A big chunk of sports fans look at the mess in college sports — a mountain of cheating scandals, conference realignment driven purely by greed — and wonder why the NCAA doesn’t step in and bring some sanity to the situation.
Well, here’s why: The NCAA’s not in charge.
The major football conferences, and the football programs within those conferences, are running the show. And it’s not pretty. A cartel known as the BCS (Bowl Championship Series), comprised of the six biggest college sports conferences, has hijacked college sports and left every other school in its wake. The formation of the BCS was greed based. (“If we band together, and tell the rest of the NCAA to take a hike, we can keep most of the TV money for ourselves.”)
The Washington Post‘s Sally Jenkins does a nice job outlining the history of the NCAA’s power decline in her column, “NCAA Lost Its Teeth in Court in 1984, And No One’s Been in Charge Since.”
The current conference realignment craze is the result of infighting within the BCS cartel. The big conferences are stealing schools from their fellow BCS rivals to protect themselves, i.e., keep the money they have while scheming to get more. Individual universities are leaving their current leagues to chase the almighty dollar, and in the process are chucking long-time rivals and traditions. Geographic location is now moot. Texas Christian University (TCU) left the Mountain West conference for the Big East conference for a bigger paycheck and then left the Big East for the Big 12 conference before ever playing one game in the Big East.
A side effect of these football-based decisions is that the other sports programs under the university umbrella are being negatively impacted. Basketball and soccer teams are having to take on the same crazy travel schedules as their football peers. See “Football Realignment Gets Basketball Coaches’ Attention,” Denver Post.
The world of college sports keeps getting uglier and uglier. Greed-based anarchy reigns supreme.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – The guest is Gary McCoy, a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations. Our focus is the injury pandemic in baseball, what’s causing it and how it can be fixed.
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Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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