Friday, August 29, 2008

Chicago Seminar on Sport & Culture

The following comes from Steve Riess at Northeastern Illinois University; his contact information is at the end:





2008-2009 SCHEDULE

We are pleased to invite you to the Chicago Seminar on Sport and Culture at the Newberry Library, co-sponsored by Northeastern Illinois University and North Central College. All sessions begin at 3:30 PM. The lectures are open to the public at no charge. The Newberry Library is located at 60 W. Walton, Chicago, IL.

Sept. 19, 2008

“A Battle Between Men”: Boxing and Race Relations between African Americans and Spanish speakers before the Second World War

Brian D. Bunk,
Dept. of History,
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Oct. 17, 2008

Modern Diana: Women and the Making of Sport Hunting, 1870-1920

Andrea Smalley, Ph.D
Dept. of History
Northern Illinois University

Nov. 14, 2008

The Borders of Free Agency: Dominican Athletes in the Baseball World, 1975-2006

Daniel Gilbert
Ph.d Candidate
Dept. of History
Yale University

Dec. 5, 2008

Leutwiler’s Indian: Creating “Indian” Tradition at the University of Illinois.

Jennifer Guiliano
Ph.D. Candidate,
Department of History
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

April 3, 2009

Body by Weimar: Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity

Erik Jensen
Dept. of History
Miami of Ohio University

May 8, 2009

Governing Baseball: A History of the Relationship between Government and Major League Baseball

Christopher W. Schmidt
Visiting Scholar
American Bar Foundation
Visiting Associate Professor of Law
Chicago-Kent College of Law

For further information, contact Steve Riess at 773 442 5631 or

Monday, August 25, 2008

SEC, ESPN squash future RSNs

With apologies to Don MacLean, today is the day the music died, or, at least, the day the RSN craze died. The breadth of today's announcement between the SEC and ESPN may be the beginning of the end for the RSN (Regional Sports Network) set. Earlier this year, the Sports Business Journal reported 127 RSNs existed and speculation was rampant that the SEC Network was the one network people really wanted to see.

However, with one 45-minute press conference today, the SEC and ESPN burst the RSN bubble and, indirectly, gave Big Cable companies a victory in their feuds with the Big Ten Network and the NFL Network. Mike Slive, commissioner of the SEC, confirmed today that going it alone with a network is too big a risk. During his conference call comments, he alluded to starting an RSN as 20-25 year commitment. Instead, he and his band of athletic directors and presidents took the money - $2.2 billion of it.

Slive would not divulge finances, saying instead that the deal guaranteed the "long-term financial stability" of the conference and its institutions. But, $2.2 billion for 15 years averages to $150 million per year, creating a rough payout to each school of $12.5 million per year, before the conference takes a little. I doubt the Big Ten Network yielded that for its institutions this past year.

And, schools still have some rights. Schools can sell one non-conference football game per year on a pay-per-view basis (presumably, this Saturday's game here in Fayetteville, Ark. between Western Illinois and the Hogs would be that type of game). Schools still hold the rights to sell non-conference men's basketball games to local networks. Schools can stream these live on their athletic websites.

Ultimately, I think the SEC made the right decision. Unlike the Big Ten Network, the SEC geographic footprint is mostly rural with institutions in places like Oxford, Starkville, Fayetteville, Gainesville, Lexington, and Knoxville.

Big Ten schools are in eight states, including three of the nation's top 15 DMAs (3-Chicago, 11-Detroit, 15-Minneapolis). SEC schools are in nine states, but only two of the nation's top 15 DMAs (9-Atlanta, 12-Tampa; and Atlanta competes with Georgia Tech and the ACC and Tampa is a Big East city with South Florida). That would have greatly affected distribution of a possible SEC Network.

I think, at the college level, the RSN craze is done. Three other BCS conferences (Big East, Big 12, Pac-10) recently extended rights deals well into the next decade. The ACC does not have the football drawing power of the SEC or the Big Ten and would not command per subscriber fees the Big Ten Network is seeking.

