The next FIFA president will enjoy a much shorter leash, if the organization's auditor gets his way. With soccer's governing body embroiled in controversy, many within FIFA see the current moment as a prime opportunity to introduce reforms that would otherwise meet strong resistance.

Sepp Blatter

As The Wall Street Journal reports, such change would reduce the executive committee's involvement in day-to-day responsibilities.

Those tasks would be picked up by a board of management hired to handle the business considerations of the organization, such as sponsorships, contracts, even hosting rights for upcoming World Cups.

The executive committee would see its duties limited to matters of sport -- rules and other competitive aspects of handling global soccer.

The position of FIFA president in particular would see significant change. First on the list of reforms would be the institution of term limits, which sitting president Sepp Blatter -- who was recently elected to a fifth term -- has adamantly opposed.

With Blatter set to resign his post in early 2016, now is the time to impose such limits without butting up against FIFA's leadership.

The WSJ credits many of these reforms to FIFA chief auditor Domenico Scala, who will present these options when the executive committee convenes next month.

At that meeting, Scala is expected to propose a contraction of the committee, reducing it from 25 to 12 members.

These are just the first of what could be several waves of reforms, all of them designed to de-centralize power within FIFA, reduce the influence and clout of particular members and positions, and create a more stable framework for managing global soccer without the rampant fraud that has plagued the organization for at least two decades.

With Blatter and other members of FIFA currently facing intense scrutiny and bright spotlights, the organization is facing a crucial juncture where the future of the organization will be shaped for years to come.

While some of the changes seem radical, they are an appropriate response to extreme criminal activity that has proven the current FIFA framework is unworkable.

With so many well-publicized instances of NFL players getting into trouble with the law, it's easy for the league to have earned a reputation of employing criminals. High-visibility cases such as those involving Adam Jones, Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson and others have done nothing but reinforce this public perception.

Adam Jones

It's an unfair reputation, according to a new study. NFL arrest rates aren't nearly as high as many would believe -- and, in fact, in some years NFL arrest are only half as common as those of the general U.S. population.

The study, published by a criminologist at UT-Dallas, examined arrest rates in the NFL between 2000 and 2013 and found that most professional football players buck the league's reputation -- they never get into any legal trouble.

But that's not how many fans see the league -- in part because of the way information reaches them.

"What happens is, in our instantaneous world right now, you see a video, you see a tweet and it becomes real," says Dr. Alex Piquero, one of the study's authors. "But, one image of one person does not necessarily characterize every single player."

The study's findings were less flattering on the subject of violent crime, however. For six of the 14 years studied, the NFL had a higher arrest rate for violent crimes than the general population. That includes domestic violence arrests, which couldn't be separated into their own category based on the type of data researchers found.

A spike in violent crime arrests came between 2004 and 2008 -- a period of heightened activity that was not mirrored by the general population.

Since 2008, however, such arrests have come back under control, possibly due to the league's decision to build clauses into contracts that put salary bonuses at risk in the event of a violent crime arrests.

Even so, the study's authors recommended that the NFL track their league's arrest data and provide sensitivity training to athletes. We'll see if the league chooses to listen.

On Feb. 26, 2016, FIFA will elect Sepp Blatter's successor. Blatter, who announced his resignation in May, has been president since 1998, and for much of the past decade, FIFA has been scrutinized for corruption. In May, 14 people were indicted by the FBI and IRS for wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Although not indicted, Blatter is the face of the scandal. With less than 200 days left in his tenure, the 79-year-old Swiss is still making noise.

Blatter Putin

On Monday night, BBC Sport aired an exclusive interview with Blatter performed by Richard Conway. Blatter was in complete denial in his role in FIFA's corruption and justified his resignation:

"I did it because I wanted to protect FIFA," Blatter said. "I can protect myself. I am strong enough. I know what I have done, what I have not done. I have my conscience and I know I'm an honest man. I am clean. I am not a worried man.

"The institution is not corrupt. There is no corruption in football, there is corruption with individuals, it is the people."

