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A Season in Purgatory: Villanova and Life in College Football's Lower Class

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Overview


At a school where basketball is king, the Villanova football team battles opponents both on and off the field. Low on cash and recruiting power, the Division I-AA Wildcats must constantly justify their existence to a prestigious academic institution and the students and alumni who bemoan the team’s “minor league” status. This story of Villanova’s 2005 season is an inside account of a football program wading through the political mire to bring glory to a school largely indifferent to its efforts.
 
Through the Wildcats' experience, Tony Moss explores the inner workings of college football, particularly the chasm between Division I-A, home of the most visible, successful programs, and Division I-AA, where crowds are smaller but competition is just as intense. As alumni and faculty question the cost of funding sixty-three football scholarships and a full-time coaching staff, Moss leaves us to decide whether the struggle is worth the cost to schools outside the spotlight and whether the game has any inherent value apart from the bottom line.
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Editorial Reviews

The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Villanova football fans . . . and anybody else with an interest in I-AA football or the local sports scene should pick up the just-published book A Season in Purgatory, subtitled Villanova and Life in College Football''s Lower Class. Author Tony Moss, who spent the 2005 season with Andy Talley''s team, has a good eye for the big picture and the telling detail.”—Mike Jensen, The Philadelphia Inquirer

— Mike Jensen

Booklist

"John Feinstein has set the standard for these all-access, season-long-college-sports books, but Moss can play in his league. This is an intelligent, informative, and humane look inside a side of college football that fans seldom see."—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist

— Wes Lukowsky

Lake Charles American Press (LA)

"This year promises to be different for local readers. . . . Moss’s new book is all about the political issues of its subject matter. . . . There is a lot more going on in the world of football that makes for interesting reading than the usual annual fare."—Gary Laney, Lake Charles American Press

— Gary Laney

Aethlon

"In chronicling a year following the Division I AA football team at Villanova University, where basketball is the dominant sport, Moss makes a clear and convincing case for the plight of these universities."—Randy Hearn, Aethlon

— Randy Hearn

Mike Kern

“This is a great look from the inside on what makes [Andy Talley] and the Wildcats tick. It’ll give you a new appreciation of the sport on that level.”

—Mike Kern, sports report and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News

Todd Archer

“From late August through early January, major college football at the BCS level dominates the headlines and highlights even though the majority of schools have little chance of cashing in on the millions available. This book takes the reader closer to the reality of college football, from the cost to the level of play to the desire of the coaches to do things the right way.”

—Todd Archer, reporter for the Dallas Morning News

Mike Kern
“This is a great look from the inside on what makes [Andy Talley] and the Wildcats tick. It’ll give you a new appreciation of the sport on that level.”—Mike Kern, sports report and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News
Todd Archer
“From late August through early January, major college football at the BCS level dominates the headlines and highlights even though the majority of schools have little chance of cashing in on the millions available. This book takes the reader closer to the reality of college football, from the cost to the level of play to the desire of the coaches to do things the right way.”—Todd Archer, reporter for the Dallas Morning News
The Philadelphia Inquirer - Mike Jensen

"Villanova football fans . . . and anybody else with an interest in I-AA football or the local sports scene should pick up the just-published book A Season in Purgatory, subtitled Villanova and Life in College Football's Lower Class. Author Tony Moss, who spent the 2005 season with Andy Talley's team, has a good eye for the big picture and the telling detail.”—Mike Jensen, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Booklist - Wes Lukowsky

"John Feinstein has set the standard for these all-access, season-long-college-sports books, but Moss can play in his league. This is an intelligent, informative, and humane look inside a side of college football that fans seldom see."—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist
Lake Charles American Press (LA) - Gary Laney

"This year promises to be different for local readers. . . . Moss’s new book is all about the political issues of its subject matter. . . .  There is a lot more going on in the world of football that makes for interesting reading than the usual annual fare."—Gary Laney, Lake Charles American Press
Aethlon - Randy Hearn

"In chronicling a year following the Division I AA football team at Villanova University, where basketball is the dominant sport, Moss makes a clear and convincing case for the plight of these universities."—Randy Hearn, Aethlon
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803259591
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 333
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Tony Moss is NFL editor and columnist for The Sports Network, a wire service in suburban Philadelphia. His writing appears regularly on Web sites of newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Boston Globe, the Charlotte Observer, and the Miami Herald. He has been a weekly guest on ESPN Radio’s V Show with Bob Valvano.
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