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5 Ph.D. in Sports Management Capstone Topics

Top 5 Topics for a Dissertation in Sports Management

  • Gender in Sports
  • Football Safety Regulations
  • Role of Politics in Sport
  • Improving Random Drug Testing
  • Holding Athletes to Unrealistic Standards

To complete a Ph.D. in Sports Management, students have to fulfill the dissertation requirement that demands independent research, a lengthy write-up, and thesis defense. Sometimes, however, the beginning may seem like the most difficult part of the process as finding a good topic can be incredibly hard.

1. Gender in Sports

As one of the issues that have been in the spotlight recently, the role of gender in sports is certainly a great topic for any Ph.D. student. With the recent win of the United States female national team in soccer, which claimed the world title twice in a row, many have complained about equal pay issues. And rightly so. After all, women who participate in sports continue to only make a fraction of men’s salaries. This comes without any regard for efficiency and success as proven by the female soccer team that outranks their male counterparts in virtually every category. Thus, a topic in this area would be quite easy to research and even easier to write.

2. Football Safety Regulations

Over the past few decades, the National Football League has witnessed innumerable changes relating to the safety measures. After the current commissioner of the league, Roger Goodell, took over in 2006, the rules got even more strict. Nonetheless, the number of players who suffer from concussions or career-ending injuries is still concerningly high. Students who choose to make their sports management dissertation focused on these regulations and potential ways to improve them would have a very fun and exciting topic at their hands.

3. Role of Politics in Sport

A few years ago, Colin Kaepernick engaged what seemed to be the entire United States in a fierce battle over the role of politics in sport. His silent protest ignited a passionate response from both sides. Even after those types of protests passed, politics have found a way to get involved in every sport. Whilst the two spheres had many touching points throughout history, the growing connections between them have certainly impacted sports in a variety of ways. Students who are interested in this topic could look into the most common benefits and downsides of athletes and politicians crossing over into each others’ domains.

4. Improving Random Drug Testing

One of the most prevalent complaints when it comes to random drug testing is the fact that it sometimes appears to be everything but random. In 2018, for instance, NFL player Eric Reid was selected for a total of seven tests within just 11 weeks. According to The Guardian, statistics showed that the odds of this happening were highly improbable. The scandal was so large that the NFL was forced to issue a public statement explaining how their algorithm works. Since these types of problems are present across the board, sports management students in Ph.D. programs can seek ways to help improve the testing procedures.

Related Resource: Top 10 Ph.D. Programs in Sports Management

5. Holding Athletes to Unrealistic Standards

Although incredibly high earnings and fame are very attractive benefits of being a successful athlete, there are quite a few downsides as well. The most dangerous one is the fact that people tend to hold these individuals to unrealistic standards. Since they are constantly under the spotlight, it is not uncommon to see them being criticized for pretty much anything that they do. Such unreasonable scrutiny can be very dangerous and push those individuals to a breaking point. Hence why a topic explaining why athletes should not be held above anyone else could be both insightful and helpful.

Students who may want to combine other topics in their dissertation can look into questions related to athletes’ pay, media’s role in sports, and so on. Those who may simply want to focus their Ph.D. in Sports Management on contemporary sports issues, however, should look into one of these five choices.