Character of American Higher Education and Intercollegiate Sport, The

By Donald Chu

Series: SUNY series, Frontiers in Education
Paperback : 9780887067938, 252 pages, November 1989
Hardcover : 9780887067914, 252 pages, November 1989

Table of contents

1. Intercollegiate Sport: An Overview

2. The Development of American Higher Education and Intercollegiate Sport
Control and Finance in American Higher Education
The Search for Money and Students
The Governance of Higher Education in the United States
College Leadership's Use of Programs to Attract Students, Money and Prestige
The Development of Intercollegiate Sport
A Theoretical Overview of Higher Education in the United States
The Charter of the American College
The College Sport Decision
3. Intercollegiate Sport: The Search for Rationalization
Benefits for Students: The Question of Character
Changes in Student-Athlete Characteristics
The Process of Impact by College Athletics on Students
The Collegiate Institution as the Prime Beneficiary of Athletics
The Economics of Intercollegiate Sport
4. The Condition of Higher Education and Athletics in America
Racism, Sexism and Unethical Behavior
The Black College Athlete
Women's College Athletics
Unethical Behavior
The Reflection of Wider Issues in Higher Education
The Control of the Campus and the Arena
The Governance of College Athletics
5. Sport and the Mission of American Higher Education
The Need for Community
Effects of Student Involvement
The Label of Success
Glimpses of What Can Be
6. Reflections on Diversity: College and Sport
What is Needed?
The Crisis in College Leadership


Intercollegiate sport is too often viewed in a vacuum, but certainly conditions in American culture and in the institution of higher education helped to create big-time sport in the nation's universities. Chu's book is the first to analyze the composition of these conditions in both sociological and historical perspectives. Through this consideration of sport the very character of American higher education is revealed. The author discusses the condition of athletic programs (their uses and abuses) as one highly visible manifestation of problems confronting higher education. Problems of control, the push for funding, and the use of undergraduate programs such as athletics for the purposes of institutional gain are analyzed through a survey of the empirical and theoretical literature. Chu considers the peculiar place of sport on the American campus and raises questions as to whether its inclusion and presence can ultimately be justified in the academic setting.

Donald Chu is Associate Professor of Physical Education at Skidmore College.


"This book focuses on a vitally important topic — the educational integrity of intercollegiate athletics. Chu not only relates intercollegiate athletics to the historical development of higher education, but emphasizes the political forces that both motivated and, in a sense, spoiled this institution. The book is not written as dry report; rather, more as commentary from a factual basis. " — Philip Smith