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 #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – The guest is Gary McCoy, a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations. Our focus is the injury pandemic in baseball, what’s causing it and how it can be fixed.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
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.
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