Aaron W. Clopton

Associate Professor
Primary office:
Robinson Health and Physical Education Center
Room 146B
University of Kansas
1301 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045-7567

Teaching Interests

  • Sport law
  • Organizational Behavior/Theory in Sport

Research Interests

  • Social Anchor Theory
  • Social Capital in Sport and Community
  • Social Networks

Selected Publications

Farrell, J., & Clopton, A. W. (2015). Re-evaluating Major League Soccer (MLS)’s claim as a single-entity league: 10 years after Fraser v. Major League Soccer. Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 9(3).

Katz, M., & Clopton, A. W. (2014). Town & gown . . & Jerseys? NCAA division III athletics as social anchors. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 285-306.

Clopton, A. W (2013). The Impact of Athletics upon the Social Sustainability of the College Campus. In J. Devitis (Ed.), Contemporary Colleges & Universities: A Reader (pp. 106-122). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Clopton, A. W, & Watkins, M. (in press). Profit-maximizing and win-maximizing in the National Football League. Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 7(4).

Seifried, C., & Clopton, A. W (2013). Reviewing Social Anchor Theory (SAT) through sport facilities: Civic monuments as home for the social capital of community residents and fan nations. City, Culture, & Society.

Clopton, A. W, & Slavich, M. (in press). A theoretical positioning of Major League Baseball's organizational strategy. Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 6(4).

Clopton, A. W, & Bourke, B. (2012). Big-time college sport in black and white: Perceptions of impact of the impact of athletics on campus. College Student Affairs Journal, 31(1).

Clopton, A. W, & Finch, B. L (2012). In search of the winning image: Assessing the impact of athletics successes on perceptions of external prestige. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 79-95.

Clopton, A. W, & Dale, S. J (2012). Managing organizational change: A multi-level coaching perspective. Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics Annual, 27, 195-221.

Clopton, A. W (2012). Re-analyzing the connection between team identity and affective commitment in the overall university context. International Journal of Sport Management, 13(4), 363-384.

Clopton, A. W (2012). Social capital, gender, and the student-athlete. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 16(4), 272-288.

Clopton, A. W (2011). Examining racial differences in social capital development among college student-athletes. Journal of African-American Studies, 15, 58-73.

Clopton, A. W, & Finch, B. (2011). Re-conceptualizing social anchors in community development: Utilizing Social Anchor Theory to create social capital's third dimension. Community Development , 42(1), 70-83.

Clopton, A. W (2011). Re-examining the role of antecedent orientation in social psychological well-being through team identification. Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 6(2), 1-15.

Ryan, T. D, & Clopton, A. W (2011). Relationships between supervisory support, coaching satisfaction, and life satisfaction. International Journal of Sport Management, 12(1), 1-13.

Clopton, A. W (2011). Social capital and team performance. Team Performance Management, 17(7/8), 369-381.

Clopton, A. W (2011). Social capital goes to college: Examining both the overall and bridging potential of intercollegiate athletics. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 4(2), 84-100.

Clopton, A. W, & Finch, B. L (2010). Are college students bowling alone? Examining the contribution of fan identification to the social capital of college students. Journal of Sport Behavior, 33(4), 333-366.

Clopton, A. W (2010). The impact of intercollegiate athletic participation upon sense of community across multiple-levels of competition. International Journal of Sport Management, 12(3), 440-456.

Clopton, A. W, & Sagas, M. (2009). Gender, support, and satisfaction: Viewing relational demography in the coaching profession. International Journal of Sport Management, 10(2), 136-150.

Clopton, A. W (2009). One for the Team: The Impact of Community upon Students as Fans and Academic and Social Integration. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, Special Issue, 24-61.

Clopton, A. W, & Sagas, M. (2009). Shattering the glass ceiling? Examining the impact of perceived gender discrimination on promotional opportunities of male and female coaches in women's athletics. International Journal of Sport Management, 10(1), 1-13.

Clopton, A. W (2008). College sports on campus: Uncovering the link between fan identification and sense of community. International Journal of Sport Management, 9(4), 343-362.

Clopton, A. W, Ryan, T. D, & Sagas, M. (2008). For love of the game: The mediating potential of job satisfaction of college coaches upon career satisfaction. Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 3(1), 93-110.

Clopton, A. W (2008). From message to messenger? Assessing the impact of athletics on a college campus. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Graduation, 2(3), 299-320.

Clopton, A. W (2008). Southern comfort? Exploring regional differences in the impact of fan identification upon college students' sense of community. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 2(1), 9-28.

Clopton, A. W (2007). Predicting a sense of community amongst students from the presence of intercollegiate athletics: What roles do gender and BCS-affiliation play in the relationship? The Sport Management and Related Topics (SMART) Journal, 4(1), 95-110.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. with honors, Sport Management, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2005
  • MS, Sport Sociology, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2002
  • B.S., Sport Management, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 1999


Organizational Theory/Behavior, Sport and Social Sustainability, Organizational Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics.


Faculty Staff Award:

  • AAHPERD Research Consortium Fellow (2011)
  • NASPE Sport History, Philosophy, & Sociology Research Academy Chair (2011)
  • LSU's Flagship Faculty Member (2009)
  • College Sport Research Institute Faculty Affiliate (2008-2011)
  • Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education Editorial Board Member (2008-present)

Research Interest(s)

Dr. Clopton's research agenda has consistently focused on the impact of sport on social networks and organizations. To do this, his work is framed across the Resource Based Theory which views intangible resources as having a contribution to the sustainable competitive advantage of organizations. From this approach, Dr. Clopton has recently authored the new Social Anchor Theory (SAT), which established the anchoring position of social institutions in community development. Recent examples of this work have included:

  • Racial differences in the perceptions of the impact of college athletics on a campus community.
  • An examination of the ability of intercollegiate athletics to bridge across social networks of college students.
  • The existence of social capital and teamwork with team performance.
  • Racial differences in the social networks/benefits of student athletes.
  • The use of college sports in the academic and social integration of college students.


Dept Number Course Name
HSES 828 Sport Finance
HSES 830 Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Sport
HSES 884 Legal Aspects of Sport

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