Stakeholder Evaluation of the Policy Effects of University Decisions Regarding Athletics

May 16th, 2019|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|

Authors: Brad Stinnett1, Scott Lasley2, and Josh Knight2

1School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport, Western Kentucky University, United States
2Department of Political Science, Western Kentucky University, United States

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Brad Stinnett
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11089
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Phone: 270.745.4329
E-mail: brad.stinnett@wku.edu

Stakeholder Evaluation of the Policy Effects of University Decisions Regarding Athletics

ABSTRACT

At public universities across the country, key stakeholders see intercollegiate athletics as a mechanism to raise the profile of their institution. Specifically, many universities have identified moving up in level of athletic competition as one part of a strategy to enhance a school’s visibility and reputation. Like all decisions made by public institutions, these are policy choices made by public officials that have consequences for institutions of higher education. The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes of two stakeholder groups (faculty and staff) at a Southern regional public university that has made the transition from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Specifically, this study examined and compared how key stakeholders evaluate the decision to move from the FCS to FBS level of competitions. An electronic survey was administered to university faculty and staff to collect data on their attitudes relative to intercollegiate athletics. Aggregate faculty and staff evaluations of the transition from FCS to FBS football and other strategic changes to athletics were compared to each other.  Additionally, faculty and staff opinions on the emphasis placed on academics, athletics, and the arts at the university were explored. Results indicate that staff generally view the impact of transitioning to the FBS level more favorably than faculty. Additional findings reveal that faculty, more so than staff, feel that too much emphasis is placed on athletics. This study draws attention to the apparent division that exists on how faculty and staff view decisions made regarding athletics. This divide between faculty and staff relating to decisions and outcomes can make policy questions involving athletics difficult to address. This study can help shape future research on university athletics and how it influences higher education policy. University administrators, such as directors of athletics, can utilize the findings for more effective decision making and to build a bridge with key constituents such as faculty and staff.

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An Exploration of Female Athletes’ Experiences and Perceptions of Male and Female Coaches: Ten Years Later

May 9th, 2019|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|

Authors:Melissa Rima, Rory Weishaar, Brian McGladrey, Erica Pratt

Corresponding Author:
Brian McGladrey, Ph.D.
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
brian.mcgladrey@cwu.edu
509-963-1972

Dr. Brian McGladrey is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Education, School Health, and Movement Studies at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.

An Exploration of Female Athletes’ Experiences and Perceptions of Male and Female Coaches: Ten Years Later

ABSTRACT

 Athletes’ experiences and perceptions of their coaches will be different based on differing lifestyles, personalities, and characters (16), and gender may be a mediating factor for the building of effective relationships between athletes and their coaches (11,12). The purpose of this study was to explore six female athletes’ experiences and perceptions of both male and female head coaches, and to compare results to those reported by Frey, Czech, Kent, and Johnson (4), who investigated the same issue 10 years prior. In this study, four prevalent themes emerged from semi-structured interviews with participants: (1) structure and communication; (2) personal relationships; (3) positivity and aggressiveness; and (4) coach preference. Although the results specific to coach gender preference were split (three participants stated they preferred a male coach, and three stated they preferred a female coach), other differences emerged with regard to different coach qualities. Results are discussed from the perspective of the participants, and compared to the 2006 study.

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Endurance masters athletes: A model of successful ageing with clinically superior BMI?

April 25th, 2019|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Mike Climstein, PhD, FASMF, FACSM, FAAESS, Joe Walsh, MSc, Ian Timothy Heazlewood, PhD, Mark DeBeliso, PhD, FACSM

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Mike Climstein
Clinical Exercise Physiology, School of Health and Human Sciences
Southern Cross University (Gold Coast Campus)
Bilinga,  Qld 4225
Australia
michael.climstein@scu.edu.au
+617 5509 3330

Dr. Mike Climstein (FASMF, FACSM, FAAESS, AEP) is with Clinical Exercise Physiology, Southern Cross University, School of Health and Human Sciences, Bilinga, Queensland, Australia; Adjunct Associate Professor with The University of Sydney, Exercise, Health and Performance Faculty Research Group, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Joe Walsh is affiliated with the Faculty of Engineering, Health, Science and the Environment, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Ian Timothy Heazlewood is Associate Professor and Theme Leader Exercise and Sport Science in The College of Health and Human Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Mark DeBeliso is Professor, Department of Physical Education and Human Performance, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, USA

Endurance masters athletes: A model of successful ageing with clinically superior BMI?

