Dec 15, 2017 -

How one high school turned football into a business

North Penn's Danny Wynne reacts to the team's 14-7 loss at the end of the PIAA Class AAAA high school championship football game. Photo: Ralph Wilson / AP

States are beginning to ban high schools from playing IMG Academy, a $75,000-a-year boarding school in Florida that is "the leading producer of top college and National Football League prospects," according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: WSJ reports that the market for youth sports is expected to climb from its current value of $19.8 billion, to $41.2 billion in the next six years. But, the increased pressure on kids playing sports could make "them likely to enjoy sports less and abandon them as they get older." The IMG program is a testament to how sports are being commercialized into a form of business, and according to the WSJ, "has turned a Friday night ritual into a form of career development."

IMG was acquired by talent agency WME for $2.4 billion in 2014, and was "generating annual revenue of about $83 million," the WSJ reports.

What's next

Bolton alleges in book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him "he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens," the New York Times first reported.

Why this matters: The revelations present a dramatic 11th hour turn in Trump's Senate impeachment trial. They directly contradict Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

Honoring Kobe Bryant: Sports stars, politicians and celebrities mourn NBA great

Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas in February 2010. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Sports stars, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Saturday. He was 41.

What they're saying: Lakers great Shaquille O'Neal said in an Instagram post of his former teammate, "There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed."

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What's next: Trump's broader travel ban

A sign for International Arrivals is shown at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo: Ted S. Warren/AP

President Trump is expected to announce an expanded travel ban this week, which would restrict immigration from seven additional countries — Nigeria, Myanmar, Sudan, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Tanzania, per multiple reports.

  • The announcement would come on the third anniversary of Trump's original travel ban, which targeted Muslim-majority nations, per Axios' Stef Kight.