By Justin Sink
Colleges and universities should do more to link coaches’ salaries to academic as well as athletic performance, Education Secretary Arne Duncan argued Monday.
"If they get that college degree, this is what we're talking about today, they have this huge opportunity in front of them," Duncan said. "If they don't have that, if they compete for a couple years and go back to the streets with nothing, they have absolutely been used, and that's not acceptable."
Duncan cited research into coaches' salaries that showed "the overwhelming majority of their incentives are tied to wins and losses."
"So the structure of this is backwards, and we'd love to see more coaches' contracts, to get any bonus, their student athletes would have to meet with a minimum academic success level," Duncan said.
A class-action lawsuit bought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon is scheduled to go to trial on Monday.
The suit alleges that the NCAA forced student athletes to relinquish rights to compensation for their image, even after they are no longer student-athletes. The suit could potentially upend rules about how the governing body regulates athlete behavior.