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GUIDE TO THE GAME OF LIFE
Robert W. Creamer
January 19, 1987
Here's a book that's a labor of love—On the Mark: Putting the Student Back in Student-Athlete (Lexington Books, $22 hard cover. $9.95 paperback), by Richard Lapchick, the director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, and Robert Malekoff. the center's director of research. Lapchick is the son of Joe Lapchick, who was a renowned basketball player 60 years ago with the Original Celtics and an equally renowned coach later on at St. John's University and with the New York Knicks. The younger Lapchick has written earlier books on sports and society, specifically about the role of racism in sports. Malekoff was a varsity lacrosse player at Bowling Green State University, later coached women's soccer and men's lacrosse at Princeton and is involved in a nationwide program to help former athletes complete work for their college degrees.
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January 19, 1987

Guide To The Game Of Life

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Here's a book that's a labor of love—On the Mark: Putting the Student Back in Student-Athlete (Lexington Books, $22 hard cover. $9.95 paperback), by Richard Lapchick, the director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, and Robert Malekoff. the center's director of research. Lapchick is the son of Joe Lapchick, who was a renowned basketball player 60 years ago with the Original Celtics and an equally renowned coach later on at St. John's University and with the New York Knicks. The younger Lapchick has written earlier books on sports and society, specifically about the role of racism in sports. Malekoff was a varsity lacrosse player at Bowling Green State University, later coached women's soccer and men's lacrosse at Princeton and is involved in a nationwide program to help former athletes complete work for their college degrees.

In short, both Lapchick and Malekoff have a long-standing interest in sports and obviously care a great deal about athletes. In On the Mark they're aiming at high school kids whose athletic skills are leading them toward college scholarships. The authors describe the rich opportunities that lie ahead for these young athletes, but they also warn of the pitfalls. They contrast, for example, the story of Stefan Humphries, who made his athletic scholarship pay off, with that of poor Fred Buttler. After working hard—on both his studies and his football—in high school. Humphries was able to prepare for the future by earning a degree in engineering at the University of Michigan before going on to play pro ball for the Chicago Bears. Buttler, on the other hand, drifted through high school on undeserved passing grades he received from well-meaning but short-sighted teachers. At Los Angeles State, still almost illiterate, he was given the same treatment until his football eligibility ended. Not good enough to play pro football, Buttler had nothing to show for his years in high school and college.

But instead of dumping blame on administrators, coaches and overzealous boosters, Lapchick and Malekoff argue that the responsibility for getting the most out of a scholarship and avoiding exploitation lies with athletes themselves. It's your life, the authors say; learn how to handle it. Their book is designed to show youngsters how to do this. One chapter, "Rules of the Game," a practical guide to evaluating scholarship offers, is worth the price of the book. High school athletes, both men and women, with an eye on college should read it—and so should their parents. On the Mark could change their lives.

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Robert Malekoff 1 0 0
Joe Lapchick 12 0 0
Fred Buttler 1 0 0
Richard Lapchick 3 0 0
Stefan Humphries 4 0 0