Thursday, March 13, 2014
Alternative programming: the NCAA's equity problem
As you may have heard, American University's men's basketball team beat Boston University yesterday, winning their first Patriot League title in five years and earning a coveted spot in the March Madness tournament bracket. Go Eagles! This is crazy exciting for AU, but let's step back for a minute. March Madness has become a formidable industry that generates roughly $1 billion ever year. Who actually makes that money? Do the players ever reap the benefits of participating in a billion-dollar sports phenomenon?
The folks at Frontline have provided free access to Money and March Madness, a documentary about the financial inequities of what is arguably still an amateur sporting event. This is an important subject to think about as we head into the most exciting week of AU's comeback season. The entire AU community will almost certainly be watching at home and possibly buying spirit wear, but we should never stop being curious about the effects of what we like and do.
(This is just one of the many documentaries from the Frontline series that has been released for free online. Their full catalog is worth exploring.)