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  • Originally published 05/28/2013

    A Brief History of College Cheating Scandals

    Cheating and college sports go hand-in-hand. This is especially true in college football, with its extreme competitiveness and the potential to launch careers. Cheating scandals have embroiled most of the top colleges in the country for decades, and the cases run the gamut from cash payments to players, free (and illegal under NCAA rules) perks, academic fraud, financial aid fraud, and -- of course -- drugs, alcohol, and prostitutes. Here is a list of some of the most prominent and cringe-worthy scandals in the history of college sports:1) 1986: SMU gets the death penalty. In 1986, the ABC affiliate in Dallas revealed that the Southern Methodist University football program had been paying its players signing bonuses of up to $25,000. Further investigations by Dallas media unearthed apartments provided to players rent-free, and an NCAA investigation showed that thirteen players had been paid about $61,000 from a slush fund set up for that specific purpose. This practice had gone on for years, with the complicity of both coaches and top school officials.

  • Originally published 03/29/2013

    Jonathan Zimmerman: Why I Love, But Also Hate, March Madness

    Jonathan Zimmerman is a professor of history and education at New York University. He is the author of “Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory” (Yale University Press).I’m a crazed basketball fan, so I love it when the NCAA tournament rolls around. But I’m also an educator, and so I hate myself for watching.That’s because college sports are – to put it bluntly – a plague on American higher education. They add a big-ticket item to our mounting costs, and they compromise our academic quality. And now we’ve got the numbers to prove it.Let’s start with costs. Colleges in the Football Bowl Subdivision – the most competitive of the Division I programs – spent an average of nearly $92,000 per athlete in 2010, according to a January study by the American Institutes for Research. For the student population at large, the average per capita spending was less than $14,000.I’ll spare you the math: These schools spend more than six times as much on athletes as they do on students generally....

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