Games Colleges Play: Scandal and Reform in Intercollegiate Athletics

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JHU Press, Nov 14, 1996 - Education - 272 pages
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Featuring a new introduction by the author, the paperback edition of Games Colleges Play 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. John Thelin describes how sports programs—although seldom accorded official mention with teaching and research in the university mission statement—have become central to university life. As administrators search for a proper balance between athletics and academics, Thelin observes, this peculiar institution grows increasingly powerful and controversial.

Thelin 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. He finds disturbing patterns of abuse and limited reform and explores the implications of these patterns for today's college presidents, faculty, and students.

Games Colleges Play provides historical background that will inform current policy discussions about the proper place of intercollegiate athletics within the American university.


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1ntroduct1on American Higher Educat1ons
Responses to Reform 1930 to 1946
Schools for Scandal 1946 to 1960
Critics and Controversies 1960 to 1980
From Sports Page to Front Page 1980 to 1990

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About the author (1996)

John R. Thelin is professor of history of higher education and philanthropy at Indiana University. A former Chancellor Professor at the College of William and Mary, he is the author of Higher Education and Its Useful Past and co-author, with Lawrence L. Wiseman, of The Old College Try: Balancing Academics and Athletics in Higher Education. His research for this book was funded by a grant from the Spencer Foundation.

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