Book Review: The Fifty-Year Seduction
In my review of The Missing Ring by Keith Dunnavant, I said that it wouldn’t let it dissuade me from acquiring and reading the same author’s The Fifty-Year Seduction: How Television Manipulated College Football, from the Birth of the Modern NCAA to the Creation of the BCS. Well, I have now so acquired and read The Fifty-Year Seduction, and am pleased to say that I made the correct decision in not letting my opinion of The Missing Ring and its premise dissuade me. As I hoped, the subtitle is somewhat overwrought-what Dunnavant produced is instead an excellent journalistic history of college football’s relationship with television, from the earliest days of the medium through the book’s 2004 publication. I felt like I had a good idea of college football’s history from the mid-1980’s to the present, but after reading this book, that grasp really only extended back about 15 years. I learned a tremendous deal about the environment that led to the seminal Board of Regents v. NCAA court case, and it’s effect on television contracts, conferences, and athletic departments in general. If I wanted to (and I both do and don’t), I’d now write some extended commentary on the practical antitrust implications of Board of Regents, but I’ll spare you. Instead, I will simply recommend The Fifty-Year Seduction to anyone who thinks they might be interested in reading it.