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 #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
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
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon