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Sophie Knights, Emma Sherry, Mandy Ruddock-Hudson and Paul O’Halloran

Transition out of professional sport into retirement has been a topic of considerable research in recent years ( Alfermann, Stambulova, & Zemaityte, 2004 ; Torregrosa, Ramis, Pallarés, Azócar, & Selva, 2015 ). It is a given that throughout our lives we transition from one phase or stage to the

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Brian Goff, Dennis P. Wilson, W. Currie Martin and Brandon Spurlock

Our study examines the impact of the transition from NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS) participation to Football Bowl Series (FBS) participation on demand for university football. The primary empirical analysis uses 23 schools that transitioned to the FBS between 1987 and 2013 to examine attendance effects. We first examine the change as a type of event study and estimate the impact in a short run “transition window” of the 5 years leading up to and after the transition. We then estimate the long run impact of membership on annual attendance over a period extending from 5 years before transition through 2013 for all transition schools. Finally, we estimate impact on an alternative sample that includes a control group of top performing FCS schools that have not transitioned to FBS. The results derived from these panel regressions indicate a substantial positive impact on per game attendance over the transition period and for many years beyond the transition. (JEL codes: L83, L29.)

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Derek A. Swain

The present study involved three in-depth interviews with 10 informants who had voluntarily withdrawn from hockey, horse racing, football, and racquet-ball. The personal histories of the informants were examined for diversity and commonality of experience. A synthesized description of career change experience was written as a general story, identifying a sequence of experiential units that reflect the shifts in focus within the common experience. The general story indicated that withdrawal from sport was not simply an event but a process that began soon after the athletes became engaged in their career. This study supports and extends a model proposed by Schlossberg (1984) which attempts to account for diversity in the experience of transitions. The model is considered helpful in developing an understanding of the process of a transitional experience such as retirement from sport, considering the context in which the experience takes place, the meaning it has for the individual, and how it changes over time.

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Larry Weber, Thomas M. Sherman and Carmen Tegano

Does early admission for scholarship athletes increase their chances of academic success? The findings from this 2-year study suggest that student athletes with low admission qualifications who participated in a summer transition program achieved higher grade point averages, more secure athletic and academic eligibility, and greater potential to graduate than similar student athletes not participating in the transition program.

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Colm Hickey and Martin Roderick

In contrast to research, which privileges the notion of an exclusive athletic identity, we argue that the identity management of professional athletes is influenced by the expectations of audiences and the motivational weight of ‘possible selves’ in explaining career transitions from ‘sports work’. Qualitative vignette interviews were conducted with 10 male participants (ages 18–26 years) on three separate occasions (30 interviews). All interviewees had experienced a career transition from Premier League football in the UK. By integrating Goffman’s (1971) dramaturgical analogy and Markus and Nurius’s (1986) concept of possible selves we illustrate the way athletes manage their identities to explain how understandings of career transitions are linked to social audiences and whether they dramatically realize and legitimize future possible selves.

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Jacquelyn Cuneen

Sport management was acknowledged early in its formative years as an academic area with great potential for success in the academy. Due largely to the efforts of members of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), sport management quickly became entrenched in academe and is starting to be recognized as an academic area of merit. It is important to manage our overall program excellence as we move from “potential” to “merit” if sport management is to thrive as an academic discipline and profession. It is particularly important to mange our merit since our transition phase occurs amidst many changes and challenges (e.g., the student as consumer; under-representation of National Association for Sport and Physical Education/NASSM Approved Programs; under-recognition of sport management teaching excellence, and diminishing service roles and interests within industry and academe). The purpose of this essay is to posit approaches through which sport management’s educational programs might maintain their well-earned meritorious reputations amid shifting academic and social cultures. This essay is the text of the 2003 Dr. Earle F. Zeigler Lecture presented on May 30 at the 18th Annual Meeting of NASSM in Ithaca, New York.

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Adam Love, Seung-Yup Lim and Joy T. DeSensi

The presence of transitioned women in sport is currently a contested issue. Mianne Bagger, a transitioned woman, has been an important figure in developments related to this issue during her efforts to play on various women’s professional golf tours. Using a standpoint perspective, which begins with the assumption that some social locations, such as those of marginalized individuals, are better starting points than others for seeking knowledge, the researchers interviewed Bagger about her experiences. Since she has begun seeking the right to play on various women’s professional tours, a number of golfing organizations have introduced or created “gender policies” regarding who is allowed to participate. While such policy developments may seem on the surface to be progressive measures designed

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Sine Agergaard and Tatiana V. Ryba

With rising globalization and professionalization within sports, athletes are increasingly migrating across national borders to take up work, and their athletic and nonathletic development is thereby shaped and lived in different countries. Through the analysis of interviews with female professional transnational athletes, this article contextualizes and discusses arguments for developing an interdisciplinary framework to account for lived experiences of the close intertwining between transnational migration and career development in professional sports. By combining our psychological and sociological perspectives, we identify three normative career transitions for transnational athletes. First of all, transnational recruitment that draws on social networks as well as individual agency. Secondly, establishment as a transnational athlete that is connected to cultural and psychological adaptation as well as development of transnational belonging, and thirdly, professional athletic career termination that for transnational athletes is connected to a (re)constitution of one’s transnational network and sense of belonging.

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Kalliopi Sotiriadou, David Shilbury and Shayne Quick

The purpose of this study was to explore and map the sport development processes in Australia. A grounded theory approach identified sport development processes by examining 74 annual reports from 35 national sporting organizations (NSOs) over a period of 4 years, before and after the Sydney Olympic Games. The 3 frameworks presented in this article representing the attraction, retention/transition, and nurturing process illustrate the generic processes and strategies described by NSOs. The results show that each sport development process requires human and financial input from various stakeholders. These stakeholders initiate or implement sport development strategies for each process and each process has different sport development outputs. These results contribute to the extant literature of sport development by demonstrating that sport development is more complex and encompassing than previously described. It is proposed that the generic frameworks derived from this study be subject to more specific testing using other sport systems, as context and case studies could lead to tailoring the frameworks to represent specific sport development processes and systems.

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B. Christine Green

Sport development has become a leading issue for sport policymakers and sport managers worldwide. Sport development systems have two main objectives: to increase the number of participants actively engaged in sport and to enhance the quality of performances in sport. This is the foundation of the much used, but rarely examined, pyramid analogy in sport development. In this article, the pyramid model of sport development is explored, and its underlying assumptions are critiqued. Three tasks necessary for an effective pyramid model are identified: athlete recruitment, athlete retention, and athlete transitions. Recruitment requires the assistance of significant others, as well as the proliferation of many smaller, local-level sport programs. Retention requires a focus on motivation, socialization, and commitment. Advancement requires that programs be linked vertically and that athletes be aided in processes of locating and socializing into new levels of involvement. Although specific strategies for enhancing recruitment, retention, and transition of athletes can be identified from the literature, further research is needed.