Intelligence Squared

Thursday, December 7 at 2:00 pm

Should College Athletes Be Paid?

College sports is a big-money business, with football and basketball programs generating millions of dollars in revenue every year. While coaches and athletic directors in Division I programs routinely score seven-figure contracts, student-athletes are currently prohibited from sharing in the profits. Is it time to rewrite the rules in college sports and allow athletes their fair share of the profits? Or would providing monetary incentives -- above and beyond existing scholarships and career supports -- spoil the sport?

The Debaters:
Joe Nocera
Columnist, Bloomberg View & Co-Author, "Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA"

Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg View columnist. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ, and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. He is the co-author of Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA and the author of a number of books including, A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class and Good Guys and Bad Guys: Behind the Scenes With the Saints and Scoundrels of American Business (and Everything in Between).

Andy Schwarz
Economist & Partner, OSKR

Andy Schwarz is a partner at OSKR, an economic consulting firm specializing in expert witness testimony, where he focuses on antitrust and class actions across a wide variety of industries, including sports. Notably, Mr. Schwarz was the case manager for the NFL’s economic expert in L.A. Raiders v. NFL and for Plaintiffs’ economic experts in O’Bannon v. NCAA. Schwarz has testified to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce and served on a U.S. Congressional panel on college sports. Schwarz has been featured on ESPN, in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and USA Today. He is a frequent contributor to Deadspin and has written for Vice Sports, Slate, FiveThirtyEight, Forbes, and ESPN.com.

Christine Brennan
Sports Columnist, USA Today

Christine Brennan is an award-winning national sports columnist for USA Today, a commentator for ABC News, CNN, PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio, and a best-selling author. Twice named one of the country's top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors, she has covered the last 17 Olympic Games, summer and winter. Brennan was the first woman sports writer at The Miami Herald in 1981 and the first woman to cover Washington’s NFL team as a staff writer at The Washington Post in 1985. She was also the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media and her 2006 sports memoir, Best Seat in the House, is the only father-daughter memoir written by a sports journalist.

Len Elmore
Attorney & Former All-American Basketball Player

Leonard J. Elmore is an attorney and television basketball analyst. Elmore was an All-American basketball player at the University of Maryland, from 1971 to 1974. He played professional basketball for 10 years and was a first round draft pick in both the ABA and the NBA. Elmore received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1987, where he is believed to be the first and only National Basketball Association player to graduate from that institution upon retirement from his professional basketball career. A noted authority on sports and sports law issues including sports in society, Elmore has published numerous articles and commentaries for a diverse group of media outlets including National Public Radio, the Knight Ridder News Service, Sports Business Journal and ESPN.com.

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