The Evolution of Student Services for Athletes at Selected NCAA Division I-A Institutions

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The Evolution of Student Services for Athletes at Selected NCAA Division I-A Institutions
SLOAN, SCOTT A. ( Author, Primary )
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Academic achievement ( jstor )
Academic advising ( jstor )
Academic support services ( jstor )
College athletics ( jstor )
College students ( jstor )
Colleges ( jstor )
Educational services ( jstor )
Student athletes ( jstor )
Tutoring ( jstor )
Universities ( jstor )

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University of Florida
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I could not have known God’s blessings without walking with Him through the many peaks and valleys I have experienced along this path. First, and foremost, I must thank my teacher, Dr. Art Sandeen, for his support and guidance throughout the creation of this study, but more importantly for the priceless wisdom he shared with me throughout this journey. I am also deeply indebted to Drs. Larry Tyree, Phi Clark, and Sevan Terzian for their service to my committee. Ms. Angela Rowe deserves acknowledgment for helping me steer around every obstacle and meet every deadline in order to reach my goals. I am grateful to Dr. Kathy Gratto for always keeping her door open when I needed to talk to someone. I certainly cannot imagine this experience without the friendship of Ms. Michelle Thompson, who always shared her light with me. I am very appreciative of the tremendous assistance provided by Mr. Jeremy Foley. Likewise, I am grateful to Dr. Keith Carodine for his insight and assistance. Finally, my heartfelt love and appreciation go to my parents, William and Ruth Sloan, who have never ceased to offer their unconditional love and support regardless of where life has taken me. ii


TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ..................................................................................................ii ABSTRACT CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..............................................................................................6 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................6 Theoretical Framework.................................................................................................9 Purpose of the Study.....................................................................................................9 Research Questions Addressed by This Study...........................................................10 Methodology...............................................................................................................10 Definition of Terms....................................................................................................11 Limitations of the Study.............................................................................................11 Organization of the Study...........................................................................................12 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE............................................................................13 Introduction.................................................................................................................13 Organization...............................................................................................................13 Overview of the History of Intercollegiate Athletics.................................................14 The Origins of Professionalism and Commercialism..........................................14 Faculty Control and Faculty Athletic Committees..............................................19 Presidential Involvement.....................................................................................25 Creation of the NCAA.........................................................................................33 Efforts at Reform.................................................................................................40 Influence of Television........................................................................................45 Women’s Sports and Title IX..............................................................................48 Summary of Intercollegiate Athletics History.....................................................50 Literature Related to Academic Support for Student-athletes....................................51 Literature Related to Organizational Life Cycle Theory............................................55 Conclusion..................................................................................................................57 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................59 Historical Methodology..............................................................................................59 iii


Setting.........................................................................................................................62 Data Collection...........................................................................................................62 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................63 Researcher Bias..........................................................................................................63 4 RESULTS OF THE STUDY......................................................................................65 Introduction.................................................................................................................65 Background of Athletic Advising........................................................................66 General Findings.........................................................................................................68 Birth of the Full-time Advisor.............................................................................68 Faculty Involvement............................................................................................71 External Factors..........................................................................................................76 Formation of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics.....76 Alpha University.........................................................................................................80 Introduction.........................................................................................................80 The First Advisor.................................................................................................80 Independence for the Advisor.............................................................................82 Professionalizing the Position.............................................................................85 Expansion and Growth........................................................................................86 Implementing the Model Program.......................................................................89 Refining and Remodeling....................................................................................91 Summary..............................................................................................................94 Beta University...........................................................................................................95 Introduction.........................................................................................................95 From Tutoring to Advising..................................................................................96 Administrative Role.............................................................................................99 Exploring and Creating Options........................................................................101 Starting the Revamped Program........................................................................104 Refining in the Wake of Scandal.......................................................................107 Influence of the Knight Commission................................................................109 1997 to Present..................................................................................................110 Summary of Beta University.............................................................................111 Gamma University....................................................................................................115 Introduction.......................................................................................................115 The Turnaround.................................................................................................115 Men and Women’s Programs............................................................................117 Rivalry...............................................................................................................118 Self-study Report...............................................................................................121 Leadership.........................................................................................................122 Upgrading the Department................................................................................124 Summary of Gamma University........................................................................127 Summary of Overall Findings..................................................................................130 Finding 1: Programs Initially Connected with Football....................................130 Finding 2: Each Program Either Began or Expanded Under a Leader with a Doctoral Degree.............................................................................................132 Finding 3: Initial Development Motivated Primarily by Academic Concerns..133 iv


Finding 4: Athletes’ Lack of Development Helped Promote Innovations........134 Finding 5: Formal Structure Resulted from New Leadership...........................136 Finding 6: Faculty Were Involved in the Development of Each Program........138 Finding 7: Each SSA Program Operates on a Million-dollar Budget...............139 Finding 8: Program Administrators Do Not Expect Much Further Growth.....139 Finding 9: Current Advisors Lack Historical Insight into Their SSA Programs........................................................................................................140 5 SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY................142 Findings....................................................................................................................142 Implications of the Study..........................................................................................147 Recommendations for Further Study........................................................................150 Recommendation 1: Investigate Any Correlation Between SSA programs and Academic Progress Rate Scores....................................................................151 Recommendation 2: Examine What Role SSA Programs Play in the Decisions M ade by Student-Athletes.............................................................................151 Recommendation 3: Investigate the Role Prior Athletic Experience Plays in Choosing a Career in Advising Student-Athletes..........................................152 Recommendation 4: Investigate the Re lationship Between SSA Programs and Student Affairs...............................................................................................153 Recommendation 5: Examine How SSA Pr ograms Relate to Parents During the Recruiting Process and How They Ultimate ly Factor into Recruiting Decisions....................................................................................................... 153 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.....................................................................................154 B LETTER OF INVITATION.....................................................................................156 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................157 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................164 v


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE EVOLUTION OF STUDENT SERVICES FOR A THLETES AT SELECTED NCAA DIVISION I-A INSTITUTIONS By Scott A. Sloan December 2005 Chairman: Art Sandeen Major Department: Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations The purpose of this study was to examine the origin and development of student services for athletes (SSA) at three different Division I-A institutions in order to understand the factors that led these three institutions to develop, organize, and implement services for student-athletes. Specifically, this study sought to determine how each program evolved and developed over an approximate 30-year period from 1970 to 2000. Programs dedicated to providing student services for athletes are a relatively recent development in higher education and very little is known about how these organizations formed and evolved over the past 30 years. Three institutions in the southeastern United States were selected for study because of their highly successful athletic departments and well-established SSA programs. The researcher interviewed current and former senior administrators, coaches, student-athletes, faculty members, and athletic advisors to determine what strategies and tactics vi


were employed in the actual establishment and development of these SSA programs on each campus. Evidence obtained by this researcher indicated that these three programs underwent similar patterns in their evolutionary development. Analysis of the data indicated that each organization began as a highly creative and entrepreneurial response to the needs of student-athletes seeking academic assistance. In its initial stages each program began under the leadership of a single individual with a terminal academic degree and extensive prior experience in education. The efforts of these individuals resulted in organized academic support efforts providing tutoring and study hall sessions to improve the chances for student-athletes to graduate. As these programs acquired legitimacy on their respective campuses, changes in leadership took place within them that gave rise to more professionalized services with broader resources to promote academic achievement and personal development among student-athletes. These stages of growth are reflected in Cameron and Whetten’s model of sequential stages of development that organizations encounter. These common patterns of development shared by each program reveal that SSA programs evolved in definitive stages with recognizable factors influencing each stage of their development. Each factor further reveals how organizational progressions require direct leadership intervention to adapt to the needs of a particular student population. vii


CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In intercollegiate athletics, the joy and pride of victory often hinge upon beating a rival in-state school or winning a border battle against a team from just across the state line. The very first intercollegiate sporting event in America was a boat race between the rival crews of Harvard and Yale in 1852. This seemingly innocuous, but highly competitive, event planted a seed in the American consciousness that has defied every attempt to uproot it. Harvard’s victory over Yale in that first race incited the crew from Yale to purchase new boats and invigorate its training regimen in anticipation of a rematch. In order to maintain its competitive advantage, Harvard countered Yale’s actions by employing some of the same rowers who had competed in its victory three years earlier, individuals who had since graduated and were no longer students (Smith, 1988). Harvard’s tactics were apparently superior to Yale’s strategy, as the crew from Harvard won yet again. From its inception in 1905 as the designated governing body over intercollegiate athletics, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has attempted to police the activities of its member institutions by setting and enforcing rules designed to curb unethical or irresponsible behavior that would compromise the integrity of intercollegiate athletic competitions. Perhaps the most fundamental value that the NCAA is responsible for upholding is the ideal of the student-athlete. Indeed, the concept of college students competing athletically on behalf of their institution for the sake of personal development 1


2 and school spirit represents the core principle of college sports in America—the idea of amateurism. This idea has been under siege ever since Harvard decided to bring back former students to help it beat Yale in a boat race rematch. One hundred fifty years ago, Harvard’s crew initiated a practice that carries on to this day: it recruited the best athletes it could find in order to beat the competition without serious regard to their status or abilities as students. Winning was extremely important for Harvard 150 years ago, and it remains a critical measure of success for colleges and universities competing in athletics today. However, winning is not the only concern for the student-athlete—or at least not the student-athlete model upon which the NCAA defines its existence. At the heart of this model student-athlete is the premise that the student is a scholar first and an athlete second. The philosophy that supports this model is that the student enrolls in college to receive an education and competes in athletics as a healthy diversion to the rigors of intense academic study. This model student-athlete is often the exception, not the rule (Sperber, 1990). In reality, if a college wants to win on the playing field, it needs to find, recruit, and enroll the best athletes, not necessarily the best students (Sperber). At the most competitive institutions, the importance of winning can reduce most other matters to secondary importance, including an athlete’s potential for academic success. Winning on the playing field is so important to most Division I-A programs that they invest time and money to improve their facilities and hone the skills of their student-athletes in the hope that it will put them on the winning side of the scoreboard (Thelin, 1994). According to


3 John V. Lombardi, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the rewards of success in intercollegiate athletics are so great (in terms of prestige, potential revenue, local community support, and media attention) that few are unwilling to take the risks necessary to have a high-profile athletics program (2003). Winning drives many institutions to compete ferociously with one another for the kind of elite athletic talent who will propel them to the top of the standings. Institutions in Division I-A often try to outdo their competition in the battle for recruits. This means lavishing recruits with attention during campus visits, building fancier facilities to impress recruits, and lowering academic standards to ensure their admission (Funk, 1991). To control these bidding wars between institutions, the NCAA has set in place numerous provisions to regulate when, where, and how colleges can pursue potential student-athletes (Denson, 1992). The NCAA has also passed rules stipulating the minimum academic standards that student-athletes must meet in order to remain eligible to compete in their sport. At Division I-A institutions, many highly skilled athletes do not possess the same academic abilities as their non-athlete counterparts in the general student population (Bowen & Levin, 2003; Gabbard & Halischak, 1993). Without lowering admissions criteria and standards for academic progress, many student-athletes therefore might not gain admission to a particular institution, let alone graduate with a degree. Many colleges and universities justify these adjustments in their academic standards on the grounds that athletes are a special population of students who hold unique talents and deserve special consideration. Even institutions with the highest of admission standards, such as


4 Stanford, Rice, and Duke, find themselves lowering standards in order to admit athletically talented students (Bowen & Levin; Sperber, 1998). Whether athletic abilities warrant the considerable academic compromises that colleges make is debatable; however, student-athletes, without question, comprise a unique student population on most college campuses. They are expected to handle the same pressures that any other student would face, as well as adjust to the stress of competition, attend long hours of practice, travel frequently, and deal with the trauma of injuries. These are issues the vast majority of their non-athlete counterparts do not typically face. Division I-A institutions, in particular, have recognized that student-athletes need assistance in order to handle the unique set of challenges and circumstances that they face as they progress toward graduation. Consequently, these institutions have developed highly specialized offices that provide student services specifically for their student-athletes. Offices of student services for athletes (SSA) are frequently funded by the athletic department, and they report directly to the athletic director. In other cases, they often may be part of the regular academic or student affairs structure of the campus. Educational administrators have recognized the need to increase the academic success of their student-athletes. These SSA programs represent colleges’ efforts to take purposeful action toward achieving that success. The programs currently in existence cover a broad spectrum of services (Miller & Wooten, 1995). Those at high profile Division I-A institutions usually employ a dozen or more individuals, including administrators, counselors, and staff, to provide comprehensive services in the form of academic counseling, tutoring, mentoring, and even career advising. In contrast, SSA


5 programs at lower division schools may offer only one or two full-time personnel responsible for the academic advising needs of an entire athletic program. Regardless of the size of the institution, SSA programs have become an important part of most institutions that have highly competitive athletic programs (Carodine, Almond, & Gratto, 2001). Many researchers (Gabbard & Halischak, 1993; Parham, 1993; Walter & Smith, 1986; Young & Sowa, 1992) have argued that student-athletes face unique sets of challenges that they may not be able to overcome without assistance. Despite these assertions, there is still much to be done to assist student-athletes in achieving their educational goals. While the graduation rates of student-athletes have improved since the founding of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) in 1975, approximately 44 percent still do not graduate from college (Shulman & Bowen, 2001). The relatively recent appearance of SSA programs on the higher education landscape indicates that educational leaders decided that the institution had a responsibility to the academic performance of student-athletes. Apart from the low graduation rate statistics, little information can be found in the literature to account for the factors that influenced educational administrators and professionals to develop SSA programs, how these SSA programs were originally staffed and organized, or how they were expected to interact with academic and student affairs offices. At some point, experts within intercollegiate athletics came to the decision that student-athletes required additional support in order to succeed beyond the playing field. How these decisions were made and identifying the steps necessary to create, staff, and operate these programs are critical issues that influence the mission of these programs to the present day. Answering


6 these questions may result in better understanding the role of SSA programs in higher education and how institutions organize them to achieve their purposes. Statement of the Problem The problem addressed in this study is a lack of understanding of how SSA programs evolved into the highly specialized and highly funded student service organizations that now exist within most major Division I-A athletic departments. These programs are a relatively recent development within higher education during the last 30 years. Now considered an essential part of a successful Division I-A athletic program, little information exists regarding the origin of student services for athletes or how they evolved. Examining the growth and history of these unique organizations may contribute to a greater understanding of how we can provide better support services for student-athletes in the future. Significance of the Study Prior to the 1970s the major concern for many coaches and athletic directors was keeping their athletes academically eligible (Wittmer, Bostic, Phillips, & Waters, 1981). Until this time, little thought was given to how student-athletes managed the dual pressures of studying as full-time students and competing as full-time athletes, much less what student-athletes would do with their lives after their collegiate careers ended (Wittmer et al., 1981). Starting in the mid-to-late 1970s and continuing into the early 1980s, dozens of institutions around the country began addressing the academic and social deficiencies they were witnessing in their student-athletes. They aimed to accomplish this through a combination of academic counseling, career advising, and social development. While no tangible data exist to demonstrate these programs’ effectiveness, the popularity of SSA programs mushroomed around the country. By 1993,


7 the NCAA began providing $50,000 to its member institutions with the mandate that the money be utilized for some form of academic and life skills support to its student-athletes. Today, many SSA programs provide academic, psychological, and social services to fulfill the needs of their student-athletes. They have now evolved to bear many of the responsibilities previously held by the head coach who traditionally guided athletes in their course selections and schedules. In fact, SSA programs have expanded beyond the confines of the athletic department because counseling and student affairs professionals, academic advisors, and sports psychologists all now provide support to student-athletes (Petitpas, 1995). At Division I-A institutions, intercollegiate athletic competitions represent an integral part of the campus culture. Student-athletes who compete on behalf of their college or university are often the institution’s most visible ambassadors. The celebrity and privileges that student-athletes enjoy, particularly those competing in basketball and football, create unique sets of problems for these student-athletes (Nishimoto, 1997). Academic deficiencies, social impediments, and athletic pressures are all factors that influence the college experience of student-athletes (Petitpas & Champagne, 1988). A disparity in academic success between student-athletes and their non-athlete counterparts is one of the most controversial issues facing intercollegiate athletics. According to Shulman and Bowen (2001), at some Division I-A institutions the graduation rate discrepancy between non-athletes and athletes is more than 30 percent. Critics of college sports are quick to point out the dismal graduation rates of many Division I-A football and basketball teams.


