Friday, December 11, 2015

Research Blog #10: Final Abstract, Bibliography, and Link to Paper

In present-day American culture, because there is such an obsession with college athletics, it is becoming widely believed by the constituents of higher education that the reputation of a university and the overall success of the university’s brand is directly correlated to a premiere intercollegiate athletics program.  This is centered on the idea that a successful athletics programs will create a recognizable national image that promotes the university as a place for ‘all-American’ students, whether student-athletes or other, to attend.  Intercollegiate athletics is a controversial topic that is continuously debated among the constituent hierarchy of higher education; prospective students, recruits, current students and student-athletes, alumni, the presidents and board-members of the universities, and even the fans.  The focus of this project will be on the premise that the University’s primary mission should be to educate each student in ways that allow them to reach their fullest academic potential.  However, an identifiable problem has emerged with the current system of intercollegiate sports that seems more concerned with creating a recognizable university brand by pouring millions of dollars into athletic programs, at the expense of its core academic values.  By doing so, the entertainment and revenue stream have more clout and meaning than securing the student-athlete’s education process for the future.  This system has drawn attention to many universities for its specific lack of moral responsibility of advocating the student-athlete to reach his/her academic potential by falling into the trap of what has essentially become an ‘arms race’ to create premiere athletic programs.  Quite often, the athlete is granted academic leeway that the general student population is not, and the discussion of a double standard and questionable ethical behavior appears forefront.  This project will begin by establishing, in length, the structure of this system and demonstrate the strict primary emphasis on athletics through the allocation of significant amounts of much needed funds being redirected away from academics in favor of creating brand recognition through sports.  Then in turn move on to demonstrate that because of this emphasis, a powerful Role Conflict is created for student-athletes.  The student-athlete, when caught in this system, struggles to distinguish between being a ‘student’ and being an ‘athlete’.  Lastly, this project will address how this system affects the university’s moral code of behavior that leads to academic fraud and dishonesty, further comprising the university’s core educational values.

Anonymous. "How Do You View Athletics and Academics from the Student-Athlete
Perspective." Interview by Jason F. Salm.
Bozman, Carl S., Daniel Friesner, Matthew Q. McPherson, and Nancy M. Chase. "Intangible and Tangible Value: Brand Equity Benefits Associated with Collegiate Athletics." International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship (2015): 261-84. Web.
Cham, Jorge. "Academic" Salaries. Digital image. PHD Comics. N.p., 20 Oct. 2008. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <>.
Christensen, James. Estimated Probability of Competing in Athletics Beyond the High School Interscholastic Level. Digital image. Tank Wire. N.p., 26 Mar. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <>.
Cole, John. UNC: Academic Cheating Scandal. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <>.
"Contemporary American Politics and Society: Issues and Controversies." Sport in Society (2003): n. pag. Web. 11 Dec. 2015. <>.
Desrochers, Donna M. "Academic Spending Versus Athletic Spending: Who Wins?" Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research (2013): n. pag. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <>.
"Division I Schools Spend More on Athletes than Education." USA Today. Gannett, 14 July 2013. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. <>.
Gaston-Gayles, Joy L. "Examining Academic and Athletic Motivation Among Student Athletes at a Division I University." Journal of College Student Development 45.1 (2004): 75-83. Web.
Gregory, Sean. "In Defense of One-and-Done U Kentucky Cracks the NCAA Code." The Culture (2015): 62. Web.
Hobson, Will, and Steven Rich. "Why Students Foot the Bill for College Sports, and How Some Are Fighting Back." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. <>.
Hochfield, George. "The Incompatibility of Athletic and Academic Excellence." Academe 73.4 (1987): 39. Web.
Madsen, Nancy. "Jim Moran Says Only 20 Colleges Make a Profit from Sports." Politifact. N.p., 22 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. <>.
Mahoney, Michelle L. "Student-athletes' Perceptions of Their Academic and Athletic Roles: Intersections amongst Their Athletic Role, Academic Motivation, Choice of Major, and Career Decision Making."ProQuest. N.p., May 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <>.
Marx, Jonathan, Scott Huffmon, and Andrew Doyle. "The Student-Athlete Model and the Socialization of Intercollegiate Athletes." Athletic Insight: The Online Journal of Sport Psychology (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <>.
McCormick, Richard L. "Intercollegiate Athletics." Raised at Rutgers: A President's Story. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 132-35. Print.
New, Jake. "College Athletes Greatly Overestimate Their Chances of Playing Professionally | Inside Higher Ed." College Athletes Greatly Overestimate Their Chances of Playing Professionally | Inside Higher Ed. N.p., 27 Jan. 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. <>.
Overman, Steven J. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Sport: How Calvinism and Capitalism Shaped America's Games. Macon, GA: Mercer UP, 2011. 271. Print.
Proffitt, Jennifer M., and Thomas F. Corrigan. "Penn State's." "Success With Honor": How Institutional Structure and Brand Logic Disincentivized Disclosure. 2012 Sage Publications, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. <>.
Sanders, Sam. "Report Says UNC Grade-Boosting Scandal Involved Fake Classes." NPR. NPR, 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. <>.
Smith, D. R. "It Pays to Bend the Rules: The Consequences of NCAA Athletic Sanctions." Sociological Perspectives 58.1 (2015): 97-119. Web.
Sperber, Murray A. "The Flutie Factor." Beer and Circus: How Big-time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education. New York: H. Holt, 2000. 56-68. Print.
Steinbach, Paul. "Record NCAA Graduation Rates Don't Tell the Whole Story." Athletic Business: The Resource for Athletic Fitness, and Recreation Professionals. N.p., Dec. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <>.
ZHAO, EMMELINE. "Gulf Between College Spending on Academics, Athletics Grows." Real Time Economics RSS. N.p., 28 June 2010. Web. 09 Dec. 2015. <>.

