Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Sports Management

Major Professor

Jim Bemiller


Research has found that coaches, administrators, and athletes at NCAA institutions believe that distributing resources equally or based on need were the most fair distribution methods. The current study builds on these findings by examining the views of fairness among college sport management students in distribution and retribution scenarios. The nine allocation principles listed for each scenario were (a) equality of treatment, (b) equality of opportunity, and (c) equality of results; equity based on (d) effort, (e) productivity, (f) revenue production, (g) spectator appeal, (h) ability; and (i) need. In each distributive scenario, subjects were asked to rate the fairness of each allocation principle and to chose one of the nine principles to implement. The participants' responses were analyzed by gender, student classification (undergraduate or graduate), their institution's NCAA division, and whether or not they had previously examined distributive justice.Need and equality of treatment were the highest rated principles overall, with equity based on revenue production generally rated third highest. These three principles were also overwhelmingly selected by subjects for implementation in each scenario. Equality of opportunity was rated the most unfair principle by all groups in the study. When analyzed by group membership the results indicated that women and Division III respondents favored equality based principles, while males showed support for equity based principles, particularly revenue production. Analysis of NCAA expense reports illustrate a lack of implementation of the equality of treatment and need based principles and an adherence to equity based on revenue production and spectator appeal (Mahoney & Pastore, 1998). In light of those reports, the results of this study show that there may be theoretical implications connected with certain principles.Although rated most fair, need and equality of treatment are often overlooked in real allocation situations and are more idealistic principles. Equity principles, particularly based on revenue production, are a more realistic choice for implementation and are selected more frequently within an athletic department in real allocation situations.

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