Blatter has navigated around evidence against him, personally, while FIFA has gone down in flames with indictments. Blatter has arguably played dumb, and he insists he could not have stopped the underlying corruption of subordinate FIFA officials.

"It's not the institution," he reiterated. "That's what I cannot understand when the media says FIFA is corrupt. Not FIFA is corrupt. On the field of play, it's easy to control all the footballers because you have boundaries, you have a time limit, you have a referee. Outside of the field of play, you don't have that. Who can control 300 million people directly? 1.6 billion indirectly? It's impossible."

Conway digs deeper, telling Blatter he was the man asked to do that job, but Blatter refuses to accept it.

On a topic, Blatter, who has been with FIFA in some capacity since 1975, praises his collective work in soccer and makes an accusation that would make Abby Wambach and her teammates cringe.

"The game is played everywhere and the game is played by everybody and what I brought in, what is so important, is women's football," Blatter said. "This was a challenge made to me in '86 in a congress in Mexico."

Blatter has six more months to make face time with the world before FIFA's new administration does everything it can to block his presence. He will not speak on his knowledge of the corruption scandal while the investigation is ongoing. When Conway asks if he is worried, Blatter denies it. Conway then gives him the floor to come clean, and Blatter shakes his head and refuses.

When asked about French UEFA President Michel Platini, the favorite to succeed him, Blatter responded, "Why not? Don't ask the president who is elected to make a comment on the race for the presidency. I don't mind, it's the congress who will decide, not me."

Blatter Germany

Although the U.S. government has handed down these indictments, Blatter says he has many friends in America (just not in the FBI or IRS). A former U.S. ally, Chuck Blazer, a FIFA Executive Committee member from 1996 to 2013, has already entered a guilty plea for his charges in the corruption case.

Here's an American perspective from Boomer Esiason:

Jordy Nelson

God might not be a Green Bay fan. After Russell Wilson chalked up last year's epic playoff comeback against the Packers to being the will of God, Green Bay has now lost star wideout Jordy Nelson for the 2015 due to an ACL tear.

Nelson tore the ligament during a preseason game, prompting his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, to criticize the exhibition as "meaningless" while saying it was frustrating to suffer injuries before the season even started.

Shortly after, Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin offered up his speculation on why Nelson was injured -- and why it didn't matter that the injury happened in preseason.

"I hated Jordy got hurt, but my beliefs and the way that I believe, it was God had meant for Jordy to get hurt," Quin told the Detroit Free Press. "So if he wouldn't have got hurt today, if he wouldn't have played in that game, if he wouldn't have practiced anymore and, the next time he would have walked on the field would have been opening day, I feel like he would have got hurt opening day."

Nelson's injury depletes a Packers roster that many already saw as weakened and vulnerable in the NFC North. Rodgers will now have to lead a what had been a dominant passing attack without his go-to target.

But that's what God wanted. God must like to watch Rodgers throw himself out of a tight situation. Or God just hates Green Bay. Fans in Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota would probably vote for the latter.

When the British are coming, Justin Gatlin will not talk to them.

Justin Gatlin

The 33-year-old American sprinter is boycotting the BBC and other British media outlets. Gatlin and agent Renaldo Nehemiah feel the BBC expressed considerable bias in favor of Usain Bolt, as the Jamaican edged Gatlin in the 100 meters Sunday at the World Championships in Beijing. BBC commentator Steve Cram said Bolt "saved his sport" with his win, and fellow commentator Brendan Foster was videotaped celebrating Bolt's victory. Gatlin also felt the British media focused too many questions on his doping past and not on his current competitive standing.

In 2002, Gatlin received a two-year ban when amphetamines were found in his system. Gatlin contested the presence was due to medicine he took for ten years for attention deficit disorder, and his ban was reduced to one year. After winning the 2004 Olympic gold medal in the 100 meters in Athens, Gatlin received an eight-year ban in 2006 for testing positive for a banned substance. Gatlin claimed the result was caused by a masseur rubbing testosterone into his buttocks without permission. Gatlin's suspension was later cut to four years.

