Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big-Time College Athletics by Ronald A. Smith

By Ronald A. Smith

Might be greater than the other schools, Harvard and Yale gave shape to American intercollegiate athletics--a shape that used to be encouraged by means of the Oxford-Cambridge competition out of the country, and that used to be imitated by way of schools and universities during the usa. concentrating on the impression of those prestigious jap associations, this attention-grabbing learn lines the origins and improvement of intercollegiate athletics in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the early 20th century. Smith starts off with an historic evaluate of intercollegiate athletics and information the evolution of person sports--crew, baseball, music and box, and particularly soccer. Then, skillfully environment quite a few activities occasions of their broader social and cultural contexts, Smith is going directly to talk about many very important concerns which are nonetheless appropriate this day: student-faculty festival for institutional athletic regulate; the effect of the pro trainer on big-time athletics; the fake suggestion of amateurism in university athletics; and controversies over eligibility ideas. He additionally unearths how the debates over brutality and ethics created the necessity for a valuable organizing physique, the nationwide Collegiate Athletic organization, which nonetheless runs university activities at the present time. Sprinkled all through with highly spiced activities anecdotes, from the Thanksgiving Day Princeton-Yale soccer online game that drew checklist crowds within the Nineties to a gathering with President Theodore Roosevelt on soccer violence, this full of life, in-depth research will entice severe activities buffs in addition to to a person drawn to American social and cultural historical past.

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Extra resources for Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big-Time College Athletics (Sports and History)

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A Dartmouth graduate of 1845, writing a generation later, remembered the importance of his football contests. "And now I cross the commons," he said, "famous for football in the olden times. . What fierce, sanguinary, raiment-rending contests we did have. "41 It is not surprising that team sports rather than individual sports met the need for community. In the pre-intercollegiate athletic era, the sports which brought students together in rituals of community were football, mass wrestling, bandy, cricket, and baseball—all team sports.

34 Once the contest was won, the sophomores might join hands and form a double column, and rush across the Delta knocking over all who did not flee. 35 This type of activity was repeated at other colleges. Often it was a freshman-sophomore battle such as that which occurred at Yale after an 1850s sophomore challenge to freshmen: Come! 36 But at other times the juniors would join the freshmen in a contest against the seniors and sophomores. 37 At Dartmouth, a freshman reported that some of his classmates had "the insolent audacity to kick the Seniors" when they battled at football.

If the sophomores should by some chance be defeated by being thrown down, then the juniors would challenge. If the juniors lost, then the seniors would take on the freshmen. 25 The tradition of rushes or class battles, though not necessarily wrestling, was found on most nineteenth-century college campuses. The cane rush, however, was similar to the wrestling battles. A common practice of upperclassmen was to carry canes on campus and to disallow freshmen to do so. Freshmen would, nevertheless, challenge the custom by sporting a cane or canes.

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