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The Ballers of College Softball

The funding of college athletics isn’t straightforward, and it can also get controversial—especially considering the statistic that in more than half of states, the top paid public employee is a college sports coach.

Athletics funding comes from the revenue-producing college sports (usually football and men’s basketball) and is increasingly subsidized by tuition. While the figures of Division I colleges can feel astronomical (The University of Texas football program is estimated to be worth $133 million), only one in eight of the 200-plus Division I colleges actually netted money between 2005 and 2010.

The politics of the athletics budget gets complicated when you consider the big spending of the big sports measured against the revenue they bring in, as well as all the smaller sports universities offer, such as volleyball, track and field, soccer, baseball or swimming, to name a few.

These smaller sports can feel neglected in the face of football matches that draw over 100,000 fans to their half-billion dollar stadiums (a sum more than the gross national product of some small nations). All this may explain why people tend to divide college sports into revenue-producing and non-revenue producing. And while most are imagining the traditional sports leading, the data shows that there is a new team in town, ready to play in the big (expensive) leagues: Women’s College Softball.

Softball Success

In 2016-17, NCAA softball reported $450 million in revenue, putting it fourth after football, men’s basketball and baseball— the only sports to report larger revenues. The Department of Education reports revenue on at least 30 men’s college sports, so at least 27 of them are not doing as well as softball.

Examining the data provided by the Department of Education, which dates back to 2003-04, shows that there has been an explosive growth in softball over the last 15 years. Today, the sport is worth 450 times what it was just over a decade ago. To put this growth in perspective, it’s worth looking at the growth of a few other sports. Between 2003 and 2017, college basketball revenue grew from $1.1 billion to $2 billion. Over the same period, football revenue grew by 116 percent, and men’s basketball grew by 185 percent. Even women’s basketball revenue grew during that time by 158 percent.

However, none of these impressive figures can hold a candle to college softball—which grew 217 percent. It’s growing faster than any other college sport.

Everyone’s Watching

Softball’s growth is evident not just in its ballooning revenue, but also the amount of attention, viewers and fans the sport has garnered. In 2017, it was reported that Oklahoma’s two-game sweep of Florida averaged 1.72 million TV viewers. The opening game of this series had 1.6 million viewers.

These numbers are notably higher than what ESPN was attracting for Monday Night Baseball that same year (an average of 1.1 million viewers). They are also record-setting for the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) and represent an incredible upward trend.

The television ratings tell the same story as the revenue reports. Women’s college softball can no longer be written off as just a fulfilment of Title IX, they are now a great asset in their own right.

Coaches Recognized

For so long, the coaches of Division I football and men’s basketball teams have been the ones bringing home huge salaries, while the rest of the personnel in the education system nets a modest amount.

A 2018  report found that the highest paid public employee in 39 out of 50 states was a football or basketball coach, with the highest paid earning $11.1 million as the University of Alabama football coach. (Roll Tide?) We can’t speak to the resolution of systemic income inequality or gender pay gaps, but it does feel satisfying to know that softball coaches are at least starting to get their due, given the importance of the sport these days. The highest paid softball coach earns $1 million annually at the University of Oklahoma, with softball coaches at other Division I schools also catching up.

Looking Ahead

Revenue reports, coaches’ salaries and television ratings all tell an important story about softball. The sport is growing and will continue to grow. Of course, getting paid much to play college softball is still in the future, and while graduating players can go to the National Pro Fastpitch League, the league is still quite young. This year is its 16th season, and it takes time for fans to develop emotional attachments to the teams in a sports league. But history tells us that with patience, this does happen. And clearly, softball is on the right path—or perhaps we should say pitch.

See Also: Playing College Sports: All You Need to Know

College Football 2018: Players to Watch

How to Conquer Exam Anxiety

It’s 8:57 and your American Literature exam begins at 9:00. You’re tapping your pencil on the desk running through symbolism in The Scarlet Letter when you remember to pass this class with an A, you need to score at least an 83 percent on the exam, otherwise you’re looking at a B in a major-specific course. You’ve read the novel and you’ve completed the seven-page final essay. Yet, the second the exam is dropped on your desk, you freeze. Your heart starts to beat a bit faster and your stomach turns. Months of preparation are slipping, while exam anxiety takes its place.

What are the causes?

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) defines General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as “persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things” breaking down that “eight percent of children and teenagers experience an anxiety disorder with most people developing symptoms before age 21.” Keep in mind throughout the article that these are blanket statistics and anxiety affects students to different degrees.

