Category Archives: College

CFP: The Myles Brand Era at the NCAA

Readers of this blog might be interested in this Call for Papers:

Journal of Intercollegiate Sport

Special Issue Call for Papers

The Myles Brand Era at the NCAA:  A Tribute and Scholarly Review

Guest Editors

R. Scott Kretchmar, Professor Emeritus, Penn State University

Peg Brand Weiser, Associate Professor Emerita, Indiana University and Adjunct Instructor, University of Arizona

The Journal of Intercollegiate Sport will be publishing a special issue devoted to the living legacy of Myles Brand, the 4th president of the NCAA (2003-2009). Papers may address any aspect of Dr. Brand’s presidency—his philosophy, leadership style, initiatives, impacts, successes and challenges. Contributors are welcome to contact either guest editor if they have questions about a potential submission.  

Themes that authors may address include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Historical conditions that affected Brand’s tenure
  • Biographical aspects of Brand’s life that influenced his work as NCAA President
  • Similarities and differences between Brand’s leadership and that of other NCAA Presidents
  • A review of any of Brand’s three major initiatives:  improving academic standards, increasing diversity, and assuring both academic and fiscal sustainability
  • A discussion of Brand’s leadership style and administrative strategies
  • The effect of Brand’s untimely death on the NCAA
  • The values that informed Brand’s leadership decisions
  • The significance of Brand’s background as Professor of Philosophy, President of Indiana University (1994-2002) and President of the University of Oregon (1989-1994) in shaping his NCAA presidency
  • Brand’s involvement in founding the NCAA Scholarly Colloquium (2008) and the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport
  • An analysis of Brand’s major speeches or any of his essays (available on a forthcoming website www.mylesbrand.com)
  • A discussion of how the post-Brand years at the NCAA were affected by his tenure
  • A critical analysis of Brand’s overall achievements as President of the NCAA

Submission Guidelines:

Manuscripts should follow the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (www.apa.org), and should be prepared in accordance with the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport “Authors Guidelines.” These guidelines and the submission portal are available here:

https://journals.ku.edu/jis/about/submissions

Manuscripts must not be submitted to another journal while they are under review by the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, nor should they have been previously published.

Manuscripts should be submitted no later than July 15, 2021 using the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport submission portal (https://journals.ku.edu/jis/about/submissions).

Authors should indicate in their cover letter that the submission is to be considered for the Special Issue on the Myles Brand Era.

Guest Editors – Contact Information

R. Scott Kretchmar:                 rsk1@psu.edu

Peg Brand Weiser:                   mbweiser@arizona.edu

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Filed under CFP, College, NCAA

NCAA looking at rule-changes for player compensation

This is huge. We will see where it ends up, but just the fact the NCAA says it is willing to even discuss changing their rules to allow for athletics to benefit from their name, image, and likeness is a titanic shift.

First, that it comes this quickly after California’s passage of the Fair to Play Act (FPA) is surprising. I would have thought the NCAA would drag its feet for as long as they could.

Second, this is a big move away from the rhetoric before and after the passage of FPA. The FPA was presented by the NCAA as fatal to a level playing fields and the “amateur” model of college sports. NCAA president Mike Emmert said of the law: “This is just a new form of professionalism and a different way of converting students into employees. (They may be) paid in a fashion different than a paycheck, but that doesn’t make them not paid.”

But now the NCAA Board of Governors votes unanimously: “to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model.”

This sounds a lot like the NCAA acquiescing to the spirit, at least, of California’s FPA (and similar state bills around the country).

Of course, there is a lot of wiggle room in the NCAA’s announcement. The details and specifics of the rules have yet to be determined and spelled out. How will they define ‘benefit’? What will it mean to be ‘consistent with the collegiate model’? Will the rules become just another byzantine structure for schools and athletes to navigate?

