Sports Crazy
How Sports Are Sabotaging American Schools

By Steven J. Overman

256 pages(approx.), 6 x 9 inches

9781496821300 Printed casebinding $99.00S

9781496821317 Paper $30.00S

Printed casebinding, $99.00

Paper, $30.00

A reasoned, radical proposal to overhaul American school sports and free education from the madness of competition and entertainment

Sports Crazy: How Sports Are Sabotaging American Schools exposes the excesses of middle and high school sports and the detrimental effects our sports obsession has on American education. Institutions are increasingly emulating college and professional sports models and losing sight of a host of educational and health goals.

Steven J. Overman describes how this agenda is driven largely by partisan fans and parents of athletes who exert an inordinate influence on school priorities, and he explains how and why school administrators shockingly and consistently capitulate to these demands. The author underscores the incongruity of public schools involved in an entertainment business and the effects this diversion has on academic integrity, learning, life experience, and overall educational outcomes.

Overman examines out-of-control school sports within the context of a school's educational mission and curriculum, with telling reference to impacts on physical education. He explores as well the outsized place of interscholastic sports beyond the classroom and scrutinizes the distorted relationship between intramural or recreational sports and elitist, varsity athletics. Overman's chapter on tackle football explains many reasons why this sport should be eliminated from the school extracurriculum and replaced by flag or touch football.

Overman presents a brief history of interscholastic sports, and he compares and contrasts the American experience of school-sponsored sport to the European model of community-based clubs. Which approach better serves students? Overman recommends reforms to phase out interscholastic sports in favor of an intramural or club model.

STEVEN J. OVERMAN is a retired professor of health and physical education at Jackson State University. He is author of several books, including The Youth Sports Crisis: Out-of-Control Adults, Helpless Kids and The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Sport: How Calvinism and Capitalism Shaped America's Games.

256 pages(approx.), 6 x 9 inches