Gee, it’s funny how the latest proposal for reform of college athletics looks just like the same old wish list.
As envisioned by Lopiano, new reforms would include:
■ Granting the NCAA a limited anti-trust exemption, thus freeing the organization from the threat of lawsuits. The NCAA would then possess greater power to enforce rules.
■ Capping salaries of coaches and athletic administrators, thus reducing the incentive to act unethically and re-directing revenue to (gasp) the school.
■ Removing tax-exempt status for athletic departments that bolt the NCAA, thus killing the we’ll-police-ourselves (wink-wink) rebellion within college basketball.
■ Making players who enter a school under special admission exceptions ineligible as freshmen, thus enhancing academic integrity.
Pretty sweet deal for the NCAA, no? And we need this because it turns out to nobody’s surprise – except the idiots running college athletics, of course – that school presidents are inept at handling college athletics. Rest assured, though, Lopiano, who evidently wants to make sure she’s counted among the idiots, has just the bunch in mind who can fix everything.
To fill the vacuum, Lopiano calls for congressional intervention. The U.S. Congress should appoint an independent board to run college athletics. “Because presidents are too afraid to take charge,” she said.
Yes, she’s serious. So is this guy.
Welch Suggs Jr., a former associate director for the Knight Commission, told The Associated Press that the essential issue is determining the role of athletics on a college campus.
“If it’s to be a big-time American spectacle, like the NFL or Major League Baseball, then no way,” said Suggs, now an associate professor of journalism at the University of Georgia. “It makes absolutely no sense for academic leaders to be in charge of it. But if you want it to be a part of higher education and a function of the collegiate experience, someone has to make sure people in athletics know they’re part of the educational process and not just a commercial business.”
I’m sure Demarius Rancifer agrees completely with that. How strange that the folks pitching reform never seem to have much to say about student-athletes who live up to their end of the educational process. Maybe it’s because they feel it’s an area where the presidents are doing their jobs.