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Games Colleges Play : Scandal and Reform in Intercollegiate Athletics

ISBN: 9780801855047 | 0801855047
Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr
Pub. Date: 11/14/1996

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In Games Colleges Play John Thelin chronicles the history of intercollegiate athletics from 1910 to 1990 from the early, glory days of Knute Rockne and the "Gipper" to the modern era of big budgets, powerful coaches, and pampered players. He describes how "extracurricular" sports programs seldom accorded equal prominence with teaching and research in mission statements or annual reports have become central to the life of many universities. As administrators search for a proper balance between athletics and academics, Thelin observes, this "peculiar institution" in American higher education grows increasingly powerful and controversial. Looking past the playing fields and lavish facilities into board rooms and administrative suites, Thelin finds disturbing patterns of abuse and limited reform and explores the implications of these patterns for today's college presidents, faculty, and students. He examines the 1929 Carnegie Foundation Report, the formation of major athletic conferences, the national college basketball scandals after World War II, the dissolution of the Pacific Coast Conference in the 1950s, and the Knight Foundation Report of 1991. Games Colleges Play provides historical background that will inform current policy discussions about the proper place of intercollegiate athletics within the American university. "Intercollegiate athletics has been a perennial source of opportunity and temptation", concludes Thelin, "as the American campus has worked and re-worked its relations with American culture".


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