Student Athletes from the Sierra College Football team play in the pre-season football scrimmage at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif. on August 20, 2016. (Photo by davidmoore326, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Thanksgiving has NFL games, Christmas has the NBA, and New Year’s has college football. This season as you sit down to watch bowl games or the college football playoff, check out some of the sociological college football research from our partner Engaging Sports

Football can be a path toward economic opportunity, but scholars find race and class patterns in who takes this risky path. For example, Black players are generally from more disadvantaged areas while white players come from more advantaged areas, perhaps indicating that white players benefit from more resources in training while financial necessity drives black players. 
Fans may not have a say in recruiting college athletes, but they certainly have strong opinions about the young athletes at their favored schools. Fans stay away from overtly racist language on message boards, but a criminal record did affect fan support of prospective athletes. 
Finally, both American football and the NCAA seem to constantly be dealing with scandal. Read the articles below for some context on current scandals within the NCAA and how the concussion crisis is affecting a number of sports.