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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

The Scandals of '51

How the Gamblers Almost Killed College Basketball

by Charley Rosen

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The college basketball scandals of 1951 were to basketball what the 1919 Black Sox scandals were to baseball—a loss of innocence, after which the game would be permanently tarnished, its relationship to power and big money firmly established. In Scandals of '51, Charley Rosen identifies all the major figures—including players, coaches, gangsters, clergymen, politicians—that made up the elaborate network that controlled the outcomes to many games or protected those who did so. Rosen shows who got caught and who didn't, and what role class, race, and religion played in determining this.

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“This exceptionally interesting book offers a detailed and all too convincing account of the ugly sequence of events that exploded some of our most cherished myths about the purity of amateur sports in America.”

“[T]he best nonfiction treatment of the affair.”

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A native of the Bronx and longtime pal of basketball guru Phil Jackson, Charley Rosen led the league in technical fouls during each of his six years as a coach in the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association. Since then he has become the world’s foremost writer of fiction and nonfiction on the subject of basketball, chronicling the drama that takes place both on and off the court. His many novels include The House of Moses All-Stars, a New York Times Notable Book, and Sammy Wong: All-American. His non-fiction works include The Scandals of ’51: How the Gamblers Almost Killed College Basketball and More than a Game, co-written with Phil Jackson. Rosen is an analyst for hoopshype.com and a devotee of the Triangle Offense. He lives in Accord, NY.