When the media discusses college sports, it seems to focus much of the attention on NCAA Division I athletics. Quite often, too little attention is paid to the important role of Division III athletics at campuses all over the country.
The irony of these allegations is that as a graduate student in education and sport I am acutely aware of the importance of academics in the lives of athletes. As a coach I made it my mission to educate and guide my student athletes' academic lives.
The NCAA and President Mark Emmert seem incapable of reorienting college athletics within higher education as a positive component of the campus experience, instead embarking on a Darwinian chase for revenue. Student welfare and development is no longer the priority but an afterthought.
The argument is stale, the facts don't support reality, and the public is recognizing the absurdity of the NCAA's position: they insatiably embrace commercialism in all facets of intercollegiate athletics except on a single issue -- athlete compensation.
Darwinian principles have taken control of college athletics, further dividing institutions in the power conferences from everyone else. Just as Icarus followed his unchecked ambition and flew towards the sun, so too is college athletics chasing excess towards disaster.
There are active lawsuits over departure dates but make no mistake -- schools are chasing television dollars like never before. And neither the student-athletes nor the NCAA has any say in this process.
Ultimately, we, as leaders in higher educational institutions, must find sustainable solutions that realign this imbalance, and in the process improve the quality of the student experience for the benefit of all.