Game Changer

Sport management professor Anthony Weaver researches the decisions colleges make to scale up or scale down athletics programs.

When major decisions are made in college athletics, it typically impacts more than sporting events.

Regardless of whether it’s a decision initiated because of a new NCAA policy, for example, or an upgrade to an athletic department or a change in conferences, the end result can have far reaching implications for a college or university. When those decisions need to be made, the leaders involved in the conversations extend beyond the athletics department because there are a variety factors that must be considered.

Anthony Weaver, associate professor of sport and event management, examines those decisions made by higher education administrators and the impact they have on the management of college athletic programs. Weaver dissects these decisions to understand why they were made and the factors that led to the organizational change. He focuses on the details that are often overlooked.

I think there is great value in learning from past decision makers so that we can be more intentional in our future actions. Before we judge leaders and the decisions they make, let’s understand the context of the decision, the process used to make the decision and then look at the ripple effect of the decision—including both the intended and unintended consequences.

Weaver starts his work by examining a school’s history relative to the decision. He asks questions. What were the merits of the decision and the context in which it was made? Who was affected by the outcome of the decision? And what could be done differently to produce a different result?

In his most recent work, Weaver has studied schools faced with major decisions in their athletic programs. He interviewed key administrators and reviewed university documentation to find out why they upgraded or, in some cases, scaled down athletics programs and then he analyzed the ramifications of those choices. Weaver’s research addresses clearly defined gaps in the literature and provides practical application for the sport and event management industry.

Joined Elon’s Faculty:

  • 2004


  • Bachelor of Science in Finance from Siena College
  • Master of Arts in Athletic Administration from the University of Connecticut
  • Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Recently Published Work:

Peer-reviewed Articles

  • Weaver, A. (2015). “New policies, new structure, new problems? Reviewing the NCAA’s autonomy model.” Elon Law Review, 7(2) 551-570.
  • Weaver, A. & Harden, A. (2015). “The honeymoon effect in Major League Baseball: A case study of the Colorado Rockies.” The Journal of Facility Planning, Design, & Management, 3(1), 11-25.

Book Chapters

  • Weaver, A. & Simet, K. (2015). “Intercollegiate athlete as student leader.” In D. Stenta & C. W. McFadden (Eds.), Student leadership development through recreation and athletics. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.