the BigAmateurism monologues

A series of events over the last 18 months—some unforeseeable—have created a perfect storm that will change college sports forever. The NCAA's bait an…
Aug 3rd, 2023 | 1:19:33

150: Did Booker and Blumenthal Hang a U-Turn on Athletes’ Rights?

On July 20th, 2023, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) released a discussion draft of a bill titled “College…
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Jun 19th, 2023 | 1:20:59

149: The Power 5’s and NCAA’s Assault on Washington

For the last six weeks, the Power 5, the NCAA, and their lobbyists, lawyers, and corporate allies have engaged in an unprecedented, no holds barred ca…
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Apr 10th, 2023 | 1:35:01

148: Understanding the Power 5’s and NCAA’s Congressional Campaign: An Organized Lie is More Powerful Than a Disorganized Truth

On March 29th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce held a hearing titled “Taking the Buzzer Beate…
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Mar 30th, 2023 | 57:59

147: Bilirakis-led House Hearing Makes a Mockery of American Values and Athletes’ Rights

As I predicted in my last episode, today’s hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce was a dog and pony…
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Mar 27th, 2023 | 1:39:57

146: The Curious Case of Fr. Jenkins’ and Mr. Swarbrick’s NYT Op-ed

On Thursday, March 23, Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins and athletics director Jack Swarbrick published an op-ed in the New York Times titled “Co…
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Feb 16th, 2023 | 1:00:34

145: Reading the Johnson v NCAA Tea Leaves

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Johnson v NCAA yesterday. In Johnson, Division I athletes seek employee status and benefits…
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Jan 12th, 2023 | 1:01:28

144: The “Transformation” Hoax, Part II

The Transformation Committee’s final report and rollout centered on the “New Holistic Model for Student-Athletes.” That newly coined marketing phrase…
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Jan 9th, 2023 | 1:06:55

143: The “Transformation” Hoax, Part I

On January 3rd, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors Transformation Committee (TC) released its final report. Far from providing “transformative” ch…
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Dec 29th, 2022 | 1:05:34

142: Top Ten of 2022

Wow. It feels like 20 years ago that college sports stakeholders were talking about a unanimous US Supreme Court decision that required the NCAA and P…
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Dec 20th, 2022 | 1:18:10

141: Employee Status, Charlie Baker, and Congress

On December 15th, two important news stories broke. First, a National Labor Relations Board regional director in Los Angeles decided that a case for a…
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Dec 9th, 2022 | 45:48

140: Remembering Huck Devenzio

You’ve probably never heard of Huck Devenzio. He’d like it that way. Huck was Dick Devenzio’s older brother. Dick was an athletes’ rights pioneer of s…
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Nov 22nd, 2022 | 55:12

139: Warnock vs. Walker and Lead1 vs. Lead1

The Democrats have secured at least symbolic control of the Senate with a possibility of actual control if Raphael Warnock defeats Herschel Walker in…
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Nov 13th, 2022 | 1:00:09

138: The NCAA’s Zero Integrity Anti-Gambling Charade

In September, the NCAA declared Virginia Tech football player Alan Tisdale ineligible for most of the football season. Tisdale’s crime? He placed a se…
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Nov 10th, 2022 | 1:00:25

137: Congressional Stalemates and Athletes’ Rights

Voters have reduced the mid-term red wave to a purple trickle. Gone is any claim of a Republican mandate and a potential power play to end the athlete…
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Oct 21st, 2022 | 58:57

136: Quick Hits: Johnson, Wicker, Tuberville, 568 Exemption, and Rubio

This episode takes a quick look at several issues that have popped up over the last couple of weeks. These issues are relevant to the P5’s/NCAA’s rele…
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Oct 11th, 2022 | 1:14:39

135: The Power 5’s Secret Congressional Playbook

The Power 5 are now in overdrive in their congressional campaign to eliminate the athletes’ rights movement. I will be publishing episodes over the ne…
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Sep 17th, 2022 | 1:26:16

134: Mark Emmert Unplugged

On Friday, September 9th, 2022, NCAA President Mark Emmert sat for an interview with sports business analyst Kristi Dosh. Emmert’s free-wheeling comme…
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Sep 12th, 2022 | 51:02

133: WSJ Hyperbole: The Transfer “Frenzy”

On Sunday, September 11th, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “The Transfer Frenzy That Is Turning College Football Rosters Upside Do…
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Sep 5th, 2022 | 55:07

132: CFP Expansion and Crazy Money: The Ultimate Unifying Force

On Friday afternoon, September 2, news broke that the CFP Board of Managers voted to expand the CFP from four to twelve teams. This decision is histor…
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Aug 25th, 2022 | 54:18

131: The Curious Demise of the Independent Accountability Resolution Process

On August 17, 2022, the NCAA released a statement titled “DI Council reviews transfer proposals.” The Council accepted recommendations from two obscur…
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Aug 19th, 2022 | 1:00:18

130: Who are the Five Most Influential NCAA Insiders?

