So this is what “integrity, growth and development challenges” look like.

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.


Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

11 responses to “So this is what “integrity, growth and development challenges” look like.

  1. Macallanlover

    I can certainly agree with one thing: the statement by Suggs that if it is going to be a big time, you cannot put academic leaders in charge of it. No shit, and Amen.


  2. Doug

    So Lopiano wants a system that gives the NCAA more power and less accountability, and gets the federal government involved to make sure everyone falls in line?

    Well, hell, if today is Outrageous Self-Serving Request Day, then I’m calling for “reform” at my employer as well — in the form of a 150-percent salary increase, a Maserati GranTurismo company car and the redhead from “True Blood” as my, uh, executive assistant. I think this would all dramatically increase my department’s effectiveness. Who wants to get the ball rolling on this for me?


  3. Monday Night Frotteur

    Lopiano, formerly the director of women’s athletics at the University of Texas for 18 years…[proposed] 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.

    Ah yes, another non-revenue sport coach/administrator terrified by “ruinous competition” increasing the salaries in the important sports. Those people think the problem with college sports is that it isn’t enough of a massive, in-egalitarian transfer away from the people who create the value. Their proposals are nothing more than let’s funnel more money to non-revenue sports.


  4. Normaltown Mike

    Full disclosure, I’m an acquaintance of Welch Suggs and FWIW, Welch was a distance runner in college.

    I didn’t see Welch’s quote as an endorsement of Lopiano, more questioning the wisdom of a Prez managing a sports franchise, if that’s what NCAA sports wishes itself to be. Our experience with Adams would certainly support that. OSU and Bozo Gee likewise.


    • I didn’t take his comment that way either. But I do find it telling that in all these commerce vs. academics discussions, there’s very little said about the student-athletes themselves.


      • Monday Night Frotteur

        Here’s my question: I think the structure of college sports is messed up now because the poorest participants are risking their health while getting screwed out of the market value of their labor. From the players’ perspective, there’s a strong case (though obviously not everyone agrees) that SIFUAB.

        But how in the name of all that’s holy could people on the other side be complaining? Major college sports are massively profitable “non-profit” entities. I mean, an uniformed person can scream “Nick Saban makes $5 million per year? That’s crazy think about the teachers” or something, but somebody with one iota of knowledge about college football and markets would understand that the program he runs is generating *way* more revenue than that. If anything he’s a bargain (in a world where the players’ compensation is capped, of course). Coaches for non-revenue sports are making 6-sometimes 7 figure salaries despite drawing 10s of people to their games! Pipe down and be grateful.


        • I think there’s plenty of resentment about the money coming out of major college athletics, both from academics who think the money could be better spent on their side and from less profitable institutions that believe a little more sharing is in order.


  5. We have to make sure these boys get a good education. What kind of life will they have? It is our responsiblity to support them in CF, but we must make sure they are educated so they an take care of lifes obligations.