Winner of 21 Sports Emmys® in 15 years, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL departs from its traditional format to present a special hour-long edition dedicated to the state of college sports in America. Presented three days before the men’s NCAA Final Four tip off in Houston, the show will present an entertaining and substantive dialogue on the current state of big-time athletics in college sports, addressing hot-button issues and offering practical solutions to current problems. Available in HDTV, the 168th edition of REAL SPORTS debuts WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: March 30 (4:55 a.m.) and 31 (4:15 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), and April 1 (8:00 a.m., 8:00 p.m.), 2 (11:00 a.m., 3:05 a.m.), 3 (3:30 p.m.), 4 (2:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m.) and 6 (7:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 3 (11:00 p.m.), 5 (8:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m.), 7 (noon, 2:30 a.m.), 9 (3:00 p.m.), 10 (8:00 a.m.) and 14 (1:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m.)
HBO On Demand availability: April 2-25
Two long-form segments anchor the program, setting the stage for an extended roundtable panel hosted by Bryant Gumbel and featuring former University of Michigan head football coach Rich Rodriguez, outspoken college basketball commentator Billy Packer and print journalist Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com. The group will address a host of issues relating to the NCAA and the regulation of its 1,055 member schools.
*The Money Trail. Every year, thousands of talented young student-athletes sign letters of intent and obtain full-ride athletic scholarships (tuition and board) from the biggest, wealthiest programs in America, effectively giving up all rights to revenue generated by their participation, including TV rights fees, merchandising and ticket sales. But with a dramatic increase in revenue from top programs and athletes’ growing awareness of their contribution, many are starting to ask if there should be financial compensation. REAL SPORTS correspondent Bernard Goldberg examines the notion of student-athletes remaining untainted amateurs while generating pro-type revenue for their schools. Are they getting a fair shake?
*Pay to Play. Should athletes at Division I programs be financially compensated? And would that curb the headline-grabbing stories of inappropriate payments and benefits? More and more standout athletes in top programs are seemingly putting their education on the back burner to focus on what’s really important – the money. Those destined for the NBA and NFL face the moral dilemma of dealing with “advisors” and “street agents” who can deliver the funds and material items they desire while in school in exchange for a promise of future reciprocation when they reach the pros. REAL SPORTS correspondent Andrea Kremer delves into the controversial and complex subject of premium college-bound athletes receiving benefits that are prohibited by the NCAA.
Producer: Tim Walker.
Immediately following the March 30 presentation of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, at 11:00 p.m. (ET), viewers can log on to hbo.com/realsports for an exclusive “overtime” webcast segment, in which the roundtable panel will continue the discussion and answer questions from viewers.
REAL SPORTS has won the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Sports Journalism 13 times, in addition to being the first sports program honored with the duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism.
The executive producers of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; Kirby Bradley is senior producer.