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123 - Why Do We Care: The History and Significance of Sport
June 19 - June 30
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Cost - $95.00
ENGR 101


This course is designed for two weeks. The first week with be taught by both Professor Richard Gordin and Professor Ross Peterson. Most of the course will be spent on the Twentieth Century, but the origins will be discussed. How and why universities and high schools became involved, the professionalization of athletics, and the impact of television are all part of the course. The impact on society with such topics as integration and Title X are also included. Finally, the frightening reality and impact of permanent injury coupled with gigantic salaries and profits are analyzed. These are multi-billion dollar businesses with very few actual employed athletes. We will examine the salaries of commissioners of professional sport and college conferences-not just the athletes. Professor Ross Peterson will follow up the earlier session with a week-long analysis of how athletics and sport are reflected in literature, history, movies, and the news. The cultural impact of sport, especially baseball. The persona of the Superstar stretching from Jack Johnson, Babe Ruth, Arnold Palmer, Billie Jean King, and Michael Jordan will be discussed as creations of marketers. The unionization of team sports and the creation of free agency are elaborated upon as they effect society. This course will also explore more deeply into the phenomena of the professionalization of youth sports and how this impacts education. The course concludes with a discussion of sport and technology.

Course Instructor: Dr. F. Ross Peterson is an emeritus professor of History at USU and originally from Idaho. He has taught summer courses on many occasions. His expertise is more recent US History. Peterson is an avid sports enthusiast who studies the impact of athletics on History. He is especially interested in how universities and colleges have provided opportunities through athletics for young people to achieve an education. Although baseball is his passion, he does study and follow many other athletes and how they impact history.
ross.peterson@usu.edu