In the United States, one connection between sport and politics seemed to present itself during the period of the Gulf War. Although the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) normally proscribes the use of patches on team uniforms, the American flag was a prominent addition to the uniform jerseys of many teams, especially after the United States went to war. A questionnaire was mailed to sports information directors at 152 randomly selected colleges and universities. Eighty-seven usable replies were received and analyzed. Results indicate that institutions which adopted the use of a patriotic symbol tended to be members of Division I of the NCAA or made appearances on regional or national television. National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) institutions and NCAA Division II and III institutions—institutions that appear infrequently on television—tended not to wear patriotic symbols.
Michael A. Malec is with the Department of Sociology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02167.