Nevertheless, I think this is a move in the right direction. It could, for example, lead to athletes staying in college longer rather than jumping ship to get paid. This can lead to more athletes taking advantage of the education opportunity afforded to them by their athletic ability. And it could serve to help athletes better develop their athletic skills prior to going pro—giving them greater opportunity to succeed at the next level. And it could mean better college sports with the better athletes staying longer at that level. Just as importantly, it could provide essential opportunities for all the athletes not playing men’s football or men’s basketball (which is most athletes).

I don’t see many downsides either (without, that is, knowing the details). Emmert has voiced concern that this moves towards professionalization and turning athletes into employees. Some might see that as feature, not a bug. But even if such an outcome is undesirable, it doesn’t seem likely. First, making athletes employees opens up huge, unwieldy cans of worms. From issues raised by labor and health and safety laws to impacts from Title IX, schools paying athletes directly is far too complicated. Second, it’s not clear how this will work in so far as most college sports (read: anything but men’s football and basketball) are not revenue generating sports and really can’t pay their athletes. And even for the revenue generating sports, most of these programs (as they are currently structured) are likely not sustainable in a pay for play model. As much money as the top-tier college sports generate, that gets spread far and wide. A million dollars is a lot of money unless you have to split it among million people.

Another concern raised by Emmert and others is that this will lead to unfair competition. Just in virtue of being in Los Angeles, UCLA will have many more promotional opportunities for its athletes than Nebraska. Won’t UCLA then be able to bring in better recruits? Probably. But is that unfair? Maybe, but fairness is too squishy of word to be helpful here. The heart of the concern is that some programs will have advantages in recruiting over other programs. But for this to be unfair assumes that all programs should be able to recruit on equal terms (as opposed to equal rules). But that’s false. It is descriptive false: that is, it is just not true that programs today recruit on equal terms.  UCLA already has a lot of built-in advantages (depending on one’s preferences) over Nebraska: nicer weather, easier travel, broader regional opportunities. It’s not clear that allowing athletes to get compensated for their name and likeness is going to shift this in dramatic ways. (If it does shift things, it is more likely to shift in ways to that might give schools in less desirable locales the ability to attract athletes they couldn’t otherwise attract.)

It is also normatively false: that is, it is not the case that programs should recruit on equal terms. There are many different athletes, with different purposes, needs, and goals. There are many different schools, with different missions and different programs. Recruitment is in large part a sorting mechanism for fitting the athlete and the school. We need these natural differences and inequalities in order for there to be a sorting, for athletes to find the programs that fit them, and for the schools to find the athletes that fit their program.

I’m usually quite critical of the NCAA, but here it is important to praise them for at least gesturing in the right direction. Hopefully, they can follow up with a set of rule changes that are effective, transparent, and equitable. We shall see.

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Filed under athletes, College, NCAA

Reason Papers: Philosophy of Play

The latest issue of Reason Papers, which I co-edit with Carrie-Ann Biondi, has a symposium on the philosophy of play.

Gadamer, Dewey, and the Importance of Play in Philosophical Inquiry
Christopher C. Kirby and Brolin Graham compare how play is crucial in the philosophical inquiry of Hans-Georg Gadamer and John Dewey.

Child-Centered Play Therapy
William Schultz looks at the evidence of the emotional and psychological benefits of play therapy for children.

Reflections on the Presence of Play in University Arts and Athletics
Aaron Harper looks at the parallels of play in the arts and athletics and argues for more integration of play into the university.

The Reconstructive and Normative Aspects of Bernard Suits’s Utopia
Francisco Javier Lopez Frias re-examines Bernard Suits’ The Grasshopper and his conception of Utopia.

The full issue is available here.

 

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Filed under College, Philosophy, play

Paying College Athletes

The Wallethub.com blog asked a panel of academics, industry experts, and lawyers: “Should College Athletes Be Paid?

In short, my answer was “college athletes should not be prevented from being paid,” but I also suggest that this is the wrong question to be asking. It is too broad and ignores several other important issues. You can read my full response here.

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Filed under College, economics, NCAA