Erie University’s star football athlete, Johnathan Snow, has led his team to an undefeated season and prospects of a conference championship and bowl game qualification. However, based on his midterm progress reports, he will be ineligible for the postseason. This case explores the challenges that the football team, the student-athlete, and the student-athlete support service department encounter when academic and athletic demands are at odds. The teaching discussion offers practical considerations for professionals in the industry or for sport management students in undergraduate or graduate courses aspiring to work in college sport.
Allison Manwell, James Johnson, and Khirey Walker
Khirey B. Walker, Chad Seifried, Brian Soebbing, and Kwame Agyemang
The present study used framing theory to analyze reports and articles from 1998 through 2016 offered by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and various newspapers to analyze the relationship between social-control agents and how they speak to specific audiences (e.g., public and NCAA members) about instances of misconduct by Division I members. The concept of conflict framing (i.e., frame alignment, counterframing, and reframing) is featured. The research demonstrated that episodic framing is more widespread than thematic framing, but it is used differently for specific audiences. The study also found that thematic framing is highly correlated with the normative approach and confirms that media outlets used assorted conflict-framing strategies (e.g., frame alignment, counterframing, and debunking) to emphasize that information on cases was false, incomplete, correct, or filtered. Different uses regarding precedent are also acknowledged, along with coverage concerning the type of institution and location of newspaper (i.e., local or national).
Khirey B. Walker, Chad S. Seifried, and Brian P. Soebbing
The present study focuses on the National Collegiate Athletic Association and cases of misconduct from 1953 to 2016 to examine evidence of organizational layering created by social-control agents. The historical method was employed and found wrongdoing may influence the creation of organizational layers to control and/or manage future behavior. Furthermore, the activities of the National Collegiate Athletic Association featured variation in centralization, formalization, and complexity through expanding horizontal; vertical (e.g., institutional, managerial, and technical); and spatial differentiations. Second, individual social-control agents impact future organizational policies and member behavior but social-control agents’ power may be challenged as an organization grows. Third, as a social-control agent, the National Collegiate Athletic Association struggled with assessing cases of misconduct, assigning sanctions in a timely manner and at a level to deter future wrongdoing. Finally, the present study offers several propositions connecting third-party regulators to the synergy between complexity (i.e., horizontal and vertical differentiations); formalization; and centralization.
Khirey Walker, Brian P. Soebbing, Chad S. Seifried, and Adam G. Pfleegor
Finisher Sports went from a small business to one of the top sports apparel businesses in the United States under the leadership of its founder, George Taylor. After declaring bankruptcy, Taylor sold the business to Carol Anthony, President and CEO of Star Brand Group. Since the purchase, the Star Brand Group believed that Finisher Sports had not realized its full revenue potential. Thus, Anthony organized a think tank to devise solutions. The purpose of the case study is for students, as the members of the think tank, to examine Finisher sports from marketing and organizational behavior perspectives, particularly focusing on the role that the company’s history plays in the marketing and strategic components of the company.
James E. Johnson, Robert M. Turick, Michael F. Dalgety, Khirey B. Walker, Eric L. Klosterman, and Anya T. Eicher
Higher education in the United States, and sport management in particular, has faced contemporary attacks for its perceived lack of academic rigor. To investigate these criticisms, this study examined 830 students enrolled in 69 semester-long courses across four consecutive years in a single sport management program to measure perceived course rigor and its relationship to overall course ratings, course grades, and course level. Seven rigor questions were added to existing student ratings and distributed at the end of each semester. A factor analysis strongly supported the conceptualization of rigor utilized in the study. Pearson correlations indicated that student ratings and rigor were positively related. An ordinary least squares multiple regression also revealed that overall student ratings and course grades significantly aid in predicting course rigor. Pragmatically, the results suggest that sport management students appreciate rigorous courses and that faculty should strive to include elements of rigor into their courses without fear of retributional bias on student ratings.