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Assuming the role of a sports consultant New class focuses on the economic impact of sports

Jan. 24, 1997

By Elizabeth Case

Lariat Reporter

A University economics lecturer has found the secret to creating an interesting course with a reserve list a mile long: promise trips to professional sports games.

The economics department is offering The Economics of Sports in America, taught by lecturer Heather Newsome.

Newsome's area of expertise is economics of the sports business. Ideas for the format of the class came from her own research and the curricula of similar courses at Vanderbilt University and Clemson University.

The upper-level economics class will provide students with the ability to look at their favorite sports from a new perspective and show the application of economics in a fun and exciting environment.

Contract negotiations, issues involved in the decision to relocate teams to different cities and the impact of free agency on salaries are a few of the topics that the class will cover.

'It is great to have a class that the kids are so excited about,' said Newsome. 'Parents are even sending me articles because their kids are so excited about this class.'

David Sweeten, a graduate student, says that he chose this course because it would be beneficial toward his sports management major.

'This course will broaden my horizons and teach me about the different angles of the sports business,' Sweeten said.

Newsome said she has emphasized to her students that the course will not be an easy one.

Students will be required to research a particular issue faced by the team of their choice and make recommendations in a term paper.

'The students will take the role of a consultant,' Newsome said. 'They will gain a wide variety of knowledge, but I want them to be very knowledgeable about one thing'.

Field trips throughout Texas are planned to introduce students to representatives of almost every professional sports team in the state. The class will be able to observe first-hand the effect of economic issues on the sports community.

The sports economics course will be offered again during the second summer school session and twice during the fall semester. Additional classes will be considered according to demand.

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