Reforming College Sports?

Is it time for some major changes to college sports? Maybe it’s time, but it probably won’t happen.

According to an article at ESPN, even the head of the National Collegiate Athletic Association is now (sort of) arguing for change. As Tim Keown writes:

The NCAA sounds serious this time. President Mark Emmert is convening university presidents and chancellors in Indianapolis to discuss reforming college athletics. In the effluent-filled wake of the most scandalous year in the history of college sports, the gesture is both noble and timely.

But productive? That all depends on whether they’re willing to face reality and propose the kind of reform that might actually hurt.

It looks like the meeting, a multi-day retreat of college administrators, is falling a little short here; the reforms they’re discussing are perhaps not quite central to the problems America faces with college athletics.

According to an Associated Press article, Emmert believes colleges should provide more scholarship money for athletes. He is working to “make a formal proposal to the NCAA’s Board of Directors that would allow schools to provide scholarships up to the full cost of attendance, providing athletes with additional money beyond tuition, fees, room and board and books.”

In addition, the president of the NCAA believes the association’s rules are too complicated: “I don’t think there’s anybody who doesn’t think the rule book is too complex and too big. Tomorrow we’ll come out with something for that. It’s far too complex today.”

So, more money for athletes and fewer rules governing their behavior. Are these really the best ways to address problems in college sports?

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer