The Myth of the Amateur
344 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:04 May 2021

The Myth of the Amateur

A History of College Athletic Scholarships

University of Texas Press
In this in-depth look at the heated debates over paying college athletes, Ronald A. Smith starts at the beginning: the first intercollegiate athletics competition—a crew regatta between Harvard and Yale—in 1852, when both teams received an all-expenses-paid vacation from a railroad magnate. This striking opening sets Smith on the path of a story filled with paradoxes and hypocrisies that plays out on the field, in meeting rooms, and in courtrooms—and that ultimately reveals that any insistence on amateurism is invalid, because these athletes have always been paid, one way or another. From that first contest to athletes’ attempts to unionize and California’s 2019 Fair Pay to Play Act, Smith shows that, throughout the decades, undercover payments, hiring professional coaches, and breaking the NCAA’s rules on athletic scholarships have always been part of the game. He explores how the regulation of male and female student-athletes has shifted; how class, race, and gender played a role in these transitions; and how the case for amateurism evolved from a moral argument to one concerned with financially and legally protecting college sports and the NCAA. Timely and thought-provoking, The Myth of the Amateur is essential reading for college sports fans and scholars.
Ronald A. Smith is a professor emeritus at Penn State University. His books include Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big-Time College Athletics, Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform, and Wounded Lions: Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky, and the Crises in Penn State Athletics.
Introduction Chapter 1. Amateurism Then and Now Chapter 2. The Harvard Dilemma—Amateur or Professional Chapter 3. “Scholarships”: Eastern Authority and Early Payments Chapter 4. Training, Training Tables, and Athletic Dorms Chapter 5. The Amateur Challenge of Summer Baseball for Pay Chapter 6. The 1929 Carnegie Report: Condemnation of Professionalism Chapter 7. The Southeastern Conference and Athletic Scholarships Chapter 8. National Athletic Scholarship Failure: The Sanity Code Chapter 9. The Cleansing of the Ivy League: No Athletic Scholarships? Chapter 10. Recruiting, Full Scholarships, and the Big Ten Succumbs Chapter 11. Academic Standards, the 1.600 Rule, and Their Demise Chapter 12. Taxation, Workers’ Compensation, and the “Student-Athlete” Chapter 13. Women’s Athletics, Title IX, and the Kellmeyer Lawsuit Chapter 14. Television, Unions, and the Collapse of Amateurism Chapter 15. Is NCAA “Amateurism” Alive?: The O’Bannon Lawsuit Impact Chapter 16. The Alston and Jenkins Lawsuits, and NCAA Fig-Leafed Professionalism Chapter 17. State and Federal Legislative Pay-for-Play Action Afterword Acknowledgments Timeline Notes Index
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