起初，似乎很奇怪，作者们会把他们的研究集中在那些不参加大学院运动的精英机构。Bowen和莱文通过解释体育运动对小机构的影响更大，证明了他们选择这些精英机构的正当性。在nescac院校，他们发现男学生和女学生32%运动员43%人。此外，约有四分之一的男学生（24%）和17%的女学生被招募。尽管常春藤盟校的学生比例稍低一些，但这些百分比远远超过你在典型的研究型大学参加大运动会时所发现的百分比。此外，这些学校都是不提供体育奖学金的名校。他们应该是大学生体育爱好者的理想。这本书是一个游戏人生的后续，写的Bowen和James Shulman，发表于2001。虽然这两本书有很多不同之处，但回收游戏的关键区别在于研究人员使用的数据集包含了一个新变量，用来表示学生运动员是否被招募。运动员的招募经常被认为是大学生竞技体育腐败的一个原因。追溯到十九世纪底，只要体育运动是大学生活的重要组成部分，招聘一直是高等教育中备受争议的一个方面。芝加哥大学的足球教练Amos Alonzo Stagg将举办田径比赛的评估和招募当地的运动员。也有争议的是他以未完成高中学业，为大学的严酷准备学生实践（Bowen，43页）。这一问题一直贯穿于大学体育运动，从最著名的节目到学术机构，在回收游戏中都被审查过。通过获得招聘信息，Bowen和莱文能够区分招募的运动员、非奖学金运动员（或“步行者”）和不属于运动员的学生。
At first, it seems odd that the authors would focus their research on elite institutions that do not participate in big time college athletics. Bowen and Levin justify their choice of these elite institutions by explaining that athletics actually has a much larger impact on the smaller institutions. At NESCAC colleges, they found that 43% of male students and 32% of female students were athletes. In addition, about a quarter of the male student body (24%) and 17% of the female student body were recruited athletes. Though the percentages were a bit less for institutions in the Ivy League, these percentages are far greater than what you would find at the typical research university participating in big time college athletics. Additionally, these are prestigious institutions studied that do not offer athletic scholarships. They are supposed to epitomize the amateur ideal of intercollegiate athletics.The book is a follow-up to The Game of Life, written by Bowen and James Shulman and published in 2001. While there are quite a few differences between the two books, the key difference in Reclaiming the Game is that the dataset the researchers used included a new variable that indicates whether the student-athlete was recruited or not. The recruitment of athletes is routinely viewed as a contributor to the corruption in college athletics. Dating back to the late 19th century, as long as athletics have been a significant part of college life, recruiting has been a controversial aspect of higher education. University of Chicago football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg would organize track meets to evaluate and recruit local athletes. Also controversial was his practice of taking students who had not yet completed their high school schoolwork and were unprepared for the rigors of college (Bowen, p. 43). This issue has persisted throughout college athletics, from the most prominent programs to the academically minded institutions examined in Reclaiming the Game. By having information about recruitment available, Bowen and Levin are able to differentiate recruited athletes, non-scholarship athletes (or "walk-ons"), and students who are not athletes.