THE BIG TEN by Kenneth L. & Jerry Brondfield Wilson


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The Big Ten, an athletic confederation of major Midwestern universities, has been immortalized in a veritable torrent of encyclopedic prose which is calculated to delight the regional aficionado, but to dismay the more cosmopolitan sports fan. The book leads off with about 300 pages of straight chronology, how it started in 1895 and noting what damn near everybody concerned did for the next 71 years. This is followed by about half that amount of highly personal reminiscence by Mr. Wilson, who has distinguished himself as star athlete, coach, athletic director, Big Ten commissioner and president of the U.S. Olympic Committee. A few score pages of vignettes concerning people, teams and records tops it all off. What may readily put off the reader is the flavor of arrant superiority that runs through the book. Pride is fine and parochialism can be tolerated to a degree, but to brush off Notre Dame as a sports power and to act as though the colonial colleges, which comprise five eighths of the Ivy League, had never existed seems a bit much. Not recommended east of the Appalachians or west of the Rockies.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1967
Publisher: Prentice-Hall