Filling out March Madness brackets is an annual rite of spring for many of the nation’s sports fans. For three weeks, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament captivates the nation with upsets, buzzer beaters, and athletic excellence.
However, many of the top teams on the hardwood don’t have the same commitment to academic excellence as they do to hoops dominance. For example, defending national champion Connecticut has one of the worst graduation rates among the nation’s Division I basketball programs at 25%. The program hasn’t topped 33% in the past six years. UConn has the lowest graduation rate in this year’s tournament despite the fact that head coach Jim Calhoun’s contract states that academics are an “important aspect of his responsibilities.”
The Washington Post‘s Jenna Johnson put together a bracket to determine who would come out on top if basketball graduation rates were used to determine winners throughout the men’s basketball tournament. Her bracket was based on graduation data compiled by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. This year’s Sweet Sixteen of Academic Excellence was comprised of the following schools: Western Kentucky, Wichita State, UNLV, Notre Dame, Long Island, Davidson, BYU, Missouri, UNC Ashville, Harvard, Florida State, Loyola Maryland, Creighton, Ohio, Belmont, and Kansas. The Final Four was Notre Dame, Davidson, Harvard, and Creighton. And the basketball academic national champion is Notre Dame.
— 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