From the beginning of the early 20th century, one central question has plagued the voluntary regulation of college sports: who is in charge? If you we…
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Aug 8th, 2022 | 1:02:55

129: Tommy, Joe, Nick, Greg, and the Boyz

Last week saw a cluster of college sports “news” stories that had texts and emails flying. The story that spawned the most interest was a new “biparti…
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Jul 30th, 2022 | 59:46

128: Do Grant of Rights Contracts Raise Antitrust Issues?

Big-time college sports are a market defined by anticompetitive behavior. The NCAA and Power 5 conferences believe they should not have to play by the…
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Jul 28th, 2022 | 53:27

127: Power 5 Grant of Rights Contracts: The Prisoner’s Dilemma Revisited

In Realignment 2.0, schools in Power 5 conferences looking to leave their current conference must factor into their decision-making an arcane but powe…
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Jul 14th, 2022 | 1:05:03

126: Conference Realignment 2.0: “What Hath [University Presidents] Wrought?”

The dominoes are in place. How many will fall? This episode examines the big-picture implications of the most recent Power 5 backstab. As is often the…
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Jul 6th, 2022 | 1:07:27

125: Education Takes a Back Seat to Entertainment and Fan Engagement

On June 29th, the Big 12 Conference’s university presidents and chancellors hired sports and entertainment industry insider Brett Yormark as the Big 1…
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Jul 4th, 2022 | 55:21

124: Independence Day, Reprised

One year ago, I published Episode 35 titled “Independence Day.” Today, I reprise that episode to refocus on the importance of applying our inalienable…
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Jun 21st, 2022 | 59:10

123: More on the Johnson Lawsuit: The NCAA’s Bizarre Interpretation of Alston

One year ago, the US Supreme Court issued what many view as a landmark decision in NCAA v Alston. The Supreme Court held unanimously that the NCAA was…
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Jun 14th, 2022 | 1:00:30

122: Johnson v NCAA and the Fair Labor Standards Act: The NCAA’s Fact-Free Fantasy World

In a trilogy of cases since late 2014, athletes claim they are employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA provides minimum…
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Jun 3rd, 2022 | 1:28:46

121: Will the “Athlete Voice” Ever Have a Meaningful Seat at the Table?

On May 19th, the Drake Group hosted a panel discussion titled “Giving College Athletes the Right to Unionize.” An impressive panel of commentators—Bob…
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May 27th, 2022 | 1:00:32

120: CA Senate, Cory Booker Deep-Six Athlete Revenue-Sharing Proposals

Last week the California Senate and NJ Democrat Senator Cory Booker buried the only two revenue-sharing proposals in the state or federal legislative…
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May 21st, 2022 | 1:20:36

119: Saban Schools Fisher While Lobbying for Protective Federal Legislation

Nick Saban’s comments on the state of college sports regulation will no doubt be remembered more for the reaction they drew from Texas A&M coach Jimbo…
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May 18th, 2022 | 1:04:49

118: College Sports’ Regulatory Crisis

College sports now exist in a vacuum of leadership, self-regulation, and values-based messaging. The NCAA national office is collapsing under the weig…
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May 11th, 2022 | 56:35

117: CA Senate Keeps Athletes in “Suspense” on Revenue-Sharing Bill

Yesterday, the California Senate’s Appropriation Committee sent the “College Athlete Race and Gender Equity” revenue-sharing bill into the legislative…
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May 6th, 2022 | 1:06:32

116: The Power 5 are Back in Congress to Woo Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) with Gender Equity and Olympic Sports Propaganda

On May 5th, 2022, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey took to the halls of the Senate to seek “help” from Congress i…
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May 3rd, 2022 | 1:10:41

115: College Sports’ Janus-Faced Values

Last Wednesday, the NCAA flushed 70 years of militant anti-gambling rhetoric and policy down the memory hole by permitting conferences and individual…
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Apr 27th, 2022 | 1:00:25

114: Emmert is Out, Now What?

Yesterday, Mark Emmert announced his resignation as NCAA president. For many, this is a long-overdue announcement. Important questions remain regardin…
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Apr 26th, 2022 | 1:13:19

113: The California “College Athlete Race and Gender Equity Act”: Is Revenue-Sharing Politically Viable?

On April 20, 2022, the California Senate’s Education Committee heard debate on the College Athlete Race and Gender Equity Act (the “Act”). The bill wa…
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Apr 20th, 2022 | 45:56

112: Is the Mid-American Conference’s Sports Betting Deal a Trojan Horse for Power 5 Mega-Deals?

According to a recent article in Sportico, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) has asked the NCAA for “clarity” on whether the MAC’s contract with Geniu…
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Apr 15th, 2022 | 1:13:04

111: Tom McMillan Channels Chicken Little for University Trustees

On April 12th, Tom McMillan appeared in a forum for university trustees titled “Name, Image, and Likeness(“NIL”): What it Means for College Governing…
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Apr 8th, 2022 | 1:02:01

110: Final Four Flotsam and Jetsam

History may remember the 2022 Final Four for what happened outside the arena than within it. Will Mark Emmert’s press conference disaster(s) be the be…
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Apr 1st, 2022 | 52:12

109: Mark Emmert, Master Dissembler

On March 31st, Mark Emmert sat for his annual Final Four press conference. Coach K warmed up Emmert’s seat in his presser immediately preceding Emmert…
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Mar 31st, 2022 | 1:10:02

108: The Unique Value of Big-Time Division I Men’s Basketball Players to the NCAA and All of College Sports

According to the college sports commentariat, this year’s Final Four may be the most compelling (and valuable) in the tournament’s history. After a fe…
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Mar 26th, 2022 | 1:01:44

107: Holden Thorp, Unplugged

In a March 17th, 2022, podcast interview, former UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp (2008-2013) spoke candidly on the state of college sports and the power o…
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Mar 23rd, 2022 | 1:03:06

106: Wanna Bet? The NCAA’s U-turn on College Sports Gambling

For nearly seventy years, the NCAA militantly opposed any association with any component of the gambling industry. Now, with the NCAA’s/Power 5’s amat…
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Mar 19th, 2022 | 1:06:04

105: Churchill Blues

In a Sportico opinion piece this morning, Syracuse professor and faculty athletics representative Rick Burton argued that college sports need a Church…
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Mar 16th, 2022 | 1:03:19

104: What is the State of “Amateurism” in 2022?

The voluntary regulation of college is in an unprecedented power vacuum. The NCAA Division I Board of Director’s Transformation Committee will decide…
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Mar 14th, 2022 | 1:14:38

103: Chaos as a Big-Time College Sports Regulatory Strategy

March Madness is in full swing. The NCAA and its corporate sponsors are set to make a killing in New Orleans. But the Madness of the Division I men’s…
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Mar 9th, 2022 | 57:21

102: Thoughts on the Big Game, Then Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

In this episode, I offer some closing thoughts on Coach K’s last game in Cameron Indoor Stadium and then return to the byzantine world of the business…
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Mar 4th, 2022 | 1:03:21

101: Reflections on Coach K’s Career

In this episode, I indulge some nostalgia and reflect on Coach K’s historic 42-year career as Duke’s head basketball coach. His success and influence…
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Mar 2nd, 2022 | 1:21:02

100: Bob Bowlsby’s Musings on Athletes as Employees

On Friday, February 25, 2022, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke at an Aspen Institute forum on college sports and the possibility of athletes as u…
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Feb 23rd, 2022 | 1:04:22

99: What the Michigan-Wisconsin Dust-Up Says About Leadership in College Sports

The altercation between Michigan and Wisconsin after Sunday’s game was a slow-motion train wreck for college basketball and both head coaches. While b…
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Feb 15th, 2022 | 1:00:58

98: Athletes as Employees: Will the NCAA/Power 5 Continue Their Totalitarian Opposition?

For seventy years, the NCAA and in-system stakeholders-beneficiaries have militantly enforced their classification of athletes as “students” rather th…
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Feb 13th, 2022 | 1:07:44

97: The “New” NCAA: Power 5 Autonomy 2.0

The NCAA Constitution Committee hailed the make-over of the NCAA Constitution as a transformative event for the NCAA and college sports regulation. In…
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Feb 9th, 2022 | 1:15:59

96: The World According to the Power 5 Football Elite

Heads Up for this Episode: I have an extended introductory montage comprised of clips from two sets of Senate hearings, one in 1997 and the other in 2…
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Feb 2nd, 2022 | 49:30

95: What’s Past is Prologue: A Mini-History of Modern College Football

Past is prologue for the evolving college sports marketplace and regulatory model. This episode offers a curated history of modern college sports from…
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Jan 30th, 2022 | 1:13:11

94: Power 5 Football by the Purse Strings and the Heartstrings

Big-time college football is the king of college sports culturally and financially. Because Power 5 football resides under the NCAA regulatory umbrell…
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Jan 28th, 2022 | 1:08:08

93: For Power 5/NCAA Public Relations Campaigns, All Roads Lead to the Senate Commerce Committee

In this episode, I look at the role of the NCAA and Power 5 as propagandists in their quest for federal, protective intervention in college sports, em…
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Jan 24th, 2022 | 1:00:08

92: Greg Sankey in Charge

January 20th marked the official beginning of SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey’s new role as the unofficial czar of college sports when the NCAA membershi…
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Jan 20th, 2022 | 1:15:34

91: Jim Phillips, the Knight Commission, and the NCAA Constitution

As a prelude to the NCAA’s vote today on the proposed constitution, I look at three things over the last week that may portend choppy waters going for…
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Jan 13th, 2022 | 45:20

90: Convention Hoopla

The NCAA is in full propaganda mode for its upcoming convention from January 19th – 22nd. The convention’s centerpiece is a vote to ratify the new NCA…
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Jan 10th, 2022 | 58:09

89: Nick Saban and Kirby Smart Concerned for the “Have Nots” in College Football? Really?

Alabama coach Nick Saban and Georgia coach Kirby Smart used a joint presser before tonight’s CFP championship to lobby for federal NIL regulation. Rat…
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Jan 7th, 2022 | 1:00:04

88: “National Champions”: Hollywood Does Athletes’ Rights (again)

On December 10th, 2021, Hollywood debuted its most recent depiction of corruption in college sports with the release of “National Champions.” The sett…
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Jan 4th, 2022 | 54:56

87: Herbstreit and Howard Flap Suggests Growing Values Dissonance for ESPN and Power 5

On New Year’s Day, ESPN analysts Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard went old school to criticize NFL-caliber football players who opted out of increas…
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Jan 4th, 2022 | 1:00:29

86: BigAmateurism’s Top Ten of 2021 (# 1): The Games Go On!

For over seventy years, the NCAA and in-system stakeholder beneficiaries of the big-time college sports marketplace have proclaimed that any challenge…
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Dec 30th, 2021 | 1:10:33

85: BigAmateurism’s Top Ten of 2021 (# 2): The Alston Decision — It’s Unanimous!

On June 21st, 2021, the United States Supreme Court powerfully delivered a long-overdue course correction to the NCAA in its 37 year-long (post-Board…
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Dec 29th, 2021 | 58:55

84: BigAmateurism’s Top Ten of 2021 (#s 5, 4, 3)

The countdown continues… In this episode I reveal items 5, 4, and 3 on my Top Ten list. Enjoy!
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Dec 28th, 2021 | 57:00

83. What a Year! BigAmateurism's Top Ten of 2021 (# 10-6)

What were the most important events in college sports in this remarkable—perhaps historic—year of 2021? Let’s start the countdown. In this episode, I…
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Dec 22nd, 2021 | 57:11

82: The NC State Decision: Is the IARP Auditioning for Power 5 Business?

On December 20th, the NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) hearing panel issued its decision in the NC State infractions and en…
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Dec 18th, 2021 | 45:59

81: Requiem for the College Basketball “Scandal”

This week, the US Supreme declined to hear the Gatto appeal, which marks the end of the legal proceedings arising from the 2017-2018 college basketbal…
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Dec 16th, 2021 | 1:05:47

80: Auburn’s Fake Pearl

On December 10, 2021, the NCAA Committee on Infractions (COI) issued a head-scratching decision in the Auburn University basketball “scandal” case. De…
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Dec 9th, 2021 | 59:50

79: The Revised NCAA Constitution Draft: Say Goodbye to "Athlete Well-Being”

When the NCAA released its initial draft constitution on November 8th, 2021, it hailed the document as a transformative step forward for athletes’ rig…
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Dec 7th, 2021 | 58:24

78: The Division I “Transformation Committee”: The Power 5 Claim the Iron Throne of College Sports Regulation

In late October 2021, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors announced the creation of a Division I “Transformation Committee.” An October 28, 2021, p…
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Dec 3rd, 2021 | 1:22:17

77: NCAA/Power 5 Propaganda and a Sham Marriage

On November 19, 2021, a Constitution Committee representative from each of the three NCAA divisions sat for an interview in the NCAA.com Social Series…
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Nov 20th, 2021 | 41:39

76: Five Reasons Why the Power 5 Don’t Leave the NCAA to Form Their Own Association

Since the 1970s, the powerful football interests have sought to protect their financial interests under the NCAA umbrella by threatening to leave the…
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Nov 17th, 2021 | 52:18

75: NCAA Draft Constitution: Crime, Punishment, and the Death of Presidential Leadership in College Sports

Two essential components of the draft NCAA Constitution are an overhaul of the infractions and enforcement process and the quiet shift in institutiona…
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Nov 16th, 2021 | 53:33

74: The NCAA Draft Constitution’s (Re)Organization Principles: Making Power 5 Dominance and NCAA National Office Impotence Official

Article 2 of the NCAA’s draft constitution (“Organization”) sets forth the authorities (and limitations on authorities) for the following stakeholder…
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Nov 11th, 2021 | 56:02

73: The NCAA Constitution Committee Draft: A Cut and Paste Power Five Power Grab

The draft overhaul of the NCAA Constitution relieves the NCAA of any meaningful regulatory responsibilities. It sends down to the Divisions complete a…
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Nov 9th, 2021 | 49:04

72: The NCAA Constitution Committee: Preserving the NCAA Administrative State

The format of this episode is a bit unusual. When I initially recorded (November 8th), the NCAA had not released its draft constitution. However, befo…
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Nov 5th, 2021 | 50:55

71: Committees, Omertas, and Big-Time Football Power Plays

The NCAA’s vaguely defined “Constitution Committee” is due to announce the terms of its “transformative” overhaul of the NCAA constitution to align NC…
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Oct 28th, 2021 | 1:07:04

70: “Massive Redistribution of Revenues” and “Participation Opportunities” (More on the “collegiate model”)

Myles Brand’s “collegiate model” is the fundamental financial structure of big-time college sports and mandates the “massive redistribution of revenue…
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Oct 26th, 2021 | 1:00:24

69: NCAA CONFIDENTIAL: Exploit the Ever-Living Hell Out of Black Revenue-Producing Athletes (Myles Brand’s “Collegiate Model”)

In his 2006 State of the Association speech, former NCAA President Myles Brand (2003-2009) articulated a theoretical rationalization for the big-time…
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Oct 21st, 2021 | 1:01:41

68: The Federal NIL Police

An element of the NCAA’s and Power 5’s quest for preemption is the claimed need for a national enforcement entity. In 2019 and through 2020, the NCAA…
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Oct 20th, 2021 | 1:12:01

67: Dr. Livingstone’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Congressional Testimony

On September 30th, 2021, Baylor University President Linda Livingstone testified in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer…
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Oct 14th, 2021 | 1:00:28

66: Same Script, New Cast: The NCAA Recycles its Worst NIL Arguments in the House of Representatives

On September 30th, 2021, Mark Emmert made his fourth appearance in Congress over twenty months to plead for federal protections and immunities to prot…
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Oct 14th, 2021 | 1:06:32

65: The NCAA is Back in Congress

On September 30th, 2021, the NCAA’s high-powered lobbyists orchestrated yet another Congressional show in the NCAA’s renewed effort to reclaim the Iro…
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Oct 2nd, 2021 | 59:48

64: The NCAA’s War on Revenue-Producing Men’s Basketball Players

The entire NCAA bureaucracy, notably its infractions and enforcement processes, is funded by the Division I men’s basketball tournament (March Madness…
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Sep 24th, 2021 | 42:55

63: Climate, Culture, and Consequences

The NCAA’s infractions and enforcement case against NC State could wind up in litigation, mainly since the NCAA has capriciously denied NC State the r…
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Sep 21st, 2021 | 52:30

62: NCAA v NC State — Respectfully Throwing Down the Gauntlet

On April 8, 2020, NC State responded to Carol Cartwright’s February 14, 2020, referral letter. NC State’s response—presented by three prominent nation…
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Sep 20th, 2021 | 1:06:08

61: NCAA v NC State — The Cartwright Referral Letter and the NCAA’s Violation of Its Own Public Disclosure Rules (Part II)

NCAA Bylaw 19.01.3 (Public Disclosure) prohibits the public disclosure of infractions and enforcement information. This prohibition applies to both th…
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Sep 16th, 2021 | 1:03:56

60: NCAA v NC State — Carol Cartwright's Referral Letter and the NCAA’s “Adversarial Posturing” (Part I)

On February 14, 2020, Carol Cartwright referred the NC State infractions and enforcement case from the old Committee on Infractions to the new Indepen…
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Sep 13th, 2021 | 1:03:29

59: NCAA v NC State - The World According to Carol Cartwright (and many university presidents)

To understand the dysfunction in intercollegiate athletics, it is important to understand the way in-system stakeholders/ beneficiaries think about th…
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Sep 9th, 2021 | 59:00

58: NCAA v NC State: “Importation Fever” – the NCAA’s Evidentiary House of Cards

On February 7, 2020, the NCAA filed its reply to NC State’s response in the infractions and enforcement case arising from the basketball-related prose…
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Sep 7th, 2021 | 56:54

57: A Labor Day Shout Out to NCAA Revenue-Producing Athletes (and NC State’s response to the NCAA’s indictment)

Happy Labor Day to revenue-producing football and men’s basketball players whose labors line NCAA national office employees’ pockets with gold! Howeve…
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Sep 5th, 2021 | 1:09:17

56: NCAA v NC State – The NCAA’s Indictment

On July 9th, 2018, the NCAA issued its “Notice of Allegations” (NOA) to NC State, alleging NCAA rules violations in connection with transactions that…
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Sep 3rd, 2021 | 42:36

55: NCAA v NC State: A Due Process Train Wreck

The NCAA’s infractions and enforcement action against NC State arising from the basketball-related criminal cases in the Southern District of New York…
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Aug 30th, 2021 | 1:15:16

54: United States v Gatto - The “Victim University” Absurdity

The NCAA’s infractions and enforcement case against NC State has been presented to an Independent Resolution Panel and is now under review for a final…
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Aug 25th, 2021 | 1:08:39

53: The Curse of NCAA v Tarkanian

On August 3rd, 2021, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors announced an immediate and substantial restriction on the Independent Accountability Resol…
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Aug 21st, 2021 | 1:11:19

52: What the Baylor Decision Says About the NCAA

On August 11th, an NCAA Committee on Infractions (COI) panel issued its decision on Baylor University’s failure to report a series of alleged violent…
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Aug 18th, 2021 | 1:02:29

51: The NCAA’s “limited authorities” Myth

The NCAA constitutional committee has begun its campaign to “align responsibilities with authorities.” Through “independent” Board of Governors member…
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Aug 16th, 2021 | 48:23

50: The Unbearable Lightness of NCAA “Responsibilities”

On August 11th, 2021, the NCAA Committee on Infractions issued its non-decision in the Baylor case. The COI concluded the central allegations relating…
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Aug 10th, 2021 | 55:29

49: Is the NCAA’s Kaplan Report a Gender Equity Smoke Screen?

On August 3rd, 2021, the outside law firm—Kaplan, Heckler, and Fink—hired by the NCAA in March to conduct an external review of gender-based discrepan…
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Aug 7th, 2021 | 52:02

48: Deconstructing the Most Consequential Era in College Sports History (Part III: The Mark Walker Bill)

As state legislatures in Washington and California began deliberations on name, image, and likeness legislation in late 2018 and early 2019, Congressm…
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Aug 5th, 2021 | 49:45

47: Deconstructing the Most Consequential Era in College Sports History (Part II: Early 2019)

The NCAA’s cynical quest for the Iron Throne of college sports regulation began in early 2019. This episode discusses how the NCAA transitioned from o…
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Aug 3rd, 2021 | 59:58

46: Deconstructing the Most Consequential Era in College Sports History (Part I: Prelude to the Perfect Storm of 2019)

This episode identifies the crucial milestones in the modern era of college sports leading to the 2019 perfect storm. I identify six themes that have…
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Aug 1st, 2021 | 1:04:24

45: NCAA Desperation Escalates

On Friday, July 30th, the NCAA Board of Governors emerged from seclusion to announce the formation of a “constitutional convention committee” that wil…
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Jul 29th, 2021 | 45:08

44: The “Integrity of College Sports”

The Power 5 conference realignment mud fight is escalating. Yesterday, Big 12 conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby came out of hiding to accuse ESPN of…
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Jul 28th, 2021 | 1:18:39

43: Was Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby Asleep at the Wheel and Where Does the NCAA Fit into Realignment?

This episode first analyzes some additional issues that I left on the table in the last episode, including how so many crucial in-system stakeholders…
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Jul 27th, 2021 | 1:04:30

42: Déjà vu All Over Again for Southern Football

The rumors are confirmed: Texas and Oklahoma are indeed bolting the Big 12 for the SEC. Is this the end of college sports as we knew them? We can only…
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Jul 22nd, 2021 | 59:55

41: Where are the University Presidents and Chancellors?

