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 #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon