The Vermont Connection


College sports play a special role in higher education by promoting student unity on campus, maintaining connections with alumni, and enhancing the overall student experience. There are some who claim that college sports have lost touch with their origins and have been consumed by a “win at all costs” mentality. Murray Sperber (2000) has suggested that at many institutions, athletic programs are hindering the quality of undergraduate education. This article will explore the history of collegiate athletics and show how current sports programs play an integral role in supporting multiple facets of universities. Given the negative history, culture, and perception surrounding college athletics, it is important for student affairs professionals to consider opportunities to correct these problems. Finally, this article will explore how a more cooperative partnership between student affairs and athletic departments at institutions with elite sports programs can benefi t not only universities, but student-athletes as well.