The ADAA lists three major causes of exam anxiety: fear of failure, lack of preparation and poor test history. Final exams carry much weight to them, in some cases they can make or break a final grade, which causes anxiety in students. While some students perform best under pressure, others equate their grades to their self-worth, especially when it comes to exams in their field. A lack of preparation is plausible, especially when full-time students take around 20 credit hours of classes, and it can be difficult to prepare adequately for exams with an average workload. Lack of preparation also derives from poor study habits where information is not being retained because of a negative environment or distractions. Having a history of poor exam grades or experiences can influence a student’s perception of exams and cause anxiety for upcoming tests.

The physical impact

Aside from these mental causes, there are large physical impacts exam anxiety can have on a student. These include nausea, lightheadedness, headaches and can elevate to panic attacks where students have a hard time breathing and reach immense physical discomfort. Anxiety can also cause negative emotions, and it can go hand-in-hand with depression. With exam anxiety, students can become angry, sad, irritable and disappointed in themselves, which can cause a layer of emotional stress on top of exam anxiety. These causes can culminate into cognitive issues as the exam creeps closer, such as difficulty concentrating when studying due to worry about the exam itself.

Methods to ease anxiety

However, it is 2019 and mental illnesses are now widely acknowledged as well as a variety of solutions to help relieve some of the symptoms and the hardships, at least temporarily. A very easy method that can help get your head into a different space is to take a walk. When you’re studying, take a five-minute break to walk around your building and clear your mind of the test. If you need a longer break, although they may be communal, showers help to decompress your muscles by allowing hot water to run on your shoulders for a few minutes. Finally, there is always music at your fingertips. Whether you need something soft to soothe you, or you need something to crank to let any bad energy release from your body, you have a spectrum of music to help you destress before coming back to your study material.

If you’re in the middle of a test, take a quick walk to the bathroom to break contact from the material and approach it with a fresh set of eyes, like hitting the reset button. If you’re not allowed to leave the testing room, close your eyes and focus on your breathing until you are prepared to return to the exam in front of you. If you find your symptoms are above your own help, campuses have counselors dedicated to assisting students with these things. Never fear seeking help from a professional.

Anxiety vs. Worry

  • Worry is in the mind. Anxiety is a feeling throughout the body.
  • Worrying is specific, whereas the latter is a vaguer, looming feeling.
  • Worrying is more controllable because one is in a headspace to problem solve. Anxiety snowballs and solutions are trickier to find.
  • Worry is caused by more practical, day-to-day concerns. Anxiety tends to more long term and caused by worries that begin to pile up.
  • Worrying does not interfere with your daily tasks and interactions. Anxiety can be severe to the point where you begin to avoid daily tasks and social interactions.

This article was originally published in the Spring edition of College News. 

Don’t let anxiety be a hindrance to your exam success and ensure you seek guidance from a counselor about your mental health, alongside following our tips when sitting your exams.

See also: Brain Food: Eating For Concentration

10 Tbings I wish I’d Known in College

Falling Asleep in Class? The Importance of Sleep Schedules

There’s a common “you can only choose two” college-related meme that gets circulated on the internet with regularity. The options are: good grades, social life, and enough sleep. It’s meant to be a lighthearted commentary on the difficulty of finding a healthy work-life balance during college years. But the truth is perhaps a bit more reassuring: getting enough sleep is actually a key component of both academic success and productive social interactions.

Still, a 2018 study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that only ten percent of Americans consider sleep their top priority. Roughly the same amount of people said socializing was at the top of their list. Above both were fitness and nutrition, work, and personal hobbies. In many ways, it makes sense: people want to feel productive. They want to maximize the amount of time they have in the day, and for many, that means cutting back on the hours they spend in bed.

But research has demonstrated time and again that getting enough sleep is one of the primary determinants of productivity throughout the day. More specifically, establishing and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule has been linked to improved concentration, memory, mood, and energy levels. Adequate sleep is also of vital importance when it comes to a healthy immune system, disease prevention, and weight control.

Fall asleep faster with sleep schedules

To understand why sleep schedules are so beneficial to your body in helping you fall asleep, it helps to know a little bit about circadian rhythm, an internal biological clock that cycles between sleepiness and alertness throughout the day. People who are sleep-deprived will feel the swings in their circadian rhythm the most (for many, this manifests as a particularly grueling afternoon slump, for example). When programmed to a steady pattern of sleep/wakefulness, however, the body will become more alert closer to wake-up time. That’s because the human body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline about an hour before it knows you need to wake up. You’ll also start to relax and become more sleepy prior to your regular bedtime after the brain sends signals to the body to release melatonin, allowing you to fall asleep faster.

