College football has changed immensely since the days when the boys played solely for the honor and glory of good old Alma Mater U. These two books tell the story, much of it dismaying.
In "Bootlegger's Boy," former coach Barry Switzer gives a detailed and vivid account of his 16 years and national championships at the University of Oklahoma. He was one of the nation's winningest coaches.But things began to fall apart for him - though, he says, through no fault of his own - when several team members were arrested for such crimes as rape, drug-dealing and attempted murder. He also had been the longtime subject of criticism for various financial deals and even failure to win every game every year. Switzer recounts his various woes at considerable length.
However, Switzer, who grew up in a poor Arkansas family and was the son of the local bootlegger, became a top coach and a demon recruiter. He says he was the first to go after black players. In some sports, says Switzer, black athletes are generally superior to whites.
In closing, Switzer recommends many rules changes.
Charles Thompson's "Down and Dirty" indicts the college sport in withering detail.
Thompson, who at 17 was regarded as one of the nation's most gifted high-school athletes, became Switzer's quarterback. But he wound up in prison on a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
The tale he tells is one of how ball-players are (mis)used unmercifully to gain school prestige and money. He further presents details of drug and alcohol abuse by players, unrestrained sexual license, gang rapes, bribe offers, gambler approaches, racial tension, disregard for rules, disdain for study, and offers of wads of free money, luxury cars and about anything else from team boosters. - Frank Stilley (AP) .