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09/14 - Varsity, Inc.: The Business of College Sports

How big a business is college sports in Louisiana?

The college sports industry generates $11 billion in annual revenues. Yet, of Louisiana's 11 public universities with Division 1 sports programs, only one operates without support from taxpayers. A new NCAA proposal giving partial autonomy to the larger athletic conferences will likely increase the operating costs of all college sports programs. It also clears the way for colleges to provide an unprecedented level of benefits for their athletes. This comes at the same time as a court ruling that finds that student-athletes can profit from the use of their likeness on TV and video games.

So, how big a business is college sports in Louisiana? Should student-athletes, who boost financial support while risking bodily harm, receive compensation for their efforts and image? And will the recent NCAA ruling further widen the wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots of Louisiana’s university athletic programs? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Varsity Inc. -The Business of College Sports” Wednesday, September 24 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD. (Taping Monday, September 22)

Our panelists are:
- Joe Alleva, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics at LSU
- Karl Benson, Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference
- Gabriel Feldman, Director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane; Associate Provost for NCAA Compliance
- Rudy Macklin, former collegiate and professional athlete; Director of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports

Beth Courtney, LPB CEO, and Carl Redman, former Executive Editor of The Advocate, will moderate the discussion.

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09/14 - Varsity, Inc.: The Business of College Sports

How big a business is college sports in Louisiana?

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