With Good Reason

Good Sport
March 1st, 2014

 

Image courtesy M. Smelter

Image courtesy M. Smelter

Nobody knows their exact price tag, but the Sochi Olympics were widely hailed as the most expensive Olympic games ever. And the real question: is it worth the cost? Political science professor Patrick Rhamey (Virginia Military Institute) says hosting the games doesn’t actually give countries a political advantage, but winning the medal count can. Plus: The United States is the only country that attaches big-time sports to universities. Alan Levinovitz (James Madison University) says it’s time to get big sports out of schools. And: Any proposal to end college athletics would get a big pushback from fans. Kiran Karande’s (Old Dominion University) MBA class recently completed a study looking at exactly who the football fans are at their university—and what keeps them coming back.

Later in the show: Sports Illustrated recently published an astounding statistic: one out of every 14 players in top college footballs programs has a criminal record. Many of these crimes involved violence toward women. Chris Kilmartin (University of Mary Washington) believes a new kind of motivation is needed on the field. Chris says anti-feminine taunts—like “let’s go ladies; take off your skirts and play like a man”—reinforce a fiction that men are sexually indiscriminate. Also featured: We tend to associate hazing with the humiliating, sometimes violent, initiation rituals of sororities and fraternities. Tod Burke and Stephen Owen (Radford University) say the phenomenon occurs elsewhere, too—even workplaces. They also say that people who have experienced hazing often view it positively.

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