The System

  • by Jeff Benedict, Armen Keteyian
  • Narrated by Mark Deakins
  • 17 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

College football has never been more popular - or more chaotic. Millions fill 100,000-seat stadiums every Saturday; tens of millions more watch on television every weekend. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama had a viewership of 26.4 million people, second only to the Super Bowl. Billions of dollars from television deals now flow into the game; the average budget for a top-ten team is $80 million; top coaches make more than $3 million a year; the highest paid, more than $5 million.
But behind this glittering success are darker truths: “athlete-students” working essentially full-time jobs with no share in the oceans of money; players who often don’t graduate and end their careers with broken bodies; “janitors” who clean up player misconduct; football “hostesses” willing to do whatever it takes to land a top recruit; seven-figure black box recruiting slush funds. And this: Despite the millions of dollars pouring into the game, 90 percent of major athletic departments still lose money. Yet schools remain caught up in an ever-escalating “arms race” - at the expense of academic scholarships, facilities and faculty.
Celebrated investigative journalists Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian were granted unprecedented access during the 2012 season to programs at the highest levels across the country at a time of convulsive change in college football. Through dogged reporting, they explored every nook and cranny of this high-powered machine, and reveal how it operates from the inside out. The result: the system through the eyes of athletic directors and coaches, high-flying boosters and high-profile TV stars, five-star recruits and tireless NCAA investigators and the kids on whom the whole vast enterprise depends.
Both a celebration of the power and pageantry of NCAA football and a groundbreaking, thought-provoking critique of its excesses, The System is the definitive book on the college game.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Gripping Inside Look at an Industry to Itself

If you have any interest in college football, you should read "The System," a spectacular and sobering look at College Football, as a Sport and a Huge Multi-Billion$ Business, that:

Explores each of more than a dozen hot and/or intriguing topics in college football;

By way of an illustrative story to humanize it, much like the Michael Lewis method;

Written by respected and gritty reporters who were granted a year of behind-scenes access and ability to interview coaches, ADs, athletes, academic administration, boosters, students, prosecutors, NCAA; and, who

Crafted an astounding collage of The System to give the reader both good and bad, so you can form your own opinions, conclusions and, if nothing else, see the sport in a different light.

I highly recommend it.
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- W Perry Hall ""There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays"

You must be a sports fan to enjoy this book

When I bought this book I expect the author to present a thesis, and then build his case through stories and evidence. I expected something great. This book was really just a compilation of interesting football stories, it wasn't building a case to prove a point. With that said, as a huge football fan I really enjoyed most of the stories. It was very well written, and well researched, and the stories were not the usual football stories. I was just let down by the randomness of the book.

If you are a big fan of college football you will enjoy this book. If you are not much of a sports fan, especially college football, this book will not really draw you in.
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- Brock "So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-17-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio