Fumbled Call: The Bear Bryant–Wally Butts Football Scandal That Split the Supreme Court and Changed American Libel Law
Adolph Rupp and the Rise of Kentucky Basketball
“Dead but Standing Erect”: Why Southern Conference Members Left to Form the Southeastern Conference
Thirteen institutions left the Southern Conference to form the Southeastern Conference during 1932. Why did these schools leave the Southern Conference? Previous historical research portrays the large size of the Southern Conference and the desire to pass academic reforms as reasons for the Southeastern Conference’s formation. This article argues that the university presidents and other administrators at Southeastern Conference institutions formed it to enhance the legitimacy of their member institutions. Throughout the Great Depression, the conference’s administrators pursued increased legitimacy by attempting to reform academic eligibility rules, allowing football games to be broadcast over the radio, awarding athletic scholarships, allowing member institutions to compete in emerging postseason football bowl games, and hiring a commissioner. This instance of conference realignment is historically significant because some of the policies implemented by the Southeastern Conference contributed to its rise as one of the top revenue-generating conferences in college athletics.