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K-State Today

October 10, 2014



Big 12 Conference to host second forum on the state of college athletics

By Communications and Marketing

The Big 12 Conference announced the lineup for its second national "State of College Athletics" Forum to further examine the issues facing college athletics. The forum, which will be Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., continues the discussion that began at the inaugural forum hosted by the Big 12 in New York City in August.

The October Forum will feature a panel of respected authorities from intercollegiate athletics, university leadership and sports journalism representing a diverse range of opinions and perspectives on the future of college athletics. The panel will address two topics: "Where Does the Money Go — The Business of College Athletics" and "Are Student Athletes Employees?" The 13-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and writer Jimmy Roberts, who moderated the first forum, also will moderate the event in Washington, D.C.

"We developed the 'State of College Athletics' Forum series as a way to bring together some of the brightest minds in intercollegiate athletics to have open, productive dialogue about the broad range of issues facing college athletics today and beyond," said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "Our goal with these forums is not to assemble a group of people who all share the same points of view. Rather, it is to have experts representing all sides of the debate sit down and have an unfettered discussion about the many complex aspects of this issue. We believe an unrestricted exchange of ideas — made possible by the Big 12 Forums — is the best way to fully understand the issue and determine the way forward."

Broadcaster and forum moderator Roberts said, "While the conversation at the first forum was tremendously insightful, it is important to continue the discussion. The issues facing college athletics are not going to disappear, and these events provide a venue to ensure all aspects of the topic are examined closely by some of the most important opinion leaders and policymakers associated with college sports."

Additional details of the Oct. 21 event include — all times are Eastern:

  • 11:45 a.m. Lunch and keynote address by Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby
  • 3 p.m. Forum I begins with a 90-minute panel discussion "Where Does the Money Go — The Business of College Athletics"
  • 4:30 p.m. Break
  • 4:45 p.m. Forum II continues with an additional 90-minute panel discussion "Are Student Athletes Employees?"
  • 6:15 p.m. Reception available for event attendees and panelists
  • 7:30 p.m. On-site locations will be provided for one-on-one interviews with panelists

In addition to Bowlsby and Roberts, other members of the panels will include: USA Today's Steve Berkowitz; the United States Olympic Committee's Scott Blackmun; USA Today's Christine Brennan; TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte; ESPN's Len Elmore; Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis; Former Congressman Tom McMillen; The New York Times' Joe Nocera; Former Arizona State University Athletic Director Lisa Love; Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel; and University of Kansas Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger. Brief biographical information about each panelist confirmed as of Oct. 7 is provided below.

Read the panelists' biographical information.

About the Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference is comprised of 10 Universities - Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Big 12 is an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics conference that encompasses five states with more than 38 million people within its geographic footprint. Entering its 19th year, the conference has produced 585 Academic All-America selections and claimed national championship team titles in 17 of its 23 sponsored sports. Its student-athletes and teams have combined for 552 individual NCAA titles and 53 team national championships. More than 4,200 student-athletes from across the United States and around the World compete annually under the Big 12 banner.