CSL Daily

May 14, 2013

Dr. Dwyer Awarded for Outstanding Scholarship

Dr. Brendan Dwyer was recently honored as the 2012-2013 Distinguished Scholarship Faculty Award winner in VCU’s School of Education.  This award, giving annually, recognizes his for his excellence in scholarship, of which his primary focus is sport consumer behavior. He has 17 publications in refereed journals in the sport administration field, of which he is first author on 10. Two of his publications (both of which he is first author) appear in the Journal of Sport Management, which is the most highly regarded journal in our field. In addition, he has presented his research numerous times and has recently completed his first book chapter.

Dwyer Award


May 7, 2013

CSL Student, Faculty Member Interviewed on ‘Pay to Play’ Proposal

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–Virginia Commonwealth University graduate student Tre Smith credits high school basketball with his success in college.

Smith, who’s pursing a degree in sports management, says sports at Highland Springs High School helped him develop physically and emotionally, and gain invaluable leadership skills.

“Growing up, that’s all we had was sports,” Smith says.  “Instead of going out and getting into trouble, we stayed together and we practiced together every day.”

Smith questions whether he would have been able to play high school sports if his single-mother had been required to pay a sports fee for him to participate.

“It would be devastating,” Smith says.

However, in an era of tight funding, school districts across the country are considering sports fees to help balance budgets.

The Hanover County School board, facing a $5.4 million budget shortfall, is seriously considering a pay-to-play option for middle and high school athletes, as an alternative to firing teachers and increasing classroom sizes.

The idea is not sitting well with students or parents, who packed into the county’s last school board meeting to voice their concerns.

Hanover parent Cathy Easter says she doesn’t blame school officials who are being forced to consider athletic fees.

“We are absolutely down to the bare bones,” Easter argues.

Easter says she hopes The Board of Supervisors will provide more funding so school leaders aren’t forced to choose between teachers and implementing a pay-to-play rule for middle and high school sports programs.

VCU Sport Leadership professor Brendan Dwyer says that unfortunately several school districts across the country–including those in Ohio, Michigan and California–have been forced to implement sporting fees.

Dwyer says research shows the fees are pushing many lower income students to the sidelines, no matter how small the fee.

“Whether it’s a $75 fee or a $400 fee per sport, either way you’re going to have people who are having trouble making ends meet,” he says.

Dwyer says some school districts have waivers for low income families, or capped fees for students who play multiple sports, but Dwyer says the fees are still having a negative impact on participation.

Hanover County Superintendent, Dr. Jamelle Wilson, will present budget proposals to the PTA on Monday night at Mechanicsville Elementary School.  The public will also be able to address school board leaders at its next meeting on February 12th.

Hanover School Board Chair, Ann Hagan Gladstone, says the board will consider several proposals before voting on a final budget on February 19th.

May 1, 2013

CSL’s Turn 4 Education combines STEM and racing

HENRICO, Va.- Over 600 Henrico County students came out to Richmond International Raceway for the inaugural Turn 4 Education Day presented by Virginia 529 on Thursday.

“The education day gives students an introduction to science, technology, engineering, and math in a practical and fun way,” said RIR President Dennis Bickmier.

The mission of the event was Turn4edu to promote STEM components- science, technology, engineering and mathematics- through the different components of racing.

The kids were welcomed to the event by Dennis Bickmier, Henrico Superintendent Dr. Russo, CEO of Virginia 520 Mary Morris, NASCAR VP of Regional and Touring Series George Silbermann, and Dr. Diandra Leslie-Peckley

Dr. Diandra Leslie- Peckley emphasized that science, technology, engineering, and, math is used everyday and will be a key to future success.

The students spent an hour rotating through different stations, where they had the opportunity to speak with drivers and experts in the field as well as partake in interactive activities.

Racing analyst Larry McReynolds along with Dr. Diandra joined four Rev Racing Drivers, four Arena Racing drivers, Goodyear, Safer Wall,  K&N, Safety Kleen, Chevy, Ford, and VCU Business of NASCAR professor Dr. Jon Ackley for  the stations.

After spending an hour up close with experts from the racing industry the students traveled to the track to watch practice.

Richmond International Raceway partnered with the VCU Center For Sport Leadership, Arena Racing, Virginia 529 and Henrico Public Schools to create and put on the inaugural event. The Turn 4 Education Day was on of the first of its kind within the NASCAR community.

By Hannah Wagner