By Ken Reed

Allen Sack, director of the Institute for Sport Management at the University of New Haven and president of the Drake Group, a faculty consortium fighting for academic integrity in the face of big-time college sports, said Penn State, while deserving severe punishment, is a scapegoat for a college sports system that’s out of control.

“There was a heinous crime … Not only did they have this pedophile running amok — that could happen anywhere … (but) much more disturbing to me is that … it’s leadership tried to cover that up,” said Sack. “That is a major problem … endemic of a nationwide problem of big-time college sports swamping basic academic integrity. Penn State University threw its academic standards, its academic morality, its academic values, under the bus. Why? Because of big-time college sports, that’s why.”

Sack wants a Congressional hearing to examine the tax-exempt status that highly commercialized big-time sports receive under the umbrella of their universities.

“Disclosure is the key thing,” said Sack. “What we have now is a veil of silence that has fallen down over big-time college sports … Let’s look at big-time college sports today and the inordinate role and influence and power of (those) sports in effecting university academic policy.”

If the Penn State corruption could happen at “one of the finest schools in the country, then what’s happening at the other schools?” wondered Sack.

Sack believes the recent conference realignment frenzy, done solely for commercial reasons, shows no concern for the athletes.

“Can you imagine how that (conference realignment) improves the education of college athletes?” asks Sack.

The NCAA’s stated purpose is to maintain athletes as an integral part of the student body and to retain a clear line of demarcation between collegiate and professional sports.

“On both of those particular issues, the NCAA has failed miserably,” said Sack.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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