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WFU Sociologist to discuss academics and athletics

By Cheryl Walker
336.758.5237
March 1, 2004

Earl Smith, Rubin Professor of American Ethnic Studies at Wake Forest University, will present a lecture titled “The Modern World System: Academics and Athletics in the New Millennium” at 4 p.m. March 18 in Greene Hall, Room 145.

The free, public talk is part of the annual Hubert McNeill Poteat Lecture Series. Poteat taught at Wake Forest from 1911 to 1956 and was widely known as a Latin scholar. The lecture series is designed to recognize and celebrate the achievements of Wake Forest faculty in research and scholarship.

In his lecture, Smith will address the complex relationship between academics and intercollegiate athletics.

“These athletic programs, usually under the supervising structure of the athletic department and governed by the organizational rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), operate a form of entertainment business within the academic setting,” Smith said.

Smith, who also chairs Wake Forest’s sociology department, has written extensively about the sociology of sport. He has written chapters on student athletes for three books published in 2003 and is the author of several articles including “There Was No Golden Age of Sport for African American Athletes,” published in Society magazine in 2002.


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