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 #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
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.
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
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