ABSTRACT

Master athletes (30yrs and older) are aged individuals who exercise regularly and compete in organized competitive sport.  The long-term physical activity/exercise should afford these individuals health benefits, one of which should be apparent in body mass index (BMI), a simple index for identifying overweight and obese athletes. 

Purpose: To investigate the BMI of endurance masters athletes and determine if this cohort demonstrated clinically favourable BMI as compared to sedentary controls or the general population.    A systematic review of electronic databases (CINAHL, Cochrane, Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, Web of Science) for studies where BMI was measured in either masters athletes, World Masters Games athletes or veteran athletes.

Results:  Database searches identified 7,465 studies, of which nine met our inclusion criteria.   The mean BMI of all the studies was found to be significantly (p<0.001) lower in masters athletes as compared to controls (23.4 kg/m2 (±0.97) versus 26.3 kg/m2 (±1.68)).   Additionally, for all studies mean masters athlete BMI was classified as normal (BMI >18.5 to <25.0 kg/m2) whereas the majority (77.8%) of the controls BMIs were classified as overweight (BMI >25.0 to < 30 kg/m2).  In all studies, masters athletes had lower BMI compared to controls, this difference was found to be significant in 44.4% of the studies, where significance was not found masters athlete BMI was -2.6% to -18.6% lower than controls.    In all studies, the mean BMI was lower in masters athletes (as compared to controls) and this favourable BMI would afford masters athletes reduced risk with regard to the development of a number of cardiometabolic diseases, osteoarthritis and certain types of cancer.

Keywords: BMI, health, obesity, veteran athlete, World Masters Games

Introduction

The global prevalence of obesity has increased at an alarming rate over the past 30 years, with an estimated 10 percent of the world’s population now meeting the classification criteria (body mass index, BMI > 30.0 kg/m2) for obesity (2).  In Australia, the percentage of adults classified as obese has increased two-fold in the past two decades with approximately 11.2 million adults classified as overweight or obese, 42 percent of which are males and 29 percent females (3).  The increased prevalence of obesity has been linked to economic cost in terms of tens of billions of dollars in lost productivity and increased mortality in the Australian population (39). This elevated level of obesity is attributed to four million deaths in 2015 and 120 million disability-adjusted life years. 

Recent research by Pharr and colleagues (32) identified an elevated risk of developing a number of chronic diseases and disorders which included hypertension (HTN), dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2dm) and coronary heart disease.   Other documented chronic diseases associated with obesity includes cerebrovascular disease, gallbladder disease, sleep apnoea, mental illness (depression/anxiety), insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, and some cancers (kidney, postmenopausal breast, endometrial, colon) (33).

Masters athlete is a term applied to individuals aged typically over 30-35 years of age (varies by sport) who exercise on a regular basis to compete in organized competitive sport(s) (17).   Over recent years there has been considerable growth in the number of masters athletes competing in organized sports (26).   For example, approximately 45 percent of the finishers of the New York marathon were masters athletes and the 2009 World Masters Games (WMG) attracted over 28,000 competitors from approximately 100 countries (36).   Hawkins et al. (19) has proposed that masters athletes represent a model of successful ageing however, at that time there was a paucity of data available to support this premise in this unique cohort.   The obesity pandemic and its relationship with physical activity and aging is a multifaceted, complex problem (46).

We have previously reported the health aspects of masters athletes who participated in rugby union and found a reduced incidence of chronic disease and disorders and reduced use of prescription medications (8).  Research on the masters athletes competing at the Sydney WMG has included research on body mass index (38, 39, 42, 43), injury incidence  (21, 40, 44), psychology  (1, 9, 20, 23, 35, 47) and health of competitors (7, 9-12, 38, 40, 41).  Recent investigation of WMG athletes identified significantly reduced cardiovascular risk with clinically superior resting blood pressure (systolic and diastolic, p<0.001) and blood lipid profiles (p<0.001) as compared to the Australian general population (10). Given these findings, we postulated that the reduced risk of chronic disease(s) may, in part, be attributed to a normal (>18.5 to <25.0 kg/m2) BMI.  Therefore, the purpose of this study was to review the existing scientific literature on studies investigating endurance masters athletes and WMG athletes.  It should be noted that it may be inappropriate to draw meaningful conclusions in athletes with the possibility of enhanced muscle mass, this inference to health is unreliable as it may be due to increased muscularity. There may also be some causation by sport, for example athletes may be preferentially attracted to compete in a sport if they have a natural physiological advantage due to the specific demands of the activities involved (45).  This may influence the utility of comparing BMI for endurance athletes as there may be some potential attraction or retention of masters athletes in endurance running based off a particular anthropometric ratio of body mass to height.

