Religion on the PGA Tour

Although I am not a sociologist of sport, I have enjoyed those times when my work in the sociology of religion comes into dialogue with the world of sport. Here is some material I am working up for the 6th edition of my sociology of religion textbook: When Webb Simpson won the 2012 U.S. OpenContinue reading “Religion on the PGA Tour”

Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America by James D. Wright

In my introduction to sociology class this week, I am discussing sociologist James D. Wright’s classic essay, “Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America” (from Society March/April 1995, reprinted in Guns in America: A Reader). Among his points: “There are 200 million guns already in circulation in the United States. . . . firearms areContinue reading “Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America by James D. Wright”

Title IX at Wake Forest University

I find Title IX endlessly complex and fascinating. I am teaching the Sociology of Sport this fall and the more I dig into the issue, the less I feel like I know and the more I want to know. In response to a class discussion, a student forwarded me the following email from our universityContinue reading “Title IX at Wake Forest University”

Title IX, Properly Understood

As a sort of follow-up to my previous entry on college athletics, a few thoughts on the infamous and badly misunderstood “Title IX.” (1) “Title IX” is actually part of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It specifies, quite uncontroversially, I hope: “No person in the United States shall,Continue reading “Title IX, Properly Understood”

College Sports — Yay or Nay?

The New York Times last week ran an excellent series of articles on the chase for N.C.A.A. scholarships, the scarcity of athletic aid, and the challenges facing coaches and scholarship athletes The articles confirmed my uneasiness about “big time college sports.” On the one hand, I am an avid fan of many college sports andContinue reading “College Sports — Yay or Nay?”

Inequity in College Sports

Wake Forest football coach Jim Grobe could have left the university for the University of Arkansas and gotten PAID handsomely for abandoning his players. Any Wake Forest football player who wanted to do the same, however, would have been PENALIZED by the NCAA — forced to sit out one season. Frank Deford comments on theContinue reading “Inequity in College Sports”

Duke Lacrosse

Although I doubted their innocence at the outset, thank goodness that justice was done in the end in the infamous Duke lacrosse case. It’s hard to imagine the disruption experienced by the Duke players and coach (exiled from Duke to Bryant College — whatever that is). I couldn’t help but marvel at how unique theContinue reading “Duke Lacrosse”

Who’s Slappy?

“I’m a slappy, as Coach would say,” [Notre Dame quarterback Brady] Quinn said, borrowing a phrase from [Charlie] Weis’s New Jersey vernacular. “I’m just a college student trying to make it through Notre Dame, playing football. It’s weird that people see that as a celebrity. To me, it’s mind-boggling.” “A Student First, Then a Standout”Continue reading “Who’s Slappy?”