Les Cochran Blog

Fiction Author

April 15, 2017
by lescochranblog
10 Comments

WILD RIDE TO WEAVERVILLE

Greetings,

Today I’m continuing the wild ride story I started in my last post. We began our wild ride as we left Florida where we had lived for many years.  And YES, as my title says our wild ride ended in Weaverville, a small community ten minutes north of Asheville, NC and just seventeen miles south of the Tennessee line.

Following Lin’s sale of our Florida house a year ago last March, I reserved a U-Haul and Lin started packing.  Having sold our house lock, stock and barrel (meaning all furniture, accessories and even the toaster), I knew a small-sized truck would be ample.  Two weeks later, I ordered a larger truck and more boxes.  Lin kept on packing.

Finally, at the last moment—4:30—the buyers were moving in at 5:00 PM, I stuffed in the last box and started the truck.  Lin was still cleaning toilets, kitchen counters and who knows what?  I pulled onto the street and waited patiently (not one of my strong suits).  And then a miracle happened, Lin’s mini-van started rolling down the driveway and pulled up behind me.

With reservations in Jacksonville, FL that night, we took to the road.  It was a wild ride—I must admit—pressing sixty-five miles per hour through Orlando I didn’t even notice the Disneyland exit.

A day later, we unloaded our belongings at our friend’s second home in Arden, NC which would rent until we figured out where we’d end up; basically, we did an “unload and leave” and headed for the North Carolina beach to visit friends.

After a few days stay and lots of wine, we were refreshed and back on the road again.  I gunned it, another wild ride back to Florida for my annual Cardinal Spring Training trek with my son (this time our wives were included).  We had a fun time telling stories, reminiscing, and watching the Cardinals win.

Taking a more leisurely drive back to North Carolina (no more wild rides); we realized we were “homeless” and needed to look for a place to build a home.  Our requirements were simple; it had to be:

  • Within fifteen minutes of Asheville,
  • In a gated community,
  • In a development with a club house/community center.
  • In a maintenance-free community, and
  • On a flat lot.

We had plenty of choices until it came to the last criterion—a flat lot.  At each stop, I felt like I received the preverbal look from the salesperson, “A flat lot in Asheville, you’ve got to be kidding.”

Eventually we found one in Weaverville, a busy little town of very friendly people. The fact there are at least eight restaurants on Main Street helped us understand why it was so busy.  It’s like a European village with two hair salons, a barber shop, library, pharmacy, a frame shop, and three art stores featuring many local artists.  Once a month Harley Davidson bikers gather on Main Street in Weaverville for a BBQ and music.  Talk about “wild ride,” how about riding a Harley up and down and around the mountains!

Another little piece of wildness entered our adventure as we searched for a place to build.  Our plan was to make the interior of our home contemporary, knowing the exterior would most likely have to resemble a typical mountain home. Luck stepped in again when we mentioned contemporary style to the realtor who said “I’ve got just the place for you. There is a section of this development where all houses must be contemporary on the outside and there is a flat lot there that you will love.”   How we were so lucky to find a flat lot with a glorious mountain vista in a contemporary style alcove, I’m not sure.

Needless to say, we began creating a plan.  Without State requirement to have an architect, I drew upon my old drafting skills, Lin put on her designer hat, and we embarked on a different kind of “wild ride.”

Over the years we’d built many homes and renovated several buildings, but this was a new venture with lots of unknowns on the horizon.  Other than our downsized budget and self-imposed 2500 sq. ft. maximum, there were no limits—no model plans, no existing walls or parameters.

We were free to go on another “wild ride!”

April 1, 2017
by lescochranblog
7 Comments

REIGNITING MY BLOG—NO JOKE!

Yes, I really am getting back onboard with my blog. While April 1st is often the day to fool people and play jokes, I won’t be fooling you.  I’m coming out of my blogging hiatus.  Rather than making periodic posts, you’ll be receiving blogs, on a regular basis, filled with insights about my personal life and my many experiences developing and writing new novels.

Before we embark on that journey, I’d like to update you on some of the most recent happenings in my life.  To say the least, it’s been a wild ride!

My wife Lin and I have entered into a truly new phase of our lives.  It’s not that we’ve moved and are building a new home.  “Old hat … so what’s new?” some of our closest friends would say.

And yes, they’re right.  Those who know us (some longer than any of us would admit), know we really enjoy the challenge of designing and building our homes as the current project is our seventh.  While Lin and I agree there is something special about our latest project – –  that story must wait for a future blog.

Back to the wild ride!

During my last five years in Florida, I had seven hospital stays and bills totaling over $1 million (even with hospital-monopoly money that’s a lot).  But the impact on me was far more than the numbers might convey.  During the last year or so in Florida, walking to the mailbox was a literal “sweat-a-thon.” I was soaked with perspiration, ready for a shower – – the heat and humidity had gotten to me.

Lin and I talked about this issue numerous times – – we loved our Florida friends and community—but finally came to the conclusion we needed to move.

Like always, Lin took the bull by the horns.  It wasn’t long before she’d sold our home and we were packing boxes.

Without firm plans we were “homeless” and heading for the mountains.  Stay tuned for “the rest of the story.”

Special Note: Lin does the mechanics of posting my blog and always wants me to include a picture.  Last fall we did a photo shoot for my new series “Thorn Birds Confront Detroit Mafia.” Since I used the phrase “wild ride” in the post, she thought this shot of me (with my logo for the series) resembles an old man on a wild ride – – do you agree?

November 28, 2016
by lescochranblog
5 Comments

SAX CLUB – New Book About Detroit Mafia in 1970s Released

Hi Everyone.  I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy time with family and friends.

Book Launch in Detroit

I’m happy to report that the launch of Sax Club: Thorn Birds of Detroit Confront Mafia, my first book in the new series, was a lot of fun.  Lin and I had a great experience in Detroit and met some wonderful people.  I’ll share a few stories about the big kick-off in Detroit later.  Before I do that I want to thank you for your support as I’ve moved into a new chapter in my life; writing fiction has become an exciting venture made possible only through the help of so many of my friends.  Thanks to all of you.

Sax Club is my fourth book; it is historical fiction featuring the mafia in Detroit in the late 1970s.  The “thorn birds” are the local citizens who fought to save their city.  I lived in Detroit and taught high school in the inner-city during that era.  I hope you enjoy reading Sax Club; it‘s now available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and iTunes.  If you’d like an autographed copy please drop a line to Author@LesCochran.com

Book Reviews

As you know, I had to develop new skills in making the transition from writing academic documents to creating fictional novels.  Now I am learning how to market my books—it’s a full-time job.  Thank goodness Lin is willing to carry a lot of the load.  I need your help too.  If you like Sax Club, I hope you’ll write a short review and submit it to the online site where you purchase the book. Reviews are critical for independent authors (known as indie authors).

Now Back to Detroit

All book-signing events were held at restaurants that are incorporated into the Sax Club story.  These restaurants existed in the 70s and are still vital today.  The first kick-off event was held at Roman Village Cucina Italiana in Dearborn, MI:  http://antoniosrestaurants.com  It was founded by Mr. Antonio Rugiero, an immigrant from Italy, who purchased a pizza place in 1964.  He met his wife (also from Italy) and they worked together to create a wonderful full-service restaurant; today there are four restaurants. In 2008 Mr. Rugiero passed away, but his wife (known as Mama Rita) and their four sons are busy at work every day.  His son Patrick was very enthusiastic about hosting the book kick-off.  We had the opportunity to meet many of his wonderful friends and best of all his mother Mama Rita!

Our host also engaged sketch artist Darrell Swift to create caricatures of attendees.  It added an interesting flair and fun to the event.  Of course, Lin and I both had Darrell sketch us; take a look.  Please note that he labeled Lin “Boss Lady” since she is the one doing all the marketing for my books.  I’m happy just creating the stories and doing book-signings.

I’ll share more stories about the kick-off events in Detroit in future posts. Please feel free to share this blog with friends from Detroit and any avid readers you may know.  If you are in Detroit, be sure to stop at one of the restaurants. Everything I ate was scrumptious. Even though I hadn’t tested the food before I included the restaurants in my book – – I have to pat myself on the back.  I couldn’t have made better choices.  Information about the other restaurants hosting events for the Sax Club launch will be shared in future blog posts.

Cheers to Detroit and Readers Everywhere!

lin-detroit     les-detroit

 

 

September 13, 2016
by lescochranblog
1 Comment

Sax Club is Gone But the Memories Live On!

