What Lies Ahead for College Sports?

January 11, 2012

It's been a rough year for big-time college sports, to put it mildly. And as the NCAA opens its annual convention in Indianapolis, the association—which has suffered through an unprecedented series of scandals—finds itself besieged by calls for change.

But what would change look like? We wanted specifics, so we asked three distinguished experts (look to the right to read their profiles) to stop by our offices and share their thoughts. The result was a wide-ranging and thought-provoking conversation.

Excerpt: What Will College Sports Look Like in 20 Years?

Panelists predict major change—and a couple of tumultuous decades for the NCAA.

Part 1

What's the appetite for change in college sports? And can "student-athletes" really wear both hats?

Part 2

How would colleges go about paying student athletes? Is spending on coaches and facilities out of hand?

Part 3

Should students foot the bill for college sports? Could lawsuits bring sweeping change to the NCAA?

More on Athletics

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The NCAA's New Leader Goes on the Offensive

Mark Emmert is moving quickly to bring change to college sports. Some colleges, especially those with smaller, poorer programs, are feeling left behind.

Players: The Chronicle's Athletics Blog

Read dispatches on the people and business of college sports.

The Panelists

  • Taylor Branch
    Taylor Branch

    is the author of the three-volume history of the civil-rights movement, America in the King Years, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest book, The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA, was published last year as a Byliner Originals e-book.

  • Tom McMillen
    C. Thomas McMillen

    is a former college and professional basketball player and a former member of Congress. He served on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and is secretary of the University System of Maryland board of regents.

  • Jeffrey Orleans
    Jeffrey Orleans

    is a former executive director of the Ivy League and a consultant to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and to a number of colleges and athletics conferences. As a federal civil-rights lawyer, he helped write the implementing regulation for Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments.

  • Brad Wolverton
    Brad Wolverton

    is a senior writer who covers college-sports issues for The Chronicle of Higher Education.