Cover image for Sole influence : basketball, corporate greed, and the corruption of America's youth
Title:
Sole influence : basketball, corporate greed, and the corruption of America's youth
Author:
Wetzel, Dan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
xv, 299 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780446524506
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Explosive and controversial, this expos uncovers the exploitation of college, high school, and even junior high basketball players by the billion-dollar atheltic shoe companies competing for national endorsements. photo insert.


Author Notes

Don Yaeger was an Associate Editor at Sports Illustrated magazine. He is the co-author of Under the Tarnished Dome: How Notre Dame Betrayed Its Ideals for Football Glory, Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL, and George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution, and Andrew Jackson and the miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that shaped America's destiny.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The best move Nike ever made was hiring Michael Jordan to endorse its products. Everyone got rich. Ever since the Jordan bonanza, shoe companies have dipped deeper and deeper into the basketball-playing youth of America in hopes of securing the next MJ. Wetzel and Yaeger expose the exploitive, often unethical, and sometimes illegal methods the shoe companies have used to dominate amateur and college basketball. Through their representatives, usually high-school and college coaches, the companies buy "loyalty" by supplying athletic gear to players and teams. They also fly players to amateur tournaments and camps, put coaches on their payrolls, and allegedly steer players to "their" colleges, the ones that receive money and gear to display the company's logo. The authors pull no punches in pointing out that the majority of the kids who become entangled with shoe companies are disadvantaged inner-city residents who are summarily abandoned as soon as their value to the corporation diminishes. All basketball fans are aware, at least peripherally, that this shameful situation exists, but Wetzel and Yaeger's exposeshould give the issue the wider exposure it deserves. Excellent reporting, powerful writing. --Wes Lukowsky


Library Journal Review

This book examines a particularly seedy side of contemporary sports: the devious, distorted, duplicitous multibillion dollar search for the next Michael Jordan. That is, not for the next great basketball player but for the supreme corporate pitchman for the new millennium. According to Wetzel (managing editor, Basketball Times) and Yeager (a staff writer at Sports Illustrated), the principal players in this debased drama are Nike, Adidas, NCAA athletics, prep schools, summer basketball camps, and AAU teams and tournaments. Strikingly, all these influences are coming in contact with younger and younger kids, dipping down to the junior high school ages of 12 and 13. When these kids go to choose a college, a contributing factor is whether that institution's shoe endorsement contract matches their own. The story is very convincingly laid out and makes the ironic point that the phenomenon of Mr. Jordan so changed the landscape that there probably never will be another player with the same drive and relative innocence who so appeals to such a wide demographic. Highly recommended for all libraries.--John M. Maxymuk, Robeson Lib., Rutgers Univ., Camden, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Cast of Playersp. xiii
1. Unlike Mikep. 1
2. Shoes to Fillp. 15
3. Sonny and Georgep. 35
4. This Little Piggie Went to Nikep. 53
5. Romancing the Stonep. 70
6. Red, White, and Swooshp. 85
7. Wesley Wilsonp. 104
8. Mt. Zionp. 124
9. Be like 'Miquep. 141
10. Recruiting Rushp. 159
11. "Buy Your Own Goddamn Shoes"p. 178
12. The Summer Seasonp. 194
13. The Best Billboards Money Can Buyp. 214
14. Free Speech for Salep. 226
15. Standing Tallp. 236
16. Taking Responsibility for This Messp. 259
Epiloguep. 268
Indexp. 289