After decades of domination on campus, college sports' supremacy has begun to weaken. "Enough, already!" detractors cry. College is about learning, not chasing a ball around to the whir of TV cameras.
In Intercollegiate Athletics and the American University, James Duderstadt agrees, taking the view that the increased commercialization of intercollegiate athletics endangers our universities and their primary goal, academics. Calling it a "corrosive example of entertainment culture" during an interview with ESPN's Bob Ley, Duderstadt suggested that college basketball, for example, "imposes on the university an alien set of values, a culture that really is not conducive to the educational mission of university."
Duderstadt is part of a growing controversy. Recently, as reported in The New York Times, an alliance between university professors and college boards of trustees formed in reaction to the growth of college sports; it's the first organization with enough clout to challenge the culture of big-time university athletics.
This book is certainly part of that challenge, and is sure to influence this debate today and in the years to come.
James J. Duderstadt is President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering, University of Michigan.
". . . a very interesting book on the current state of affairs in intercollegiate athletics in America today."
—Michael Mahan, Rutgers University, Teachers College Record, February 23, 2001
". . . a fascinating look at how athletics at institutions of higher learning impact academics."
—Athletics Administration, June 2001
"Dr. Duderstadt's book is the right book at the right time. We now have a former university president as president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The academicians are beginning to take over the direction of the sports endeavor in colleges and universities. As co-chair of the former Knight Commission, I can say that the time is right for a change. I recommend it highly."
—(Rev.) Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
"Jim Duderstadt's INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS AND THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY is a must read for anyone interested in the future of college sports. That future will be shaped by college and university presidents; and Duderstadt, former president of the University of Michigan and a leader in higher education, provides insightful analysis and provocative recommendation in this most readable book."
—Myles Brand, President, National Collegiate Athletic Association
"Duderstadt has written, with feeling, a very frank book that lays out the case against big-time football and basketball. . . . A comprehensive indictment, and coming from someone who endured in despair in the belly of the beast, it means all the more."
". . . helpful . . . in its recognition that if universities want to maintain their stature as academic institutions, they alone have the power to free themselves from voracious commercialism."
Winner: University of Michigan's 2002 University of Michigan Press Book Award