A large amount of research and scholarship has focused on the college and university choice factors of potential student-athletes. The aforementioned research, however, is disproportionately conducted using male or large revenue-generating sport participants. Kankey and Quarterman (2007) addressed these biases by developing a questionnaire and conducting research centered on Division I softball players in Ohio regarding the factors that influenced their college or university choice. Additionally, Kankey and Quarterman advocated more research utilizing different athlete populations to further analyze college and university choice factors among student athletes. As a result, the purpose of this research is to apply Kankey and Quarterman’s (2007) questionnaire to community college softball players in an attempt to determine: What factors are important to community college softball players when deciding to attend their present school? Statistical analyses indicate the most important choice factor to be head coach. Other important factors include personal relationships, financially-based reasons, and academics. The least important factors included media related issues, school infrastructure, and past coaches. Hossler and Gallagher’s (1987) student choice model is combined with Symbolic Interactionism to explain results, and provides recommendations for college sport practitioners.
G. Clayton Stoldt and Mark Vermillion
Employing an organizational public relations (PR) roles typology, this study addressed differences in the professional use and perceptions of social media based on the primary PR roles of college athletics communicators. Data were gathered via an online survey of members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (N = 518). Results indicated that those in management roles spent significantly more time working with blogs and social media than technicians did. Managers and technicians also differed significantly in several ways regarding their perceptions of the impact of social media and their relationship with traditional mainstream media. The findings contribute to an understanding of how PR roles have evolved in the era of social media, as well as role-related dynamics specific to social media in college sport PR.
Jordan R. Bass, Mark Vermillion and Paul Putz
In this paper, we examine the role of forced crowdsourcing in coaching evaluation and assessment systems. In previous conceptualizations, crowdsourcing (Howe, 2006) is an organization-controlled process where the opinion of the general public is used for organizational good. However, in sport, and particularly coaching, this is not always the case. Further, we detail the role of viral content in increasing public pressure during the monitoring, enforcing, and ultimately changing of organizational actions. Examples of American coaching scandals in sport were used to illustrate these concepts. From Woody Hayes to Bob Knight to Mike Rice, coaching scandals have captivated the public at large and forced administrators to weigh the public opinion against their own organizational morals and best practices. Finally, we argue organizations are often driven to act due to forced crowdsourced opinions. In all, increased forced crowdsourcing has fundamentally changed the previous insular dynamics of sporting organizations through increased awareness of coaching practices and the promotion of accountability among administrators for the actions of the coaches in their program.
G. Clayton Stoldt, Lori K. Miller and Mark Vermillion
The purposes of this study were to gain insights regarding how sport public relations practitioners in the United States define public relations goals, identify linkages between the public relations function and overall organizational goals, and evaluate public relations’ effectiveness. Using a modified approach to a method first employed by Hon (1997, 1998), the investigators queried 30 public relations professionals in diverse sport settings. Findings indicated that achieving some sort of outcome with an intended audience, although those outcomes varied, was the most common goal. Respondents also indicated that there were linkages between public relations and organizational goals, although the nature of those linkages was not always specified. The most common method of evaluating public relations was tracking media coverage.