Amateur sports have undergone a massive upheaval, particularly at the collegiate level. A Supreme Court ruling in July 2021 was the primary cause. The Out of Bounds podcast explores the implications of that decision. It tells the personal stories of college athletes making sponsorship money for the first time in history.
Chris Ballard is the narrator and cocreator of Out of Bounds. Ballard is a writer who focuses on sports journalism. He is also a teacher. His work has been a part of notable publications such as Sports Illustrated. Ballard is a former college athlete, which motivated him to start this podcast.
Each episode of this six-part podcast series focuses on a different athlete. The participants are diverse in gender, race, and age. What they all have in common is being forced by the NCAA to make difficult choices about their future. It is hard to ask someone not to accept millions of dollars. The stakes are high because many college athletes' careers end at school. They do not get the chance to go pro and continue making money. How does one navigate all that pressure?
That is the primary question that Ballard and his team set out to answer on the podcast. However, a more complex question lies underneath the surface. It proves to be a common thread in all these stories. As a result of the ruling, are amateur sports now de facto non-existent in the United States? Where do athletes go from here, and how do they continue in this climate? Is there space for them to operate in such a complex landscape? What is the best and fairest way to treat these athletes?
Out of Bounds is a compelling listen that asks smart questions about the world of amateur sports. The entire six-part podcast series is available for listeners to enjoy.