Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Literature Review #2: The NCAA, the College Sports Media, and the University of Miami Scandal

Pictured above is Nevin Shapiro (right) and Miami football player Kellen Winslow, Jr. (left) 

     Mike Milford's article, "Kenneth Burke’s Punitive Priests and the Redeeming Prophets: The NCAA, the College Sports Media, and the University of Miami Scandal", focuses on an interesting theory regarding variables at play in the Nevin Shapiro booster scandal. Burke refers to the priests as the NCAA, or those who create an orientation around a scapegoat. The scapegoat in this instance happened to be Nevin Shapiro and the University of Miami for improperly handling the conduct of its boosters. But the other variable at play in Burke's opinion was the "prophets" who happened to be the sports media. The prophet's main goal here was to shift the attention away from the scapegoat and focus it back on the priests for the "unfair" creation of scapegoating a person or entity. Milford's article delves into the dynamic the priests and prophets created with regard to the Nevin Shapiro scandal and provides an interesting counter-argument against the notion that the scandal solely lied on the University of Miami and Shapiro, when in reality the NCAA was to blame.


  1. You need to follow the standard lit review format outlined in the syllabus.

  2. After you left our meeting, I took a closer look at this article and it is interesting. The writer himself does not blame the NCAA for being the source of "corruption," but this case was clearly used to do that rhetorically. So, especially with Milford's help, you could turn this into a useful case to support your project, if you want to go there. Just, on its face, it is not the clearest arrow pointing to the NCAA as the corrupting influence and you might have an easier time working with instances where the NCAA's monopoly power over athlete pay or over punishing schools was exercised in self-interested ways.