Throughout the night, your circadian rhythm cycles through two types of sleep: “active sleep” (REM) and deep sleep (NREM). The former is where the majority of people dream, and it’s much more biologically similar to wakefulness. This kind of sleep tends to be concentrated closer to the time you wake up.

The latter is where most bodily repair functions like muscle recovery take place. Most of this kind of sleep occurs toward the beginning of the night. People who don’t have steady sleeping schedules tend to wake up mid-deep sleep, which has been linked to greater grogginess and feelings of exhaustion throughout the day.

So, college students who want to “choose three”: academic success, a productive social life, and enough sleep, should know that the last item on the list is the key to achieving a healthy balance. Focus on that first, and the other two will naturally be easier.

There are several things that students can do to set up and stick to a pattern that works for them. Sleep experts recommend people stop using electronics a certain amount of time before going to bed, reduce caffeine intake towards the end of the day, and set up a dedicated sleeping space that can remind their body it’s time for bed with triggers like sounds (white noise) or smells (essential oils).

In the end, it’s important to remember that everything else comes together a lot more easily when falling asleep on time becomes a top priority.

Adaptive Sound Technologies, Inc. was founded in 2008 and is the leading supplier of advanced sound machines and adaptive audio products. The company’s mission, “Adapting sound to improve lives,” has been the driving force behind its innovation and product development. Headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley, ASTI has developed best-selling sound machines like Sound+Sleep and ‘LectroFan that redefine the science of sleep. Breakthroughs in the science of ambient noise analysis and dynamic adaptive audio have earned ASTI multiple patents, resulting in innovative sleep products that deliver better sleep to customers worldwide.

For news on how you can start improving your sleep,  follow @SoundOfSleep on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter .

www.asticorp.com

See Also:

Brush Off Your Midterm Woes: It’s World Sleep Day

Get Your SLEEP Right

Sleep Apnea May Affect Nearly 40 Million Americams

The Home STD Test: 5 Massive Myths

Recent reports from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) show STDs are on the rise. With one in four college students currently having a sexually transmitted disease (STD), the need for regular testing on campus is now at an all-time high.

The stigma is real. Many students are hesitant to visit campus clinics with the thought of sitting in a waiting room among fellow classmates – unnerving. Additionally, the idea of being asked to share one’s sexual history with a stranger can understandably be just as uncomfortable.

This has led an increased number of university residents to seek alternate methods of testing that provide greater privacy. Conveniently, it’s easier than ever to screen yourself for many sexually transmitted infections now with a simple home STD test discretely mailed to your door.

Research has shown these at-home tests are doing a great job at encouraging more people to get screened. Yet, as with most things, there are skeptics. Let’s take a look together at many of the myths and misconceptions regarding home STD testing today.

MYTH #1: (FALSE)

At-Home Testing Isn’t Reliable

When you finish your home STD test and mail the sample in for screening, you can feel confident knowing the accuracy of your results is high caliber. (Make sure to look for a company with an accredited team of scientists and technologists who have been certified in all 50 states.)

MYTH #2: (FALSE)

It Takes Forever To Get Your Results Back

The faster you get your test results back, the better. It’s natural to have a little bit of nervousness after submitting your sample, and if you’re like most people, you’ll want to know your status as soon as possible. Rest assured, results are sent back quickly with samples processed in only one to five days after being received.

MYTH #3: (FALSE)    

Getting Tested At Home Must Be Expensive

The cost of an at-home STD test is quite comparable with the price of going to a clinic. Don’t forget to account for indirect costs related to the time and effort it takes to get there (missing class, getting gas, etc.). Typically, discounted prices are also offered on packages that include a full suite of tests.

MYTH #4: (FALSE)    

Testing Yourself Can Be Painfully Difficult

Testing yourself at home can actually be as simple as a minor pin prick on your finger and quick urine sample. Follow a few easy instructions and you’re good to go in just minutes. (Make sure the product you choose is backed by a diligent support team standing by to answer any questions you may have.)

MYTH #5: (FALSE) 

At-Home Testing Is Less Confidential

Campus clinics are known to keep your medical records on hand for years. With private at-home testing, you’re able to delete files at your discretion.

