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”


Gaming the System: How Kentucky Spends Funding for Students on Athletics

Kentuckians were forced to consider potential problems with intercollegiate athletics when both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky were implicated in the recent FBI probe into possibly corrupt and fraudulent recruiting practices in college basketball. Amid the outrage, politicians raised the possibility of serious reforms, such as expanding the oversight of Boards … Continue reading “Gaming the System: How Kentucky Spends Funding for Students on Athletics”


How Does a University Advance an ‘Athlete-friendly’ Curriculum?

Remember the huge University of North Carolina athletics scandal, whereby the university’s athletics department managed to arrange for star football and basketball players to get preferential treatment to such an extent that many graduated with college educations in name only? That scandal began to break in 2010 and hit with full force for the next … Continue reading “How Does a University Advance an ‘Athlete-friendly’ Curriculum?”


Sperber’s ‘Beer and Circus’—An Unintentional Argument for Community College?

The year 2000 saw the publication of Beer and Circus, the notable book by former Indiana University professor Murray Sperber. It was a big step forward for the analysis of higher education, offering considerable insight into the sociology of college students, faculty research, and poor academic standards for colleges. Though its subtitle prepared the reader … Continue reading “Sperber’s ‘Beer and Circus’—An Unintentional Argument for Community College?”