8 The failure of student-athletes to compete academically is certainly not a new issue for college presidents, conference commissioners, and the NCAA. In a 1929 report conducted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Howard Savage pointed out that some student-athletes were not even enrolled in classes, yet were still competing in games (Savage, 1929). The academic struggles of student-athletes are longstanding and well-documented concerns, dating back to the earliest crew races between Harvard and Yale (Smith, 1988). It is therefore surprising that dedicated resource allocations in the form of purposeful assistance would suddenly be introduced after more than a century of avoidance by colleges and universities (Denson, 1996). Institutions take widely varying approaches to implementing academic support for student-athletes, particularly in how SSA programs are administratively structured, how they coordinate their activities with offices of academic affairs and student affairs, and even how they view their role within a given institution. Despite the ever-increasing prevalence of SSA programs around the country, Broughton and Neyer (2001) pointed out that there are still many institutions that focus solely on issues of maintaining eligibility and increasing graduation rates, rather than addressing the needs of the student-athlete as an individual. A contributing factor to this situation appears to be a lack of understanding regarding the role and facilitation of educational and developmental programs for student-athletes (Hinkle, 1994). This study seeks to better understand how SSA programs developed and to point out the factors that led to their evolution into fully functioning programs operating within the NCAA’s most successful athletic departments. A better understanding of the process by which institutions created these programs may provide information to help institutions increase the efficiency of the support services


9 they offer to better serve the personal and educational needs of the student-athletes they enroll. Theoretical Framework Cameron and Whetten (1983) suggested that organizational growth can be characterized in four stages of evolution that encompass an organization’s life cycle. The first stage is “creativity and entrepreneurship,” characterized by early innovation, niche formation, and marshalling resources. This is followed by a stage of “collectivity” in which members begin to join together into a cohesive unit, and great amounts of time and energy are committed to building the organization. The third stage, “formalization and control,” emphasizes institutionalizing procedures and policies in order to stabilize the organization. At this point, flexibility decreases as the organization grows more conservative. The fourth stage of “elaboration” establishes goals of decentralization, domain expansion, and renewed adaptability. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to examine the origin and development of SSA programs at three different Division I-A universities in order to understand the factors that led these three institutions to develop, organize, and implement services for student-athletes. Specifically, this study sought to know how each program was created, both in terms of administrative and financial accountability, how it developed into a functioning organization within its respective institution, and what factors influenced each institution to determine that establishing such a program was beneficial and necessary to helping its student-athletes reach their goals. The literature indicates that institutions vary broadly in how they provide services for student-athletes, and this study examines the factors that influenced the development of these programs. This topic is relevant to those higher


10 education institutions that dedicate major amounts of time, money, and resources to support Division I-A college athletic programs. This information may be especially useful for institutions as they look for ways to enhance the overall college learning experience of student-athletes. Assisting with a student’s learning and development, which defines the multi-faceted approach taken by most SSA programs, is a primary goal of institutions of higher education. Research Questions Addressed by This Study Specifically, this study addressed the following research questions: 1. What factors were important in the decisions made at Division I-A institutions to establish SSA programs? 2. How did these programs evolve from the period 1970 to 2000? 3. To what extent have the various administrative, funding, and reporting models been significant in the evolution of SSA programs? Methodology This study consisted of an extensive investigation of 1) academic and popular literature, 2) NCAA and university documents and records, 3) on-site observations, and 4) in-depth interviews and follow-up conversations with individuals from three institutions in major Division I-A athletic conferences. According to Morgan (1990), organizations contain individuals (who are systems on their own account) who belong to groups or departments, which belong to larger organizational divisions. The methods employed in this study attempted to understand the roles of administrators, counselors, and support staff within SSA programs and how they functioned within a larger organizational context.


11 Definition of Terms Academic affairs offices refers to any office that handles the academic advising and counseling needs of the general student population. Advisor refers to any individual who provides academic or life skills counseling to a student athlete in a professional context. Intercollegiate athletics refers to athletic competition between teams consisting of college students who represent and compete on behalf of their college or university. Manual refers to the NCAA publication outlining all the regulations and bylaws that govern the administration of, and participation in, intercollegiate athletics. N4A refers to the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics NCAA refers to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is the governing agency that creates and enforces all the policies pertaining to the recruitment and retention of student-athletes. Non-athlete represents a college student who does not participate in intercollegiate athletic competition. SSA programs refers to any office or program within a college or university that provides student services, such as academic support, counseling, career advisement, and so forth, specifically to student-athletes. Student affairs refers to any office that is responsible for matters of student development. Student-athlete refers to college students who compete in intercollegiate athletic competition on behalf of their institution. Limitations of the Study The study has the following limitations:


12 The study was conducted at only three institutions within the southeastern portion of the United States. The results of the study may not apply to other geographic regions of the country. The study was conducted at institutions at the Division I-A level. The findings of this study may not be generalizable to institutions at other levels. The findings of this study were based upon historical documents and interviews with individuals. The accuracy of the data is therefore limited to the accuracy of the source documents and the knowledge and recollections of the individuals interviewed. The study was limited by the willingness of institutions to cooperate with the study. Organization of the Study Chapter 1 includes an introduction of the study, statement of the problem, theoretical framework, purpose of the study, definition of terms, and the limitations of the study. Chapter 2 provides a detailed review of the literature pertaining to the evolution of SSA programs, as well as a discussion of their impact on student-athletes. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the methodology utilized to study the research questions. Chapter 4 reports the results of the investigation. Chapter 5 provides a conclusion of the study, with a discussion of the results, implications for the educational field, and suggestions for future research.


CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction Academic support for student-athletes arose out of a need to help student-athletes maintain their eligibility to compete in athletics as they progressed through an academic degree program. To understand how academic support offices were created it is necessary to explore how intercollegiate sports in the United States evolved from a student-run and student-organized extracurricular activity in the mid-19th century into the highly commercial and professionally organized co-curricular activity that it is today. This chapter has been organized around the discussion of several factors in the history of intercollegiate sports. Organization This history provides an overall context for the development and implementation of student-athlete academic support. The historical discussion begins with the rise of professionalism and commercialism examining the external influences of professional coaches and alumni involvement. The focus then shifts to how these external influences contributed to the erosion of faculty control over intercollegiate sports. This shift leads to a review of presidential involvement and a look at the influence presidents have had over athletics. Several presidents have led initiatives aimed at reforming intercollegiate athletics, and these efforts are discussed up to the most recent Knight Commission Report in 2001. The historical overview concludes with a description of the formation of the NCAA, the impact television has made on college sports, and the development of 13


14 women’s participation in intercollegiate athletics. The chapter then explores how the NCAA has attempted to bring educational legitimacy to intercollegiate athletics through academic regulations, and it also provides a review of the various studies that have been conducted on student life offices. The chapter concludes with an overview of the relevant literature relating to organizational life cycle theories. Overview of the History of Intercollegiate Athletics The Origins of Professionalism and Commercialism The high public visibility of Division I-A athletic programs has alternately served as a blessing and a curse to higher education. Successful teams have traditionally proven to be an effective public relations medium for increasing enrollment, gaining national publicity, strengthening alumni ties to the university, and attracting benefactors. Yet, because colleges, conferences, television networks, and the NCAA all have a financial stake in college football and basketball, big-time athletics have often created problems within a community which has perceived a conflict between educational and commercial pursuits. Throughout the history of big-time college athletics, first student captains and managers and then coaches and athletic directors have promoted their programs and worked to produce winning teams, thereby inspiring greater interest and financial support from alumni and boosters. Athletics, an extracurricular activity, has traditionally (though not initially) depended on revenue generated from gate receipts, alumni contributions, and conference affiliations. The success of this commercial venture has been measured by performance on the field, not in the classroom, as there has been little historic concern over graduation rates.


15 The pressure to win often tempted athletic representatives to recruit and support athletes using means considered detrimental to educational values by academic leaders (Smith, 1988). Conflict between institutional integrity, on the one hand, and the competitive market for athletic talent, on the other, created the need for eligibility rules governing academic requirements and subsidization. Yet, historically, financial aid for athletes has been more available than for regular students, and admissions standards for athletes have been more lenient indicating the concessions made to the commercial needs of athletic programs (Byers, 1995). Commercialism has been a part of intercollegiate athletics from the beginning. The Harvard and Yale crew race of 1852 was organized by railroad entrepreneur James Elkins to promote travel on his new railroad line to the summer resort at Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire. Professionalism thus became integral to college sports immediately after Harvard crossed the finish line ahead of Yale, and Yale felt the sting of defeat to its archrival (Smith, 1988). At that point, Yale’s fervent desire to beat Harvard in a rematch eclipsed any notion that college sports was merely a means of good fun or healthy physical activity. The students at Harvard, Yale, and other institutions of higher learning, which engaged in intercollegiate sports, soon recognized the need for steady leadership if they wished to win consistently. As winning athletic contests became viewed as more and more important, the students organizing the activities ceded control of their sports and their time to individuals who were paid to organize and train the teams (Shulman & Bowen, 2001). These individuals were commonly known as “athletic advisors” or “professional trainers.” In 1864, 12 years after their initial defeat to Harvard in the first intercollegiate


16 athletic contest, Yale became the first college to employ a professional trainer (Shulman & Bowen). As the “coach” of Yale’s crew team, William Wood instituted a regimented training schedule, not unlike those imposed by college coaches throughout the country today, consisting of strict dietary requirements and dedicated workout routines (Smith, 1988). Wood’s training regiment and rowing instruction proved quite successful as the 1864 Yale crew beat Harvard by more than 40 seconds. Wood’s success clearly demonstrated the benefits of having a dedicated leader. Naturally, it was not long before Harvard hired its own professional trainer and thus the way became paved for the establishment of the professional coaching position (Smith). The most high profile and certainly most successful of these early athletic advisors was Yale’s Walter Camp. Widely considered “the father of American football,” Camp’s influence on shaping intercollegiate athletics is unparalleled. After his playing days at Yale concluded, Camp held a variety of positions within the Yale athletic program, including captain, coach, and athletic director (Helman, 1989). By the beginning of the 20th century, Camp had turned Yale into the first college football dynasty and had made the Yale Athletic Association into the strongest financial and administrative sports department in the country (Helman). Camp’s involvement with Yale athletics signified the highly entrepreneurial spirit exemplified by industrial America in the latter half of the 19th century (Smith, 1988). However, even in its early stages of development, many factors that are commonly associated with today’s intercollegiate athletic atmosphere had already arisen. The great prestige that accompanied victory in a crew regatta in the 1860s was favorably comparable to a national championship in football today. This attracted a great deal of


17 interest from the public and media, and resulted in commercial gain for those cities or private operations sponsoring the events (Smith). Not surprisingly, Harvard led the way toward marketing intercollegiate athletics to the general public. In 1903, the institution built the first steel and concrete football stadium, which, for its era, held a respectable 30,000 spectators (Smith). By the end of World War I, Harvard increased the size to more than 50,000. That Harvard would make such a considerable investment (construction of the stadium cost $310,000, which at the time equaled approximately 4 percent of the value of Harvard’s endowment) was a telling indicator of the importance that colleges and universities placed on intercollegiate athletics. Other universities eager to attract the attention of the public quickly followed Harvard’s lead. The 1920s are often regarded as the “golden age” of college football. Stars such as Red Grange of Illinois and the legendary Four Horsemen of Notre Dame helped make college football rival baseball as the preeminent American game. The 1920s were also the golden decade of college stadium building. Ohio State, Illinois, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Washington, Vanderbilt, and Northwestern were among the dozens of universities that built stadia of 50,000 seats or more in the 1920s (Gerdy, 1997). Of the 10 largest on-campus college football stadiums in the country, 8 of them were built in the 1920s. Not surprisingly, with the exceptions of Stanford and Auburn, 8 of these 10 institutions have won the college football national championship at least once. Former University of Florida president John V. Lombardi (2003) put it this way: “The sale of football to non-students has been the foundation of intercollegiate sports since their inception.” Lombardi further pointed out that the impetus to build these large, expensive facilities stemmed from a desire to attract large audiences to the institutions in


18 an attempt to market themselves as unique entities to the general public (Lombardi, 2002). It can be argued that this remains the rationale behind much of the institutional support for big-time college sports. Former University of Michigan president James J. Duderstadt stated that in 1996 less than 25 percent of the spectators at Big Ten football and basketball games were students (2000). Much of the attention that the universities sought to attract was from their wealthy alumni. By the 1930s, campus-based athletic associations had grown quite common (Helman, 1989). At colleges and universities around the country, politicians, college administrators, and prominent businessmen began consolidating the popularity of college football into big-time publicity campaigns (Helman). Despite the fact that many athletic associations were virtually autonomous from university administrative control, they often failed to raise enough revenue to cover their expenses—an unfortunate, yet still quite common, problem. Many private universities, unable to rely upon state appropriations, often spearheaded their multi-million dollar fund-raising campaigns by touting the success of their football programs (Duderstadt, 2000). The arrival of television in the 1950s brought entertainment to the masses and led to the next great surge in popularity for intercollegiate sports. Television did what large stadiums, radio, and booster campaigns could not: It gave college sports an identifiable presence in the American psyche. It helped great players and winning coaches achieve movie-star status. It also raised the financial stakes for colleges to win because losing teams were seldom televised. Today, corporations, conferences, institutions, and television networks all heavily invest in the opportunity to attract their audience through television. As institutions have


19 discovered again and again, the publicity generated is often a double-edged sword. The innumerable scandals that have plagued intercollegiate sports during the last half-century have brought colleges under the microscope of media and public scrutiny. Consequently, with more at stake than just the outcome and personal pride, control over intercollegiate athletics has long been a major concern. Chief among those groups vying for control over athletics from the start were the faculties of the major colleges in the East (Smith, 1988). Faculty Control and Faculty Athletic Committees In the mid-to-late 19th century, sports arose to dominate the extracurriculum on most of the college campuses throughout the Northeast (Thelin, 1989). The shadow of intercollegiate athletics loomed large enough to cause faculties to question its usefulness and even condemn its practice as damaging to the mental and moral outcomes of college life (Smith, 1988). Not surprisingly, the faculties of the individual colleges tried to discourage the encroachment of athletics upon the educational mission of the institution (Smith). This created a conflict between the faculty members’ idea of educational enlightenment and the students’ love for recreation and competition (Smith). One source of consternation to the faculty was the lack of input that they had regarding students’ pursuit of sports and its disconnection with academic matters (Smith). As long as athletics remained a pastime and did not infringe upon the students’ commitment to academics, most faculty members were content to allow students to engage in the activities (Helman, 1989). However, it was not long before many faculties discerned that sports were quickly becoming more than just a leisure-time pursuit. Once athletics began to impinge on traditional academic values, the paternalistic faculty responded by trying to impose regulations (Thelin, 1989). From the beginning of


20 intercollegiate competitions, faculty members kept a watchful eye on the nature of the activities to ensure that the students did not indulge too willfully in the freedom given them. Once students began taking advantage of their freedom to play games and the games spawned a culture with broad public appeal, the faculty arose to try to restrict the games and the students’ freedom. The view of the Harvard athletic committee was that, “the necessity of regulation implies the existence of abuse,” (Smith, 1988). The faculty athletic committee began as an attempt by the Princeton faculty in 1881 to manage the activities of Princeton’s athletic extracurriculum (Rudolph, 1959). Harvard formed its faculty athletic committee a year later in 1882 (Rudolph). Faculties noticed that an increasing number of contests organized by the students was disrupting classes and reducing time for study (Rudolph). Prior to Princeton’s forming the initial faculty athletic committee, most faculties held meetings in which matters relating to the students’ athletic activities were discussed (Rudolph). The primary matter of concern was often a request by one or more athletic teams for permission to travel to an athletic competition (Smith, 1988). Of further concern was the competition that the students would be playing against, how much travel time would be involved, and when they would be able to return to their primary academic responsibilities (Smith). The Princeton faculty athletic committee of 1881 was composed of a three-member panel, assembled to create a list of regulations governing the time and place under which Princeton athletic teams could compete (Rudolph, 1959). By today’s standards, Princeton’s faculty athletic committee was formidable and quite strict. Student-athletes were allowed to be away from campus for no more than eight days per term, and then only if they were members of either the football or baseball team. Members of other


21 athletic teams were even more restricted, as they could only participate in away-games during holidays and weekends (Rudolph, 1959). By the 1880s, baseball had become the major sport on most college campuses, and one of the most daunting questions that arose from the sport was the practice of college teams scheduling and competing in contests with professional clubs (Lewis, 1967). The faculty athletic committees at Princeton and Harvard both deemed this an unsavory practice and decided to ban all competitions with professional teams (Smith, 1988). Princeton rescinded its ban against competition with professionals shortly thereafter, but the institution upheld a regulation that no professional athlete, oarsman, or baseball player could be employed to coach or to practice with the team (Lewis). The Harvard faculty committee tried to persuade other collegeswith little successto prohibit competition against professionals (Smith, 1988). The Harvard committee also extended its influence by assuming veto power over the selection of coaches and trainers. This practice included dismissing coaches without justification. Such intrusion into the students’ athletic affairs was met with hostility and resentment. Many Harvard students viewed the athletic committee and its authoritarian policies with great disdain, and they believed that the faculty was seeking to strip them of their autonomy (Smith). As the 19th century came to a close, many institutions began forming athletic councils composed of faculty members to take administrative control over intercollegiate athletics on their respective campus (Sperber, 1990). Faculties became absorbed in the surrounding concerns created by athletics, and they resolved to address the pertinent issues through committees empowered with purview over the administrative aspects of


22 the competitions. These new faculty committees realized almost immediately that the issues invoked by the extreme competitiveness of intercollegiate sports were too cumbersome and too pervasive for them to handle authoritatively. Consequently, faculty committees began soliciting representatives from the student body and alumni to provide their input on athletic matters (Cady, 1978). Many prominent institutions began reorganizing their faculty committees in the 1880s. Harvard, most notably, reorganized its Athletic Committee in 1888 (Morison, 1976). The Harvard committee, with representatives from the faculty, alumni, and student body, was given oversight and control over Harvard’s intercollegiate athletic operation (Helman, 1989). While faculties struggled to achieve some measure of control over athletics, university alumni proved that they wielded the true power in determining athletic policy. University alumni involved themselves in virtually every facet of the competitions from coaching the teams to recruiting players. In fact, as many alumni were former players themselves, they were often solicited to assist teams in their preparation for upcoming competitions. Alumni established their presence most effectively, however, through the financial contributions they made to support the teams, often displacing student assistants in favor of an alumni manager who controlled the finances for the athletic program (Smith, 1988). From its beginnings as an extracurricular activity, college sports existed outside the sphere of influence of the faculty. That was certainly the way the students wanted it. As sports competitions grew in popularity and occupied more attention from students, some faculties tried to inject their wishes to curb the excess enthusiasm. The barrier faculty members were unable to overcome a dedicated measure of control over athletics. More


23 often than not, faculties at the major eastern colleges were too preoccupied with their scholarly duties to exercise devoted control over an extracurricular activity. Along with its growth in popularity, intercollegiate sports rapidly grew in its logistical and financial complexity to the point where students were unable to efficiently manage it (Helman, 1989). With a lack of ardent supervision from the faculty, alumni inherited control over college sports in the form of institutional governing boards (Helman). After the Civil War, alumni began receiving appointments to college governing boards with increasing frequency. Naturally, with intercollegiate athletics a popular concern, the alumni began to exercise their power to exert some influence over their institution’s teams—primarily football, baseball, and to a diminishing extent, crew (Helman). As the faculty at many institutions discovered, once control over athletics was ceded to an external body such as the alumni, it was next to impossible to regain any substantial influence. Small groups of insurgent and indignant faculty members have always raised their voices regarding what they perceive as the evils of college sports. They legitimately argue that athletics is related to the academic mission of the institution, so they should therefore have some authority over broad issues such as admissions, time devoted to athletics, and especially academic advising (Rosen, 1978). Today, most academic advising for student-athletes is done under the auspices of the athletic department. This model of control often tends to create rifts between the educational goals faculty members desire students to meet and the athletic goals that coaches and athletic directors set for student-athletes.


24 Some faculty efforts to regain control have proven noteworthy. The NCAA initially began as an organization consisting primarily of faculty members. All the major conferences have traditionally allowed faculty representatives to maintain a presence on their executive boards (Duderstadt, 2000). Many of the conferences require their member institutions to form faculty governance councils or some other board of faculty control. However, due to the unique administrative structure of most athletic departments, the athletic director and the president usually act in concert to handle the business of athletics (Duderstadt). Faculty members have written volumes over the past 30 years decrying the abuses of the educational mission of the university caused by intercollegiate sports. Yet whether subject to the authority of alumni or to athletic boards influenced by the faculty, the issues confronted by all colleges were essentially the same. The most elusive, yet pervasive problems to be addressed involved efforts to define amateurism and to agree upon what constituted a bona fide student. This is still a pressing problem for educators. Academic advisors working with student-athletes often feel compelled to place academically deficient students in courses that will keep them eligible, but at the same time will have no lasting value to their working careers (Berg, 1989). As professionalism grew in influence over intercollegiate athletics, the ideal of students as amateur athletes became less and less of a reality. Student-athletes in the 19th century, just as today, enjoyed the benefits and popularity that their athletic prowess brought them (Chu, Segrave, & Becker, 1985). It was not uncommon for students to receive gifts by faithful boosters for an exceptional performance. It was also not uncommon for coaches and academic leaders to turn a blind eye to an academically


25 deficient student if he was a gifted athlete. All these issues left college presidents with the responsibility of trying to establish institutional control over what was once an extracurricular activity conducted under the watchful eye of an institution’s faculty. Indeed, university presidents, not governing boards, are most commonly charged with the responsibility for reforming intercollegiate athletics (Lucas & Smith, 1978). Presidential Involvement A few college presidents were openly disdainful of the popularity of intercollegiate sports, particularly football. Andrew D. White, president of Cornell University, remarked, after his football team had been invited to play a game against Michigan in Cleveland: “I will not permit thirty men to travel four hundred miles merely to agitate a bag of wind” (Smith, 1988). However, President White was one of only a small minority that was openly outspoken against intercollegiate athletics. While many presidents felt that intercollegiate athletics was disproportionately out of touch with the mission of the institution, the benefits and popularity of the games prompted reticence on the part of most (Duderstadt, 2000). In many respects, the inability of college presidents to exercise more control over sports reflects the unique position in which presidents operate. With respect to intercollegiate athletics, university presidents must be willing to collaborate to initiate any substantial and meaningful reforms (Duderstadt, 2000). This has always proven to be a difficult undertaking. Indeed, in one instance, it took an executive order from President Theodore Roosevelt to force college presidents to act with a unified goal of reforming the abuses of college sports. University presidents are often accountable to institutional governing boards, and even in the 19th century when they wielded the necessary power, it was rare for a president to take radical action toward sports for fear that their boards would hold them responsible (Wiebe, 1967). The most


26 vituperative critics of college presidents and their failure to reign in college athletics have been the faculty. Faculty members often see intercollegiate sports as a great detriment to the scholarly pursuits traditionally associated with universities. Presidents manage the resources of institutions, and therefore they make easy targets for faculty members who have grown weary of trying to accommodate those students who are more preoccupied with their playbooks than their textbooks (Byers, 1995). While presidents are thus subject to the attacks from faculty, they are often beholden to the boards that have the power to dismiss them, and therefore quite unlikely to disagree with the board. Charles Eliot, president of Harvard, was another voice for keeping intercollegiate athletics under the control of the individual institutions. In 1882, Eliot attempted to enlist the cooperation of other New England college presidents to eliminate college athletes from competing against professional teams (Smith, 1988). Eliot had the support of his faculty, but he found little agreement from his peer institutions, and therefore his proposal for collaborative effort failed (Smith). With each institution making its own policies, presidents at less prestigious colleges felt that inter-institutional cooperation with each other would place them at a competitive disadvantage with the leading eastern colleges, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (Helman, 1989). Arthur T. Hadley, president of Yale, was against any form of collaboration because Yale was the premier athletic college at the time, and Hadley saw no need to interfere with his institution’s dominance (Faulkner, 1959). As usual, in direct opposition to Harvard’s policy, Yale maintained its loyalty to laissez-faire principles, allowing students freedom to conduct their own extracurricular activities (Smith, 1988). Princeton, however, under the direction of Woodrow Wilson (president from 1902 to


27 1910), was much more concerned with what it saw as the lack of control over a growing extracurricular activity. During his tenure as president of Princeton, Wilson compared intercollegiate athletics to a bunch of sideshows that have swallowed up the circus (Lucas & Smith, 1978). Students often resented what they perceived as a paternal invasion into matters that did not concern the faculty and administration (Smith). By the 1890s, college presidents found themselves immersed in a battle to uphold the integrity of their institutions against the constant flood of ethical concerns. Some observers attributed the excesses and improprieties that characterized college sports to the inexperience of college leaders in dealing with athletics (Frey, 1982). By the early 1900s, students and alumni had organized programs designed to produce winning teams. Public interest in competitions between institutions had swelled and spectators, particularly alumni, expected excellence from college teams (Rader, 1983). Consequently, the issues facing college sports were often quite foreign to college presidents who had little familiarity with the entertainment business enveloping intercollegiate athletics. President Eliot of Harvard opined quite vociferously against what he saw happening on his own campus in 1892 when he wrote: There is something exquisitely inappropriate in the extravagant expenditure on athletic sports at such institutions as Harvard and Yale, institutions which have been painfully built up by self-denial, frugality, and public spirit of generations that certainly did not lack physical and moral courage, yet always put the things of spirit above the things of sense. At these universities there must be constant economy and inadequacy in expenditure for intellectual objects; how repulsive, then, must be foolish and pernicious expenditures on sports! (Rudolph, 1962) Alumni, however, were growing increasingly more influential in the direction that intercollegiate athletics was taking on individual college campuses. At Dartmouth, the alumni petitioned the Board of Trustees in 1892 to grant the association control over the college’s sports program (Smith, 1983). The trustees agreed and Dartmouth experienced


28 almost immediate success. With greater control, the alumni built new athletic facilities, wrestled control of existing facilities away from the physical education departmentmuch to the disgruntlement of the facultyand established the Dartmouth Alumni Athletic Committee (Smith). The victories Dartmouth experienced in the following decade were attributed in part to the Dartmouth alumni and their “distinct and well organized movement” (p. 373). Disgruntled with their loss of authority, the Dartmouth faculty asked the trustees to restore to them some measure of control over the athletic program. The trustees denied their request citing the tremendous success produced as a result of the Alumni Committee on Athletics (Smith). Similar events to those at Dartmouth were taking place all over the country at the end of the 19th century. At the dawn of the 20th century, students had almost entirely lost any input into college sports and the influence of the faculty had been reduced to a mere whisper. Attempts at regulating intercollegiate athletics by college administrators increased in the 1890s. However, institutional enforcement of the amateur status of its athletes was nearly an impossible task. Those rules, which had been established attempting to protect the amateur code, primarily focused on restrictions against remuneration for athletic services (Browning, 1986). Violations of the amateur spirit in American intercollegiate athletics assumed forms often less obvious than the outright payment to an athlete. Provisions for tuition, room and board, tutorial services, and jobs that paid well and required little effort were among the most common recruiting devices used to induce highly talented potential student-athletes to play for a particular college (Sponberg, 1968). Through its scores of rules and bylaws, the NCAA during the last half-century has effectively regulated all these activities to curb abuses of the amateur spirit. Certain


29 services, such as tutoring and summer job placements, have now become promoted and sanctioned through student services for athletes (SSA). In fact, many SSAs employ such a large number of tutors and academic support personnel—usually upper-division or graduate students—that they must hire an additional staff member to coordinate their activities. Enrollment in non-degree programs, pedantic coursework, and even athletes failing to enroll altogether were all means used to get athletes on the playing field (Browning, 1986). Yet the establishment of guidelines suitable for competitive equity proved difficult to determine (Browning). Efforts by student and alumni athletic representatives to exploit loopholes in any created rules forced the evolution of even more rules and increasingly explicit definitions (Lapchick, 1989). One of the most common examples citing the need for tougher eligibility rules involved athletes in the 1880s and 1890s competing on university teams but who were not students at the university (Sack, 1973). The methods used by athletic representatives to achieve success on the playing field frequently conflicted with the views of college authorities. These authorities were influenced by the standards of amateurism that college athletic programs were supposed to abide by. Excesses that resulted from the great emphasis on accomplished performance threatened to undermine the reputation of higher education in the public view. College officials acknowledged the need for faculty-initiated regulations designed to align the purposes of athletics and academics (Underwood, 1984). Today, this task has largely been taken on by the NCAA and is administered on many campuses through the SSA office. It became obvious by the late 19th century to college faculty and administrators that meaningful reform of


30 intercollegiate athletics would require greater cooperation from competing institutions (Frey, 1982). This realization led the way for inter-institutional control of athletics in the early 1900s. The problem of institutions fielding athletes who did not attend the college they were representing prompted college presidents to take purposeful action in 1895. That year a meeting of presidents from seven midwestern universities took place to discuss what actions should be taken in regard to the conduct of intercollegiate athletics (Atwell, 1983). The conference, initiated by President James B. Smart of Purdue, took place in Chicago and was attended by the presidents from the universities of Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin (Atwell). In a move that would eventually result in the formation of the Big Ten Conference, this group of presidents agreed to establish a body comprised of faculty representatives from each institution to govern athletic relations among their schools (Helman, 1989). Despite their involved efforts, the presidents at the 1895 “Chicago Conference” ultimately failed to make meaningful challenges on the practice of fielding ineligible athletes. The need for reform had long been recognized at the eastern colleges, and in response to the attempt made by their midwestern counterparts, representatives from seven prominent eastern colleges convened at Brown University in 1898 to discuss reform ideas (Sponberg, 1968). Each of the colleges—Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, and Princeton—agreed on the need for an organized body to develop and enforce athletic policy among the institutions. With the addition of Yale, these seven institutions would later comprise what is known today as the “Ivy League” institutions. As with their counterparts from the Big Ten, the members of the Brown


31 Conference failed to see any of their recommendations for reform make a meaningful impact (Sponberg). A startling impact was made in 1939, by Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago. During his tenure as president, Hutchins made perhaps the most drastic move against the encroachment of commercialized collegiate sports. Despite such feats as placing several of its players on the All-American team, claiming the first recipient of the Heisman Trophy, and possessing a celebrated winning tradition, Hutchins abolished varsity football at the University of Chicago in 1939. After eliminating football, Hutchins fought for Chicago to leave the Big Ten Conference. After gaining the approval of his board, Chicago abandoned the Big Ten effective June 30, 1946. Unlike his presidential predecessors, Hutchins was not at all convinced of the merits of big-time athletics on a college campus, explaining: “An educational institution can make one unique contribution, one denied to a fraternal order or a bodybuilding institute: It can educate. It is by its success in making this unique contribution that it must be judged” (Thelin, 1994, p. 137). Hutchins does not stand alone in his contempt for the questionable role of big-time athletics. It is not uncommon for presidents to denounce the prevailing tendencies of college football and basketball to promote themselves at the expense of academic standards and institutional reputation. Several presidents, after they have safely vacated their offices, have written books decrying the sins of big-time college sports. In what would become a distinguished career as head of the statewide university system of North Carolina, President William Friday in 1961 canceled the Dixie Classic basketball tournament hosted by the University of North Carolina and North Carolina


32 State University. In the wake of a point-shaving scandal that led to the Classic’s demise, Friday went so far as to limit the geographical area in which Carolina coaches could recruit potential student-athletes and prohibit participation by Carolina athletes in summer basketball programs. The restrictions were eventually lifted. However, Friday, as with Hutchins before him, was not afraid of taking a staunch position to reinforce the idea that intercollegiate sports was not more important than institutional integrity. Thirty years after ending the Classic, Friday began his tenure as co-chairman of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Until his retirement from the position in 2000, Friday shared the chairmanship with the Reverend Theodore L. Hesburgh, president emeritus of Notre Dame. In 1966, after Notre Dame won the national championship, Hesburgh made a decisionequally as controversial as Friday’s decision to end the Classicwhen he refused to allow Notre Dame to play in a postseason bowl because doing so would make it too difficult for the team to prepare for final exams. Such brazen actions are increasingly rare today when colleges and universities stand to gain millions of dollars for an appearance in a major postseason bowl or the NCAA tournament. Payouts for participation in the top Bowl Championship Series bowl (BCS), which is the national championship game in college football held at a predetermined location, reached the level of more than $13 million per team in recent years (Lombardi, 2003). Nevertheless, presidents are still charged with leading the reform effort. Gordon Gee, chancellor of Vanderbilt University, attempted to change the culture of athletics at his institution when he dissolved Vanderbilt’s athletic department. While


33 Gee was successful in radically altering the administrative structure of Vanderbilt’s athletic department, it is uncertain whether such a change will lead to long-lasting reform. In 2003, several presidents from small liberal arts colleges who represented the Division III level of the NCAA, lobbied for a set of rules changes to help protect the rigid academic values that their colleges uphold. Their argument was based upon research conducted by William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University, who asserted that recruited athletes perform more poorly in the classroom than their nonrecruited peers, athletes, or otherwise (Bowen & Levin, 2003). The problems imposed upon presidents by athletics, of course, are nothing new. Their counterparts from a century earlier were faced with even more precarious concerns when they were ordered by President Roosevelt in 1905 to restore some measure of civility to the game of football or accept its banishment. Creation of the NCAA Despite efforts by individuals such as Harvard’s Charles Eliot, collaboration for inter-institutional governance was resisted at the leading eastern colleges even as late as the early 1900s (Riesman & Denney, 1951). The disagreement over basic eligibility rules and conditions for competition was alleviated in part by the crisis that took place in football. As a result of the brutality inherent in a game of nearly unregulated physical contact, more than a dozen football players died during the 1905 season at institutions around the country (McQuilkin & Smith, 1993). Alarmed by such appalling violence occurring at the nation’s institutions of higher learning, President Theodore Roosevelt called a special conference in October 1905 of coaches, alumni, and faculty from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to discuss reform of the game.


34 Under the guiding influence of Yale’s Walter Camp, the representatives decided to take the necessary steps to eliminate the unregulated violence and questionable tactics from football contests. This accord satisfied Roosevelt’s demand that the brutality be eliminated from the game. However, many within the athletic establishment were distrustful of the committee of presidents and faculty members and viewed the reforms as an attempt to wrestle control away from the coaches and alumni (Lucas & Smith, 1978). On the other hand, despite Roosevelt’s threat to abolish football if changes were not instituted, some of the presidents and faculty members in the delegation remained wary of Camp’s sincerity to seek genuine reform of the game, given that he was partly responsible for its current level of violence (Lucas & Smith). In early December 1905, Henry M. MacCracken, the chancellor of New York University, called a meeting of delegates from 13 football playing institutions in the eastern United States. MacCracken was particularly distrustful of Camp’s promises for reform and took the initiative upon himself to create a governing body to ensure that changes were made (Fleisher, Goff, & Tollison, 1992)). The 13 institutions represented at MacCracken’s meeting on December 9 decided to institute reforms to the game and meet again on December 28. The delegation, under the direction of West Point delegate Captain Palmer E. Pierce, decided to invite an expanded group of representatives from colleges throughout the nation, and at the meeting on December 28, 62 institutions were represented (Fleisher et al.). Pierce suggested creating a formal association, the National Intercollegiate Football Conference (Lucas & Smith, 1978). Representatives from the other schools agreed with the idea, but decided to leave out the word “football,” thus creating the


35 Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (Lucas & Smith). It is this organization that in 1910 renamed itself to become the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In 1906, at its first convention, the new association instituted several policies to try to improve the state of intercollegiate athletics (Browning, 1986). One of these new policies would have profound influence on the culture of intercollegiate athletics throughout the 20th century. The members of the fledgling association agreed to a concept known as “home rule,” whereby each institution was responsible for policing itself. Many of the members of this association were impassioned observers of the Brown Conference of 1898, which was a group of faculty members who wanted exclusive control over athletic policy. They wisely formulated the policies of the association to encourage the membership of the large institutions such as Harvard and Yale (Fleisher et al.). Prestigious universities accustomed to leadership in intercollegiate athletics and in American higher education were assured by the “home rule policy” that smaller colleges could not weaken their influence by passing unfavorable legislation (Frey, 1982). The strategy to work actively in favor of prestigious non-member institutions gradually benefited the NCAA. Four years after the founding of the association, Harvard was added to the membership roll. Princeton and Yale joined the association not long thereafter as well. By the time the NCAA had induced the prestigious eastern colleges to climb aboard, intercollegiate athletics had grown considerably in stature and popularity. By 1919, membership in the NCAA had grown to 170 institutions (Helman, 1989). Many of the prestigious eastern colleges had already built football stadiums, and the midwestern institutions, which had coalesced to create the Big Ten Conference, followed


36 suit in constructing stadiums throughout the 1920s. The goal of this construction boom was to create a venue for the audiences who had developed quite an appetite for college sports. The inevitable result of building these stadiums was an exponential increase in the commercial scale of college sports, which by this time centered almost exclusively on football (Lucas & Smith, 1978). With this increase in athletics’ popularity came increases in excesses, including extravagant training tables, the lax enforcement of amateurism rules, and an increased emphasis on scouting, recruiting, and the subsidization of student-athletes (Rader, 1983). Because of its reliance upon the “home rule,” the NCAA did little to interfere with such activities and deferred to the individual institutions to police themselves, despite the fact that such activities were clear violations of stated NCAA rules (Fleisher et al., 1992). In its early years, the NCAA was, in the words of one historian, “a ruling body lacking power and prestige” (Smith, 1988, p. 210). In its earliest years, the NCAA focused primarily on gaining credibility and influence throughout the nation (Byers, 1995). Reform of intercollegiate athletics, however, meant that the NCAA needed the power to enforce its code of ethics governing the administration of intercollegiate sports—something it lacked in the post-World War I era (Byers, 1995). The real power over intercollegiate athletics lay in the hands of alumni and boosters who were making significant financial contributions to the universities (Sperber, 1990). Academic leaders had little control over alumni who were more interested in the athletic success of their alma mater than in standards of amateurism and eligibility (Rader, 1983).


37 Presidents, faculty, and the NCAA found little standing in a position that divided their loyalty between the spirit amateurism in athletics and the financial implications that a top athletic program brought to an institution. College presidents continually felt the pressure from alumni to devote resources toward athletics due to the belief that athletic success, particularly in football, could lead the way for institutional growth and prosperity (Hochfield, 1987). In the 1930s, the president of Louisiana State University, James Monroe Smith, worked in concert with flamboyant Governor Huey Long to elevate the national status of LSU (Thelin, 1994). Smith and Long identified the football team as the “linchpin of their master plan both for higher education and for building statewide pride” (p. 107). To consolidate its commitment to big-time football, LSU was a founding member of the Southeastern Conference in 1933. The idea that football somehow relates to institutional prestige is debatable; however, it remains a driving force behind athletic policymaking to this day. The inability of university authorities and faculty groups, such as the NCAA, to control alumni involvement revealed the extent to which athletic matters were influenced by forces outside of the educational interests of the university. The risks and benefits associated with a successful athletic program had grown substantially by the late 1930s. Few university leaders had the luxury, or the authority, to implement reform that would put their athletic department at a competitive disadvantage (Duderstadt, 2000). This hands-off policy that so many colleges adopted led to increasingly common problems involving recruiting and payments to athletes (Frey, 1982). In response, the NCAA decided to abandon the “home rule” policy in favor of steps toward the enforcement of national standards (Byers, 1995).


38 In 1939, the NCAA revised its constitution to force member institutions to maintain acceptable standards of conduct in their athletic programs (NCAA, 1998). To help steer institutions back toward academic priorities, the NCAA decided to bar freshmen from competing in athletic events, to admit athletes according to the same standards as other students, and to subject athletes to the same academic standards as their non-athlete counterparts (Frey, 1982). These broad-based policies marked the beginning of a new era for NCAA control over college athletics. The 1939 transition from an advisory body to a regulatory enforcement agency represented the first attempt at administrative control of intercollegiate athletics on a national level. The competitive nature of intercollegiate athletics forced many college leaders to compromise their position on the place of athletics in higher education. The influence of alumni and the fervor of public support for college football and basketball in the 1940s and 1950s made legislation against recruitment and subsidization nearly unenforceable (Byers, 1995). The NCAA has consistently attempted to regulate the administration of athletics through adoption of increasingly complicated and lengthy rules and legislation. Attempts such as the “Sanity Code” represent the precarious nature of institutional compliance in athletics. In 1946, the NCAA adopted a series of regulations, now known as the “Sanity Code,” to restore academic integrity and educational values back into competitive intercollegiate athletics. The code included several radical departures from the status quo policies at most institutions. Ultimately, the rules proved too radical to effect long-lasting change as the code was formally repealed in 1951. The NCAA policies, as demonstrated by the Sanity Code, have consistently been adopted with the


39 understanding that if they are unsuccessful or too restrictive, they can always be modified or repealed. The failure of the Sanity Code illustrates that the NCAA is often caught between two competing interests. On the one hand, as the guardians of the integrity of intercollegiate athletics, the NCAA must maintain the amateur principles that college sports are based upon. On the other hand, the NCAA is also charged with the task of generating hundreds of millions of dollars in income for its member institutions (Duderstadt, 2000). Almost 100 years after its founding, the NCAA has grown into what is often described as a “cartel-like” organization. With 983 member institutions comprising the association, the NCAA is responsible for representing a diverse array of interests, as well as maximizing the profits for colleges and universities through negotiation of broadcasting rights for championship events such as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, popularly dubbed by the sports media as “March Madness.” During the past 30 years, the NCAA has increased its revenues by more than 9,000 percent, with major broadcasting contracts, such as the $6 billion contract with CBS for broadcast of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (Lombardi, 2003). Critics of the NCAA contend that it caters too much to the values of the entertainment industry and operates far more like a professional sports league than an association of educational institutions. According to one former university president, “The only characteristic that distinguishes the NCAA from the NFL or the NBA is that it does not pay income taxes on its millions of dollars of television revenue, licensing, and sponsorship” (Duderstadt, 2000). In the last two decades, organizations, such as the American Council on Education and affiliated university presidents, have made efforts to transform the NCAA from a trade association into a federation under the control of


40 individual college presidents. In 1997, the association was restructured to reflect the growing role of the presidents in governing the NCAA. Efforts at Reform The problem university administrators had to address was how they could support college sports when these sports drew fervent public interest, were detrimental to amateur sport and education, and yet provided such great publicity and institutional prestige. Faculty conferences and NCAA representatives annually discussed measures to enforce amateur standing and true student representation in athletics (Sperber, 2000). Meanwhile, athletic boards at the major institutions began managing huge revenues from college games (Funk, 1991). In 1926, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, at the request of the NCAA, agreed to undertake a study of the role of intercollegiate athletics in higher education (Savage, 1929). Formally designated by the foundation as “Bulletin Number Twenty-three” and released in 1929, the 300-page report, which was written by Howard Savage and entitled “American College Athletics,” concluded that the fundamental problem with intercollegiate athletics was commercialism (Savage). The report characterized athletics as an activity with goals not directly related to the aims of higher education. “As matters now stand,” the report stated, “their fundamental purpose is financial and commercial. The monetary and material returns from intercollegiate athletics are valued far more highly than their return in play, sport, and bodily and moral well-being” (p. 136). This situation prompted the report to conclude that “the athletic situation in most American colleges and universities has been met by a compromise that involves yielding of the less vocal interests” (p. 212). The formation of local and regional athletic conferences and a national body such as the NCAA


41 represented efforts by the “less vocal” academic interests to establish a means of control. According to Savage and the Carnegie Report, their efforts were not sufficient (Savage). The recommendations of the Carnegie Report were quite explicit, but they were not necessarily practical to implement. Suggestions, which included the elimination of the professional coach and an end to gate receipts at college games, were completely at odds with the economics entrenched within big-time college sports (Savage, 1929). The reaction by college leaders to the Carnegie Report was to propose more rules to maintain a semblance of amateurism, which had effectively been lacking from the beginning (Thelin, 1994). Reform has long been a tradition in intercollegiate athletics. Indeed, the very creation of the NCAA was an attempt at reform. This was preceded by reform efforts, such as the creation of the Big Ten in 1895 and the Brown Conference of “Ivy League” institutions in 1898. After the establishment of the NCAA, reforms were attempted with the initiation of eligibility rules, such as the banning of freshmen and graduate students. The 1940s were riddled with widespread concern over game fixing, recruiting improprieties, and fierce competition for the financial rewards that came with post-season bowl appearances (Rosen, 1978). In 1946, college presidents, athletic directors, and NCAA officials tried to take the initiative to establish some control over athletics. After two years of discussion, their solution was the formulation of the “Principles for the Conduct of Intercollegiate Athletics,” more commonly referred to as the “Sanity Code.” Its most controversial section was on financial aid, which prohibited athletic scholarships, limited a student-athlete’s aid to the amount of tuition and fees, and required that awards be based on a student’s financial need (Forbes, 1953). All these issues were inherently


42 linked to problems of recruiting, which many outside the athletic establishment condemned. The problem that the NCAA and member institutions encountered was how to enforce these new regulations, which were dropped within a few years, but not before the NCAA had built itself into an agency with national influence and striking regulatory powers (Fleisher et al., 1992). However, the new regulatory powers did not stop the illegalities and irregularities in collegiate sports. Ultimately, the code proved unsuccessful in its mission as a foolproof method of enforcement. However, with its five principles governing everything from institutional responsibility to financial aid controls, the code indirectly set the precedent for the regulatory enforcement process as we know it today. By 1951, the Sanity Code had been repealed, but this did not mark the end of attempts to control commercial influences. In 1952, the American Council on Education (ACE) appointed a committee to conduct a survey on the status of intercollegiate athletics in higher education. Conclusions from the committee report included 10 general recommendations directed at the control of commercialism in college athletics (ACE, 1952). The NCAA voted to endorse the “philosophy and general objectives of the ACE” but opposed the ACE’s position on post-season play, spring practice, and the ban on athletic scholarships as a recruiting inducement (NCAA, 1988). The 1950s and 1960s also saw a renewed attempt by faculty members to exert their influence over what they perceived to be “too much emphasis on athletics” (Funk, 1991, p. 111). One professor declared, “If we put one-tenth of the effort on scholarships for brains instead of brawn, we would get wonderful results” (p. 33). In the 1960s, faculty members again began raising pointed concerns involving the operation of intercollegiate


