Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abstract and Bibliography

My paper talks about college athletics and how they are such a big part of American and college culture. I did research looking to find evidence to support sports originally, but wound up finding much more evidence on why sports are bad for universities. This led me to change my opinion on college sports and led me to believe that they are bad for universities. I tried to balance the benefits of sports though with the negative side of them to create an equal argument.

College sports are a part of the American culture and are a part of the college culture as well. As long as there are cheering fans in the stands at sporting events, college athletics will continue to be a prevalent part of the American university. “Colleges and universities are, at the end of the day, academic institutions. They are charted to serve educational purposes” (Bowen and Levin, 11). The question as President McCormick of Rutgers University phrased it, is not of whether can athletics and academics coexist, but how we manage their coexistence that is crucial to the success and survival of a university.


Bowen, Jenna. "College Athletics Benefit All." Western Oregon Journal. (2007): Print.
Bowen, William, and Sarah Levin. Reclaiming the Game: College Sports and Educational Values. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. Print.
Cady, Edwin. The Big Game. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1978. Print.
DeVenzio, Dick. Rip-Off U.: The Annual Theft and Exploitation of Major College Revenue Producing Student-Athletes. Charlotte, North Carolina: The Fool Court Press, 1986. Print.
Dowling, William C. Confessions of a Spoilsport. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007. Print.
"High Cost of College Sports." Star Ledger October 31, 2009, Print.
Losco, Joseph and Fife, Brian. Higher Education in Transition. Westport, Connecticut: Bergin & Garvey, 2000. Print.
McCormick, Richard. Personal Interview. 31 March 2010.
Wolverton, Brad. "For Athletics, a Billion-Dollar Goal Line." Chronicle of Higher Education. 55.20 (2009): Print.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Your Story

My project has evolved into a less of a debate between sports and universities and more of a discussion and analysis of the impact that sports have on universities. At first I was going to write a paper on how sports are good for universities, but after doing research and reading Dowling's book, I changed my mind. I debated bakck adn forth between the two sides, but I realized in the end that both sides are right and that sports are going to be around at universities no matter what. In the end, college athletics and academics must coexist at schools. My interview with President McCormick was pretty influential, but most influential was William Dowling's book which talks about all the problems with college sports. Now at first, I believed Dowling completely, but after sitting back and thinking about some of the arguments he makes, I realized that he over criticizes sports and just points out all the things wrong with them. I have learned that there isn't much evidence to support college athletics because it is so ingrained in our society's culture and that it will always be around so people may not feel the need to publish work on supporting college sports. College sports when managed properly, can bring a lot to a university and compliment academics nicely.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Visual Aid

I think it would be a good idea if I showed the top 25 rankings for colleges in both football and academics and show how there are very few, if any overlapss from year to year.



Monday, March 29, 2010


My project analyzes universities and the impact that college sports and academics have on them. It discusses the negatives of college sports and I am still working on adding the positives of college sports to the paper. I was able to find many negatives about the effects of college sports and I am developing my counterpoint by finding reasons to support college athletics. I am still waiting to interview President McCormick, as he was unable to be interviewed today, but will be available on Wednesday. This is a brief outline of my paper:

I. Introductory story about Georgia scandal
II. Presence of athletics at universities can threaten the academic mission at the college
III. Ohio State example of how sports can cause turmoil
IV. Sports can shift the focus of a university away from academics
V. Lack of money being put towards classrooms and learning
VI. When universities lose track of academic focus, they tend to attract the wrong kinds of students
VII. Academics and sports can coexist, but academics should remain primary focus
VIII. Two extremes to the debate
IX. Students are realizing that certain schools are losing focus of academics and are going out of state
X. Colleges are falling victim to the professionalization of college sports
XI. The people behind the scenes are often to blame and they always seem to pass the blame onto someone else
XII. It is surprising at how many schools still continue to support college sports at the high level that they do
XIII. Conclusion with description about how ESPNU was on and how college sports are becoming the image at this university

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Case

My case is that college sports have a negative effect on universities. Since my last post, when my debate wasn't very focused or accurately portrayed, I feel I have gotten a hold of a much better argument and point of view. After reading Confessions of a Spoilsport , I have realized just how much of a negative effect sports really have on universities. To name a few negative impacts, sports bring in the wrong kind of students to a school, the school loses identity in a bad way (I previously had thought the school gained identity for the good), and academics and the students at the school suffer. I am still primarily using this one book, although I do have other sources that have some good points. I also have a few other books that I will continue to explore and get further evidence for my argument. These are a few of the online articles I found:



Monday, March 8, 2010

The Debate

The debate that I've identified is the one between athletics and academics and the battle for power, money, and respect. Academics want to be the premier point of interest at the university, while athletics are trying to play a major part of the school's identity: in some cases, the entire identity. The two sides battle over the power held at the school which they believe leads to certain benefits in most cases. Receiving money from donors and budgeting the money the school has in an effective way is something that both sides are in dispute about. Getting more money than the other side is obviously one of the main goals in this battle, but money is not the only thing that the sides are feuding between. Having an influence in the school is important because this brings about the money and can sway the focus of the school's higher ups. This can lead to increased power and influence. So in turn its a cycle and many of these things feed off of each other. Academics feel that they are the most important part of a university and that that is the reason that people go to college. Sports are something that should not be competing with academics in a university and should take a back seat to academics or even be gotten rid of all together. The two sides focus on different aspects of the argument but they basically disagree about the same issues and could argue with each other over the same issues because they compete for the most part over the same things.

Blog #9

I think the initial stages of my research paper are coming together. I have found some good sources and will continue to look for a few more. I am still reading into the books that I have and am looking for evidence to support my arguments, but have definitely got some good information about college sports and have really begun to think about them in new ways. I can't say if I'm having trouble yet in writing the paper itself because we haven't gotten to that stage, but I feel like I am in a good position to at least begin to write a successful paper. By reading the books I have and further finding more articles, I believe I will continue to head in the right direction with my paper.