Archive for May, 2014

2014May 27

SPAD Students Get Schooled on College Sports

By Darby Reive

CSRI ConferenceFrom April 23-25, hundreds of professors and students gathered in Columbia, South Carolina for the 2014 College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) conference. Also in attendance was a group of SPAD students taking part in the affiliated case competition. The SPAD team was comprised of Rachel Askett, Matthew Jackowetz, Darby Reive, and Katarina Schwabe and they were asked to use the Knight Commission database to explore Division I athletic and academic spending in the NCAA.

Recent issues surrounding the NCAA and amateurism are a hot topic, but they represent something not really covered in the SPAD curriculum.

“It was definitely a challenge to provide insights into American college sports, something we know little about, and compete against American schools that live and breathe the subject everyday,” states Rachel.

The students’ solution focused on the impact on a school’s athletic department when football coaching salaries are drastically increased. They were able to identify large differences between schools at the top of the food chain getting involved in the college football arms race versus schools at the bottom. Although the SPAD team was commended for their competitiveness by the judges, students from the defending champion Loras College were declared the winners.

Oral and poster presentations at the conference ranged from using cluster analysis to re-conceptualize the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision to examining whether schools treat cheerleading squads similar to varsity sports teams. A particularly interesting panel discussion followed a screening of Schooled: The Price of College Sports and included a former college football coach, former NCAA athletes, and Mary Willingham (an administrator featured prominently in the documentary) sharing their thoughts on the amateurism debate.

As Matt explains, “The movie really opened my eyes to what goes on in the NCAA and how unfairly student-athletes are treated. These students sacrifice so much time and energy only to have their rights stripped away and on top of that, they’re not getting a proper education.”ibac

SPAD sends outs a special ‘Thank You’ to the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada for providing our students the chance to attend the conference and participate in the case competition. The experience would not have been possible without their support.