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HOUSTON – As March Madness’ Sweet 16 has all eyes on college basketball, Arnold Ventures announces the release of a series of papers exploring options for reform in college athletics. These papers, written by five leading thinkers, present different proposals for how college sports could become more equitable and more efficient. The authors for the papers are:

  • Dr. Kevin Blue – Dr. Blue is the Chief Sport Officer at Golf Canada and the former Athletic Director at the University of California, Davis. He explores how pay for play” might actually provide the cover for mid-majors to break away from the college sports arms race.
  • Dr. Eddie Comeaux – Dr. Comeaux is a Professor of Higher Education Policy at the University of California, Riverside and executive director of the Center for Athletes’ Rights and Equity (CARE). He outlines the anti-Blackness built into college sports and proposes policy changes that would address these racial inequities.
  • Dr. Victoria Jackson – Dr. Jackson is a Clinical Associate Professor at Arizona State University and a former Division I athlete. She argues college sports reform should start with compensating Power Five football players.
  • Gabe Feldman – Feldman is the Sher Garner Professor of Sports Law and Paul and Abram B. Barron Professor of Law at Tulane University. He is also the director of the Tulane Sports Law Program and is Tulane University’s associate provost for NCAA compliance. He proposes schools consider seriously athletics as an academic endeavor, similar to performing arts.
  • Dr. Welch Suggs – Dr. Suggs is an associate professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and is a former sports journalist. He explores the potential for different schools and different sports to operate under different governance systems that reflect the appropriate goals: prestige or academics.

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy that tackles some of the most broken systems in our country; college sports is a market that might be functioning for some, but is highly inequitable with perverse incentives for many schools. These papers are intended to fuel a conversation about options for reform.. 

As the NCAA continues its constitutional change process with the division transformation committees, Arnold Ventures will continue to explore investments in research, policy development, and thought leadership to help address the critical challenges facing college athletics.

Find more information here.

About Arnold Ventures

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. Driven by a mission to maximize opportunity and minimize injustice, it invests in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. Arnold Ventures is headquartered in Houston, with offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

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Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

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