METHODOLOGY

Only published, full-length scientific research articles in English where BMI was measured, were considered for inclusion.  We included all studies where BMI was the primary outcome measure or secondary outcome measure in studies which included endurance masters athletes, WMG athletes or veteran athletes.  Our strategy, given the limited research on this cohort, was to include studies where significant differences were identified, non-significant differences were identified or where statistical comparisons between groups was not conducted.   We delimited our search to only masters athletes, WMG athletes and veteran athletes who were generally classified as endurance athletes.  To be eligible for inclusion, studies must have had a comparison group (i.e., sedentary controls or the general population).

The EBSCO reference system was utilized to search multiple databases simultaneously and search methods included a multistep electronic search of the literature using CINAHL, Medline, PsycINFO, OvidSP, PubMed, Scopus and SPORTDiscus.  Search terms were individualized to the specific database using Boolean operators (where appropriate) and included BMI, endurance athlete, master athlete, older athlete, Pan Pacific Masters Games (22), veteran athlete and World Masters Games.

Figure 1. CONSORT flow diagram of seach strategy

RESULTS

A total of nine studies (6, 13-15, 24, 25, 28, 34, 37) met our inclusion criteria and were included in this review (Table 1), four of the studies reported significant differences between groups, four studies reported non-significant differences between groups and one study did not conduct statistical analysis of BMI between groups.  Of the nine studies, masters athlete participants’ numbers ranged from 10 to 87 (controls 10 to 20,015 participants) and had a mean (group) age of 61.6yrs (range 61.6-73.3yrs) versus controls mean age of 64.5yrs (range 64.5 to 77.0yrs) (p=0.592).   The mean BMI for masters athletes across all the nine studies was significantly (-12.4%, p<0.001) lower than controls at 23.4 kg/m2 (±0.97) versus 26.3 kg/m2 (±1.68).  With regard to individual studies, four of the studies (6, 15, 24, 37) reported significant differences between masters athletes and controls.  Four studies (13, 25, 28, 34) reported non-significant differences however, the calculated (percentage) differences between masters athletes and controls ranged from -2.5% to -17.2%.  With regard to BMI classification, in all of the nine studies the mean BMI for the masters athletes was within the range classified as normal (BMI >18.5 to <25.0 kg/m2) whereas the majority (77.8%) of the control groups BMI would be classified as overweight (BMI >25.0 to <30.0 kg/m2).  Only two of the control groups (25, 34) had a group mean BMI within the range classified as normal

Table 1

DISCUSSION

The aim of this review was to investigate the BMI of masters athletes competing in endurance sports and determine if their BMI would be classified as normal (BMI >18.5 to <25.0 kg/m2) and would be significantly lower than sedentary controls or the general population.  A total of nine studies were included in this review (249 masters athletes, 20,366 controls) with masters athlete participant mean age ranging from 61.6-73.3yrs (controls 64.5 to 77.0yrs).    The mean BMI for the masters athletes across all of the included studies was significantly (p<0.001) lower (-12.4%) than controls (23.4 kg/m2 vs 26.3 kg/m2)) and in all the studies mean BMI for masters athletes was within the range for classification as normal.  These BMI findings in masters athletes are lower (-13.2%) than the recent US National Health and Nutrition Survey findings (16).  These findings are also lower (-19.2%) than the Australian general population (27.9kg/m2) (4).  Additionally, given the sparse research conducted on BMI in masters athletes we believed it was important to include studies where non-significant differences (or no analysis) were found between groups with regard to BMI.  It is interesting to note that in the four studies where BMI was not significantly different between groups and where BMI was not statistically analyzed, BMI was consistently lower (-2.6% to -18.2%) than the comparison group.

