A thoroughgoing analytical review of college athletic recruitment abuses--coupled with suggestions to resolve the problems....

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THE RECRUITING GAME: Toward a New System of Intercollegiate Sports

A thoroughgoing analytical review of college athletic recruitment abuses--coupled with suggestions to resolve the problems. How does a university go about recruiting athletes? Why are the abuses so prevalent? Rooney, who teaches geography at Oklahoma State, first recaps the growth of intercollegiate competition and shows why it has resulted in cut-throat competition for athletes. A good team year after year insures success--high revenues and television and bowl receipts; and success, in turn, is synonymous with stronger financial support for the team, including donations for facilities and athletic scholarships. Recruiting, Rooney finds, is dependent on several factors: a school's accessibility to local talent pools, the proximity and competition of nearby schools, and the social and geographical biases of the coaching staff. And just how sophisticated and complex the process can be he demonstrates by examining the demographics of player talent and its effect on the strategies of several universities. His proposed alternative is a regional draft system that would take geographic differences into account and at the same time curtail both the competition and the cost of recruiting athletes nationally. Getting down to cases, surplus states like California or Pennsylvania might be required to procure 80 percent of their athletes locally whereas deficit states like Utah or Indiana could rely more heavily on outside suppliers. Another solution Rooney proposes is the creation of a professional collegiate league in which the teams would be sponsored by, but not an integral part of, the member universities. Though this proposal is not a new one, Rooney substantiates it with a fairly elaborate working model; and as with the rest of the book, his handling of the material is concrete and very specific. Not for the average fan, then, but for those who are both involved and concerned.

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1980