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”


Waiting for Reform: The Plans to Fix College Sports

The public has lost faith in the NCAA and colleges to protect student-athletes. When surveying the numerous ideas for fixing college sports, it’s hard to make any other conclusion. Reform is by insiders and outsiders alike—even if it doesn’t happen. Demands for college athletics reform, however, aren’t rare in the history of college sports. A … Continue reading “Waiting for Reform: The Plans to Fix College Sports”


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”


March Madness Means Skyhigh Athletics Spending

As March Madness hits and the public’s attention is on college basketball’s NCAA Tournament, few spectators know just how much the public subsidizes college sports. Within the University of North Carolina system, funding can range from $8 million at UNC-Asheville to an eye-popping $96 million at UNC-Chapel Hill. Revenue from broadcast agreements, ticket sales, and … Continue reading “March Madness Means Skyhigh Athletics Spending”


Collegiate Esports Programs Are Here to Stay

More money flows to arenas and building upgrades. The hunt for recruits gets more competitive. University presidents brag about how their new program will make the school nationally known. But the cause isn’t basketball or football. This time around, the athletics arms race on campus is for “esports”—competitive video gaming. And it’s a trend driven … Continue reading “Collegiate Esports Programs Are Here to Stay”


Former University President Nails Many of Higher Education’s Ills

Often, the strongest criticisms of higher education come from insiders. One insider is Daniel Johnson, who retired as president of the University of Toledo in 2006 after an academic career that included several senior leadership positions. He has recently published a book, The Uncertain Future of American Public Higher Education, that illuminates many of the … Continue reading “Former University President Nails Many of Higher Education’s Ills”


Protecting Student-Athletes in the UNC System

In college athletics, student-athletes have few protections against coaching demands that may put their health at risk. As the parent of a college athlete who was left with a chronic back injury, I was shocked to discover how state universities deprive their athletes of health care, injury and abuse protections, and information about athletic policies. … Continue reading “Protecting Student-Athletes in the UNC System”


How Nike Transformed the University of Oregon

While money is not the root of all evil, it is undeniably responsible for the transformation of the University of Oregon (UO). It changed from a typical state flagship where athletics were a nice diversion for some students and alums into a sports powerhouse where the quest for glory in football and basketball dominates the … Continue reading “How Nike Transformed the University of Oregon”


A Unique Opportunity for Athletics Reform

Many colleges are setting up their student-athletes for failure. Whether one looks to the long-term neurological health risks that young athletes are subject to, or the myriad cases of academic dishonesty within athletics departments, it appears that the personal and academic well-being of student-athletes is often compromised for the sake of “the game.” Fortunately, the … Continue reading “A Unique Opportunity for Athletics Reform”


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”