By Ken Reed
Texas and Oklahoma have left the Big 12 for the SEC because their thirst for money is unquenchable. They basically ditched long-time partners in the middle of the night because in their eyes college sports are about “me” not “we.”
The Big 12 responded by stealing three schools from the AAC (along with Independent BYU), Houston, Central Florida and Cincinnati. That followed Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby taking a holier-than-thou public stance when he claimed the AAC was actually trying to steal teams from his conference. How dare they!
Listening to these pompous fools claim with a straight face that college athletics are an important part of the educational mission of their institutions is so laughable it has become truly pathetic.
Big-time college sports is simply about PAAC (profit-at-all-costs). It’s all about greed, with a nice mixture of ego and WAAC (win-at-all-costs) mixed in.
College athletics can be a great thing when the influence of greed is minimized. The problems start when greed starts driving the sports policy-and-decision-making bus. Which at the FBS level of college athletics is all the time.
When the desire to make money at all costs is the only – or, at least primary motivator in college sports – completely neglecting human considerations and what’s best for the athletes and college sports as a whole — college athletics have completely lost their way. That’s where we are today, and we’ve been there for some time now. The latest round of college realignment is only the latest example.
In the early days of college athletics, playing sports was actually an extra-curricular, or co-curricular, endeavor. Today, athletic departments are stand-alone business empires. In effect, they are autonomous, for-profit entities unethically operating under the guise of the university’s non-profit umbrella. Presidents have surrendered their oversight responsibilities.
“Sport is consistently appropriated by commercial interests and we’ve lost control of the playing conditions,” says sports sociologist Jay Coakley.
Lost control indeed. Nowhere is that more true than at the college level.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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. We discuss his experience at the MLB game at Field of Dreams; his thoughts on the appeal of the Field of Dreams, and baseball in general.
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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.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
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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