A Simple Solution to the Problems in College Sports

The problem is the pretense that athletes in big-time college programs are students. They are not. They don’t have time to be.

The most honest thing to do would be to spin off the teams from the universities. Let the schools own them as investments if they want to, but make them independent, for-profit corporations and treat them and all their employees like other corporations and employees. Let the staff--the players—demand as much as the market will bear, just as their coaches do. And don’t impose on them requirements irrelevant to their jobs, such as pretending to interested in going to class. Those players who want college educations will get them, just as other working students do. Those with no interest in college education will not have to feign it, and colleges will not have to pretend people who don’t meet their admissions standards are fit to be students.

Stanford doesn’t pretend that the people working at the shopping mall it owns are students; why does it have to pretend that the people working on its football team are?