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College Sports Insider With Jack Ford

In this weekly podcast, journalist Jack Ford (“60 Minutes Sports,” “Good Morning America,” NBC News) interviews individuals who have unique insight into the world of college sports. Produced by the NCAA and Champion magazine, episodes delve into the most pressing topics of the day and offer behind-the-scenes points of view from those who shape college athletics.

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How the Committee on Infractions Works

October 9, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions is often at the center of major news related to college sports. But who makes up that body? And how does it function? The basics: It is composed of athletics administrators from schools throughout the country and even some members of the public, and is tasked with adjudicating cases argued by NCAA enforcement staff and member schools. In this episode, the committee’s chair describes the process in detail. Greg Christopher, athletics director at Xavier and Division I Committee on Infractions chair, with guest host Cameron Schuh.


Title IX at 45

October 2, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

Forty-five years after landmark legislation was passed that ensured equity in higher education, including athletics, how much progress has been made? An examination of how Title IX came to be and its effect on a generation of young women. Though progress has been made, the road to true equality remains long and winding. Jack Ford with Amy Wilson, NCAA director of inclusion.


The View from Alaska

September 25, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

How do small schools in far-flung locales manage to maintain an athletics program? What logistical and budgetary hurdles do they face? How do student-athletes who take numerous road trips of hundreds of miles balance their obligations to sports and school? An administrator from one of the NCAA’s most remote universities shares how his program tackles those challenges. Jack Ford with Gary Gray, director of athletics at Alaska Fairbanks.


Three Divisions, One Mission

September 18, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

At the highest level of NCAA governance — the NCAA Board of Governors — representatives from all three divisions debate issues and initiatives that can have profound effects on schools at each level. Division I has more seats at the table, but the other two divisions make sure to have their voices heard. A Division III perspective on how the biggest decisions are made. Jack Ford with Alan Cureton, president of Northwestern-St. Paul and vice chair of the Division III Presidents Council.


Open Borders?

September 11, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

Division II welcomed Simon Fraser, a Canadian university, to its ranks via a pilot program in 2012. That program is now permanent, and other international schools have expressed interest in joining the NCAA. Division II is weighing whether to open its doors to schools in Mexico, and some administrators are eager to see international expansion. Jack Ford with Les Wong, president of San Francisco State.


Travel Madness in March

September 4, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

The job of the small team that coordinates travel to the NCAA’s 90 championships is most frenetic in March. They must help ferry men’s and women’s basketball teams — among those from several other sports — through the month’s madness. A dive into the behind-the-scenes chaos and what it takes to ensure everyone reaches their destination before tipoff. Jack Ford with Juanita Sheely, NCAA director of travel and insurance.


Combating Sexual Violence on Campus

August 28, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

As college campuses across the country grapple with incidents of sexual assault, the NCAA Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence is considering college sports’ role in not only preventing sexual violence, but in influencing the culture that amplifies the problem. Jack Ford with Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, co-chair of the commission and superintendent at Army West Point.


Where Are the Women?

August 21, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

In 1972, women coached more than 90 percent of college women’s teams. Today, they coach fewer than half. One Champion magazine reporter was determined to find out why. The answer, she learned, wasn’t simple — nor are the solutions that could reverse the trend. Jack Ford with Champion Assistant Editor Rachel Stark.


How Sports Draw Students

August 14, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

The enrollment of a small college in Michigan has roughly doubled since 2005. How? The new college president invested in athletics facilities and expanded the college’s sports programs, making Adrian more appealing to a wider swath of students. He feels other small colleges struggling to maintain enrollment and stay solvent can adopt similar strategies and details how, precisely, Adrian has transformed in recent years. Jack Ford with Jeff Docking, president of Adrian.


Closing the Race and Gender Gap

August 7, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

College sports suffer from a dearth of minority and female coaches and administrators. A conversation about the obstacles minority candidates face as they seek to climb the ladder and details about programs made available in recent years that help close the gap. Jack Ford with Bernard Franklin, NCAA chief inclusion officer.


Examining College Athletes’ Mental Health

July 31, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

The NCAA Sport Science Institute is tasked with addressing a litany of health and safety concerns — concussions and cardiac health among them. But the group’s principal challenge? Mental health. A discussion about how difficulties with mental health can affect college athletes and what services some schools are offering to help. Jack Ford with Dr. Brian Hainline, NCAA chief medical officer.


Coming Out in the South

July 24, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

An openly gay college administrator from Mississippi reflects on the difficulties he faced growing up the South, how he came to find acceptance in the world of higher education and how those experiences help him relate to college athletes and other students today. Jack Ford with Brit Katz, Millsaps vice president of student life and dean of students.


How NCAA Enforcement Works

July 17, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

The NCAA’s enforcement division is often derided by college sports fans after major penalties are handed down to schools found to have violated the rules. But what, really, is the group’s role? And how does it function? The department’s leader delivers a step-by-step breakdown of the process. Jack Ford with Jon Duncan, NCAA vice president of enforcement.


The Quest to Understand Concussions

July 10, 2017 | Listen on SoundCloud

In 2014, the NCAA and Department of Defense launched the largest concussion study in history. Slated to continue for years, perhaps decades, the CARE Consortium study has enrolled nearly 30,000 athletes and cadets at colleges and military academies across the country. One of the study’s primary investigators examines researchers’ preliminary findings, the significant questions they hope to answer — and how they plan to get there. Jack Ford with Tom McAllister, CARE Consortium principal investigator and chair of the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.