The Values of College Sport


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  • Host Department: Comparative Literature
  • Date: 11/14/2014 - 11/15/2014
  • Time: 4:00PM

  • Location: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery (Room 100)

  • Description:

    Sport is deeply interwoven with institutions of higher education in America today. Sports—as intramural and intercollegiate activities for students, as a segment of the entertainment industry within American society, as cultural objects of intense popular interest and media coverage, and as research subjects for faculty and students in a varied and expanding range of disciplines, whether at major public research institutions or small, private liberal arts colleges—are indisputably a central aspect of the landscape of American higher education. The value of sport in the university context, however, is not beyond dispute.On the contrary, as sports play an ever greater role in higher education and in American society, debates have arisen, on the pages of daily newspapers and specialized academic journals, about their role and the costs and benefits they carry—from financial to educational, physical to cultural to moral. These questions, furthermore, intersect in complex ways with broader social issues related to gender, race, and sexual orientation, and the symposium will seek to shed light on the ways in which approaches to and assessments of the question of value change when these factors are taken into account.


    Keynote Lectures on Friday, November 14

    Lecture by Amy Perko, Executive Director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics

    Lecture by Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winning author of The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA

    Saturday, November 15

    10:30am: Economics
    Rodney Fort - What Can We Know About College Sports Financial Data?
    Lawrence Kahn - The Economics of the NCAA:  Cartels and Amateur Sports.
    Stephen F. Ross - The Contested Values of College Sport: How Economists Can Help Lawyers and Policymakers

    12:00pm: Well-Being
    Rebecca Hasson - Sport: An Investment in Human Health, Well-Being, and Capital
    Billy Hawkins - Collegiate Spectator Sports and Institution Building
    Jane Ruseski - Exploring the Role of University Sponsored Sport on Health and Well-Being: An Economic Perspective

    2:15pm: Education
    Yago Colás - Fan, Scholar, Teacher: Ambiguities of Value Where Sport Meets the Classroom
    Jimmy King - The Politics of Sport and Higher Education: A Player's Perspective
    Rob Sellers - Opportunity or Exploitation: The Case of African American Student-Athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics

    3:45pm: Ethics
    Bruce Berglund - Big-Time Sports and Student Recruiting: Enrollments, Budgets, and Social Justice at the Public University
    Jack Hamilton - Young Men, Old Money: Professional Sports' Amateurism Problem
    William Morgan - Markets and Intercollegiate Sports: How Not to Solve an Ethical Problem

    5:00pm: Closing Remarks

    This event sponsored by the Dept. of Comparative Literature, the LSA Theme Semester, the School of Kinesiology, the Dept. of Psychology, the Dept. of History, the Institute for the Humanities, the Dept. of American Culture, the Dept. of Afroamerican and African Studies, UMOR, Rackham Graduate School, and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

    Event organized by Yago Colàs, Stefan Szymanski, and Silke-Maria Weineck.