GOING BIG TIME

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American higher education is struggling to balance the costs, benefits and for the top Division 1 athletic programs, a sometimes symbiotic relationship between academics and athletics. Rutgers University, once a small colonial college, became no exception when it made the decision to enter the NCAA’s Big Ten. The oldest collegiate athletic conference in the United States, the Big Ten Conference has been historically revered for its membership of predominantly major flagship research universities with large financial endowments and strong academic reputations.  GOING BIG TIME challenges these perceptions and shines a light on the growing social cost of what has become the well-monied industrial machine of NCAA Division 1 athletics. Through interviews with politicians, journalists, athletic directors, football alumni, students, boosters, professors and fans, the film debates both sides of the argument and provides a detailed inspection into the tradeoffs, costs, and compromises between athletics and academics. GOING BIG TIME is a case study of one of the country’s oldest academic institutions, that scrutinizes both the pitfalls and the potentials of the dilemma found at Rutgers. Ultimately, the film strives to extrapolate solutions to the benefit of higher learning institutions around the country.