Business School to offer new ‘Sports Management Program’

March 7, 2014

The Hickingbotham School of Business will offer a new sport management emphasis next fall under it’s business administration major.

The Sport Management program was developed by Dr. Kent Faught, associate professor of management and the Heflin Chair of Business. The program will become an emphasis within the business administration major and will feature four classes to be taken, along with an optional internship.

“In one sense, the sport management emphasis came in very quickly. I spoke with Terry DeWitt and he asked me why we didn’t have a sports business program on campus and I told him that I’d be interested in pursuing one,” Faught said.

Faught had always been a sports fan and after reading “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” started to implement strategies presented in the book into his Management Strategy and Policy class. Following a meeting at the North American Society for Sport Management annual conference, Faught, along with Mike Reynolds, met with Dr. Bryan McKinney to discuss structure of the program.

“The meeting was very informative and helped direct development of the emphasis,” Faught said. “It was written up and reviewed by the Curriculum Committee in November, then presented during December’s faculty meeting, where it was approved without dissent.”

The emphasis will feature four different classes including Big Data/Data Mining; Sport Law; Program Design and Management, an existing course offered within the Kinesiology department; and, Organization and Administration of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. There will also be an internship component.

Faught will teach the Big Data/Data mining course. The course will apply statistical analysis to sports and the effects that it has on them. It will briefly touch on sabermetrics, the in-depth statistical study of baseball, as well as covering a broader realm of statistics.

“The course is designed to emphasize the use of statistics for player selection.  It is becoming an even bigger part of sports and it’s good to know how to apply it in managing sports,” Faught said.

Another class that will be offered is the Sport Law class. Chris Turnage, a lawyer from Hot Springs, will teach the course. Turnage is also one of two licensed NFL sports agents in the state of Arkansas. The course will cover specific laws that apply to sports directly. It will address practical issues such as liability concerns and concussion lawsuits.

“When Bryan [McKinney] and I met about the emphasis and ‘Sport Law,’ became one of the courses, we agreed that Chris was a natural fit,” Faught said.

The Program Design and Management class, existing in the kinesiology major, covers general principles behind managing and planning different sporting programs. The Organization and Administration of Health, Physical Education and Recreation covers the issues facing the administrators and management of sporting teams.

“The internship is critical for placement after graduation,” Faught said. “It’s important for us to begin tapping into networks where we can place students for internships. But, until we can fully manage that, we’re still going to keep the internship optional.”

The program will be offered beginning next fall. For more information on the emphasis or the course schedule offered within it, contact Dr. Kent Faught at


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