibilities to the university, its students and the community.</p> </blockquote> <p>For more on Duke's legal footing with regard to how much information it needs to share with the media, read Michael McCann's <a href="" target="_blank">latest</a> at <em>Sports Illustrated</em>.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Sports Top Stories Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:32:53 +0000 Ian Gordon 271201 at "Children Do Not Migrate—They Flee": Striking Photos From Poverty-Ravaged Guatemala <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>In October 2013, I traveled to Guatemala's <a href="" target="_blank">western highlands</a> to report on the <a href="" target="_blank">surge of children migrating</a> from Central America to the United States. The largely indigenous region was more or less unchanged from when I'd lived in a village near the Guatemala-Mexico border in 2006, or when I'd returned to do graduate work there in 2009: It was poor, susceptible to natural disasters, and full of families with relatives living in the United States.</p> <p>Photographer Katie Orlinsky visited many of the same places that I did, and her evocative work from Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango, the unofficial capital of the highlands, illuminates the poverty that continues to push children and families north. <a href="" target="_blank">Recent data suggests</a> that while far fewer Hondurans and Salvadorans have been arriving at the US border, the number of Guatemalans has dipped only slightly. As one Guatemalan migrant shelter official told Orlinsky, "Children do not migrate&mdash;they flee."</p> <p><em>All photos by Katie Orlinsky for <a href="" target="_blank">Too Young to Wed,</a> in collaboration with <a href="" target="_blank">Humanity United</a>.</em></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_002.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A young boy gathers wood in Quetzaltenango. The area has one of the highest levels of child migration in the country. Many of the children are economic refugees. In addition, a large population of Guatemalans from the area are already living in the United States and Mexico. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_006.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Paula (right) does not go to school and instead works washing clothing with female family members in the town of Los Duraznales.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_008.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A bus in Los Duraznales</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_010.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A 16-year-old child migrant stands outside a government-run shelter in Quetzaltenango. The teenager was caught by the Mexican authorities and deported a day earlier. She was on her way to Ohio to meet her mother, who left 12 years ago. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_012.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A bus leaves for the Guatemala-Mexico border from the bus terminal in the largest market in Guatemala City. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_015.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A four-year-old stands outside her home in Quetzaltenango with her aunts. Along with her mother, she attempted to migrate to the United States, but they were caught in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Family members say they were imprisoned and abused before being deported back to Guatemala. The girl's mother continues to be unable to eat or speak after the experience.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_016.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The Alonso Lorenzo sisters, from left to right: Romina, 12, Alysa Karina, 16, and Isabel, 8, in Concepci&oacute;n Chiquirichapa. The sisters are orphans; their 14-year-old sister recently migrated to the United States, where she works to help support them. They currently live with their aunt in a cramped two-room home. All three sisters hope to migrate to the United States as soon as they can.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_017.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Romina Alonso Lorenzo, 12, washes dishes at her aunt's home in Concepci&oacute;n Chiquirichapa. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_019.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Romina and Isabel</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_020.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Alysa Karina, 16, prepares atole at her aunt's home. She does not attend school. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_022.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The youngest Alonso Lorenzo sisters attend the Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta al Telena. Nearly half of the school's students have family in the United States. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_024.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Romina at school</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_025.