By Ken Reed
Shortly before this past college basketball season began, federal prosecutors charged 10 men in a basketball fraud and bribery scandal that rocked the NCAA and SportsWorld. Those charged included assistant hoops coaches at several big-time programs and a top Adidas executive. The case involves numerous instances of alleged bribes and kickbacks in an effort to influence basketball recruits’ choices of schools, agents and apparel companies.
A few weeks later, a reform initiative called the Commission on College Basketball (CCB) was formed. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was picked to head the group. Rice’s group recently released their recommendations for fixing the NCAA.
Basically, the CCB’s recommendations are nothing but band-aids that address some of the symptoms but not the cause of the mess that is big-time college sports. What Rice’s commission didn’t address is the deeply flawed amateurism model at the core of the problem. As college basketball analyst and frequent NCAA critic Jay Bilas says, the Rice commission didn’t address the “failed concept of amateurism” that is at the root of most of the NCAA’s problems.
Noah Cohan, an American culture and sports studies lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis, had the best — and most succinct — analysis of the problems in American college sports that I’ve come across. Here’s his tweet on the subject:
If you study the history of college sports, this is crystal clear. Something ‘scandalous’ happens, band-aid reforms are passed that address only particulars and not systemic issues, and 20 years later everyone is *SHOCKED* when something “scandalous” happens again. #EndAmateurism
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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 in the year 2022.
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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.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
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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