Sax Club Detroit

Former Sax Club location

At dinner Friday night a new acquaintance asked me “How do you come up with story ideas for your books?”

“Be careful what you say” I teased. “My ideas come from my life and that of friends and new people I meet.” Actually, that is a question I’m often asked so I thought it might be a good idea to share how I got the title for the first book in my new historical fiction series about the mafia in Detroit.

The Sax Club at 2325 McNichols Road in Detroit inspired the naming of SAX CLUB: Thorn Birds of Detroit Confront Mafia. During the 1960s and 70s, it was one of the hottest places in Detroit.  It promoted itself as the oldest topless club in the city and was classier than most other places.

You could take your pick, any place in town—Benson’s, Centerfold, Dirty Harry’s, Foxy’s Strip Club, Please Station, Sassy Sandy’s, The Dutchess, Zoo, and countless others.  There were no “gentlemen’s clubs” in those days, Detroit was a working-man’s city.

On Friday nights back then the four (not three) musketeers as we called ourselves filed into the Sax Club.  It’d been another hard week for us at Wayne State University and the four doctoral students were ready to loosen up.

Harold Resnick arrived first, before five o’clock to save the perfect corner booth. He was from Brooklyn and drove a Volkswagen like a New York cabbie.  He kept spare fenders in his garage.  He’s the personality from whom I developed the character Renzo Ricciuti.  You can check him out on the cover of the book—he’s the one wearing the dark sunglasses (you’ll have to wait a bit to see the cover.)

Bill Wolansky arrived next so he’d have the seat directly in front of the center pole.  He was a Canadian from Alberta and very formal, in fact kind of stuffy; that is, until the Disc Jockey announced “Dagmar.”  She was a big-boned blonde who blew him away.

I usually sat beside Bill, to his right.  We were the two senior guys.  I had a flattop back then and drank Singapore Slings while waiting for Lou Anne to appear.  She was the classiest dancer at the Club and always dressed in white.

Most of the dancers were housewives, single parent moms, and Wayne State University students.  In a couple of days dancing they could rake-in more cash than most women could earn in a forty-hour week.

James Harris, an African-American, was the quite gentleman from Tuskegee.  Most of the time he watched the strippers out of the corner of his eye, except when the African-American dancer performed.  Resnick turned Jim’s head to force him to have the same pleasures we were having.

All of this makes it sound like something was going to happen with one of the women, but it didn’t.  We were there to do our regular debriefing and bring a little levity into our narrow, straight-forward academic lives.

One day, I announced, “I just finished chapter 3 of my dissertation.”

“You what?” Wolansky exclaimed, downing a Stroh’s. “How’d you do that?  Two weeks ago you were on chapter 1.”

“I’m on a roll with G. Harold (Dr. G. Harold Silvius was our doctoral adviser and tough as nails).

“Shit,” Bill said, knowing he’d started his dissertation six month ahead of me.

“Now on center pole, Dagmar,” the DJ announced.  All eyes turned to Bill and then back and forth between Dagmar and Bill until her set was over. We cheered to Bill’s delight and went back to our dissertation discussion—Resnick was still working on his proposal, draft 3.

“I’m telling you, Harold” I said.  “Print draft 4 on every page.  I started color-coding the old sections on draft 5 so G. Harold wouldn’t change parts he’d already approved.”

“Did it help?” Harris, who was yet to start his proposal, asked.

“Not a bit.” I laughed. “But it made me feel better.  It doesn’t matter what approach you use, G. Harold is going to make you go through 9 drafts.  That’s why it’s important to start labeling the drafts.”

I threw my arms up in the air as Lou Anne’s name was announced. A hush fell over the booth. “These Boots are Made for Walkin’” blasted from the speakers.  Pointing to me, Lou Anne started her routine, prancing around the stage then sliding up and down the pole.  Stomping her boots, she paused and ripped off her long white bellbottoms revealing her white hot pants.

Whistles and cat calls filled the place.  I cheered.  Lou Anne danced to the beat, pointing to me she slowly unbuttoned her white blouse.  The music stopped and she winked at me. I nodded, downed a Singapore Sling and turned to Bill.  “If you don’t get going I’ll have chapter 4 done before you.”

The challenge was on and so it went, week by week, each of us pushing the other.

Two weeks later a smiling Wolansky was watching Dagmar holding up an approved chapter 4.