Moral of the story, take the money, avoid the headache.

Friday, August 22, 2008

FYI: Scholarly Conference on Sport

2009 Scholarly Conference on College Sport
April 15-18, 2009

William and Ida Friday Continuing Education Center
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Call for Papers

The College Sport Research Institute welcomes the submission of abstracts for its 2nd annual Scholarly Conference on College Sport to be held on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. The conference's mission is to: "Provide students, scholars, and college-sport practitioners with a public forum to discuss relevant and timely intercollegiate-athletics issues."


To be considered for acceptance, abstracts must reflect college-sport research on the history of intercollegiate athletics, social-cultural college-sport issues, legal theory or the application of law to college-sport issues, business-related issues in college sport, or special topics related to current college-sport issues. The research should have reached a fairly complete stage of development, and the abstract should provide enough detail about the research, so the reviewers have sufficient information to judge its quality. Abstracts proposing teaching-related sessions on college-sport issues will also be considered, as long as the abstract provides sufficient detail to judge the quality of the proposed session.

Abstracts will undergo a multi-person, blind-review process to determine acceptance.

Abstracts submitted to CSRI should not be concurrently submitted for consideration to another conference.


Abstracts should NOT be submitted prior to October 3, 2008 and MUST be received no later than Friday, January 16, 2009 (11:59p.m. EST). Submissions received after this date and time will not be considered for acceptance.


All abstracts MUST be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word attachment and must contain the following information and conform to the following format requirements:

One-inch margins,
Times New Roman 12-point font, and
400-word maximum for 25-minute presentations and posters, and 800-word maximum for 75-minute presentations.
Line 1: Type of session desired (choose from the options below):
30-minute oral presentation (including questions)
65-minute teaching symposium, roundtable, or workshop
65-minute forum (2-3 papers with a discussant, including questions)
Poster presentation

Line 2: three to four keywords that will help the program coordinator schedule similar topics in succession

Line 3: author(s) and institution(s) names (centered on page)

Line 4: presentation title (centered on page)

Line 5: blank

Line 6 to end: text of abstract (including demonstration of research conducted)

In the email message accompanying the attached abstract, include the principal author’s name, postal mailing address, email address, and fax and telephone numbers.

Submission of abstract(s) indicates the intent of the presenter(s) to register for the conference at the appropriate registration fee.

Email all abstracts to:

Richard M. Southall (Director ­ College Sport Research Institute) at:

NOTE: All abstracts MUST be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word attachment

Dr. Richard M. Southall
Director: College Sport Research Institute
Coordinator: Graduate Sport Administration Program
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB 3182 Smith Building 05
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
919.962-3507 (office)
901.240-7197 (cell)
919.962.6325 (fax)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Help needed: sports curriculum panel

The following comes from Paul MacArthur at Utica College regarding a proposed panel for a regional BEA conference. Pay special attention to the deadline, which is this Saturday ...
I am putting together a panel for BEA District 1 Regional Conference, in NYC on October 17/18. The panel will be a round table discussion on developing and implementing and modifying a sports curriculum. I am thinking of this as a relatively informal session, each person on the panel discusses their program and then we open the floor up to discussion.

The conference begins at 1pm on Friday, October 17 and that evening, David J. Watson, Vice President, Digital Media Product Design & Development, Disney/ABC Television will provide a keynote address. The conference will conclude by 5pm on Saturday, October 18.

District 1 consists of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Western Europe including Britain, BUT you do not need to be from District 1 to participate.

If you are interested in being part of this panel and can commit to being at the conference on October 17 and 18, please let me know no later than Saturday, August 23. (I know, that gives you plenty of time ...).

Paul J. MacArthur
Assistant Professor of Public Relations
Sports Communication
Utica College
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY 13502-4892
(315) 792-3348

Monday, August 18, 2008

Michael Phelps: Military Strongman?

