Aaron W Clopton

Aaron W Clopton
  • Associate Professor
  • School of Education and Human Sciences
  • Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
Robinson Health and Physical Education Center, room #146
University of Kansas
1301 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045-7567


Aaron W. Clopton, Ph.D. is in his first year as a faculty member at the University of Kansas. He is currently the program director for Sport Management and the director of the new Laboratory for the Study of Sport Management (LSSM).
Dr. Clopton specializes in organizational theory/behavior, sport and social sustainability, and organizational issues in intercollegiate athletics.


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; and The use of college sports in the academic and social integration of college students.

Research interests:

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


HSES 828: Sport Finance
HSES 830: Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Sport
HSES 884: Legal Aspects of Sport

Teaching interests:

  • Sport law
  • Organizational Behavior/Theory in Sport

Selected Publications

Farrell, J., & Clopton, A. W., Sr. (2015). Re-evaluating Major League Soccer (MLS)’s claim as a single-entity league: 10 years after Fraser v. Major League Soccer [Journal Articles]. Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 9(3).Katz, M., & Clopton, A. W., Sr. (2014). Town & gown . . . & Jerseys? NCAA division III athletics as social anchors [Journal Articles]. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 285–306.Clopton, A. W., & Watkins, M. (2013). Profit-maximizing and win-maximizing in the National Football League [Journal Articles]. 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 [Journal Articles]. City, Culture, & Society. Published.Clopton, A. W. (2013). The Impact of Athletics upon the Social Sustainability of the College Campus [Book Chapters]. In J. Devitis (Ed.), Contemporary Colleges & Universities: A Reader (pp. 106–122). Peter Lang Publishing.Clopton, A. W., & Slavich, M. (2012). A theoretical positioning of Major League Baseball’s organizational strategy [Journal Articles]. 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 [Journal Articles]. 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 Articles]. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 79–95.Clopton, A. W., & Dale, S. J. (2012). Managing organizational change: A multi-level coaching perspective [Journal Articles]. 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 [Journal Articles]. International Journal of Sport Management, 13(4), 363–384.Clopton, A. W. (2012). Social capital, gender, and the student-athlete [Journal Articles]. 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 Articles]. 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 [Journal Articles]. 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 Articles]. Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 6(2), 1–15.Ryan, T. D., & Clopton, A. W. (2011). Relationships between supervisory support, coaching satisfaction, and life satisfaction [Journal Articles]. International Journal of Sport Management, 12(1), 1–13.Clopton, A. W. (2011). Social capital and team performance [Journal Articles]. 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 Articles]. 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 Articles]. 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 [Journal Articles]. 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 [Journal Articles]. 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 Articles]. 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 [Journal Articles]. 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 [Journal Articles]. 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 Articles]. 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 Articles]. 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 Articles]. 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? [Journal Articles]. The Sport Management and Related Topics (SMART) Journal, 4(1), 95–110.

Awards & Honors

Faculty Affiliate
College Sports Research Institute
2008 - 2012Fellow
AAHPERD Research Consortium
2011NASPE Sport History, Philosophy, & Sociology Research Academy Chair
2011Flagship Faculty
Louisiana State University
2009Editorial Board Member
Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education
2008 - Present