Department of Sport Management offering new class in Fall 2019 called "Professional Sports: Management."

Department of Sport Management offering new class in Fall 2019 called "Professional Sports: Management."

Beginning in the Fall 2019 semester, the Department of Sport Management will be offering a new course called SMGT 477-001: Professional Sports - Management. It is part of the department’s new “Professional Sports Series” of classes.

The class is a cooperative effort between Rice University and the Houston Texans. The class meets on Wednesdays, from 2:30pm-5pm, and the classroom, each week, will be at NRG Stadium. This course will be taught by Diane Crossey who spent 13 years working for the Houston Texans before joining the Rice faculty in 2015. Crossey and Jamey Rootes, the President of the Houston Texans, have worked together to design this class.

Jamey Roots

“The Texans and the Department of Sport Management have been talking for a while and trying to determine how we can partner in a mutually beneficial way,” Dr. Clark Haptonstall, Chair of the Department of Sport Management, said. “We determined that developing a class, about the business side of the Houston Texans, would be fruitful for both organizations.”

Each week, the students in the course will be introduced to a new department inside the Texans’ front office (marketing, ticket sales, legal, communications, etc.). Crossey will interview the vice-president or director of that department to educate the students about the department’s role in the organization. Then, Crossey and the vice president or director will present a real-world case study to the students that will include issues and questions that the Texans are trying to resolve. The students will then meet over the course of the next week and come up with actual solutions. The following Wednesday, the students will then present their solutions to the department’s vice-president or director. After that presentation, the students will then meet with a representative from another department and repeat the process.

“The students will be put to the test and this class will be challenging,” Haptonstall said. “The students will have one week to develop solutions to the problem that was presented which means that during every class session, the students will have to be on top of their game. Almost every week, they will be presenting to a different vice-president of an NFL franchise. This is an incredible opportunity for an undergraduate student.”

In November, each student will shadow a vice president or director during a Texans’ home game. This allows the student to understand what a gameday experience is for a Texans employee.

“We want students to experience the atmosphere of working in an NFL front office,” Haptonstall said. “The students will be able to see front office professionals interacting in their work environment and they will receive a hands-on experience with the vice president of almost every department in one of the world’s most valuable sports franchises.”

There is an application process to enter the class due to the limited amount of seats (15-20 students). The link to apply for the class is Any questions about course should be asked to Professor Crossey at or 713-348-5769.

Johan Fotso, a sophomore from Houston, Texas, is double majoring in Sport Management and Sociology.

(pic cred: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle)