Experts debate what's wrong with the NCAA

Scandal stories of college athletes getting cash from boosters or special treatment from professors are a staple of the sports press. But the real scandal, argues Taylor Branch in the October issue of The Atlantic, is how student-athletes are being exploited by universities and the NCAA. He writes, “college sports, as overseen by the NCAA, is a system imposed by well-meaning paternalists and rationalized with hoary sentiments about caring for the well-being of the colonized. But it is, nonetheless unjust.” One solution to this unjust system, argues Branch, is to pay the athletes.

To assess the crisis in college sports, we’ve asked a range of experts – athletes, administrators, legal experts, and journalists – three questions about what’s wrong with the system and how to fix it. Join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #FixTheNCAA.


Q: What is one thing you would do to fix college sports?
Kenneth Shropshire

There Is No One Way to Fix the NCAA

A professor urges people to stop looking for a silver-bullet solution to the woes of college sports

C. Thomas McMillen

Stop the College Sports TV Juggernaut

A former college and professional basketball star makes the case for returning to the days of NCAA's "benevolent monopoly" over television rights

Andrew Zimbalist

Increase College Coaches' Penalties for Cheating

A sports economist says the NCAA needs to remove coaches' incentives to break the rules

Ellen J. Staurowsky

Create a Professional College Sports League

A professor explains why we should abandon the notion of amateurism

A.J. Daulerio

Taylor Branch for NCAA President

The Deadspin editor offers an unorthodox plan for fixing college sports

Ramogi Huma

Make a College Athletes' Bill of Rights

The president of the National College Players Association explains how reform can happen

Frank Deford

Stop Forcing College Athletes to Be Students

A Sports Illustrated senior contributor says NCAA athletes should not have to enroll in classes

Q: Branch argues that college athletes should be paid. Agree or disagree?
A.J. Daulerio

'College Athletes With a GPA of 3.5 or Higher Should Get a $1 Million Bonus'

The Deadspin editor explains his strong support for paying college athletes

Ramogi Huma

How to Pay College Athletes: A Three-Part Plan

The president of the National College Players Association outlines how pay-for-play can work

Andrew Zimbalist

College Athletes Should Not Get Paid

A sports economist argues against giving athletes paychecks, but in favor of extending them better treatment

Kenneth Shropshire

College Athletes Should Get Paid, but How?

A professor highlights the challenges of implementing a pay-for-play system

Ellen J. Staurowsky

'Should College Athletes Get Paid?' Is the Wrong Question

A professor explains why scholarships are not sufficient compensation for student athletes

C. Thomas McMillen

'College Athletes Should Receive a Living Stipend'

A former college and professional basketball star makes the case for the end of amateurism

Q: Branch writes that the NCAA has “an unmistakable whiff of the plantation” and that student-athletes are denied their Constitutional right to due process. Agree or disagree?
Andrew Zimbalist

NCAA: Self-Interested Paternalism, but Not Colonialism

A sports economist explains why we have to be careful about how we talk about college athletics

A.J. Daulerio

Why It's Okay to Compare College Athletes to Slaves

The Deadspin editor explains why we should use strong rhetoric to describe the NCAA's corrupt system

Dale Brown

'It Almost Seems Impossible That We Have Tolerated the NCAA'

A veteran basketball coach wonders how the NCAA came to have so much power

Ramogi Huma

The Difference Between College Sports and Colonialism

The president of the National College Players Association explains what makes the plight of student-athletes unique

Kenneth Shropshire

Why College Athletes Are Not Slaves

A professor agrees that the NCAA is paternalistic, but won't go so far as to say it enslaves students

C. Thomas McMillen

The Future of the NCAA: 'The System Will Come Crumbling Down'

A former college and professional basketball star explains what will happen after players fight back against an unjust system

Ellen J. Staurowsky

How Colleges Exploit Student-Athletes

A professor details the ways college players are deprived of their rights

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