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…
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 of the NCAA’s amateurism lie. In 2010, Thorp and UNC became embroiled in an academic scandal that consumed the university for years. Thorp was among the many casualties of that scandal. The interview, conducted on Dr. Karen Weaver’s podcast titled Trustees and Presidents—Opportunities and Challenges in Intercollegiate Athletics—is a sobering insight into the realities of the big-time college sports industry and its impact on the values of higher education. Thorp concludes it is impossible to field consistently winning football and men’s basketball teams while preserving academic integrity. According to Thorp, institutional stakeholders have succumbed to an “intoxicating drug” fueled by the lie of the amateur ideal that permits stakeholders to hold—and harmonize— these irreconcilable beliefs. This episode discusses Dr. Thorp’s views and whether institutional decision-making stakeholders can face the truths of the big-time college sports business model.