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Playing Nice and Losing
The Struggle for Control of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics, 1960-2000

Ying Wushanley

Cloth $24.95s    |    0-8156-3045-X    |    2004

Playing Nice and Losing looks into the evolution of women's intercollegiate athletics from a historical perspective and examines the demise of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW).

"Ying Wushanley, in this well-documented history, establishes that the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) desire to control all amateur sport and the well-meaning but less then competent efforts of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) resulted in the NCAA’s organization of most collegiate sports. Wushanley argues, however, that the fight over women’s sport was not simply a territorial battle between two bureaucracies; this was a philosophical struggle over how collegiate sport should be managed, what its purpose was, and who (men or women) should hold power. The NCAA presumed that collegiate sport was a business and that the ultimate goal should include generating revenue—a commercial model of sport—and that the men who ran the NCAA were best prepared to manage all sport, including women’s. The AIAW believed that sport should be more inclusive then the commercial model, that sport should instruct the athlete physically and mentally—an educational model of sport. . . . Ironically as Wushanley proves from archival primary source material as well as from interviews with AIAW leaders, the fight over which model should prevail was waged not primarily between the AIAW and the NCAA but within the AIAW itself. . . . The book allows the reader, though, to consider the competing philosophies. Problems abound with the commercial model: daily stories involving recruiting scandals, academics misconduct, and general lawlessness among collegiate athletes are evidence of colleges’ desperation to win and generate revenue. The AIAW initially believed that an educational model would help to prevent these problems and to protect the individual athlete. . . . Wushanley’s book illustrates the challenges of trying to stay to one’s ethics while still chasing the money."
dashAethlon: The Journal of Sports Literature

For nearly a century, women physical educators kept an iron-fist control of women's intercollegiate athletics within the "sex-separate" spheres of college campuses and under an educational model of competition. According to the author, Ying Wushanley, that control began to loosen significantly when Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments in 1972. Title IX meant greater opportunities for women in educational activities, including intercollegiate athletics. Ten years after the passage of the law, however, women not only gave up their educational model but also lost their power and control of women's intercollegiate athletics.

Playing Nice and Losing looks into the evolution of women's intercollegiate athletics from a historical perspective and examines the demise of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). Five major themes emerge: the movement from protectionism to sex-separation of women's college sports; the ascendance of women's sports as a result of the Cold War and power struggle within U. S. amateur sports; the challenge to the sex-separatist philosophy; the NCAA takeover and bankruptcy of the AIAW; and the defeat of the AIAW as a defender of thedashseparate but equaldashdoctrine. With Title IX and formerly men's organizations entering the governance of women's intercollegiate athletics, sustaining the sex-separatist AIAW became untenable in American society.

Ying Wushanley is associate professor at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and a council member of the North American Society for Sport History.

6 x 9, 264 pages, 17 illustrations, notes, bibliography, index, table

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