Not a week goes by, it seems, without a new controversy or scandal engulfing college sports. Recruiting violations, boosters plying star athletes with phony jobs and new cars, etc.--you know the story before it even happens. And following each of these scandals is a round of hand-wringing by sports reporters and columnists decrying the influence of TV networks and apparel companies in what is supposed to be one of the last remaining realms of amateur athletics. But without fail, the scandals and stories about them fade from view, and nothing changes within the NCAA or college sports in general.
"The Cartel" by Taylor Branch could be--nay, should be--the piece of journalism that at last breaks through.
A celebrated historian of civil rights in America, Branch is uniquely suited to chronicle the shameful, greedy, dysfunctional NCAA and the world of college sports it claims to govern. Branch marshals a Titanic's worth of evidence to illustrate how badly college...
fair assessment by a great author. even if you disagree it is worth thinking about. something needs to be done.
I attended the small liberal arts College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA ('92) and don't have the passion or experience of attending or rooting for a big time athletic school. Holy Cross was a critical force of establsihing the Patriot League and de-emphasizing big time athletics (of course, the cynic would say it was because they'd never compete at such a level) to focus on the student-athlete, with the emphasis on the first word, student.
With that as a preface, Taylor Branch wrote one the my favorite non-fiction books ever, "Parting the Waters" and his trilogy, "America in the King Years", is a monumental and magisterial work on the civil rights era. Branch delivers a KO punch on the NCAA, college athletics and the notion of amateurism in "The Cartel". Branch exposes the NCAA and the sham that it is, operating a vast cartel on the backs of primarily lower-income minorities (the sports that bring in the big money are college football and basketball), using them and...
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