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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 ?
AMATEURISH ATTEMPT: The court was told Steven Rice, right, was knocked out.
In the nineteenth century the Church of England courts--almost moribund and amateurish outside of London and York--still decided the civil rights of all English subjects, even non-Christians.
Despite the impressive credentials of the three co-authors, however, the tone of their writing tends to be somewhat amateurish, and the scope of their literary criticism is far broader than it is deep; indeed, they seem throughout to be working just a little too hard to prove their thesis in order to distinguish their own efforts from those of others who have catalogued and analyzed King's writings before them.
Among the dreary wastelands of pompous, boring, prolix, trite, self-satisfied, overblown, amateurish and downright ridiculous architectural sites, the Architecture Hate Page stands Out as being fun (well quite).
Walsh stormed: "I've nothing against Dawn Martin but it was always between The Carters and the Vard Sisters - everything else was amateurish.
Nevertheless, a new generation of less amateurish institutions managed to be founded in this period.
Unlike other similar packages that require a professional statistician to provide amateurish results, SAS Learning Edition is so intuitive, well-organized and well-documented that students can start producing professional-level statistics and charts in almost no time.
Raymond McV Mc eighty, for Hill, said "Veighty, for Hill, said "V "is was clearly an ill-thought out, bungling and amateurish piece of burglary.
It is about time to stop with these amateurish improvisations in order to stop producing future generations of low-quality.
Judge David Hodson told him: "This was an amateurish rather than professional manufacture of these pipe bombs.
The coverage was absolutely dreadful and amateurish," said Bates.
But its utter lack of narrative discipline is just plain amateurish, not subversive.

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