The Relationship between Academic Clustering and Athletic Academic Support Center Reporting Lines in NCAA FBS Programs
Keywords:college sport, academic clustering, academic integrity
This article investigates whether an association existed between the clustering of NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) student-athletes and the reporting lines of athletic academic support departments at their institutions during the 2017-18 academic year. Academic reform groups and university faculty members have argued that student-athletes cluster into a major at a higher rate when athletic academic support departments report to athletic department officials instead of university administrators not employed by athletics. The authors contacted athletic academic support directors at NCAA Division I FBS institutions to determine whether their departments reported to an administrator employed by or outside of the athletic department. Then, the authors used annual football media guides provided by athletic departments to ascertain the amount of student-athletes that were enrolled in each academic major. Finally, the authors used an ANOVA to calculate whether an association existed between an athletic academic support department’s reporting lines and the rate that football student-athletes clustered into one or more majors. The results indicated that the association between the rate that football student-athletes clustered into one or more majors and the reporting lines used by athletic academic support departments at their institutions was insignificant.
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