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Many students miss days or months of school in order to work. It is common to see children of varied ages in the same grade.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_026.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A girl studies against a wall in Guatemala City. Gangs and violence are one of the leading causes for child migration from Guatemala. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_028.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Jonathan, 13, works in a Guatemala City cemetery cutting and arranging flowers. He says he goes to school in the afternoons. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_030.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Thirteen-year-old Adonias sells garlic at the largest market in Guatemala City. </strong></div> </div></body></html> Media Photo Essays Immigration International child migrants Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:53:01 +0000 — Photos by Katie Orlinsky; Text by Ian Gordon 270401 at Love in the Time of PTSD: Mac McClelland's Irritable Heart <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>As <em>Mother Jones</em>' copy editor, I used to read the long, narrative features written by our former human rights reporter, Mac McClelland, many times over before they appeared in the magazine. They often wore me out, grammatically and emotionally, in the way that only intense work on difficult subjects can.</p> <p>In her second book, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Irritable </em><em>Hearts:</em> <em>A PTSD Love Story</em></a> (out February 24), McClelland returns to terrain she has covered before to great acclaim and great criticism: herself&mdash;specifically, her battle with PTSD following a reporting trip to <a href="" target="_blank">post-earthquake Haiti</a> in 2010. She unsparingly recounts her struggles to cope with the lingering effects of trauma: nightmares, sobbing fits, alcoholism. McClelland weaves these details into the telling of her own unexpected love story, the charming and jagged particulars of which left me, by the book's end, expectedly exhausted.</p> <p>I recently spoke by phone with McClelland about how our knowledge of post-traumatic stress is evolving, what shocked her most about dealing with trauma, and how to define a badass:</p> <p><strong>Mother Jones:</strong> Was the topic of PTSD on your radar at all before the first Haiti trip? Was it something you thought about a lot?&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mac McClelland:</strong> I was familiar with it as a concept pretty much exclusively with respect to veterans, and that is the sum total of my experience with the topic. I definitely hadn't read any books. I probably read like one pretty famous, or maybe two, famous features about PTSD, some big ones that came out around 2003 or something. But other than that, I had nothing.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/media/2015/02/mac-mcclelland-interview-ptsd-irritable-hearts"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Media Interview Health Media Military Top Stories Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Ian Gordon 270016 at There Will Be Fewer Child Migrants This Year, But the Crisis Isn't Over <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>It was right around this time last year that sources in South Texas began telling me that an expected surge of <a href="" target="_blank">unaccompanied child migrants</a> was going to be much larger than previously anticipated. They were right: The number of kids crossing the US-Mexico border <a href="" target="_blank">skyrocketed in 2014</a>, and the border crisis was soon front-page news. But the numbers have been dropping since last fall, and according to new projections, they're on pace to recede even further in 2015.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">projections</a> from the think tank <a href="" target="_blank">Washington Office on Latin America</a>, around 41,000 child migrants traveling alone will be caught by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the 2015 fiscal year, a 39 percent decrease from last year. WOLA's data also suggests that border agents will nab more than 56,000 migrant families (typically a mother traveling with children), a 16 percent drop from 2014.</p> <p>The number of apprehensions is proportional to the number of people crossing the border.<strong> </strong>The predictions are extrapolated from CBP data and seasonal migration trends. Adam Isacson, WOLA's senior associate for regional security policy, acknowledged that the numbers are "very tentative" and that the sample sizes were small, but that 2015 is still on pace to see the second-biggest influx ever of kids traveling alone.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>What accounts for these projected decreases in the two groups of migrants that made up last year's border crunch? After all, things haven't gotten any better in Central America's so-called Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras). "The situation in Central America hasn't changed in the last six months," says Maureen Meyer, WOLA's senior associate for Mexico and migrant rights. "So you're going to certainly see people fleeing their homes out of desperation and migrants continuing to be willing to run the gauntlet of risk they could face in Mexico, because they figure the risk is worth it if you could die in your home the next day anyway."