Stop Forcing College Athletes to Be Students

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What is one thing you would do to fix college sports?

How to Fix College Sports Make them honest by paying the athletes in the "revenue sports," (football and men's basketball) and not require these paid performers to be students unless they want to. Then eliminate all other "athletic" scholarships in other sports, and award scholarships to athletes, like everybody else, on the basis of need only.

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Frank Deford is a senior contributing writer for Sports Illustrated and a commentator for NPR. More

Writer and commentator Frank Deford is the author of sixteen books.  His latest novel, Bliss, Remembered, is a love story set at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and World War II.  Publishers Weekly gives a starred review to Bliss, Remembered, calling it a “thought-provoking and . . .poignant story, utterly charming and enjoyable.”  Booklist calls it “beautifully written . . . elegantly constructed . . . writing that is genuinely inspiring.”

Deford is amongst the most versatile of American writers.  On radio, he may be heard as a commentator every Wednesday on Morning Edition on National Public Radio and, on television, he is Senior Correspondent on the HBO show, Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.  In magazines, he is Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated –– an association that dates back to 1962.

    Moreover, two of Deford’s books -- the novel, Everybody’s All-American, and Alex: The Life Of A Child, his memoir about his daughter who died of cystic fibrosis -- have been made into movies.  Two of his original screenplays –– Trading Hearts and Four Minutes –– have also been filmed.  

    As a journalist, Deford has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters.  Six times at Sports Illustrated Deford was voted by his peers as U.S. Sportswriter of The Year.  The American Journalism Review has likewise cited him as the nation’s finest sportswriter, and twice he was voted Magazine Writer of The Year by the Washington Journalism Review.

    Deford has also been presented with the National Magazine Award for profiles, a Christopher Award, and journalism Honor Awards from the University of Missouri and Northeastern University, and he has received numerous honorary degrees.  The Sporting News has described Deford as “the most influential sports voice among members of the print media,” and the magazine GQ  has called him, simply, “the world’s greatest sportswriter.”  In broadcast, Deford has won both an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award.  ESPN presented a television biography of Deford’s life and work, You Write Better Than You Play.  A popular lecturer, Deford has spoken at well over a hundred colleges, as well as at forums, conventions and on cruise ships around the world.

    For sixteen years, Deford served as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and he remains chairman emeritus.  He resides in Westport, Connecticut with his wife, Carol.  They have two grown children -- a son, Christian, and a daughter, Scarlet.  A native of Baltimore, Deford is a graduate of Princeton University, where he has taught in American Studies.

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