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.
As people tried to make sense of why he thought it was OK for a documented serial abuser to keep coaching young athletes at Rutgers, Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti dissembled, side-stepped and evaded both responsibility and the truth.
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.
Division III athletics is much more than terrific entertainment for fans and spectators, or a primary reason for a student-athlete to enroll. It is an integral part of the overall development of young adults well prepared for lives of high career achievement, leadership, and fulfillment.
Support for athletics programs from important constituencies can overshadow support for the institution itself. Yet the disproportionate growth of athletics relative to educational purposes must be checked, as the reputation and public standing of higher education are in jeopardy.
The worlds of academics and athletics have a mingled, controversial relationship. This clash is seen most prominently in NCAA Division I sports, particularly football and men's basketball, where athletics is a big business.
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.
The good side of athletics in higher education is that it helps develop exceptional leaders, team players, and citizens. Healthy competition is a motivator for excellence and represents the best outcome of the Olympic spirit.
College students very rarely have just one thing going for them. You could be pre-med and on the football team; you could be a physics major who drops out. You are more than what you do, and that's what makes you interesting.
My freshman year, I came into school thinking I was totally ready for the "pre-season experience." Ya know run a couple sprints, do a couple drills, and sweat a little bit then go shower and watch Shawn Johnson compete in the Olympics.
For the first time, we will play and race and lift weights with nothing at all at stake. And although the pressure is lifted, so too goes the feasibility of our ingrained state of existence as one at play.
I was the captain of my high school team and I started every game for four years. I am an athlete. The first 18 years of my life had been largely shaped by competitive athletics but when I got to college, my identity was stripped away.
After the Penn State scandal broke, I was asked if this was finally the tipping point. Would colleges now take sexual assault seriously? Doubtful. And a new case of a university run amok has emerged to serve as evidence.
We should smash the corrupting influence of athletics in our high schools, colleges and universities. Like students in the rest of the world, Americans should go to school for no other purpose than to learn.
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.