Create a Professional College Sports League

By Ellen J. Staurowsky
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What is one thing you would do to fix college sports?

How to Fix College Sports I would encourage the development of a super-power structure, sooner rather than later, with the end result being the creation of what would be akin to a professional league for the big-time college sports of football and men's basketball. Such a step could conceivably result in the clarity necessary to distinguish what financial model is appropriate for colleges that wish to operate athletics within an educational context versus athletics within a highly commercialized profit-seeking context.

This will require, in my view, that the super powers leave the NCAA, and in the process, leave behind the fa├žade that their activities are related to the mission of higher education. At the same time, this will leave a greatly altered, but much more focused and effective, NCAA. While the NCAA has asserted repeatedly that amateurism is the pillar of its enterprise, the plain fact of the matter is that even within the NCAA there is a different definition of amateurism for each division. Notably, the most restrictive one exists at the Division I level which is designed to protect the NCAA's economic engine. It is here we see that when business and educational interests collide, the business of college sport wins out. And the business of college sport is no place for amateurs, as Los Angeles Times writer Chris Dufresne pointed out earlier this month when he wrote that the nature of power plays occurring within major conferences were not "collegial" but "cut-throat".

In the alternative, if the system remains as is and cannot find a way to let pros be pros, it appears that intervention from the Federal government is warranted because college sport officials seem unable to regulate the business they are in.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/09/create-a-professional-college-sports-league/245497/