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Stacy M. Warner, Sarah Stokowski, Alison Fridley, and Kibaek Kim

When compared with other disciplines, sport management educators are more likely to encounter student-athletes in their classrooms. While faculty mentoring is a key to student success for all, better understanding of this mentoring dynamic between sport management faculty and student-athletes is important to advancing pedagogical knowledge within the discipline. And perhaps, even more importantly, it can aid in creating a pathway for faculty advocacy and dispelling stigmas related to student-athletes. Consequently, the Mentor Role Instrument was used to determine if faculty mentorship of student-athletes differs by function type (RQ1) and if this was impacted by gender or faculty appointment (RQ2). An online survey of 88 sport management educators indicated that a significant difference was found, F(8, 783) = 44.16; p < .001, among mentoring function type. Friendship and Acceptance were the most prevalent mentoring functions, while Protection was the least frequent. Results did not indicate that gender or faculty appointment impacted faculty mentorship styles toward student-athletes.

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Jimmy Sanderson, Matthew Zimmerman, Sarah Stokowski, and Alison Fridley

This research explored maladaptive parasocial interaction (PSI) expressed toward Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey after he missed a potential game-winning field goal in the 2019 NFL (National Football League) playoffs. Using a sample of 512 tweets posted during the week after the game, qualitative analysis revealed that maladaptive PSI manifested in the following ways: criticism, threats, anger, and support. The results help better illuminate the nature of virtual abuse and maltreatment of athletes that is increasing in online spaces. Results also suggest that maladaptive PSI expressed online creates friction among fans who have to reconcile defeat with problematic behavior from other group members. Implications for sport organizations are discussed, including the need to support and protect athletes against virtual abuse and maltreatment.