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John L. Griffith and the Commercialization of College Football Broadcasts in the Depression Era

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Abstract:

This study found that John L. Griffith, the first full-time commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, played a pivotal role in the expansion, commercialization and commodification of intercollegiate athletics in the Depression era. Echoing the “American Way” rhetoric of the radio industry in its battle to control broadcasting, Griffith positioned college football as a bulwark of capitalism and the antithesis of the emerging social welfare policies of the New Deal. Once the commercial radio industry successfully squeezed from the airwaves the educational broadcasters that had carried their own sports coverage, Griffith sought to forge a lucrative partnership between his conference and a national network. In aligning football’s interests and ideals with the competitive corporate ethos rather than the public service mission of public universities, Griffith helped to justify the commercialization of college football into the television age. In doing so, he also sowed the seeds for 21st century corporate/academic partnerships such as the Big Ten Network.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

broadcast (130), athlet (127), griffith (123), radio (102), footbal (96), colleg (90), confer (75), commerci (71), univers (67), john (64), director (58), intercollegi (52), big (51), sport (46), l (46), game (43), educ (41), ten (39), station (37), state (37), depress (33),
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Association:
Name: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
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http://www.aejmc.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p519171_index.html
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MLA Citation:

O'Toole, Kathleen. "John L. Griffith and the Commercialization of College Football Broadcasts in the Depression Era" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Renaissance Grand & Suites Hotel, St. Louis, MO, Aug 10, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p519171_index.html>

APA Citation:

O'Toole, K. , 2011-08-10 "John L. Griffith and the Commercialization of College Football Broadcasts in the Depression Era" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Renaissance Grand & Suites Hotel, St. Louis, MO Online <PDF>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p519171_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This study found that John L. Griffith, the first full-time commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, played a pivotal role in the expansion, commercialization and commodification of intercollegiate athletics in the Depression era. Echoing the “American Way” rhetoric of the radio industry in its battle to control broadcasting, Griffith positioned college football as a bulwark of capitalism and the antithesis of the emerging social welfare policies of the New Deal. Once the commercial radio industry successfully squeezed from the airwaves the educational broadcasters that had carried their own sports coverage, Griffith sought to forge a lucrative partnership between his conference and a national network. In aligning football’s interests and ideals with the competitive corporate ethos rather than the public service mission of public universities, Griffith helped to justify the commercialization of college football into the television age. In doing so, he also sowed the seeds for 21st century corporate/academic partnerships such as the Big Ten Network.


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