For Intercollegiate Sports, When is Enough Enough? 

Intercollegiate sports, particularly football and basketball, have ever so slowly, over the years, inserted themselves insidiously into the fabric of most universities with the support of alumni, the business community, and their college presidents. When will college presidents, university boards of visitors, students, parents, and alumni realize intercollegiate sports are detracting from universities’ educational missions … Continue reading “For Intercollegiate Sports, When is Enough Enough? “


The Sea Changes at the NCAA

Fifty years ago, I entered the University of Tennessee-Knoxville as a freshman scholarship runner on its high-profile track team. The NCAA held athletes to a strict amateur code in which compensation to athletes was limited to in-kind payments of room, board, books, and fees. The term “illegally paying players” meant sneaking in extra amenities including … Continue reading “The Sea Changes at the NCAA”


Is College Football an Expensive Luxury for Many Universities?

The importance of college football to university education is vastly overrated. Rather than an integral part of the college experience, football means more student debt, another burden for taxpayers, and a compromised education for athletes. The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting universities to develop costly new teaching methodologies, require expensive campus protection strategies, and has caused … Continue reading “Is College Football an Expensive Luxury for Many Universities?”


Did You Know? The Highest Coaching Salaries in the UNC System

College athletics is big business. And head coaches of successful teams have the salaries to prove it, particularly in football and men’s basketball. Although sports are canceled, for now, it’s worth taking a look at spending on coaches’ salaries. Across the UNC system, the average pay of head coaches varies widely. The table below shows … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Highest Coaching Salaries in the UNC System”


Did You Know? Student-Athletes Can Be Admitted to UNC Schools Despite Low Academic Success

College admissions standards are meant to determine whether a student is academically prepared to succeed at college. Colleges also have Minimum Admissions Requirements (MARs) and Minimum Course Requirements (MCRs), which are set floors that a would-be student’s test scores, GPA, and completed high school courses can’t fall below for admittance. In the UNC system, those … Continue reading “Did You Know? Student-Athletes Can Be Admitted to UNC Schools Despite Low Academic Success”


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who Spends the Most on Athletics of All?

Fans in the Carolinas are crazy about college sports. Six schools in the Carolinas boast membership in the “Power Five” Atlantic Coast or Southeastern Conferences, and they often perform quite well. On the gridiron, Clemson has three national titles to its credit, including two in the last three years over perennial power Alabama. When it … Continue reading “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who Spends the Most on Athletics of All?”


What We’re Reading: Western Culture, Groupthink, and Queer Criminology

Jenna A. Robinson, President Jacques Barzun’s magnum opus, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, has been a revelation—of my own inadequate history education. As the title says, the book covers 500 years of Western culture from 1500 to (almost) 2000. Barzun organizes the book around four important “revolutions:” religious, monarchical, liberal, and … Continue reading “What We’re Reading: Western Culture, Groupthink, and Queer Criminology”


Can American Higher Education Be Restored?

People who analyze and write about higher education generally fall into two camps. One camp consists of those who believe that our system is “the envy of the world” and just needs more public support to do its great work of improving our citizens and strengthening our economy. (For a sense of what that camp … Continue reading “Can American Higher Education Be Restored?”


Did You Know? For UNC System Sports, Students Must Foot the Bill

Public universities in North Carolina can’t fund their athletic budgets from only ticket and merchandise sales; they must use subsidies to foot the rest of the bill. Sometimes the extra funds may come from the government, but more often than not, they are mandatory student fees, paid regardless of whether students watch or play a … Continue reading “Did You Know? For UNC System Sports, Students Must Foot the Bill”


How Colleges Could Benefit from an NBA Rule Change

It is increasingly apparent that college basketball serves as an unofficial minor league for the National Basketball Association (NBA) rather than as an extracurricular activity for students. And it is not by accident, but by design. Take the NBA’s “one-and-done” rule, for instance. It has sparked debate since its addition to the 2005 NBA Collective … Continue reading “How Colleges Could Benefit from an NBA Rule Change”