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Publisher's Summary

AN EXPLOSIVE AND REVELATORY PORTRAIT REPORTED FROM DEEP BEHIND THE SCENES OF BIG-TIME NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL: THE PASSION, THE THRILLING ACTION—AND THE SHOCKING REALITIES THAT LIE BENEATH THIS COLOSSAL, MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR BUSINESS
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.
©2013 Jeff Benedict, Armen Keteyian (P)2013 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By W Perry Hall on 01-23-14

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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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Lee on 09-17-14

Excellent!

What did you like best about this story?

The authors went out of their way to put together a true look at college football; from tutors working with athletes, janitors, athletic directors, coaches, boosters, and the players themselves. I've been a lifelong football fan and so I am familiar with some of the scandals that are mentioned but they fill in the gaps left in the media coverage. The narrator does a wonderful job and the book never feels tedious. I find myself sometimes staying in my car longer so that I can finish a chapter before I go inside work or home. Not many audio books can get me to do that.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Steve Wren on 03-19-15

Hugely informative

Interesting, exciting, inspirational and somewhat depressing in places. Everything was well explained and the author and narrator really sell the excitement and appeal of college athletics. I enjoyed it a lot.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By A. Turner on 06-24-16

just amazing inside look at college football

This book gives an inside look at the whole world of college football, from booster's, hostesses, AD's via players, coaches and the Game day TV crew. Fascinating and insightful, I learnt so much, if you have any interest in college football you cannot fail to find this book interesting. The biggest compliment that I can pay the narrator is that he enhanced my enjoyment of a fascinating book.

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