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The Penn State scandal continues to exude its stench; who could have predicted that one of the most-respected football programs in the country could be laid low by its culture of denial when confronted with sordid allegations of child molestation? Or that the formerly respected defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, would be the alleged perpetrator, using his Second Mile Foundation for at-risk children as his pool of victims?
As bad as the scandal is, the argument can be made that big-time college sports suffers from an even more pervasive rot, one defined by big-time money and big-time hypocrisy. In the October 2011 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, Taylor Branch contributes an outstanding article analyzing the foundations of the NCAA's dominance of the business of college sports. After all, it is about business -- gate receipts, merchandising, shoes, video games, and most of all, television revenues. Forget about the purity of amateur athleticism, or football on crisp fall afternoon, or your March Madness picks. It is the money that matters.
Brown's article is fairly long, but it is essential reading to understand what drives and underpins college sports, and always has.