So says the Notre Dame president and athletic director.
Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? “College athletics is in crisis” was a sentence that screamed out in a recent New York Times op ed written by Father John L. Jenkins, who is the president of the University of Notre Dame, and Jack Swarbrick, who is the director of athletics at the school. The crisis isn’t the lack of popularity of college football, it is not due to a lack of interest in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s so-called March Madness men’s basketball tournament. It is not a lack of interest in college sports’ best friend these days betting as a lot of money is being placed on the basketball tournament. Nope, the crisis is about money and how money is somehow getting into student-athletes’ hands and that is causing all sorts of havoc. Congress needs to do something now to stop student-athletes from getting money for their names, images and likenesses.
Jenkins and Swarbrick wrote about college sports future. “It faces threats on a number of fronts: the growing patchwork of contradictory and confusing state laws regulating it, the specter of crippling lawsuits, the profusion of dubious name, image and likeness deals through which to funnel money to recruits, the misguided attempts to classify student-athletes as employees.” Furthermore, the two men wrote that it is time “to reaffirm that student-athletes are students first and to ensure that their athletic programs serve the schools’ broader educational mission, not the other way around.” They continued by asking for federal help. “We urge Congress to protect the N.C.A.A.’s ability to regulate the competition for new players to ensure it remains fair and above board.” The poohbahs of college don’t want student-athletes to make money off of their names and faces. Too bad, that train has left the station.
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