Gatlin has been back in sprinting for five years and won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Despite his age in his return, Gatlin has established himself as a challenger to Bolt's dominance of the sport. Bolt won the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

With a time of 9.79 seconds Sunday, Bolt held off Gatlin, who had a late stumble, by .01 seconds.

After the race, Gatlin received a series of questions about his past doping, to which he responded each time (in Marshawn Lynch-esque form), "I am thankful."

"Justin, as well as I, feel that the British media and journalists have been extremely unkind to him," Nehemiah told the Guardian. "There’s been nothing positive said about him now for some time. Every [characterization] is solely about doping and vilifying him"

Along with Gatlin, three other 100-meter finalists, Americans Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers and Jamaican Asafa Powell, have served doping bans. Gatlin is currently the most successful of the bunch and faces more scrutiny from the media.

Gatlin also saw a heckler hounding his mother during the 100-meter medal ceremony in Beijing. From the podium, Gatlin pointed his finger into the crowd while receiving his silver medal.

Bolt Gatlin

"I could see it in my mom's face," he said. "Because she's my mom."

Gatlin's rivalry with the jocular Bolt has been labeled, "Good vs. Evil."

"No one has to talk disrespectful to anybody," Gatlin said of the heckler. "We're just here to run. They pay tickets to see us run. Let us run and do what we do."

Donald Trump

Donald Trump can win the election, beat ISIS and stop illegal immigration.

Any why? Because he's a good golfer.

That latest bit of logic comes from Trump himself, who explains in an interview with TIME Magazine that his golf successes over the years prove that he's capable of being a successful president:

"You know I've had great success," Trump tells TIME. "Even in golf I've won many golf club championships. I don't know if you guys play golf. But to win a club championship is hard, literally hard. And you have to beat scratch players. ... You got a lot of good players."

Trump then goes back into the winners-and-losers binary that has become a cornerstone of his 2016 platform -- a platform that only continues to grow more formidable:

"I've won many club championships," he says. "So my life has been about winning. My life has not been about losing. So I get a kick out of watching these guys who were not even successful people saying, 'Oh, he's just having fun.'"

In reality, Trump is a decent golfer -- though a golfer who believes the sport is only for the wealthy. He's also built prestigious golf courses across the country, some of which are host to PGA Tour events.

Trump's business relationship with the PGA Tour has put the league in a tricky situation with some major events scheduled to take place on Trump courses in the upcoming years. Last month, the Tour moved its PGA Grand Slam event from its original location on a Trump property, although other events remain on-track to take place at Trump's courses.

If you'd eager to study Trump's performance up close, complete with classic Trump one-liners, here's a video of Donald and a golf pro trading compliments while discussing the Republican's golf game, hips and all:

"I've been told I have a very good grip," Trump says in the video.

He might make a terrifying president, but no one gives a better quote than Donald.

Jane Rosenberg has been a sketch artist for 35 years. In all that time, she's never been treated like this.

Rosenberg received downright mockery after her courtroom sketch of Tom Brady hit the Internet on Wednesday. The Patriots' quarterback is challenging the NFL for his four-game suspension over the alleged deflation of game footballs during the AFC Championship Game. The focus yesterday was more about creating memes from the sketch than following the legal end of the story.

On Thursday morning, Rosenberg appeared on the NFL Network, where she told her side of the tale.

"Apparently Tom Brady has a lot of people who love him and who are very disappointed that I did not depict him as handsome as he really is," she said.

Rosenberg does not call her drawing a masterpiece, but she thinks the criticism is unwarranted. She reminds the public she has covered numerous high profile cases in the past, and her presence in this case was not a coincidence. She tried to get the image fans wanted.

"I knew the story would be about Roger Goodell and Tom Brady, so I was thinking I have to try to have them included in the sketch," she said. "I waited until they sat in the courtroom and tried to compose a wide shot.

"It's very hard when I do a tiny little head to make it accurate with pastels. I did the best I could. I apologize to Tom Brady and his fans, who may not be happy with it."

Rosenberg acknowledges that if anyone can feel her pain, it is athletes. "I think athletes understand there are good days and bad days."

