The Tipping Point in College Sports Reform

Warren K. Zola

Warren Zola, one of the leading voices on college sports reform, has posted an outstanding article on the Huffington Post entitled “The Year in Review: College Sports Reform Reaches the Tipping Point.”  The article is a must-read if you’re interested in college sports.

In his article, Zola discusses the events of the past academic year and the unprecedented scrutiny faced by collegiate athletics:

The nature, business, and management of college sports has been debated and criticized these past 12 months more so than any other period in recent history, and the NCAA is facing scrutiny on whether it has deviated too far from its stated mission: to ensure that college athletics is “an integral part of higher education with a focus on the development of our student-athletes.”

Zola discusses the following issues: Taylor Branch’s article “The Shame of College Sports”; the forum hosted by Congress on the role of the NCAA and rights of student-athletes; NCAA rules violations at high-profile institutions; and other issues that have been covered in-depth on this blog, such as multiyear scholarships, NCAA transfer rules, O’Bannon v. NCAA and the National Letter of Intent.  The compilation of these issues, and many others, in a single article is simply staggering.  Not only does Zola point out the many issues facing college athletics, but he issues a call to action for reform intended to protect the interests of student-athletes. 

I have been blogging and paying close attention to issues in college sports for more than four years, and this past year has seemed different.  Never have I had more discussions with people concerning NCAA rules and reform.  My Sports Law class at Quinnipiac began the class with more knowledge of these issues compared to previous classes, and passionately debated the issues.  I spoke with high school students, graduate students, and paralegals about the O’Bannon case.  Zola attributes this increased awareness to the media coverage:

For the first time, critique of college athletics has migrated from sports pages to mainstream media.

Hopefully the mainstream media and all of those interested in college athletics and the rights of student-athletes continue to ask questions and advocate for change in the 2012-13 academic year.

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