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…
May 3rd, 2022 | 1:10:41

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 schools to partner with the sports betting industry. The announcement didn’t register as even a blip on the sports or mainstream media’s radar. The NCAA’s once-sacred values opposing any association with sports gambling interests vanished into thin air. Poof! This episode examines this values upheaval and what it says about college sports and higher education more broadly through the lens of sports betting, the work of the Transformation Committee, the lobbying campaigns of the NCAA and SEC, and a recent Marist public opinion poll. The post-Alston/NIL/transfer market environment has turned the NCAA’s/Power 5’s traditional value system on its head. Not far behind these unexpected milestone events are demographic trends that portend a bleak future for the NCAA’s/Power 5’s tired talking points on “amateurism” or any iteration of it. One thing is clear: the NCAA/Power 5 are in a race against momentum in the athletes’ rights movement and the mid-term election clock as they try to redefine their values on the fly. So far, the prevailing value is the almighty dollar.