March 7, 2012 In baseball, there were always a fair complement of coaching characters: old cracker-barrel philosophers, feisty wise guys and even a few sardonic intellectuals. But the oddballs are diminishing — with the exception of Bobby Valentine of the Boston Red Sox.
February 8, 2012 Four years ago, Elena Delle Donne was the top basketball recruit in the country. But Delle Donne walked away from an elite college program — so she could be with her severely disabled sister and the rest of their family. Now she's the best college player in America.
January 25, 2012 For a moment, put aside how Penn State's Joe Paterno — whose credo was "Success with Honor" — acted with regard to pedophilia, and consider Coach Paterno, which is what he still was barely 11 weeks ago. Will any college coach ever again possess the power he did over his university? It doesn't seem likely.
January 18, 2012 When Serena Williams said recently that she doesn't love tennis, many people gasped and clutched their pearls. When we see someone who achieved what we couldn't, says Frank Deford, we're all the more put out if they can blithely turn their back on it.
January 11, 2012 In television, sports is where the money is. And whether or not they watch live sporting events, cable subscribers pay to subsidize that coverage, every month. ESPN now collects an average of $4.69 for every cable home –– four times more than any other network.
December 21, 2011 In 2010, Phil Jackson, then the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, complained about the NBA's scheduling of games on Christmas Day. It seemed, he said, that "Christian holidays don't mean anything" any longer. With its season shortened, the NBA can't afford to skip the holiday this year.
December 7, 2011 A story about violent hazing in the marching bands at historically black colleges and universities — HBCUs — detailed a problem, but no changes were made. So extreme has been the band torture at some schools that victims have had to be hospitalized.
November 30, 2011 In the 1960s, Dave Bing and Jim Boeheim were the starting guards for Syracuse University's basketball team. Since then, both men have shown a huge capacity for loyalty. But as they face tough times in Detroit and at Syracuse, they're also risking their legacies.