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Unpaid Professionals Hardcover – August 8, 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although many of the problems facing college athletics today have been around for decades, the explosion of money and media attention has so raised the stakes that college sports is on the verge of self-destruction, argues Zimbalist (Baseball and Billions), a professor of economics at Smith College. The National Collegiate Athletic Association was formed in 1905 to address the problem of violence in college football. Between 1890 and 1905, Zimbalist reports, 330 students were killed playing the game, and President Theodore Roosevelt was threatening to intervene. But as Zimbalist convincingly argues, the NCAA's record of regulating intercollegiate athletics has been spotty at best. In his view, the NCAA is nothing more than a cartel geared toward protecting the association's own interests, as well as that of its largest members. By only tinkering with its well-established system, he charges, the NCAA has never effectively dealt with such longstanding problems as low graduation rates, point shaving, illegal payments to athletes (by alumni, agents and others) and gender inequality (although Zimbalist does allow that the NCAA has grudgingly made some progress enforcing Title IX, the 1972 law that mandates that collegiate women have the same access to sports as men). Zimbalist, who knows his way around the locker room and a balance sheet, provides a compelling case for the need to reform college athletics.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College who has written extensively on the business side of sports, assays whether big-time sports are worth the wealth of problems they create for colleges and universities. College sports frequently conflict with the educational mission of academic institutions, foster gender inequality, and lead to questionable compromises with the demands of advertisers and the media. Furthermore, the assigned overseeing body, the NCAA, is generally seen as corrupt and mismanaged. Zimbalist concludes with a ten-point reform program, including such steps as gathering financial support from professional leagues, having a quota of paid nonmatriculated athletes, cutting football scholarships nearly in half, shortening seasons, and eliminating freshman eligibility. A thoughtful, thought-provoking book; recommended for all libraries.AJohn M. Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; With a New postscript by the author edition (August 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691009554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691009551
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,206,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a valuable study of college sports. Zimbalist shows how much money is really lost by schools, and how foolish they are to pursue dreams of glory in college sports.
The one problem with the book is that the author, a college professor, really writes like one. It is often hard to figure out what he is talking about, but if you hang in there, when you do find out, it is usually worth it.
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By 21st centuryman on November 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good book the puts all the scandals into one place making it impossible to ignore how troubled the NCAA is. The book is a bit dated now, but basically the only difference is that the names have changed and the dollars are bigger. It also offers some possible solutions to these problems.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first heard about this Beautiful Book in The Final Call News Magazine. I read it many years ago and I had all of my students to read it. This is a Fantastic book. Every parent, middle and high school student or coach should read this book. The exploitation of our athletes. Beautiful Book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should be read by anyone working in or with college athletics as well as fans that want to understand the "business" behind the games. The author takes a view of the subject from many angles. The chapter dealing in the profit or loss of athletic departments is very enlightening particularly as it deals with the lack of accounting standard conformity.
In the last chapter the author recommends 10 steps to cure the problems. Frankly, I didn't find them compelling and generally not workable. This is a thought provoking read if you have interest in the subject but should not be purchased for entertainment purposes as it reads more like a business analysis.
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