The digital age has spawned a need for tremendous amounts of sports content, and no one has taken advantage better than ESPN. But sometimes the mad dash to get stuff on the air creates some interesting situations. This weekend, before American Michael Phelps was to swim for his record 8th gold medal, anchor Reischea Candidate announced on ESPN News that "Phelps has already won seven gold medals and tonight goes for the coup d'etat." ESPN's foreign language department needs to do a better job briefing its anchors, because the definition of a coup d'etat is "the sudden overthrow of a government by a usually small group of persons in or previously in positions of authority." It's French for blow or strike (coup) to the state (etat). I'm guessing what Candidate meant to say what that Phelps was trying for the coup de grace ("blow of mercy"), another French term which means a mercy killing intended to end the suffering of an animal (or in this case, swimmers).

What's interesting about the mixup is that because ESPN apparently tapes segments of ESPN News for several replays, the malaprop was repeated at least one more time on the network. This raises some interesting questions, namely--1) Should the "worldwide leader in sports" be repeating canned material, especially when it's wrong? 2) Doesn't ESPN have enough money and personnel to air ESPN News live, especially when breaking news is going on? 3) Who's in charge of editing/proofing at the network? 4) Does Candidate write her own material? 5) Did she take a foreign language in college? 6) When will reporters realize that the use of foreign language phrases in sports reporting is way overdone? ("Coming up ... did Barry Bonds flunk his urine test? 'Oui, oui!'")

It may be that only me and my French-major brother caught this mistake, but if credibility and accuracy are still important in sports journalism then at least fix the problem before it airs again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The following comes from the faculty at Kent State upon the death of sports communication professor Larry Hugenberg. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at JSM go out to the family and friends of Dr. Hugenberg.
It is with deep regret that we report the death of Dr. Lawrence W. Hugenberg, Professor of Communication Studies at Kent State University. Larry died unexpectedly on August 11, 2008.

Larry earned his B.S.S.W, M.A., and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Before joining the School of Communication Studies at Kent State University in 2006, Larry spent 26 years in the Department of Communication at Youngstown State University, where he worked his way up from instructor (1980), to assistant professor (1982), to associate professor (1984), and ultimately to professor (1989). He also served at YSU as Academic Advisor and for 11 years as Coordinator of the Communication Studies Area.

Larry made an extraordinary contribution because he excelled at being a colleague, a teacher, a writer, an editor, and an advisor all at once. He received teaching and research awards from state, regional and national communication organizations. He was currently serving as the inaugural editor of the Journal of Communication Studies, previously served as editor of
Communication Teacher, and was currently serving on the editorial boards of numerous publications, including the Journal of Popular Culture. In addition, Larry wrote or edited more than 30 textbooks for basic and hybrid communication courses, such as Creating Competent Communication and The Basic Communication
Course Annual. Most recently, Larry co-edited Sports Mania: Essays on Fandom and the Media in the 21st Century, which was released earlier this month. Over the course of his career, Larry also published more than 50 articles and book chapters and made more than 150 academic and professional presentations.

But the numbers don't tell Larry's story. For those of us fortunate enough to know Larry Hugenberg, his qualities as a human being were far more special than the accomplishments and accolades of his distinguished career. Hispositive demeanor, patience, humility, and personable smile brightened every dayfor everyone around him. His knowledge of the academy, which he sharedselflessly, enhanced multiple careers. Larry made a habit of visiting and caring about everyone in our school, whether it was his wife, his colleagues, administrative assistants, graduate students, or undergraduate students. He wasalways available, professionally or personally, for anyone. All of his colleagues have been commenting on the fact that, even during the past few months while Larry was recuperating from major surgery, he would stop into colleagues' offices, sit down and ask, with genuine concern: "So how are you doing? How are you really doing?"

In addition to being a devoted friend, mentor and teacher, Larry was an exceptionally devoted husband and father. He is survived by his wife and best friend, Dr. Barbara Hugenberg, whom he absolutely adored, four adult children, and one adult step-son.