</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_019225.jpg"></a> <div class="caption"><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>"Children Do Not Migrate&mdash;They Flee": Striking Photos From Poverty-Ravaged Guatemala </strong></a></div> </div> <p>CBP has trumpeted the anti-migration <a href="" target="_blank">ad campaign</a> it ran last year, but few experts believe it had much impact. Instead, they argue, the decline in migrants can be attributed to the increasing difficulty of making the roughly<strong> </strong>1,500-mile journey from Central America through Mexico. In July, for example, Mexican officials <a href="" target="_blank">closed off</a> access to <em>La Bestia</em> (the Beast), the freight train that runs from southern Mexico to the US border. Migrants often sneaked rides on La Bestia because they didn't have the money to pay smugglers. Keeping them off the train has made the journey north more expensive and potentially more dangerous: A recent article in Mexico's <a href="" target="_blank"><em>El Universal</em></a> newspaper detailed how migrants are walking increasingly risky routes or taking $250 boat rides to avoid detection in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.</p> <p>Shutting down La Bestia was just part of Mexico's new crackdown on Central American migrants. Earlier last summer, President Enrique Pe&ntilde;a Nieto announced an initiative called <a href="" target="_blank">Programa Frontera Sur</a> (Southern Border Program) to address the country's porous border with Guatemala. Meyer says that while the particulars of this plan are still vague, migrant shelter workers in southern Mexico have reported seeing more immigration agents patrolling the region and cracking down on safe houses for migrants.</p> <p>The Mexican government reports that it deported some 104,000 people to the Northern Triangle<strong> </strong>last year, a 34 percent increase from 2013. (Given the <a href="" target="_blank">poor conditions</a> in Mexico's immigration detention centers, Meyer says many detained migrants choose deportation and another shot at heading north.) The uptick has troubled immigrant advocates, who worry that Mexico isn't applying its generous refugee and humanitarian aid laws&mdash;and is turning around Central American migrants without regard for their safety in their home countries.<strong> </strong>"That's our biggest area of concern," said Jennifer Podkul of the <a href="" target="_blank">Women's Refugee Commission</a>. "Are they returning legitimate refugee seekers&mdash;people seeking asylum&mdash;before they even get here?"</p> <p>In a January 6 meeting with Pe&ntilde;a Nieto in Washington, President Obama <a href="" target="_blank">praised</a> Mexico's efforts along its border with Guatemala. US officials have repeatedly stressed that border's strategic importance; several years ago, border czar Alan Bersin <a href="" target="_blank">said</a>, "The Guatemalan border with Chiapas is now our southern border." The White House's 2016 foreign aid budget request earmarks money for bolstering Mexican border enforcement.</p> <p>Along the US-Mexico border, the feds are intent on avoiding a repeat of last year's border catastrophe, including those <a href="" target="_blank">visuals</a> of little kids piled together beneath space blankets in fenced-off warehouses. Meghan Johnson, the managing attorney at the <a href="" target="_blank">ProBAR Children's Project</a>, the American Bar Association's pro bono legal defense program in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, says that federal shelters for unaccompanied minors are currently at 30 percent capacity and that officials are bracing for an influx of kids in the late spring and early summer. The federal government has streamlined its process for getting detained kids out of Border Patrol holding facilities, and now there are two large processing facilities to temporarily hold child migrants before they are placed in shelters or reunified with their families in the states. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement just opened its <a href="" target="_blank">largest-ever detention facility</a>, in Dilley, Texas, which will only hold "family-unit" detainees, i.e., mothers traveling with their children. (For more, read the <em>New York Times Magazine</em>'s recent <a href="" target="_blank">cover story</a> on family detention.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Two weeks ago, in a <a href="" target="_blank"><em>New York Times </em>op-ed</a> announcing the White House's $1 billion aid proposal for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Vice President Joe Biden wrote that "if the political will exists, there is no reason Central America cannot become the next great success story of the Western Hemisphere." In the meantime, it appears the issues that sparked last year's border surge&mdash;gang violence, abject poverty, regional instability&mdash;will continue to force tens of thousands of unaccompanied children and families to seek refuge in the United States this year.</p> <p>Still, now that the numbers have dropped from their historic highs last year, it's a good bet that the kids and families won't make headlines anytime soon. "We won't see those images again of kids backed up at the border," Podkul says, "but that doesn't mean there's no crisis in Central America anymore."</p> <p><em>Clarification: A previous version of this article suggested that the Office of Refugee Resettlement ran the two border processing facilities, which are run by CBP.</em></p></body></html> Politics Charts Immigration International Top Stories child migrants Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:00:08 +0000 Ian Gordon 269861 at Saying Goodbye to Dean Smith, College Basketball's Liberal Conscience <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Famed college basketball coach Dean Smith <a href="" target="_blank">died</a> Saturday night at the age of 83, after years of <a href="" target="_blank">decline</a>. His on-court prowess as the frontman at North Carolina from 1961 to 1997 is unforgettable: 879 wins, two national championships, 11 Final Four appearances, and a lasting legacy as a <a href="" target="_blank">hoops innovator</a>. But for many, it's his off-court example&mdash;which manifested itself in something people in Chapel Hill still call the Carolina Way&mdash;that made him a legend.</p> <p>Smith was an outspoken <a href="" target="_blank">liberal Democrat</a> who was anti-nukes, anti-death-penalty, and pro-gay-rights in a state that sent Jesse Helms to the Senate for five terms. (In fact, North Carolina Dems even tried to <a href="" target="_blank">convince</a> Smith to run against Helms.) His father, Alfred, <a href="" target="_blank">integrated</a> his high school basketball team in 1930s Kansas; years later, Smith would do the same at UNC, recruiting Charlie Scott in the mid-1960s to become the first African American player on scholarship there and one of the first in the entire South.</p> <p>This story, from a <a href="" target="_blank">2014 piece</a> by the <em>Washington Post</em>'s John Feinstein, has been making the rounds today. It's worth re-reading:</p> <blockquote> <p>&hellip;In 1981, Smith very grudgingly agreed to cooperate with me on a profile for this newspaper. He kept insisting I should write about his players, but I said I <i>had</i> written about them. I wanted to write about him. He finally agreed.</p> <p>One of the people I interviewed for the story was Rev. Robert Seymour, who had been Smith's pastor at the Binkley Baptist Church since 1958, when he first arrived in Chapel Hill. Seymour told me a story about how upset Smith was to learn that Chapel Hill's restaurants were still segregated. He and Seymour came up with an idea: Smith would walk into a restaurant with a black member of the church.</p> <p>"You have to remember," Reverend Seymour said. "Back then, he wasn't <i>Dean Smith</i>. He was an assistant coach. Nothing more."</p> <p>Smith agreed and went to a restaurant where management knew him. He and his companion sat down and were served. That was the beginning of desegregation in Chapel Hill.</p> <p>When I circled back to Smith and asked him to tell me more about that night, he shot me an angry look. "Who told you about that?" he asked.</p> <p>"Reverend Seymour," I said.</p> <p>"I wish he hadn't done that."</p> <p>"Why? You should be proud of doing something like that."</p> <p>He leaned forward in his chair and in a very quiet voice said something I've never forgotten: "You should never be proud of doing what's right. You should just do what's right."</p> </blockquote> <p>RIP, Dean.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Race and Ethnicity Sports Sun, 08 Feb 2015 22:46:57 +0000 Ian Gordon 269901 at The NFL's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>With the Super Bowl days away, the sports world's hot-take artists have spent the past week toggling between the <a href="" target="_blank">intrigue</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">idiocy</a> of Deflategate to the <a href="" target="_blank">press conference reticence</a> of Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch. In some ways, it has been the perfect ending to a dreadful year for the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell.