Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports

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9780691086903: Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports
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Big-time college sports embodies the ideals of amateurism and provides an important complement to university education. Or so its apologists would have us believe. As Andrew Zimbalist shows in this unprecedented analysis, college sports is really a massively commercialized industry based on activities that are often irrelevant and even harmful to education. Zimbalist combines groundbreaking empirical research and a talent for storytelling to provide a firm, factual basis for the many arguments that currently rage about the goals, history, structure, incentive system, and legal architecture of college sports. He paints a picture of a system in desperate need of reform and presents bold recommendations to chart a more sensible future.


Zimbalist begins by showing that today's problems are nothing new--that schools have been consumed for more than a century by debates about cheating, commercialism, and the erosion of academic standards. He then takes us into the world of the modern student athlete, explaining the incentives that, for example, encourage star athletes to abandon college for the pros, that create such useless courses as "The Theory of Basketball," and that lead students to ignore classes despite the astronomical odds against becoming a professional athlete. Zimbalist discusses the economic and legal aspects of gender equity in college sports. He assesses the economic impact of television and radio contracts and the financial rewards that come from winning major championships. He examines the often harmful effects of corporate sponsorship and shows that, despite such sponsorship, most schools run their athletic programs at a loss. Zimbalist also considers the relevance of antitrust laws to college sports and asks whether student athletes are ultimately exploited by the system.


Zimbalist's provocative recommendations include eliminating freshman eligibility for sports, restricting coaches' access to "sneaker money" from corporations, and ending the hypocrisy about professionalism by allowing teams to employ a quota of non-students as well as to receive funding from the pro leagues. A mixture of lively anecdotes, hard economic data, cogent arguments, and clear analysis, Unpaid Professionals will revitalize debate about a subject close to the hearts and minds of millions of Americans.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Even for the best-intentioned coaches and athletic directors, the landscape of big-time college sports is increasingly treacherous. Is any part of the 'ideal' of college sports salvageable? Andrew Zimbalist's book makes a valuable contribution for the consideration of that question."--Bob Costas

"In the straightforward, analytical manner that is the trademark of his work, Zimbalist clarifies the contradictions inherent in the paradoxical marriage between higher education and big-time college athletics. He challenges the NCAA to come to grips with some of the less appealing by-products of the organization's phenomenal growth and success."--Billy Hunter, executive director, National Basketball Players Association

"It's impossible to read this unsparing examination of the tension between the noble ideals of the academy and the base reality of the athletic-industrial complex that the academy has created, and not wonder: Why do we put up with it?"--Alexander Wolff, senior writer with Sports Illustrated, coauthor of Raw Recruits

"Zimbalist has executed a masterful analysis of how and why colleges and universities have increasingly commercialized athletic programs. He unmasks the dichotomy of the 'student-athlete' and reveals the reality and shortcomings of their compensation systems. His insightful look at the economic and government pressures compounding this schizophrenic system and his recommendations for either changing it or more effectively coping make for 'must' reading by any student or fan of sports."--Donna A. Lopiano, Ph.D., Executive Director, Women's Sports Foundation

"Through hard-headed investigation, detailed analysis, and lively storytelling, Andrew Zimbalist confirms the truth about major college athletics: that commercial motives and rewards give lie to the very ideals that define higher education. Unpaid Professionals is the starting point for all readers interested in knowing how we reached this sad state of affairs, and how we can get beyond it."--Tom McMillen, Head of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, and former NBA player and US congressman

"Andrew Zimbalist's book shatters the myth of the purity of college athletics and exposes it for what it is, big business. This insightful look into college athletics should be required reading for all incoming student-athletes."--Jim McIlvaine, center, New Jersey Nets, NBA

"In the coming decade, as big-time college sports and the NCAA are increasingly attacked, particularly in the courts, you will often see Professor Andrew Zimbalist as an expert witness. No economist understands intercollegiate athletics better, nor can explain the greed and avarice of its proponents more coherently. Unpaid Professionals is Zimbalist's masterful summing up of the history of college sports, its present predicament, and its uncertain prospects. If every American interested in this subject read this book, real reform would come to big-time college sports."--Murray Sperber, author of Onward to Victory: The Crises That Shaped College Sports

