- Photo Courtesy of Casey Stepan
After a long process of brainstorming, researching, critiquing and editing, Professor of Economics Randy Grant’s book is finally published.
Titled “The Economics of Intercollegiate Sports,” it was co-authored by John Leadley and Zenon Zygmont, both professors of economics at Western Oregon University.
The project began four years ago when Zygmont approached Grant about the possibility of writing an economics book specific to college sports.
Grant, who teaches the Economics of Sports class at Linfield, said he immediately agreed, as he had been unable to find a textbook specifically related to college sports.
“It is something different from the economics of professional sports,” Grant said. “It is designed to be cohesive and integrated.”
Grant said there are inherent differences between professional and college sports, and they should be studied differently in a classroom.
The book raises many questions about the college sports industry, and it is specifically designed to be analyzed in an educational setting.
It explores whether the salaries of head coaches are inflated, if student athletes are being exploited and if colleges and universities put too much emphasis on athletics.
To help gather background information, Grant enlisted the help of two of his students, seniors Heather Correia and Casey Stepan. Correia researched the role of media in intercollegiate sports. Stepan studied the effects of Title IX, a federal law that protects students and athletes from discrimination based on gender.
She spent both the spring and summer of 2006 researching the legislation as an extension of a project for Grant’s Economics of Sports class.
“I gained a lot of experience in research that will help me later in life,” Stepan said.
Correia said the experience of helping a professor write a textbook was a valuable process. Correia said she also appreciates her newfound research skills, but the project was useful in another way.
“It definitely made me more informed about sports,” she said.
Because the process of writing and editing a textbook is long and tedious, Grant said Stepan and Correia’s contributions to the book were invaluable.
“Their input greatly improved the quality of the finished product and made my life much easier and the workload more manageable,” Grant said.
Grant said a challenge of writing the book was trying to integrate his style of writing with that of Leadley and Zygmont. He said it was difficult to determine what information would make up the content of the book.
Overall, Grant said there was more to publishing the textbook than simply filling a void.
“Writing for academic journals is an important and worthwhile experience, but I can reach more students writing textbooks,” Grant said. “Textbooks are more frequently used as a teaching tool than journal articles, and they are written directly to the students. So for me, textbook writing is an extension of my role as a teacher.”