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Michael Hutchinson and Adrien Bouchet

Due to the perceived benefits of NCAA Division I participation, institutional decision makers regularly encounter the appropriate extent of intercollegiate athletics commitment. Amid evidence of limited profitability, many institutions continue investment in Division I athletics. However, select institutions have redirected Division I athletic commitment from former failing courses of action. Based on escalation of commitment theory, this study investigated de-escalation of commitment within the bureaucratic educational setting of Division I athletics by implementing a collective case study of select higher learning institutions (N = 8). Participants (n = 32) included decision makers involved in the development and implementation of de-escalation initiatives. Findings revealed unique theoretical contributions related to the absence of negative feedback and importance of accurate information in redefining the magnitude of a problem. Contrary to previous de-escalation research, findings provided further contribution related to the importance of limited stakeholder consultation and a lack of engagement in impression management among decision makers.

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Michael Hutchinson, Calvin Nite, and Adrien Bouchet

Amid evidence of limited financial benefit, universities in the United States continue increasing their commitment to the NCAA’s highest level of competition. Consequently, it is believed that such behavior is the result of more intangible motivations by university decision makers. Using escalation of commitment theory as a framework, the authors explored social and structural determinants of increasing commitment, specifically examining the role of organizational status, former performance, and side-bets in commitment escalation. Applying a collective case study approach, the authors examined institutions (N = 10) having increased their commitment to Division I athletics within the last 10 years. Serving as the primary data source, participants (n = 35) included decision makers involved in the implementation of escalation initiatives. QSR International’s NVivo 10 software was employed for data analysis in the application of a three-step coding process. Findings revealed unique theoretical advancement in the emergence and role of organizational status in commitment escalation. Further, decision makers identified the impact of former organizational performance in the decision to increase athletic commitment. Finally, findings revealed the increased significance of organizational side-bets serving as the sole means for sustaining course of action commitment.

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Rhema D. Fuller, Brennan K. Berg, and Michael Hutchinson

Increasingly, sport managers are attempting to use athletics to positively affect their colleges' and universities' prestige. To highlight this contemporary issue, this case study presents an athletic director, Dwight Stanley, who has to give a recommendation on whether his institution should maintain its membership in the NJCAA or pursue membership in another athletic association, namely the NAIA or NCAA DIII.This case study is designed to capture the tension sport managers face as they encounter complex decisions. Accordingly, each membership option is presented with its advantages and disadvantages, as well as its supporters and detractors.Consequently, students will be required to critically assess a variety of factors to determine the institution's most feasible course of action. Given the popularity of careers within intercollegiate athletics, this case study provides an excellent way for students to engage in considering the complexities of such positions.Additionally, though the case study is presented within the context of intercollegiate athletics, the analytical process required to select a course of action is transferable to other segments of the sport industry.

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Brennan K. Berg, Michael Hutchinson, and Carol C. Irwin

This case study illustrates the complexity of decision making in public organizations, specifically highlighting the public health concern of drowning disparities in the United States. Using escalation of commitment theory, students must consider various factors in evaluating the overextended commitments of a local government in a complicated sociopolitical environment and with vital public needs that must be addressed through a local parks and recreation department. Facing a reduction in allocated resources, the department director, Claire Meeks, is tasked with determining which programs will receive higher priority despite the varied feedback from the management staff. To ensure students are provided a realistic scenario, this case offers a combination of fictional and real-life events from Splash Mid-South, an innovative swimming program in Memphis, Tennessee. Students must critically evaluate not only the merits of the swimming program, but the other sport, recreation, and parks programs that also merit an equitable share of the limited resources. Therefore, students are placed in a decision-making role that is common to managers of both public and private organizations. This case study is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate sport management courses, with specific application to strategic management, organizational behavior, and recreation or leisure topics.