Starting The Conversation on STDs

Health professionals recommend speaking with your partner about getting tested sooner rather than later. Often enough though, it can be difficult to broach the subject with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Below are a couple of ideas on how to get the conversation going:

  • Suggest you both get tested together instead of asking your partner if they’ve been tested to make it feel like more of a collaboration, rather than an accusation.
  • Share an article on the subjects that you read with your partner and let them see for themselves exactly how high the statistics of infection are today.

Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases are contracted every year. Research shows that over half those cases are spread by younger adults below the age of 24. Students getting tested, and staying tested, has never been more important with the rising STD epidemic on campuses today.

Private iDNA is a leading at-home STD test that is simple to order online at college campuses nationwide; it’s CLIA/CAP accredited and certified in all 50 states with testing conducted in a state-of-the-art dynamic infectious disease laboratory. The mission behind the company is to increase screening rates by making it easier for people to get tested on their own time and their own terms.

For additional information on Private iDNA, you can learn more about the product and read some frequently asked questions at privateidna.com.

Revolutionizing Music: beyerdynamic Your Way!

Using the latest sound personalization technology, beyerdynamic continues to produce unforgettable music.

Sound. It is your way of experiencing the world around you. Get ready to experience Mosaic sound personalization using Mimi technology! beyerdynamic now works with the best sound engineers on the latest sound personalization technology with their new consumer line. Products like the Amiron Wireless have allowed engineers to rediscover lost sound. They are like glasses for your ears making every sound crystal clear. However, beyerdynamic has not forgotten their history with industry standard studio products like DT770, DT880, and DT990 headphones still in production.

Since 1924 professionals have trusted beyerdynamic to create pro quality products to professionals in cities throughout the world. Fast forward and over 90 years later popular bands and professionals continue with that great legacy. Modern and classic music artists like 311, Foreigner, and Depeche Mode depend on beyerdynamic wireless microphones to produce a show their fans will never forget, an experience of sonic quality that will leave a lasting impact forever. Touring groups, on air broadcasting, recording studio, gamers, and audio professionals alike rely on beyerdynamic equipment to take the beating of regular use in the field, in and out of the studio. It is these relationships has built the foundation for beyerdynamic’s reputation as a high quality German manufacture. Keeping true to their standards beyerdynamic has a new line of products for the latest generation for music lovers, gamers, music artists, podcasters, and professionals.

You and your audience will experience crystal clear sound for years to come with beyerdynamic on your side. Come listen your way! Take advantage of this coupon code BDY10CN to save 10% at the beyerdynamic E shop.

On the Go

Have you ever wanted to listen to something way it was intended to be heard on the go? You may be considering new headphones. An avertible product yet provides the sonic quality you expect. After working with professionals in sound for almost a century beyerdynamic has now found the secret sauce to bring studio quality sound within the college budget. Built to German specifications the DT 240 PRO brings the reliability and durability to enjoy music on the go. Simply put these are meant to last. The durable metal headband, aluminum yokes and reinforced removable cables are ideal to withstand the demands of professional use.

Expect to experience every detail the engineers who mixed your favorite song intended for you to hear. The headphone hit all the right frequency’s just the way you were supposed to. The clean, deep bass, vivid midrange and precise treble ensures maximum precision while recording and playback. Allow the sonic experience to transcend you to another world. The around ear pads provide the isolation you need to concentrate on the next project and without distractions. This is perfect for film makers in the field who need great sound quality and isolation. Also perfectly matched for portable listening devices, it’s great to plug in your laptop, tablet, phone and listen anywhere. Your ears will smile whether you are listening to your favorite song, or traveling by plane on the journey home.

Uplink & Record

In the world of professional sound, microphones are known as the instrument of choice for vocalist. The FOX is clever and creative animal by nature and beyerdynamic has captured those qualities and brought it to the consumer world. The FOX USB microphone by beyerdynamic is nimble it is ability to go anywhere and be ready to record any time. All you need is the FOX and laptop, for this microphone to start recording right out of the box. The crystal clear accuracy of your recording will ensure not a note is lost and your audience with thank you for it. Durable yet perfect for on the go studio artist, the FOX will allow your vox to stand out as well as any music instrument you may have.

