Ending The Myth Of Amateurism In College Sports

Jul 24, 2012

College athletes are considered amateurs in their sports because they are not allowed to be paid for their efforts. 

Many spend more than 40 hours per week practicing and playing while pursuing a degree, and generate income streams for their institutions, and one college professor says it's time to disprove the myth about amateurism in college sports and restore the balance between athletics and academics.

Wednesday on Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Dr. Angela Lumpkin, Professor of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kansas.  A supporter of athletics in higher education, Lumpkin believes student-athletes can receive a better education without exploitation.

This hour we look at the effect that actions such as reducing head coaches' salaries, limiting travel and competitions while classes are in session, and revised distribution of television revenues can have on ensuring that those students who represent their schools through sports get the degrees that can offer them greater opportunities after their college careers.

Lumpkin offers 14 recommendations with the input of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the Drake Group and the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics:

• End the myth of amateurism
• Eliminate preferred or special admissions for recruited athletes
• Award four year grants-in-aid
• Get tough on coaches and athletes who break the rules
• Limit sport seasons, competitions and travel while classes are in session
• Require one-year residency for athletic eligibility
• Reorganize academic counseling and support services for athletes
• Raise academic requirements for postseason competition
• Reduce expenditures in football and men’s basketball
• Limit the salaries of head coaches in football and men’s basketball
• Limit the number of assistant coaches in football and men’s basketball
• Revise the distribution of television revenues from the men’s Division I basketball championship
• Reclaim control over the locations and times of competitions
• Make intercollegiate athletic budgets and financial reports transparent.

Angela Lumpkin is a professor in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kansas, where she formerly served as Dean of the School of Education. She previously served as Dean of the College of Education at State University of West Georgia, Department Chair for physical education at North Carolina State University, as well as Chair of NC State's faculty, and professor of physical education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also served as the women's basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas, a master's degree and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, and a M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Lumpkin is the author of 22 books and has served as President of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education as well as two state professional organizations. She has received several professional recognitions including the Honor Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, selection as an American Council of Education Fellow, and The Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the Governor of North Carolina for contributions to the physical fitness and health of North Carolinians, and was named the 2008-2009 Gene A. Budig Teaching Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. She was inducted into the National Association for Sport and Physical Education's Hall of Fame for Sport in 2011.