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Posted on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : noon

New York Times columnist to discuss how to fix college sports at Eastern Michigan appearance

By Pete Cunningham

Should college athletes get paid, and if so, what is a fair rate for kids who sometimes generate millions in revenue before they're allowed to buy a beer at the bar?

What about non-revenue sports? Should athletes who don't create revenue be given an equal "piece of the pie?"

These are some of the issues New York Times columnist Joe Nocera will discuss in an appearance at Eastern Michigan University's Student Center Auditorium on Tuesday, March 19, at 5:30 p.m. In his speech, entitled "How To Fix Big-Time College Sports," Nocera plans to discuss current issues surrounding college athletics.

According to a release, there will be a question and answer period that follows the speech. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Nocera has been an Opinion-Editorial columnist for the Times since April 2011 and has written numerous pieces on the topic of college athletics. In past columns he's proposed plans to pay football and men's basketball players at major schools, using a salary cap formulation. He's also called to give players and coaches more due process rights, and has called for athletes at big-time schools to be treated like any other student on campus.

Nocera's appearance is being paid for by the EMU Student Government.



Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

NY Times' Joe Nocera writes powerfully about the NCAA's spotty record of enforcement which seems awfully punitive and arbitrary. Congrats to EMU for bringing this articulate voice of reason to town.

Kyle Austin

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 3:16 a.m.

Interesting that the school is bring in Nocera, he's a guy that's really been challenging the status quo of college athletics

tom swift jr.

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

College athletic programs are a scam. How about we just focus on the academics?


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

..they wil be paying players twice (scholarships and paychecks).


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

What an outlandish claim. For shame for shame. By the way, that's where the money to pay the players would come from. From monies used for computers, labs, and other things that the university won't be able to fund since they will be


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

One of the biggest football factories in America is in Ann Arbor, and Nocera is going to Ypsilanti.

Matt Lang

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 10:16 a.m.

easier to find a paking spot in Ypsi.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

The whole notion that student atheletes should be paid is just silly. They already get so many kick backs. The are putting the bill on the backs of all the other students! I don't care if the Team makes money. It still costs a large amount of $$$$ to go to school for the average student.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

I always thought the pay was getting the opportunity for a free education at a solid university. Certainly, in the case of non-revenue sports, it's working quite well. But at a handful of universities in one or two sports, a lot of revenue is generated. The question is whether that revenue should go to the elite athletes who make that possible. Without true revenue sharing amongst sports and amongst universities, all that's going to do is create this tiny, isolated professional league in collegiate clothing. In a sense, the illusion of amateur athletics connected to school colors will be dropped. But, then, why would the universities which don't or can't pay their athletes even play along? Why would alumni bother? Baseball was once the national pastime. A huge minor league professional system was developed, and most elite high school players went into it. Fans mostly ignore minor league baseball and college baseball, and the pay is relatively low in the minor leagues. Elite athletes move through quickly and earn millions at the major-league level. There's occasionally a Barry Larkin in college, but because the rest of the product is diluted it doesn't generate that much excitement. Financially, that's the ideal model. But college football is such an institution that there's reason to protect it. How? I'm not certain. But due to the number of teams involved, it's not practical to pay anything more than a token amount.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

pay? what about the one's that already get scholarships? that doesn't count?


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

"In past columns he's proposed plans to pay football and men's basketball players at major schools, using a salary cap formulation." What about other sports? EMU football sucks more money out of the athletic department at EMU than any other sport...and now they are supposed to pay their players? And what about schools like Northwestern that has elite womens sports and a horrible mens basketball program? "He's also called to give players and coaches more due process rights, and has called for athletes at big-time schools to be treated like any other student on campus." I doubt that is what players want. They do not want to have to be required to attend classes (work is not a reason to miss class) when they are playing road games, they don't want to have to pay for the education, or lose all of the perks that they have. This is the last thing that they want.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

The other, more important issue, is that only 8 athletic departments in the ncaa, yes 8, are self sufficient. And some MAC schools have up to 72% of their budgets coming from student fees and state money. We should not have to pay for for a kid to get a free education AND pay him to play sports. Sorry, it's just not feasible unless you require all programs to only operate on athletic department funds and then it is just not economically possible.

Stupid Hick

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

The headline made me think this was a story about the corrupting influence of gambling on collegiate. How to "fix" a basketball game? Pay the athletes, of course.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

The answer to fixing the NCAA is getting rid of the NCAA. It is a corrupt voluntary organization, most recently seen in the debacle trying to police the U. And no, do not pay the players. An athlete at EMU gets a free education, most likely free housing and food, free clothes, and, if they are good at their sport, free national exposure in their sport. If you are going to pay them, take away their scholarships and give them to non athletes. And who do you pay? Does the mens football player makes as much as the women's softball player? And the way to fix EMU is to take it out of the FBS in football and D1 in other sports. Drop it down to a level that it actually can compete on.

Pete Cunningham

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:14 p.m.

Some think that's the answer to "fixing" the NCAA too, Mr. Hick.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

how to fix it? one word, 'win'

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

yes mr pete, i meant it that way ALSO. kind of a two way meaning. you can go to an emu athletic event and sit just about anywhere you want. you been lately?

Pete Cunningham

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 5:13 p.m.

Just to clarify, the discussion is about how to "fix" what Mr. Nocera believes to be "broke" about NCAA athletics and the discussion is at Eastern Michigan. This talk will not be about how to "fix" Eastern Michigan's athletic department.