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Marcus J. Brown, Laura A. Hutchinson, Michael J. Rainbow, Kevin J. Deluzio, and Alan R. De Asha

A typical gait analysis data collection consists of a series of discrete trials, where a participant initiates gait, walks through a motion capture volume, and then terminates gait. This is not a normal ‘everyday’ gait pattern, yet measurements are considered representative of normal walking. However, walking speed, a global descriptor of gait quality that can affect joint kinematics and kinetics, may be different during discrete trials, compared to continuous walking. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of continuous walking versus discrete trials on walking speed and walking speed variability. Data were collected for 25 healthy young adults performing 2 walking tasks. The first task represented a typical gait data collection session, where subjects completed repeated trials, beginning from a standstill and walking along a 12-m walkway. The second task was continuous walking along a “figure-of-8” circuit, with 1 section containing the same 12-m walkway. Walking speed was significantly higher during the discrete trials compared to the continuous trials (p < .001), but there were no significant differences in walking speed variability between the conditions. The results suggest that choice of gait protocol may affect results where variables are sensitive to walking speed.

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Barry S. Mason, Rienk M.A. van der Slikke, Michael J. Hutchinson, Monique A.M. Berger, and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

Purpose: To examine the effects of different small-sided games (SSGs) on physical and technical aspects of performance in wheelchair basketball (WB) players. Design: Observational cohort study. Methods: Fifteen highly trained WB players participated in a single 5v5 (24-s shot clock) match and three 3v3 SSGs (18-s shot clock) on a (1) full court, (2) half-court, and (3) modified-length court. During all formats, players’ activity profiles were monitored using an indoor tracking system and inertial measurement units. Physiological responses were monitored via heart rate and rating of perceived exertion. Technical performance, that is, ball handling, was monitored using video analysis. Repeated-measures analysis of variance and effect sizes (ESs) were calculated to determine the statistical significance and magnitude of any differences between game formats. Results: Players covered less distance and reached lower peak speeds during half-court (P ≤ .0005; ES ≥ very large) compared with all other formats. Greater distances were covered, and more time was spent performing moderate- and high-speed activity (P ≤ .008; ES ≥ moderate) during full court compared with all other formats. Game format had little bearing on physiological responses, and the only differences in technical performance observed were in relation to 5v5. Players spent more time in possession, took more shots, and performed more rebounds in all 3v3 formats compared with 5v5 (P ≤ .028; ES ≥ moderate). Conclusions: Court dimensions affect the activity profiles of WB players during 3v3 SSGs yet had little bearing on technical performance when time pressures (shot clocks) were constant. These findings have important implications for coaches to understand which SSG format may be most suitable for physically and technically preparing WB players.

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Ben T. Stephenson, Thomas J. O’Brien, Michael J. Hutchinson, Christina D’Angeli, Alex Cockram, Barry S. Mason, and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

Purpose: To examine the efficacy of per-cooling via ice slurry ingestion (ICE) in wheelchair tennis players exercising in the heat. Method: Eight wheelchair tennis players undertook sprints (4 sets of 10 × 5 s over 40 min) in a hot environment (∼32 °C), interspersed by 3 boluses of 2.67 g·kg (6.8 g·kg total) ICE or drinking temperate water (control condition). Athletes performed an on-court test of repeated sprint ability (20 × 20 m) in temperate conditions immediately before and 20 minutes after the heat exposure, and time to complete each sprint as well as intermediate times were recorded. Gastrointestinal and weighted mean skin and forehead temperatures were collected throughout the heat exposure, as were thermal sensation, heart rate, and blood lactate concentration. Sweat rate was calculated from body mass changes and fluid/ice intakes. Results: Compared with the control condition, ICE resulted in a significantly lower gastrointestinal temperature (95% CI, 0.11–0.17 °C; P < .001), forehead temperature (0.58–1.06 °C; P < .001), thermal sensation (0.07–0.50 units; P = .017), and sweat rate (0.06–0.46 L·h−1; P = .017). Skin temperature, heart rate, and blood lactate concentration were not significantly different between conditions (P ≥ .598). There was no overall change preheating to postheating (P ≥ .114) or an effect of condition (P ≥ .251) on repeated sprint times. Conclusions: ICE is effective at lowering objective and subjective thermal strain when consumed between sets of repeated wheelchair sprints in the heat. However, ICE has no effect on on-court repeated 20-m sprint performance.