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Sports in Society: Issues & Controversies Chapter 14 Sports in High School and College: Do Varsity Sports Programs Contribute to Education?

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Presentation on theme: "Sports in Society: Issues & Controversies Chapter 14 Sports in High School and College: Do Varsity Sports Programs Contribute to Education?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sports in Society: Issues & Controversies Chapter 14 Sports in High School and College: Do Varsity Sports Programs Contribute to Education?

2 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 rewards 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

3 Experiences of Varsity Athletes in High Schools Research shows differences between those who play varsity sports and those who do not Research suggests that differences are primarily due to selection and filtering processes Those who play varsity sports often have characteristics that make them different from those who dont play sports

4 Methodological Problems Ü Research on the consequences of playing varsity sports is difficult to do because Ü Growth and development among students is related to many factors Ü Meanings given to sport participation vary by context and from one person to another

5 Do Athletes Rule U.S. High Schools? Data on this issue are scarce; research is needed on the following: How many students have been physically and/or verbally mistreated by athletes? How many students know of cases where athletes have mistreated others? Are some athlete more likely than others to harass or intimidate other students?

6 Student Culture in High Schools Being a student-athlete often is a source of status and popularity More so for men than for 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

7 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

8 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

9 Characteristics of Big-time (Div. I) Programs Usually have a primary emphasis on football or mens basketball and their revenue generating potential Less than 1 in 5 programs make money Full scholarships are available to some athletes in many of the sports Teams often travel extensively Quality of skills & competition is high

10 Varsity Athletes in Big-time Programs Participants in revenue (FB & Basketball) 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 male athletes

11 Varsity Athletes in Most College Programs (Div. II & III) Most play without athletic scholarships Time and energy commitments vary greatly depending on coaches and sports Academic demands may be accommodated The economic consequences of games and matches are minimal Less likely than big-time athletes to be separated from the rest of the student body or used to promote the school

12 Grades & Graduation Rates Among College Athletes &Graduation data are confusing because there are many different ways to compute statistics &Information on grades must be qualified because athletes &Often are overrepresented in certain courses and majors &In entertainment-oriented sports come to college with lower grades and test scores (continued)

13 Grades & Graduation Rates Among College Athletes (continued) &Graduation rates among all varsity athletes are slightly higher than rates for all students & Graduation rates in many big-time revenue sports are shamefully low &Women athletes have higher graduation rates than men athletes &Black athletes have graduation rates higher than black students as a whole, but lower than rates for white athletes.

14 Academic Integrity in College Sports G Restoring academic integrity is difficult in programs where athletic success is tied to millions of dollars of revenue and to the emotions & identities of boosters and alumni G Raising academic standards is important, but it must be done so it does not unfairly exclude certain students G Being considered: Prevent schools from participating in post-season bowls and games if graduation rates fall below a certain level

15 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?

16 Varsity Sports & School Budgets $ Most high school programs have small athletic budgets except in cases where high profile teams are promoted $ Solving high school or college budget problems with corporate sponsorships may create integrity problems for schools $ Budget issues in college sports often are very complex

17 Indirect Benefits of Intercollegiate Programs High profile sport teams can be used in connection with fund raising efforts Sport teams may attract attention among potential students Sports provide on-campus social events and occasions

18 I told you we sent our daughter to a top-notch school! Her basketball teams just beat Duke University. Figure 14.2

19 Indirect Costs of Intercollegiate Programs Maintaining sport teams and recruiting athletes may compromise academic standards in admissions and classrooms Academic matters are given low priority in the culture of sport on many campuses The lives of athletes are increasingly separate from the lives of other students Sports may take resources away from other extracurricular activities

20 Varsity High School Sports: Problems & Recommendations 1.Overemphasis on sports development and big-time models GNeed for regular critical assessments and new sports focused on lifetime and co-ed participation 2.Limited participation access GNeed more teams in more sports where size and strength are not primary GNeed gender equity and opportunities for students with disabilities (continued)

21 Varsity High School Sports: Problems & Recommendations 3.Emphasis on varsity sports may distort status system among students GSchools should work to eliminate distorted, sport-based systems of privilege GSchools should give equal attention and recognition to the achievements of students in activities other than sports

22 Intercollegiate Sports: Problems & Recommendations 1.Emphasis on entertainment and commercial values GImpose cost containment and spending limits on athletic departments and sports; create a financially level playing field 2.Lack of athletes rights GAthletes must be voting members of decision- making athletic department committees GUniversities must employ independent ombudspersons for appeals and advocacy GDrop the myth of amateurism in revenue sports

23 Intercollegiate Sports: Problems & Recommendations 3.Gender inequities GCut football expenses through cost containment GFund womens sports on an investment basis to foster development (men played for a century before making money in their sport programs) 4.Distorted priorities related to race relations and education GAggressively recruit ethnic minority students, faculty and administrators GEmploy strategies to create culturally diverse campus cultures

24 Figure 14.4 After having all the toys boys may feel that sharing with the girls is unfair to them.


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