Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics
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.
Original Publication Citation
Warner, S., Shapiro, S. L., Dixon, M. A., Ridinger, L. L., & Harrison, S. B. (2011). The football factor: Shaping community on campus. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 4, 236-256.
Warner, Stacy; Shapiro, Stephen L.; Dixon, Marlene A.; Ridinger, Lynn L.; and Harrison, Scott B., "The Football Factor: Shaping Community on Campus" (2011). Human Movement Sciences Faculty Publications. 24.