Roundtable on the Cancelled Sport History Course at North Carolina

By Andrew McGregor Recently the University of North Carolina (UNC) cancelled history professor Jay Smith’s class “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956-Present.” The Daily Tar Heel reported that the department was “under pressure from the college to cancel the class to prevent students from learning about the University’s recent scandals.”  His colleagues…

Review of Big Ten Basketball, 1943-1972

Nelson, Murray R. Big Ten Basketball, 1943-1972. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017. Pp. 256. Appendix, notes, bibliography, and index. $39.95 softcover. Reviewed by Andrew McGregor March has arrived, much to the glee of basketball fans. Conference tournaments are in full swing across the country, helping solidify the fates of those teams living on the bubble before…

2016-2017 College Basketball Roundtable

The 2016-2017 college basketball season is in full swing. Conference play began this week, signaling the beginning of the “true season” in the minds of many fans. Many of the conferences appear wide open, promising competitive races from Tobacco Road to the Pacific coast. According to the NCAA, over 27 million fans flocked to roundhouses, barns, and arenas…

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…

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…