WIN AT ANY COST: The Sell Out Of College Athletics by

WIN AT ANY COST: The Sell Out Of College Athletics

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Through detailed analysis of the recent death of Loyola Marymount's Hank Gathers from heart problems and the 1986 drag overdose of Maryland's Len Bias, Dealy (former publisher of Tennis and Tennis World magazines) here illustrates how college sports have become the venue for ""academic fraud, recruiting violations, bribery, embezzlement, drag dealing, rape and attempted murder."" As epitomized by the $1 billion contract it has with CBS, says the author, ""the NCAA has become the agent provocateur it was founded (in 1905) to apprehend."" Along with the advent of autonomous athletic departments that have incorporated ""to enhance their independence [from the university] and power,"" college sports have become big business: tradition, team spirit, healthy athletic competition are mere catchwords of the advertising campaigns that bolster multimillion-dollar budgets. Dealy examines the ""Faustian agreement"" that black athletes have with the schools (80-90% of black college athletes never graduate) and traces the history of NCAA policy and reform from its inception to the recent 1990 convention. Reforms have included a variety of ""meaningless. . .admissions role[s]"" and oft-revised grade-point average requirements and minimum acceptable SAT scores, none of which has served the educational needs of the student athlete. Instead, says Dealy, the already watered, down roles are bent and sidestepped to ensure the welfare of the sports program. Among the author's recommendations, aside from ""several momentous attitude changes,"" is a complete overhaul of the NCAA's legislative and judicial procedures, with a Compliance Commission charged with enforcement of rigid recruiting and academic standards. The first step, he notes, should be to abolish ""home rule,"" or self-regulation by the institution, and to vest realistic regulatory powers in the NCAA. A lucid and convincing critique, but, given the extent of the apparent problem, Dealy's remedies appear to be little more than wishful thinking.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Birch Lane/Carol