The Dark Side of Sports: Exposing the Sexual Culture of Collegiate and Professional Athletes

The Dark Side of Sports: Exposing the Sexual Culture of Collegiate and Professional Athletes

by Nick T. Pappas


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The Dark Side of Sports: Exposing the Sexual Culture of Collegiate and Professional Athletes by Nick T. Pappas

Elite-level athletes are placed upon heightened pedestals in societies world-wide. At the same time, there is a dark side to these glorified competitors that remains hidden from those outside of exclusive athletic circles. Dr. Nick Pappas' athletic background in collegiate and professional sports has provided insider access, enabling him to uncover an array of disturbing sexually deviant and aggressive behaviors, which have silently thrived for decades in many athlete cultures. These findings, expressed through the athletes' own words, are the result of more than 10 years of cutting-edge research involving in-depth interviews with 142 collegiate, minor, and major league athletes from five prominent U.S. sports. Written in an engaging style, "The Dark Side of Sports" is a must read with messages not only for athletes, coaches, managers, and administrators, but also for parents, women, students, and sports enthusiasts. While these important discoveries are certain to shock, raise awareness, and provide a wake-up call for those in and outside of the sports world, they also promote a sense of urgency for taking action to prevent and address these harmful behaviors.

"The Dark Side of Sports" has strong appeal for diverse audiences because it highlights the need for risk management in every male athletic culture.
This includes individuals with direct involvement in sports such as athletes, coaches, managers, administrators, and support staff, who see the importance of addressing and deterring potentially harmful and dangerous behavior that can ruin an athletic program's reputation in an instant. At the same time, this book serves as an invaluable resource for parents, women, and fans by raising awareness to the significant issues surrounding a darker, hidden side of sports. The fact that certain negative practices were discovered at the high school level means that millions of middle and high school coaches and athletes, in addition to those at elite levels, need this information to keep deviant practices from gaining a foothold and becoming normalized within youth-oriented sports cultures. Finally, "The Dark Side of Sports" will be a welcomed addition to courses such as sociology of sport, sports psychology, women's studies, and an array of sociology classes including deviant behavior.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781841263380
Publisher: Meyer & Meyer Sport
Publication date: 01/26/2012
Pages: 392
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Nick Pappas, Ph.D., is a former collegiate and professional ice hockey player and coach who earned a doctorate degree in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in Sociology of Sport from The Ohio State University. This unique background in combination with his experience as a researcher, professional counselor, and college professor have given Dr. Pappas a distinct vantage point into both social and athlete behavioral issues that are highlighted in this one-of-a-kind book. As a dynamic speaker, Dr. Pappas provides presentations on athlete-related topics and concerns including out-of-sport athlete deviancy and aggression in order to promote personal and team excellence to athletes at all levels. He resides in Big Rapids, Michigan and can be contacted through his website (

What People are Saying About This

Sara Bradley-Hering

"Dr. Pappas uses his unique access to a population, usually out of reach for researchers, to address this controversial topic - sexual deviance and violence among elite athletes. The sheer quantity of rich, interview data from a carefully crafted sample of college and professional athletes is impressive."

— Dr. Sara Bradley-Hering, Sociologist

Tom Davis

"The Dark Side of Sports exposes hidden secrets within high school, collegiate, and pro sports through comprehensive research that is both disturbing and revealing. This is a story that must be told for the sake of future athletes, those idealizing them, or at its worst, those who fall victim to them."

— Dr. Tom Davis, Counselor Education Professor

John Tortorella

"An alarming, thought-provoking examination of serious issues that are in need of immediate attention."

— John Tortorella, Professional Hockey Coach

Scott Allen

"As a courageous opponent during my pro career, Dr. Pappas has taken this foundation into his current work uncovering a subject that others have been hesitant or unwilling to pursue; he gives the reader a rare and at times disturbing look at the behind-the-scene happenings of collegiate and pro athletes."

— Scott Allen, Professional Hockey Coach

Stephen M. Gavazzi

"Based on an abundance of original research, Dr. Pappas’ book breaks new ground in understanding sexuality within the world of collegiate and pro sports. Administrators with substantial athletic programs and parents of athletes and young women will find this work to be of great interest."

— Dr. Stephen M. Gavazzi, Dean / Professor of HDFS

Matt Wagenheim

"The Dark Side of Sports gives readers a rare look 'behind the curtain' of athlete behavior. Dr. Pappas has exposed a sexual subculture within sport that educates, informs, and entertains readers. A must read for coaches, administrators, and parents of athletes at all levels."

—Dr. Matt Wagenheim, Professor of Sport Management and Leisure Studies

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Dark Side of Sports: Exposing the Sexual Culture of Collegiate and Professional Athletes 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
sqm More than 1 year ago
Dr. Pappas has done a great job with his book, The Dark Side of Sports, and is doing a real public service by exposing the shocking and disturbing sexual culture of collegiate and professional athletes. I hope it brings light to the dark side of the underbelly of sports. - sqm, a parent, a licensed mental health therapist, a former school counselor
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the culture has persisted for decades, Dr. Nick Pappas deserves kudos for bringing the deviant behavior that exists among many athletes to the attention of the unknowing. While there have been articles and investigations into such practices in the past, nothing compares to the comprehensive insight - and disturbing findings - that Pappas provides in his book. Dr. Pappas has done his homework, with almost 150 interviews with athletes from a wide variety of sports. If you have a child who participates in sports at any level, this is a must read. The stories told within the book definitely show a dark side to sports that for too long has been ignored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“The Dark Side of Sports” was a very easy read despite its appearance (scholarly book cover) and being part of an academic series because much of the information was written using the athletes own words. The book is very timely with all the hidden and tragic incidences that have been coming out in the sports world since the Penn State scandal erupted. I thought the book was absolutely fascinating as the author reveals some of the sleaziest behaviors that I’ve ever read athletes being involved in. I saw really important messages for anyone involved in sports and especially for parents with athletes and daughters who can be taken advantage of by athletes in all kinds of unbelievable ways. The book was a real eye-opener that unfortunately will change the way you look at sports and athletes, who are too often viewed as role models even though many are a long, long way from this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Dark Side of Sports reveals important information that colleges and professional sports franchises would rather be kept quiet: Elite athletes, most of whom have been pampered and spoiled most of their lives, sometimes end up sexually assaulting women because they think they are entitled to do so. The author, Nick Pappas, is in the position to know this subject. A former college and professional hockey player who earned a doctorate degree, Pappas worked on this book for nearly 10 years and interviewed hundreds of athletes from all of the major sports. We can only hope that a lot of people will read this book and that it leads to changes in the way we treat these athletes - and their victims.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not buy this book but read the 64pg sample and decided that was enough. As a long time athelte. I felt as though the book is exagerating a problem that may not exsist. What happened to Dr. Pappas that made him feel inclined to write this book? Was he somehow exposed to something that really afffected him. Every team has some crazy guys on it , who want the others to talk about how crazy they are. In my opinion its harmless and done only for shock value. I realize there are a small population of atheles that do wrong sexually... but I do not condem sports or atheles. The athletic group in general is going to have more opportunities sexually and are going to have more agressive peronalities. That combination alone can lead to problems. The sample seems to be trying to send a messege that I feel is unwarnted and unjustified to 99% of all atheles.