43 athletics (Sperber, 2000). Many questioned why funds to support big-time athletics often came from outside sources despite the fact that official control of athletics usually resided within the institution (Sperber). In opposition to the faculty, influential athletic boosters considered academic standards touted by the faculty and even the NCAA as impediments to their desire to field competitive teams (Frey, 1981). All across the country, alumni booster organizations channeled large contributions through educational foundations and athletic associations to bring talented athletesnot intellectualsto campus. This flow of money commonly brought with it pressure to win, which in turn led to increased cheating and a disregard for student-athlete welfare. In the 1970s, another study was conducted on intercollegiate athletics by the Commission on Collegiate Athletics of the American Council on Education. The findings were similar to all previous investigations, and the problems seemed to have escalated in relation to the size, popularity, and scope of intercollegiate sports (ACE, 1972). The director of the commission, Henry Marmion, stated: “We must be aware, concerned, and involved with this unique aspect of our educational system. If key administrators do not get involved, then . . . there will be scandals, governmental involvement, and even worse, public condemnation” (p. 47). Marmion’s words sound quite prophetic 25 years later as all of these predictions have occurred to some extent. In 1989, the Knight Foundation, supported by a $2 million grant from the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, was among the first to call for significant reforms that included more presidential involvement and control. The Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which was chaired by President Emeritus Friday and President Emeritus Hesburgh, ultimately produced three reports that helped


44 propel presidential involvement and reform in the 1990s. In its now famous “one plus three” model, the commission’s first report recommended more presidential control directed three ways: toward academic integrity, financial integrity, and accountability through independent certification (Knight, 1991). This ultimately led to the formation of the NCAA Presidents Commission in 1991 and the completion of NCAA governance restructuring in 1997, which allowed for an expanded role of presidential control. Congress has also involved itself in college athletics in large part due to the public outcry against the scandals and ills that have permeated intercollegiate sports. With its multi-billion dollar television contracts and cartel-like status, the NCAA is often the target of political inquiries into its affairs. Many have criticized Congress for not doing enough to help protect student-athletes from what many perceive to be an exploitative intercollegiate athletic system (Sperber, 2000). Others contend that Congress should force the NCAA to adopt more educationally based goals which currently seem to be incongruous with the financially successful, though not-for-profit NCAA (Wieberg, 2003). However its position toward athletics is defined, Congress traditionally has taken one of two roles toward intercollegiate sports: an investigative role and a legislative role. The majority of congressional investigative activity has taken place in the House subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Competitiveness (Katz, 1995). From 1991 to 1994, the committee held several hearings to learn more about the welfare and treatment of student-athletes under the college athletic system. It found a system encumbered by rules and a system that generates money for the NCAA at the expense of the student-athletes’ welfare (Katz). The second area of congressional activity has been


45 the introduction and passage of legislation. Two laws enacted by Congress, the Student Right-to-Know Act and the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, focus on institutional disclosure of information about athletic programs and participants. The success of congressional intervention in college athletics is certainly questionable. However, such activity, coupled with pressure from groups such as the media, state legislatures, the Knight Commission, and even the IRS, has been important in the process of college athletic reform because it has nudged the NCAA to initiate some reform efforts of its own. Many of these efforts focus upon the academic success and preparedness of NCAA student-athletes, and they are reflected in the dense amount of academic eligibility requirements passed by the NCAA during the past 30 years. There is no other part of higher education that is as celebrated and as reviled as intercollegiate sports. It represents much of what is great about higher education in America and yet is capable of bringing out the worst in those responsible for it. Influence of Television The arrival of television onto the cultural landscape in the early 1950s presented a new commercial dimension and a new challenge for college sports. At first, the NCAA and the individual conferences feared that allowing football games to be televised would hurt ticket sales and effectively undermine their revenue stream (Byers, 1995). Although the NCAA was entrusted with protecting the ideals of amateurism and nonprofit gamesmanship since the association had come under the influence of coaches and athletic directors, its primary purpose increasingly became that of maintaining the status quo, which meant enriching conferences and individual institutions (Duderstadt, 2000).


46 By the 1950s, the pretense that coaches were in any way affiliated with the ranks of the faculty was gone (Dealy, 1990). Also, athletic departments effectively were separated from physical education departments. At many institutions, this split was not only administrative in nature, but it also meant that athletics was housed in its own facilities (Hart-Bibbrig & Cottingham, 1986). By this time, basketball had grown in popularity and was second only to football in terms of its visibility with the public. However, point-shaving and gambling scandals tainted basketball in the 1950s, and the NCAA once again found itself fending off criticism (Rosen, 1978). The next quantum leap in commercialization came from television. Upon its arrival, the NCAA was quite concerned about the effects television might have over college football audiences. Initially, games were broadcast very selectively with the idea of merely whetting the appetite of the viewer. The NCAA devised rules concerning when, where, and how frequently games could be broadcast. One such rule was that no team could have more than one televised game per year (Byers, 1995). However, the major networks, working in conjunction with the NCAA, saw college sports as an unbeatable opportunity to build major nationwide audiences (Sperber, 1990). Furthermore, college sports were relatively inexpensive to produce since most of the costs for “putting on the show” were borne by the institutions themselves (Duderstadt, 2000). This fact was not lost on the institutions who became increasingly agitated that the NCAA was not more forthcoming with the revenue it received through its arrangements with networks such as NBC and CBS (Duderstadt, 2000). The 1970s and 1980s saw a great explosion in the popularity of college sports as a form of national entertainment. By


47 the 1980s, televised intercollegiate games were a significant source of income for the NCAA. In 1984, CBS agreed to pay $1 billion for exclusive rights to broadcast the NCAA tournament (Duderstadt). As college sports ceased to be merely spectator events and became commercial products that were being nationally marketed, several major institutions with nationally prominent football teams decided to break up the NCAA’s monopoly over collegiate sports broadcasting. The NCAA was in position to receive $73.6 million from television contracts to broadcast college football through the 1984 season (Sperber, 1990). These plans suddenly became jeopardized when a group of institutions formed the Collegiate Football Association and negotiated their own broadcasting contract with the ABC network (Sperber). Throughout the 1970s, the NCAA believed that it could not be held in violation of any antitrust laws due to the fact that it was a nonprofit organization (Byers, 1995). This assumption was put to the test in 1981 when the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia Athletic Association filed suit against the NCAA in district court in Oklahoma. Consistently, as the case wound through the trial and appellate systems, the courts agreed with the plaintiffs that the NCAA’s broadcasting plan violated the Sherman Act, which prohibits monopolization of a market (Byers). Then in 1984, the U. S. Supreme Court determined that the NCAA Football Television Plan violated the Sherman Antitrust Act (NCAA v. Board of Regents, 1984). The court said that because the NCAA had failed to demonstrate sufficient justifications for its restraints on the rights fees to be paid for televising games and limitations upon the output of televised college football, that its actions were unreasonable and therefore illegal (NCAA v. Board of Regents, 1984).


48 In response, major athletic conferences moved quickly to negotiate their own broadcasting contracts (Byers, 1995). Increased competition from cable broadcasters made the contracts even more lucrative for conferences and their respective institutions (Byers). The typical broadcasting rights for a conference season currently reach the hundreds of millions of dollars routinely. As a result of these huge broadcasting contracts, which revolve around the entertainment of the viewer, intercollegiate athletics are increasingly viewed as a commodity rather than competitive events. With games often played well past midnight on weekdays, competitive seasons infringing upon exam schedules, and routine cross-country travel, the demands of television provide little provision to any educational considerations. Women’s Sports and Title IX Higher education was faced with a new dimension with the passage of Title IX in 1972. Colleges and universities were mandated by a federal law to provide equal opportunities for women in athletics, as had been provided for decades for men. The NCAA, fearing the financial implications of the new law, sued to have athletics exempt from the new legislation (Suggs, 2001). Title IX, in its essence, states that there shall be no sex discrimination in any educational institution that receives federal funds. When the NCAA’s initial lawsuit failed, the association sued again in an effort to have the revenue sports exempted from Title IX. Of course, this effort also failed and the official guidelines on Title IX implementation were published in 1975 (Suggs). The established male hierarchy within athletic departments across the nation resisted and resented the arrival of women’s sports (English, 1978). Many athletic directors and head football and basketball coaches deemed women’s sports as a drain on their resources. Some athletic directors did not even want to concern themselves with


49 women’s sports so they created parallel administrative structures for women’s athletic programs (Shulman & Bowen, 2001). They even created female athletic directors who reported to the men’s athletic director and women faculty representatives (Lapchick & Slaughter, 1989). In 1971, the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was created to oversee women’s intercollegiate athletics. The AIAW was essentially an NCAA for women with the exception that its rules regarding financial aid, transfers, and recruiting were far less restrictive than those of the NCAA. By 1980, the AIAW had created 41 national championships for women in 19 sports and had signed a four-year television contract with NBC (Duderstadt, 2000). By this time, it became quite obvious to the NCAA and most of its member institutions that women’s sports would not be quietly overshadowed by men’s games. In 1981, the NCAA agreed to allow its member institutions to initiate women’s championships in Division I. This decision marked the swift decline of the AIAW; its membership dwindled and NBC canceled its television contract with the association (Suggs, 2000). In the 1980s, the number of women’s programs increased greatly, the level of competition rose dramatically, and the number of female athletes grew proportionately to the number of programs offered (Valentine, 1999). Court cases persisted as institutions desired to limit the scope of Title IX until 1988 when Congress enacted the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which required that all educational institutions that received direct or indirect federal funds be subject to the provisions of Title IX (Katz, 1995). The Office of Civil Rights identifies three areas for compliance with Title IX: opportunities for participation, the amount of athletics-based financial aid, and the value of the benefits given to male and female athletes (Katz).


50 Today, women comprise 53 percent of the enrollment of Division I institutions; however, they represent only 40 percent of their student-athletes (Shulman & Bowen, 2001). Further discrepancy between men and women’s programs exists in the amount of money women’s athletics receives. On average, women at Division I institutions receive only 40 percent of athletic scholarships and their programs receive only 36 percent of team operating budgets and 28 percent of salary budgets (Shulman & Bowen). Gender equity is obviously still a concern and a controversial issue. The budding popularity of women’s basketball has helped draw attention to the need for support of women’s athletics. However, because women’s sports are largely dependent upon the revenue created by men’s football and basketball, and they are still regarded as inferior by many within the athletic establishment. Summary of Intercollegiate Athletics History The history of intercollegiate athletics is one of the most multi-faceted and controversial areas of American higher education. In recent years, the influence of professional sports on high profile college football and basketball has become far more intrusive and far more negative. For the respective professional leagues, college football and basketball are little more than free farm systems charged with training the next generation of superstar players. Many talented high school basketball players have begun to forego college altogether in their quest to become professional athletes. The NCAA, its member institutions, college presidents, and boards of trustees now need to grapple with how to balance the demands of public entertainment with their mission of educating the students they admit. Organizations such as the National Association for Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) believe that the NCAA does little, if anything, to genuinely promote scholarship among college student-athletes. One


51 academic advisor at a competitive Division I-A institution stated, “If you just look at its rules, the NCAA is far more concerned with keeping student-athletes eligible than they are with graduating them with marketable skills useful for employment.” Indeed, matters of eligibility often fall to academic advisors, who have little or no leverage within athletic departments to institute change on their own. Ironically, they are perhaps the most knowledgeable sources on how best to educate student-athletes, yet they are seldom consulted. Literature Related to Academic Support for Student-athletes Because significant interest in the establishment and continuation of academic support for student-athletes is a relatively recent development, the body of literature specifically relevant to this topic does not have a long history. In fact, most of what has been written was published within the last decade. Moreover, very little formal research has been done and still fewer full-length books have been published on the topic. Most of the literature that exists consists of relatively brief articles in periodicals designed for counselors and counseling educators. According to Mand and Fletcher (1986), the field of athletic advising formally began in the summer of 1975 at Michigan State University when Frank Downing and Clarence Underwood brought together a group of advisors in an effort to create a national organization. The organization that emerged, initially called the National Athletic Counselor’s Association (NACA) and later renamed the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A), stated that its mission was to assist student athletes maintain their eligibility until they graduated (Downing, 1981). Rulings by the NCAA throughout the 1960s and 1970s affecting requirements for academic eligibility placed student athletes in need of serious academic support (Mand &


52 Fletcher, 1986). Much of the advising that student-athletes received up to this time was conducted rather informally by coaches from the football staff (Gurney, Robinson, & Fygetakis, 1983). In fact, some coaches in the 1960s, intending to promote the academic welfare of their athletes, created a position popularly called the “brain coach.” According to an advice book written by former football coach at the University of Texas, Darrell Royal (1963): The Brain Coach herds our freshmen athletes through the maze of registration and indoctrination with a careful and considerate hand. He takes them in a body on orientation tours and to indoctrination lectures. He sees that they are properly familiarized with the university before classes ever start. (p. 207) The brain coach was thought of as a considerable innovation by many coaches who adopted Royal’s philosophy (Thelin, 1994). He was, in Royal’s words, the “only person from the athletic department who contacts the professors of the administration” (p. 210). As Thelin pointed out, it was nave of athletic officials to believe that the gulf between athletics and academics could be adequately bridged by their brain coach (1994). Of course, creating a specialized position to assist student athletes raised the question of why student-athletes warranted a brain coach when other students did not? According to Hurley and Cunningham (1984), academic advisement programs designated for student-athletes are different in that student-athletes are systematically exposed to programming emphasizing learning skill development through explicit cooperation between the athletic department and the advisors. Many institutions take this cooperation a step further and employ their own advisors to counsel their student-athletes. Funk (1991) pointed out that many academic advisors find themselves in untenable situations where they are charged with keeping student-athletes eligible at all costseven at the expense of their academic progress.


53 Despite the idealistic philosophies and lofty rhetoric used to describe academic support programs, Funk stated that academic advisors are limited in the kind of help they can offer student-athletes when such help would conflict with their need to stay eligible (1991). A few athletic and student affairs departments around the nation have attempted to address this problem by shifting the responsibility for advising student-athletes to the central student services office. However, according to Gabbard and Halischank (1993), special counseling is required to meet the complex personal challenges of student-athletes. In the 1970s, advising and counseling for college student-athletes focused on three main areas: class scheduling, academic tutoring, and time management (Shriberg and Brodzinski, 1984). Shriberg and Brodzinski added that in the late 1970s and early 1980s, athletic administrators and student affairs professionals began to view college student athletes as a special population with unique concerns and issues. Wittmer, Bostic, Phillips, and Waters (1981) reported that the personal development of student-athletes needs to be enhanced to ensure student success. In the program at the University of Florida, which they described, every component of the program was customized to meet the special needs of student-athletes. These components included residential counselors and advisors, a personal development course, and a senior exit seminar. Academic support services are provided to student-athletes to acknowledge that they have special needs which are concentrated in two general areas: athletics and academics (Gibson & Creamer, 1987). Because student athletes, particularly those in the revenue-producing sports, are sometimes not as well prepared and have demanding schedules, academic development is viewed as a critical area for program developers


54 (Blann, 1995). Some athletic departments have found that by developing intense, costly instructional and support services, they could save money which was usually used to place athletes in additional coursework to maintain their eligibility and to assist them in working toward graduation after their eligibility was depleted (Walter & Smith, 1986). One of the benefits claimed from these support services by athletic departments is the development and cultivation of greater unity and collaboration between coaches, athletic administrators, and support staff (Jordan & Denson, 1990). These relationships benefit the athletic department and the student services for athletes (SSA) program in numerous ways. One of the most rewarding benefits for athletic departments has been the advantage gained in recruiting and the assistance to that end provided by the SSA program (Gunn & Eddy, 1989). Student-athletes reap the personal benefits of SSA programs as they give them a voice for their issues and concerns (Lottes, 1991). In response to this need, many SSA programs have developed focused counseling units for student-athletes tailored specifically to their needs (Hill, Ragan, & Yates, 2001). Some institutions have gone so far as to incorporate psycho-educational approaches to student-athlete support, which integrates human development and life cycle change and growth to their interventional strategies (Broughton & Neyer, 2001). The theory behind such interventions is to prepare the student-athlete for success beyond intercollegiate athletics. Many student-athletes are reluctant to look beyond their active competitive years in college for fear of failing in the less insulated environment of a competitive working career (Lottes, 1991). Consequently, some sophisticated SSA programs have engaged a developmental focus for all of their athletic advising


55 components in an attempt to provide useful tools to student-athletes that they can effectively utilize to adapt to life away from college athletics. Despite these developments, advising college student-athletes at many institutions continues to focus only on maintaining academic eligibility and graduation rates rather than on enhancing the academic, personal, and athletic development of the student-athlete. According to Broughton and Neyer (2001), it is clear that this concentration does not sufficiently meet the needs of student athletes. Literature Related to Organizational Life Cycle Theory Cameron and Whetten (1983) pointed out that as institutions of higher education change, mature, and adapt, they often meet with unexpected challenges that require transitions to take place. The term, “organizational life cycle,” refers to changes in organizations from one state or condition to another that follow a predictable pattern of sequential development rather than occurring randomly or chaotically. According to Cameron and Whetten, changes in institutions usually take place when some inequity exists between some external factor and institutional characteristics or policy (e.g., changes in the marketplace may increase demand for college graduates with significant high-technology expertise). Changes in institutions can also occur from internal conflicts generated by the institution itself (e.g., demands from ethnic minority students may lead to creating an institute or program dedicated to that population’s unique culture). Cameron (1984) distinguished this kind of adaptation from development that is planned, stating that organizational adaptation usually occurs as a process rather than a distinctive event. Many theorists believe, however, that because organizational characteristics vary so dramatically, they do not follow predictable stages of development (Freeman, 1982; Tichy, 1980). These theorists posit instead that organizations simply


56 adapt to the pervasive conditions they encounter, but that these conditions and the organizational reactions to them are not foreseeable (Filley & Aldag, 1980; Tichy, 1980). Still other theorists have drawn analogies between biological adaptations and those stages of development that organizations experience. Katz and Kahn (1978) are among those who argue that just as children pass through predictable sequential stages of development as they mature into adults, so also do organizations follow a similarly predictable path in their evolutions. A complementary view to the analogy of biological development compares organizational development to common patterns of development observed in groups (Cameron & Whetten, 1983). Cameron (1976) found that the sequential patterns followed by group models are comparable to the transitions made by organizations. Lavoie and Culbert (1978) adopted a similar position by arguing that progressive changes in organizations usually do not reverse themselves, barring a major disruption in the sequential pattern. Comparisons between group development models and life cycle transitions of organizations are principally based upon the idea that groups or sub-systems face the same types of problems and transitions as does a broader organization. It is therefore assumed that the stage development models will likewise be similar (Cameron and Whetten, 1983). In their 1983 study of the birth and early history of a state agency in New York, Quinn and Cameron traced the development of an organization from its creation (i.e., the first stage characterized by entrepreneurship), noting such characteristics as informal task assignment, strong personal autonomy, and no formal office for the director. The researchers followed the organization as it passed through its second stage of development (i.e., the collectivity stage) where tasks were assigned to specific positions,


57 members displayed strong commitment to the organization, and interaction took place between the organization and outside agencies. The analysis concluded by documenting the initial signs of transition from the second stage to the third stage (formalization and control) by noting the operation of a hierarchical administrative structure and standardized set of organizational policies. No evidence for the fourth stage was presented. However, the researchers concluded that the characteristics prescribed by the life cycle model occurred in a sequential order. Conclusion The literature related to intercollegiate athletics and all its interrelated aspects is staggering in its scope and depth. From biographies of legendary coaches to commentaries on the heightened commercialization that exists within college sports, there is an abundance of information on the high-profile subjects that often grab media headlines. The sheer volume of such material makes a comprehensive review very challenging. However, other topics within college sports, which do not necessarily capture the same level of coverage from the media, remain ripe for further exploration. Because the topic of student services for athletes (SSA) has not received extensive attention from researchers, it may be difficult to outline strong thematic currents recurring in the literature. A few concerns, however, seem to be most prevalent. These concerns include the academic achievement levels of student-athletes, methods and practices to help student-athletes progress toward graduation, and various personal development issues, such as eating disorders and integration into the social mainstream of campus life. The success of SSA programs in the future will depend upon the competency of the administrators who work in them. The findings of this study related to the stages of


58 evolution of SSA programs are important in the advancement of the body of knowledge in intercollegiate athletics. The focus of Chapter 3 is to describe the methodology of the study and the procedure for data collection, analysis, and reporting.


CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Historical Methodology As described in Chapter 1, three Division I-A universities with support services programs for student-athletes were selected for study to: 1) determine the factors that influenced the establishment of SSA programs among selected Division I-A institutions; 2) analyze the historical development of SSA programs among these Division I-A institutions between 1970 and 2000; and 3) determine how administrative, funding, and reporting models influenced the evolution of SSA programs. These three universities were chosen both on the basis of geographic proximity and their status as either public or private institutions with well-established SSA programs. The traditional methodology of historical research provided the organizing framework for this study. Historical research is subject to the same requirements as other forms of research. The task is to interpret pertinent findings, to trace the historical developments through primary and secondary source data, and finally to analyze the findings in the light of the problem under investigation (McMillan & Schumacher, 1997). Historical research has been defined as the systematic location, evaluation, and synthesis of evidence in order to establish facts and draw conclusions about past events (Best, 1970). Seeking data from personal experiences and observations of others and from documents and records may only provide the researcher with inadequate information. The researcher’s reconstructions can provide only a broad overview or 59


60 outline of the events in question (Cohen & Manion, 1994). Despite its limitations, the value of historical research in education is unquestioned. According to Travers (1969), it can yield insights into some educational problems that could not be achieved by any other means. Further, the historical study of an educational idea or institution can do much to help us understand how our present educational system has evolved. This kind of understanding can guide the development of sound policies to ensure further advancement. According to Borg and Gall (1993), historical research may be structured by a flexible sequence of stages, beginning with the selection and evaluation of a problem of study. Next comes the selection of suitable sources of data, methods of collection, and classification, which results in the structuring of the data. Finally, an evaluation and synthesis of the data is weaved into a balanced and objective account of the subject under investigation. In studying a historical issue, the researcher, where appropriate, first investigates when and where the events under investigation took place. Following that, when possible, the people involved in the particular events under study are identified and interviewed. Finally, the researcher identifies the events that led to and influenced the particular outcomes or phenomenon that are being investigated (McMillan & Schumacher, 1997). For this particular study concerning the evolution of SSA programs, the primary methodology therefore comprised the following steps. The SSA programs at Division I-A institutions, which have existed for 25 to 30 years and offer comprehensive support services for student-athletes, were identified. Next, people who have firsthand knowledge of the evolution of these offices and who can


61 accurately speak about events that led to their growth and development were identified and contacted. Then the data collected from both primary and secondary sources were analyzed and reviewed. Finally, the pertinent facts selected from within the interpretive framework were reported. According to Hockett (1987), the historical method is a process by which the researcher attempts to test the truthfulness of the reports of observations made by others. Evaluation of historical data and information is often referred to as “historical criticism.” The reliable data yielded by the process are known as “historical evidence” (Cohen & Manion, 1994). Because it is not possible to be completely certain about the genuineness and accuracy of historical sources, one of the researcher’s primary tasks is to question each source critically (Cohen & Manion). Historical criticism is usually undertaken in two stages. First, the authenticity of the source is appraised; and second, the accuracy or worth of the data is evaluated. The two processes are known as external and internal criticism, respectively. External criticism focuses on establishing the authenticity or genuineness of the data. This process is used to address the analytic forms of the data rather than interpret the data in relation to the study. According to Borg and Gall (1983), the student of educational history is not likely to encounter problems with the authenticity of sources. Most educational records are easily accessible and little be gained from forgery, unlike in fields such as business or anthropology. Having established the authenticity of the data, the researcher’s next task is to evaluate the accuracy and worth of the data collected. Internal criticism is a process used to establish the meaning, credibility, reliability, and validity of the data. Trustworthiness


62 will be assessed by evaluation of statements made by individuals connected to the SSA programs in terms of chronological and administrative proximity to events, competence, bias, and the conditions under which the statements were made. Accuracy of facts will be addressed by considering common knowledge, motivation of concerned individuals, and agreement with other known facts (McMillan & Schumacher, 1997). Setting This study took place on the campuses of three NCAA Division I-A institutions that have offices or programs which offer support services to student-athletes. Two of the institutions were four-year public or state-supported institutions; the other institution was a four-year private or non-state-supported institution. The selection of the specific institutions also involved several other factors: the number and types of services that the SSA program offers; the length of time the SSA program has existed on that particular campus; the number of professionals and staff members employed within the program; the availability of professionals and staff members to give an account of their program’s development; and the availability of historical data to be analyzed. Data Collection The researcher traveled to the selected campuses to conduct the research of the available historical data and to interview available administrators and staff members. This historical data included, but was not be limited to, the following information: various internal memos, personal communications, fact sheets, planning committee meeting minutes, formal proposals, brochures, graduation rate lists, and course offering lists. Individuals who were directly involved in the development of the respective SSA programs were selected for interviews. Individuals who participated in this study included the vice-president for student affairs, dean of students, athletic director,


63 associate athletic director, director of the SSA program, academic counselors, faculty members, and faculty conference representatives. Data Analysis The data collected were organized around the concept of organizational life cycles. As explained by Borg and Gall (1983), concepts are used in historical research to link together those persons, events, or objects that share a common set of attributes and allow the researcher to organize the phenomena that occurred in the past. The information collected from both primary and secondary sources was thus grouped together under the concept of organizational life cycles to show a meaningful pattern of events that contributed to the evolution of support programs for student athletes. An interpretive analysis was completed of all historical evidence collected to provide an explanation of the factors that led to the evolution, growth, and development of SSA programs. This analysis was conducted by looking for themes and causal events obtained from the data to indicate: who was involved with creating the program on the specific campus; what specific factors motivated the individuals to develop the program; how the program was structured; and what factors led to its evolution in terms of staffing, services, and accessibility. Researcher Bias An essential task of historical research consists of investigating the causes of past events. Causal inference in historical research is the process of reaching the conclusion that a given set of events brought about or caused, directly or indirectly, a subsequent set of events. In making causal inferences, the researcher made certain assumptions about the causative factors sometimes invoked to explain the course of events. In making causal inferences, the researcher conveyed his interpretation of the certainty of the causal link


64 (“it is highly likely that” or “it is possible that”) and strength of the causal link (“it was a major influence” or “it was but one of many events that influenced”). Throughout the process of analyzing the data collected at the study sites, the researcher relied heavily upon subjective interpretations to frame the historical evidence obtained. Many interpretations were invariably influenced by a certain amount of personal bias, values, and interests. To control for such bias, the researcher utilized the interpretive framework of organizational life cycles to explain the phenomena. Each of the interpretations explained some of the historical evidence, left other evidence unexplained, and suggested new lines of research. The organizational life cycle interpretation argues that SSA programs are an adaptation made by athletic departments in response to a changing social, academic, or athletic environment. According to Tyack (1976), alternative interpretations help the researcher “gain a more complex and accurate perception of the past and a greater awareness of the ambiguous relationship between the outcome and intent” (p. 186).


CHAPTER4 RESULTS OF THE STUDY Introduction The purpose of this study was to examine the origin and development of SSA programs at three different Division I-A universities in order to understand the factors that led these three institutions to develop, organize, and implement services for student-athletes. Specifically, this study sought to know: how each program was created, both in terms of administrative and financial accountability; how it developed into a functioning organization within its respective institution; and what factors influenced each to determine that establishing such a program was beneficial and necessary to helping its student-athletes reach their goals. Three institutions from the NCAA’s Division I-A level, each with a well-established student services for athletes (SSA) program, were selected for examination in this study. Considerable research has been conducted on the general need for SSA programs and the benefits they offer to student-athletes. Little research, however, has been done on the factors that led institutions to develop these programs or how they have evolved over their relatively brief existence. Of the three institutions, two were public four-year institutions that will be referred to as “Alpha” and “Gamma,” while the other was a private four-year institution which shall be known as “Beta.” All three were geographically located in the southeastern United States. At each institution, individuals with personal, historical, or otherwise relevant knowledge of the athletic advising program and its origins on the campus were identified and interviewed. The individuals consulted included, but were not limited to, 65


66 faculty, current and former academic and athletic administrators, coaches, and student-athletes. Historical documents from institutional archives, when available, were also consulted. The results will be introduced with the general findings the study produced to provide background information and an introduction into the informal development of SSA programs. After the general findings, the relevant factors external to the three institutions will then be submitted. Following this introduction and overview, the findings gathered from each individual institution will be presented in Greek alphabetical order, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. The results of the study will conclude with a summary section that will provide the major findings of the study that account for and demonstrate the unique evolution of the three programs. Background of Athletic Advising It is well documented, both herein and in the available literature, that student-athletes at Division I-A institutions constitute a unique population with special needs. They face tremendous demands upon their time and are under constant pressure to perform, both on the playing field and in the classroom. In the 1940s and 1950s, the NCAA and the individual conferences began enacting legislation to curb not only many of the scandals that were compromising the integrity of intercollegiate athletics, but also to force institutions and coaches to deal with the lack of academic progress among student-athletes. By raising the standards that all institutions have to abide by, the colleges themselves felt that no one would have an intrinsic advantage. The fate of student-athletes in the classroom most often rested with the head coaches, who were ultimately responsible for the athletes they recruited and signed. It was the coaches’ responsibility to make sure that their athletes remained eligible to


67 compete. The duty of providing whatever assistance an athlete required to make passing grades usually fell upon an assistant coach or perhaps even a graduate assistant. The task was simply to keep a player eligible by whatever means necessaryeven if it meant placing him in classes that could not be used toward satisfying the requirements of a degree. Most commonly, coaches would recommend that players take survival classes from professors who were thought to be favorable toward the athletic department. Because coaches were hired to coach their sport, and not academics, they often were not well-suited or even seriously interested in making sure a student-athlete was on track to graduate. The University of Texas gives credit to its former head football coach, Darrell Royal, for hiring the first academic advisor for athletes, referred to as the “brain coach,” in 1957. Royal hired Lan Hewlett to help football players make satisfactory grades so that they might remain academically eligible under the policies adopted by the Southwest Athletic Conference. However, it is possible that Alpha University established a full-time advising position two years earlier than Texas in 1955. While Hewlett may or may not have been the first officially designated academic advisor for football players, the practice of providing academic assistance in some manner to athletes in the late 1950s and early 1960s was becoming necessary nationwide as all the major conferences began instituting academic eligibility requirements. In the 1960s, many head coaches began hiring tutors to assist their athletes with learning and studying the material they were presented with in class. Coaches rarely desired to serve as academic counselors to their athletes, and felt that the role had been thrust upon them by the eligibility requirements imposed by the conferences and the


68 NCAA. Most often the tutors were graduate students; however, occasionally a professor from within a specific department was hired to provide assistance as well. Tutoring was seen as a necessary tool to help keep athletes on the field, and athletic departments began adding it as a line item on their budgets. Thus tutoring, along with whatever advice they received from their coaches, became the first measure of academic support formally offered to student-athletes. Tutoring was not the only need that student-athletes possessed. As more and more scrutiny weighed upon athletic programs to not only win games but to win with academically capable students, the pressures on the modern student-athlete continued to mount. Inflexible schedules, identity foreclosure, and isolation from other students were only some of the potential obstacles that student-athletes in elite programs had to overcome. General Findings Birth of the Full-time Advisor All three of the institutions in this study indicated that they devoted resources to athletic support services, in part, because they realized most of the student-athletes could not succeed without them. Indeed, the major impetus for creating a full-time athletic advisor for student-athletes came from a general realization on the part of coaches and athletic directors that the needs of student-athletes on the academic end of the spectrum went far beyond just tutoring. Football and basketball players, many of whom came from marginal academic backgrounds, were the primary constituency for tutoring. Because these athletes sometimes lacked the necessary skills to perform college-level work, they were likely to fall behind in class, become discouraged at their inability to perform, and lose interest in academics altogether. This lack of academic skills at the secondary-level


69 placed them at a disadvantage and consequently created a need for academic advising tailored specifically toward student-athletes. The move toward paying for part-time tutors, along with the transfer of responsibility from the coaches, laid the foundation for the full-time athletic advisors who were to follow in the late 1960s and early 1970s. All three institutions progressed through a formative stage of development in which they identified the basic needs of their student-athletes, primarily football and basketball players, and hired, or assigned, a specific individual to attend to those needs. Each institution studied traced the early origins of its support program to one individual who oversaw any tutoring sessions, the study hall (if there was one). That person also assisted students with registering for classes, communicated with professors, formulated a budget, and a myriad of other unassigned duties necessary to help maintain eligibility status among the student-athletes. In these initial stages of formation, the advisor usually worked with a bare minimum of oversight and was given considerable freedom to do as he wished in order to help the student-athletes. To properly understand the evolution of student services for athletes, it is important to note that the support offered to student-athletes in the 1960s and 1970s was focused primarily upon academic concerns (tutoring and scheduling) and bore little resemblance to the holistic, multi-faceted approaches that institutions operate today. Yet the personal needs of student-athletes, above and beyond mastering their homework assignments, served as a major factor in the establishment and development of SSA programs. Academic advisors quickly came to understand that student-athletes needed guidance tailored to their unique circumstances. The added pressures and demands of participation in intercollegiate athletics placed many student-athletes in a


70 vulnerable position in which they were susceptible to even greater academic disadvantages. The responsibility to help facilitate their learning and further their development as students fell upon academic advisors. Because these initial advisors were hired either directly by the head football coach, or at the request of the coach, the charge of keeping the athletes eligible was supported through the resources of the athletic department. This meant that any reasonable request to that end, such as hiring more tutors or providing a book room, was granted. Another advantage that the early athletic advisors enjoyed, which was tied to the support given from the head coach, was a great deal of discretion in terms of how to organize and operate the tutoring services, the study hall, and other services offered. At two of the three institutions in this study, the advisor also had great discretion in choosing classes for the athletes based upon their academic needs. If the advisor was keeping the athletes eligible and out-of-trouble then he encountered very little resistance from those within the athletic department. Generally speaking, this autonomy served both the advisor and the student-athletes well since the informality of the organizational culture helped the advisor build bonds of trust and commitment between him and the student-athletes. The successor to the original athletic tutor at Alpha University explained the situation in this manner: “I lived on-campus in the athletic dorm with the athletes so I was always able to keep up with them. Naturally, we saw each other a lot during the day and at the dining hall. They never had a problem coming to me when they needed help with something” (personal communication, April 30, 2005). This individual also stated that the key to his


71 effectiveness with the athletes was the unwavering support he received from the head football coach who hired him. Indeed, the head football coaches at all three institutions surveyed for this study were highly influential in the formative development of the SSA programs at their respective institutions. The coaches were in the best position to note the struggles that student-athletes experienced as they tried to juggle class attendance, find time to study, attend athletic practices, and any social activities they wished to pursue. They were also highly influential in the decisions made by the athletic advisors. Although the athletic advisors in this study never reported to the head football coach, it was acknowledged by individuals at each of the three institutions that the priorities of the football program were of the utmost importance. Not only did coaches want the academic needs of the student-athletes addressed, they also wanted the advisors to act in a variety of roles that they themselves could not. In particular, one of the most important functions of the advisors was as a liaison between the student-athlete and the faculty. Often the coaches felt they lacked credibility with the faculty and therefore wanted a full-time academic advisor (who in the case at two of the three institutions studied were faculty members themselves), who could present the student-athlete’s case to the faculty with some legitimacy. One individual interviewed for this study indicated that when he began working as an advisor to the student-athletes on the football team, he interceded with faculty members quite frequently on the behalf of the athletes. Faculty Involvement Coaches saw that their athletes needed guidance and assistance in order to maintain the appropriate grades, and their response to this need led to the beginning of academic


72 advisement for student-athletes, with some accompanying problems. One faculty member interviewed for this study indicated that he had reservations about whether the athletic advisor should operate under the direction of the athletic department: “The athletic advisor was really just a quick fix to the problem of eligibility requirements and that’s how the problem of majoring in eligibility got started” (personal communication, May 18, 2005). The majority of the faculty members interviewed for this study expressed similar concerns indicating that they understood the need for academic advising for the athletes, and so they went along with the idea. However, they did not agree with athletic advisors operating under the auspices of the athletic department. Despite faculty reservations, they often played a significant role in the development of SSA programs at Division I-A institutions. At Alpha and Beta, faculty members were approached to develop the tutoring and academic advising program for the student-athletes, while Gamma relied upon a professional academic counselor to start its program. Individuals at all three study sites stressed that their programs could not have become well established without securing faculty support. This was due mainly to the fact that these new athletic advisors needed communication with, and cooperation from, the faculty to ensure that they were effective in assisting the athletes in their charge. They therefore made a concerted effort to establish or improve working relationships with the faculty at every opportunity. The advisor who laid the foundation for the SSA program at Alpha commented on the issue of working with faculty members by saying, “They understood what we were trying to do and didn’t bristle too much when we asked for an exam make-up or an excused absence” (personal communication, May 1, 2005).


73 Because tutoring programs were often created at the behest of the head football coach and administered by someone with ties to the athletic department, its grassroots beginnings seemed to have escaped the notice, at least initially, of the institution’s senior administrators. However, once the progression toward academic advising, class scheduling, and time management protocols, such as study halls, began in the early 1970s, athletic advising could no longer escape administrative scrutiny. Consequently, advisors were already well established in their responsibilities by the time concerns over their mission were raised. Much like with the faculty, this led to a casual acceptance on the part of administrators to allow these operations to continue, so long as they were operating in conjunction with established academic regulations and benefiting the student-athletes. However, it is important to note that not all senior administrators were agreeable to letting the athletic department advise student-athletes for fear of the self-serving conflicts that could result. When it existed, resistance to permitting athletic advising to operate under the control of the athletic department most often came from the vice-president for academic affairs. Later, as the programs grew in complexity and personnel, dotted line or dual reporting relationships with academic and student affairs offices would develop. However in the early stages of its evolution, athletic advising remained largely free of encumbrances from the faculty or central administration. While such circumstances provided athletic departments with considerable freedom to run these programs to their liking, they were also, to an extent, the most practical way to assist student-athletes. The lead developer of the athletic advising program at Beta University expressed his reasoning in this manner: “There was some disagreement on the part of one senior vice


74 president as to the need for a separate advising office, but we made the case that the undergraduate advisors simply didn’t know the eligibility requirements well enough . . . and the president agreed” (personal communication, May 12, 2005). While not widespread, by the early 1970s, academic support for student-athletes was in place at a number of institutions, including one of the three campuses examined for this study. This ratio of one in three was likely an accurate representation across the country as only those athletic departments with considerable resources, highly regarded academic reputations, and forward-thinking leadership would have taken the step toward establishing student-athlete support services by this time (Underwood, 1984). Clarence Underwood, founder of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics, places the percentage of Division I-A institutions with established counseling programs at roughly 40 percent (Clarence Underwood, personal communication, June 2, 2005). Despite the increase in academic standards for student-athletes, some coaches still wanted to micro-manage the careers of their athletes, including their academic issues. According to the founder of the advising program at Alpha, “There were still lots of coaches in our conference who looked at academics as a peripheral issue to athletics. They made sure the kids stayed eligible by hook or by crook, but the focus was always on playing ball and not on getting a degree” (personal communication, May 1, 2005). This lack of attention to academic interests actually did much to draw attention to the efforts of those who were concerned about academic progress among student-athletes. After their four years of eligibility were exhausted, many former student-athletes were left with no marketable skills to help them obtain a job. This caused a backlash against institutions from many former athletes who felt betrayed by the one person they believed


75 they could always depend upon, their coach. Of these former student-athletes, a substantial percentage were black, who, after four years of college, felt they were no better off than before they had arrived on campus (Underwood, 1984). Many coaches had little concern over what classes their athletes took or what they majored in as long as they could still play ball. In the recruiting process, coaches often touted the benefits of the free education that the athlete would receive, however, once they arrived on campus the student-athlete was often left to discover how to obtain that free education on his own with little, if any, practical long-term guidance from his coaches. The progression toward formal academic advising for student-athletes overlapped with some of the most prolific years of the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s. During this time, and even into the early 1970s, black student-athletes started protesting their treatment at the hands of athletic departments, which they viewed as exploitative and indifferent to their needs as individuals. Among their list of grievances was the failure of their institutions and their coaches to provide them with the necessary support they needed to earn a degree. They accused the athletic departments of setting them up to fail by bringing them to campusknowing they were unprepared for a college curriculumwhile occupying the majority of their time solely with their athletic commitments. At several institutions across the country, black student-athletes formed alliances and walked away from their scholarships demanding that institutions do more to help black athletes, particularly in the area of academic support (Underwood, 1984).


76 External Factors Formation of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics Doing more to help student-athletes academically proved increasingly difficult for some athletic advisors who were struggling with little help to keep their athletes eligible. In the early 1970s, and even into the 1980s and 1990s at some institutions, some athletic advisors were still under the burden of helping athletes pick out courses one semester at a time rather than focusing upon a four-year degree track. In 1972, Clarence Underwood was hired as an academic advisor at Michigan State University in an attempt to assuage some of the concerns voiced by student-athletes regarding their inability to make legitimate academic progress toward a degree. The Big Ten Conference, of which Michigan State is a member, was one of the first conferences to actively promote academic advising services for athletes among its member institutions in the late 1960s. Despite this, however, Underwood found that most of those institutions offering advising services were mired with the same difficulties he faced, namely, little knowledge of how best to help academically deficient athletes make progress toward a degree in something other than eligibility. As the field was still in its infancy, and those institutions with athletic advising programs were few and far between, Underwood, along with Frank Downing from the University of Kentucky, invited the known academic advisors from across the country to the NCAA Convention held in St. Louis in January 1976. Fifteen athletic counselors attended the first meeting of what would become the National Association for Academic Advisors for Athletics. According to Underwood, “In 1972, it occurred to me that there weren’t that many people focused on student support. The N4A was a way to get ideas and reach out for help from other people who were in similar situations” (personal communication,


77 Underwood, June 2, 2005). The organization also served as a way to legitimize and draw attention to academic athletic advising in the eyes of athletic departments and college administrations, which, Underwood says, was part of the reason for convening the first meeting of the organization in concert with the NCAA conference. The advisors who attended the first meeting were all faced with the same dilemma: They were trying to help at-risk student-athletes on their campus who were failing academically and they had nowhere to turn for answers. At the initial meeting of the N4A, the advisors soon realized that developing a strategy for solving this problem was one of the primary tasks ahead of the fledgling organization. In 1972, the NCAA implemented legislation requiring all incoming freshmen to possess at least a 2.0 high school grade point average to qualify for eligibility as a student-athlete. The rule did not require a core curriculum, but only the minimum grade point average. Many athletic advisors disfavored the rule as working against the best interests of student-athletes by allowing them to take frivolous courses in high school that failed to prepare them for the rigors of college academic work (personal communication, Underwood, June 2, 2005). By the time some student-athletes arrived on campus, they excelled at passing courses that amounted to little more than rudimentary academic offerings, and they were perilously unprepared for the kinds of core freshmen classes they encountered in college. Athletic advisors, some of whom had been fighting to keep their athletes afloat academically for a decade or longer, recognized that student-athletes needed a more focused approach once they set foot on campus if they were ever to graduate. One partial solution to the problem involved allowing academic advisors to assist with recruiting. In


78 this way, the advisors were at least able to see and get an idea for the kinds of issues they might encounter while working with the freshmen athletes. Another proposed way of dealing with athletes’ poor academic performance was to examine how their collegiate experiences differed from that of the general student population and find ways of adjusting for the differences. This examination into the day-to-day routines and interactions of the students who participated in intercollegiate athletics ultimately led to fostering and cultivating this duality which is now known as the “student-athlete.” A few institutions began looking for help from outside the athletic department by hiring individuals who had professional backgrounds in education, psychology, and counseling. These institutions thought that hiring individuals accustomed to helping disadvantaged populations would bring a valuable perspective to the problem of pushing student-athletes across the academic finish line. Among the strongest proponents of such practices were members of the N4A, who subsequently lobbied their institutions for more such assistance. Even so, institutions carefully scrutinized these moves because bringing in professionals from outside the realm of athletics constituted a bold step on the part of athletic directors and coaches, who were known for keeping athletic departments sheltered from outside interference. In the long run, adding more specialized individuals with professional credentials proved a fortuitous move that helped permanently change the nature of athletic advising. For those institutions with established advising operations, their past experiences dealing with student-athletes allowed them to accelerate the growth of their athletic advising programs by instituting new practices that raised the level of services offered to student-athletes. These services are most evident today in such


79 positions or programs as learning specialists, private computer labs, and even career placement officers who work only with student-athletes. All these types of services, designed to graduate student-athletes with the same competitive skills as their non-athlete counterparts, have come into existence as institutions have accepted their obligation to prepare student-athletes for their lives that will follow their athletic careers. Without the proper psychological preparation, many student-athletes would not have the chances for success after graduation that their non-athlete peers enjoy. While it has occurred very slowly, the perception of student-athletes and their needs has changed radically from the era of the “brain coach.” In part, this change has taken place to answer the growing refrain of exploitation from critics of intercollegiate athletics attesting that student-athletes, particularly those competing in football and basketball, are not students in any meaningful sense at all. Institutions have often been criticized for recruiting athletes in football and basketball who do not reach the set academic standards for the general student body. A more fundamental reason, however, for the evolution of student services for athletes resides in the fact that professionals within college athletics witnessed the failure of student-athletes to grow and develop in the same beneficial ways as their non-athlete counterparts. Now that a suitable context for the development of these SSA programs has been provided, it is now necessary to consider the findings obtained from the research conducted at each of the three institutions named in this study. The chapter will proceed by examining those findings from Alpha University and continue in Greek alphabetical order with Beta and Gamma to follow.


