Why the NCAA Continues to Work Against Athletes’ Best Interests

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By Gerald S. Gurney and B. David Ridpath

FEBRUARY 29, 2016 – Chronicle of Higher Education

Gerry Gurney, Drake Group President and David Ridpath, Drake Group President-Elect teamed up to comment on the renewal of the employment agreement of the NCAA President and how this action signaled no change in the direction of the NCAA. The authors express concerns over the NCAA still asserting that it has no legal obligation to protect the health and well-being of student athletes or to ensure the quality of their education. Lawsuits still abound challenging many of the NCAA’s core principles of amateurism, health, and the quality of athletes’ educational experiences.

There is little argument that the NCAA is facing a serious crisis of confidence: College presidents, particularly those representing the wealthiest institutions in the “Power 5” conferences, are intent upon securing the largest shares of revenue for their own institutions to the detriment of other institutions and students in general. In the last five years, universities have pumped more than $10.3 billion into athletics from student fees and other subsidies, increasing student fees by 10 percent at a time when student debt is skyrocketing. The NCAA leadership stands largely silent on crucial issues such as these and offers no suggestions for improvement.

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