College Football and the Politics of Rape
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"Of all the many problems facing college football, the most severe by far is the shocking number of rape cases involving athletes. And, as Luther makes abundantly clear in this impeccably researched volume, those numbers are only the tip of the iceberg, thanks to the contagion of cover-ups instigated by coaches and university officials, often with the support of police . . . Most important, Luther devotes part two of her book to changing the playbook, offering specific suggestions like fire people” and hire women” that throw down a gauntlet to those in power. Unsportsmanlike Conduct is not always easy to readthe text necessarily relies on numerous statistics and detailed summaries of court casesbut, nevertheless, it is almost certainly the most important sports book of the year."
-- Booklist Starred Review
"Highly relevant, hard-hitting, much-needed information that reveals the widespread existence of rape by sports players on college campuses."
"We as a society owe a great debt to Jessica Luther. She has spent the last several years of her professional life dedicated primarily to reporting on the epidemic of sexual assault in college sportsfootball in particular. Her debut book Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape, published on Dave Zirin’s Edge of Sports” imprint at Akashic Books, isn’t simply a tell-all; she has rewritten the playbook for collegiate sports culture, giving survivors and supporters a reason to be hopeful about rooting for our teams without further sacrificing who we are."
-- The Establishment
The latest from Akashic's Edge of Sports imprint.
Football teams create playbooks, in which they draw up the plays they will use on the field. Playbooks are how teams work and why they win. This book is about a different kind of playbook: the one coaches, teams, universities, police, communities, the media, and fans seem to follow whenever a college football player is accused of sexual assault. It's a deep dive into how different institutions--the NCAA, athletic departments, universities, the media--run the same plays over and over again when these stories break. If everyone runs his play well, scrutiny dies down quickly, no institution ever has to change how it operates, and the evaporation of these cases into nothingness looks natural. In short, this playbook is why nothing ever changes.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct unpacks this societal playbook piece by piece, and not only advocates that we destroy the old plays, but also suggests we replace them with ones that will force us to finally do something about this issue.
Political sportswriter and Edge of Sports imprint curator Dave Zirin (the Nation) has never shied away from criticizing that which die-hard sports fans hold dear. The Edge of Sports titles will address issues across many different sportsfootball, basketball, swimming, tennis, etc.and at both the professional and nonprofessional/collegiate levels. Furthermore, Zirin brings to the table select stories of athletes’ journeys and what they are facing and how they evolve both in their sport as well as against the greater backdrop of one’s life’s odyssey.