Race-Centered Narratives Obscure the Problems of College Sports

National discussions of college athletics routinely emphasize race. That emphasis, however, is unfortunate because it diverts attention from issues that affect all student-athletes. Also, discussions of race in college sports commonly rely on questionable statistics. Some of those statistics come from a report by Shaun Harper, head of the Center on Race and Equity at … Continue reading “Race-Centered Narratives Obscure the Problems of College Sports”


GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One 

At a time when only 41 percent of college students graduate in four years—and only 56 percent in five years—colleges and universities across the country are phasing out the only truly objective measure of academic excellence and student success in the application process: standardized tests. Next month, for example, the University of North Carolina Board … Continue reading “GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One “


A Path Forward for Reforming College Sports

As we move into 2020, it is important to assess where we are with the uniquely American phenomenon of elite, commercialized college sports.   Often, what is claimed about college sports is not what’s actually happening. The industry and its largest governing body, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), claim to promote an academic-first culture … Continue reading “A Path Forward for Reforming College Sports”


Textbook Math: Students Avoid High Campus Prices, Buy Books Online

As college textbook prices have increased 88 percent since 2006, education reformers wonder how universities can make books more affordable. One simple thing they could do is to stop selling textbooks with absurdly high mark-ups, the difference between the cost incurred by the bookstore for textbooks and the price at which they’re sold. While some … Continue reading “Textbook Math: Students Avoid High Campus Prices, Buy Books Online”


Sky-High Athletics: UNC Spends $125,000 on Private Planes for Recruiting

To reach far-flung towns, private planes can be indispensable. The University of North Carolina system, for instance, has an air fleet to shuttle doctors around the state. UNC Air Operations expands the reach of high-quality health care to remote parts of the state and allows doctors to train medical students while still practicing medicine. The … Continue reading “Sky-High Athletics: UNC Spends $125,000 on Private Planes for Recruiting”


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”


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”