Literary Review #5

Smith, D. R. "It Pays to Bend the Rules: The Consequences of NCAA Athletic Sanctions." 
Sociological Perspectives 58.1 (2015): 97-119. Web.

The author of this study is D. Randall Smith, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University - New Brunswick, the State University of New Jersey. He has conducted research on sociological aspects of big-time intercollegiate athletics including the "indirect effects of high-profile sports and universities and how athletics contribute to higher education."

In summary, the study focuses on how scandals in big-time college sports receive considerable attention in the national media, potentially damaging the reputation of the specific university. He focuses on that because the penalties issues by the NCAA do not affect the outcomes of the investigation, but that sanctions for "poor academic performance are slightly more effect" (97). He provides evidence that suggests as a result, "colleges and universities suffer little economic or reputational damage when penalized for rule violations. He points towards the idea of "Deprivation Theory", which he defines as the prediction "that athletes and coaches who view themselves at a disadvantage either in society generally or when compared with others at their school or to other athletic programs, are more likely to engage in behavior that runs counter to NCAA expectation" (98). This describes the arms-race that universities partake in to establish premiere and successful athletic programs in order to establish brand equity and generate mass revenue. He suggests, because of this obsession with creating a successful athletic department in the form of winning games, the "Winning-at-all-cost notion produces a context that increases the likelihood of rule violations" (99). Essentially, because the focus is on establishing a successful athletic program, and eventually a brand equity, athletic departments, and the entire university constituency, tolerate and partake in academic fraud and dishonesty.

This will serve as a very valuable source and idea for my paper in the sense that once I establish the system of collegiate athletics, I will use the examples and evidence provided in this study to demonstrate how that system affects academic values and promotes academic fraud and dishonesty.

Literary Review #4

Bozman, Carl S., Daniel Friesner, Matthew Q. McPherson, and Nancy M. Chase. "Intangible and Tangible Value: Brand Equity Benefits Associated with Collegiate Athletics." International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship (2015): 261-84. Web.

The authors of this study include Carl Bozman, a Professor of Marketing at Gonzaga University's School of
Business Administration, Daniel Friesner, an Associate Dean and Professor of Social Administrative
Science at North Daokate State's College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allies Sciences, Matthew McPherson,
an Associate Professor of Finance at Gonzaga's School of Business Administration, and lastly Nancy
Chase, an Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at Gonzaga's School of Business
Administration. In summary, their study focuses on the brand equity associated with collegiate athletics 
and the benefits that come with it. The study defines brand equity as "the additional value (beyond all 
characteristics) that accrues to a product as result of its name" (265). It emphasizes that the university's 
primary mission in establishing an athletics program is centered on this brand equity in the hopes of 
generating greater sources of mass revenue to compound the immediate revenue the athletic program 
garners. It argues that because programs typically lose money, the university cannot value its athletic 
program based on its immediate revenue. The justification is then said to be associated with the benefits 
and revenue that an established brand equity brings to the university. These additional revenues come in 
the from of increased student retention (tuition), donor retention, fundraising events, sponsorship , 
merchandise and ticket sales, etc. In addition to generating greater sources of revenue, the study also 
argues that the brand equity advances the community perception, both within the school and it's specific 
town/city location, by creating an image and appeal that the university/location is a "more attractive place 
tlive, establish a business, or visit" (263). As a result, it is argued that the athletic departments brand equity 
further enhances the overall economic impact within the school and local community. This defines it as an 
"indirect effect" of community members as a whole spend their money on goods and services that stimulate 
the local economy.

