Second Edition Features

This new edition features:

=Updated and new material. More than half of the figures and tables are either new or revised versions of ones contained in the first edition.

=An entirely new chapter that focuses on the role played by college sports in social identity. Using obituaries, sales of specialty license plates, and evidence of sharp discontinuities along state borders, this chapter documents the strong personal connections that many fans have with their favorite team (and university).

=New coverage of recent scandals, including the Justice Department’s probe into cash payoffs as well as scandals at the University of North Carolina, Penn State, Baylor, and Louisville.

=Discussion of two looming threats to the existing business model of big-time college sports: the prospect of having to compensate players and the possibility that the sport of football may be causing significant long-term brain damage.

=Describes new studies of the effects of college spectator sports.  One documents how football success at one university affected students’ academic effort. Another shows how behavior surrounding college football games leads to sexual assaults. A third connects March Madness with binge drinking. A fourth reveals an astounding link between one university’s football games and subsequent decisions by judges in the state’s juvenile courts.

Like the first edition, this book views universities as they are, not as purists might wish them to be.  It avoids outrage as well as uncritical adoration. It aims, instead, to present an honest accounting of the costs and benefits of commercial sports as practiced by American universities.