In Mark Emmert’s July 15th “interview” with a “small group” of reporters, he alluded to the possibility that university presidents and chancellors may…
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Jul 19th, 2021 | 44:09

40: The NCAA’s Ministry of Truth Strikes Again: Mark Emmert Flushes Seventy Years of NCAA History Down the Memory Hole

In a stunning “interview” with a “small group of reporters” on July 15th, 2021, NCAA president Mark Emmert erased seventy years of NCAA history. He ma…
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Jul 16th, 2021 | 1:07:06

39: The “Uniformity” Canard

As the NCAA’s grip on its monopolistic empire slips away through its arrogance, greed, and incompetence, the quest for “uniformity” in name, image, an…
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Jul 12th, 2021 | 59:58

38: The Perfect Storm Is Still Overhead

In this episode, I frame the context for the period 2019 – present, which may be the most consequential era in college sports history. I do a summary…
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Jul 10th, 2021 | 1:05:52

37: Hypocrisies, Competitive Advantages, and “Bad Actors”

In this episode, I set the table to analyze the perfect storm from May 2019 to the present. I return to one of the most fundamental questions in highe…
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Jul 8th, 2021 | 1:12:15

36: Are Power 5 Conferences Prepping for New and Improved Senate Campaign?

With the Senate in recess until September, it is safe to assume that the Power 5 are reframing their strategy in Congress. This episode looks back on…
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Jul 5th, 2021 | 55:52

35: Independence Day

This episode offers some thoughts on freedom and liberty one year after perhaps the most challenging Independence Day in recent American history. I re…
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Jul 3rd, 2021 | 57:42

34: Mark Emmert Saves the Day!

On June 30th at 4:20 PM, the NCAA issued a press release announcing that NCAA athletes nationwide would be allowed to make money from their name, imag…
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Jun 30th, 2021 | 1:03:26

33: The NCAA’s Rapidly Diminishing Relevance

As the NCAA picks up the pieces of its failed Congressional and legal campaign to achieve the Iron Throne of college sports regulation, Division I leg…
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Jun 27th, 2021 | 55:00

32: House v NCAA: A New Threat to the NCAA?

On June 24th, 2021, just three days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Alston, federal district court judge Claudia Wilken issued an op…
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Jun 25th, 2021 | 38:12

31: Kentucky Governor Acts in the Wake of NCAA Incompetence on NIL

By executive order dated June 24th, 2021, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued temporary name, image, and likeness regulations that provide athletes…
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Jun 23rd, 2021 | 58:35

30: An Organized Lie is More Powerful Than a Disorganized Truth: More on the Alston Decision

This episode expands on my initial reaction to the Supreme Court’s Alston decision on June 21st. I reflect on the contributions of former Duke basketb…
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Jun 21st, 2021 | 52:38

29: US Supreme Court to NCAA: You Are Not Above the Law

This morning, the US Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated ruling in the Alston case. The Court rejected the NCAA’s claim for antitrust immunity.…
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Jun 21st, 2021 | 1:18:56

28: Mark Emmert Channels Al Haig: “I am in Control Here”

Following an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and the vice-president’s (George HW Bush) unavailability, Reagan’s Secretary of…
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Jun 20th, 2021 | 1:15:37

27: Roger Wicker (R-MS) Leads Boycott of Athlete Hearing

On June 17th, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on name image and likeness and athletes’ rights. The Committee heard from four witnesses, a…
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Jun 16th, 2021 | 1:11:02

26: More on Preemption: Will the Senate Grant the NCAA Sovereign State Status?

The Senate Commerce Committee is considering NCAA-protective legislation that would wipe from the books every proposed state name, image, and likeness…
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Jun 14th, 2021 | 1:22:55

25: Preemption Fever

Important Note(s) and Episode Description: On June 9th, 2021, the Senate Commerce Committee held hearings titled “NCAA Athlete NIL Rights.” I have an…
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Jun 3rd, 2021 | 1:15:33

24: Current Events Chaos

A series of seemingly random events have played out over the last six weeks that may signal the NCAA’s and Power 5’s short-term strategies to protect…
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May 24th, 2021 | 1:37:26

23: Pay for Play (Part VII): 2014 - Power 5 “Autonomy” Unmasks NCAA as Puppet for Power 5 Interests

On July 9th, 2014, NCAA president Mark Emmert testified in the Senate Commerce Committee to unveil “reforms” in the structure of Division I as well as…
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May 16th, 2021 | 1:22:21

22: Pay for Play (Part VI): 2014 - The “Student-Athlete” Gets its Day in Court

2014 was an important year in the evolution of the relationship between revenue-producing athletes and the institutional interests that benefit from a…
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May 7th, 2021 | 1:00:49

21: Pay for Play (Part V): 2006 – 2014: An Antitrust Litigation Trilogy

The ink was barely dry on Myles Brand’s 2006 “collegiate model” speech when a group of revenue-producing athletes filed a federal antitrust suit—White…
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May 3rd, 2021 | 1:09:33

20: Pay for Play (Part IV): The “Collegiate Model” cont.

