The Dirty College Game

Corruption, Gambling and the Pursuit of Money in NCAA Football and Basketball


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About the Book

Commercial aspects of college football and basketball during the mid– to late 20th century were dominated by a few “get rich quick” schools. Though the NCAA was responsible for controlling such facets of college sports, the organization was unwilling and unable to control the excesses of the few who opposed the majority opinion. The result was a period of corruption, rules violations, unnecessary injuries and overspending. These events led to the formation of larger conferences, richer bowl games and rules intended to preserve the “money-making” value of college football and basketball.
This book explores gambling, academic fraud, illegal booster activity and the single-minded pursuit of television contracts in college sports, as well as the NCAA’s involvement—or lack thereof—in such cases.

About the Author(s)

The late Al Figone was a writer who specialized in the fields of psychology of sport, history of sport and the sociology of sport. He lived in Folsom, California.

Bibliographic Details

Al Figone
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 185
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7112-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3481-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
1. The Historical Symbiosis Between Corruption and Sports 5
2. Changing Mass Media Viewing Demographics and Attitudes Toward Sports Gambling 21
3. Kentucky Football, 1962: Scandal and ­Cover-Up 30
4. The Butts and Bryant Phone Calls, 1962: More Than Social Conversations 51
5. The University of New Mexico Gambling Scandal of 1979: “As Bad as It Ever Gets!” 65
6. SMU and UNLV Scandals: Boosters Hijacking College Programs 87
7. UCLA and Michigan: Urban Boosterism and Paying Athletes with Laundered Money 106
8. Organized Crime and Sports: “I’ll Break Your Legs. You’ll Never Play Again!” 124
Epilogue 143
Chapter Notes 147
Bibliography 165
Index 175