By Ken Reed
The University of Michigan football team is getting $2.25 million to be featured in a “Hard Knocks”-like Amazon Prime Video documentary.
“We are proud to collaborate with Amazon Prime Video in documenting our University of Michigan student-athletes’ daily experiences and the lifelong lessons learned both on the football field and in the classroom,” said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh last month when the series was announced.
“We welcome judgment! We embrace this opportunity to showcase our 2017 University of Michigan football team to a vast audience around the world.”
There likely will be very little “judgment” of the Michigan program as this will amount to nothing more than a PR puff piece. The contractual agreement gives Michigan the right to “review” the episodes and edit out “any depiction that would constitute an actionable defamation or false light depiction of the University, the Team or any University Individual” before the episodes go on the air. So, in essence, they are getting paid $2.25 million for a series that will be worth millions more in positive free publicity.
Meanwhile, while the school pulls in this bonus revenue, the players won’t see any of it. Despite being the stars of the Michigan football team and producing the actual on-the-field product, Michigan players won’t see any of the money from the Amazon documentary. Under the NCAA’s archaic amateurism rules, they will be stuck with tuition, food and a place to sleep in the dorm despite having market value much greater than that. Power Five conference schools can also provide athletes a cost-of-attendance stipend that’s been infamously dubbed “the pizza stipend,” because it can cover a couple pizzas a week.
Talk about a case of economic injustice. The inequities in big-time college sports continue to worsen, not improve.
— 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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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.
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon