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Laura Richardson Walton and Kevin D. Williams

An organization’s initial response to a crisis can dictate the tone of its sustained response throughout the crisis, as well as stakeholders’ reactions to the incident. When news of the deaths of professional wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife, and their 7-yr-old son broke, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) immediately paid tribute to the superstar. A memorial show to Benoit’s career aired as investigators searched the family’s home. The investigation revealed that Benoit murdered his wife and son before taking his own life, resulting in WWE’s retraction of its earlier tributes. Furthermore, the organization had to respond to the swarm of speculation that steroids—and WWE’s lax policy on their use—were to blame. This case study analyzes WWE’s immediate response strategies to their employee’s family’s deaths and the subsequent strategies used on learning that the employee was implicated. Qualitative analysis of corporate documents and official statements seeks to provide direction regarding how similar organizations should respond in the days immediately after tragic events when employees may be implicated.

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Blair Browning and Jimmy Sanderson

Twitter has become a popular topic in sport communication research. Little research to date, however, has examined Twitter from the perspective of student-athletes. This research explored how student-athletes at an NCAA Division I university used Twitter and reacted to critical tweets from fans. Semistructured interviews with 20 student-athletes were conducted. Analysis revealed that student-athletes used Twitter in 3 primary ways: keeping in contact, communicating with followers, and accessing information. With respect to critical tweets, student-athletes reported various perceptions about them and diverse strategies for responding to them. The results suggest that Twitter is a beneficial communicative tool for student-athletes but also presents challenges, given the ease with which fans attack them via this social-media platform. Accordingly, athletic departments must be proactive in helping student-athletes use Twitter strategically, particularly in responding to detractors.

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Michael Skipper and Leslie A. Meehan

Active transportation refers to modes of travel that incorporate physical activity as part of the trip. Examples include walking and bicycling, as well as transit, since walking or bicycling is typically required for transit station access and egress. The Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has recently restructured its regional transportation policies and programming priorities as part of the development of the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan to enable more active transportation by encouraging the implementation of infrastructure such as sidewalks, bikeways, and transit. The result is a significant increase in the number of federally-funded transportation projects in the greater Nashville region that provide opportunities for active transportation trips.

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Liam Kennedy, Derek Silva, Madelaine Coelho and William Cipolli III

” social solidarity following tragedies. Few researchers have focused on how communities respond to sporting tragedies. In her analysis of events following the September 11th attacks, for instance, McDonald ( 2005 ) argues that sporting narratives and images work within a global neo-liberal marketplace

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Walter Gantz and Lawrence A. Wenner

Employing a uses and gratifications paradigm, we expected that audience experience with televised sports would vary on the basis of fanship, with fans having a qualitatively different, deeper, and more textured set of expectations and responses than nonfans. Fans were expected to respond in similar ways, regardless of gender. Telephone interviews were completed with 707 adults residing in Los Angeles and Indianapolis. Fanship was operationalized using cognitive, affective, and behavioral bases. In this study, fanship made a difference, with fans clearly more invested in the viewing experience. Male and female sports fans reacted and responded in almost identical ways, although men generally were an insignificant shade more involved than women. However, since more males are fans, the televised sports viewing experience in many households may not be shared, even when husbands and wives watch the same TV sports program.

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Brian Stoddart

This paper responds to the Klein and Mandle papers, placing them in the context of a growing literature. It argues that noncustomary sports practices need to be examined in their own cultural settings rather than from the standards of the developed world. It refers to issues of ethnographic practice, and argues that the richest understandings will proceed from crossdisciplinary reference to fields such as history and anthropology.

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Marlene A. Dixon and Per G. Svensson

, Raynard, Kodeih, Micelotta, & Lounsbury, 2011 ). Examining how a nascent SDP organization responds to institutional complexity is essential to advancing SDP theory and practice. The case organization presented in this study responded to this complexity through a process of organizational hybridity, much

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Mee lee Leung

The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of 130 male and female athletes toward female coaches in Hong Kong. Athletes, selected from 14 individual sports, responded to a questionnaire that included 34 attitudes’ items using a 5-point Likert Scale and a question involving preference, in which subjects indicated their preferences toward male or female coaches. An independent t-test analysis (p < .05) revealed that athletes reported a favorable attitude toward female coaches. Chi-Square analysis revealed that athletes preferred a male coach to a female coach.

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Eddie Comeaux and Adam Martin

This study employed the concept of hegemonic masculinity as an interpretive framework to explore NCAA Division I athletic administrator perceptions regarding the professional accomplishments of male and female athletic directors. Using photo elicitation methodology, athletic administrators (e.g., athletic directors, academic advisors/counselors for athletes, and coaches) responded to a photograph of and vignette about either a male or female athletic director. This study found that while some athletic administrators were supportive of the achievements of both male and female athletic directors, some subscribed to hegemonic masculinity, gendered stereotypes, and homologous reproduction. These findings have implications for stakeholders in the affairs of athletics who are committed to creating more equitable athletic environments.

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Eldon E. Snyder and Dean A. Purdy

This study substantiates the notion of a home advantage for the sport of basketball. The findings indicate that home teams win 66% of their games and this advantage is as important for game outcomes as team quality. However, the advantage varies according to the quality of home and visiting teams. The paper provides a review of the Durkheimian perspective, which views the home team as a representative of the home collectivity that draws support from its fans. Additionally, the home advantage may be seen as an expression of Goffman, whereby the players are highly motivated to respond in a manner that will maintain their proper demeanor and self-esteem.