None of the masters athlete studies reported a mean BMI in the overweight or obese classification whereas Ng and colleagues (29) reported the global proportion of overweight and obese adults at 38.0% and that the prevalence of obesity has tripled over the past 40 years.  The Global BMI Mortality Collaboration (18) found in a study of 10,625,411 individuals (Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America) that all-cause mortality (total number of deaths attributed to a condition) was lowest in in individuals with a normal BMI (>18.5 to <25 kg/m2).  Mortality was found to be higher as BMI increased, for example in those individuals classified overweight (BMI >25.0 to <30.0 kg/m2) all-cause mortality was seven percent higher and 20 percent higher in those classified as obese (BMI >30.0 kg/m2).   Bays and colleagues (5) investigated the prevalence of T2dm, HTN and dyslipidemia in 215,354 individuals in the USA.   They found that an elevated BMI (> 25.0 kg/m2) was significantly (p<0.001) associated increased prevalence of T2dm, HTN and dyslipidemia.  Zheng and Chen (48) investigated BMI as a risk factor for the development of knee osteoarthritis (OA).  These authors reported that the development of OA was 2.5-fold more likely for individuals who had a BMI classified as overweight (BMI >25.0 to <30.0 kg/m2) and 4.6-fold more likely in individuals classified as obese (BMI >30.0 kg/m2) as compared to individuals classified as normal BMI.  The relationship of BMI has also been investigated (27) with regard to coronary heart disease, Lyall and colleagues (27) reported increased risk (35%) of coronary heart disease and an increased BMI.   

Master athletes and their associated long-term adherence and participation in exercise training can be considered an advanced mode of physical activity.  Participation in exercise and physical activity has long been recognized an a significant health intervention to maintain health and independence (30).  This review of endurance masters athletes attempted to demonstrate if masters athletes would exhibit a clinically beneficial BMI, a recognized health index.   We found the endurance masters athletes, as a group, consistently had a clinically superior BMI when compared to sedentary controls or the general population, which is a promising finding.

There are limitations to our findings, namely BMI does not take into account lean tissue and fat tissue in its determination.  This is our rationale for delimiting our study to only endurance masters athletes as those masters athletes participating in strength and power sports will typically be more muscular, hence possessing more lean mass which skews BMI (31).     Despite this limitation, we hypothesized BMI in endurance masters athletes would be lower than controls, we found this hypothesis was correct for all studies included in this review.  An additional limitation to this study is our assumption that the lower BMI found in endurance masters athletes resulted in a lower incidence of chronic diseases and disorders, which we were unable to determine based upon the studies selected. 

CONCLUSIONS

Physical activity and exercise have robust scientific support that demonstrates there is a strong inverse independent association between physical-activity and cardiovascular-disease related mortality.  The benefits are in part attributable to the modifications that occur to risk factors.

Body mass index is such a modifiable risk factor associated with several chronic diseases and conditions.  The relationship between obesity and physical activity at older ages is complex, however our study demonstrated that masters endurance athletes had significantly lower BMI than controls and that their mean BMI scores were situated within the range designated as normal for BMI.  This would imply reduced risk of conditions such as T2dm, cardiovascular disease, stroke, HTN, osteoarthritis, sleep apnoea and some cancers within this cohort as well as reduced risk of morbidity.  Whilst there is still some issue of causation to address, it would be appropriate to recommend (subject to appropriate health screening and other precautions, such as correct exercise instruction and gradual training progression) participation in masters endurance sports as a noteworthy health intervention to maintain or improve health, via improved BMI, for older adults.

APPLICATIONS IN SPORT

Participation in masters sports is associated with an improved BMI as compared to the general population.  This reduced BMI is associated with a number of health benefits which includes reduced prevalence of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, prevention of T2dm, joint problems and other health conditions.   These health advantages afford MAs improved quality of life

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Professor Pat O’Shea, friend, mentor and avid master athlete for instilling a passion for research; you are sincerely missed but not forgotten.

REFERENCES

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20.       Heazelwood I, Walsh J, M C, J K, KJ A, and DeBelsio M, eds. A comparison of classification accuracy for gender using neural networks multilayer perceptron (MLP), radial basis function (RBF) procedures compared to discriminant function analysis and logistic regression based on nine sports psychological constructs to measure motivations to participate in masters sports competing at the 2009 World Masters Games. Singapore: Springer, Cham, 2016.

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22.       Heazlewood I, Walsh J, Climstein M, Adams K, Sevene T, DeBeliso M, and Kettunen J. Injuries of athletes in training for 2010 Pan Pacific Masters Games: Types and locations. J Sci Med Sport: e23, 2013.

23.       Heazlewood I, Walsh J, Climstein M, Burke S, Adams K, and DeBeliso M. Sport psychological constructs related to participation in the 2009 world masters games. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology: 970-973, 2011.

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35.       Sevene T, Adams K, Climstein M, Walsh J, Heazlewood I, DeBeliso M, and Kettunen J. Are masters athletes primarily motivated by iIntrinsic or extrinsic factors? J Sci Med Sport 15: S357, 2012.

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37.       Velez NF, Zhang A, Stone B, Perera S, Miller M, and Greenspan SL. The effect of moderate impact exercise on skeletal integrity in master athletes. Osteoporos Int 19: 1457-1464, 2008.

