Academic Writing

Back to Portfolio Home

Below you will find several pieces of writing I generated during the pursuit of a Master of Science in Sport Management degree. These items were written during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic a time which certainly gave them an interesting spin. As I looked forward to topics in Sport Management,I wondered whether the world of sport would ever fully be the same again. The answer to that question, of course, remains to be seen.

-Ryan Anderson

The Pros and Cons of Hosting the Olympic Games

The essay below was written for a course in Event and Facility Management. The timing of the writing coincided with the one year delay of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and explores issues below the surface of the pomp and circumstance of the Olympic Games.

Abstract: Every four years the Olympic games provide the opportunity for one lucky host city, or region, to gain the international spotlight by fully embracing the pomp and circumstance that goes along with hosting athletes from nations around the globe. Just as is the case in the battle for Gold medals on the field of play, the competition to be an Olympic host city can be intense since there can be as much to lose as there is to gain.

By exploring who got it right, and who got it wrong, cities are better prepared to shine when their time arrives. Cities can also use past examples to decide whether hosting the Olympics is worth it at the end of the day.

Legal Analysis Paper: The NCAA and Player Compensation

The legal analysis paper below was written while taking a course in Legal Issues in Sport. The paper deals with the issue of paying NCAA athletes. It outlines some of the court cases through the years which deal with the issue. Since the time the paper was written, players did get some favorable court rulings dealing with compensation for their name, image and likeness, or NIL.

Abstract: Should college athletes be paid? This question has taken many forms throughout the years. For the most part, the answer has been college athletes are paid through scholarships and therefore do not need to be paid for the use of their names, likeness, or anything else.

The fact that the lone authority making this decision, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has a vested interest in not paying athletes, as well as enjoying a monopoly on the upper levels of collegiate competition, has caused several court cases to be brought forward related to antitrust issues and the right to fair play.

The NCAA is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athletes from 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. Critics of the NCAA consider the practice of limiting athlete compensation to that of a cartel (Sanderson 2018). Throughout the history of the NCAA several court cases have been filed to test the limits of the NCAA’s power related to player compensation, sanctions, and employee suspension. This paper will show that the NCAA does in fact engage in antitrust actions in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 as determined by rulings in front of the United States Supreme Court.

The Gatekeepers of Information the Role of Sports Information Professionals

The Gatekeepers of Information the Role of Sports Information Professionals is a research paper written for an Applied Research Methods in Sports and Kinesiology course.

As a former Sports Information Director, the subject was particularly interesting for me to research and write about, since it showed that one can always learn new things even in a field they have worked in for years.

Abstract: The work of Sports Information professionals is crucial to the success of getting the word out related to collegiate athletics. The work of Sports Information professionals is also full of difficult elements that challenge even the most dedicated of practitioners.

From limited full-time openings and a strong reliance on student labor, to struggles for respect among peers and nontraditional
hours, the Sports Information profession is full of challenges in the best of times.

Throw in a global pandemic that shuts down the world of collegiate athletics, and a difficult task becomes even more challenging. This research paper focuses on the key components that must be mastered in order for someone to survive in the competitive, and underappreciated career of Sports Information.

Through an exploration of the field of Sports Information this paper rolls back the curtain and provides a clear picture of the behind the scenes world that many fans of collegiate athletics may not even know exists.

A Critical Analysis of the Ethics of Playing Sports in a Global Pandemic

Is it ethical to play sports during a global pandemic? That was the central question asked in this critical analysis paper written as part of a course in Ethical Issues in Sport Management.

While many sports leagues decided that the answer to that question was, “yes sports should be played in a pandemic,” the paper delves deeper into the issue.

Abstract: Is it ethical to play sports in the middle of a global pandemic? This question was last faced in America over 100 years ago during the Spanish Flu outbreak that ran from 1918 to 1920. However, thanks to the arrival of COVID-19, the issue has arisen once more with various sports leagues taking different approaches related to how to juggle public health with a public desire to watch sports.

Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball League (NBA), and other many professional sports leagues have already completed, or will complete their seasons with the next few weeks.

Therefore, this focus on the ethics of playing sports in a pandemic is limited to the National Football League (NFL) which kicked off their season just as the other sports were entering postseason play and starting to wind down their seasons.

In a report for National Public Radio (NPR), correspondent Tom Goldman points out four points of the NFL’s position on playing football in a pandemic that I will address in more detail in the following paragraphs.

Those points are NFL games can be played safely during a pandemic, fans have a right to see games live, prohibitions on sports infringe on individual rights, and the ethical burdens of responsibility for the health of those involved is not the responsibility of the league.

Unforgivable Blackness

Unforgivable Blackness is a paper written for KINE 5305: History and Culture of Sport. The paper uses information from the Ken Burns documentary, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, to tell the story of boxer Jack Johnson and the issues he faced as an African American man in the early 20th Century.

Throughout the course of the paper it is revealed by examples from present day sport figures that many of the issues Johnson faced nearly 100 years ago are still being faced by African Americans and other racial and ethnic groups today.

Introduction: Much has been said in 2020 related to racial relations in America. The conversions have followed several high-profile deaths of black men, that resulted in protests and tensions along racial lines not seen at such heightened levels since the civil rights era in the 1960s.

On one side of the issue, are proponents of Black Lives Matter and other groups seeking racial justice and equality by eliminating systematic racism. On the other side of the debate, are white nationalists, white supremacist and other groups who want to maintain the perceived status quo of white power and subjugation of all of the other races that don’t start with the letter “W” and rhyme with right.

The quickness and ferocity of the white supremacists’ actions to discredit the calls for racial equality shows that discontent has been simmering under the surface for years just waiting for something to create a spark to ignite the hatred.

The movie Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson details the life of Jack Johnson, an African American boxer who challenged many of the racial norms of the early 20th Century. The norms challenged involved who he should box against, where he could eat, where he could sleep, who he should date, and ultimately who he should marry. The movie details the challenges that Jack Johnson overcame nearly a century ago, however many of the elements described could just as easily describe 2020 instead of 1920.