Varsity Green: A behind the Scenes Look at Culture and Corruption in College Athletics

Varsity Green: A behind the Scenes Look at Culture and Corruption in College Athletics

Varsity Green: A behind the Scenes Look at Culture and Corruption in College Athletics

Varsity Green: A behind the Scenes Look at Culture and Corruption in College Athletics


In Varsity Green, Mark Yost cuts through clichés and common misconceptions to take a hard-eyed look at the current state of college athletics. He takes readers behind the scenes of the conspicuous and high-revenue business of college sports in order to dissect the enormous television revenues, merchandising rights, bowl game payoffs, sneaker contracts, and endorsement deals that often pay state university coaches more than the college president, or even the governor.

Money in college sports is nothing new. But readers will be amazed at the alarming depth and breadth of influence, both financial and otherwise, that college sports has within our culture. Readers will learn how academic institutions capitalize on the success of their athletic programs, and what role sports-based revenues play across campus, from the training room to the science lab. Yost pays particular attention to the climate that big-money athletics has created over the past decade, as both the NCAA's March Madness and the Bowl Championship Series have become multi-billion dollar businesses. This analysis goes well beyond campus, showing how the corrupting influences that drive college athletics today have affected every aspect of youth sports, and have seeped into our communities in ways that we would not otherwise suspect.

This book is not only for the players, policymakers, and other insiders who are affected by the changing economics of college athletics; it is a must-read for any sports fan who engages with the NCAA and deserves to see the business behind the game.


In March 2006, Kansas State University, which is known more for academics than athletics, shocked the college basketball world by hiring coach Bob Huggins. It was, arguably, the oddest marriage in the history of college sports.

Huggins, fifty-two, had compiled a record of 567-199 (.740) over twentyfour seasons. He'd spent the past eighteen years at the University of Cincinnati, where he built a nationally ranked college basketball program that distinguished itself both on the court and as one of Nike's best-selling collegiate brands. He was ranked eighth in winning percentage and total victories among active Division I head coaches. Huggins's teams had gone on to postseason play in twenty-one of his twenty-four seasons, including fifteen ncaa Tournament appearances. His string of fourteen consecutive trips to the ncaa Tournament ranked as the third-longest streak among active coaches. Under Huggins, Cincinnati had won twenty or more games in all but four seasons; in two seasons they won thirty games, bringing his average to 23.5 victories per season.

In addition to one of the most impressive winning records in college basketball, Bob Huggins also brought a lot of baggage to tiny Manhattan, Kansas. He had been run out of town by University of Cincinnati president Nancy Zimpher, who finally had the guts to say “enough” to the popular but controversial coach. in her mind, Huggins's winning percentage and national stature no longer outweighed his outlandish personal behavior and his penchant for recruiting street thugs who had no place at a respectable university. in fact, in his last few years at the helm, his players had an . . .

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