The Underground College Basketball Economy

This week, Michele and Igor sit down with Kevin Merida to discuss issues of sports and race.

It’s March Madness! As basketball fever sweeps through the country, Michele and Igor speak with Kevin Merida, senior vice president at ESPN and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, to discuss the FBI investigation into the NCAA’s alleged illegal payments to student-athletes, the NBA’s consideration to do away with the one-and-done rule, and the role that race might play in determining which professional sports require college experience. Then, Merida gives his take on the experience of black athletes during the Trump administration and the different challenges facing black journalists today as compared with their trailblazing predecessors.

Learn more about the podcast here.

Michele Jawando is a vice president at the Center for American Progress. Igor Volsky is a vice president at the Center. Sally Tucker is the radio coordinator for Communications at the Center. Rachel Rosen is the senior director of Broadcast Communications at the Center. Kyle Epstein is the senior media coordinator at the Center.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Michele L. Jawando

Vice President

Igor Volsky

Vice President

Sally Tucker

Broadcast Coordinator

Rachel Rosen

Senior Director, Broadcast Communications

Kyle Epstein

Manager, Media Relations

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