The large diaphragm condenser will pick up all the highs and lows of your sound for a full picture image. From 20-20k hz the full sonic spectrum is available to you to capture and recreate. And at studio quality 96k samples per second and 24 bit depth it will ensure the details of your recording are not lost in digital reproduction and will keep your dynamics subtleties intact. When you want to communicate emotion, like softness or loudness you will be heard. Whether you plan to stream your next event or gaming session the audience will have a 3D image of your sound. It brings studio quality for vocalist, streamers, gamers, and podcasting for professionals looking to interact with others and record rich sonic clarity any time any place. Keep a lookout for the clever and creative FOX as it may record you on your next event.

 

Beyerdynamic products are characterised by the company’s desire to innovate and continuously develop technology. And this desire is just as strong today as it was in the days of company founder Eugen Beyer, more than 90 years ago. 

beyerdynamic commits to a policy of continuous research and development employing a highly qualified team of engineers thus insuring the company’s future as a leader in the audio industry.

https://europe.beyerdynamic.com/

Selma Blair’s Incredible Moment at the Oscars

Selma Blair’s Incredible Moment at the Oscars

Actress Selma Blair made headlines this week when she attended a post-Oscars party with an unusual accessory. To go with her Ralph & Russo mint green, powder blue and pink block gown, the Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde star turned heads as she walked with a monogrammed black cane which included a real pink diamond.

Blair suffers from multiple sclerosis, or MS, an incurable condition that affects the brain and spinal cord, creating problems such as double vision, partial blindness, muscle weakness, trouble with sensation and trouble with coordination.

She was diagnosed with MS in August 2018, and the Oscars were her first public event since announcing her diagnosis. Blair revealed that she had the condition in an Instagram post last October, writing, “I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it. And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best.”

View this post on Instagram

I was in this wardrobe fitting two days ago. And I am in the deepest gratitude. So profound, it is, I have decided to share. The brilliant costumer #Allisaswanson not only designs the pieces #harperglass will wear on this new #Netflix show , but she carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself. I have #multiplesclerosis . I am in an exacerbation. By the grace of the lord, and will power and the understanding producers at Netflix , I have a job. A wonderful job. I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps. But we are doing it . And I laugh and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best. Since my diagnosis at ten thirty pm on The night of August 16, I have had love and support from my friends , especially @jaime_king @sarahmgellar @realfreddieprinze @tarasubkoff . My producers #noreenhalpern who assured me that everyone has something. #chrisregina #aaronmartin and every crew member… thank you. I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others. And even to myself. You can’t get help unless you ask. It can be overwhelming in the beginning. You want to sleep. You always want to sleep. So I don’t have answers. You see, I want to sleep. But I am a forthcoming person and I want my life to be full somehow. I want to play with my son again. I want to walk down the street and ride my horse. I have MS and I am ok. But if you see me , dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges. And the biggest thanks to @elizberkley who forced me to see her brother #drjasonberkley who gave me this diagnosis after finding lesions on that mri. I have had symptoms for years but was never taken seriously until I fell down in front of him trying to sort out what I thought was a pinched nerve. I have probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least. And I am relieved to at least know. And share. 🖤 my instagram family… you know who you are.

A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on

“If I can help anyone be more comfortable in their skin, it’s more than I’ve ever done before,” Blair said to Vanity Fair magazine.

Blair has received widespread support and encouragement for being so vocal about her condition. Among celebrities who have reached out to Blair to offer their support are Marc Jacobs, who has a handbag named after the actress; Amy Schumer, whose father suffers from MS; and Kris Jenner, who sent Blair an extravagant flower arrangement.

Figures suggest that nearly one million people are living with MS in the United States. Many MS sufferers and family members of MS sufferers have taken to social media to voice their appreciation for the actress bringing such a debilitating condition to light.

On Sunday at the Vanity Fair Oscars party, she told the magazine: “I really feel like people with disabilities are invisible to a lot of people.”

Looking ahead, Blair is interested in working with a fashion designer to create a line of clothes that are chic, yet also comfortable and able to be worn by those suffering from MS or other similar debilitating conditions.

She told Vanity Fair that one of her main complaints about MS is the lack of stylish clothing available to disabled people. It might sound frivolous, but to Blair, who has always used clothes as a form of self-expression, it is a matter of identity.

“I would like to partner with someone like Christian Siriano on a line for everyone—not just people who necessarily need adaptive clothing, but for those who want comfort, too. It can still be chic. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style. Like, let’s get elastic waistbands to look a little bit better.”

College News is all for it.

See also: Highlights from the 2019 Oscars