College sport is a major part of our cultural landscape, but it is perennially troubled with rule violations, academic failure, and exploitation. As recent moral philosophy has turned to practical issues, it has somehow overlooked the problems in its own back yard. This collection of essays enables us to step back from the sports page for both a broader view and a deeper look at college athletics. The editors, who are themselves moral philosophers, have brought together many perspectivesphenomenology, game theory, aesthetics, cognitive science, as well as history, anthropology, economics, and sports medicine. The essays illuminate the values of sport and their corrosion within the university's commercial environment.
Does sport belong in college at all? If so, how can institutions preserve the real values of athletics while honoring those of the university? The book's contributorsphilosophers, social scientists, and physical educatorsexamine the current status of sport in Western society: the reason for its importance, the kind of pleasure derived by both participants and spectators, problems faced by athletes, and the effects on the larger society of troubles within the world of sport.
Comparing university sport programs in the United States with those in other countries and examining problems that start with recruiting high school athletes, the authors ask whether present practices are justified. Determining the values that are intrinsic to sport, they explore how these values fit with the essential goals of universities. And they look at the peculiar features of revenue-producing sports and ask whether these change the nature of sport.
"This timely and original collection addresses crucial issues in the areas of higher education, political culture, the sociology of leisure, and race relations." —Andre Markovits, Professor, Department of Political Science, Boston University
"From the practical to the fanciful, this book offers a broad range of views about what can be done about the problems in college sports...for readers interested in a topic about which there has been precious little thoughtful analysis, Rethinking College Athletics is a valuable addition to the debate." —The Christian Science Monitor
"The book...offers essays on the history, philosophy, aesthetics, and economics of college athletics.... (The) authors explore the benefits that sports bring to the athletes who play them, the spectators who watch them, and the institutions that sponsor them." —The Chronicle of Higher Education
"The essays...are persuasive. The editors question if sports belong in college. They take an in-depth look at revenue-producing sports as inevitably destroying the good of the sport itself.... Through the presentation of different perspectives, Rethinking College Athletics will help one to imagine alternatives not yet attempted in college sport." —Athletics Administration