Warren Zola, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and Chair of the University’s Professional Sports Counseling Panel, has published a plan to transform collegiate athletics on The Huffington Post. Zola’s plan is centered around three concepts:
- academic standards and integrity;
- protecting the interests and improving the experiences of student-athletes; and
- reestablishing the principle of accountability for all constituents involved in intercollegiate athletics.
Zola offers thoughtful changes without straying too far from the present model – in other words, he’s an advocate of improving the system as opposed to spinning men’s basketball and football off into quasi-professional sports.
In my opinion, Zola shines when he discusses protecting the interests of student-athletes. He suggests providing scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance, mandatory four-year scholarships, a revised National Letter of Intent Program, and providing student-athletes the legal right to their own image and likeness after they leave school, an issue presently being litigated in O’Bannon v. NCAA. Each of these measures would be a vast improvement over the current model and collectively these measures could transform the student-athlete experience.
Click on the following link to read Zola’s article, entitled Time for Transformative Change in Intercollegiate Athletics. Excellent work, Warren.