By Ken Reed
“I fear for college football,” says CBS News’ investigative reporter Armen Keteyian. “It’s a runaway train.”
Keteyian and fellow investigative reporter and Sports Illustrated writer Jeffrey Benedict are co-authors of a new book on college football due out in a week called “The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football.”
While there are definitely still administrators and coaches at the highest levels of college football and basketball that deeply care about their players physical, mental, emotional, spiritual — and even financial well-being — big-time college football and basketball is increasingly dominated by win-at-all-costs (WAAC) and profit-at-all-costs (PAAC) ethos. And the unfortunate victims of these ethos are the players, who are but tools in a billion dollar system that strips them of the economic and civil rights enjoyed by the rest of us.
Keteyian, when asked to reflect on his new book and offer a takeaway, had this to say: “If I had one absolute revelation, it was how the weight of these $100 million programs is on the backs of these kids and the pressure they are under every week to perform.”
Benedict added, “I don’t think I will be able to watch a game now without thinking about the scope and amount of physical carnage that’s required for college football to succeed at the level it does.”
It’s past time that the players were allowed to gain financially from their talents and physical sacrifices Even Time magazine now agrees. In a cover story in the September 16 issue of the magazine, writer Sean Gregory concludes, “With conferences and schools set to see record television payouts for the next decade and beyond, the idea of paying players is no longer just fodder for academic debate. It’s an ethical imperative.”
“The System” is receiving rave reviews from those who’ve read early-release copies. Keteyian and Benedict are two veteran reporters with excellent reputations. It promises to be a provocative behind-the-scenes look at a greed-driven monster that is feeding on young men who provide the mass entertainment sports product without the benefit of representation, unlike their NFL and NBA peers.
— 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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