Sunday, December 3, 2017

Is it a no-brainer?

As blog readers will know, UCLA recently paid a bundle of money for one football coach to go away, and even more to hire a replacement.

All of this expenditure is premised on the idea that college football pays for itself (no state money, etc.), attracts alumni support and donations, yadda, yadda, yadda. But as the Berkeley stadium fiasco shows, there are limits to that premise.

Inside Higher Ed last week ran a long article about the concussion problem in football.* Big-buck lawsuits are brewing. And then there are the ongoing pressures to treat college athletes, at least in the major sports, as employees rather than as students who just happen to have athletic talents on the side. There is an overused term - "disruption" - which has mainly been applied to industries which experience a technological change that drastically shifts (undermines) their business models. Something like that may be coming to college sports, even if technology isn't the driving force.

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