From Publishers Weekly
According to veteran sports-business journalist Yost, there never was a "golden era" of college sports, when gentlemen scholars learned sportsmanship and teamwork; rather, sports have always been a means for colleges to earn money, power, and esteem, too often resulting in illiterate college athletes and corrupt athletic programs. The difference today is the scale: the Rose Bowl, though no longer the highest earning bowl game, generates more than $570 million for the Southern California economy; Nike pays millions in multiyear contracts with universities including Florida State, Michigan, North Carolina, and Illinois; and of the kids who devote their life to a particular sport, less than two percent will have a meaningful professional career. Yost reveals college sports as little more than a "machine that churns out kids for America's elite basketball, football, and hockey leagues," sacrificing young people's futures for big money and bragging rights. At times, Yost seems unsure whether to play the worldly reporter or the wide-eyed innocent, but his report is mostly thorough and largely well-written; conspicuously left out, however, are. the voices of the athletes themselves. Still, this intelligent critique of the U.S. college athletics makes a captivating examination of America's infatuation with money, celebrity, and sports.
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"According to veteran sports-business journalist Yost, there never was a 'golden era' of college sports, when gentlemen scholars learned sportsmanship and teamwork; rather, sports have always been a means for colleges to earn money, power, and esteem, too often resulting in illiterate college athletes and corrupt athletic programs. ...(T)his intelligent critique of the U.S. college athletics makes a captivating examination of America's infatuation with money, celebrity, and sports."Publishers Weekly
"This provocative look at college athletics by sports and business journalist Yost is sure to start some conversations. In no uncertain terms, Yost accuses the NCAA of being morally bankrupt and exploiting poor, inner-city youth as chattel that feeds a protection racket lining the pockets of the rich and powerful. ...Yost's book focuses primarily on football but will appeal widely to anyone with an interest in high school or college athletics. Though clearly opinionated, it is an excellent primer on the business of college sports."Library Journal
"The most informed, most dogged analyst of the finances of sports is clearly Mark Yost. Are the hand-wringing, issue-concerned administrators of college sports ready for him? He's ready for them." Bob Boyles, co-author, The USA TODAY College Football Encyclopedia
"In Varsity Green, Mark Yost joins the voices outside the stadium or fieldhouse who decry the hypocrisy and corruption in college athletics, and in weaving together the many aspects and actors he demonstrates that the madness is not just confined to March."Allen R. Sanderson, University of Chicago
"Mark Yost lays bare the sordid details of the corrupting influence big money has on college athletics and academic integrity at many of our institutions of higher learning. The writing is entertaining, the facts disturbing."Dennis Coates, Department of Economics, UMBC
"Mark Yost tells a readable story that presents recent research on college athletics in a very stimulating manner. The title of the opening chapter on the student athlete says it all: 'The Entertainment Product.'"Phil Miller, Minnesota State University, Mankato
"Mark Yost ranks among the elite of 'sport and business of sport' writers. Honest and fearless, Varsity Green will excite both the hard core fan, as well as the casual NCAA observer. A Great read!" Roy Green, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Canada