The Athletic Trap
How College Sports Corrupted the Academy
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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I would like to thank my editor, Greg Britton, for his excellent insights and suggestions and for his encouragement and support. His suggestion of the subtitle was especially helpful in sharpening my focus in preparing the manuscript. I would also like to thank Greg Nicholl for his assistance during the production process. I have...
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1. Commercialization, College Sports, and the Athletic Trap
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Under the headline “Division I Schools Spend More on Athletes than Education,” a USA Today story that would probably mystify many people outside the United States began: “Public universities competing in NCAA Division I sports spend as much as six times more per athlete than they spend to educate students.”1 Why...
2. The Intercollegiate Golden Triangle
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The idea of the intercollegiate golden triangle (IGT) that I introduced in chapter 1 is an essential conceptual tool throughout this book. It is a way of seeing and referring to the dominant structure of money, power, and prestige in commercialized college sports.1 The IGT is a social network of relationships linking universities, their...
3. The Business of College Sports
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The existence of the intercollegiate golden triangle (IGT) implies that there is much more to big-time college sports than what spectators or viewers see when they watch a football or men’s basketball game. These games are embedded in a network of relationships involving college presidents, athletic directors, coaches, marketing...
4. The Arms Race, Inequalities, and the Pressures of the College Sports Business
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The lack of public interest in the problems facing big-time college sports may explain continued popular support for these sports, but it does not make these problems go away. They include real and serious financial, ethical, and legal problems. Unlike the public, the people who run or are responsible for college sports cannot...
5. Deviance, Corruption, and Scandals in College Sports
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Revelations about illegal payments, cheating, exploitation of student-athletes, fixing, the crimes of athletes and coaches, and other transgressions in college sports have damaged the reputations of the deviant individuals and universities. Damaged reputations and NCAA penalties may have hurt these people and institutions for a...
6. Control and Reform in Big-Time College Sports
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The way governance is supposed to work in traditional universities is that the governing board is the final authority and is accountable in all matters relating to the general interest, well-being, and reputation of the institution it serves.1 Boards delegate responsibility for the daily operation of the university to presidents and...
7. Reforming College Sports
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Significant change in big-time college sports is difficult because its organizational structures, the athletic trap, and the culture of reverence that spawn and sustain them are deeply entrenched. We know, for example, how intractable the financial arms race has become, despite the fact that NCAA leaders and college presidents...
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The athletic trap is part reality and part illusion. Being involved in big-time college sports and having to pay its rising costs may seem very real to college presidents. After all, there are annual budgets to balance, star coaches, administrators, and other staff members in the athletic department to pay, facilities to pay for and maintain...
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About the Author
Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 2 line drawings
Publication Year: 2014