A Smaller Window to the University

The Impact of Athletic De-Escalation on Status and Reputation

Authors

  • Michael Hutchinson The University of Memphis
  • Daniel A. Rascher University of San Francisco
  • Kimi Jennings The University of Memphis

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2015-0028

Keywords:

de-escalation of commitment, status, reputation, intercollegiate athletics, NCAA, Division I athletics, athletic administration, college football

Abstract

Given the changing landscape of Division I athletic competition, determining the most advantageous commitment to athletic programs is an important issue in sport and university policy. With the recent autonomy granted to select Division I Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and pending antitrust litigation vying for college athlete compensation, many universities are considering alternative courses of action in reducing their existing commitment to Division I athletics. Accordingly, this study sought to examine the impact of de-escalating Division I commitment—specifically discontinuing a Division I football program—on the status and reputation of the university and athletic department. In considering the entire population of universities which have discontinued their Division I football program from 1981 to 2010 (N = 21), the results revealed that football program discontinuation had little positive or negative impact on academic status and reputation, and a slight negative impact on athletic status. The implications of this research contributes important information on assessing previous decisions to discontinue a Division I football program and what became of those decisions.

Author Biographies

Michael Hutchinson, The University of Memphis

Hutchinson and Jennings are with the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN. Rascher is with the Sport Management Program, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Daniel A. Rascher, University of San Francisco

Hutchinson and Jennings are with the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN. Rascher is with the Sport Management Program, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Kimi Jennings, The University of Memphis

Hutchinson and Jennings are with the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN. Rascher is with the Sport Management Program, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

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Published

2016-06-01

How to Cite

Hutchinson, M., Rascher, D. A., & Jennings, K. (2016). A Smaller Window to the University: The Impact of Athletic De-Escalation on Status and Reputation. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 9(1), 73–89. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2015-0028