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The US Collegiate Model of Intercollegiate Athletics: Questioning National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Hegemony

The US Collegiate Model of Intercollegiate Athletics: Questioning National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Hegemony

A seminar as part of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Public Seminar Series

Given by: Dr. Richard M. Southall, Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Carolina, United States

Attendance at the event is free but you need TO REGISTER.



For the past eighteen years Dr. Richard M. Southall has critically examined the institutional field of “big-time” US college sport, with a primary focus on the largest governing entity – the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). His investigation of the NCAA and US college sport has been guided by a variety of theoretical frameworks, including: institutional logics theory, institutional propaganda, contemporary theory of metaphor, and organizational rebranding. At its core, the research of Dr. Southall and his colleagues offers an alternative view of US college sport to the NCAA’s collegiate model of intercollegiate athleticsparadigm, in which the NCAA claims participation in college sports enhances the educational experience of college athletes, who are fully integrated into universities’ academic communities and enjoy greater academic success than regular students.

For the past several decades, the pursuit and maximization of revenue-generation opportunities associated with big-time US college sport by the NCAA and its corporate partners has largely gone unchallenged. In fact, the NCAA’s claims its revenue-maximization efforts are not only consistent with the association’s educational mission, but an institutional obligation. NCAA and university administrators have sought to manage and reduce any institutional discord by contending there is nothing wrong with commercialization as long as it is “…done well and tastefully” (NCAA, 2002, para. 6). NCAA leaders have even gone so far as to contend a big-time college athletic department “…has an obligation to conduct its revenue-generating activities in a productive and sound business-like manner” (Brand, 2006, p. 7).

Aware that people outside the United States have little knowledge and/or understanding of US college sport, in this presentation Dr. Southall will first provide an overview of the NCAA and its collegiate model of athletics. Then, framed by the above-mentioned theories and drawing upon the results of several research projects that have examined facets of the NCAA’s college sport business enterprise, Dr. Southall will offer a critique of the NCAA as a violation of US antitrust law that monopolizes revenue to the detriment of profit-athletes in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) American football and men’s basketball, disallows these athletes fair market compensation, provides inadequate health care protections, restricts player attempts to attain employee status, and – most importantly – denies profit-athletes equal access to educational opportunities.



Richard M. Southall is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management at University of South Carolina. He is also Director of the College Sport Research Institute(CSRI) at the University of South Carolina. CSRI sponsors the annual CSRI Conference on College Sport and the Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics.

Richard’s research examines the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Collegiate Model of Athletics from ethical, political, sociological, economic, legal, linguistic, psychological, philosophical, and marketing perspectives. He is particularly interested in what he sees as NCAA’s attempts – through twenty-five years of rebranding college-athletes’ academic success – to maintain a veneer of educational legitimacy by developing, implementing and imbedding statistical analyses specifically intended to inflate Black male profit-athletes’ graduation rates. Dr. Southall seeks to investigate the NCAA’s mythos of the promise of “world-class” educational opportunities for players, whose athletic skills power the US college sport business enterprise. He and colleagues Dr. Mark Nagel and Dr. Ellen Staurowsky are developing a multi-dimensional argument as to why US college-sport reform is doomed to fail. As part of this project, he is currently conducting research into the role of motivated reasoning (i.e., confirmation and disconfirmation bias) among supporters of the NCAA collegiate mode.



  • Southall, R. M., & Staurowsky, E. J. (2013). Cheering on the collegiate model: Creating, disseminating, and imbedding the NCAA’s redefinition of amateurism. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 37(4), 403-429.


Contact Details

  • Richard M. Southall at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Twitter: @csrisouthall


Seminar Series Details

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020 7631 6763

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @Birkbecksport

Event Properties

Event Date 23-01-2017 18:00
Event End Date 23-01-2017 20:00
Location Birkbeck, University of London

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