By Ken Reed
Spelman College, a historically black women’s college in Atlanta, recently announced its withdrawal from intercollegiate athletics. In its place will be a fitness and nutrition program targeting all students at Spelman.
“When we studied this early this year, I was startled to see that we really only had 80 student athletes out of 2,100 students, and our program was costing almost $1 million,” said Beverly Daniel Tatum, the college president.
Tatum decided that when it comes to wellness, all students need to be athletes, in terms of becoming more physically active. In addition to dropping varsity athletics, Spelman’s physical education classes will move from a sports focus toward general fitness.
“We want our students to become what I call soldiers in the wellness revolution,” said Dr. Tatum.
League of Fans has long been a proponent of sports and physical education programs for all students, not just elite athletes. The country is in the middle of an unprecedented childhood obesity epidemic, making it extremely hard for elementary, middle school, and high schools — as well as colleges — to justify expenditures for varsity athletics, which serve a relative small percentage of the student body.
More schools — at all levels — need to seriously consider a move similar to Spelman’s. It’s not necessarily an either/or decision. Interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics can coincide with physical education and intramural-type sports and physical activity programs for all students. But Sports and PE for All needs to be priority one.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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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.
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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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