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University of South Carolina announces College Sport Collections

Posted on: April 13, 2018

The University of South Carolina announces the College Sport Collections, an archive of documents and memorabilia dedicated to the preservation, celebration and study of college sport history. The Collections was established by the university’s College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) in partnership with University Libraries Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

“The world of college sport is rapidly evolving, and CSRI is advancing interdisciplinary and inter-university research that tackles the toughest questions facing the industry,” says Richard Southall, CSRI Director and professor in the university’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. “The College Sport Collections will be an invaluable resource for scholars, students, faculty and professionals from around the world to study the history of college sport and develop informed solutions to advance the industry.”

The Jerry and Lois Tarkanian Collection was the initial donation to the College Sport Collections. It was given to the university by Coach Tarkanian’s family to honor the legacy of the late Hall of Fame college basketball coach and player advocate. The collection includes NCAA v. Tarkanian U.S. Supreme Court case documents and other material related to Tarkanian’s legacy.

The College Sport Collections also includes the papers of Mary Willingham, who documented and exposed the long-running athletic and academic fraud case at the University of North Carolina.

“As the NCAA’s collegiate model continues to become more and more a professionalized and commercialized entertainment enterprise, The Tarkanian and Willingham Collections offer rare glimpses behind the NCAA’s Blue Disk at the business of college sport,” says Southall.

Over time, additional collections will be added with the goal of creating the nation’s most extensive inventory of college sport artifacts.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Irvin Department to develop a new partnership that will bring researchers from the sports, business, and legal communities to the Library,” says Elizabeth Sudduth, University Libraries associate dean for special collections.

The Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections is home to archival collections of literature, art, natural history, science, philosophy, religion and college sport, making them accessible to researchers worldwide.    

University Libraries is raising funds to support the continued restoration, digitization and preservation of the College Sport Collections. To learn more and to donate, visit Library.sc.edu/CollegeSportCollections.

About CSRI

The College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) is a research center based at University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. The mission of CSRI is to encourage and support interdisciplinary and inter-university collaborative college-sport research, serve as a research consortium for college-sport researchers from across the United States, and disseminate college-sport research results to academics, college-sport practitioners and the general public. In addition to its collaborative research, CSRI hosts an annual conference, providing researchers from across the U.S. a forum for sharing their innovative work. In addition, the center sponsors the Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics (JIIA)—a peer-reviewed, open-access resource that promotes discussion and examination of vital issues facing college athletics

For more information on CSRI, visit sc.edu/hrsm/research/csri.