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By C. Richard King, Charles Fruehling Springwood

Asses the ritualization and illustration of racial distinction linked to intercollegiate athletics.

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Additional resources for Beyond the Cheers: Race As Spectacle in College Sport (S U N Y Series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations)

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Amid the glittering office complexes in suburban Kansas City, the NCAA Hall of Champions offers, what a promotional brochure terms, “A one-of-a-kind tribute to intercollegiate athletics . . a photographic and video salute to all of the NCAA’s 21 sports” (“NCAA Hall of Champions,” no date). A 96-foot mural devoted to the history of the NCAA greets visitors as they enter the museum. To the right and left stand galleries, each containing exhibits of varying sizes on all sports governed by the NCAA.

Like his brother, he was an outstanding high school basketball player, receiving a scholarship to the University of Central Florida. Following difficulties with the coach, he withdrew from school. He and his mother agree that he never realized his promise, nor his dreams, because of his choices. Read against one another, the operations of the American Dream become apparent, as do their consequences for critical understandings of race and class. Individual character and choices and personal discipline and drive, not social conditions, determine what one becomes—a failure who made a bad choice or a success who pursued his dreams.

The rhetoric of transcendence and its effects, as the following examples clarify, is not limited to professional athletics but rather shapes the lives and life histories of college athletes as well. Two Nike advertising spots that ran in 1995 expose the workings of these life histories: the first a success story, entitled “Work,” narrated by then-professional basketball superstar Penny Hardaway, and the second a tale of regret and missed opportunities offered by streetball legend Peewee Kirkland (quoted in Goldman & Popson, 1998, p.

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