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 #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 and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon