By Ken Reed
In the NCAA’s world this all apparently makes sense.
In the past week, the NCAA let the University of North Carolina off the hook for its long-lasting and wide-ranging academic fraud involving more than a 1000 athletes over 18 years, while at the same time taking away a year of eligibility from an incoming freshman basketball player who was taking real classes at Ohio State University but transferred to North Carolina State when the coach that recruited him at OSU, Thad Matta, abruptly quit.
Braxton Beverly was a four-star recruit looking to take a few summer classes before his freshman fall semester began. But then Matta left Ohio State, due to health reasons and recruiting problems. Beverly decided that if Matta was gone he was going to leave also. He dropped the two classes he’d been enrolled in for a couple weeks at OSU and went to N.C. State, with Ohio State’s blessing. But the NCAA ruled him ineligible because he had set foot in an Ohio State classroom and ruled he’d have to sit out the entire year at N.C. State.
N.C. State was also the victim of another bizarre NCAA ruling when basketball player Terry Henderson was denied another year of eligibility because he played seven minutes in 2015 before injuring his ankle and missing the rest of the season. For some reason, the NCAA counted those seven minutes as a full year of play.
Meanwhile, on the same day of the Beverly ruling, the NCAA basically told the University of North Carolina to carry on without penalty.
As Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune put it:
“North Carolina is No. 30 in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of best national universities, and an internal probe concluded the fake, sham, bogus, phony, pretend, phantom classes constituted “academic fraud.” The regional accreditation body was so appalled it took the drastic step of placing the entire university on probation.
“But UNC’s lawyers quickly realized their error, and expunged the phrase from future correspondence with the NCAA so it could slip through a bureaucratic loophole. When queried about the discrepancy and shifting positions, UNC said it was, cough-cough, ‘a typo.’”
If these three cases — Beverly, Henderson, and UNC — aren’t enough to convince you that the NCAA is a broken mess, I don’t know what will.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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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.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
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Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
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.
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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