College athletics in the United States has prospered significantly since its inception. It has also been faced with controversy ranging from threatening the academic integrity of higher education to extreme levels of commercialization. Regardless, college athletics has provided millions of students with opportunities to not only compete in athletics but also achieve an education and ultimately a college degree. This entry examines college athletics in higher education. It uses both historical and sociological sensitivities to provide a conceptual framework for this analysis. These sensitivities provide a historical context to understand the origin and development of college athletics and a sociological context to understand how college athletics has evolved into a social spectacle that provides millions with a source of entertainment and a cultural event that ...

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