University of Pittsburgh
July 25, 2007

MEDIA ADVISORY Doping, Gambling, and Game-Fixing Aren't New to Sports, But These Problems Have Crossed a New Threshold, Says Pitt Professor Rob Ruck

Ruck can offer perspective on the recent sports scandals
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-"While doping, gambling, game-fixing, and cheating have long been part of sport, the incidence and intensity of these problems have crossed a new threshold," says Rob Ruck, sports historian and senior lecturer in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of History.

Ruck says it's important to see these most recent scandals from a historical perspective, and asks what they tell us about the changing nature and role of sports in society. And, although Ruck would not romanticize earlier eras, he feels that as sports has evolved from a community-based pastime to a corporate phenomenon, the problems have worsened considerably.

"Sport today is less about community and identity and more about profit and moving product," Ruck says. "As a result, the increasing sums of money involved have led many to violate the spirit of sport, at least as those of us who care about sport would like to define that spirit."