The End of Amateurism in American Track and Field

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-05-03
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
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This unique sports and labour history charts the revolutionary transformation of track and field over the past thirty years. In this time, The sport has changed from an amateur effort whose governing bodies unfairly controlled its athletes' lives to a professional arena in which athletes have the power to make decisions in their own best interests. While historians have chronicled labour history in team sports such as baseball and football or have lumped track and field into larger studies of Olympic history, Joseph M. Turrini is the first to scrupulously detail the efforts of athletes to reorder labour relations in track and field and to end their decades-long power struggle with governing bodies. Combining social and institutional history and incorporating the recollections of the athletes and meet directors on the front lines, The End of Amateurism in Track and Fieldshows how the athletes thoroughly transformed their sport to end the amateur system in the early 1990s--changes that allowed the athletes to market their potential, drastically increase their earning possibilities, and improve their quality of life. This book reveals how athletes in the 1950s began to harness the courts, legislature, and little-known underground labour relations systems that grew within the sport to untangle the distribution of power and decision-making by the 1990s. Enlivening the narrative with stories such as runner Wes Santee's battle with the Amateur Athletic Union and revelations about the actions of college coaches and rivalries between the NCAA and AAU, Turrini examines the effects of amateurism on athletes and explores how changes in the economic context of track and field And The role of the government helped leverage the end of the 100-year era of amateur track and field.

Author Biography

Joseph M. Turrini is an assistant professor of library and information science at Wayne State University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionip. 1
The Amateurs Take Control, 1820s-1940sp. 9
Wes Santee and Amateur Track and Field in the Post-World War II Period, 1945-1961p. 31
The Revolt of the College Coaches, 1960-1968p. 63
The Expansion of the Underground Labor-Relations System and the Growth of Athlete Opposition, 1968-1980p. 85
The International Track Association and the Expansion of Over-the-Table Financial Opportunities, 1968-1980p. 114
The Federal Government and the Amateur Sports Act: From Mediation to Legislation, 1969-1978p. 136
The Athletics Congress and the End of Amateurism, 1979-1993p. 149
Conclusionp. 169
Notesp. 181
Bibliographyp. 243
Indexp. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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