This volume provides unique insight into how American colleges and universities have been significantly impacted and shaped by college football, and considers how U.S. sports culture more generally has intersected with broader institutional and educational issues.

By documenting events from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including protests, legal battles, and policy reforms which were centred around college sports, this distinctive volume illustrates how football has catalyzed broader controversies and progress relating to race and diversity, commercialization, corruption, and reform in higher education. Relying foremost on primary archival material, chapters illustrate the continued cultural, social, and economic themes and impacts of college athletics on U.S. higher education and campus life today.

This text will benefit researchers, graduate students, and academics in the fields of higher education, as well as the history of education and sport more broadly. Those interested in the sociology of education and the politics of sport will also enjoy this volume.

chapter 2|21 pages

“As Good as the Best”

Gallaudet Football and the Battle against Normalization at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

chapter 3|27 pages

Football Culture at New South Universities

Lost Cause and Old South Memory, Modernity, and Martial Manhood

chapter 4|23 pages

“The Great Dartmouth Team Is No Longer”

The 1925 Dartmouth Big Green, “The Present Evil,” and the Transformation of College Football

chapter 5|23 pages

Redefining Reform

Presidents, Football, and Athletic Policy in the Southeastern Conference, 1929–1936

chapter 6|23 pages

Saints Embrace Savagery

BYU Football and the Making of Modern Mormonism

chapter 8|16 pages

Mugs, Jugs, Bells, and Bowls

Traveling Football Trophies as Campus Traditions and Windows into Institutional Culture at Division III Institutions

chapter 9|29 pages

Last Stand for a Less Commercialized Game

Contesting Football’s Place in Higher Education in NCAA v. Board of Regents, 1984

chapter 10|15 pages


Understanding Current Controversies in College Football through Its Colorful Past