The Football Factor: Shaping Community on Campus

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marlene A. Dixon (Creator)
Scott B. Harrison (Creator)
Lynn L. Ridinger (Creator)
Stephen L. Shapiro (Creator)
Stacy Warner (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Many American universities continue to invest in expensive intercollegiate football programs, and specifically cite the sport’s ability to foster a sense of community (SOC) as justification for the cost. This study sought to assess the importance of SOC and the influence of football on the cultivation thereof. A pre-post test design utilizing an online survey compared SOC levels for students (N = 886) before and after the implementation of Division I football on a large university campus. No significant differences were found in SOC levels before and after the football season (regardless of attendance). Post-test SOC perceptions differed based on game attendance (i.e., moderate and loyal attendees reported the highest levels). Finally, SOC had a moderate to strong positive influence on four outcome variables: Satisfaction, Retention, Current Support of Athletics, and Future Support for Athletics. This study suggests that while SOC is very important to students, at least in the short term the introduction of a football program does not foster a greater SOC for all students.

Additional Information

Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics; 4: p. 236-256
Language: English
Date: 2011
University athletics, Sense of community

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