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FROM THIS EPISODE

Boosters of big-time, "amateur" college sports say "student athletes" are getting free educations and possible pro careers, but critics say they are unpaid professionals victimized by academic fraud. Should they be paid? 

Also, was mental illness behind the Germanwings crash? On today's Talking Point, DEA agents and sex parties in South America.

Photo: Matt C

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Sasa Woodruff
Mike Kessler

Was Mental Illness behind the Germanwings Crash? 6 MIN, 21 SEC

The Germanwings co-copilot accused of deliberately crashing his plane may have been suffering from mental illness. Investigators have found torn medical notes excusing Andreas Lubitz from work — which he failed to share with Lufthansa, his employer. Vivienne Walt is covering the story for Time magazine from her base in Paris.

Guests:
Vivienne Walt, Time magazine (@vivwalt)

The Crazy Money behind "March Madness" 33 MIN, 20 SEC

This year's NCAA basketball championships will generate $1.5 billion; Division One athletics are major business. Big schools get big money and coaches make millions, but many players may be left with nothing but injuries — and no education at all. "March Madness" usually features Syracuse University, where millionaire coach Jim Boeheim has developed a winning record. But, after penalties leveled by the NCAA, Syracuse withdrew from this year's competition, and while Syracuse and North Carolina may be this year's examples of how academic fraud victimizes "student athletes," the practice is widespread. As another season is winding down, is it time to give the players what they're really worth? What's the best way to do it?

Guests:
Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times (@hiltzikm)
Michael Hausfeld, Hausfeld Global Litigation Solutions (@HausfeldGlobal)
Ed O'Bannon, former power forward for the UCLA Bruins (@Ed_OBannon)
Andrew Zimbalist, Smith College

More:
Hiltzik on the expense, distraction of big-time sports undermining the purpose of the university
O'Bannon v. NCAA

DEA Agents Busted for Sex Party 10 MIN

After revelations of misconduct, Secret Service agents have been fired or forced to retire. They claim Drug Enforcement Agency operatives are being slapped on the wrist for much more serious infractions.  This after the Justice Department reported that Drug Enforcement agents assigned overseas took part in "sex parties" with prostitutes — provided by local drug cartels. Carol Leonnig is reporting the story for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Carol Leonnig, Washington Post (@CarolLeonnig)

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