"This is a superbly researched book, as might be expected from someone with Zimbalist's reputation and accomplishments. It contains more information on the history and inside workings of the NCAA than anything I have ever seen in print."--James Quirk, coauthor of Hard Ball and Pay Dirt

About the Author:

Andrew Zimbalist is the Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College. He has published twelve books, including Baseball and Billions and (with Roger Noll) Sports, Jobs and Taxes. He has written widely on comparative economics and has consulted extensively in the sports industry. Most recently, he consulted for the National Basketball Players Association during the 1998-99 lockout. A frequent contributor to aca-demic journals as well as to publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, he was chosen by the Village Voice as the 1998 sports journalist of the year.

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. With a New postscript by the author. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Big-time college sports embodies the ideals of amateurism and provides an important complement to university education. Or so its apologists would have us believe. As Andrew Zimbalist shows in this unprecedented analysis, college sports is really a massively commercialized industry based on activities that are often irrelevant and even harmful to education. Zimbalist combines groundbreaking empirical research and a talent for storytelling to provide a firm, factual basis for the many arguments that currently rage about the goals, history, structure, incentive system, and legal architecture of college sports. He paints a picture of a system in desperate need of reform and presents bold recommendations to chart a more sensible future. Zimbalist begins by showing that today s problems are nothing new--that schools have been consumed for more than a century by debates about cheating, commercialism, and the erosion of academic standards. He then takes us into the world of the modern student athlete, explaining the incentives that, for example, encourage star athletes to abandon college for the pros, that create such useless courses as The Theory of Basketball, and that lead students to ignore classes despite the astronomical odds against becoming a professional athlete. Zimbalist discusses the economic and legal aspects of gender equity in college sports. He assesses the economic impact of television and radio contracts and the financial rewards that come from winning major championships. He examines the often harmful effects of corporate sponsorship and shows that, despite such sponsorship, most schools run their athletic programs at a loss. Zimbalist also considers the relevance of antitrust laws to college sports and asks whether student athletes are ultimately exploited by the system. Zimbalist s provocative recommendations include eliminating freshman eligibility for sports, restricting coaches access to sneaker money from corporations, and ending the hypocrisy about professionalism by allowing teams to employ a quota of non-students as well as to receive funding from the pro leagues. A mixture of lively anecdotes, hard economic data, cogent arguments, and clear analysis, Unpaid Professionals will revitalize debate about a subject close to the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. Seller Inventory # APC9780691086903

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. With a New postscript by the author. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Big-time college sports embodies the ideals of amateurism and provides an important complement to university education. Or so its apologists would have us believe. As Andrew Zimbalist shows in this unprecedented analysis, college sports is really a massively commercialized industry based on activities that are often irrelevant and even harmful to education. Zimbalist combines groundbreaking empirical research and a talent for storytelling to provide a firm, factual basis for the many arguments that currently rage about the goals, history, structure, incentive system, and legal architecture of college sports. He paints a picture of a system in desperate need of reform and presents bold recommendations to chart a more sensible future. Zimbalist begins by showing that today s problems are nothing new--that schools have been consumed for more than a century by debates about cheating, commercialism, and the erosion of academic standards. He then takes us into the world of the modern student athlete, explaining the incentives that, for example, encourage star athletes to abandon college for the pros, that create such useless courses as The Theory of Basketball, and that lead students to ignore classes despite the astronomical odds against becoming a professional athlete. Zimbalist discusses the economic and legal aspects of gender equity in college sports. He assesses the economic impact of television and radio contracts and the financial rewards that come from winning major championships. He examines the often harmful effects of corporate sponsorship and shows that, despite such sponsorship, most schools run their athletic programs at a loss. Zimbalist also considers the relevance of antitrust laws to college sports and asks whether student athletes are ultimately exploited by the system. Zimbalist s provocative recommendations include eliminating freshman eligibility for sports, restricting coaches access to sneaker money from corporations, and ending the hypocrisy about professionalism by allowing teams to employ a quota of non-students as well as to receive funding from the pro leagues. A mixture of lively anecdotes, hard economic data, cogent arguments, and clear analysis, Unpaid Professionals will revitalize debate about a subject close to the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. Seller Inventory # BTE9780691086903

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