The Dark Heart of College Sports


Here is an actual thing said by an actual sports marketing executive to a group of commissioners trying to reform college sports:

“You sold your souls, and you’re going to continue selling them. You can be very moral and righteous in asking me that question, sir…but there’s not one of you in this room that’s going to turn down any of our money. You’re going to take it. I can only offer it.”

Read Taylor Branch’s Atlantic essay for more on scandal, corruption, and exploitation in college athletics. It’s long but riveting the whole way through, even for those of us who can’t tell the difference between a basketball and a football.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →