It’s been a while since I first announced that I was writing a book on college football and sexual assault. I can now say that the book is completely drafted, is in the final stages of edits, and has a release date of September 6, 2016!
Football teams create playbooks, in which they draw up the plays they will use on the field. Coaches and players memorize these playbooks. Each individual play is given a name and can be communicated in a matter of seconds from sideline to field. If all goes well, the large amount of work that goes into a single play suddenly looks like a natural flow of bodies moving in unison that result in the movement of the ball down the field or the successful stop of the other team’s offense.
Playbooks are how teams work and why they win.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape is about a different kind of playbook. Over the last three years, this has been a hot topic as people are wondering aloud and often about the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, especially when it involves the football players on people’s favorite teams. This book explores that playbook, the one coaches, teams, universities, police, communities, the media, and fans seem to follow whenever a college football player is accused, charged, and/or convicted 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 their plays 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, it suggests we replace them with ones that will force us to finally do something about this issue.
Book Launch Party: September 8, at Book People in Austin, Texas, 7pm.
Book Tour: People have been asking me about this part of it. Yes, there will be some kind of tour; we are putting that together now. If you are interested in having me speak at your university, book store, event, whatever, about the book or the topic, please email me. When there are new dates, I’ll be adding them to the “Events” tab on this site. You can also keep up with me on my Facebook page and Twitter.