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in sports, one who engages in athletic competition without material recompense. Upper-class Englishmen in the 19th cent. used the concept to help define their social status, first applying the term to sportsmen who did not need to work with their hands as livelihood, later using it to describe anyone who competed without pay. By the beginning of the 20th cent., leaders of two major sports movements, the American intercollegiate athletic system and the Olympic Games (revived in 1896), had adopted amateurism, claiming it developed competitors who were morally superior to professionals. In a famous incident, Olympic officials stripped decathlete Jim ThorpeThorpe, Jim
(James Francis Thorpe), 1888–1953, American athlete, b. near Prague, Okla. Thorpe was probably the greatest all-round male athlete the United States has ever produced. His mother, a Sac, named him Bright Path.
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 of two gold medals won at the 1912 Games because he had once accepted money to play baseball. Although almost all athletic structures not organized as professional ventures came to embrace amateurism as policy, athletes often subverted the code, forcing officials to constantly revise standards. From the outset, colleges allowed payment of educational expenses to athletes. In 1974, after Communist bloc nations had been subsidizing their athletes for two decades, the Olympics ceded to athletes the right to compensation for loss of salary during training, and shortly thereafter permitted professionals in sports whose governing bodies did not object. By the 1960s top-ranked golf and tennis amateurs had forced major tournaments to allow professional entrants. As evidenced by the return of Thorpe's medals in 1982, amateurism by the 1990s was a concept of diminished importance and one more of technical than moral distinction. The major organizations involved in the supervision of amateur athletics in the United States are the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), responsible for college and university sports, and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), responsible for most other areas of amateur competition.


See J. Lucas, The Modern Olympic Games (1980).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Agnew court believed that "most--if not all" rules pertaining to eligibility deserve a presumption of procompetitiveness because "they are clearly necessary to preserve amateurism and the student-athlete in college football.
0 amateurism with the following words: "I think it is a great thing when amateurs create, even if the thing they create is not as great as what the professional creates.
Does that create a door through which IPSAs may successfully challenge such NCAA DI amateurism policy and their handling by member institutions and the NCAA staff?
Shropshire, Legislation for the Glory of Sport: Amateurism and Compensation, 1 SETON HALL J.
In other words, Wilken wasn't buying the argument that amateurism is integral to the popularity of college sports.
Party sources of "Zhurnal" state they are astonished by Aliti's political amateurism, who has a practice to harm BDI with public statements.
The courts, Comeaux pointed out, have already begun to display a shift in "momentum [to be] clearly on the side of the athlete," with recent victories, such as the O'Bannon ruling, clearing the way for a reconsideration of the definition of amateurism.
Summary: Rarely has amateurism in American foreign policy in the Middle East been as glaring and shocking as it has been in the past year with regard to Washington's policy toward ISIS.
He dismissed Bota Sot's reports as speculations, libel and amateurism.
But it was their shepherding by businessman-cum-coach Clive Woodward, who is credited with jettisoning England out of the dark ages of amateurism and into the professional era, that put the squad ahead of the rest.
Tying that back to 'wtf happened to indie,' I think 'indie' was about romanticizing amateurism in music and media [via 'blogs'].
I think the main takeaway is that the college athletics amateurism model survives for the time being.