The dynamics of operating a "major" intercollegiate sports program have a tenuous nexus with academic ideals. Intercollegiate athletics is now a big business, dominated by the balance sheet of gate receipts, T.V. revenues, and talent recruiting. The best high school athletes are aggressively recruited for their physical prowess to play for teams that perform before large crowds-and frequently a national television audience-in gigantic stadiums and field houses. In many instances coaches and players gain national recognition and reverence unequaled by professors, poets, or Nobel prize winners. Yet the sponsors of these sports extravaganzas are academic institutions who by charter and tradition are dedicated to the ideals of teaching, scholarship, and research. By participating in the production and sale of intercollegiate sports entertainment, academic institutions have been forced to confront the possibility of negative tradeoffs. Inevitably, administrators must decide whether the economic and social costs of intercollegiate athletics justify continued participation in "big time" sports competition.
Arthur D. Austin,
The Legality of Ticket Tie-Ins in Intercollegiate Athletics,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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