Book Release: Brooklyn's Sportsmen's Row: Politics, Society, and the Sporting Life on Northern Eighth Avenue

Lucas Rubin, program director, has written a new book on the interwoven lives of sportsmen and society’s elite in historic Park Slope. It is available from the History Press this month.

In an era when horseracing reigned supreme and Brooklyn was at its very center, a remarkable collection of turf legends came to reside along one small stretch of northern Eighth Avenue in the exclusive neighborhood of Park Slope. Here, along Sportsmen’s Row, the lives of the sportsmen and those of their neighbors-men of prominence and distinction in theater, law, industry, and politics-came together in surprising and unexpected ways. Though the public saw a block dominated by the celebrities of the age, behind the closed doors of Sportsmen’s Row, a more subtle narrative played itself out: of infidelity, gambling, excess, and-fame aside-of a world strictly ordered and preordained by social class.

Lucas Rubin directs the Master of Science Program in Sports Management at Columbia University. An archaeologist by training, he was hired by the University in early 2001 as a Project and Grants Manager for Archaeology, with responsibilities for the University’s overseas archaeological projects in Amheida (Egypt), the Bourbonnais Field School (France), as well managing the University’s Center for Archaeology. In early 2004, he was recruited by the School of Continuing Education (a division of the Arts and Sciences) to develop curriculum and policy for the Evening Extension Program, an initiative of the Office of the Vice-President of the Arts and Sciences designed to democratize access to the university. In 2005, he was appointed director of the Fundraising Management program, for which he undertook a successful overhaul of the program’s curriculum in cooperation with philanthropic leaders. At the same time, he was jointly appointed Director of the Special Programs Division, with responsibility for the Auditing, Lifelong Learning, Non-credit Foreign Language, NYU Language Consortium, and Postbaccalureate Business Programs.

In 2005, Rubin was tasked with authoring the first graduate program in Sports Management at an Ivy League University. Developed in tandem with industry executives, faculty members from different schools and divisions of the University (including Law, Business, and Journalism), and senior administrators from the Department of Athletics, the Sports Management program was launched in the fall of 2006. The program is a cooperative effort that takes excellent advantage of Columbia’s traditional strengths in business, law, and finance. Program courses are taught by both standing Columbia University faculty and outstanding leaders in their respective fields. The program, which is offered part-time in the evening, recruits heavily among early career professionals and provides them with unique opportunities for both horizontal and vertical networking. It seeks to instill the core values of leadership and ethics as a governing principle in the decision-making process.

Rubin has given numerous papers and presentations on various aspects of the academe, with specific interests in the value and relevance of academic training for the professional sector. He has developed, organized, and managed numerous conferences, symposia, and seminars including two focusing on the ethics of sport (2007; 2008); a three-day conference on Sports Philanthropy (2008); and an annual program-wide Master Class. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in classical archaeology with a concentration in urban topography from the University of Buffalo. He has specialized research interests in the socio-economic history of sports in New York City, particularly Brooklyn, and the evolution of the business of sports. He is the author of several articles, book reviews, and encyclopedia entries on subjects ranging from ancient coinage, to fundraising, and sports.