The End of College Football

On the Human Cost of an All-American Game

By Nathan Kalman-Lamb, Derek Silva

The End of College Football

Approx. 264 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 3 tables

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8346-1
    Published: December 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-8345-4
    Published: December 2024

Paperback Available December 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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In this book, Nathan Kalman-Lamb and Derek Silva offer an existential challenge to one of America's favorite pastimes: college football. Drawing on twenty-five in-depth interviews with former players at some of the country's most prominent college football schools, Kalman-Lamb and Silva explore how football is both predicated on a foundation of coercion and suffused with racialized harm and exploitation. Through the stories of those who lived it, the authors examine the ways in which college football must be understood as a site of harm, revealing how players are systematically denied the economic value they produce for universities and offered only a devalued education in return.

By illuminating the plantation dynamics that make this a particularly racialized form of exploitation, the book makes legible the forms of physical sacrifice that are required, the ultimate cost in health and well-being, and the coercion that drives players into the sport and compels them to endure such abusive conditions.

About the Authors

Nathan Kalman-Lamb is assistant professor of sociology at University of New Brunswick and the author of Game Misconduct: Injury, Fandom, and the Business of Sport.
For more information about Nathan Kalman-Lamb, visit the Author Page.

Derek Silva is associate professor of sociology at University of King's College and is the coauthor of Power Played: A Critical Criminology of Sport.
For more information about Derek Silva, visit the Author Page.


"Kalman-Lamb and Silva tap into the best traditions of ethnography and provide a powerful yet accessible indictment of the wider system of NCAA football. A must read for the thinking sports fan."—Jules Boykoff, Pacific University

"A significant contribution that deepens our understanding of the political economy of US collegiate athletics. By laying bare the racialized exploitation of so-called 'student-athletes' in big-time college football, the authors' research makes a strong case that the college sport industrial complex may not be 'fixed' without the abolition of capitalism itself."—Chen Chen, University of Connecticut