For an organization that purports to be all about the “student-athletes,” the NCAA sure operates as if it’s all about the money. The current men’s basketball tournament has made it very clear what the NCAA values most: dollar bills. The long timeout breaks for commercials completely ruin the flow of the basketball games for the athletes and fans. Basketball is supposed to be more like soccer (continuous action with multiple momentum changes) vs. football (short bursts of action followed by long stretches of standing around). During the NCAA tournament, especially the last five to seven minutes of a game, it’s hard to imagine how these finely-tuned athletes can even work up a sweat.
In college basketball, each team gets five official timeouts. Of course, those timeouts are used for television and radio commercials. Then, on top of that, there are the annoying “media” timeouts.
“Most games have absolutely no flow to them because there are 10 artificial stoppages: the eight media timeouts and two team-called 30-second timeouts per half (one for each team) that become full timeouts,” wrote John Feinstein in a recent Washington Post column.
Teams are given an allotment of 30-second and 60-second timeouts. But the actual time elapsed is much longer than what the rules call for, often three to four times what’s supposed to be allowed. The NCAA has also allowed television executives to make halftime breaks 20 minutes for tournament games instead of the usual 15 minutes in college basketball.
“The basketball committee sold its soul — at an increasingly hefty price — to television years ago,” opined Feinstein.
The sad part is that since the NCAA doesn’t have any scruples when it comes to their profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) mentality, in 10 years we might be watching one-minute bursts of basketball in-between interminable advertising.
At some point, true hoops fans might just say enough is enough and go watch their local high school basketball team play. That time is trending closer and closer.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
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
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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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon