Addressing Psychiatric Disorders among Student-Athletes: Challenges Facing Mental Health Professionals in NCAA Division I Athletics

The purpose of this study was to examine the clinical challenges of mental health professionals working with National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I (NCAA DI) student-athletes. Students competing in DI athletics have complex life circumstances that present stressors and psychopathological symptomology unique to athletes who, unlike the general student body, are immersed in both advanced academics and high-level athletics. As the onset of certain psychological disorders can occur during this stressful time, it may be difficult for mental health professionals to recognize and diagnose student-athletes’ clinical conditions. Data was collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with six mental health professionals, focusing on their experience working with NCAA DI student-athletes. The results indicate that, while it is not essential that licensed mental health professionals have a sport background to effectively work with student-athletes, background knowledge in sport is useful for building rapport in a treatment setting and can assist in appropriately prescribing mental skills training while increasing awareness of sport-influenced symptoms and conditions that need to be taken into consideration in order to make the most accurate diagnoses. Also, clinicians identified the reluctance for athletes to accept personal mental disorder as a significant challenge to providing appropriate care and treatment to athletes. Further, the competitive nature of elite college athletics and the desire to display mental and physical toughness in this culture is a deterrent toward treatment for some athletes. Practitioners and academic researchers can consider these findings while continuing to study, create, and implement mental health treatment protocols in DI athletic programs.

“Say What?”: An Overview and Proposition of the Dissonance-Threat Model of Fan Behavior

Women’s sports in Australia have traditionally been placed a distant second to men’s sports. Such second-rate treatment has been obvious through remuneration and media interest. Nevertheless, the last three years have seen the establishment of the inaugural women’s Australian Rules football competition, a new Australian “National Netball League,” and the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) cricket competition. All of these sporting competitions have one thing in common, that is, media interest. All competitions have broadcast deals with major television networks in Australia. The message in the sports media in Australia is that women’s sports are taking over our screens, being remunerated more handsomely, and becoming more high profile. However, there remain enormous disparities between male and female athletes and sporting competitions. These disparities focus on the amount of media coverage received by male and female sporting competitions and the remuneration paid to male and female athletes. In particular, this study focuses on the Australian Rules football competition and the WBBL competition in Australia. These themes will be analysed using a third-wave feminist lens to more clearly understand the differences (or similarities) between men’s and women’s in sport in Australia.

Hollow Ring: Race, Spectacle, and the Mayweather/McGregor Fight

The notion of what constitutes a “race fight” is a complex and multivalent issue, not simply relegated to “black” versus “white.” The Mayweather/McGregor fight that took place on August 26, 2017, constituted one of the most profitable pay-per-view spectacles in history. However, despite the way race within the Mayweather/McGregor fight was mediated, the question of race in this fight is more nuanced and worthy of serious academic attention. This commentary establishes a partial typography of American “race fights” throughout history and argues that the Mayweather/McGregor fight was primarily a “commodified spectacle” and not simply a representation of black versus white in the boxing space. For the purposes of this article, a “race fight” is an event that is deliberately conceived and promoted and with the intention of exploiting racial difference. As such, a “race fight” does not necessitate two fights with different skin colours. Rather, a “race fight” consciously contests notions of racial identity within the boxing ring. This article argues that the Mayweather/McGregor fight does not fit the traditional typography of a “race fight,” as exemplified throughout boxing history. Race in the sport reflects the politics of the time. Mayweather/McGregor, while an example of a racialized space, is not a reflection of the politics of race but, rather, a commodified spectacle of wealth and excess.