</p> <p>Famous for his <a href="" target="_blank">"protect the shield"</a> mantra and disciplinarian ways, Goodell has seen his reputation get battered throughout the <a href="" target="_blank">controversy-filled 12 months</a> since Super Bowl XLVIII. So, as Ballghazi rages on and the big game approaches, here's a look back at the recent firestorms and missteps that made 2014 such a rotten year for the league and its commish:</p> <p><strong>Ray Rice: </strong>It was bad enough when the league initially suspended Rice, then the Baltimore Ravens' star running back, for a <a href="" target="_blank">paltry two games</a><strong> </strong>after his February arrest for assaulting his then-fianc&eacute;e (now wife) at an Atlantic City casino. It got worse when the Ravens further <a href="" target="_blank">bungled</a> the situation. But when TMZ released security camera footage in September that actually showed Ray Rice punching Janay Rice, the league had to suspend him indefinitely&mdash;even as Goodell maintained that he had never before seen the video. (<a href="" target="_blank">Numerous</a> <a href="" target="_blank">reports</a> have made those claims seem <a href="" target="_blank">laughable</a>.) The NFL <a href="" target="_blank">toughened</a> its domestic-abuse policies, sure, and will <a href="" target="_blank">air an ad</a> during the Super Bowl to raise awareness. But the damage from the league's initial inaction already has been done. As Tracy Treu, the wife of former Oakland Raiders center Adam Treu, <a href="" target="_blank">told me back in September</a>, "When you're with an NFL team, the message to you is clear: Don't fuck anything up for your partner, and don't fuck anything up for the team."</p> <p><strong>Adrian Peterson: </strong>Just days after the explosive Rice video was released, the Minnesota Vikings' All-Pro running back was accused of hitting his four-year-old son <a href="" target="_blank">with a switch</a> and was indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child. For a short time it looked like Peterson would be <a href="" target="_blank">back on the field</a> after missing just a week of work, but the Vikings quickly <a href="" target="_blank">reversed course</a>, and the NFL <a href="" target="_blank">ultimately suspended him</a> for the remainder of the season.</p> <p><strong>Greg Hardy/Jonathan Dwyer:</strong> Lost a bit in the Rice and Peterson headlines were the domestic-assault charges against Hardy, a Carolina Panthers defensive end, and Dwyer, an Arizona Cardinals running back. Hardy's then-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, <a href="" target="_blank">testified in July</a> that Hardy had dragged her around his apartment, threw her on a futon covered in rifles, and then put his hands on her throat. "I was so scared I wanted to die," she testified. Hardy was convicted; <a href="" target="_blank">his appeal</a> is set for February. (He took a paid <a href="" target="_blank">leave of absence</a> in September, in part to avoid a possible suspension.) Dwyer allegedly <a href="" target="_blank">head-butted</a> his wife and broke her nose in July. She reportedly went to police after seeing the Peterson news in September and fearing for her child's safety. Dwyer was put on the reserve/non-football-injury list and pleaded <a href="" target="_blank">not guilty</a> to charges on Monday.</p> <p><strong>Concussions:</strong> The league's ongoing concussion scandal may have peaked in 2013 with the airing of the <em>Frontline </em>documentary <a href="" target="_blank"><em>League of Denial</em></a>, but the issue of player safety&mdash;indeed, the long-term viability of the game&mdash;isn't going away anytime soon. In July, a federal judge preliminarily <a href="" target="_blank">approved a settlement</a> between the league and<strong> </strong>former players over concussion-related claims. Since then, more than 200 players have <a href="" target="_blank">opted out</a> of the settlement, objecting to the restrictions embedded in the deal. As <em>ESPN the Magazine</em>'s Peter Keating <a href="" target="_blank">wrote</a>, "Fewer than 3,600 athletes, or about 17 percent of all retired players, will end up with some kind of illness that the settlement will compensate, according to forecasts by both sides in the case." (The settlement is still awaiting final approval.) Next up: the Christmas release of Will Smith's <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Concussion</em></a>, a feature film based on a <em>GQ</em> profile of <a href="" target="_blank">neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu</a>, one of the first physicians to fight the NFL on brain trauma.</p> <p><strong>Dan Snyder and the Washington [Redacted]: </strong>We've already covered many of the <a href="" target="_blank">dumb things</a> Snyder has said in recent months. Even after <a href="" target="_blank">50 US senators</a> called on the Washington owner to change his team's name, the team still managed to start something called the <a href="" target="_blank">Original Americans Foundation</a> and continue to be <a href="" target="_blank">completely tone deaf</a> on social media. The Native American-led <a href="" target="_blank">protests</a> against the name will continue into <a href="" target="_blank">this weekend</a> in Arizona.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/snyder630_0.jpg"><div class="caption">Snyder: Nick Wass/AP; dunce cap: Stockbyte/Thinkstock. Illustration by Dave Gilson.