Thursday, June 19, 2003

The Culture: Reforming College Sports

Earlier this month I proposed removing college football from the jurisdiction of the NCAA entirely by having the major colleges form a new for-profit entity. Robert Benne, a professor at Roanoke College, appears to be thinking along the same lines:
The athletic departments should simply be made auxiliaries of the universities. They would be severed from any academic pretense — becoming athletic organizations associated with the universities. They would be self-supporting with the revenue-generating sports subsidizing the others. Donors would support them to their hearts' content. Coaches would be paid the going market rate without any suggestion they were involved in the academic life of the university. Athletic departments would be free of Title IX craziness since athletes wouldn't be getting aid from the university. Athletes would be honestly recruited according to athletic prowess, not according to the illusion they are scholar-athletes, when in truth they have only minimal academic capacities. They would be paid modest sums — stipulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) — for their labors. Those athletes who were really serious about academic life could take their pay in education vouchers, which could be used at the university whenever they wanted to use them.
My only major disagreement with Benne is his view that the NCAA should remain in the picture. It is the NCAA, in fact, which is the biggest stumbling block to genuine reform of major college sports because of its leadership's fanatical devotion to the immoral concept of forced amateurism.

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