I am amazed whenever reading media reports about athletic programs cutting sports programs as a preferred mechanism in responding to financial crisis, especially when such decisions include eliminating women’s sports thereby creating a platoon of angry athletes and parents eager to pursue Title IX litigation. Even if the cuts don’t include women’s sports, there is the response of supporters of men’s sports to consider. Generations of alumni, not only former players but fans, come out of the woodwork pledging never to give the institution another dime and creating a media and alumni
At the beginning of every new year, I get too many calls from my favorite media folks asking for “predictions” for the coming year. While I don’t have “predictions”, I do have a list of things that NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision athletic directors should be worrying about. So I’m sharing the list I keep by my telephone…
“We should pay NCAA college football and basketball players because it is totally unfair that their coaches get millions in compensation while athlete compensation is capped at the value of a full athletic scholarship!” This statement summarizes media and public sentiments currently in vogue. If Division I men’s basketball and football programs move in that direction, they will also have to leave their "motherships" (their non-profit educational institutions) because they can’t afford the Title IX obligation of having to equally compensate female athletes.
The time for action on intercollegiate athletics reform is upon us and it will take lots of folks, each doing one very small thing to make change happen. Few people maintain that the NCAA is capable of reforming itself because its Division I Football Bowl Subdivision members hold voting control over the organization. Even the so-called Big Five conferences, who successfully sought legislative autonomy and received it in 2015, can exercise their power to get the NCAA to do whatever it wishes.