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Chris Corr, Crystal Southall, and Richard M. Southall

Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) bowl games represent a final opportunity for teams to showcase themselves in front of a national television audience. Capital One Bowl Mania, as branded by the broadcast network ESPN, is a signature event of college football, and the College Football Playoff national championship marks the end of the FBS season. During the 2019–2020 FBS postseason, ESPN owned the broadcast rights to 36 of the 41 FBS bowl games. Controlling nearly 90% of FBS bowl games, ESPN controls the representation of almost every broadcast bowl game. Informed by extant research on the now defunct Bowl Championship Series, this study looks for evidence of a hypercommercial media logic in the institutional field of FBS bowl games. Using a mixed-method approach, this paper investigates the reproduction of a sample of 18 FBS bowl game broadcasts and considers the extent to which the increased use of in-game graphics in broadcast production structures and practices reflects an hypercommercial media logic.

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Coyte G. Cooper and Richard M. Southall

Over the past few decades, college sport in the United States has increasingly adopted a commercial institutional logic when engaging in an athletics “arms race.” With decisions by some athletic directors to eliminate certain nonrevenue Olympic sport programs for spending reallocation, it stands to reason that programs such as men’s wrestling will need to enhance their revenue streams to remain viable in future years. The purpose of the study was to investigate the motivational preferences of online wrestling consumers (N = 451) to provide a core foundation for the development of strategies to enhance interest in the college-wrestling product. In addition to illustrating that online consumers responded most favorably to the sport-related wrestling motives, the data also supported the notion that the motivational preferences of consumers varied when focusing on the demographic information of participants.

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Richard M. Southall and Mark S. Nagel

Over the past few years the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I women’s basketball tournament has drawn larger crowds, generated increased television ratings, and attracted higher levels of advertising spending. Division I women’s basketball is now viewed as the women’s “revenue” sport. In light of the limited analysis of the organizational conditions that frame college-sport broadcast production, this case study examines the impact of influential actors on the representation process of big-time college-basketball telecasts. Using a mixed-method approach, this article investigates production conditions and processes involved in producing women’s basketball tournament broadcasts, examines the extent to which these broadcasts are consistent with the NCAA’s educational mission, and considers the dominant institutional logic that underpins their reproduction. In so doing, this case study provides a critical examination of women’s basketball tournament broadcasts and how such broadcasts constitute, and are constituted by, choices in television production structures and practices.

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Richard. L. Irwin, Richard M. Southall, and William A. Sutton

In 2004, Andy Dolich (president of business operations for the National Basketball Association’s [NBA] Memphis Grizzlies), decried the lack of sales training in sport management curricula. In response to that criticism, this paper provides a history and description of a metadiscrete sales-training program recently developed and implemented at two universities. This paper is designed to serve as a blueprint for faculty interested in enhancing their understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and practical logistics of implementing a similar sales-training program in their curriculum. It is the authors’ contention that such programs, based on sound pedagogical principles, can enhance the process of reconnecting sport management curriculum to the 21st-century sport-industry.

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Richard M. Southall, Mark S. Nagel, John M. Amis, and Crystal Southall

As the United States’ largest intercollegiate athletic event, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s basketball tournament consistently generates high television ratings and attracts higher levels of advertising spending than the Super Bowl or the World Series. Given the limited analysis of the organizational conditions that frame these broadcasts’ production, this study examines the impact of influential actors on the representation process. Using a mixed-method approach, this paper investigates production conditions and processes involved in producing a sample (n = 31) of NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament broadcasts, examines the extent to which these broadcasts are consistent with the NCAA’s educational mission, and considers the dominant institutional logic that underpins their reproduction. In so doing, this analysis provides a critical examination of the 2006 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament broadcasts, and how such broadcasts constitute, and are constituted by, choices in television production structures and practices.

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Richard M. Southall, E. Woodrow Eckard, Mark S. Nagel, and Morgan H. Randall

Within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Division I men’s basketball many profit-athletes travel to Predominately White Institution (PWI) work sites for “pre-professional” sport opportunities. At most PWIs the Black male student population is less than ten percent, while football and men’s basketball rosters are overwhelmingly comprised of Black athletes. This study—using multiple regression models—examines the relationship between athletic success and profit-athletes’ graduation rates. The main dependent variable is the Adjusted Graduation Gap (AGG) as a measure of academic success. Results indicated Black profit-athletes who play for the most successful FBS football and NCAA D-I men’s basketball programs graduate at significantly lower rates than full-time male students. However, at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Black football and men’s basketball players graduate at higher rates than full-time male students.