hero image
Rick  Eckstein, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Rick Eckstein, PhD

Professor of Sociology | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | Villanova University


Rick Eckstein, PhD, is an expert in sports and society, youth sports, gender and sports, intercollegiate spending and stadium financing.



Rick  Eckstein, PhD Publication Rick  Eckstein, PhD Publication Rick  Eckstein, PhD Publication





Areas of Expertise (9)

Youth Sports

Gender and Sports

Social Inequality and Poverty

Sports and Society

Labor and Unions

Stadium Financing

Sociology of Sport

College Athletics Reform

Title IX


Dr. Eckstein is an expert on the evolution of youth sports to its elite culture and pay to play framework. In addition, he can discuss the gender inequalities that still exist in sports, even with Title IX. He has data-driven criticism of higher education's spending priorities, particularly related to athletics. Eckstein can also discuss the construction of publicly financed sports stadiums.

Education (2)

SUNY, Stony Brook: PhD

Marietta College: BA

Select Accomplishments (2)

Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (professional)


Lindback Teaching Award Recipient (professional)


Select Media Appearances (7)

San Francisco 49ers stadium tax fight heads to court

McClatchy DC Bureau  online


Rick Eckstein, a Villanova University sociology professor who co-wrote a book about public financing of stadiums, said that sports teams are typically much more sophisticated than the cities and counties with whom they negotiate stadium deals. “The teams are always about two or three steps ahead of the municipalities in being clever,” Eckstein said.

view more

Audacious college admissions scandal left so many red flags missed by so many

The Los Angeles Times  


William “Rick” Singer ran a tight operation. For years, he and his team churned out the bribes and lies at the heart of his college admission scam without getting caught. …“This process was set up to be exploited by unscrupulous people,” said Rick Eckstein, a sociology professor at Villanova University and an expert on the high-school-to-college athletic pipeline.

view more

U.S. Republican tax plan may mean slightly less grand sports stadiums



Some wealthy owners of U.S. major-league sports teams may have to put up more of their own money to fund stadium construction under a tax bill proposed by U.S. House of Representatives Republicans, but the overall impact could be slight, sports economists said … “I‘m sure the teams will be in a lather but, based on experience, if the cities/counties/states want to subsidize the stadium they’ll figure out some way,” Rick Eckstein, a sociology professor at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University, wrote in an email.

view more

In scandal after scandal, NCAA takes fall for complicit colleges

The Conversation  


By Rick Eckstein, Professor of Sociology, Villanova University: College sports fans probably weren’t surprised to learn that the University of North Carolina (UNC) had been engaged in academic fraud for decades. In this particular instance, students, predominately varsity athletes, were enrolled in classes with few (if any) academic requirements.

view more

Until youth soccer is fixed, US men’s national team is destined to fail

The Conversation  


David beating Goliath is very exciting – unless you’re a fan of Goliath. The United States has 330 million people and a massive youth soccer system, yet its men’s national soccer team just got bushwhacked by a team from Trinidad and Tobago, a country with 1.3 million residents. How could this happen?

view more

Warriors' exit won't leave Oracle Arena bereft, officials pledge

San Francisco Chronicle  


When the Warriors walk away from Oracle Arena in 2019 to move into their new home in San Francisco, Oakland will take a hit to its psyche and, potentially, its pocketbook. The sparkling cylindrical building will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans — it’s where the Warriors made history last week by breaking the NBA record for wins in a season. … “If they can’t get what they need in an existing arena, they ask to leave,” said Rick Eckstein, a sports economist at Villanova University in Pennsylvania

view more

Column: Harrison fumbles away a life lesson for his sons

The Associated Process  


James Harrison made his kids give their trophies back. There's no reward, the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker insisted, just for showing up. Sorry, James, you got that one wrong. … "Participation in youth sports has been declining steadily over the last decade," said Rick Eckstein, a sociology professor at Villanova University. "If giving kids a trophy for showing up and trying to improve keeps them involved, then it is a good thing."

view more

Select Academic Articles (4)

Challenging the Flutie Factor: Intercollegiate Sports, Undergraduate Enrollments, and the Neoliberal University

Humanity and Society

E. Peterson-Horner & R. Eckstein.


view more

Sports Sociology's Still Untapped Potential

Sociological Forum

R. Eckstein, D. Moss, & K. Delaney


view more

Urban Power Structures and Publicly Financed Stadiums

Sociological Forum

Rick Eckstein, Kevin J. Delaney


view more

The Surprising Face of Racist Attitudes

Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

Rick Eckstein


view more