By John R. Gerdy

John R. Gerdy has obvious approximately each aspect of athletics. he's the son of a highschool soccer trainer; he was once an All-American basketball participant, a legislative assistant for the nationwide Collegiate Atheltic organization, and he served as an affiliate commissioner for the Southeastern convention. In Air Ball: American Education’s Failed test with Elite Athletics, Gerdy brings all of these views to undergo and argues that the yank method of faculty and neighborhood athletics is damaged. yet he's no mere naysayer. He bargains a daring, revolutionary blueprint for reforming athletics to satisfy our country’s academic and public healthiness wishes. Given better education’s old position of supplying management in our society, the initiative to revive a extra brilliant stability among athletics and schooling needs to commence with the reform of big-time university athletics. regardless of common public skepticism concerning better education’s skill to alter the approach, Gerdy argues that the chance for reform hasn't ever been greater. utilizing a provocative mixture of learn and considerate commentary, he argues that, for the 1st time within the heritage of yank better schooling, the serious mass of individuals, businesses, and out of doors pressures essential to force and maintain innovative, systemic reform of the varsity athletic firm is in position.

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Extra info for Air Ball: American Education’s Failed Experiment with Elite Athletics

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Again, the purpose of this short review was not to dwell on the scandals and hypocrisies that have become an accepted part of college athletics. It is clear that these highly visible incidents inflict tremendous damage on the integrity of the institution and erode public trust in higher education. But the point must be made: higher education’s sponsorship of elite athletics has been a failure. What other conclusion can be drawn when virtually all of its alleged benefits are not being realized and all of the fundamental justifications for its incorporation into academe have, for the most part, been proven to be myths?

Noll of Stanford University edited a book on stadium financing for the Brookings Institution titled Sports, Jobs, and Taxes. In it, Zimbalist, Noll, and fifteen collaborators study the issues “from all angles” and contend that, “ [a] new sports facility has an extremely small (and perhaps negative) overall effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility appears to have earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment” (qtd. in Gross, 1999, p. C-6). Zimbalist and Noll say that “even BEYOND THE IVY-COVERED WALLS the most successful publicly funded new stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, has resulted in a net gain to the Baltimore economy of only about $3 million a year, not much return on a $200 million investment” (qtd.

Today, Illinois is the only state that still requires daily physical education classes for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. And Colorado, along with South Dakota, does not have any mandate for physical education on any level—elementary school, middle school, or high school (Reed, 2004). In short, an official policy of encouraging students to pursue a healthy life through exercise is no longer a priority in our nation’s schools. Meanwhile, our nation becomes more obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the percentage of obese children ages six to eleven has increased nearly 300 percent over the last twenty-five years.

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