National / International News

Big college football donors pay for access, even glory

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-15 13:15

Have you always dreamed of running through the storied Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum tunnel onto the field in front of 70,000+ roaring fans before a University of Southern California football game? Up until now, you usually had to play or coach for the team to have this "once in a lifetime experience," as the school calls it.

Today, you can do it for $1,500, if you're a USC season-ticket holder. If that's too pricey, consider the pre-game locker room tour for $1,000, or a pre-game photo with the "World Famous" USC Song Girls for $750. (Added bonus: The money is considered a donation, so it's tax-deductible, but that's a different story.)

USC recently started selling these experiences and more for its upcoming season, but at least one former player says they commoditize something that shouldn't have a price tag.

“It does feel a little weird to me to put a price on running out of the tunnel to play a football game, which we were told as players constantly was a very earned and special right," said Petros Papadakis — who captained the USC football team in 1999 and 2000 — on Fox Sports Radio's Petros and Money Show. “It’s USC football. It’s supposed to be honorable to be in that locker room. I didn't think you could put a price on that.”

Craig Kelly, an assistant athletic director at USC, says what donors get to do won't match the specialness of actually playing on the team.

“Putting on the pads, the walk through the tunnel, coming out of the locker room, the meetings that they have and the speech before the game… all that’s included in what Petros is referring to and what we’re offering isn’t that," Kelly said.

Kelly says lots of schools lavish perks on donors, which is true. That’s how the game is played — the most generous boosters get the ear of the athletic director, get to travel with the team and get the very best seats.

At the University of Alabama, you can put your name on the coach’s office, for $1 million. What makes USC’s approach unusual is they’ve gone mass-market, according to Josh Rebholz, UCLA's senior associate athletic director for external relations.

"We do offer some of these experiences, but we really believe that many of them — like running out of the tunnel with the team and being on field pre-game — are pretty sacred assets, and so we try to limit who we offer them [to], and really, we try to only offer them to highest and most generous donors that we have," Rebholz said.

In other words, these prized assets are so sacred that they can only be sold for lots of money.

"Access for the sidelines for us can run as much as $100,000 a year," said Rebholz.

If you want to run out on the field at the Rose Bowl with the Bruins and join them in the locker room after the game, you'll have to write a half-million dollar check to UCLA.

So here’s the lesson, USC: It’s not that you’re commoditizing college football. Schools have been doing that for a long time. 

It’s that you’re probably not charging enough.

Sunni leaders propose Iraq deal

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-15 13:09
Some leaders of Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority propose working with the new PM, a move that could help break political deadlock.

US housing recovery still uneven

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-15 13:07

Anjli Raval is a London-based correspondent for the Financial Times, but she recently took a trip through the U.S. to analyze home prices.

Her first stop was South Sacramento in Northern California, where she noticed home prices still stagnated: 

These areas of California’s capital had some of the highest foreclosure rates in the US after the housing bust that wiped out $7tn of homeowner equity in the wake of the financial crisis. Since then, Sacramento has seen a rebound, at least on paper. But there are clear signs that it – and many other cities – are stuck in a multiyear housing hangover that has serious implications for economic recovery.

The standard playbook for an economic recovery often relies on a housing market rebound. But in the U.S., that rebound continues to stop and start depending on where you live.

Click play above to listen to Anjli Raval's interview, or read her story at FT

Ferguson Officer's Motives In Police Shooting Remain Murky

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:57

New information was released Friday about the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., but the answers have prompted still more questions.

» E-Mail This

Ukraine 'strikes column from Russia'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:31
Ukraine says it has partially destroyed an armoured column from Russia, but Russia denies any such vehicles crossed the border.

Russian Military Vehicles Reportedly Move Into Ukraine

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:09

Heavy fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, as government and separatist forces still fight for control of the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk.

» E-Mail This

Massive Rallies Descend On Islamabad, As Authorities Dig In Trenches

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:09

Thousands of people are converging on Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, for a protest rally against the government. The protesters began their 300-mile march in Lahore, led by Imran Khan, who believes he was robbed of last year's election by voting fraud. Meanwhile, a populist cleric is leading a separate march on the capital.

» E-Mail This

With A Friendlier Face, LAPD Avoids The Worst Of Ferguson's Woes

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:09

In Los Angeles, police shot and killed an African-American man during a scuffle with officers Monday night. While many black members of the community were angered by the killing, it hasn't sparked the same outcry as in Ferguson, Mo. Frank Stoltze of KPCC says that's because the Los Angeles Police Department has sought to build relationships with the neighborhood.

» E-Mail This

U.S. Policy On Syria Mired In Excess Caution, Official Says

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:09

Rick Barton, a top State Department official, says sometimes the U.S. has to take risks in diplomacy. Citing his own frustrations, he says that the Obama administration has yet to come up with a real strategy to resolve the war in Syria and isolate jihadi fighters.

» E-Mail This

After Shooting, LAPD Uses Friendlier Face To Avoid Ferguson's Woes

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:09

In LA, police shot and killed an African-American man during a scuffle with officers Monday. While it angered many black members of the community, it hasn't sparked the same unrest as in Ferguson, Mo.

» E-Mail This

Baseball Owners Call Up Commissioner Bud Selig's Relief

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:09

Major League Baseball owners have selected Rob Manfred to succeed Bud Selig as the league's commissioner. Manfred is the sport's 10th commissioner, selected after six rounds of voting by the 30 MLB owners. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins Robert Siegel to speak about the news.

» E-Mail This

Drawing On Pentagon Surplus, Police Now Wield Weapons Of War

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:09

Every year, police and sheriffs' departments receive hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of military-style equipment from the Pentagon. The equipment is passed on with the intent to fight drugs and terrorism, but it was on display in Ferguson, Mo., where it was used for crowd control during protests there.

» E-Mail This

In Defense Of U.N. Aid In Iraq

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:09

For more on the challenges of supporting internally displaced persons in Iraq, Robert Siegel speaks with Kieran Dwyer, the spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Dwyer responds to criticisms of the U.N. agencies trying to help.

» E-Mail This

Amelia and Oliver most popular names

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-15 11:56
Oliver overtakes Harry to become the most popular baby name for boys in England and Wales as Amelia tops the list for girls for the third year running.

Gemili & Rooney storm to Euro golds

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-15 11:51
Adam Gemili and Martyn Rooney both win gold on another successful night for Britain at the European Championships in Zurich.

Slain US teenager 'robbery suspect'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-15 11:43
Michael Brown, the black teenager shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was a suspect in a robbery just moments earlier, police say.

Grace Mugabe enters Zanu-PF politics

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-15 11:29
The wife of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe enters politics, after being endorsed to become the head of the ruling party's women's league.

VIDEO: British Muslim who wants to join IS

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-15 11:24
The BBC's Ed Thomas speaks to a British Muslim who says he is willing to join Islamic State fighters, believing it is his religious duty.

Startups Pitch Cricket Flour As The Best Protein You Could Eat

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-15 11:20

Cricket flour is a thing, and it's showing up in protein bars and baked goods. A few companies are testing the water to see if Americans can get on board with cricket as an alternative to meat or soy.

» E-Mail This

ON THE AIR
Echoes
Next Up: @ 02:00 am
BBC World Service

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4