In late September, California passed a bill that allows college athletes in the state to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness (NIL) starting in 2023.
The state of play: Lawmakers across the country have introduced similar bills in the five months since then.
As February winds down, only one team in all of men's college basketball remains unbeaten: Division III Swarthmore (25-0), a tiny liberal arts college outside Philadelphia that's known more for its rigorous academics than its sports teams.
By the numbers: Swarthmore accepts just 9% of applicants and had a total enrollment of 1,647 students last year. For reference, Kansas, the No. 1-ranked team in Division I, enrolls ~30,000.
Hours after speaking at Kobe Bryant's memorial service in Los Angeles, Sabrina Ionescu flew to the Bay Area to rejoin her Oregon teammates — and proceeded to do something never done before in college basketball.
What happened: Ionescu became the first player in NCAA history, man or woman, to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds in No. 3 Oregon's 74-66 win over No. 4 Stanford.
NCAA president Mark Emmert and four other witnesses testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee yesterday, as the issue of student-athletes profiting off their name, image and likeness (NIL) took center stage in the nation's capital.
"Sports is something that cuts across party lines, it cuts across geography and it's so ingrained in our culture. Everyone wants to see that if nothing else in our country works, they want to see our sports work."— Sen. Jon Thune (R-S.D.)
Today is National Signing Day. What was once a day filled with frenetic activity is now much quieter due to the "early signing period" scooping up most FBS signees, but it still signifies the end of the college football recruiting cycle.
Why it matters: Elite football prospects spring up all over the country, but they're heavily concentrated in the South and California, plus notable hotspots near Houston and Dallas.
The NCAA routinely punishes student athletes for getting bad grades or accepting free meals, but nowhere in its 440-page rule book does it cite penalties for sexual violence.
Driving the news: Last month, USA Today published a wide-ranging investigation that examined how college athletes move from school to school and continue to play sports even after being found responsible for sexual assault.
Louisiana State University's Joe Burrow led his team to a 42-25 victory over defending champions the Clemson Tigers in the college football national championship clash in New Orleans Monday.
Why it matters: Burrow set the single-season record for most touchdown passes with 60, becoming the first major college quarterback to do so, AP notes. "This is so special," Burrow said afterward. "I’m kind of speechless right now." Both teams were undefeated before the game.
Both teams in tonight's college football national championship (8pm ET, ESPN) are from the South, they're both undefeated, they share the same mascot (Tigers) and stadium name (Death Valley), and their QBs are both projected No. 1 picks.
The state of play: Only LSU has a Heisman Trophy winner leading one of the most dangerous offenses in college football history. And only Clemson has the defensive firepower and championship game experience necessary to stop it.
Former No. 1 recruit and potential No. 1 draft pick James Wiseman announced on Instagram yesterday that he will leave Memphis, hire an agent and prepare for the 2020 NBA draft.
Background: Wiseman missed the past seven games due to a 12-game suspension, which came as a result of his coach Penny Hardaway paying Wiseman's mother $11,500 in 2017 before accepting the Memphis job. Per the NCAA, Hardaway was considered a booster at the time, making his payment an "improper benefit."
Service-academy officials are trying to determine the motives of students at the Army-Navy game who flashed hand signs on ESPN that are associated with "white power," the Wall Street Journal reports.
The big picture: Both West Point cadets and Annapolis midshipmen flashed the "OK" hand sign, which is also used for what's known as the "circle game," while ESPN was filming the student section. The sign took on another meaning around 2017 when it was co-opted by online trolls and later white supremacists, according to the Anti-Defamation League.