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The System: The Glory and Scandal of…

The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football (original 2013; udgave 2013)

af Jeff Benedict, Armen Keteyian

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
1165182,850 (3.95)Ingen
A revelatory account based on the authors' unprecedented access to the NCAA's highest-level programs throughout the 2012 season describes its high-powered system of billion-dollar television deals, high-priced coaches, football "hostessing," castoff athlete-students and paid test takers.
Titel:The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football
Forfattere:Jeff Benedict
Andre forfattere:Armen Keteyian
Info:Doubleday (2013), Hardcover, 432 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football af Jeff Benedict (2013)


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Viser 5 af 5
This is probably one of the most important books ever written about college football. It is both glorious and devastating at the same time. No sport seems to have as much majestic pageantry and despicable corruption as this one. For every heart warming story, there is one that just makes you want to vomit in disgust. And NO program gets a break either because ALL of them are tarnished in some way (yes, even my beloved Notre Dame).

Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Miami, North Carolina, Florida State, USC...all guilty of the crime of being part of "The System" that continues to get worse every decade. From paying players, dropped sexual assault charges, academic scandals, etc., this book covers it all. It is thoroughly researched using first-hand accounts from tons of people connected to various programs, and is so well written that you can't help but think, "what could possibly top this" as you're reading it.

As a die-hard college football fan, it is sometimes important to take a step back and realize the seriousness involved in supporting such a flawed institution. This book makes all of us die-hards come face-to-face with the grim reality of what college football is REALLY about...greed (winning at all costs) and corruption (doing anything to make that possible). ( )
  rsplenda477 | May 18, 2015 |
Although I did not plan it this way, I finished reading The System just the day before The University of Oregon and Ohio State University played for the first college football playoff national championship (won easily by Ohio State 42-20). I am a fairly avid fan of college football, but watching the playoff system at work while reading this particular book seemed to put much more of a human face on the players and coaches by whom I was being so entertained. Both aspects of the book’s subtitle, The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, were on display during the playoffs.

Authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian have done their homework, and it shows in the way that The System covers just about every aspect of big-time college sports (which, by definition, automatically means football, with basketball a distant second). The book takes a frank look at just about everything that happens on the field – as well as what happens off the field of play. And it is what happens away from the spotlight that will probably prove most interesting to readers/football fans. Hard looks are taken at the programs of schools like Alabama, BYU, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Washington State, and others. Some programs and their coaches come out looking better than others, of course. This is particularly true of BYU, a school at which the morals and character of student athletes is at the top of the coach’s, and the school administration’s, priority lists.

Benedict and Keteyian do spend extensive time on recruiting scandals and claims by athletes and their parents that they have been “abused” by coaches (Mike Leach’s problems at Texas Tech and Washington State are covered in detail, for instance), but they also look closely at problems caused by over-the-top boosters and alumni, female tutors hired by the programs to keep player grades up, and a subclass of recruiters known as “closers.” “Closers,” by the way, are the beautiful female students who volunteer to show potential high school recruits around campus and town when they make their official recruiting visits to the schools. As might be expected, what happens off the field can greatly impact, be it negatively or be it positively, the win-loss record a team achieves on the field.

The most disturbing aspect of what the authors describe, however, regards the percentage of “student/athletes” who are also “student/criminals” and how these particular players are often protected by the schools for which they play football. Keep in mind that the crimes with which these players have been charged are not exactly white-collar crimes. Instead, they most often involve robbery, both armed and otherwise; rape; other violence against women; or drug abuse. In way too many instances, football comes first, and justice a distant second.

The System, although it covers incidents and other aspects of college football that more avid fans might already be familiar with, offers insights and additional details that will be new to most readers. I recommend the book for fans, parents of players, and parents of girls headed to college. There’s a lesson, and a warning, there for all of them. ( )
  SamSattler | Feb 9, 2015 |
College football is a multi-billion dollar business. Top coaches earn more than $3 million per year. But star players - many (and perhaps most) of whom have little interest in academics, are compensated only in tuition, books, and room and board at their school. Moreover, it is against NCAA regulations for them to receive any additional compensation, no matter how trivial. But (what a surprise) a lot of cheating and rule bending takes place within “The System.”

The authors are serious investigative reporters who spent several years digging into the operation of college football. What they found was sometimes surprising, occasionally disgusting, but always interesting. I present their findings as if they happened only in the past or up to the time of the reporting of this book, since it is possible at least some of these excesses have been curbed.

How does a big-time college football program attract hot-shot high school athletes? Almost never, it appears, with promises of outstanding academic opportunities. The best programs offer the possibility of playing before large national television audiences and thus getting a chance at making the really big money available to professional players after leaving (and, occasionally, graduating from) college. Need a little extra incentive? Ohio State got into hot water by allowing boosters to provide free tattoos to players. (Given the number of tattoos players wear, this benefit was worth quite a lot of money.) A number of universities provided hot prospects with attractive female companionship on visits to the school. These “hostesses” (who included Florida's "Gator Getters,” Clemson's "Bengal Babes,” Miami's "Hurricane Honeys,” and Oklahoma's "Orange Pride”) then went on to cultivate “romantic” relationships with the boys long distance via social media so the boys would want to come play there (in every sense of the word).

Missouri may take the cake for lurid sex. Its players were routinely paired up with tutors (all of whom were female) who ended up doing most of their school work as well as performing other services. But it wasn’t all voluntary; star running back Derrick Washington ended up going to prison for sexual assault of his tutor.

Sometimes the “added incentives” were in the form of cash payments. Ricky Seals-Jones, a top prospect from Texas, admitted to receiving an offer from an unnamed “top-20 program” of $300,000 in cash, use of a luxury suite during football season, eight season tickets, and $1,000 per month for Ricky and $500 for the family. If that weren’t enough, one SEC school and one ACC school said they'd double any offer. He declined those offers and went to Texas A&M (whose offer was not disclosed), out of principle (he claimed), as well as out of fear of getting caught.

Not all of the book is devoted to scandals. A chapter on BYU is uplifting, and the chapter on Alabama’s Nick Sabin illustrates supreme competence.

Evaluation: I don’t follow college football as closely as professional football, so when my wife recommended this book to me, I thought I would have only passing interest in the subject. I was very pleasantly surprised when the book turned out to be well-written and entertaining. The details about recruitment, conference politics, and treatment of players generally is enlightening, to say the least. In addition, its coverage seemed pretty fair.

(JAB) ( )
1 stem nbmars | Jan 30, 2015 |
Very well written and organized. Excellent inside look at the recruiting process and the budget operations of major college football. P.S. most Division I football programs lose money. ( )
  VGAHarris | Jan 19, 2015 |
I enjoy college football, and this book kept me enthralled with the inside information on what makes it a success as well as a problem for coaches, administration, and most of all, the recruits. I will never watch a football game again in the same way as before. I now understand better what goes on behind the scenes. ( )
  Lynne62 | Feb 4, 2014 |
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Deakins, MarkFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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A revelatory account based on the authors' unprecedented access to the NCAA's highest-level programs throughout the 2012 season describes its high-powered system of billion-dollar television deals, high-priced coaches, football "hostessing," castoff athlete-students and paid test takers.

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