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College Athletes for Hire: The Evolution and Legacy of the NCAA's Amateur Myth Hardcover – July 30, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0275961916 ISBN-10: 0275961915

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College Athletes for Hire: The Evolution and Legacy of the NCAA's Amateur Myth + Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform (Sport and Society) + Should College Athletes Be Paid? (At Issue)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (July 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275961915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275961916
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The heart of the authors' argument is that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) continues to maintain "that corporate college sport is education rather than business" and that the educational establishment "has rallied around the myth." Sack, a professor of sociology and management at the Univ. of New Haven in Conn. and a former college football star, and Staurowsky, who teaches sports sciences at Ithaca College in N.Y. and is a former college athletic director, finger the NCAA as their villain. They accuse the organization of pretending to embrace amateurism while fighting for professionalism during the past half century; of helping colleges avoid suits by seriously injured athletes who were being used for financial gain; and of allowing schools to give athletic scholarships to students who were unqualified academically. The authors further charge the NCAA with sabotaging women's sports programs in an attempt "effectively to deny women equal educational opportunities." Their solution is a two-tiered system that would allow certain colleges to field semipro teams and to pay their players accordingly (as some institutions have been doing for decades), while other schools would have strictly amateur teams. The historical perspective provided in this well-organized study helps readers to better understand how the present system came about.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Unsportsmanlike Conduct (LJ 10/1/95), written by former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) president Walter Byers, is used here as a platform to launch a discussion of the NCAA and its role in the development of big-money college basketball and football. Sack, coordinator of the Management of Sports Industries Program, University of New Haven, and Staurowsky (sport sciences, Ithaca Coll.) cover the usual ground concerning the exploitation of the student-athlete and the hypocrisy involved in pretending that education is the goal of the athletic scholarship. They go on to use the development of Division III college sports and the history of women's college athletics as evidence that college sports could have developed along other lines. A major theme of the book is Title IX and its effect on women' sports. The authors believe that it was a mixed blessing, providing women more access while forcing them into the competitive male model where education is incidental to athletics. A solid addition to any sports collection that should have particular appeal where there is interest in the political aspect of sports history and where there are women's programs.?Terry Jo Madden, Boise State Univ. Lib., ID
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on December 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As President of a D1 Athletic dept. fundraising board as well as a close friend of a recent coach who was fired during a scandal, I felt it was appropriate to review the role of college athletics in America. This book was a great starting point and gave exceptional historical reference to understand how our system got to where it is today.
This book reads like a college text so don't buy this for entertaining reading unless you are prepared to study this subject. The historical review is exceptional. I have to admit that I did not fully read the substantial section on women athletics although I did summary read. There were debates and NCAA rules passed in the 40s I was not aware of and am glad I discovered in this book. It also shows a historical backdrop to why the south is so overzealous about college sports. Frankly, I'm glad I read this book and would recommend it for anyone interested in the subject. I would not recommend it for light reading. The unique experience of the writers gives you respect in their ability to write this book and the opening by the athlete who was paralyzed frames why this subject should be reviewed further. As cynicism is creeping into my love for the sports of my alma mater, this book helped me understand the issues better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe Hajducky on February 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Mr.Sack and Ms. Staurowsky have seen collegiate athletics from the inside. Sack as a former scholarship football player at the Mecca of college football, the University of Notre Dame. Staurowsky as a former athlete, coach, and athletic director in the infancy of women's struggle to level the distribution of funding in college sports with their male counterparts. This "insider's" view gives the authors a vast amount of personal experience to draw from. But this book is not an expose` of personal experiences with college improprieties. The purpose of this manuscript is to educate the reader about the history of college sport and to dispel the theory that today"s Division I-A revenue producing programs are amateur athletics at their finest.
Part I of College Athletes for Hire, gives the reader an intense background on the amateur ideal that was a vital part of the lifestyle of the Gentleman-Aristocrat in Great Britain. To these "gentleman", sport was a leisure time activity. An important point here has an interesting effect on the path of college sports in America. With this amateur view, the sport of choice was partaken to benefit the athlete, not the spectator. When the focus of sport turned to the spectator, the amateur ideal was clouded.
Although this portion of the book is not an easy read, it expresses a movement towards spectatorship that, I believe had a tremendous effect on collegiate sport. This "spectatorism" in the early 1900's, was limited to attending games in person or listening via radio. But in the 1950's when the modern convenience we know as television came along, tremendous financial opportunities existed for the institutions and the governing bodies.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Goglia on April 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The purpose of this book is to show how college athletes started playing sports as amateurs, but quickly through athletic scholorships have turned towards professionalism. An amateur is one who engages in sports in their free time. This is leisure time, and athletes joining in this time will compete solely on thier will to play and not participate in return for room. board, tuition and fees. An athlete becomes a professional when one accepts an athletic scholorship which may include any of these incentives. This book is primarily about professionlism. The start of the Sanity Code showed signs that the NCAA was turning professional. The Sanity Code stated that financial aid could be awarded to students on the basis of their athletic ability. They called these gifts for play, not pay for play. Recieving any payment at all according to Sack and Staurowsky, makes that athlete a professional. This book touches on the relationships between coaches and players. Under scholorship, athletes must perform under the rules of the coach. I just recently finished my senior year of Division II football. I was under scholorship and my coach did have total control over my actions. My coach acted as the employer, and I was the employee. Schools that don't offer scholorships such as the Ivy League, and Division III schools, players aren't under such strict control. Athletes don't have to practice or play if they don't want to. These players are under no obligation to their coaches. The authors give a good argument that under scholorships, athletes are held under contract, similar to an employee contract. Chapter 5 was a very interesting chapter. The authors explained how sholorships turned into employee contracts through the issue of worker's compensation.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt Mentone on February 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
An in depth look at the evolution of both amateurism andthe NCAA, Sack & Staurowsky take a historical view to show how theNCAA falsely classifies college athletes as amateurs. The authors look at current labor and contract laws, as well as historical court cases, to draw comparisons to what the NCAA refers to as athletic scholarships. Are athletic scholarships a gift given for ability? Or, are they a payment for services rendered. The authors argue that scholarships are an employment contract for services. The fact that the scholarships must be renewed every year by the coach, and can be taken away from a player for what the coach deems poor performance, or for that matter even an injury, make the arguement a very strong one. If scholarships were merely a gift, then shouldn't an athlete be allowed to walk away from the sport with no prospect of financial harm?
By current NCAA standards, the authors say this is not the case. "College Athletes for Hire" shows how and why the NCAA passed legislation allowing for one year renewable scholarships giving total control of the coach over the athlete both on the field, and in some cases off. Furthermore, athletes are awarded these athletic scholarships on athletic ability alone, with no consideration of academics or, in many cases, personal character. The thesis argued by Sack and Staurowsky that athletes are already 'unpaid professionals' is even stronger when the authors use a legal perspective to show how courts have interpreted employment contracts. When discussing amateurism and scholarships, a working definition and background is needed.
The book does a good job in providing a history of what amateurism is defined as.
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