After the 2003 hearings in the House and Senate that raised antitrust concerns relating to big-time football’s monopoly over post-season bowl money, p…
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Apr 29th, 2021 | 1:06:30

19: Pay for Play (Part III): The “Collegiate Model”

The “collegiate model” was invented in 2003 by former NCAA president Myles Brand to redefine the NCAA’s conceptualization of amateurism and the relati…
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Apr 23rd, 2021 | 57:34

18: Pay for Play (Part II): 1945-1956

The period 1945 – 1956 is one of the most consequential eras in the history of college sports. The modern NCAA was born with the hiring of Walter Byer…
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Apr 20th, 2021 | 1:07:37

17: Pay for Play (Part I): 1906-1945

The amateur-professional dance of hypocrisy in big-time college sports is defined principally in the relationship between high-value revenue-producing…
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Apr 16th, 2021 | 57:28

16: The Alston Guessing Game

How will the US Supreme Court rule in Alston? Predicting how courts may rule is always treacherous terrain, particularly with the US Supreme Court. Wi…
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Apr 15th, 2021 | 1:00:00

15. The "Prisoner's Dilemma" (Part III)

Looking at the NCAA-Power 5 prisoner’s dilemma with the benefit of historical context and the evolution of the football product into a dominant sub-ca…
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Apr 13th, 2021 | 1:02:36

14: The “Prisoner’s Dilemma” (Part II)

Since 2010, the Power 5 has solidified its complete market domination of BigAmateurism and sowed the seeds of a breath-taking bull market in college s…
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Apr 9th, 2021 | 1:07:16

13: The “Prisoner’s Dilemma” (Part I)

In response to a question from US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on why the Power 5 conferences shouldn’t just be left alone to decide whether…
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Apr 6th, 2021 | 1:08:21

12: Iron Thrones, Omissions, Conflations, and a Gender Equity Teaser: More on the Alston Argument

The NCAA’s quest for federal antitrust immunity in the US Supreme Court is in the books. This episode does some clean-up work on issues I didn’t addre…
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Apr 3rd, 2021 | 57:57

11. Gavel to Gavel Analysis of Alston Supreme Court Argument

Important Heads-Up for this Episode: I have an extended intro for this episode that includes a series of audio clips from the Supreme Court’s oral arg…
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Mar 30th, 2021 | 1:06:28

10. "Amateurism": The NCAA's Grand Lie

The words “amateur” and “amateurism” flow effortlessly from the mouths of NCAA lawyers and propagandists in litigation and public relations campaigns.…
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Mar 27th, 2021 | 1:02:05

9. Anatomy of the NCAA's Quest for Absolute Antitrust Immunity in Alston and in Congress

In this episode, we break down how the NCAA and Power 5 have pursued a sophisticated dual strategy in Congress (primarily the Senate) and in Alston to…
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Mar 27th, 2021 | 55:13

8. Judicial Fealty to Amateurism?

In this episode, we look at the federal judiciary's deference to the NCAA's conceptualization of amateurism in suits by athletes challenging the NCAA'…
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Mar 27th, 2021 | 1:02:23

7. Prepping for the Supreme Court Argument in Alston: Antitrust Overview

In this episode, we set the table for the upcoming oral argument in the Alston v NCAA antitrust case. In Alston, the NCAA responds to a challenge to i…
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Mar 26th, 2021 | 1:03:23

6. Big Ten Secrets

In this episode, we look at the opaque world of university president decision-making in the context of the Big Ten’s deliberations in August 2020 rega…
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Mar 20th, 2021 | 53:55

5. The NCAA's "Omnipotent Czar"

This episode answers a question that has been the bane of college sports fans and stakeholders for years: what does the NCAA president actually do? Th…
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Mar 18th, 2021 | 57:13

4. Presidents in Charge?

In this episode, we look at the role of university presidents in BigAmateurism. Under the NCAA constitution (and in NCAA national office rhetoric), al…
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Mar 16th, 2021 | 1:13:12

3. Meet The Circular Firing Squad: What Exactly Is The NCAA?

In this episode we begin an exploration of the stakeholders in BigAmateurism. We’ll begin with primary in-system stakeholder-beneficiaries which inclu…
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Mar 10th, 2021 | 49:37

1. A Perfect Storm

This episode offers a 30,000 feet overview of the BigAmateurism podcast and a brief description of milestone events from 2006-2021 (with an emphasis o…
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