In short, Larry was a man whom we all will remember with unwavering respect and a smile, although the latter is awfully hard to muster right now given the powerful sense of loss that everyone who knew him is currently feeling. He had the qualities to which everyone aspires but few achieve. For those of us fortunate to know him as a friend and colleague, the void is insurmountable. But his legacy will continue to inspire us all, and we are better for it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

NBC's Subtle Editing Changed Complexion of Opening Ceremonies

I had the rare privilege of watching the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics twice. Like millions of others, I watched most of it on NBC, but like thousands of others, I saw the same ceremonies live hours earlier on a German television network, courtesy of a link provided by the New York Times.

It was an interesting day of television. The ceremonies themselves were magnificent -- the Beijing Olympic organizing committee and governmental officials put out all the stops to provide some stunning cinematic moments. But it was the subtle differences between the video portions that were more thought-provoking.

U.S. television viewers were among the few that could not, theoretically, watch the ceremonies live. NBC, in order to protect its $900 million investment in exclusive U.S. broadcast rights, wanted it in prime time -- to attract larger audiences and more lucrative advertising rates. They certainly attempted to filter out any websites that brought the ceremony live in order to protect that exclusivity. Somehow this broadcast was not filtered. The German broadcast, a part of the European Broadcast Union's rights deal, was bought for less than half of that amount.

That being said, here's a snap comparison of the coverage. Unfortunately (and that is a big unfortunately), I do not speak or understand German, so the commentary was lost to me. But visually, NBC edited some portions of the parade of nations in the interests of time and advertising placement Some nations were "sped up" by fade out editing, but I think just about every nation was covered. But what was not shown in the NBC presentation was the discomfort of some dignitaries and athletes because of the heat and humidity. It was 90 degrees at the Stadium, along with humidity over 70 percent and sweat beads was a part of many. The back of one German athlete's jacket was dripping in water. Pictures of Henry Kissinger, among others, removing his jacket, in an attempt to be more comfortable, were also not shown.

Although NBC's crew, led by Bob Costas, did a professional job and did not overly pander to the hosts, the pictures delivered showed a more comfortable surrounding than that of the German production. Whether that was coincidence or not, things seemed more temperate on NBC (and by extension more pleasing) than in the German telecast.

With the difficulties of maintaining exclusivity in the digital age more and more apparent, we'll see if this is the last Olympics to tape-delay its proceedings.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Off to Chicago

I'm off to Chicago for the AEJMC Convention and won't be back until next week. If you're going to be in Chicago don't forget the pre- convention sports panel that takes place on Tuesday, August 5. It's called Teaching Sports Communication Courses: A Roundtable for Educators and it starts at 1pm.

Another parting gift ... I just got this email regarding a panel proposal for next spring's BEA convention. If you are interested, please make the appropriate contact.

Denise Belafonte, Lynn University, is seeking panelists for a panel she is proposing on Curriculum, Ethics and Athletics. A description of the panel can be found below. If you are interested in serving as a panelist on this panel, please contact Denise at or 561-237-7334 (office).

Panel Description:

Media production courses usually require a vast amount of teamwork specifically when working as a production crew in Multi-camera studio and remote situations. Colleges and Universities with NCAA division sports teams, inevitably travel in their required "seasons" thus missing many hands-on productions. Even project work is sometimes compromised when extensive shooting, editing, and planning are mandated. In this situation, deadlines are sometimes missed, and participation in group projects and crew rotations are "excused". But at the end of the day, (or semester), are the athletes learning the same extensive knowledge and able to perform at their highest industry standard? Statistically the majority of Athletes have successful GPA standings, but ethically, we may feel that they are not receiving all of the benefits of the learning and "hands on" opportunities the average student would absorb. How can we be assured that we are fulfilling the obligation to achieve the same consistency and flow of curriculum rubric and grading criteria equal to all?