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Gender and Sports: Does Equity Require Ideological Changes?. What is sex? . The biological characteristics of maleness of femaleness. Three biological characteristics can be used to identify a person’s sex. Physical Appearance

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gender and sports does equity require ideological changes
Gender and Sports:

Does Equity Require Ideological Changes?

what is sex

What is sex?

The biological characteristics of maleness of femaleness.

three biological characteristics can be used to identify a person s sex
Three biological characteristics can be used to identify a person’s sex.
  • Physical Appearance
  • Genitalia are commonly used at birth, but not without some occasional errors.
    • Hermaphrodite
    • Physical abnormality
the second biological characteristic
The Second Biological Characteristic
  • Hormones
  • Hormones can also be used, but hormone levels vary greatly between members of the same sex.
  • Hormone levels are also influenced by physical activity.
  • Males and females have the same hormones.
      • Estrogen
      • Testosterone
the third biological characteristic
The Third Biological Characteristic
  • Chromosomes
  • Chromosome testing is used to measure the presence of either XX or XY pairs.
  • Chromosome testing is not frequently done, but when the test is done some errors do occur.
  • Olympic FEM-testing has been criticized for many years.
  • Errors are associated with all methods of determining individual sex.
sex category is the assigning of a person or self to either male or female sex
Sex Category –is the assigning of a person (or self) to either male or female sex.

What attributes do people use to identify someone's sex?

  • Hair length?
  • Physique?
  • Skin complexion?
  • Voice?
  • How often are you wrong???
will women ever be able to
Will women ever be able to:
  • Run as fast?
  • Jump as high?
  • Lift as much?
  • The belief that a persons behavior is the product of their biological sex.
participation and equity issues
Participation and Equity Issues

Participation by girls & women has increased dramatically since the early 1980s due to:

  • New opportunities
  • Government equal rights legislation
  • Global women’s rights movement
  • Expanding health & fitness movement
  • Increased media coverage of women’s sports
reasons for caution when predicting future participation 1 4
Reasons For Caution When Predicting Future Participation (1-4)
  • Budget cutbacks and the privatization of sport programs
  • Resistance to government regulations
  • Backlash among those who resent strong women
  • Under representation of women in decision-making positions in sport programs
reasons for caution when predicting future participation 5 7
Reasons For Caution When Predicting Future Participation (5-7)
  • Continued emphasis on “cosmetic fitness”
  • Trivialization of women’s sports
  • Homophobia and the threat of being labeled “lesbian”
gender and fairness issues in sports
Gender and Fairness Issues in Sports
  • Inequities in participation opportunities
    • Often grounded in dominant definitions of femininity in a culture
    • May be related to religious beliefs
  • Establishing legal definitions of equity
  • Support for athletes
  • Jobs for women in coaching and administration
legal definitions title ix in the us
Legal Definitions: Title IX in the US

Title IX requires compliance with one of these three tests:

  • The proportionality test
    • A 5 percentage point deviation is okay
  • The history of progress test
    • Judged by actions & progress over past 3 years
  • The accommodation of interest test
    • Programs & teams meet the interests and abilities of the under represented sex
title ix categories of support for athletes
Access to facilities

Quality of facilities

Availability of scholarships

Program operating expenses

Recruiting budgets

Scheduling of games & practice times

Travel and per diem expenses

Academic tutoring

Number of coaches

Salaries for all staff and administrators

Medical training services and facilities

Publicity for players, teams, and events

Title IX Categories of Support for Athletes:
coaching and administration reasons for under representation
Coaching and Administration: Reasons for Under Representation
  • Women have fewer established connections in elite programs
  • Subjective evaluative criteria used by search committees
  • Support systems & professional development opportunities for women have been scarce
coaching and administration reasons for under representation19
Coaching and Administration: Reasons for Under Representation
  • Many women do not see spaces for them in corporate cultures of sport programs
  • Sport organizations are seldom sensitive to family responsibilities among coaches and administrators
  • Women may anticipate sexual harassment and more demanding standards than those used to judge men
strategies to promote gender equity 1 4
Strategies to Promote Gender Equity (1-4):
  • Confront discrimination and be an advocate for women coaches and administrators
  • Be an advocate of fair and open employment practices
  • Keep data on gender equity
  • Learn and educate others about the history of discrimination in sports and how to identify discrimination
strategies to promote gender equity 5 9
Strategies to Promote Gender Equity (5-9):
  • Inform media of unfair and discriminatory policies
  • Package women’s sports as revenue producers
  • Recruit women athletes into coaching
  • Use women’s hiring networks
  • Create a supportive climate for women in your organization
cheerleaders reproducing definitions of femininity
Cheerleaders: Reproducing Definitions of Femininity?
  • Cheerleading in the late 1800s was a male activity; it changed after World War II
  • Cheerleading today is a diverse phenomenon, but cheerleading sometimes is organized in ways that reproduce traditional gender logic
    • Be attractive, and pure & wholesome
    • Support men as they work
    • Be an emotional leader without receiving material rewards
girls and women as agents of change
Girls and Women As Agents of Change

Sport participation can empower women

  • But this does not occur automatically
  • But personal empowerment is not necessarily associated with an awareness of the need for gender transformation in society as a whole
  • But elite athletes seldom are active agents of change when it comes to gender ideology
why elite athletes seldom challenge traditional gender ideology
Why Elite Athletes Seldom Challenge Traditional Gender Ideology
  • Women athletes often fear being tagged as ungrateful, “man-haters,” or “lesbians”
  • Corporation-driven “celebrity-feminism” focuses on individualism and consumption, not everyday struggles related to gender
  • “Empowerment discourses” in sports are tied to fitness and heterosexual attractiveness
  • Women athletes have little control or political voice in sports or society at large
boys and men as agents of change
Boys and Men As Agents of Change

Gender equity also is a men’s issue:

  • Equity involves creating options for men to play sports not based exclusively on a power and performance model
  • Equity emphasizes relationships based on cooperation rather than conquest and domination
changes in gender ideology prerequisites for gender equity
Changes in Gender Ideology: Prerequisites for Gender Equity

Gender ideology is crucial because:

  • Gender is a fundamental organizing principle of social life
  • Gender logic influences how we
    • Think of self and other
    • How we relate to others
    • How we present ourselves
    • How we think about and plan for our future
gender logic
Gender Logic

Based on a

Two-category Classification System

  • Assumes two mutually exclusive categories: heterosexual male and heterosexual female
  • These categories are perceived in terms of difference, and as “opposites”
  • System leaves no space for those who do not fit into either of the two categories
  • The two categories are not equal when it comes to access to power
sports celebrations of masculinity
Sports: Celebrations of Masculinity
  • Gender is not fixed in nature – therefore, people must work to maintain definitions
  • Sportsare sites for preserving forms of gender logic that privilege men & marginalize women
  • Dominantsportforms highlight and reward virility, power, and toughness
  • Sport images and discourse glorify a heroic manhood based on being a warrior
gender logic in sports girls and women as invaders
Gender Logic in Sports: Girls and Women As Invaders
  • Girls and women in sports often threaten the preservation of traditional gender logic
  • Through history, myths have been used to discourage participation by girls and women
  • Encouragement varies by sport, and whether the sport emphasizes grace or power
  • Being a “tomboy” is okay as long as traditional “femininity cues” are presented
women bodybuilders expanding definitions of femininity
Women Bodybuilders: Expanding Definitions of Femininity?
  • Competitive bodybuilding for women did not exist before the 1970s
  • Women bodybuilders often are perceived as deviant in terms of gender definitions
  • Women bodybuilders challenge traditional definitions of gender, despite commercial images that highlight heterosexual attractiveness
  • Femininity insignias are used to avoid social marginalization
gender based double standards do they exist in sports
Gender-based Double Standards:Do They Exist in Sports?

What would happen if:

  • Mia Hamm beat up a man or a couple of women in a bar fight?
  • A rugby team “mooned” tourists in Washington, DC?
  • A basketball player had four children with four different men?
  • Anna Kournikova was photographed with near naked men ogling and hanging on her?
homophobia in sports
Homophobia in Sports
  • Popular discourse erases the existence of gay men and lesbians in sports
  • Gay men and lesbians challenge the two-category gender classification system
  • Being “out” in sports creates challenges
    • Women risk acceptance
    • Men risk acceptance and physical safety
  • Most people in sports hold a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy concerning homosexuality
strategies for changing ideology and culture
Strategies for Changing Ideology and Culture

There is a need for

  • Alternative definitions of masculinity
    • Critically question violent & destructive behavior
  • Alternative definitions of femininity
    • Becoming “like men” is not the goal
  • Changing the ways we talk about & do sports
    • Lifetime participation, an ethic of care, gender equity, and bringing boys and girls and men and women together to share sport experiences
race and ethnicity are they important in sports
Race and Ethnicity:

Are They Important in Sports?

defining race ethnicity
DefiningRace& Ethnicity
  • Race refers to a category of people regarded as socially distinct
  • Share “genetic” traits believed to be important by those with power and influence in society
  • An ethnic group is a socially distinct population that shares a way of life
  • Committed to the ideas, norms, and things that constitute that way of life
minority group
Minority Group

Refers to a socially identified collection of people who

  • Experience systematic discrimination
  • Suffer social disadvantages because of discrimination
  • Possess a self-consciousness based on their shared experiences
the concept of race
The Concept of Race
  • Racial categories are social creations based on meanings given to selected physical traits
  • Race is not a valid biological concept
    • Verified by data from Human Genome Project
  • Racial classifications ambiguous
    • because they are based on continuous traits with arbitrary lines drawn to create categories
    • Racial classifications vary from culture to culture

Racial Categories:

Drawing Lines in Society

Snow white

Midnight black

Continuous Traits=skin color, height, brain size, nose width, leg length, leg length ratio, # of fast twitch muscle fibers, etc.

Discrete Traits =blood type, sickle cell trait, etc.

Racial category lines can be drawn anywhere and everywhere!We could draw 2 or 2000; the decision is a social one, not a biological one. Some people draw many; others draw few.

race in the united states
Race in the United States
  • A primitive but powerful classification system has been used in the U.S.
  • It is a two-category system based on the rule of hypo-descent or the “one-drop rule”
  • The rule was developed by white men to insure the “purity” of the “white race” and property control by white men
  • Mixed-race people challenge the validity of this socially influential way of defining race
tiger woods disrupting dominant race logic
Tiger Woods:Disrupting Dominant Race Logic


CA = Caucasian

BL = Black

IN = Indian

ASIAN = Asian

using critical theory to ask questions about racial classification systems
Using Critical Theory to Ask Questions About Racial Classification Systems
  • Which classification systems are used?
  • Who uses them?
  • Why are some people so dedicated to using certain classification systems?
  • What are the consequences of usage?
  • Can negative consequences be minimized?
  • Can the systems be challenged?
  • What occurs when systems change?
race ideology in history
Race Ideology in History

Racial classification systems were developed as Caucasian Europeans explored and colonized the globe

  • These systems were used to justify colonization, conversion, and even slavery and genocide
  • According to these systems, white skin was the standard, and dark skin was associated with intellectual inferiority and arrested development
race ideology in sports today
Race Ideology in Sports Today

Race logic encourages people to

  • “See” sport performances in racial terms, i.e., in terms of skin color
  • Use whiteness as the taken-for-granted standard
  • Explain the success or failure of people with dark skin in racial terms
  • Do studies to “discover” racial difference
traditional race logic used in sports
Achievements of White Athletes are due to:




Achievements of Black Athletes are due to:


Natural physical abilities

Traditional Race LogicUsed in Sports
searching for jumping genes in black bodies
Searching For ”Jumping Genes” in Black Bodies

Why is the search misleading?

  • Based on oversimplified ideas about genes and how they work
  • Assumes that jumping is a simple physical activity related to a single gene or interrelated set of genes
  • Begins with skin color and social definitions of race
a sociological hypothesis
A Sociological Hypothesis

Race logic + discrimination + sport opportunities

Beliefs about biological & cultural destiny


Motivation to develop skills


the power of race logic
The Power of Race Logic
  • Black male students often have a difficult time shaking “athlete” labels based on race logic
  • Young people from all racial backgrounds may make choices influenced by race logic
  • In everyday life, race logic is related to the cultural logic of gender and social class
sport participation and african americans
Sport Participation andAfrican Americans

The facts show that

  • Prior to the 1950s, African Americans faced a segregated sport system
  • African Americans participate in a very limited range of sports
  • African American men and women are under represented in most sports
sport participation and native americans
Sport Participation andNative Americans
  • Native Americans comprise dozens of diverse cultural groups
  • Traditional Native American sports combine physical activities with ritual and ceremony
  • Native Americans often fear losing their culture when they play Anglo sports
  • Stereotypes used in sports discourage Native American participation
images of native americans in sports
Images of Native Americans in Sports
  • Using stereotypes ofNative Americansas a basis for team names, logos, and mascots is a form of bigotry
    • regardless of the intentions
  • Are there conditions under which a group or organizations could use the cultural and religious images of others for their own purposes?
  • What would happen if a school named their teams the Olympians and used the Olympic logo (5-Rings) as their logo?
sport participation and latinos hispanics
Sport Participation andLatinos & Hispanics
  • The experiences of Latino athletes have been ignored until recently
  • Stereotypes about physical abilities have influenced perceptions of Latino athletes
  • Latinos now make up 25% of Major League Baseball players
  • Latinos often confront discrimination in school sports
  • Latinos have been overlooked due to faulty generalizations about gender and culture
sport participation and asian americans
Sport Participation andAsian Americans
  • The cultural heritage and histories of Asian Americans are very diverse
  • The sport participation patterns of Asian Americans vary with their immigration histories
  • Little is known about how the images of Asian American athletes are represented in the media and minds of people in the U.S.
the dynamics of racial ethnic relations in sports
The Dynamics of Racial & Ethnic Relations in Sports
  • Race and ethnicity remain significant in sports today
  • Today’s challenges are not the ones faced in the past
  • Racial and ethnic issues DO NOT disappear when desegregation occurs
  • The challenge of dealing with inter-group relations never disappears
    • changes in terms of the issues that must be confronted
eliminating racial ethnic exclusion in sports i
Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Exclusion in Sports (I)

Changes are most likely when

  • People with power and control benefit from progressive changes
  • Individual performances can be measured precisely and objectively
  • Members of an entire team benefit from the achievements of teammates
eliminating racial ethnic exclusion in sports ii
Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Exclusion in Sports (II)

Changes are most likely when

  • Superior performances do not lead to automatic promotions
  • Team success does not depend on off-the-field friendships
the biggest challenge integrating positions of power
The Biggest Challenge: Integrating Positions of Power
  • Power in sports is not readily shared
    • Even when sport participation is racially and ethnically mixed
  • The movement of minorities into coaching and administrative positions has been very slow
  • Social and legal pressures are still needed before power is fully shared
needed changes
Needed Changes:
  • Regular and direct confrontation
    • of racial and ethnic issues by people in positions of power
  • A new vocabulary
    • dealing with new forms of racial and ethnic diversity
  • Training sessions dealing with practical problems and issues
    • Not just feelings
the racially natural athlete
The Racially “Natural Athlete”?
  • There is no evidence showing that skin color is related to physical traits that are essential for athletic excellence across sports
  • or in any particular sport
socially constructing the black male body race ideology in action
Socially Constructing the Black Male Body: Race Ideology in Action

In Euro-American history there has been

  • Strong fears of the physical power and prowess of (oppressed) black men
  • Powerful anxieties about the sexual appetites and capabilities of (angry) black men
  • Deep fascination with the movement of the black body

THEREFORE, the black male body =

valuable entertainment commodity

research summary genetic factors athletic performance
Research Summary(Genetic Factors & Athletic Performance)
  • Are there genetic differences between individuals? YES
  • Are genetic characteristics related to athletic excellence? YES
  • Could one gene account for success across a range of different sports? PROBABLY NOT
  • Might skin color genes & physical performance genes be connected? NO EVIDENCE
research summary continued
Research Summary(Continued)
  • Are physical development & the expression of skills in sports related to cultural definitions of skin color and race? DEFINITELY YES
  • Do cultural ideas about skin color & race influence the interpretation of and meaning given to the movement and achievements of athletes? DEFINITELY YES
social origins of athletic excellence
Social Origins of Athletic Excellence
  • A cultural emphasis on achievement in activities that have special cultural meaning
  • Resources to support widespread participation among young people
  • Opportunities to gain rewards through success
  • Access to those who can teach tactics and strategies
consequences of race ideology in sports
Consequences of Race Ideology in Sports
  • Desegregation of revenue producing sports
  • Continued racial exclusion in “social” sports
  • Position stacking in team sports
  • Racialized interpretations of achievements
  • Management barriers for blacks
  • Skewed distribution of African Americans in U.S. colleges and universities
sport in society issues and controversies

Sport in Society:Issues and Controversies

Chapter 12

Sports and the Media:

Could They Survive Without Each Other?

characteristics of the media
Characteristics of the Media
  • Print media: words & images printed on paper
    • Newspapers, magazines & fanzines, books, catalogues, event programs, trading cards
  • Electronic media: words, commentary, & images we receive through audio and/or video devices
    • Radio, television, film, video games, the internet and computer publications
the media provide
The Media Provide
  • Information
  • Interpretation
  • Entertainment
media content
Media Content

Media content is always edited and “re-presented” by those who control them

Editing decisions are based on one or more of these goals:

  • Making profits
  • Shaping values
  • Providing a public service
  • Building artistic and technical reputations
  • Expressing self
media and power
Media and Power

The media often serve the interests of those with power and wealth in society

As corporate control of media has increased & become more concentrated, media content emphasizes

  • Consumerism
  • Individualism
  • Competition
  • Class inequality

as natural and necessary in society

what if
What If . . .
  • All television documentaries were sponsored by environmental groups, or by women’s organizations, or by labor organizations?
    • Would we ask questions about the content of those programs, why we see what we see, why we hear what we hear?
  • 99% of all sports programming in the media was sponsored by capitalist corporations?
    • Should we ask questions about the content of those programs and whose interests they might serve?
characteristics of the internet
Characteristics of the Internet

The Internet

  • Extends and radically changes our connections with the world
  • Is not limited to sequential programming
  • Enables each of us to be the “editors” of our own media experiences
  • Gives us the potential to create our own spectator sport realities and experiences
video games virtual sports
Video Games & Virtual Sports

Research is needed to help answer questions such as:

  • Do video games replace time spent watching media sports?
  • What are the dynamics of playing video sport games and virtual sports?
  • What are the differences between playing a video sport game and playing in organized sports or in informal games?
do sports depend on the media
Do Sports Depend on the Media?
  • No, when they exist for the players themselves
  • Yes, when they are forms of commercial entertainment
    • Media coverage attracts attention and provides news of results
    • Television has been a key factor in the growth and expansion of commercial sports
      • Television expands commercial value of sports
have the media corrupted sports
Have the Media Corrupted Sports?

This is not likely because

  • Sports are not shaped primarily by the media in general or TV in particular
    • Sports are social constructions that emerge in connection with many different social relationships
  • The media, including TV, do not operate in a political and economic vacuum
    • Government regulates the media, and economic factors set limits to control
do the media depend on sports
Do the Media Depend on Sports?
  • Most media do not depend on sports for content or sales
  • Daily newspapers have depended on “sports sections” to boost circulation and advertising revenues
  • Many television companies have depended on sports to fill program schedules, attract male viewers and the sponsors that want to reach them
    • Many sport events have audiences with clearly identifiable “demographics”
trends in televised sports
Trends in Televised Sports
  • Rights fees have escalated rapidly since the 1960s
  • Sports programming has increased dramatically
  • As more events are covered, ratings for particular events have decreased
    • Audience fragmentation has occurred
  • Television companies use sports events to promote other programming
  • Television companies increasingly own teams and events
global economic factors in the sports media relationship
Global Economic Factors in the Sports-Media Relationship

Global economic factors have intensified the sport-media relationship because transnational corporations have needed vehicles for developing

  • Global name recognition
  • Global cultural legitimacy
  • Global product familiarity
  • Global ideological support for a way of life based on consumption, competition, individual achievement, and comparisons of status and material possessions
alcohol tobacco sponsorships
Alcohol & Tobacco Sponsorships
  • Corporations that sell alcohol and tobacco see sports as a key vehicle for promoting their products in connection with activities defined as healthy by most people
  • If they cannot sponsor televised events, they will put signage on people, equipment, and facilities to be seen during television coverage
corporate executives television sports sponsorships
Corporate Executives & Television Sports Sponsorships
  • Many male executives of large media corporations love sports
  • Masculine culture is deeply embedded in these corporations
  • When sport emphasizes competition, domination, and achievement, executives feel that these are crucial factors in their companies
    • They will pay big money to hire coaches to motivate employees around these themes
images and messages in media sports i
Images and Messages in Media Sports (I)

Media coverage is constructed around specific themes and messages:

  • Success themes
    • Emphasis on winners, losers, and final scores
    • Emphasis on big plays, big hits, and sacrificing self for team success
  • Masculinity and femininity themes
    • Coverage privileges men over women
    • Heterosexuality is assumed; homosexuality is erased
    • Coverage reproduces dominant ideas about manhood
images and messages in media sports ii
Images and Messages in Media Sports (II)
  • Race and ethnicity themes
    • Racial ideology has influenced coverage of black athletes
    • Whiteness is erased in coverage; it is assumed as the standard
  • Nationalism
    • “We” - “They” distinctions are common
  • Individualism
  • Mental and physical aggression
media impact on sport related behaviors
Media Impact on Sport-Related Behaviors
  • Active participation in sports
    • Some negative, some positive effects
  • Attendance at sport events
    • Generally increase attendance at elite events, but may decrease it at local events
  • Gambling on sports
    • Media are indirectly linked to gambling
    • Internet may change this to direct link
audience experiences with media sports
Audience Experiences With Media Sports

Research shows that

  • Watching television sports is not a major activity in the lives of most adults
  • Football widows and men who just sit in front of the TV watching sports are not as common as many people think
    • Men and women who live together often share the experience of watching sports
    • Most partners in couples accommodate each other’s viewing habits over time
the profession of sports journalism
The Profession of Sports Journalism
  • The work of sports journalists does matter when it comes to cultural ideology and public consciousness
  • Tensions between players and sportswriters has intensified as differences in their salaries and backgrounds have become more pronounced
  • Ethical issues have become increasingly important in sports journalism because the stakes are so high for teams, athletes, coaches, owners, etc.
comparison of sportswriters and announcers

Work behind scenes

Seldom recognized

Low salaries; paid by publications

Low regulation by sport management

Job focuses on providing information


Celebrity status

Public recognition

High salaries; often paid by management

Comments regulated by management

Job focuses on “selling” the sport

Comparison of Sportswriters and Announcers
sport in society issues controversies

Sport in Society: Issues & Controversies

Sports in High School and College:

Do Varsity Sport Programs

Contribute to Education?

arguments for and against interscholastic sports
Arguments For:

Involve students in activities

Build self-esteem

Enhance fitness and lifetime participation

Generate spirit and unity

Promote support

Develop and reward valued skills

Arguments Against:

Distract attention from academics

Create dependence

Increase passivity and injuries

Create superficial and transitory spirit

Waste resources

Create pressure and distort status system

Arguments For and Against Interscholastic Sports
experiences of high school student athletes
Experiences of High School Student-athletes
  • Research shows differences between those who play varsity sports and those who do not
  • Research suggests that these differences mostly are due to selection and filtering processes
    • Those who play sports often bring to sports characteristics that make them different from others who do not play sports
methodological problems
Methodological Problems
  • Research on the consequences of playing varsity sports is difficult to do because
    • Growth and development among students is due to many factors
    • Meanings given to sport participation vary by context and from one person to another
what the research tells us
What the Research Tells Us
  • Be careful when generalizing about the educational value of varsity sports
  • Long term studies are needed
  • Student-athletes may be treated differently by significant others
  • Varsity sports exerts an influence on the larger student culture in high schools
student culture in high schools
Student Culture in High Schools
  • Being a student-athlete often is a source of status and popularity
    • More for men than women
  • Sports are sites for major social occasions in the school
  • Sports often reproduce dominant ideologies related to gender, social class, and race and ethnicity
interscholastic sports are valuable if they
Interscholastic Sports Are Valuable If They
  • Enable students to be noticed, rewarded, and taken seriously as human beings
  • Connect young people with adult advocates in their lives
  • Provide occasions to learn things that are applicable beyond sports
do athletes rule u s high schools
Do Athletes Rule U.S. High Schools?

