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Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape
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Akashic Books 2016
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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 read—the text necessarily relies on numerous statistics and detailed summaries of court cases—but, 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."
Kirkus Reviews
"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 sports—football 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 sports—football, 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.

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Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/06/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781617755217
ASIN:
B01III4UTW
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jessica Luther. (2016). Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape. Akashic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jessica Luther. 2016. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape. Akashic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jessica Luther, Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape. Akashic Books, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jessica Luther. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape. Akashic Books, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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        Jessica Luther is an independent writer and investigative journalist living in Austin, Texas. Her work on sports and culture has appeared in the Texas Observer and the Austin Chronicle, and at Sports Illustrated, Texas Monthly, Vice Sports, Guardian Sport, and Bleacher Report. Luther's work gained national attention in August 2015 when writing for Texas Monthly; she and Dan Solomon broke open the story about a Baylor football player on trial for sexual assault, a case known by only a few in the community and not reported in the media for nearly two years.

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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 read—the text necessarily relies on numerous statistics and detailed summaries of court cases—but, 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...

isOwnedByCollections
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title
Unsportsmanlike Conduct
fullDescription

"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 read—the text necessarily relies on numerous statistics and detailed summaries of court cases—but, 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."
Kirkus Reviews
"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 sports—football 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 sports—football, 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.

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crossRefId
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Le Noir Auteur
      • content:

        "An essential text . . . More than just for sports fans or those in college, this is a book that dismantles many of the issues in society that have led to college football becoming the perfect microcosm of rape culture . . . Luther outlines many ways to help clean up these issues and in her due diligence leaves readers, and colleges, with the tools to make it happen."

      • premium: False
      • source: The Current
      • content: "The most essential book that new students will not be seeing on their class syllabus this semester, but they should . . . “Unsportsmanlike Conduct" is the new playbook for colleges and sports departments when it comes to rape and sexual assault."
      • premium: False
      • source: Misanthropester
      • content: "Luther's book . . . will be a must read for fans not just of college football but all sport. As well as a vital, pragmatic text for everyday feminism. Unsportsmanlike Conduct is a hard, steady look at the heart of rape culture and how it's perpetuated . . . She is writing about something that implicates her at nearly every level as well as each of us reading. Luther doesn't do so to tear down programs or sport, but to get us all to rectify our actions, allegiances, and excuses."
      • premium: False
      • source: Rachel Nichols, ESPN
      • content: "Few subjects are as difficult, or as important, as this one, and Jessica Luther handles it flawlessly. We have to demand that schools take better care of our kids; it's that simple. Luther gives us the tools to do so, breaking down exactly where we are, how we got here, and--most importantly--how the system can change."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kate Fagan, EspnW
      • content: "Jessica Luther is one of the most important voices on gender issues in sports. And this book does not disappoint: it is essential reading for anyone who hopes to better understand the intersection of gender and our sports landscape."
      • premium: False
      • source: Charles P. Pierce, author of Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free
      • content: "The maxim of the law is silence gives consent. Back when nobody was talking about AIDS, the maxim was silence equals death. There exists in our major sports a malignant culture of sexual assault and bureaucratic indifference. There is nothing this culture resists more than plain talk, and Jessica Luther has been speaking more plainly about this ongoing obscenity than almost anyone else. This is a hard, necessary, and important book, a book by someone who refuses to be silent, and damn sure refuses to consent."
      • premium: False
      • source: Wendy Davis, former Texas state senator, founder of Deeds Not Words
      • content: "Luther's well-researched book speaks powerfully to the complicated landscape of sexual assaults on college campuses--including the greedy interests at play in denying it--and provides us a much-needed road map for instituting effective change. I highly recommend this book for anyone who believes that student safety should matter more than athletic success, and that we all have a role to play in assuring that it does."
      • premium: False
      • source: Bomani Jones, ESPN
      • content: "Unsportsmanlike Conduct is an important book by an important writer. Jessica Luther's place as both sports fan and empathetic observer makes her perfect to explore the shameful ways universities and their athletic programs address sexual assault, as no one could say she doesn't love football. She just loves people more, as she should, and this book is an important mirror to make us question how sports became more important to the world than the women who make life possible."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jemele Hill, ESPN
      • content: "In painstaking and passionate detail, Jessica Luther challenges those of us who have become seduced by the emotion and ritual of sport to stop being willfully ignorant about the significant problem of sexual assault and sexual violence. Sports, for many of us, have always been characterized as a lighthearted escape from the problems that dominate 'real life,' but this book reminds us that our ability to compartmentalize and rationalize these terrible crimes has cost us our collective humanity."
      • premium: False
      • source: Katie Nolan, host of Fox Sports' Garbage Time
      • content: "Luther uses the language and framework of college athletics--a playbook--to demonstrate the industry's systemic problems with sexual violence. This book should be handed to every incoming freshman, and left on the seats of stadiums across the country. A must-read for athletes, coaches, administrators, journalists, and fans alike."
      • premium: False
      • source: Street Roots News
      • content: "Jessica Luther has delivered a searing account of the way...
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 1, 2016
        Investigative reporting that uncovers the rape culture surrounding college sports, particularly football.Drawing on the sports playbook idea, where one play combined with another and another leads to a single, unified, successful act, Luther writes about the prevalence of rape and assault on college campuses as a combination of many factors. She discusses the role coaches, universities, sponsors, the police, and other authority figures play in perpetuating a subculture in which the aggressive acts of sports players, particularly gifted football stars, are often ignored because "boys will be boys." She delves into many cases, giving graphic details from victims of the abuse, often from multiple attackers, and then discusses the lack of support for the victims, the fears they often have after the attack, and the dismissiveness of so many toward the victims, which allows the perpetrators to continue as if nothing had happened. Luther explains how many schools turn the other way when confronted with a possible assault case even though they have a legal obligation to investigate the attack under federal Title IX laws. "The idea that universities don't care about victims is perceived to be worse whenever the accused is a high-profile athlete," she writes, "someone the school has a serious financial and emotional stake in." As Luther, who helped break the story about sexual assaults on the campus of Baylor University, points out, college sports (especially football) generate billions of dollars in revenue, and the idea of the game often unifies many small towns that would otherwise remain divided. Distressing to read, even more so when one learns how many college abusers have gone on to join the NFL, Luther's research into rape on campuses is an important expose demonstrating that the problem still lies within the male locker room. The book is particularly timely in the wake of recent allegations at Baylor and Stanford. Highly relevant, hard-hitting, much-needed information that reveals the widespread existence of rape by sports players on college campuses.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2016
        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. Luther organizes her book around the metaphor of the playbook, arguing that, in addition to the playbook that drives what happens on the field, there is also a playbook in place for how colleges can cover up sexual abuse, dictating such strategies as allowing an accused athlete to transfer to another school, where he often goes on to commit further violence against women. The data Luther presents in detailing the plays in the playbook serve as a powerful indictment of both individual universities (including her own Florida State) and the do-nothing attitude of the NCAA. She also addresses carefully but completely the racial component of rape culture in college football, noting the fact that, in the preponderance of cases that do gain national attention, the accused rapist is black and the victim white, reinforcing abhorrent but persistent stereotypes. 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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

subtitle
College Football and the Politics of Rape
popularity
52
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Akashic Books
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