I hope you can see how memories create characters for my stories. In my next post I’ll tell you more about the Sax Club and some the characters I met that come alive in my books. Anyone besides me remember the Sax Club?  I’d be great to hear you memories.  If you have a picture of the club (outside or in) or know anyone who might, I’d really like to see it.  I’ll even share it in a future blog post.

I’d also like to invite you to “Like” and Share my Facebook page. http://bit.ly/LesCochranAuthorPage  I will be dropping little clues and and sharing pictures as we approach the book release date.

Cheers to readers everywhere!

September 5, 2016
by lescochranblog
4 Comments

DETROIT: RECOLLECTIONS OF THE BEGINNING

Western High School DetroitOn a recent visit to Detroit I stopped by Western High School where I started my teaching career.  Having undergone a $28 million dollar renovation, the place looked brand new; it has been renamed Western International High School and is now one the city’s premier schools.

The day was filled with countless fond memories many of which found their way into my upcoming “Thorn Birds of Detroit” series.  A couple of experiences from my days living in Detroit didn’t make the series, but I’ll never forget them.

Recalling my first day of teaching makes me smile.  Since the old Tiger Stadium was in the district, I decided to use a baseball analogy with my first-period mechanical drawing class.

“In this class you get three strikes and you’re out!” I announced boldly.

I remember pausing for effect. “Now this is your first warning.”  I glanced around the room.  “Everyone hear that?”

Heads nodded up and down the rows of drafting tables.

“Now, here’s you second warning!  Did everyone hear that?”

The guys straighten on the stools.

“And now, I’d like to give you a third warning.  Does everyone realize that was your final warning?”

Not a word was said.

“And your ass!” came from the back of the room.

“And yours is gone,” I said, taking the student by the arm and marching him to the in-house phone and then waiting for the assistant principal to arrive.

The funniest part of the story came three hours later when I took a break in the men’s lounge.  I had no sooner closed the door when an old-timer called, “Hey Cochran, what in the hell did you do in your first-hour class?  Every kid in school is on alert!”

                                                                ***

The most moving experience I had while teaching at Western occurred at an away basketball game at Detroit Chadsey. I was coaching the JV squad and had a player by the name of Cleophus Pickett.  While six foot five, he defied all stereotypes—he wasn’t fast and couldn’t jump—but he was the nicest kid with the biggest smile you’d ever seen.

I played Cleophus every game; he even made a basket or two that season, but that’s not the story.

When we’d travel to away games, Cleophus was always the last one out of the locker room.  With all of the players on the bus, I’d run toward the locker room shouting, “Cleophus … Cleophus, where are you?”

The call always came. “I’m coming coach.” And then, the big smile would appear.

After the final game of the season at Chadsey, I walked slowly toward the locker room without saying a word.  Peeking inside, I saw Cleophus sitting on the bench tucking the tops of his socks inside his shoes—there were no bottoms!!

I stepped back and shouted, “Cleophus hurry up.”

“I’m coming coach.”

When we got back to Western that night I put my arm around him and asked him to come into my office.  I could feel his body shake; he may have thought he was going to get a beating like he often did at home.

I unlocked a storage cabinet and pulled out a box of twelve pairs of sweat socks.  “Thanks Cleophus for having a great season.”

A glaze filled his eyes.  We hugged each other and squeezed out the tears.

 

August 1, 2016
by lescochranblog
3 Comments

I’m Back in Action Again!

Hi Friends and Fans,

No . . . I didn’t fall off the face of the earth!  I moved.  Let me correct that – – I’ve moved twice since March 15th.

We are getting better organized every day.  And, I’m writing like crazy.  A new series will be coming out in the fall. As you can see from the new header on my blog – – it’s about the “Thorn Birds of Detroit.” (Psst . . . and the mafia :-))

The first novel in the series is ready. I’m working on #2 and #3 and just cooked up a new idea for #4.  I’ll be sending more information as we get closer to the release date.

In the meantime, you need to know that my marketing manager (aka my wife Lin) has been re-doing all our backroom machinations to keep my “Friends and Fans” organized and informed as well as learning lots of professional online marketing skills. Specifically,

  • You will be receiving my blog post via MailChimp (an email organizer.)
  • We have created a new Facebook page just for my “life as a fiction writer.”
  • Lots of novellas – – Yes, Lin has me writing short stories she is publishing and promoting as FREE ebooks to friends and fans.
  • There is so much more I want to tell – – but that would spoil the surprises.

Keep following as more will be coming soon!

 

 

May 19, 2016
by lescochranblog
1 Comment

Universities Have a Spending Problem

Hello Blog Friends,
I know I’ve posted about the high cost of college in the past, but this critical issue must be kept at the forefront.  It is just one of many education concerns we need to address as we try to improve education in our nation.  In the past the quality of education in the United States was the best in the world; today we rank twenty-sixth (26th)!

YES – twenty-five (25) other countries have surpassed us! So, so sad.
Recently there was an article in the Asheville, NC paper indicating the University of North Carolina Board of Governor’s was seeking permission to increase the percentage of out-of-state students as a way to generate more money for operation.  Of course, I had to share my thoughts about that “cop out” approach and suggest a few solutions of my own.  Please be assured that these solutions aren’t fictional (even though I am currently an author of fiction.)  Rather, they are examples of actual monetary management techniques my administrative team and I have successfully implemented.  With that introduction, here is my Letter to the Editor: Citizen-Times, Asheville, NC, published May 8, 2016.
                                                                        *   *   *   *   *
John Boyle’s story, “Is a college education really worth the costs?” in the May 1 edition of the Citizen-Times was right on target. He accurately portrayed the problem faced by most families across the nation — paying for a college education.

Over the past 35 years, public college tuition skyrocketed 12 times, doubling the rate of medical cost increases and quadrupling the rate of inflation. There were no legislative hearings on controlling costs, no action taken by state boards to reduce spending, and no changes in the way universities were managed.graph

The results were catastrophic — a $1.3 trillion student-loan debt — college access limited for millions, their daily spending ability curtailed, and their capability to make major purchases delayed. The suggestion by Lou Bissette, chairman of University of North Carolina Board of Governors, for the state to raise the limit on the percentage of out-of-state students won’t solve the problem.

Universities don’t need more money; they have a spending problem. The Board of Governors needs to face reality and force universities to spend less — change the way they do business, reduce administrative costs, eliminate deadwood faculty, and cut frivolous courses — without affecting the quality of education. It can and must be done!!  Students can no longer afford business as usual.

*   *   *   *   *

Please feel free to share your ideas on ways universities can better manage and/or reduce operational costs without reducing quality.  It can be done and it is past time for them focus on cost reductions.  Otherwise we will have fewer and fewer citizens able to obtain a college education!

April 25, 2016
by lescochranblog
0 comments

Athletics Should Disclose Finances

The April 18 USA TODAY story, “College spending looks unsustainable” only touched the financial tip of athletic-spending issues. Economist Andrew Zimbalist was right: “Politically, it’s not sustainable. Legally, it’s not sustainable. Economically, it’s not sustainable.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert acknowledged “a very small number of the 1,100 (NCAA members) have a positive cash flow, but sluffed it off. Fact is, a recent study by David Suggs at the University of Georgia found only eight of the athletic budgets at the nation’s major programs made a profit – hats off to Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana State, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Oklahoma, and Texas at Austin.

The rest of the universities lost millions of dollars that could have been used to support academic programs. The study also found the problem is getting worse — increases in athletic spending is growing at a rate double that of academic spending. That’s not good news for students nationally who combined have a $1.3 trillion debt.

While proponents justify athletic spending, studies find no link between winning teams and institutional success as measured by the number of applications, increases in fundraising dollars or state appropriations.

Universities should be required to annually disclose a detailed accounting of athletic spending and revenue.

Letter to the Editor, April 22, 2016 Asheville Citizen-Times, part of the USA Today Network

Les Cochran is former president of Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio

March 8, 2016
by lescochranblog
0 comments

Leave the Clowns Behind

Super Tuesday was the last call for the Republican “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth.” It’s time for Marco Rubio to leave the clowns behind, take his troop north, and help the elephants regain some common sense.

Our Senator needs to swallow hard one last time, throw away the script and help revive the Grand Old Party. Traveling to Ohio, he can hitch onto the John Kasich bandwagon, the only Republican candidate who beats Hillary Clinton in every poll.  Putting his ponies behind the Kasich horses will ensure success in the primaries and a win for a Kasich-VP Rubio ticket at the Republican Convention in Cleveland.

