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Sociology professor Howard L. Nixon is the author of "The Athletic Trap: How College Sports Corrupted the Academy"

College sports has long had its share of scandals, including rape charges against players and coaches, illegal payments to athletes, academic fraud and point shaving, to name a few.

For-profit Devry University is a good match for Olympians in training.

Question: What do Coca-Cola, BMW and DeVry University all have in common? Answer: Each of these brand names has a sponsorship relationship with the U.S. Olympic Committee. Though there were over 30 official sponsors, only one of them is a university—so DeVry is well-positioned to be the face of 21st century higher education, a national model customized to each student’s individual and unique higher education aspirations and needs.

Between scouting for new recruits, traveling to tournaments, and practicing for game day, the athletic department staff at University of California, Irvine (UCI) is always on the go. For years, the department has been heavily invested in social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but keeping fans informed on the road had proved a challenge. So back in 2011, UCI equipped all 80 of its athletics staff with iPhones, loaded with a full suite of social media and communications apps.  

The risks of brain trauma and sports-related medical expenses are two concerns of the Northwestern U athletes. (Photo: Northwestern Athletics)

College football players from Northwestern University in Illinois, along with the National College Players Association, have petitioned to unionize in an effort to bring attention to athletes’ brain trauma risks, sports-related medical expenses, scholarships and academic success.

But do they have a case? And what would unionizing mean for college athletics?

Athletic Recruiting Software

Coaches manage student athletes from the recruiting stage to the roster to graduation and beyond with Front Rush. Users can customize the software layout and track anything from academic accomplishments to students’ favorite movies. A database of high school coaches, club coaches, campus sports camp attendees, boosters and parents can also be created.

EA Sports has announced it will not publish a 2013 version of its popular college football video ame. (Hector Alejandro)

Paying college athletes is a hotter topic than ever in the wake of a lawsuit that saw EA Sports agree to discontinue its widely popular college football game.

Athletes appear to be the only ones who don’t profit from their likeness being used in games, says Mark D. Simpson, a partner at Saul Ewing LLP. (While not involved with the case, Simpson is a member of the law firm’s Higher Education Practice Group).

What’s one way to please students, engage an entire campus community, and save money all while helping protect the environment?

The answer is greening sports programs, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in its new report, “Collegiate Game Changers.”

Leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill and elsewhere can take actions to ensure that athletics don’t get too great a focus to the detriment of academics.

After several years of well-publicized scandals in the athletics programs at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a new report by the Association of American Universities (AAU) urges UNC to put as much energy into academics as it does into winning national championships.

Members of Akron's men's and women's basketball teams received iPads to keep them connected to classes while traveling.

With days spent on buses and planes, it’s easy for student athletes to fall behind in class. That’s why The University of Akron (Ohio) is giving them iPads.

Fully funded by donors, the program was piloted last year, with all members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams receiving tablets at a cost of $500 each. Along with improving academic performance, the tablets are meant to make it easier for coaches to communicate with players.

"On the heels of numerous recent scandals, the higher education world is finally (again) examining the role of athletics in academia. And every time a new scandal erupts, we are shocked—shocked—that such things go on within the halls of academia. Ah, but there’s the rub: In many schools, and especially those with a proclivity to horrific headlines, the athletic department is acting as an autonomous fiefdom."