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Articles

Embracing the Culture of Winning in Big-Time College Football: Exploring How Fans Reinforce Coaching Power
Jimmy Sanderson - Clemson University
Robin Hardin - University of Tennessee
Joshua Pate - James Madison University
Pages 114 - 131

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College football coaches are often the highest paid employee at their institution and as such, have a great deal of influence. This research explored how fans reinforced coaching influence by examining responses to an incident between University of South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier and Ron Morris, a member of the local media. Using social identity theory as a framework, a thematic analysis of 221 postings to an article Morris wrote on The State website apologizing for criticisms he made towards Spurrier was conducted. Results indicated that fans reinforced coaching influence through: (a) personal vendetta attributions; (b) divergence with the fan base; (c) boycotts; (d) collective attacks; and (e) admonishments. A small portion of the sample expressed support for Morris through vindication. The results suggest that fans reinforce coaching influence to maintain emotional connections with a winning coach and football program. As fans do this, it leads to stronger in-group affiliation as they vilify those who express dissent and criticism towards a coach, which further strengthens a coach’s influence at the institution.

Does Discontinuing Intercollegiate Football Correlate with Institutional Attractiveness to Potential Students? Evidence from Three Universities
Willis A. Jones - University of Kentucky
Pages 92 - 113

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Recently a number of colleges and universities have made the decision to discontinue their intercollegiate football program (Olson, 2010; Springer, 2010). The impact of this decision on an institution’s ability to recruit potential students, however, has been understudied. Using difference-in-differences estimation, this study examined freshmen application trends at three NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) institutions which dropped intercollegiate football in the spring of 2004, in comparison to freshmen application trends at peer institutions which retained their football program after 2004. The findings suggest that this change in institutional athletic policy may be largely uncorrelated with reductions in admissions applications received.

Intercollegiate Sport and the Environment: Examining Fan Engagement Based on Athletics Department Sustainability Efforts
Jonathan M. Casper - North Carolina State University
Michael E. Pfahl - Ohio University
Brian McCullough - Bowling Green State University
Pages 65 - 91

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The purpose of this study was to examine how environmental education efforts at a sporting event related to environmental behavioral intentions, in the context of a promotional green game, based on value-belief-norm (VBN) theory. A total of 2,700 respondents, who attended an intercollegiate Division I football game with an environmental sustainability promotional theme, completed an online survey. Structural equation modeling was applied to examine the linkages between values, beliefs, norms, and behavioral intentions. The results found that a majority of fans recognized or participated in green game game-day activities and fans expected athletic departments to incorporate environmental sustainability actions and education in athletic events. Tests of the VBN model found respondents’ values, beliefs, and norms significantly predicted pro-environmental behavioral intentions at the sport event and everyday life. This was the first study to examine environmental education related to fan behavior in a sporting context. The findings provide evidence that through environmental education, sport organizations may impact fan environmental behavior intentions, further emphasizing the importance of environmental educational actions by sport organizations.

Comparing Division IA Scholarship and Non-Scholarship Student-Athletes: A Discriminant Analysis
Lisa M. Rubin - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Vicki J. Rosser - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Pages 43 - 64

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Many research studies have examined the academic performance and graduation rates of college student-athletes. The limited focus on scholarship student-athletes has overlooked the majority of NCAA student-athletes, those participating in collegiate athletic programs without athletic scholarships. This study examined the academic performance, time-to-degree, and demographic and profile characteristics of Division IA scholarship and non-scholarship student-athletes. The theoretical framework for this study was work motivation viewing athletic scholarships as extrinsic rewards. The researchers applied descriptive discriminant analysis (DDA) utilizing secondary data to compare scholarship and non-scholarship student-athletes across several variables.
A discriminant function analysis revealed that non-scholarship student-athletes were described by the variables of sport (Women’s Outdoor Track and Field), race (Asian, White), sport type (Individual), and sex (Female). Non-Scholarship student-athletes had higher grade point averages than scholarship student-athletes. The scholarship student-athlete group was described by race (Black), sport (Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball), sport type (Team), and sex (Male). Scholarship student-athletes graduated in fewer semesters than non-scholarship student-athletes did. This finding suggests that academic performance and time-to-degree variables are inversely related based on scholarship status. The results of the study showed significant differences between the scholarship and non-scholarship student-athlete groups based on demographic, academic performance, and time-to-degree variables.

Self-Efficacy in Intercollegiate Athletes
Bryan L. Shelangoski - University of Louisville
Marion E. Hambrick - University of Louisville
Jacob P. Gross - University of Louisville
Jonetta D. Weber - University of Louisville
Pages 17 - 42

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The purpose of this study was to understand Bandura’s (1977) self-efficacy and Vealey’s (1986) sport confidence implications on collegiate athletes and to explore gender, playing experience, and class status (e.g., first year, sophomore) differences related to self-efficacy in these student-athletes. The study attempted to fill two major gaps in previous research: (a) understanding the relationships of gender, playing experience, and class status on self-efficacy, specifically by analyzing a variety of sports; and (b) expanding upon previous research studies by increasing the generalizability and external validity of the existing self-efficacy theories. The results of the study indicated that student-athletes had high levels of self-efficacy; that males possessed higher levels than females; that more playing experience did not predict higher levels of self-efficacy; and finally, that student-athletes became more self-efficacious as their class status increased (i.e., progressed). Theoretical and practical implications of the study’s findings will be discussed.

Effects of Intercollegiate Athletics on Private Giving in Higher Education
Gi-Yong Koo - Troy University
Stephen W. Dittmore - University of Arkansas
Pages 1 - 16

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The success of intercollegiate athletics has been recognized as a powerful communication tool to enhance the university profile while an ongoing controversy regarding financial benefits of intercollegiate athletics still exists. Previous research focused primarily on the role of successful athletic programs in either alumni giving or total giving, rather than examining the relationship between academic and athletic giving. There is a need for research taking the direct association between athletic success and athletic giving into account when explaining the relationship between athletic giving and academic giving. The purpose of the study was, therefore, two-fold: to examine whether athletic giving is associated with success in intercollegiate athletic programs; and to explore whether athletic giving crowds out academic giving. A longitudinal design with panel data, including 155 Division I, II, and III universities that have fielded both football and basketball teams over a 10 year period from 2002-2003 to 2011-2012, was employed. Findings evidently supported spillover effects of athletic giving on academic giving rather than crowding out effect. As private giving is becoming one of the most critical financial resources, this study could assist administrators in both academics and athletics to build an optimal sharing structure of their financial resources.

Book Reviews

The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-time College Football
By Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian. Published 2013 by Doubleday, New York, NY. (432 pages).
- Reviewed by B. David Ridpath, Ed.D. - Ohio University
- Pages vii-x

Cheating the Spread: Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball
By Albert Figone. Published 2012 by University of Illinois Press, Champaign, IL. (216 pages).
- Reviewed by Jordan Bass, Ph.D. - University of Kansas
- Pages v-vi

Saturday Millionaires: How Winning Football Builds Winning Colleges
By Kristi Dosh. Published 2013 by Wiley, New York, NY. (288 pages).
- Reviewed by Terence Eddy, Ph.D. - St. John’s University
- Pages i-iv