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 #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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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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