An Exploratory Investigation of Sportsmanship Attitudes among College Student Basketball Fans

By Rudd, Andy; Gordon, Brian S. | Journal of Sport Behavior, December 2010 | Go to article overview

An Exploratory Investigation of Sportsmanship Attitudes among College Student Basketball Fans


Rudd, Andy, Gordon, Brian S., Journal of Sport Behavior


Some studies have shown that being a sports fan and more specifically one's level of team identification (i.e., a person's psychological connection to a team--Wann, Carlson, & Schrader, 1999) can have a positive influence on an individual's psychological and social well being (Wakefield & Wann, 2006; Wann, Melnick, Russell, & Pease, 2001). For example, Branscombe and Wann (1991) found that team identification was positively correlated with self-esteem and negatively correlated with depression. They also found team identification was positively correlated with "positive feelings" (e.g., happiness, contentment, and joyous) and negatively correlated with negative affect (e.g., sad, regretful, and hopeless). Individuals high in team identification also demonstrated lower levels of alienation. Additionally, Wann, Inman, Ensor, Gates, and Caldwell (1999) observed that highly identified individuals reported greater levels of psychological health (as indicated by measures of fatigue, anger, vigor, tension, self-esteem, confusion, and depression) than those less identified. As well, some have posited that identifying with a team increases a sense of community or social cohesion (Eitzen, 1999; Rader, 2004; Smith, 1988).

Contrariwise, there is also a dark side to sport fandom/sport spectatorship that warrants attention. Sport spectators engage in a variety of aggressive behaviors including verbal assaults, throwing objects at opposing players, holding up distracting signs, chanting derogatory statements, vandalizing, fighting, and sometimes even rushing the field to hurt a player or coach (Steinbach, 2008; Wahl, 2008; Wann et al. 2001; Young, 2002). Thus, there is a paradoxical nature of being a sport fan/sport spectator. On the one hand, some studies have demonstrated a link between sport fandom and improved psychological health/social well being. On the other hand, many sport spectators engage in a variety of harmful, aggressive acts.

In response to spectator aggression, major sport organizations have attempted to implement various sportsmanship initiatives and fan behavior policies. For example, in 2003, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) held the Sportsmanship and Fan Behavior Summit in an effort to decrease the amount of spectator aggression at college football and basketball games (Report on the Sportsmanship and Fan Behavior Summit, 2003). Additionally, in 2006, the NCAA's Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Committee initiated an effort to improve sportsmanship in college football among not only players and coaches but also the spectators (Richardson, 2006). Also, at the professional level, the National Football League recently implemented a strict fan behavior policy against various forms of aggressive verbal and physical behavior ("NFL Implements," 2008).

The efficacy of some these initiatives and policies, however, is questionable given the persisting incidents of sport spectator aggression. Division I college athletics are particularly illustrative. Take for example, a large group of student basketball fans known as the "Pit Crew" at the University of Oregon during the 2007-2008 season. Numerous members were involved in making threatening phone calls to an opposing player's cellular phone as well as pelting the player's family members with popcorn cartons, empty cups, and also casting a variety of insults (Wahl, 2008). As another example, Illinois student basketball fans chanted profane language at an opposing player simply because he had chosen not to accept a scholarship from Illinois (Steinbach, 2008; Wahl, 2008).

Basketball is not the only sport where spectator aggression continues to be a problem in college athletics. For instance, during the 2007 football season, Rutgers students hurled verbal assaults at both the Navy players as well as those in military uniform in the stands (Steinbach, 2008). Newark Star-Ledger columnist, Mark Dionno, a Rutgers graduate and former Navy veteran stated, "It was the most classless thing I've ever seen" (Steinbach, no page number). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An Exploratory Investigation of Sportsmanship Attitudes among College Student Basketball Fans
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.