This source will serve as a significant source in my paper by establishing the reason why so much money is redirected away from academics, and allocated to athletics. It will serve as the backbone in the system of collegiate athletics that I will describe in my paper as the main reason/issue behind why college athletics compromises academic values.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Research Blog #9 : Argument and Counter-Argument

The main argument focuses on the system of college athletics being centered on universities' attempts to create national recognition, marketability, and greater sources of mass revenue through establishing brand equity.  In order to do this, the universities put a strict emphasis on athletic spending by allocating significant funds towards coaching salaries and the programs as a whole, completely redirecting the much needed funds away from academics.  The university mission is evidently in favor of creating brand recognition through sports, at the expense of its academic values.  In turn, the argument transitions into how this emphasis creates a powerful Role Conflict for student-athletes and causes them to struggle to distinguish between being a student and being an athlete.  Additionally, the argument extends even further in describing how this system affects the university's moral code of behavior, leading to academic fraud and dishonesty.  All of this demonstrates and points to the fact that college athletics compromise universities educational/academic values.

The counter arguments are generally focused on the fact that most of these student-athletes are rewarded scholarships that act as a means for them to attend college they otherwise would probably be unable to attend.  They further emphasize that the NCAA continuously implements reforms and regulations that are meant to send messages to high-schools and universities that academic achievement does in fact matter.  They set new minimum academic requirements and provide additional academic advising and support.  However, to counter this, those who oppose college athletics as it stands now argue that these programs focus on maintaining eligibility, not learning.  These programs are administered by the athletic departments rather than the academic faculty.

They furthermore argue that sports are an important component of American education, in that it increases school spirit among the fan community, and also that it generates such significant revenue that can subsequently be redistributed to athletics.  However, as my paper and argument emphasizes, the gap between spending per athlete and spending per student is so significant that this redistribution is simply a farce.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Research Blog #8: Interview/Primary Source Material

For my primary source, I have conducted an interview with an old friend and student-athlete at the University of Louisville. I asked questions to see which aspect student-athletes put their focus on more, athletics or academics, and how the university's attitudes towards its athletic program affect their direction of motivation.  Because of the recent scandal(s) at this specific university, I was asked to keep the student-athlete's identity anonymous.  

When asked if student-athletes tend to focus more on succeeding in academics or their sport, the student-athlete answered "I personally tend to focus more on my academics, but I would have to say that 90% of my team primarily focuses on sport."  

The student-athlete followed this up by saying "I think managing my time is one of the hardest things for me. Balancing the 20+ hours of athletics, along with commitments through the team surrounding the community and academics is a hard thing to do. I always try to put academics first but sometimes that just isn’t possible."

In regards to one of the greater revenue sports, football, this student-athlete noted that "when I got to school my freshman year" when football players were asked what their majors were "they replied 'football' and that they never planned on fully finishing their degree but rather getting drafted before that happened."

Research Blog #7: Your Case

My chief argument/case is that the attitudes of universities towards its intercollegiate athletics has direct effects on student-athletes and their ability to succeed academically.  Each university puts a larger focus on beefing up its athletic's department and spend a significantly larger amount of money in its athletics than its academics.  They are focused on creating a revenue stream in order to become a "first-rate university" through their athletics, at the complete expense of its academic standards and chief principle of educating its students and allowing them to reach their fullest academic potential.

Research Blog 6: Visual

The first graph shows the amount of spending per athlete(blue) compared to the amount of spending per student(red) at a university.  The data is from the KCIA and clearly shows that there is a significant difference in the amount of spending per student vs athlete.  Universities are spending around 6-7 times more on athletes compared to students over the span of 4 years from 2005-2008.  The numbers continue to increase as the years go on. 

This second graph shows the significant difference in salaries for 6 academic positions, including the University President/CEO, compared to Football coaches.  Football coaches are making around 3 times more than the University President/CEO's and even more than deans and teachers. This clearly shows that a university invests more into and values its athletics over its academics.