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OUT OF BOUNDS by Tom McMillen


How the American Sports Establishment is Being Driven by Greed and Hypocrisy--and What Needs to Be Done About It.

by Tom McMillen with Paul Coggins

Pub Date: May 8th, 1992
ISBN: 0-671-70776-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

An informed and evenhanded critique of the ``creeping professionalism'' that imperils American sport; by an activist observer with impeccable credentials. Congressman McMillen (Dem., Md.) draws on his own experiences as an all-American basketball player, Rhodes Scholar, Olympian (at the 1972 Games), and 11-year journeyman in the NBA to make a persuasive case against the status quo in domestic athletics. An equal-opportunity faultfinder, he rails against zealous parents who push their kids into Little Leagues as well as against universities more concerned with gate receipts than with academic excellence. Also targeted are importunate recruiters who lure high-school talent with dreams of college glory and pro careers, and the NCAA, which, McMillen says, all too often casts a blind eye on open scandals and tolerates ``shamateurism'' in the interests of megabuck TV deals. The author also examines the national preoccupation with a handful of spectator sports (which levies a toll on physical-fitness programs that could benefit millions of less competitive youngsters); the general neglect of women's sports; and the less-than-generous funding of America's Olympic athletes. Many of McMillen's proposals for curbing the commercially exploitative excesses of a demonstrably corrupt sports establishment are incorporated in a bill he introduced in Congress last July. Here, he suggests grass-roots reforms—from encouraging families to exercise together through integrating student-athletes into the educational as well as social milieus of their universities and creating pathways other than college for young athletes to turn pro. An insider's stinging yet engaging indictment of the entertainment/sport complex, leavened by a sense of perspective— and optimism. (Twelve b&w photographs—not seen.)