cover of book

Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform
by Ronald A. Smith
University of Illinois Press, 2011
Cloth: 978-0-252-03587-6 | Paper: 978-0-252-07783-8 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09028-8
Library of Congress Classification GV347.S65 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.0430973


In an era when college football coaches frequently command higher salaries than university presidents, many call for reform to restore the balance between amateur athletics and the educational mission of schools. This book traces attempts at college athletics reform from 1855 through the early twenty-first century while analyzing the different roles played by students, faculty, conferences, university presidents, the NCAA, legislatures, and the Supreme Court.


Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform also tackles critically important questions about eligibility, compensation, recruiting, sponsorship, and rules enforcement. Discussing reasons for reform--to combat corruption, to level the playing field, and to make sports more accessible to minorities and women--Ronald A. Smith candidly explains why attempts at change have often failed. Of interest to historians, athletic reformers, college administrators, NCAA officials, and sports journalists, this thoughtful book considers the difficulty in balancing the principles of amateurism with the need to draw income from sporting events.

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