17:21 PM

Olivas to Moderate College Sports Debate at UH Law Center

Is college sports broken? Are student-athletes a quaint notion from the distant past? Should players be paid and cash in on the merchandising dollars that colleges reap? Or is the lasting value of a free education payment enough?

A New York Times columnist and an ESPN/CBS sports analyst will square off on these issues and more at noon on Friday, April 1, in Room 209 of the Bates Law Building, at the University of Houston Law Center as a run-up to Final Four weekend.

The debate will also be streamed live here.

Joe Nocera, NYT sports business columnist and author of "Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA," believes the NCAA unfairly restricts the rights of college athletes, including the right to be paid. Former NCAA and NBA player Len Elmore, a Harvard educated attorney and basketball analyst for ESPN and CBS, believes a system that continues to improve its benefit to students as athletes should not be discarded.

Interim University of Houston-Downtown President Michael A. Olivas will serve as moderator. Olivas is also a University of Houston Law Center professor, director of the school's Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance (IHELG), and the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law. IHELG is co-sponsor of the debate.

March Madness continues Saturday at NRG Stadium as Oklahoma faces Villanova and Syracuse takes on North Carolina with the winners advancing to Monday's championship game.

Click here to RSVP for the event. Please email Elena Hawthorne at ehawthor@central.uh.edu or call 713- 743-1125 with any questions.