Data on this issue are scarce; research is need on the following:

  • How many students have been physically and/or verbally mistreated by athletes?
  • How many people know of cases where athletes have mistreated others?
  • Are some athletes more likely than others to harass or intimidate other students?
intercollegiate sports and the experiences of college students
Intercollegiate Sports and the Experiences of College Students

Intercollegiate sports are not all the same

  • They vary by Division in the NCAA
  • They vary greatly from big-time entertainment-oriented programs to smaller, less expensive, athlete-oriented programs
characteristics of big time programs
Characteristics of Big-time Programs
  • Usually have a primary emphasis on football or men’s basketball and their revenue generating potential
  • About 1 in 3 programs make money
  • Full scholarships are available to some athletes in nearly all of the 18-24 sports
  • Teams often travel extensively
  • Quality of skills & competition is high
student athletes in big time programs
Student Athletes in Big-time Programs
  • Participants in revenue producing sports usually have scholarships
  • Time and energy commitments to sport are exceptionally high, and participants often must choose between
    • Working out and practicing sports
    • Doing coursework
    • Engaging in social activities
  • Academic detachment is a commonly used coping strategy among athletes
the diversity of student athlete experiences
The Diversity of Student-Athlete Experiences
  • Some coaches and programs give priority to academic involvement
  • Some student-athletes give priority to academic involvement. Usually if:
    • Past experiences reaffirm importance of academic achievement
    • Social support fosters academic identities
    • Non-sport career opportunities are perceived
    • Contact & experiences expand confidence apart from sports
grades and graduation rates among student athletes
Grades and Graduation Rates Among Student-athletes
  • Graduation data are confusing because there are so many ways to compute statistics
  • Graduation rates among student athletes are higher than for comparable students except in big-time revenue producing sports
  • Information on grades must acknowledge
    • Athletes often are overrepresented in certain courses and majors
    • Athletes in entertainment-oriented sports come to college with lower grades and test scores
recent reforms in big time programs
Recent Reforms in Big-time Programs
  • The purpose of many new rules and standards passed since the mid-1980s has been to:
    • Send messages to high schools & students that academic achievement does matter in college
    • Set new guidelines for universities that had ignored academic issues
    • Provide college student-athletes the support they needed to meet academic requirements
academic support programs
Academic Support Programs
  • Research is needed on these programs because they are very diverse in terms of focus and philosophy
  • Recent media coverage suggests that some programs focus on eligibility, not learning
  • Too many programs are administered by athletic departments rather than faculty with academic appointments
academic integrity issues
Academic Integrity Issues
  • Restoring academic integrity to programs where athletic success is tied to millions of dollars of revenue and the emotions of boosters and alumni is difficult
  • Raising academic standards is important, but it must be done in ways that do not unfairly disadvantage certain students
    • Prop 16 and similar rules must be critically examined to test their fairness
questions about the benefits of interscholastic programs
Questions About the Benefits of Interscholastic Programs
  • School spirit often is enhanced, but does this improve the overall academic climate?
  • Most programs lose money, but are the expenditures worth it in academic and developmental terms?
  • Are the public & community relations functions of varsity sports worth their costs?
varsity high school sports problems recommendations
Varsity High School Sports: Problems & Recommendations
  • Overemphasis on sports development and big-time models
    • Regular critical assessments and new sports focused on lifetime and co-ed participation
  • Limited participation access
    • More teams in more sports where size and strength are not primary
    • Gender equity and opportunities for students with disabilities
varsity high school sports problems recommendations120
Varsity High School Sports: Problems & Recommendations
  • Emphasis on varsity sports may distort status system among students
    • Avoid fostering sport-based systems of privilege
    • Give equal attention and recognition to the achievements of students in activities other than sports
intercollegiate sports problems recommendations
Intercollegiate Sports: Problems & Recommendations
  • Focus on entertainment and commercial values
    • Impose cost containment and spending limits measures on athletic departments and sports; make a financially level playing field
  • Lack of athletes’ rights
    • Student-athletes must be voting members of decision-making committee
    • University must employ an independent ombudsperson for appeals and advocacy
    • Drop the myth of amateurism in revenue sports
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Intercollegiate Sports: Problems & Recommendations
  • Gender inequities
    • Cut football expenses through cost containment and limitation rules
    • Fund women’s sports on an investment basis to foster development
  • Distorted priorities related to race relations and education
    • Aggressively recruit ethnic minority students, faculty and administrators
    • Employ strategies to create culturally diverse campus cultures
sources of isolation for black student athletes
Sources of Isolation For Black Student-athletes
  • Racial and ethnic stereotypes used by some students
  • Time and emotional energy devoted to sports
  • Barriers to developing relationships with other students
  • Lack of campus activities representing the interests and experiences of black students
  • Lack of self confidence among black students
  • Cultural and experience differences between blacks, whites, and other ethnic minority students
  • Feelings of jealousy among white students who think black student-athletes have it made