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Forum 56:

The Fire This Time: Advancing Equity and Opportunity for Vulnerable Athletes in College Sports

Held Thursday, May 5, 2022

Forum Summary

The centrality of commercialism in college athletics arguably puts the academic, physical, and social well-being of Division I athletes at risk. Although the NCAA’s amateurism principle was designed to protect athletes’ best interests, its effectiveness in the context of a multibillion-dollar enterprise remains unclear and, at times, contested. In this forum, Professor Eddie Comeaux will argue that the structural conditions in athletics that exploit vulnerable college athletes, especially Black athletes, are irreparable. In recognizing that the structural conditions within the athletic enterprise are beyond repair, he maintains that we are better positioned to engage in more equity-focused and justice-oriented practices that find sites of humanness, belonging, and joy for athletes, both on and off campus, and that create therapeutic mechanisms for healing and change.

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