Larry McBennett: Wrong prescription

April 18, 2014 

Regarding the April 12 Point of View “ 4 steps toward fixing college athletics”: I agree with Duke professors Andrew Foster and Jeff Ward’s initial point. It is a myth that “big-time college athletics can thrive without undermining academic integrity.” I disagree with their solution, which in part is to reduce academic demands on athletes to half-time and plan on graduating them in six years. Don’t let education get in the way of practices. Their solution exacerbates the subordination of education to athletics.

Here is my solution:

• Prospective varsity athletes should have to meet the same standards for admission as non-athletes.

• Limit the time that students can devote to varsity sports so that they have time to study and get an education.

• Eliminate tutors, dedicated dining rooms and the rest of the special programs for athletes.

• Cap the number of coaches and their salaries. No coach should ever be paid more than the chancellor or the president.

We have to choose between academic integrity and the sports entertainment business. As the good professors note, we delude ourselves if we pretend that we can have both.

Larry McBennett


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