The Sports and Society Initiative is moving to create a national platform for research into issues ranging from revenue to compensation and beyond. With the increasing importance of sports in every aspect of American life, the sports-related issues facing our society have become complex and poorly understood by many in the general public. At the professional sports level, there are issues of antitrust policy, the functioning of leagues and public finance concerns. At the college level, the issues of compensation of student athletes along with the educational mission of intercollegiate athletics continue to attract major attention from the media and the public. The list of issues extends to the pre-college level, where many worry that intensive athletic curricula in schools may be having a negative impact on skill acquisition for the large fraction of young people who will not ultimately be successful as professional athletes. There are clearly critical trends for young people in many areas of sports today.
For years, many university faculty, as well as staff members in the Department of Athletics, have been thinking about and researching the exact issues that are currently forming the basis for major policy discussions on sports. Economics department professors Trevon Logan and Lucia Dunn have been active in spearheading the Sports and Society Initiative. The initiative’s efforts are interdisciplinary, bringing in students and faculty from across Ohio State, to engage in research and discussion on the current role of sports related topics.
The Sports and Society Initiative will insure that Ohio State takes a leadership role in initiating research and in presenting and promoting thoughtful conversation on the increasing importance of sports in every aspect of American life.