Joe Nocera’s recent feature article in the New York Times Magazine titled, “Let’s Start Paying College Athletes,” along with his related New York Times op-ed piece, “The College Sports Cartel” represent some of the best thinking to date on how to fix college sports. Nocera’s plan would make college sports more honest and fair. We certainly could use a lot more of that.
Nocera is a SportsWorld outsider. As an Op-Ed columnist for the Times and a long-time business reporter and editor, he brings a fresh perspective to the mess that is big-time college sports. When Nocera started to dig into college sports he was amazed at just how ugly major Division I college sports is, in particular football and men’s basketball.
“The hypocrisy that permeates big-money college sports takes your breath away … It’s a system that enables misconduct to flourish” wrote Nocera in the NY Times Magazine piece.
But unlike many exposes on college sports that are heavy on analysis of the problem but woefully short on solutions, Nocera has laid out a well-conceived proposal. A short summary won’t do his plan justice. You need to read the article. However, the plan centers around facing the reality that big-time (read: BCS) football and men’s basketball are of a different breed then men’s lacrosse or women’s tennis. Football and men’s basketball are huge commercial entertainment entities. Lacrosse and tennis are, for the most part, still part of the educational mission of a university or college.
It’s past time to stop denying that basic truth and instead deal with it forthrightly and honestly.
Nocera does a good job of that.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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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.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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