Title

Perceptions of the impact of intercollegiate athletics on academic reputation

Date of Completion

January 1996

Keywords

Education, Administration|Education, Higher|Recreation

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This study sought to determine if key constituent groups (students, faculty, alumni, and administrators) hold different opinions of the impact of athletics on their institution's academic reputation. It assessed the opinion of various groups of constituents within and among twelve institutions throughout the New England and mid-Atlantic states. Specifically, it sought to determine if students, faculty, administrators, and alumni from various institutions (analyzed by athletic Division level and type of control) hold similar views of the impact of athletics on their institution's academic reputation.^ Over 2,000 students, faculty, administrators, and alumni from twelve institutions (two Division I, five Division II, and five Division III) participated in this study and were asked to indicate their level of agreement with a number of statements about the relationship between their institution's athletic programs and academic reputation.^ Results indicated that several important significant differences exist regarding the perceptions of participants when stratified by Division, constituent group, and institution.^ Division III constituents as a whole expressed the most favorable opinion of the relationship between their institutions' athletics and academic reputations, followed by Division II constituents and then by Division I constituents. Significant differences were noted among all three institutions.^ Faculty (regardless of Division) were found to hold the most negative opinion of this relationship. While this was not considered surprising, their opinions differed significantly from each of the other three constituent groups and no other significant differences were noted between any two other groups.^ Finally, administrators at Division II institutions were found to hold the least favorable attitude about the relationship between their school's athletic programs and its academic reputation. This could be a result of difficult financial and political positions in which many Division II programs find themselves: larger and more expensive than Division III, but not large enough to benefit significantly financially via national or sometimes even regional exposure^ These findings, as well as several others are important to college administrators and all parties concerned with achieving a proper balance between their institution's athletic programs and their school's academic reputation. ^