Experts from a Variety of Disciplines Available to Discuss Sport and Its Role in Society

Oct. 11, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — Sport has the power to unite citizens regardless of their race, ethnicity or religion. Sport is tightly woven into the fabric of American life — from preschoolers participating in soccer tots and gymnastics, to the culture surrounding high school football, to the myriad business models with professional sports at the center.

Experts at The University of Texas at Austin are available to discuss a host of topics relating to the role of sport in American culture, from sports and media, to race and politics, to performance-enhancing substances, to physiology.

Mike Cramer
Director, Texas Program in Sports and Media
512-471-2430
michael.cramer@austin.utexas.edu

As former president of the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Stars, Cramer is an expert on the business of sports, collective bargaining, mega-stadiums and revenue enhancement. He also has expert insight on sports and its impact on American society and culture.

Sports and Media
Tracy Dahlby
Professor, School of Journalism
512-471-6272
tracy.dahlby@austin.utexas.edu

Dahlby was a producer for ESPN's SportsCentury series, which debut in 1999, and now specializes in teaching courses focused on storytelling in a digital age, international reporting and news media criticism. He is a member of the Board of Advisers for the Texas Program in Sports and Media.

S. Craig Watkins
Associate Professor, Department of Radio-Television-Film
512-471-6676
craig.watkins@austin.utexas.edu

With support from the MacArthur Foundation and the College of Communication, Watkins studies the social impact of social media. Among other topics, he also writes about the role of social media and games in sports and society on his research-based blog, The Young and the Digital.

Competition, Hormones and Behavior
Robert Josephs
Professor, Department of Psychology
512-471-9788
josephs@mail.psy.utexas.edu

Josephs studies the influence of testosterone in competition and social dominance. In a series of experiments, to be published in Hormones & Behavior, Josephs found that high cortisol levels block testosterone's influence to compete and dominate. His findings show that when cortisol — a hormone released in response to stress — increases, the body is mobilized to escape danger, rather than respond to competitive situations.

Pressure and Learning Performance

Arthur Markman
Professor, Department of Psychology
512-232-4645
markman@mail.utexas.edu

Todd Maddox
Professor, Department of Psychology
512-475-8494
maddox@mail.utexas.edu

With support from the National Institute of Health, Markman and Maddox examine situational factors that might explain why some people perform well under pressure, while others choke.

Doping in Sport
John Hoberman
Department of Germanic Studies
512-232-6368
hoberman@mail.utexas.edu

Hoberman has researched and published widely on the use of doping drugs by elite athletes, the political use of sport and the Olympic Games, and the racial dimension of sport. He is the author of "Sport and Political Ideology," "The Olympic Crisis," "Mortal Engines," "Darwin's Athletes" and "Testosterone Dreams." For more about his research, read the feature story "Testosterone Dreams."

Race and Politics
Ben Carrington
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
512-232-6341
bcarrington@austin.utexas.edu

Carrington researches race, identity and popular culture, including topics such as masculinity and black cultural resistance through sports, the politics of race and sport policy, and the media and celebrity sports stars. He develops a postcolonial theory of sport's role in enforcing racial stereotypes, particularly about black athletes in his recent book "Race, Sport and Politics." Read his Q&A to learn more about his research.

John Hartigan Jr.
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
512-232-9201
hartigan@mail.utexas.edu

Hartigan examines the rhetorical maze of racial discourse in contemporary American culture. Drawing on headline news stories — from President Obama's historic election, to Don Imus' inflammatory remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team — Hartigan shows how the dynamics of American culture continue to shift the contours of the national dialogue on race in his new book "What Can You Say: America's National Conversation about Race."

Daniel Hamermesh
The Sue Killam Professor in the Foundations of Economics
College of Liberal Arts
512-475-8526
hamermes@eco.utexas.edu

In a 2007 study, Hamermesh found Major League Baseball umpires tend to call more strikes when the pitcher is of their same race. When they're not, the umpires call more balls. The study analyzed every pitch from the 2004 through 2006 major league baseball seasons to determine whether racial discrimination figured into an umpire's decision to call a strike or a ball. A regular contributor to the New York Times' Freakonomics blog, he applies economics principles to everyday life-from sports to politics to pop culture.

John Ivy
Chair, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
512-471-8599
johnivy@mail.utexas.edu

Ivy studies the nutrition needed for optimum physical performance and did a major study on nutrient timing. He focuses on the acute and chronic effects of exercise on muscle metabolism and was enlisted by Wheaties to design and provide the scientific research for its new high-performance cereal formula. Learn more in the feature story "Timing is Everything" and watch webisodes of Ivy with top national athletes.

John Bartholomew
Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
512-232-6021
john.bart@mail.utexas.edu

Bartholomew is an expert on sport psychology and the effects of physical activity on mood and has produced scholarship on the impact of performance feedback on competitive athletes' psychological states. He is the director of the Exercise and Sport Psychology Lab, and you can learn more about his work in the feature story "Don't Even Think About It."

Dixie Stanforth
Lecturer, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
512-232-3950
d.stanforth@mail.utexas.edu

Stanforth is a health educator, exercise physiologist and fitness trainer who has been working with Gatorade on its Emmy-nominated film documentary series "REPLAY." She has designed workout programs for the team members to use as they prepare for their REPLAY games.

Ed Coyle
Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
512-471-8596
coyle@mail.utexas.edu

Coyle did a seven-year study of Lance Armstrong and what physiological traits contributed to his Tour de France success. Coyle's research in focuses on physiological traits of elite athletes. He is director of the university's Human Performance Lab. Learn more in the feature story "Man and Superman."

Hiro Tanaka
Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education; Director, Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory
512-232-4801
htanaka@mail.utexas.edu

Tanaka is an exercise physiologist who has studied the effects of resistance training on the aging body, including that of athletes. He is conducting a five-year study of the effects of weight training on the hardening of arteries and maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system. Learn more in the feature story "It Does a Body Good."

Jan Todd
Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
512-471-4890
j.todd@mail.utexas.edu

Todd was named "strongest woman in the world" by Sports Illustrated and the Guiness Book of World Records and set world records in five bodyweight classes during her 12-year power lifting career. Now a renowned sports historian and strength-training expert, she is the author of "Physical Culture and the Body Beautiful," about women's body image during the 19th century, and "Lift Your Way to Youthful Fitness." She's co-director of the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, and you can learn more about her research in the feature story "Body of Work."

Louis Harrison Jr.
Associate Professor, College of Education
512-232-4785
lharrison@mail.utexas.edu

Harrison researches the ways in which race influences physical activity and sports participation. He is investigating why African Americans compose 12 percent of the population but 78 percent of the National Basketball Association, 67 percent of the National Football League and 63 percent of the Women's National Basketball Association. Learn more in the feature story "Redefine the Finish Line."

Laurence Chalip
Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
12-232-2373
lchalip@mail.utexas.edu

Chalip is an expert on sport tourism and on how countries, cities and communities can benefit from hosting an event like the Super Bowl, Olympics or World Cup. He is an international consultant for cities interested in becoming thriving sport tourist destinations. Learn more in the feature story "Wish You Were Here."

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, College of Communication, (512) 475-8071.