The Chronicle of Higher Education
January 5th, 2015
The Division I-A football bowl season
has begun and will culminate with the first national-championship game.
Conferences have been realigned to accommodate media markets, Division I
governance rests in the hands of a few conferences, and soon legal
decisions will determine whether these athletes are employees and
eligible for a range of institutional benefits. Intercollegiate
athletics has entered a new era.
Notably absent from these decisions, though, is how the changes, over
time, will affect the primary academic mission of higher education and
the role of college athletics. Absent a real connection with the
academic mission, institutions risk underwriting an athletics
establishment that at its highest competitive level is a fully
commercialized enterprise. Economic power will become the dominant force
in predicting athletics success.