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For Student Athletes, College Football Is A Broken ‘System’

Celebrated investigative journalists Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict go deep with us on the inside story of big time college football.

Former Ohio State University head coach Jim Tressel is carried by the members of his 2002 national championship team between quarters of an NCAA college football game between Ohio State and Michigan Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP)

Former Ohio State University head coach Jim Tressel is carried by the members of his 2002 national championship team between quarters of an NCAA college football game between Ohio State and Michigan Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP)

America loves its college football.  Rah, rah.  Cheer the team.  Road trip and tailgate and all kinds of bright autumn entertainment on TV.  Of course, we have come to know it’s not all pretty.  The big money and sharp elbows and recruiting hanky-panky.  The academic charade and injuries and young athletes glorified and exploited.  But we’ve never known the details like we’re learning them lately.  The sex and cash and broken rules and bodies.  Up next On Point:  two big investigative journalists have gone deep on college football.  They’re here to lay it all out.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jeff Benedict, co-author of “The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football,” special features contributor for Sports Illustrated and author of “Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL.” (@AuthorJeff)

Armen Keteyian, co-author of “The System, ” lead correspondent for 60 Minutes Sports and author of “Money Players: Inside the New NBA.” (@ArmenKeteyian)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: A New Book Offers a View of the Game That Tailgaters Rarely Encounter — “In ways the typical Saturday tailgater may never know, and ultimately may not care, there has been and will continue to be harm done to young women whose lives intersect with powerhouse football programs — but also young men who sacrifice their bodies and wind up receiving little in return.”

TIME: It’s Time To Pay College Athletes — “Why shouldn’t a player worth so much to his school, to his town and to the college-football brand be able to sign his name for money, just as any other celebrity has a right to do? How much longer can everyone else make money from college athletes like Manziel while the athletes themselves see their cash compensation capped–at $0? According to a recent study, if college football operated under the same revenue-sharing model as the NFL, each of the 85 scholarship football players on the Aggies squad could see a paycheck of about $225,000 per year. Manziel is surely worth a great deal more.”

Sports Illustrated – ‘Special Report on Oklahoma State Football: Part 1 — The Money” — “Former Cowboys who spoke to SI estimated that between 15 and 20 players received money under the table in any given year, meaning that many contributors, including starters, never saw a dime. Why were some paid and not others? Often it was a willingness to request money. Players who sought financial assistance were often directed by teammates or sometimes a member of the coaching staff to a generous benefactor; in some instances they were paid on the spot.”

Excerpt from “The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian

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