</div> </div> <p><strong>Cheerleading lawsuits:</strong> If you haven't read my colleague Julia Lurie's <a href="" target="_blank">roundup</a> of the many lawsuits brought by current and former cheerleaders against NFL teams, go do that now. Here's an excerpt, about how different teams determine whether their cheerleaders are fit enough to perform:</p> <blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The <a href="" target="_blank">Jills allege</a> being subjected to a weekly "jiggle test," which consisted of doing jumping jacks while their stomachs, arms, legs, hips, and butts were scrutinized. (The Jills manual also instructs, "Never eat in uniform unless arrangements have been made in advance. Just say 'Thanks so much for offering but no thank you'&hellip;NEVER say, 'Oh, we're not allowed to eat!'") Ben-Gals are required to weigh in twice a week, and if they come in more than three pounds over their "goal weight," they face penalties: extra conditioning after practice, benchings, probation, or dismissal from the team.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Aaron Hernandez trial: </strong>Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end who was arrested a year and a half ago for the shooting death of friend Odin Lloyd, is back in the news now that the jury has been selected and his murder case is <a href="" target="_blank">set to start Thursday</a> in Connecticut. Hernandez also has been charged with two more murder counts for a July 2012 double-murder in Massachusetts.</p> <p><strong>Anti-gay front offices: </strong>Linebacker Michael Sam <a href="" target="_blank">came out</a> as gay before the NFL Draft last February. No one knew for sure how it would play out&mdash;or what effect it would have on Sam's draft status&mdash;but a <em>Sports Illustrated </em>story that anonymously quoted general managers and front-office types around the league <a href="" target="_blank">wasn't exactly welcoming</a>. "I don't think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet," said one personnel assistant. "In the coming decade or two, it's going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it's still a man's-man game." Sam <a href="" target="_blank">was drafted</a> in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams but was cut just before the season began. (After latching on with the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad for a spell, he's once again a free agent, albeit an <a href="" target="_blank">engaged one</a>.)</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/NFL-nondiscrimination-map_0_0.jpg"></div> <p><strong>Jim Irsay: </strong>The Indianapolis Colts' billionaire owner was charged with <a href="" target="_blank">driving while intoxicated</a> in October; he later admitted to having hydrocodone, oxycodone, and Xanax in his system. (Police said they found "numerous prescription medication bottles containing pills," as well as $29,000 in cash, in Irsay's car.) The NFL <a href="" target="_blank">suspended</a> the <a href="" target="_blank">outspoken</a> 55-year-old for six games and fined him $500,000.</p> <p><strong>Goodell's salary: </strong>As of 2012, according to tax forms, the Commish was making <a href="" target="_blank">$44.2 million a year</a>. (Yes, the NFL is still a <a href="" target="_blank">nonprofit</a>.)</p> <p><strong>Not so super:</strong> While Super Bowl XLIX could break the <a href="" target="_blank">TV ratings</a> record, Mina Kimes reports in the latest <a href="" target="_blank"><em>ESPN the Magazine</em></a> that the mayor of Glendale, Arizona&mdash;this year's host site&mdash;told her, "I totally believe we will lose money on this."</p> <p><strong>Jameis Winston on the horizon: </strong>If all of this weren't enough, this spring's NFL Draft will surely be all about Winston, the presumptive No. 1 pick and Heisman Award winner who was accused (but never <a href="" target="_blank">charged</a>) of rape as a Florida State freshman in 2012. Winston was recently <a href="" target="_blank">cleared</a> of violating FSU's code of conduct, though a 2013 <em>New York Times</em> <a href="" target="_blank">report</a> alleged that "there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or the university," after the allegations were made. The story isn't going away anytime soon: Last week, Winston's accuser <a href="" target="_blank">went public</a> in <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Hunting Ground</em></a>, a documentary on campus sexual assault that debuted Friday at the Sundance Film Festival.</p></body></html> Media Sports Top Stories Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:00:17 +0000 Ian Gordon 269231 at Guess Who's Getting Rich(er) off the College Football Playoff? (Hint: It's Not the Players) <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The first-ever College Football Playoff, culminating in tonight's national championship game between Oregon and Ohio State, has been years in the making: Fans, coaches, and players had long complained about the lack of a tournament, &agrave; la college basketball's March Madness, to determine a national champ. The four-team tourney has proved a smashing success: The semifinal games on New Year's Day each brought ESPN more than <a href="" target="_blank">28 million viewers</a>, breaking the cable TV ratings record set in 2011 by the title game between Oregon and Auburn. Thanks to NCAA rules, though, the players will make bupkis. So who <em>is</em> cashing in, then? Here's a partial breakdown.