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Higher Education: The College Sports Headlines Of The Year
Published December 22, 2011
counts of child sexual abuse
WHO’S GOT A MAP? Conference realignment was a major topic for the second consecutive year, with Texas A&M sparking the renewed fervor by leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. Other major programs switching conference allegiances are Pitt, Syracuse, Missouri and West Virginia. And that says nothing of the new Big East -- TCU left without ever really joining and geography majors were left scratching their heads when the conference expanded to add Boise State and San Diego State in football.
YOU BETTER WORK IT: The college football sideline often looked like a fashion show this fall as many teams trotted out new or special uniforms. But the fashion revolution hit hardest at Maryland, as the Terrapins debuted their new Under Armour “Pride” uniforms. The jerseys, helmets and shoes were inspired by the Maryland state flag and designed to bring attention to the school. They instantly became a trending topic on Twitter and were described as “hideously spectacular.”
Vinson off coast of San Diego
THE NEW KID IN TOWN: The ’11 College World Series was held for the first time at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha after being played at celebrated Rosenblatt Stadium for the past 60 years. The new $131M facility drew rave reviews, with the NCAA’s Dennis Poppe saying the event went “amazingly well.” A CWS record crowd of 26,721 attended the championship game to see South Carolina claim its second consecutive title.
CHIP COUNT: Auburn’s Wes Byrum was lining up for the potential national championship-winning field goal when Brent Musburger coyly slipped in, “This is for all the Tostitos.” The reference to the game’s title sponsor instantly sparked a debate as to whether Musburger was "having great fun or making a shameless plug.” Frito-Lay claimed they had nothing to do with it but felt “fortunate” and “delighted” with the veteran announcer’s ad-lib.
Nike Chair Phil Knight’s late son, Matthew
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: Robert Burton gave UConn $3M to build the Burton Family Football Complex, but this year asked for his money back and requested that the family’s name be removed from the building. Burton cited disagreements with the school’s AD over the decision to hire Paul Pasqualoni as UConn’s football coach. Burton, however, dropped his request a couple of weeks later and was back in the fold.