Course schedule
(subject to change, so don't print out once and treat as gospel; refer back regularly)

Class session
Texts, Readings, Resources

Week 1: Jan. 7

Course introduction

Sports, media & hegemony

National Baseball Hall of Fame internships | Rome Braves intern program | College Sports Reporting conference | BC's Wendell Smith papers at the Baseball Hall of Fame

For Wednesday, read: Plato's Living In a Cave

For Friday, read: Wayne Booth's What's supposed to be going on here?

Week 2: Jan. 14

Fans, crowds, TRIBES

Fan motivations | MEDIASPORT

For your first submitted assignment: a model of good work | another good model | and yet a third, Jorie's 10/10 Mocarski

Submit hard copy at the beginning of class, hard deadline. NO EMAIL. NO 'the printer wasn't working' EXCUSES.

For Monday, read: LeBon's The Crowd

Due Monday: takeaways/residuals for Plato AND Booth (integrate them)

For Friday, read: Sanderson's sports fans, Facebook and social identity threats; (group activity depends on doing the reading)

Due Friday: Comment to BC's blog post on sports and identity

Week 3: Jan. 21

No class Monday: MLK Day


Artifacts: Super Bowl Activity Pack for Women | Jerry Rice for Mercedes (the second ad) | Pepsi's crop circles | Advertising for SB 50 | Apple ad '1984' for SuperBowl that year | Steve Jobs introducing the Macintosh | Recording of first Super Bowl | footage of the 1951 Princeton football team | Super Bowl ratings (TV) | Cost of SB ads over time | Ad central

For Wednesday, takeaways/residuals due for Real's Super Bowl as Mythic Spectacle

For Friday, read: O'Barr's Festival of Advertising

Week 4: Jan. 28

ESPN-sports symbiosis: MEDIASPORT

Artifacts: Adidas sneaker scandal | The Daily Show on adidas scandal | Times's reporting on the scandal | WaPo follo on adidas scandal

Case study: Division I college football and the gravy train

Case study II: NFL & CTE

Read for Monday: first of NYTimes series on ESPN & football

Read for Wednesday: Part Two and Part Three; takeaways/residuals DUE for Part One (Monday's reading)

Watch the Super Bowl with a group/tribe/crowd on Sunday night for writing response due (required)

Week 5: Feb. 4

Post-Super Bowl breakdown | Andy Griffith's What it was was football

MEDIASPORT fusion of fandom, militarism and marketing

Artifacts: Pentagon "reunions" | Bleacher Report on Take A Knee | The whitewashing of #TakeAKnee | NFL ad response | How Protest Works | | WaPo update on 'take a knee' controversy | NAIA moves championship over anthem | U.S. spending on defense | Monuments, Louisiana football and taking a knee | Malcolm Jenkins on activism

For Monday, Butterworth's reading on 9/11 remembrance

For Wednesday, takeaways/residuals due for "Political Football," being sure to incorporate Butterworth from Monday

Due Friday: Writing response #1 -- a Super Bowl safari

Week 6: Feb. 11

Sports, Religion & MYTH

Lebron & Nike:

Where Lebron's marketing came from:

Artifacts: LSU promotional video | UGA promotional video | "Life is a Ball Game" Sister Wynona Carr

For Wednesday, read: takeaways/residuals due for Mocarski's Manufacturing a Messiah


Week 7: Feb. 18


For your writing response:

Artifacts: Key & Peele's White-sounding Black Guys | Key & Peele's A Capella (uncensored) | The Race Draft (Chappelle) | White running backs | Does race explain disfavor toward paying college athletes? | Key & Peele closet racist sportscast

Due Monday: Writing response #2

Read for Wednesday: "That Other Talk"




Week 8: Feb. 25


Artifacts: Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw on lived equality | Tides "report card" for colleges on race and gender | Really? Really! | ESPNW and removing the female apologetic | Run like a girl?!? | Serena on "best athlete" | NCAA 'Enough' | WNBA ad | Colbert: USA Soccer | Being a female sports journalists and dealing with hate | Heroes for girls | Nike & the Arab World | Womens Sports Foundation | Women's pro hockey league coverage (NYT) | Girl Power | Stephen Curry on his daughters | Hazards of being a female sports reporter: Erin Andrews | A1 story in last week's Times | Virginia hires black female AD | first football scholarship to a female | first female GM in baseball? | First female editor of a national sports publication (see what she says about "heroes") | Equity in America Data report on salaries in college athletics

