Story originally posted April 14, 2014, 6:39 a.m.
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UNC isn’t the only university being accused of mistreating student-athletes and one group has set out to fix what many have said is a national problem.
The Drake Group was started in 1999 by a former professor of Drake University–its website says its mission is to “defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.”
David Ridpath is one of the 17 authors of The Drake Group. UNC history professor Jay Smith is also one of the authors listed in the group and says he has a book due out sometime in the near future.
Ridpath’s book centers around Marshall University where he was an athletic administrator. A brief description of the book Tainted Glory: Marshall University, the NCAA, and One Man’s Fight for Justice says in less than five years, Ridpath’s career as an athletic administrator trying to reform “one of the most corrupt athletic departments in college sports” was over.
Ridpath was an assistant athletic director for compliance and student services, and his experience extends much further than just that position.
He says, to put it plainly, he was discouraged by the fact the intercollegiate athletics were not what they were advertised to be.
“I found out that intercollegiate athletics was not what I thought, which was this pure exercise of young men and women being able to go to school and get a college degree while participating in a sport that they love,” Ridpath says.
Ridpath is now an Associate Professor and Kahandas Nandola Professor of Sports Administration at Ohio University.
“I do think we’ve reached a point now that you have really the worst nightmare of the NCAA coming through, and that is the athletes organizing,” Ridpath says. “Certainly technology, social media, those types of things have really helped us just in the world in many ways, but the athletes are able to organize and really, they are the ones with the real power.”