Student-Athletes’ Sense of Belonging: Background Characteristics, Student Involvement, and Campus Climate

The purpose of this article was to examine student-athletes’ experiences and perceptions of campus climate in relation to perceived sense of belonging on college campuses. We used data from the NCAA Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Learning Survey (GOALS) to better understand student-athletes’ perceptions. The GOALS survey includes data on student-athletes’ academic, athletic, and social experiences; health and well-being; and time commitments. We employed a hierarchical blocked-regression analysis to determine the extent to which athletic identity, academic and social experiences, and perceptions of campus and team climates predict sense of belonging (after controlling for background characteristics). The major findings from the study indicate a negative relationship between athletic identity and sense of belonging. Further, students of color reported lower sense of belonging than their white counterparts. Of particular importance was the relationship between sense of belonging and institutional and team climates. Having a positive sense of climate on athletic teams positively influenced sense of belonging, particularly for student-athletes of color. This article concludes with implications for policy and practice.

Athletes’ Recollections of Inappropriate Behaviors by Their High School Sport Coaches

Bullying of students by other students has been an ongoing concern over many years. Many schools have initiated policies and trainings related to bullying in attempts to prevent and stop students from bullying. However, an area not yet well researched is the topic of bullying by teachers or coaches toward students, particularly those who are student-athletes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of former athletes in regards to the abusive actions of their former high school sport coaches. Participants for this study included 920 college students from universities located in nine states across the United States. Participants were equally divided by gender. Data were gathered via an online survey in which participants identified if their coaches had engaged in any of the twenty-four listed actions among three types of bullying (physical, relational, verbal). Participants identified whether these actions were directed toward them or if they had seen them being done to fellow athletes. The results indicated that the most frequently identified incidents for high school athletes were being embarrassed by their coaches in front of others, coaches poking fun at them, name calling without hurtful intent, dirty looks meant to hurt, and critical comments meant to hurt.

How “Green” Is My Green Flag?: Environmental Initiatives in Major Auto Racing Circuits

With the growth of environmental consciousness over the last three decades, major automobile racing circuits in the United States and around the world have started green initiatives. This article will provide an examination of recent press reports, United Nations studies, press releases, and research to consider whether these green initiatives have made a positive difference in terms of environmental impact, or whether they are changes with little substance designed to maintain the public’s goodwill. Particularly relevant is the debate over the use of cleaner-burning fuels such as ethanol. Specifically, the question exists of whether the use of fuels with cleaner emissions outweighs problems that arise from these fuels’ production. Public perceptions of these green initiatives will also be discussed, as major racing series, such as NASCAR and the Indy Racing League, publicize initiatives in marketing efforts. Using mostly anecdotal evidence, this article is an analysis of recent literature on the subject. Implications of questions relating automobile racing to various needs for natural resources around the world are broad, as consumers, scientists, and governments must consider the long-term effects of recent drives to reduce petroleum consumption and pollution.