38.       Walsh J, Climstein M, Burke S, Kettunen J, Heazlewood IT, DeBeliso M, and Adams K. Obesity prevalence for athletes participating in soccer at the World Masters Games. International SportMed Journal 13: 76-84, 2012.

39.       Walsh J, Climstein M, Heazelwood I, M D, Adams K, and Burke S. Body mass index of masters basketball players. Medicina Sportiva, Journal of the Romanian Sports Medicine Society 7: 1700-1705, 2013.

40.       Walsh J, Climstein M, Heazlewood I, Adams K, DeBeliso M, Burke S, and Kettunen J. Masters athletes: Are they hurt more often?(rugby union, soccer and touch football). J Sci Med Sport 14: e76-e77, 2011.

41.       Walsh J, Climstein M, Heazlewood I, DeBeliso M, Kettunen J, Sevene T, and Adams K. Reduced prevalence of smoking in masters football codes (rugby union, soccer and touch football). J Sci Med Sport 15: S134, 2012.

42.       Walsh J, Climstein M, Heazlewood IT, Burke S, Kettunen J, Adams K, and DeBeliso M. Body mass index for Australian athletes participating in rugby union, soccer and touch football at the World Masters Games. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology: 1119-1122, 2011.

43.       Walsh J, Climstein M, Heazlewood IT, Burke S, Kettunen J, Adams KJ, and DeBeliso M. Improved body mass index classification for football code masters athletes, a comparison to the Australian national population. International Journal of Biological and Medical Sciences 1: 37-40, 2011.

44.       Walsh J, Climstein M, Heazlewood IT, DeBeliso M, Kettunen J, Sevene TG, and Adams KJ. Masters athletes: No evidence of increased incidence of injury in football code athletes. Advances in Physical Education 3: 36-42, 2013.

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Strategically Driven Rule Changes in NBA: Causes and Consequences

April 18th, 2019|Sports Management|

Authors: Mahmoud M. Nourayi

Corresponding Author:
Mahmoud M. Nourayi, Ph.D., CPA
One LMU Drive, MS 8385
Los Angeles, CA 90045
mnourayi@lmu.edu
310-338-5831

Mahmoud Nourayi is the Paul A. Grosch Professor of Accounting and former Associate Dean and Department Chair at Loyola Marymount University, College of Business Administration. He teaches cost management and quantitative courses.

Strategically Driven Rule Changes in NBA: Causes and Consequences

ABSTRACT

This study presents a review of NBA Business Model instituted by the league’s Select Committee and related rule changes, as well as the effect of such changes on the style of the game. The author analyzed the play-off games’ statistics for periods before and after the changes in the rules. The results show increases in the speed and pace of the game as indicated by the field goal attempts and fewer interruptions due to foul calls as well as higher scoring games after the rule changes. The results also indicate the improvement in the close range field goal percentage in post-change games.

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From Gold to Glory: An Analysis of U.S. Olympic Boxers in the Professional Ranks

March 28th, 2019|General|

Authors:Robert G. Rodriguez, Mark R. Joslyn, Emily Gruver

Corresponding Author: 
Robert G. Rodriguez, Ph. D.
Associate Professor, Political Science
Texas A&M University-Commerce
P.O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX  75429
robert.rodriguez@tamuc.edu
903-886-5317

Robert G. Rodriguez is an associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Mark R. Joslyn is a professor of political science and graduate director at University of Kansas.

Emily Gruver is an Honors Student at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

From Gold to Glory: An Analysis of U.S. Olympic Boxers in the Professional Ranks

ABSTRACT

The uncertain connections between Olympic and professional success in boxing lead us to question just how significant Olympic medals are in determining whether an Olympian will win a professional world title. We analyzed all U.S. male boxers that competed through the 2012 Olympic Games, with the exceptions of 1980 and 1904.  We then developed a multivariate logistic model determining the probability of Olympians winning professional championships; a comparison of the probability of winning a professional world title between those who won a medal versus those that did not and differences among medal winners.   Further, we examined the time it took for medalists/non-medalists to win professional world championships.  Our results demonstrate that American Olympic boxing medalists are significantly more likely to win a professional world championship than those who participated in the games but did not win a medal.   A gold medal effects the probability of winning a world championship the most among medal winners, slightly more so than silver medalists, while bronze medalists cannot be distinguished from non-medalists in the likelihood of achieving a pro title.     In terms of time to winning a professional title, American Olympic medalists are three times more likely to win professional world titles than non-medalists, and they take significantly less time to do so.

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