Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape (Akashic Book‘s Edge of Sports imprint).



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.

Excerpts from Unsportsmanlike Conduct:

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Find it at Akashic’s site, Amazon, Indiebound, BookPeople, and Goodreads.

Coming in 2018, How To Love Sports When They Don’t Love You Back, co-authored with Kavitha A. Davidson (University of Texas Press).

How To Love Sports will be a guide for conflicted fans who want to keep watching the sports they love but who acknowledge the problems with the industry, addressing topics such as How to Watch Football When We Know About CTE, How to Cheer For Your Hockey Team When There’s An Accused Rapist On It, and How to Watch March Madness When You Know The Athletes Aren’t Getting Paid.

Represented by Jennifer Johnson-Blalock at Liza Dawson Associates.

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