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Posts Tagged ‘March Madness’

Secretary of Education wants to disrupt March Madness

Posted by ZA on March 17, 2011

United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, voiced his opinion that teams should be barred from March Madness if they do not have at least half of their basketball players on track to graduate.  While that opinion is certainly a controversial one, since it could dramatically alter the NCAA Tournament that many of us love.  I agree with Mr. Duncan’s opinion, we should put more of an emphasis on academics for these kids who play sports in college.

Now I’m going to contradict my previous opinion, because my heart agrees with Mr. Duncan but my brain doesn’t.  College athletics is big business in which “money talks”; many of these athletes are in school to matriculate to professional sports.  While many won’t make it to the NBA (or NFL), that is still their goal.  They are presented with a good opportunity to get a free education, but they are also asked to maintain rigorous schedules to participate in their college sport.  The schools use these sports to gain more visibility and promote their brands, so their focus is typically on winning championships.  They all place importance on academics, but I feel that sometimes gets pushed aside when the big money and championships are at stake.

I don’t think preventing schools from participating in March Madness, based on academics, is really a genuine action.  I think there is much college athletics can do to put more emphasis on academics, but doing so may greatly change the landscape of college sports.  I think a better start would be to focus more on cleaning up some of the cheating that goes on in college sports.  At same time start to put into place realistic academic entrance requirements, so kids do have a chance to play college sports and get the academic assistance they need from outset.

Here is the USA Today article that expresses Arne Duncan’s opinion.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

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2011 NCAA Tournament will show all games live

Posted by ZA on April 23, 2010

Every March Madness fan hates when the game they are watching gets switched to some other game that they care nothing about.  It often seems as if the producers at CBS were throwing us around from game to game just to play God with our emotions.  Well no more, because starting in 2011 every college basketball fan will be able to watch all NCAA Tournament games live on basic cable.

The $10.8 billion extension that the NCAA and CBS just reached for broadcast & internet rights also included Turner Broadcasting System.  CBS and Turner’s joint bid will let them air games from all four regions of the tournament on four separate channels.  Starting with the 2011 NCAA Tournament you can tune into CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV to watch games.  Which means that every game will be shown live and available to all college hoops fans with basic cable.  This was a great move by the NCAA and television execs, one that makes me very happy as a fan.

Posted in CBS, College Basketball, College Sports, Sports Television, TV Rights Deals | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »