Jay Coakley will deliver a public lecture, "University fault Lines: Escalating Tensions between Athletics & Academics," at Boston College on Wednesday, March 21, at 7:30pm in Devlin 008.
FYI, here is an abstract of his presentation:
Intercollegiate athletics is a diverse phenomenon. The programs that are most visible and seen as most successful are the least sustainable and the least likely to be compatible with the goals of higher education. The programs that are least visible and seen as less important by most people are the most sustainable and the most compatible with the goals of higher education. The NCAA, charged with governing college sports, is on the verge imploding due to the tensions cause by the diversity of goals, philosophies, resources, budgets, and organizational structures among its member institutions. When the NCAA implodes, there will be an opportunity to reassess the goals, meaning, and organization of athletic programs. The outcomes of this reassessment—and there will be multiple outcomes—will depend on the criteria people use to justify and evaluate college sports. In some cases, these criteria will be grounded in critical thinking, but in most cases, they will be based on myths, anecdotes, personal testimonies, and wishful thinking. The inevitable struggles associated with reassessment will be shaped by many interested parties, including powerful media companies and boosters using criteria based on an entertainment model to loosely organized collections of faculty and others using criteria based on an educational model. Regardless of who prevails at any particular time and place in the future, the tensions around entertainment and education will persist and create chronic struggle.