Published on March 2, 2022 by Sean Flynt  
Betsy Emmons and Clay Carey
Betsy Emmons and Clay Carey

Research by Samford University communication and media professors Betsy Emmons and Clay Carey has earned top honors from the International Communication Association (ICA). The pair will present their paper for the Top Papers in Sports Communication panel at the organization’s 72nd annual conference in Paris, France, in May.

In their collaborative project–“You Guys Could Be Up Here, Too”: Poverty, Escape Narratives, and Joe Burrow–the pair explore media coverage of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. They note that after Burrows’ 2019 Heisman Memorial Trophy honor, media attention often focused on his Athens, Ohio, hometown. Emmons and Carey suggest that Burrow’s story became more about that impoverished white community than his athletic performance, falling into tropes that were not always accurate, and problematizing broader discussions of poverty.

Emmons’ research interests include social media in sports and sports journalism. Carey’s research on how media reports on poverty issues has earned multiple national honors.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.