Expensive football stadiums aren?t always what they?re cracked up to be. OK, maybe cracked up was a bad choice of words.
This headline caught my eye: ?$60 million Texas High School Stadium Deemed Unsafe for Football.?
That?s disturbing on a number of fronts. The obvious one is a high school stadium that costs $60 million. The second is that the stadium will be closed this fall because the concrete is cracking, and a report commissioned by the school district says it may not have been designed to code. Oops.
Eagle Stadium at Allen High School, home of the state champions, opened to fanfare in 2012 but has been closed since February because of cracks in the concourse.
The stadium was built in Texas, which explains why it?s so big. Football is really big in Texas. The stadium seats 18,000, or it would if it were safe. It held as many as 22,000, counting standing room, for some games last year. Voters in Allen, by a margin of 63 percent, approved a public bond in 2009 to pay for it. It?s only money, right?
The stadium sprawls over 62 acres, has a 3,300-square-foot high-definition scoreboard and a three-story press box and is surrounded by 5,000 parking spaces.
And to think we had such a difficult time building the modest stadium shared by Tabor College and Hillsboro High School.
We?re not shocked to hear about an arms race in major college athletics anymore, but this story flew under the radar because it involves college chess.
There is new scrutiny following revelations that a high-powered coach at Texas Tech University requested more than $1 million in funding, including a $250,000 salary.
Texas Tech declined, and the coach, Susan Polgar, left the school and took her entire team of grandmasters to Webster University in St. Louis, where the chess world thinks at least some of her wishes were met, according to a story in the Washington Post.
Webster has since won two straight Final Four chess titles amid a growing debate about the spending.
According to the article, Webster says it spends $635,000 a year on chess, including salaries and expense. That does not include full and partial scholarship totals for the program?s 15 players. Webster?s tuition is $24,500 a year.
At least these student-athletes don?t have to worry about concussions, although if I played one of them in chess it might give me one.
Speaking of concussions, the Royals had a Concussion Awareness Night earlier this season, hosted by the Univer?sity of Kansas Hospital. Fans were invited to stop by Gate D before the game to learn about concussion prevention, symptoms and treatment.
I have no idea if any Kansas City Chiefs players attended the event, dubbed, ?Keep your head in the game!?
Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was quickly booted out of the NBA after making racist comments earlier this year. ESPN columnist Jason Whitlock, however, questioned the NBA?s decision to issue a lifetime suspension to Sterling for those comments.
Whitlock, who is black, wrote that removing Sterling from the league ?solves nothing,? because it does not address the bigger issue of society?s culture problem. He also noted that Sterling has ?clearly done a few things that have pleased the Los Angeles NAACP enough for them to give him two lifetime achievement awards.?
?I don?t agree with (Ster?ling?s comments),? Whitlock said. ?It?s abhorrent and grotesque. But I just don?t think that he?s alone.
?I felt like he was a pawn and a tool for people to look fair-minded and righteous and courageous. A lot of it is baloney…. I get the anger and I get why the mob gathered. But cooler heads should have prevailed and a more strategic approach should have been taken,? Whitlock said.