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 #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.”
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.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon