Last night on HBO, Real Sports ran an hour-long special on the state of college athletics. It was predictably ugly: Auburn football players spoke of “money handshakes” with boosters and coaches, and an Ohio State player said he got sexual favors from a co-ed during a campus visit.
In between segments, HBO held a round table discussion moderated by Bryant Gumbel. The panel included Jason Whitlock of FOX Sports, college hoops commentator Billy Packer, former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez, and former Ivy League commissioner Jeff Orleans.
The conversation was a lively one: Rodriguez, as a former coach, represented (unfortunately for him) the established order. And although he conceded that NCAA sports is a flawed system, he argued that a college scholarship was adequate compensation for college athletes.
“I don’t see any coaches signing up to be amateurs,” said Whitlock. “If it’s so great, let the coaches sign up to be amateurs, and let them continue their studies and get an additional degree or something while they’re coaching.”
Here’s a portion of the roundtable from last night, courtesy of HBO.