College football season is upon us and we still have 9 facts that smell like a locker room

  1. Players are still not getting paid even though their coaches make boatloads of money off their backs. But no worries because some players qualify for Pell Grants. WTH?
  2. Black Athletes’ Lives still don’t matter. College athletics contributes to an economic system that, despite a few exceptions, keeps African American males subordinate and silent, on the outside looking in.
  3. Athletic Directors are still calling the shots on the campuses of all major DI institutions. Look at Chancellor Folt’s reaction to the ‘volunteer’ hiring of the (justly) fired Illini coach – “I’m surprised and disappointed”. Larry Fedora thought he was entitled to hire an old buddy who had mistreated his players? And then, consistent with the Carolina Way, lie about the coach’s role on the team? AD Bubba Cunningham thought he was entitled to green-light this strange hire without consulting the Chancellor? How is this possible? Oh, they know who’s really in charge.
  4. African American males are still not provided access to a real education in America. According to, 88% of black males are not reading at grade level in 8th grade. Only about half of college football players graduate, and the ones who graduate are often handed bogus diplomas. The system perpetuates black powerlessness.
  5. The NCAA along with its member institutions (colleges and universities) are still a cartel, still protecting their golden egg.
  6. The myth of the college “student-athlete” is still ingrained in our culture – seeping even into our justice system. Why is the multi-billion dollar college sports industry tax-free? Why are athletes not workers? Why is the federal government–in the form of Pell grants and tax breaks–subsidizing wealthy athletic programs? Why, according to, is the NCAA the second richest tax-exempt organization in the country? (Oh, and why does UNC’s booster club call itself an Educational Foundation?) All because of the myth that athletes are recruited to universities to be students first. Can someone please call in the @MythBusters?
  7. At UNC, the new director of ethics education and policy management–a position created in the aftermath of the athletic/academic scandal–still sits on the Faculty Athletics Committee. #conflictofinterest?
  8. The NCAA still refuses to follow the lead of the NFL and reduce contact hours in football practice. (Watch this new documentary, The Business of Amateurs.) Although evidence shows that a sharp reduction in contact hours would reduce the likelihood of brain trauma, college sport’s governing body continues to insist that it has no role in protecting the health and safety of its “student-athletes.”
  9. Over the past 50+ years, College Sports Reformers have accomplished little. The players still have no voice, they are still unable to bargain for themselves, they are still required to sign away some of their civil rights when they sign their national letter of intent, they are still subject to coaches whose salaries depend on maximizing player performance. They are still not getting access to a real college education.
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