About this Blog

This blog was launched to coincide with the start of the Losing to Win Conference at Wake Forest University. But its purpose extends far beyond the two-day event. When Dr. Earl Smith and I invited experts on intercollegiate sports to join us for discussions on race and college athletics, our purpose was to start a conversation on the many subjects that surround this topic. Pay for play, athlete graduation rates, and recruiting are just a few of the issues that make news every day. The conference provides a forum for examining how race intersects with so many of these topics.

But we also wanted to make sure the conversation did not end with the conference. Our purpose was to start a national debate on the topic of college athletics, and invite everyone involved to join in on the conversation. Our goal is to reach out to the athletes who are already playing collegiate sports, as well as promising high school players who are working toward an athletic scholarship. We also want to involve their parents in this discussion. Of course, no conversation on intercollegiate sports would be complete without considering the views of coaches and administrators.

If you’re reading this page, chances are you are interested in the topic of race and intercollegiate sports and we want to hear from you. Comment on our posts, join in on the chats we have planned, and let us know what you think.  Let the discussions begin.

Timothy Davis
John W. & Ruth H. Turnage Professor of Law
Wake Forest University

Losing to Win: A Vital Conversation on Race and Intercollegiate Sports

While all eyes are on March Madness, an increasingly vocal group of experts is warning our focus should be on the classroom not the court. As U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pointed out last week, 10 colleges competing in the tournament graduate less than 50 percent of their players. Moreover, studies show that black athletes graduate at a significantly lower rate than their white counterparts.

On the heels of the NCAA Tournament, Wake Forest University will assemble an unprecedented team of athletes, sports journalists, academics and other experts to discuss graduation rates and other controversial issues related to intercollegiate athletics and race. The Losing to Win Conference: Discussions of Race and Intercollegiate Sports is slated for April 13 and 14 on the Wake Forest campus.

Topics will include:

· Richard Lapchick on athlete graduation rates.

· Kellen Winslow, Sr. on the recruitment of student athletes.

· Jeff Benedict on criminal backgrounds of college athletes.

· Amy Perko on the Knight Commission’s call to action on intercollegiate athletics.

· DeMaurice Smith on what athletes can expect once they leave college.

Be part of this vital conversation. Follow the action live on this blog once the conference begins. In the meantime, find important information on race and intercollegiate sports including breaking news and frequently asked questions.