For Monday, takeaways/residuals due for Daniel Duane reading | PDF version | Optional: Keala Kennelly's TEDx Talk |Drone look at big wave surfing

For Wednesday, takeaways/questionsdue for Feder reading (and an update: Figure skating uniforms)

For after spring break, read Utah Gymnastics (short article); group activity depends on doing the reading.

Week 9: March 4

The sports world visits Laughlin 113

Monday: Caitlyn Moriarty, head coach, volleyball; Cori Thiermann, head coach, softball >> on genuine, lived gender equity

Wednesday: Tony McIntosh, Berry football broadcaster, WRGA radio veteran

Friday: Derek Taylor and Blake Childers, MEDIASPORT in Division III

No class next week: Spring Break

For Wednesday: comment on the gender post at Wandering Rocks

Week 10: March 18

Race, culture & ethnicity

Takeaways from guest speaker week

Berry Volleyball as Spectacle

Jackie Robinson, journalist

March Madness: One Shining Moment | Kyle Korver on white privilege

For Monday, takeaways/questions due for Butterworth's Race in the 'Race' (McGwire & Sosa)

For Friday, takeaways/questions due for Carroll's article, Beating the Klan OR Carroll's article on the integration of baseball in Wichita

Week 11: March 25

Finishing the integration of baseball

Intro to Viking Fusion Sports

Able-ism & Identity

Artifacts: The documentary | Canada v. Australia (gold, 2012)

For Wednesday, takeaways/questions due for Murderball reading

Week 12: April 1

MEDIASPORT business models, media side


Week 13: April 8

MEDIASPORT business models, pro sports side

Artifacts: Ryan Sheckler | P. J. Ladd's Wonderful, Horrible Life | Yeah Right! | Baker 2G (1999) | Fantasy Sports Trade Assn. | Thanksgiving at the Bobbys | The growth of UFC | And who's involved in organizing/running UFC

Due Monday, takeaways and residuals for Andrews reading (toughest reading of the course -- hang in there!!)

Due Friday: takeaways and residuals for Jenkem reading (NOT REQUIRED)


Week 14: April 15

Crisis communication & Apologia

Pay for play? Exploitation of Div. I college athletes

Artifacts: John Oliver on stadia | Reaction to Las Vegas stadium deal

No class Friday: Good Friday

For Monday, residuals for Billings & Ruihley reading

Read for Wednesday, Wall Street Journal on exploiting college athletes

Week 15: April 22

Last day of class: Your takeaways and residuals for the entire course. Big class discussion. Snacks welcome.

Some last day links:



>final option A: Writing response for Dr. Carroll's Take a Knee. Here are specific instructions for what to do with the reading

>final option B: opinion piece for Viking Fusion on a topic of your choosing from all of those we covered this semester


Exam deadline (for both options): 11am, Friday, April 26. Printed (hard) copy to my mail slot or under my door (Laughlin 100) for Take a Knee; op-ed writers email your pieces Dr. Carroll.

pepp patty

keep your eyes on the prize!

Some digital sources:


Course Description: An introduction to and overview of the sports communication field, including media organizations, marketing and advertising firms, and team and leagues. Topics covered include sports journalism; digital media, including social media; broadcast and publishing; team and league media relations; college sports information; and marketing, promotions and advertising.

Course Purpose & Objectives: By the end of this course, my goal is for students to --  

  • Understand the evolution and development of sports as an industry
  • Become aware of the various careers in sports communication
  • Understand the history and development of sports journalism
  • Appreciate the ethical issues specific to sports that face the communicator and/or journalist covering sports
  • Understand the agency of U.S. media with regards to race and gender
  • Better understand crisis management specific to sports industries

What you will need (required):

  • Billings, Andrew C., Butterworth, Michael L., and Turman, Paul D., Communication and Sport: Surveying the Field, 3d edition (London: Sage, 2018).

What you may want (recommended but not required):

  • A subscription to Sports Illustrated
  • Daily access to ESPN’s SportsCenter
  • Roger Caillois, Man, Play, Games
  • Eduardo Galeano, Soccer in Sun and Shadow
  • Allen Guttman, From Ritual to Record: The Nature of Modern Sports
  • Gustave LeBon, The Crowd 
  • Orin Starn, The Passion of Tiger Woods

Stuff you need to know:

Professor: Dr. Brian Carroll
Office: Laughlin Hall 100
Office phone: 368.6944
Home page:
Blog: Wandering Rocks

Office hours: MWF: 2-4pm; T: 1-5pm | by appointment | walk-ins are welcome


  • Attendance: Attendance is a part of your grade. Be here every day on time, just as you would for a job, surgery or even a haircut. Everyone gets one unexcused absence or late arrival, maybe two, with no questions asked. Stuff happens. After that, unexcused and/or unexplained absences (and/or lateness) will result in point deductions from the "professionalism and participation" portion of your grade -- one point for each unexcused absence and/or late arrival. What is excused is at the instructor's discretion, so you are best served by discussing situations and extraordinary circumstances prior to class whenever possible.
  • Distractions: This instructor is easily distracted. Ringing, buzzing or vibrating mobiles, therefore, will be lobbed out of the classroom window and/or run over with a truck. Chatter during lecture will result in "professionalism and participation" point deductions, as will Facebooking, texting or any other use of unauthorized devices during lecture or topic presentations, particularly after a warning has been issued. Do homework for other classes somewhere else. Leave your laptop at home. If you have to arrive late or leave early, clear it with the instructor beforehand whenever possible.
  • Preparation: Complete the assignments, do the readings and be ready to tackle the activities of the day. Be ready to discuss, even to debate.
  • Academic integrity: Because academic integrity is the foundation of college life at Berry, academic dishonesty will result in automatic failure on the assignment in question. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following: cheating, unauthorized collaboration, plagiarism, fabrication, submitting the same work in multiple courses, and aiding and abetting. For definitions of these terms, please consult the instructor. Additionally, violators will be reported in writing to the Provost. Students who are sanctioned for violating the academic integrity policy forfeit the right to withdraw from the class with a grade of “W.”

How you will be graded:

Dailies (quizzes, responses, takeaways) 90%
Professionalism and participation 10%

For daily projects and blog posts, grades of check plus, check, check minus, and zero will be awarded. Roughly translated, check plusses = As; checks = Bs; and check minuses = Cs. The wide variability of subjectivity of these daily assignments, such as “bring in three examples of metonymic symbolism,” preclude a more precise grading scheme. The check system also facilitates a faster turnaround time.

To compute your final grade, add up your point totals, apply the appropriate percentages, then refer to the grading system summarized here:

59 and below

Definitions of the grades can be found in the Berry College Bulletin. “A” students will demonstrate an outstanding mastery of course material and will perform far above that required for credit in the course and far above that usually seen in the course. The “A” grade should be awarded sparingly and should identify student performance that is relatively unusual in the course.

Berry Viking code
Academic dishonesty in any form is unacceptable because any breach in academic integrity, however small, strikes destructively at the college’s life and work. The code is not just policy, it is foundational to the academic environment we enjoy and in which scholarship thrives. It is in force in this classroom.

For the complete Viking Code, please consult the student handbook. In short, each student is “expected to recognize constituted authority, to abide by the ordinary rules of good conduct, to be truthful, to respect the rights of others.” The College’s mission, in part, commits to a community of integrity and justice. During an era when ethics are sometimes suspect, there seems no higher goal toward which students ought to strive than that of personal honor.

Students with special needs
If you have special needs of any kind, including learning disabilities, please let me know. Come discuss it with me. I want to make sure on the front end that we prevent any problems associated with the course. The Academic Support Center suggests the following: “Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodation in this course are encouraged to contact the Academic Support Center in Memorial Library as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.”

Finally, I believe we are here for a good time, not a long time, so let’s have some fun!

bc home | berry home | email the prof

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I believe this constitutes a "fair use" of such material under Title 17, U.S.C. § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.