College sports and point-shaving have a long history. No surprise, given that college athletes are often cash-strapped kids on scholarship from poor backgrounds. In the current environment, they exist in a hypocritical environment in which it may seem that everyone around them, from coaches to administrators, is getting rich off their athletic abilities. Figone, a former head coach in college and high school, has written a carefully researched and annotated history of game fixing in college basketball and football. Basketball, of course, has been the favorite of fixers through the years, likely because there are fewer variables (players) competing and a couple of key basketball players can have a very effective yet subtle influence on a game. Gambling and fixing games became a real issue after WWII and was centered on the East Coast. But it quickly spread. Figone presents the various scandals in great detail yet generally avoids moral condemnation. He’s written a history, not a sermon. A compelling, informative look into the dark side of collegiate athletics. --Wes Lukowsky
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"Cheating the Spread is an important study that usefully synthesizes existing literature on college sports gambling and the major scandals and provides a wealth of new information gleaned from heretofore untapped sources. The exhaustive research in Cheating the Spread has a comprehensive sweep that is stunning."
--Richard O. Davies, author of Sports in American Life: A History
"A compelling, informative look into the dark side of collegiate athletics."--Booklist
"An informative account illustrating the nature of incentives in big-time college athletics. It should be required reading for any serious student of college athletics."--The International Journal of the History of Sport