Changing the Playbook: How Power, Profit, and Politics Transformed College Sports (Sport and Society)
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- the failed 1950 effort to pass a Sanity Code regulating payments to football players;
- the thorny racial integration of university sports programs;
- the boom in television money;
- the 1984 Supreme Court decision that settled who could control skyrocketing media revenues;
- Title IX's transformation of women's athletics;
- the cheating, eligibility, and recruitment scandals that tarnished college sports in the 1980s and 1990s;
- the ongoing controversy over paying student athletes a share of the enormous moneys harvested by schools and athletic departments.
A thought-provoking journey into the whos and whys of college sports history, Changing the Playbook reveals how the turning points of yesterday and today will impact tomorrow.
was slow. Southeastern Conference football teams, for example, first began to integrate their rosters in 1967, with Nat Northington, a football player at Kentucky who stayed on the roster for only a year. He left school unable to recover from the death of his black teammate, Greg Page, who had died from an injury during preseason practice. Tennessee played its first black footballer in 1968, followed by Auburn and Alabama in 1970. Even when these schools tried to recruit star athletes from
provided four-year packages that allowed aid to continue even if the recipient quit his team.5 It was not long, however, before coaches found the possibility of a four-year commitment an irksome inconvenience, one that could interfere with their ability to build a winning team and control those players they had so earnestly—and sometimes illegally—recruited. The challenges to authority, especially by black athletes, in the 1960s prompted coaches to emphasize that athletes who played under them
could entail refusal to “meet the normal good conduct obligations required of all team members, and defiance of the normal and necessary directions of departmental staff members [meaning coaches].”7 For the first time, a player who rebelled, did not work hard enough, or quit the team could lose his scholarship. As one coach remarked, “We don’t have to put up with troublemakers any more.”8 The 1967 rule was not enough. At the same time that athletic departments were dealing with the scholarship
coach’s outside income, such as from shoe and equipment contracts, be controlled by the institution; coaches receive long-term contracts; and general institutional funds supplement athletic revenues to lessen the responsibility of revenue sports to fund nonrevenue sports. 3. Certification, meaning NCAA accreditation to insure an athletic program’s integrity should be applied to all institutions granting athletic aid; 122 chapter 6 every university undertake annual audits of its athletic
defense. 2. Dennis J. Hutchinson, The Man Who Once Was Whizzer White: A Portrait of Justice Byron R. White (New York: Free Press, 1993), chapters 3, 4, and 7. 3. NCAA v. Board of Regents, 468 U.S. 85 (1984) 122. 4. Keith Dunnavant, The Fifty-Year Seduction: How Television Manipulated College Football, from the Birth of the Modern NCAA to the Creation of the BCS (New York: St. Notes to Chapter 4 171 Martin’s Press, 2004), pp. 120–24; Joseph N. Crowley, In the Arena: The NCAA’s First