The NCAA’s power schools in the power conferences are getting just what they wanted when they formed the BCS: separation from the smaller Division I schools who are desperately trying to keep pace. Ironically, most BCS schools are themselves unable to keep pace with a small group of big-time college sports powers.
Take the University of Texas, for example. Texas’ athletic program is one of only 22 Division I programs across the country that generates enough revenues to cover expenses. According to a USA Today report, no college athletics program has out-earned or outspent Texas.
While a small group of big-time college sports institutions can keep pace in the college sports arms race, the vast majority of Division I schools can’t, especially during these tough economic times when university budgets are being slashed and professors are being laid off.
“At Texas it may be sustainable,” according to former University of Arizona president Peter Likins. “But think about the schools that are desperately struggling to stay in the game and are dramatically increasing the university’s subsidy of intercollegiate athletics and aren’t succeeding in improving their financial position.”
Apart from athletics, the University of Texas is also struggling financially — just like most colleges and universities across the country. Texas cut 200 jobs in fiscal 2011, and 400 more are set to go in 2012, including 95 teaching positions, meaning larger class sizes and fewer course offerings for students. Meanwhile, Texas’ athletes enjoy more and more amenities in the athletics department.
By almost any measure, big-time college athletics programs are out of control. NCAA leaders can’t slow down the arms race, and neither can school presidents. As such, it’s time for the government to step in. Likins sees that day on the horizon.
“Somebody’s going to decide, either out of anger or just out of good government, that this is an unrelated business enterprise and has to be treated as such in terms of tax policies and that kind of thing,” Likins predicts.
That day can’t come soon enough.
— 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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