The last 24 hours have been a new experience for Rosenberg, who admits she is not active on social media and versed in the concept of "going viral." She was surprised to see her art spread around the globe, and the backlash has been unfortunate. The rabid world of NFL fans has given Rosenberg unwarranted treatment.

"I'm getting non-stop calls asking to get interviewed," she said. "I don't personally do Twitter, so I'm sure there's a lot on Twitter, but people are e-mailing me. They're finding my personal e-mail. They're sending me nasty things. Some people are sending me support, which is really lovely and I really thank all these people."

Rosenberg is scheduled to be back in the courtroom next week for more sketches, although she jokes she may not show up.

"Someone wrote in one of their nasty e-mails I really should call in sick next week. Maybe I should."

Rosenberg reiterated the prevalence of virtual attacks on The Dan Patrick Show, while doing limited media appearances:

It's disturbing to know individuals tracked down Rosenberg's contact information to ridicule her for her work. Deflategate has long gotten out of hand, but this takes things to a whole new level.

Some athletes are experts at instigating and agitating opponents and teammates alike. Golfers Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson had a harsh exchange of words this week -- and that's just part of their protege-mentor relationship. On this episode of The Rundown, we consider the trash-talking and needling that spice the soup in sports:

This text will be replaced

It's been an uninspired offseason in Tampa Bay, at least in terms of its promotional work. Despite the buzz created by drafting Jameis Winston No. 1 overall this spring, the franchise has tripped over itself when trying to build excitement for the upcoming year.

First was their ill-conceived "Siege The Day" campaign, which failed to recognize the definition of the word "siege." Now, The Bucs have tasked themselves with teaching women how to enjoy football.

In a press release from the team, the Bucs' RED Women's Movement seems innocuous at first, but the tone quickly takes a sharp turn. The release explains how the new campaign will work to increase the female fan's knowledge of the game -- but that's not all.

"In addition, RED will re-invent the female fan experience by providing insight into topics such as: what goes on behind the scenes on gamedays at Raymond James Stadium; how to maximize their gameday experience; how to blend personal Buccaneer pride with the latest NFL fashions; as well as tips on sharing their experiences and ideas via social media platforms such as Pinterest," per the report.

Textbook sexism right there. Still, it isn't shamelessly offensive in the way we've promised our readers in our headline. Can you pump just a little more ignorance and condescension from your deep well, Tampa Bay?

Oh, look: Here's a sample of the team's educational efforts, which features its bold attempt to explain the concept of a play clock.

"There are a few reasons why having a play clock is beneficial to the game," per the first installment of the team's educational article series. "Without it, teams would have an unlimited amount of time in between plays, which allows for an unlimited amount of strategizing and unlimited amount of time for players to rest and recover."

Well done, Tampa Bay. You did it! You're good at something!

Granted, it's not the thing you'd probably prefer to be good at, assuming that's still football. But hey, let's take the wins where we can get 'em, right? You need all the help you can get.

The script was written for Mason Plumlee. On the same evening the Nets drafted him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brooklyn traded for Kevin Garnett.

The 6-foot-11 Plumlee was set to learn the power forward position from one of the greatest players of all-time. What Plumlee did not realize is Garnett would be tutoring him off the court as well.

In an interview on ESPN's Highly Questionable, Plumlee recalls Garnett teaching Plumlee about manners on the team charter. In one case, Garnett had Plumlee and other young players run plays without a basketball on the tarmac.

In another instance, Garnett punished Plumlee for trying to eat before the veterans by making him work as the flight attendant.

Those who still wonder how Garnett gained so much respect in the NBA need to hear these stories. Even in the twilight of his career, Garnett exudes leadership on and off the court.

Speaking of which: After returning to the Minnesota late in the 2014-15 season, the long time Timberwolves star will be at his first team training camp since 2006.

The Timberwolves have the last three first overall draft picks, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, along with post-1991 born Tyus Jones, Zach Lavine and Shabazz Muhammad. The ages of Towns (19) and Wiggins (20) add up to 39, Garnett's age.

It can only be assumed that KG is going to have a field day.

Syndicate content