A hard-hitting examination of the many ways college football has been transformed into a money-making spectacle that is hurting higher education In the spring of 2013 a study showed that despite huge economic problems, twenty-seven states were awarding their highest salaries to college football coaches. College football has doubled in size in the last decade, thanks to generous tax breaks, lavish TV deals, and corporate sponsors eager to slap their logos on everything from scoreboards to footballs and uniforms. In one recent year the ten biggest programs took in $800 million from football, with profit margins far surpassing those of Fortune 500 companies. Little of this money goes to academics. Instead, it sustains a wildly profligate infrastructure of coaches, trainers, marketing gurus, tutors, and a growing cadre of athletic department bureaucrats whose sole purpose is to ensure that players remain academically eligible to play. In The Department of Football, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gilbert M. Gaul offers a surprising, incendiary examination of how college football has come to dominate some of our best, most prestigious universities, reframing campus values, distorting academic missions, and transforming athletic departments into astonishingly rich entertainment factories.
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