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 #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
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.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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