Sitting in the second seat for four or eight years is just what Senator Rubio needs—time to gain experience and mature as a leader.  His other choice is to stay with the clowns and watch his career get trumped.

By rallying behind John Kasich, Marco Rubio will ensure the continuation of the tradition that no man has ever become president without winning Ohio.  If he chooses to remain with the clowns, he will help foster a new tradition—no man or “woman” has ever become president without winning Ohio.

Putting oneself behind what is best for the country may be difficult to do, but it is the type of leadership our nation needs.

December 29, 2015
by lescochranblog
0 comments

College Bowl Games: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Published in Naples Daily News, Dec. 29, 2015

Not long ago playing a college football bowl game was something of institutional pride—parades and other events occupied the days in advance. Alumni filled the stadiums. Players were student-athletes, most graduated, and their teams were coached by men for the love of the game. All of that has changed!

College football bowl games have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. This year’s forty bowl-game schedule tipped the scales of all reason. Having teams with 6-6 records was bad enough, but this year the NCAA reached an all-time low. Three teams with 5-7 losing records will play. To provide credence for this decision the NCAA used the team’s most recent Academic Progress Rating to select the teams—even that doesn’t take away the bitter taste!

The teams included in the list were Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and San Jose State. Missouri declined; with all of their problems at least they got this one right. The others jumped at the opportunity, so the three will be playing in the Foster Farms Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl and the Cure Bowl.

Once again our nation’s foremost college presidents have taken another step in their long-standing practice of succumbing to the almighty dollar. Somehow they continue to miss the point—athletic expenditures are growing faster than new income and at a rate significantly higher than increases for academic programs—it’s about spending!

The latest comprehensive study reported that when governmental, student and university subsidizes were removed from the nation’s major athletic programs only eight institutions broke even or turned a profit. Hats off to the real winners—Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana State, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Oklahoma and Texas at Austin.

Over the last thirty-five years, the number of bowl games has increased from fifteen to forty. This timeframe also witnessed the greatest spike ever in college costs. While medical costs escalated six times, student costs jumped ten-fold at private institutions and skyrocketed twelve times at public universities.
Rising student athletic fees and the use of institutional subsidizes to athletic programs are a part of these costs, and contribute directly to the $1.3 trillion in student-loan debt now faced by college graduates.

More bowl games are not the answer; certainly fewer would be a step in the right direction. The University of Connecticut lost over in million dollars in their recent bowl appearance. Average attendance is at the lowest average in thirty-five years. President’s bending down to take teams with losing records is not the answer. More of the same won’t work.

University presidents must rethink the entire athletic paradigm and then commit to a long-term process that eliminates the use of student athletic fees, eradicates real and hidden institutional athletic subsidizes and make athletics fully responsible for living within the funds it generates. Such reform will be long and tedious, but without significant change both athletics and academic institutions risk the likelihood of an unpalatable political solution.

Rather than waiting, university presidents should seize opportunity by passing NCAA resolutions to:

• Reduce the number of football bowl games to twenty-five with the selection of teams based upon poll and computer rankings of the top fifty teams, expand the playoff system to the top eight teams and schedule the bowl games in the rank order of the teams playing. (Rationale: Restore the dignity of football bowl games, select teams based on the quality of their records, place more emphasis on playing the game on the field rather than having “experts” split hairs, and provide a sense of order to the culmination of the season.)

• Establish a ten-year process that will result in athletic programs “living within their means.” (Rationale: Eliminate the use of student athletic fees and dollars from other institutional sources currently used to support athletics; thereby, reducing the costs of higher education and reallocating dollars to academic programs.)

• Negotiate an ongoing contract with the National Football League that will annually increase the League’s subsidization of football scholarships in the nation’s major football programs. (Rationale: Currently universities function as a “quasi minor-league system for the NFL. It’s time for the NFL to pay its fair share so the financial burden on students can be eliminated.)

• Negotiate an ongoing contract with the National Basketball Association that will annually increase the Association’s subsidization for all Division I basketball programs. (Rationale: Same as for the NFL.)

• Establish an open process to measure institutional progress toward “living within their means,” and that significant scholarship reductions would result for those found in non-compliance. (Rationale: Create a public process with stringent penalties.)
It’s time to restore dignity to college bowl games—make them meaningful and uplifting again rather than sticking with the mundane.