Monday, February 20, 2012

Distinguished panel to discuss changes to college sports Feb. 28

Three prominent critics of collegiate sports will discuss the topic "Big-Time College Sports: What Needs to Change?" during a panel presentation Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The free public program will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center Theater.
The panel will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historian Taylor Branch, UNC President Emeritus William C. Friday and Charles T. Clotfelter, author and professor at Duke University. Author Will Blythe will moderate.
The Southern Historical Collection in the Wilson Special Collections Library will display archival materials from the papers of Branch and Friday and from the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. The collection is sponsoring the program, along with Friends of the Library and the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. For program information, contact Liza Terll at or (919) 548-1203.
Branch's article "The Shame of College Sports" appeared last year in The Atlantic magazine. An expanded e-book version, "The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA," is available at Branch's previous books include "The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling with History and the President" and studies of the American Civil Rights movement. Branch, a 1968 alumnus, is a Morehead-Cain Alumni Visiting Distinguished Professor at UNC during the spring 2012 semester.
Friday served as president of the UNC system from 1957 to 1986 and later as president of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust. He was a founding co-chair of the Knight Foundation Commission, which was established in 1989 with the purpose of drafting a reform agenda for the administration of intercollegiate sports. He earned a UNC law degree in 1948.
Clotfelter is the Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics and law at Duke University. His most recent book is "Big-Time Sports in American Universities" (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Blythe is a former editor of Esquire magazine. His books include "To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever" (HarperCollins, 2006), a chronicle of the UNC-Duke basketball rivalry. A 1979 UNC alumnus, he has written for the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and the New York Times Book Review.
At the event, Bull's Head Bookshop will be selling books by Branch and Clotfelter.

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