By Ken Reed
The Ivy League isn’t perfect. They’ve had some scandals of their own.
But life in college athletics is all relative. And the Ivy League still gives more respect to the “student” part of student-athlete than any other Division I conference.
The Washington Post’s Fred Bowen pointed out recently that the Ivy League college basketball season is scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights so the athletes won’t need to miss school — or very little. No games on a school night. That seems like a rational policy for an institution of higher education.
Also, the Ivy League is still geographically aligned in the Northeast. The schools are close together, meaning less time wasted traveling and more time for studying.
The Big East has a team in Omaha, Nebraska (Creighton) and the Big 12 a team in Morgantown, West Virginia (West Virginia University)! The Big Ten now includes teams from New Jersey and Maryland. The story is similar in all the major conferences. Thus, athlete-students are forced to miss more class time to get to these conference outposts.
Moreover, the power five conferences play every day of the week, school be damned! If the Mothership, ESPN, says you’ll be playing on Wednesday night at 10pm then so be it, that’s when these “student-athletes” will play!
As Bowen points out, Georgetown scheduled a December game against Kansas during the middle of Georgetown’s final exams!
The Ivy League still has fair competition as well: eight teams each play the other schools home and away. The Big Ten and Atlantic-10 have 14 teams, the ACC 15. Therefore, there is no home and away schedule for every conference team, resulting in some schools having easier schedules than others. Not a great way to determine a conference champion.
The Ivy League is the only Division I conference that operates more like Division III conferences than the power five conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, SEC and Pac-12).
And that’s a very good thing for athletes at those schools who would still like to be students.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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