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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeff Benedict, Armen Keteyian Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2013 ISBN: 9780804148429
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College football has never been more popular, or more chaotic. Millions fill stadiums every Saturday; tens of millions more watch every weekend on television. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama had a viewership of over twenty-six million people, second only to the Super Bowl. Billions of dollars of television deals now flow into the game; the average budget for a top-ten team is eighty million dollars; top coaches make more than three million dollars a year, the highest paid, more than five million.

But behind this glittering success are the darker truths: “athlete-students” working essentially full-time jobs with no share in the oceans of money, 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 recruit; paid test takers; recruiting slush funds. And this: Despite the millions of dollars pouring into the game, ninety percent of major athletic departments still lose money. Yet schools remain caught up in an ever-escalating “arm’s 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. 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 television stars, five-star recruits and dogged 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] harrowing and occasionally uplifting journey—or literary trip—through recent history and across the country’s most football-obsessed campuses.”

    New York Times

  • “I just read and can’t stop extolling The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football…I expected scandal, I expected feel-good stories; what I didn’t expect was a book so riveting that I missed my bus stop…Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian have given us a thrilling read.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “The best book on the sport written in years (and that’s coming from someone who has written a couple). The System will shock fans as the saturation reporting peels back the veneer on everything from coaching politics, to sexual tension in tutoring labs, to the role of recruiting hostesses, to backstabbing conference realignment, to super boosters, and so on. Even the hardcore fans, though, will be surprised—everyone knows this is a wild business, just not in such detail…There’s just no way a college football fan won’t devour this book.”

    Yahoo! Sports

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
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About the Author
Author Jeff Benedict

Jeff Benedict is the author of fourteen critically acclaimed books, and his articles have been published in Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. A sought-after public speaker, he also teaches writing at Southern Virginia University.

About the Narrator

Mark Deakins is an actor whose television appearances include Head Case, Star Trek: Voyager, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His film credits include Intervention, Star Trek: Insurrection, and The Devil’s Advocate. He recently wrote, directed, and produced the short film The Smith Interviews.