cover image Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big-Time College Athletics

Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big-Time College Athletics

Ali Smith, Ronald A. Smith. Oxford University Press, USA, $32.5 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-19-505314-2

Intercollegiate sport in America was inaugurated in the mid-19th century with athletic rivalry between Harvard and Yale patterned after competitions between Oxford and Cambridge in England. The two U.S. colleges contested first in crew, then in baseball and finally in football, as the popularity of that sport increased in the country. In this scholarly study, which will be of interest only to academics, the concern of Smith, physical-education professor at Penn State, is as much with who exercised control over collegiate sports as with the contests themselves. At the start, students were in charge, with the team captain serving as coach, but, later, students requested financial help from their colleges and alumni and coaching from professionals. Gradually, power passed to the faculty and, eventually, in the early 20th century, to inter-institutional groups. Photos not seen by PW. (September)