News Wire: April 2008

Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban posts frequently on basketball, technology, media, and business on his personal blog, BlogMaverick.com. His post on April 9th asks whether 18 or 19 year-olds are ready for the personal, financial, and business decisions that go along with their new career.

From the perspective of an NBA owner, maturity is far harder to qualify than talent. Can he manage the personal side of his life ?

Can he deal with all the obligations that come with living on your own, and being in a job that requires you traveling more often than not ?

Does he have an understanding of financial principals ? To a 19 year old kid without financial training, a million dollar contract makes him a millionaire. There is no concept that 50pct goes to taxes and that by the time he pays his bills, he has a great job, that pays great money, but he isn't at a level that allows him to spend without limit. Unfortunately, there are far too many agents that won't have the tough love conversations with their clients until its too late.

Read the full post here.

The Seattle Times has a story today on Seattle U's plans for a major fundraising campaign. Increases in the university's endowment will be used for new facilities including a new library and hi-tech classrooms, new scholarships, a fund for travel for religious study, and new fitness center and athletic facilities.

Seattle U leaders say that part of the challenge for the future is reaching out to students' secular interests -- like basketball -- while maintaining the college's religious roots...

The push to rejoin NCAA Division I basketball, after Seattle U dropped out of the West Coast Conference in 1980, also remains a priority for [Seattle U President Rev. Stephen] Sundborg. That despite a setback last year when the member schools from the West Coast Conference said they weren't interested in expanding any time soon. Sundborg said it will just take more time. He plans to spend $1 million more on athletics each year in hopes of elevating Seattle U to a standard at which the school would be more welcomed in the division. There is also $20 million earmarked from the campaign for the new fitness center and to upgrade athletic facilities.

The Time's editorial board expresses their support for the campaign here.

The New York Times ran an article on March 10th talking about how parents have the expectations that high school sports and select teams will lead to a path to college.  They are often disappointed, given that college scholarships only cover a portion of the full bill.

"People run themselves ragged to play on three teams at once so they could always reach the next level," said Margaret Barry of Laurel, Md., whose daughter is a scholarship swimmer at the University of Delaware. "They're going to be disappointed when they learn that if they're very lucky, they will get a scholarship worth 15 percent of the $40,000 college bill. What's that? $6,000?"

See the full article here.