Baylor Sport Management Program Gets Review Council Approval

Sept. 19, 2001

by Alan Hunt

The Baylor University master's degree program in sport management now ranks as one of only two in Texas and 25 nationwide to be approved by the Sport Management Program Review Council.

The Reston, Va.-based council announced recently that the Baylor curriculum complies with its sport management program standards. The council's review has taken five years to complete.

Baylor and the University of Texas at Austin are the only two institutions in the Lone Star State offering master's programs approved by the council.

The Sport Management Program Review Council (SMPRC) is a collaboration of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the North American Society for Sport Management, which, together, represent about 18,300 members nationwide involved in physical activity and sport and sport management programs.

Approval of a sport management program means it has met the scrutiny of the review council committee's guidelines on required and recommended course content areas that should exist within sport management degree programs. "The purpose of these standards is to assure that students have a broad foundation of sport management coursework taught by appropriate professionals," said Dr. Andy Pittman, coordinator of the Baylor program, which currently has an enrollment of nearly 30 students.

"They look for the quality and the quantity of the faculty teaching in the program," he said. "And they also look at your curricular offerings. We had to meet exacting standards in both those areas. It is not an easy process.

"We are extremely pleased by this endorsement of our efforts. It somewhat guarantees that the students are going to get into a good quality program here at Baylor."

Pittman, who is an associate professor of health, human performance and recreation, said sport management is one of the fastest growing academic disciplines and career choices in the field of human performance. Career opportunities include jobs in leisure and recreational settings, college and university athletic departments, professional sport organizations, the sporting goods industry, entrepreneurial sport settings, and teaching and coaching at the university level.

He said graduates of the Baylor master's program in sport management, which was started in 1993, have found employment in a variety of organizations including the National Football League, the NCAA, the Senior PGA, the Dallas Stars, the Professional Golf Association, the Houston Rockets, the Houston Astros, Adidas, and universities nationwide. Pittman said students also have served internships during their studies with such organizations as the Dallas Mavericks, the Orlando Magic, the Women's Sports Foundation, the Cotton Bowl Association, the Houston Texans, the University of Notre Dame, NIKE, and the Canadian Football League.

Major components of the Baylor program involve business courses, including management and marketing, and he praised the cooperation of the faculty at the Hankamer School of Business, and other faculty members campus-wide. "Dr. Robert Yinger, dean of the School of Education, Dr. Robert Cloud, former chair of the HHPR Department, and Dr. Linda Livingstone, associate dean in the Hankamer School of Business, were very supportive of this process. Without their help, we could not have pulled this off," he said. Other course components include ethics, legal issues, sport psychology and sport sociology, facility and event management.

Program approval is valid for seven years, meaning the Baylor program will be reviewed again by the council in 2008, said Pittman, who has previously served three years as a member of the SMPRC. Members of the seven-member committee are rotated off after they complete three years of service. Pittman said the committee members represent major institutions and sport management operations in the nation.

In its formal notification to Pittman of Baylor's program approval, council chair Dr. David K. Stotlar stated, "Your entire department should be commended for a job well done. It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the list of SMPRC Approved Programs."

Pittman said plans also are being discussed for launching an undergraduate program in sport management that will integrate courses from the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of business and education.

For more information, call Pittman at (254) 710-4002.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?