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
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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