The Business of Professional Sports

Paul D. Staudohar, Editor, J. A. Mangan, Editor University of Illinois Press $39.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-252-01767-4
Taken individually, the 13 essays in this collection are enlightening and useful; some--most prominently John J. MacAloon's ``Are Olympic Athletes Professionals?''--are ground-breaking and exceptionally provocative. Collectively, however, they approach a range of issues with a disappointingly scattershot method. The book aims to be comprehensive by adopting a multidisciplinary focus that combines history, sociology, economics and law. Too often, however, the reader must discern the connections between such variegated essays as Steven A. Riess's ``A Social Profile of the Professional Football Player, 1920-1982'' and ``Sport as TV Product'' by Joan M. Chandler. The one theme tying the essays together is touched on by player agent Leigh Steinberg (the book's only non-academic), who notes that contract negotiations in sports generally pit a middle-aged multimillionaire against a 21-year-old kid just out of college. As most of the authors observe or imply, the deck is stacked against the players at the business end of sports. Staudohar is the author of The Sports Industry and Collective Bargaining; Mangan wrote The Games Ethic and Imperialism. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-252-06161-5
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