</p> <p><strong>ESPN: </strong>In 2012, the sports network inked a <a href="" target="_blank">12-year</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">$7.3 billion</a> deal for the rights to air seven postseason college games&mdash;the four big bowl games plus two national semifinals and the championship game. That's a ton of money, even when you consider that media buyers told <em>Advertising Age</em> that 30-second spots during this year's title game are selling for <a href="" target="_blank">$1 million</a> a pop. But even if ESPN barely covers its expenses, securing the long-term rights to the playoffs has further cemented its dominance as the go-to channel for sports fans. And that, in the end, should prove immensely <a href="" target="_blank">profitable</a>.</p> <p><strong>The NCAA: </strong>College sports' governing body loves to prattle on about <a href="" target="_blank">amateurism</a> while pulling in nearly $1.4 billion annually in TV royalties for the football playoffs ($608 million) and <a href="" target="_blank">March Madness</a> ($771 million). Still, Mark Emmert, the NCAA's embattled president, made <a href="" target="_blank">$1.7 million</a> in total compensation in 2012, <a href="" target="_blank">46 percent more</a> than his predecessor, Myles Brand, earned in his last full year as prez.</p> <p><strong>Nike: </strong>There have been plenty of swooshes on your screen this playoff season: All four playoff semifinalists&mdash;Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, and Oregon&mdash;wear Nike gear due to <a href="" target="_blank">$15 million</a> in contracts for the 2014-15 academic year. (Nike founder Phil Knight is a well-known <a href="" target="_blank">Oregon alumnus and superbooster.</a>) Related: Have you picked up your special-edition Oregon <a href="" target="_blank">title game jersey</a> yet? How about your custom CFP <a href="" target="_blank">Zoom Hypercross TRs</a>?</p> <p><strong>The Big 5 Conferences:</strong> The biggest recipients of the TV largesse will be the so-called Big 5 conferences&mdash;the Atlantic Coast, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12, and the Southeastern&mdash;which will each receive $50 million a year, according to the CFP's <a href="" target="_blank">revenue distribution plan</a>. The ACC, Big 10, Pac-12, and SEC also all got a $6 million bonus because their teams made the semifinals, plus millions more for travel expenses. (As you might imagine, these conferences already have <a href="" target="_blank">hefty TV deals</a> that are distributed among the schools.)</p> <p><strong>Coaches Mark Helfrich and Urban Meyer: </strong>Meyer&mdash;who won national titles at Florida in 2006 and 2008 and is earning nearly <a href="" target="_blank">$4.5 million</a> in base compensation this season at Ohio State&mdash;will take home $250,000 just for <a href="" target="_blank">making it to the championship game</a>. OSU athletic director Gene Smith told <em>USA Today</em> in December that those numbers are right on the mark: "He's the CEO of a large corporation. We're fortunate we have him at Ohio State." Helfrich, the second-year Oregon coach, will pocket $2 million in salary this year (the lowest among semifinalist head coaches), plus <a href="" target="_blank">$250,000 more</a> should the Ducks win Monday night. (His assistant coaches already have snatched an additional <a href="" target="_blank">six months' worth of base salary</a> this postseason, and could earn even more.)</p> <p><strong>Gene Smith: </strong>The Ohio State athletic director came under fire last year when it was reported that he earned a <a href="" target="_blank">bonus of more than $18,000</a> after a wrestler won an individual national title in March. He's on track to make another two weeks' worth of base pay, roughly <a href="" target="_blank">$36,000</a>, if the Buckeyes bring home the trophy Monday night.</p> <p>On Tuesday, the CFP announced that the NCAA would let it help cover the expenses of parents who wanted to come watch their kids play in the title game, allotting up to <a href="" target="_blank">$1,250 per parent/guardian</a> (maximum: two) for travel, meals, and accommodations. So that's nice. But what of the kids whose hard work makes this all possible? Don't they deserve something?</p> <p>As it turns out, the NCAA allows players up to $550 each in goods from gift suites set up by individual bowl games. According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>SportsBusiness Daily</em></a>, the Rose Bowl (the Florida State-Oregon semifinal) handed out Fossil watches, Oakley Works backpacks, and New Era 59Fifty caps, while the Sugar Bowl (the Alabama-Ohio State semifinal) also gave away Fossil watches and New Era hats. It's not the custom-made <a href="" target="_blank">Fathead wall decals</a> handed out by the <a href="" target="_blank">Quick Lane Bowl</a>, but hey, these kids are amateurs.</p></body></html> Media Corporations Sports Top Stories Mon, 12 Jan 2015 10:45:05 +0000 Ian Gordon 267966 at