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The Uncertain Future of College Sports

April 16, 2021

2020 witnessed the most boisterous summer of student athlete activism in half a century. Not since the late 1960s revolt of the Black athlete had college athletes been so outspoken. A letter from athletes to the Pac-12 Commissioner expressed the mood in blunt terms: “NCAA sports exploit college athletes physically, economically and academically.”

Hundreds of athletes demanded that their campuses rename buildings and remove statues associated with slavery and segregation; increase outreach efforts to underrepresented high school students; end excessive salaries among NCAA administrators and college coaches; and provide compensation to athletes beyond scholarships that are contingent upon strict behavior and performance requirements.

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