How Broken Must College Football Be to Fix It?

No matter how idealistically the N.C.A.A. talks about its student athletes (often swimmers or runners or soccer players — I once interviewed a Division I defender who was the valedictorian at Long Island University), the reality is that football and basketball at the top level are semipro enterprises grafted clumsily onto the fabric of education.

So why go through this charade every year? Can they not spin off big-time football vagabonds and one-and-done basketball shooting stars into some other category, like rock bands hired to entertain for the weekend?