For almost a century, big-time college athletics has been a wildly popular but consistently problematic part of American higher education. The challenges it poses to traditional academic values have been recognized from the start, but they have grown more ominous in recent decades, as cable television has become ubiquitous, commercial opportunities have proliferated, and athletic budgets have ballooned. In the second edition of his influential book Big-Time Sports in American Universities, Clotfelter continues to examine the role of athletics in American universities, building on his argument that commercial sports have become a core function of the universities that engage in them. Drawing on recent scandals on large-scale college campuses and updates on several high-profile court cases, Clotfelter brings clear economic analysis to the variety of problems that sports raise for university and public policy, providing the basis for the continuation of constructive conversations about the value of big-time sports in higher education.
Charles Clotfelter is Professor of Public Policy at Duke University, North Carolina, where he received his Bachelors. He received a Doctorate in Economics from Harvard. He has written four other books on education and economics, including Unequal Colleges in the Age of Disparity (2017), After Brown: The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation (2004) (winner of the Gladys Kammerer prize), and Buying the Best (1996). He also co-authored two other books, including Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America (1990). In 2011, he was selected to give the Spencer Foundation Award Lecture, and in 2015 he was elected to the National Academy of Education.