2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Jerry Holt

Florida A&M University
Differences in Varsity Sport Opportunities:  Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs)

Athletics has always played a substantive role in the life and culture of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs; Chalk, 1976; Miller, 1995).   With the institutional and financial challenges facing HBCUs today, the question arises whether the athletics programs at these institutions will continue to be as important as in the past.  Matched comparison with predominantly white institutions (PWIs) provides a means by which HBCUs can evaluate the viability and vitality of their athletics programs.   This presentation compares the number of varsity sports offered at selected HBCUs with the number at a paired PWI.  Each school in the four primary HBCU athletic conferences is paired with a PWI of similar size and, as far as possible, proximity.  In addition, as gender equity is an important consideration in university athletics, the research also compares the number of varsity sports offered by gender at the HBCUs and PWIs.  Chi-square analysis will determine any differences among the institution types for total numbers of varsity sports, as well as for the sports separated by gender.   As the structure of athletics continues to be a central focus for universities, a comparison of varsity sports offered by university athletic departments is important for sociological investigation.