Ken Pendleton earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Oregon having written his dissertation on how standards of reasonableness are applied to hostile environment sexual harassment cases. After teaching courses about reasoning & writing, ethics, existentialism, and social & political theory at Oregon State University for more than a decade, he changed his professional focus to his lifelong passion, sports. He conducted research, assisted with program development, and taught highly successful courses on sports & cultural studies at the Competition Not Conflict program at the U of O. In general terms, the purpose of his teaching and research was to show how the line between healthy competition, on the one hand, and destructive conflict, on the other, is reshaped by class, race, nationality, gender, and other factors, such as commercialism.
He and Joshua Gordon are now working together at Sports Conflict Institute, which focuses on projects that help stakeholders understand, resolve, and prevent institutional problems that arise at all level of sports. He has also consulted with London-based Football Marketing & Management International (FMMI) since 2006. His work with FMMI centered around his encyclopedic knowledge of both the major American sports and international soccer, including doing deep background research on a groundbreaking comprehensive study on the North American soccer landscape, Soccer in North America: The Commercial Opportunities.