Sanity, Subsidy, and Ransom: The Touchdown Club of Oklahoma and the Birth of NCAA Probation

By Andrew McGregor “How does a third-rate college football team suddenly become one of the best in the country?” Paul Gardner asked in True magazine amidst OU’s 31-game win streak in October 1950.[1] The University of Oklahoma’s rise from obscurity to football power surprised college football observers. He believed something more than Bud Wilkinson’s coaching…

Roundtable Reflections on the Rio Olympics, Part 2

This week we’re offering our thoughts and reflections on the recently completed Rio Olympics. Today is part two of our roundtable. It features a Q&A with four of our contributors — Cat Ariail, Josh Howard, Andrew McGregor, and Lindsay Parks Pieper — about their views on the Rio Olympics and its legacy as both scholars and sports fans. Feel…

“The Fifth Quarter”: A Review of O.J. Made in America, Part Five

As part of ESPN’s 30 for 30, O.J.: Made in America examines O.J. Simpson’s movement through the American cultural, political, and social landscape of the past five decades. The five-segment documentary explores the significance of race, gender, celebrity, and violence in Simpson’s football career and later criminal trial. The Sport in American History blog will be reviewing all…

Presentations in the Peach State: The Forty-Fourth Annual North American Society for Sport History Convention

On May 25-27, 1973, scholars gathered at Ohio State University’s Center for Tomorrow for the first North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) convention. The inaugural group was largely comprised of scholars with physical education backgrounds and an interest in sport history. Not surprisingly then, the first convention showcased thirty papers with ancient Greek athletics,…

The Bud Wilkinson Show: Television, the NCAA, and the Cold War

By Andrew McGregor During the fall of 1953 Bud Wilkinson, head coach of the University of Oklahoma, launched his own coach’s show. The fifteen-minute program initially aired live on Tuesday nights at 10:15 p.m. on Oklahoma City’s WKY-TV. Plainly titled “Bud Wilkinson’s Football,” newspapers simply described it as “OU’s famous coach discusses football.”[1] The show…