Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Big-Time Sports in American Universities

2nd Edition

$105.00 (P)

  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108421126

$ 105.00 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • For almost a century, big-time college athletics has been a wildly popular but consistently problematic part of American higher education. The challenges it poses to traditional academic values have been recognized from the start, but they have grown more ominous in recent decades, as cable television has become ubiquitous, commercial opportunities have proliferated, and athletic budgets have ballooned. In the second edition of his influential book Big-Time Sports in American Universities, Clotfelter continues to examine the role of athletics in American universities, building on his argument that commercial sports have become a core function of the universities that engage in them. Drawing on recent scandals on large-scale college campuses and updates on several high-profile court cases, Clotfelter brings clear economic analysis to the variety of problems that sports raise for university and public policy, providing the basis for the continuation of constructive conversations about the value of big-time sports in higher education.

    • Provides an updated examination of big-time college sports in American universities
    • Addresses recent scandals in big-time sports at the University of North Carolina, Penn State University, and the University of Miami
    • Explores topics currently in the news, including the attempt to unionize college athletes, and the link between college football and violence on campus
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘This new edition of Charles T. Clotfelter's book on big-time sports in American Universities updates and extends the brilliant analysis of the original. The big time has gotten bigger – there is more money and more corruption than ever. Like its predecessor, the new combines skilled economic analysis with a deep understanding of how universities work. This book is essential reading for fans, faculty, and university leaders.' Paul Courant, Former Provost, University of Michigan

    ‘This second edition of Charles T. Clotfelter's important book on big-time college sports expands his careful analysis of the risks and benefits of conducting such a commercial enterprise as a core function of American universities. He adds a critical analysis of growing threats such as the long-term health implications for players and the pressures for their compensation while warning about the impact of future possibilities such as legalized gambling. Clotfelter also acknowledges, however, that these risks are accepted by growing population of fans who strongly identify with and support this activity, thereby making both reform and control by universities difficult.' James Duderstadt, President Emeritus, University of Michigan

    ‘With more and more universities trying to move into big-time sports, this new edition is even more important than the previous one. With the continuing scandals involving university sports programs - the payoffs, the harassment and others - the book is must reading for sports fans, academics and the general public.' Daniel S. Hamermesh, Sue Killam Professor Emeritus, University of Texas, Austin and Professor Emeritus, Royal Holloway University of London

    ‘Academic scandals, outsized compensation packages for coaches and their staff, opulent practice facilities that put academic facilities to shame have become all too commonplace at even some of our most venerable and distinguished universities. Fortunately, in the just released second edition of his influential book Big-Time Sports in American Universities, Charles T. Clotfelter brings news insights into how big-time collegiate sports got to its current unsettling state. Even better, he offers promising ideas as to how the excesses of collegiate athletics might be reined in and the enterprise made more compatible with the values of academe.' William Kirwan, Former Chair, Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics

    ‘Anyone who wishes to truly understand the nature and possible evolution of big-time athletics at American universities needs to begin by consulting this thoughtfully updated edition of Clotfelter's classic. The second edition provides many new insights.' Harold T. Shapiro, President Emeritus and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

    ‘Charles T. Clotfelter's new book shows in details and data how college sports have become center stage in American universities of the twenty-first century. His chapters are exciting and his analyses are balanced and fair. Finally we have a book by a leading scholar who knows both academics and athletics. This leaves us with a great basis for reform.' John Thelin, University of Kentucky, author of Games Colleges Play: Scandal and Reform in Intercollegiate Athletics

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108421126
    • length: 398 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.69kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 13 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Commercial Sports as a University Function:
    1. Strange bedfellows
    2. Priorities
    3. The bigness of 'big time'
    Part II. The Uses of Big-Time College Sports:
    4. Consumer product, mass obsession
    5. Commercial enterprise
    6. Institution builder
    7. Beacon for campus culture
    Part III. Reckoning:
    8. Ends and means
    9. Prospects for reform

  • Author

    Charles T. Clotfelter, Duke University, North Carolina
    Charles Clotfelter is Professor of Public Policy at Duke University, North Carolina, where he received his Bachelors. He received a Doctorate in Economics from Harvard. He has written four other books on education and economics, including Unequal Colleges in the Age of Disparity (2017), After Brown: The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation (2004) (winner of the Gladys Kammerer prize), and Buying the Best (1996). He also co-authored two other books, including Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America (1990). In 2011, he was selected to give the Spencer Foundation Award Lecture, and in 2015 he was elected to the National Academy of Education.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.