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Abstract

This Article will focus on an issue that was probably not on the minds of 19th century educators, nor primarily on the minds of the legions of present-day academic critics of intercollegiate sports. Namely, this Article explores the ways in which big-time athletics- particularly football-normalize and encourage harms to women, including educational and sexual harms. The author’s theses depend upon acknowledging certain open secrets about college football: that it is a celebration of male physical supremacy (measured by male standards); that it is something that society lets males do and have as their sport, for reasons both good and bad; that football worship by both men and women is weirdly and widely accepted in spite of the huge costs of football; and that football has a darkly gendered underside that deserves serious consideration.