Milton Kent | WYPR

Milton Kent

Milton Kent hosted the weekly commentary Sports at Large from its creation in 2002 to its finale in July 2013. He has written about sports locally and nationally since 1988, covering the Baltimore Orioles, University of Maryland men's basketball, women's basketball and football, the Washington Wizards, the NBA, men's and women's college basketball and sports media for the Baltimore Sun and AOL Fanhouse.  He has covered the World Series, the American and National League Championship Series, the NFL playoffs, the NBA Finals and 17 NCAA men's and women's Final Fours. He currently teaches journalism at Morgan State University.

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The labor union has taken a tremendous beating over the last 30 or so years, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the sporting realm.

By comparison to the baseball union, which has historically been strong, the NFL Players Association has seemed ineffective and weak.

It’s late August already, and while attention among sports fans in much of the country has turned toward the impending NFL season, there are almost as many who eagerly await the start of college football. One of those places is in Waco, Texas, where the Baylor faithful hope this will be the season their Bears lead them to the promised land of a national championship.

As teams begin to report to training camp this week, I continue to find myself in a bit of a quandary over how a sport whose leadership shows such a continued indifference over how the public perceives it much less how it treats its players can still thrive.

University of Maryland president Wallace Loh has proposed to break with tradition once again, by allowing the sale of beer and wine to the general public at the football and basketball arenas on campus beginning in the fall.

Know how you hear about the launch of a new product or the opening of a big summer blockbuster movie…and your reaction is a big yawn. 

That’s largely the feeling from this corner over last week’s news that executives of soccer’s international governing body were arrested on corruption charges.

I guess I’m supposed to be upset or at least concerned that 14 FIFA officials were indicted on charges of bribery, money-laundering and racketeering involving tens of millions of dollars over the past two decades.

If your interest runs deeper than touchdowns, tackles and fantasy stats, you have to admit that loving the NFL of late feels rather unsavory. Just last week, a league-authorized investigation found probable cause that support staff of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots may have altered the size of the footballs that were used during playoff games. And it may have happened with the knowledge and/or instruction of their heartthrob quarterback Tom Brady.

For the last seven decades, it’s been baseball, more than our other major sports, that has led the way in terms of its connection to the broader American social fabric. And nowhere was that association on greater display than last week during the unrest that rocked Baltimore to its core.

Ah, the first week of April in Baltimore, a time when the senses are stirred anew by the smell of freshly mown grass on the Camden Yards diamond and the sound of bat hitting ball, along with the sight of piles of nervously bitten fingernails.

By this time next week, the 2014-15 college basketball season will be but a memory. And with the Maryland men’s advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010, that memory is a pleasant one. But, over the weekend, the Terps and coach Mark Turgeon got news that could make next season tip way past pleasant all the way to delirious.

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