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Higher education and intercollegiate athletics research: A missed opportunity
Higher education and intercollegiate athletics research: A missed opportunity
Higher education and intercollegiate athletics research: A missed opportunity
Higher education and intercollegiate athletics research: A missed opportunity
Higher education and intercollegiate athletics research: A missed opportunity
Higher education and intercollegiate athletics research: A missed opportunity
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Higher education and intercollegiate athletics research: A missed opportunity

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This study demonstrated the lack of research on college sports in significant higher education academic journals and conferences. Higher education peer-reviewed journals and conferences were …

This study demonstrated the lack of research on college sports in significant higher education academic journals and conferences. Higher education peer-reviewed journals and conferences were considered the most common areas to reasonably measure the frequency of opportunity for national dialogue among scholars. The results found one percent of articles in eight selected journals from 2003 - 2008 related to intercollegiate athletics. It also found one percent of the dialogue opportunities or research presentations at five selected conferences in 2007 and 2008 related to college sports. It was argued there was a disproportionate lack of higher education research on intercollegiate athletics relative to its perceived impact and its actual impact. A proposed national research agenda for intercollegiate athletics in the areas of access, affordability, and accountability concludes this study.

Presented at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), 2008.

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  • 1. Higher education and intercollegiate athletics research: A missed opportunity Scott Hirko PhD candidate. Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education. Michigan State University Outline • Current issues • Higher education demographics • Athletics demographics • Higher education research in athletics – AAC&U, AAUP, ACPA, AERA, AIR, ASHE, NASPA – Review publications 2003-2008, conference programs 2007 • Conclusion: A research agenda • A missed opportunity 1
  • 2. Some Current Issues • Organizational identity • Ethics • International athletes • Commercialism • Athletic-based vs need-based aid • Institutional identity • Coaching salaries • Academic Integrity • Alumni booster support • Athletics “arms race” • Fundraising: athletics or academics? • Resource (mis)allocation • Athlete welfare or abuse? • Graduation of athletes • Amateurism principle • Public relations/publicity • Race • Athletes and/or students? • Gender and Title IX • Tax-free or tax-liable? • Diversity Why study athletics? Demographics • 402,893 NCAA athletes in 2007 (NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Report, 2008) • Nearly 10.7 million undergrads in all 4-year institutions in 2005 (American Council on Education: 22nd Annual Status Report: 2007 Supplement., 2007) – 6,803,181 White/Caucasian (67%) – 1,166,943 African Americans (11%) – 766,779 Hispanics (8%) – 613,765 Asian Americans (6%) • Examples for comparison: size of other college student groups in 2005 – 409,326 Engineering undergraduates enrolled (National Science Foundation, 2008) – 312,000 Social Science bachelor degrees conferred (US Dept of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2007). Digest of Education Statistics, 2006 (NCES 2007-017), 2
  • 3. More demographics: Participation • Nearly 400,000 NCAA athletes (NCAA Race & Ethnicity Report, 2006.) Athlete segregation & identity -- Sedlacek (2004); Brown, Brown, et al (2003) More demographics: Money 3
  • 4. Higher Ed research in athletics 2003-08 journals and 2007 conferences selected: • AAC&U – American Association of Colleges & Universities • AAUP – American Association of University Professors • ACPA – American College Personnel Association • AERA – American Educational Research Association • AIR – Association of Insitutional Research • ASHE – Association for the Study of Higher Education • NASPA – National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Selection criteria: • list at JHE website via Virginia Tech (edspychresearch.com/jihe) • review of mission statements for fit with athletics • recommended by five higher education scholars Higher Ed research in athletics Intercollegiate athletics articles in selected journals, Jan. 2003 – Oct. 2008. Journal Title Total Athletics % Academe (AAUP) 530 9 1.7% About Campus (ACPA) 208 0 0.0% Educational Researcher (AERA) 219 0 0.0% Journal of College Student Development (ACPA) 244 5 1.9% Journal of Higher Education (AIR) 159 1 0.6% NASPA Journal (NASPA) 183 4 2.5% Peer Review (AAC&U) 205 0 0.0% Review of Higher Education (ASHE) 124 2 1.9% Total 1,872 21 1.1% Sources: Project MUSE review of About Campus, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Higher Education, and Review of Higher Education. InfoTrac review of Peer Review. Website review of Academe, Educational Researcher, and NASPA Journal. 4
  • 5. Higher Ed research in athletics Intercollegiate athletics opportunities at selected national conferences, 2007. Conferences Sessions Athletics % AAC&U 123 0 0.0% ACPA/NASPA joint conference 609 6 1.0% AERA (Division J: postsecondary ed) 145 0 0.0% AIR 618 3 0.5% ASHE 416 11 2.6% Total 1,911 20 1.0% Sources: AERA, ACPA/NASPA, AIR, ASHE convention programs from 2007. Sessions included all symposiums, roundtables, lectures, major addresses, seminars, forums, and poster presentations. Conclusion: A research agenda • There is a disproportionate lack of research from within the higher education community on intercollegiate athletics relative to its impact. • Need to make journals, HE research “policy relevant” (Johnsrud, 2008) • Create new, deliberate opportunities to fund research in college athletics • Develop a national research agenda, folded into issues of: – Accountability – Affordability – Access 5
  • 6. A missed opportunity • Derek Bok “athletics have important lessons to teach about attempts to make money from campus activity and the perils they hold for even the most eminent institutions” (Bok, 2003, p. 35-36). • James Duderstadt “as we question all other aspects of the university… is it not also appropriate to examine peripheral activities such as intercollegiate athletics?” (Duderstadt, 2000, p. 14) • Murray Sperber “little serious research has go into [college athletics], but it cries out for investigation” (Sperber, 2008). Scott Hirko PhD Candidate Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Michigan State University 1355 Turtlecreek Circle East Lansing, MI 48823 517-488-2819 cell 517-203-4992 home hirkosco@msu.edu 6

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