By Ken Reed
Sandy Barbour was recently pushed out as athletic director at the University of California, Berkeley. Her nearly decade-long tenure as AD will be remembered primarily for the timeframe when a great academic school lost its way in an effort to become a big-time athletic factory.
On her watch, the football team finished dead last among the nation’s 72 major conference schools in the category “graduation rate.”
Barbour also spent millions to renovate the school’s football stadium, which left the school $445 million in debt as of a June 2013 estimate. It was an unprecedented amount of borrowing for a college sports project, more than doubling the second place project. It was a major gamble by Barbour, which university officials admit may ultimately involve significant academic funds and student fees.
“It’s disconcerting that the university may be gambling with student fees and other academic funds to cover a massive financial commitment for a football stadium,” said Cal professor Brian Barsky.
One of the nation’s great public universities has been selling its soul to feed the big-time sports pig the past decade. It will be interesting to see what direction the school takes under its new athletic director.
Quote of the Day
Former United States women’s soccer star Brandi Chastain on the drive to ban heading in youth soccer until high school (age 15) in order to protect vulnerable developing brains:
“Why not protect our kids for as long as we can? The bottom line is that hitting your head repeatedly against something is never a good thing.”
— 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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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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