April 14, 2011

Follow the Money to Find the Problems in College Sports

Want to know where the problems lie when it comes to intercollegiate sports and race? Follow the money.

“The money is going to be the best way to decipher when something is not being done correctly,” said “Losing to Win” panelist Kenneth Shropshire, lawyer and professor at the Wharton School. “People of color and women are not at the end of the money trail. … We are not getting paid.”

Shropshire’s colleagues on the “Losing to Win” wrap-up panel suggested a few solutions:

 Change the rules for post-season play. To get a bowl game, a college program would have to show the NCAA that it graduates at least 50 percent of its student athletes, said Amy Perko of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

 Get college chancellors and presidents involved in developing – and implementing – the solutions. “Any reform movement within NCAA structure has been led by presidents and chancellors,” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president.

 Set aside some of the money college sports programs earn to create support systems for at-risk recruits. “In an effort to produce better athletes … we’re now enlarging their athletic life,” said Deborah Stroman of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. When universities limit student-athletes that way, it leaves less time for them to bond with non-athletes, form relationships with professors, join social groups and gain independence.

“It always starts with this: What’s in the best interest of the athlete? … That’s whose blood’s being spilled,” Shropshire said. “The idea of shifting the money to the direction where the work actually comes from – I don’t have trouble with that.” --Alicia Roberts

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the interesting conference. I commend those who organized it. On the website here there appears to be a lot of hints at assumptions about who is and who is not "getting paid", as well as suggestions that athletic programs are making "all kinds" of money. However, the fact is that the large majority of athletic programs break even year after year, and many don't even do that (many are subsidized by the university). So, it always confuses me when people suggest that universities are making lots of money from their athletic programs when the simple fact is they do not. Anyone can check out the data at a nice webpage that USA Today maintains: College Athletics Finance Database: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/ncaa-finances.htm

    John V. Petrocelli


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