80 Alpha University Introduction Alpha University has a long tradition of success in intercollegiate athletics, particularly in football, which, with the occasional exception of basketball, serves as the backbone of a Division I-A athletic department. It is also an institution that has long prided itself on its high academic standards, including the standards required of its athletes. Maintaining the lofty status of a rigorous, scholarly reputation along with the perennial quest for a championship-caliber football team was already an epic undertaking in the 1950s when the institution hired its first athletic advisor. In so doing, it was one of the first, if not the first, institution to hire someone to provide full-time academic assistance to student-athletes. With the benefit of its lengthy experience in the field, the institution helped to redefine the nature of the athletic academic support in the 1980s and early 1990s. It eventually set the standard by which many other institutions would judge themselves in how they offered student services to athletes. The First Advisor As previously noted, Alpha designated a permanent advisor for athletes in 1955 to help its athletes stay eligible in the swirling sea of classes, homework, and exams. In the early 1950s, the person asked to fill this position served as the head of Alpha’s math department. The institution’s utilization of tutors for its football team dates back to 1943 when the head football coach, in response to perceived pressure from the NCAA’s mandate that athletes were to meet the same academic standards as the undergraduate student body, began monitoring the academic performance of his athletes. He wanted to ensure that the athletes met the institution’s academic criteria. Due to the institution’s


81 high academic standards, particularly in the area of mathematics, many of the players on the football team struggled to keep up with the rigors of their coursework along with their demanding football responsibilities. In 1954, the head football coach, entering his 10th season at Alpha, began actively soliciting aid from junior faculty members and graduate assistants to arrange all the tutoring needs for his players. On the advice of many of the faculty he consulted, the head coach aimed his requests towards the head of the mathematics department, who already tutored some of the football players and served as an informal advisor to students within the department. The head coach’s main concern was to find someone who could make sure that his athletes received the necessary assistance with their classes, including which classes they should take. In the spring of 1955, the head of the math department at Alpha agreed to coordinate the tutoring sessions for the football players, in addition to maintaining his academic responsibilities. This arrangement served as the first step toward an organized and established tutoring program. Initially, until 1958, the new coordinator worked only with the football athletes and reported to the head football coach. However, once the effectiveness of the program became apparent, the head coach, who also served as athletic director, asked the coordinator to take on the position full-time in order to serve all the athletes who needed tutoring, not just the football players. Many of the other coaches were eager to have their athletes receive assistance and asked the athletic director to allow the advisor to coordinate tutoring for their athletes as well. Once the advisor began overseeing tutoring for the athletic department as a whole, his reporting line on paper changed directly to the athletic director. This change also prompted the athletic


82 department to list tutoring as an independent line item on its budget as opposed to listing it under football-related expenses. The move from full-time faculty member to full-time athletic advisor caught the attention of the provost who called a meeting involving both the athletic director and the advisor. At the meeting, the sequence of events that led to the evolution of a full-time advisor for student-athletes was explained and the goals of the new program were further laid out. The provost, pleased with what he heard, encouraged the advisor to cultivate a relationship with the registrar’s office to assist him with pertinent academic issues that might develop with the student-athletes he advised. Further contacts took place between the athletic director and the president, who also gave his approval of the efforts being taken on behalf of the athletes. Independence for the Advisor The athletic advising situation at Alpha remained for the next 10 years fairly static in terms of the lone advisor, his reporting responsibilities, and the amount of resources dedicated to the program. In 1967, the athletic department hired a new head football coach. In the summer of 1967, the advisor announced that he was going to step down from the program at the end of the year. Part of the reason for this involved conflict between the advisor and the head coach was the head coach wanting the advisor to do more than just coordinate the tutoring program and advise athletes on their schedules. Because the football team constituted the bulk of the advisor’s clientele, the athletic director asked the head football coach to choose the advisor’s successor. Given the intense nature of mathematics at the institution, the coach believed that hiring another professor from the math department would best serve the athletes.


83 He then proceeded to ask his players which of their tutors from the mathematics department they enjoyed working with the most and the person they named, almost unanimously, was hired in the spring of 1968. Ironically, the former advisor had asked the newly hired advisorback in 1964 when he was an assistant professor of mathematicsto provide him with some assistance by tutoring the athletes. The news spread quickly throughout Alpha’s athletic conference and even reached the Associated Press, which released on its news wire, “Alpha hires ‘Brain Coach.’” One of the stipulations made to the new advisor, who happened to be young and single, was that he had to be more involved in the lives of the football players. The coach wanted the new advisor to live with the football team and have immediate access to them. In this way, he reasoned, the players would have the constant supervision of their academic coach, and any academic issues that arose would likely be solved more promptly. Along with the change of position came a change in reporting back to the head football coach. In the late 1960s, it was permissible under NCAA guidelines for an advisor to recruit off-campus, and the head football coach often allowed the advisor access to potential recruits in order to assess their academic ability. In addition, the new advisor’s responsibilities also included operating a book room for the athletes, assigning housing for them, and awarding the scholarships for the football team. Despite the fact that coordinating the tutoring program for the athletes and monitoring their progress for the NCAA was what the position had been created to do, the new advisor, eager to work in the athletic department, accepted the additional duties without complaint. To accommodate the new advisor, space was created to serve as the new athletic advising office out of a room in the campus gymnasium. Despite the newly allotted


84 space, the advisor found that he got most of his business done with the athletes around the athlete dining table rather than in the office. Since I lived with them and saw them every day in the dining area, I was able to meet with them in a casual atmosphere during the course of their day. If I needed to tell somebody to get their butt to class, I could do it over a hamburger rather than from behind my desk. (personal communication, May 12, 2005) The increased amount of responsibility for the advisor brought an increase in the budget for the athletic support program. Due to their limited number, scholarships had become very precious commodities to the athletic department. Great emphasis was placed upon retaining every athlete who received a grant-in-aid, particularly football players. As the athletic support program gained more status, it also attracted more attention from faculty members, favorable and otherwise. Some members within the faculty senate resented the athletic department for scavenging their ranks for “athletic baby-sitters.” They also did not appreciate that some faculty members were tutoring athletes for their colleagues’ classes and they encouraged the provost to put a stop to the practice. Reluctantly, the provost agreed and requested the athletic director to ask the advisor to look outside the faculty for tutors. Alpha shares its city with another higher education institution nearby. Without any consequence, the advisor began asking faculty members from this peer institution to tutor his student-athletes. A second challenge to the success of the upstart program came from the administration. The dean of undergraduate studies took issue with the athletic department paying for one athletic advisor to assist the academic progress for student-athletes in dozens of different academic programs. He argued that the student-athletes should report to an advisor in their individual colleges who could best advise them on their academic programs. The athletic department countered with the obvious retort that


85 the college advisors would not know the NCAA eligibility requirements well enough to adequately advise the athletes. Both the president and provost liked the job that the advisor had done since he took over the position, and the dean’s idea received no further attention. Ironically, in an effort to win back the support of the faculty, the advisor sought and gained permission from the head coach and athletic director to take faculty members on away games with the football team. The idea proved quite successful and many volunteered to tutor the athletes. Professionalizing the Position The merry-go-round of college coaching seldom stops, and in 1974 Alpha hired yet another new head football coach, the third since the advisor was hired in 1968. Unlike his predecessors, the new coach wanted little involvement worrying about the academic aspects of his players’ lives and gave back reporting responsibilities for the academic support program to the director of athletics. With the change in reporting reverting back to the athletic director, the advisor was given the title of director of academics for athletics, and he was allowed complete budgetary discretion over the academic unit. In order to remain on top of the progress the athletes made, the director felt he needed to stay physically close to the athletes. In 1975, when the athletic director approached him about hiring an assistant and leaving his position as hall director of the athletic dorm, the director declined. He cited the fact that if he relied upon others, he would not know what was taking place in the daily lives of the athletes. Now several years into his position, the director had gained considerable respect among the faculty and helped calm some of the concerns voiced among individual faculty members over the academic caliber of the student-athletes whom Alpha admitted.


86 According to the director, the admissions office was very sympathetic to the athletic program and knew concessions had to be made concerning the credentials of particular recruits. In the seven years that the director had operated the academic support unit for athletics, only one student-athlete had lost his eligibility. This kind of performance enhanced considerably the credibility he wielded among both the faculty and administration. This high level of performance also ensured that the academic support program received ample financial support from the athletic department. According to the director, the athletic advising office in the late 1970s tutored approximately 10 to 12 courses a night, two or three times a week, which required a tremendous tutoring budget. “At that time, we had about a $30,000 annual budget just for tutoring,” recalls the director, “but since I never had any problems keeping the athletes eligible I was given anything I needed” (personal communication, May 12, 2005). As with many other athletic departments, Alpha’s athletic operations budget was in the red. The director of academic support did his part to keep the costs of the office low for the overall betterment of the student-athletes. Because his housing was supplied through the institution, he agreed to work for a lower salary than if he lived in off-campus housing. Furthermore, his refusal to add any staff to the office allowed the athletic department to divert the majority of funds allotted for the program into the tutoring budget. In an effort to address the financial needs of the athletic program, the institution gained membership in a major athletic conference in 1978. Expansion and Growth Conference membership was only one step toward financial stability; facilities, or lack thereof, were also a major concern for the institution. As part of the institution’s plan


87 to regain a prominent position among the top athletic programs in the country, it developed plans to build a multi-million dollar athletic center from funds received through a private gift, which would house all athletic department personnel. The director, who still served as the lone academic advisor for all of the institution’s student-athletes, looked at the new center as a way of expanding his program. He successfully lobbied a newly hired athletic director to give him some space in the new facility: “I analogized it to an academic training facility, a weight room for the brain, if you will” (personal communication, May 12, 2005). Opened in 1982, the new athletic center offered the institution’s student-athletes unprecedented opportunities in terms of academic services, studying space, and access to technology. It also led to the inevitable expansion of the academic support program. The new building was one of the major initiatives advanced and executed by a new athletic director hired in 1980. One of the major tenets of the new athletic director’s philosophy was a completely holistic approach toward support services for student-athletes that went beyond academic tutoring. This philosophy called for student-athletes to experience training in a number of activities, including, career planning, improving studying habits, and daily time management skills. As a result, the new athletic director hired several new staff members to work under the director in order to implement his new student-athlete success program. This change in administrative structure presented a challenge to the director who was not used to collaborative efforts in directing the institution’s academic support program. Along with a new athletic director, the institution also hired a new head football coach in 1980. In 1982, after disagreements with the director over several issues relating


88 to the director’s role overseeing the academic progress of the football team, the head football coach brought in a new athletic advisor. This new advisor was now called an “academic counselor” whose duties would include handling scheduling, coordinating tutoring, and supervising the study hall for the football team. The new advisor, an attorney and former football player at the institution, was one of many new administrators hired to implement the athletic director’s vision for student support. The director conceded his position after 14 years of serving as the lone advisor and agreed to oversee the book room of the new academic center, but he would no longer directly advise the student-athletes. In spite of the clash between the head coach and the director, there were also practical reasons to expand the academic support program. In 1983, the NCAA passed new legislation that would affect the eligibility of incoming student-athletes. Known as Proposition 48, the new rule required an incoming student-athlete to possess a 2.0 grade point average consisting of core courses in mathematics, English, social studies, and science. In addition to meeting the grade requirement, prospective student-athletes also had to score either a 700 on the SAT or 15 on the ACT to be eligible to receive a scholarship and to compete in their freshmen year. The implications of this new rule were not lost on athletic advisors around the country, particularly those within the N4A. Despite the director’s effectiveness at keeping the institution’s athletes eligible through his hands-on approach, the graduation rate of the players had suffered as the football team became mired in mediocrity. The new athletic director believed that a more collaborative and specialized effort was needed to ensure the continued academic success of student-athletes at the institution. In line with this belief, the athletic director proposed that the professionals working in academic support


89 were to approach athletic advising from a four-pronged model focusing on mental, physical, spiritual, and social development. In addition to the increase in staff members, this new philosophy also mandated an increase in resources devoted to the academic support center. Implementing the Model Program In the early-to-mid-1980s, an intense fervor surrounded the pending implementation of Proposition 48, and a seemingly endless litany of scandals indicted the integrity of intercollegiate athletics throughout the country. There was a push from select constituencies within college athletics, such as the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, to adopt and promote a more vested concern for the welfare of student-athletes outside of their athletic performances. This exemplified the approach taken by the athletic director at Alpha to help raise the graduation rate of the institution’s athletes and ensure their success after their playing days were over. Without a holistic counseling approach that went beyond merely staying eligible, the athletic director believed student-athletes could not successfully meet the demands of playing Division I athletics and graduate from an institution with a particularly rigorous undergraduate curriculum. Due to the lack of resources the department faced in the early-to-mid-1980s, the athletic director chose to implement his vision one stage at a time. The first step in his plan was to build upon the academic advising foundation that the director had put in place the past decade and a half. In 1983, at the behest of the head football coach, the academic advisor for football was promoted and given the title of associate athletic director for student services. That same year, the new associate athletic director hired individual academic advisors for men and women’s basketball, as well as a third advisor


90 to work with student-athletes participating in the remaining 11 sports, often referred to as “olympic sports.” The advisors were admonished by the athletic director to present the four-pronged counseling approach as much as they could in their individual sessions with the athletes. They were also told to coordinate workshops dealing with healthy lifestyle habits at every opportunity, requiring the assembling of the institution’s student-athlete population. However, with limited financial resources, the athletic director’s goal of implementing his idea to the extent he believed it necessary was hampered. In order to create the resources needed to fund his idea the athletic director decided to make the new academic support center the selling point of his fundraising initiatives with boosters and prominent alumni. The strategy paid off in 1985 when the institution received a multi-million-dollar endowment to fund the athletic director’s visionary athletic support program. On the heels of this coup, the academic support center staff experienced some reorganization. In 1988, the associate athletic director for student services resigned his position to return to practicing law. This void in leadership prompted the athletic director to promote the men’s basketball advisor to direct the academic center, at least temporarily. A year later, in 1989, a senior associate athletic director left his position and the recently promoted director of academics was promoted yet again to fill it. This left the director of academics position vacant. The athletic director approached the athletic advisor for the football team and asked him if he wanted the job. He accepted and became the assistant athletic director for academics. When he joined Alpha as an advisor in 1988, the total budget for the academic support unit of the athletic director’s student


91 athlete services program was about $250,000, with about $60,000 of this earmarked for tutoring. By the time the assistant athletic director for academics left the institution in 1995, the budget for academic support had soared to $800,000. Between 1988 and 1995, the academic support unit of the student-athlete services program enjoyed stability and success, both on the field and in the classroom. During this time, the assistant athletic director for academics oversaw a 100 percent graduation rate for the entering football class of 1987 and numerous conference championships in men and women’s sports. There was also an increase of six additional staff members in the academic support unit, raising the total number of individuals working in the office to eight full-time employees and two part-time graduate assistants. Refining and Remodeling By the early 1990s, the academic support unit had two full-time athletic advisors and a graduate assistant working with the student-athletes on the football team. The combined olympic sports were assigned 3 athletic advisors to work with nearly 300 student-athletes. With greater staff support, the athletic director was able to fill in more pieces of the model student-athlete program he envisioned. As staff increased, so did their responsibilities in terms of providing services to the student-athletes. Workshops, seminars, and presentations were offered to the student-athletes several times each semester with various objectives in mind: career planning, health and nutritional awareness, emotional development, and spiritual growth. Athletic advisors were no longer accountable for merely keeping student-athletes eligible. By the mid-1990s, they were counseling athletes in several different facets of student development more commonly associated with student affairs administration than intercollegiate athletics.


92 The components of the program were implemented gradually over time as the staff developed. Moreover, as the staff took shape from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, athletic advisors were screened in the hiring process for professional or educational qualifications they possessed, which related to different aspects of the holistic student-athlete advising approach. For example, in 1988, a learning specialist, with a master’s degree in special education, was hired to help test student-athletes for learning disabilities. A nutritionist and career support specialist were also hired in 1989 and 1991, respectively. By 1990, the program had demonstrated unique success in its ability to retain and graduate student-athletes, so much so that other institutions from around the country began inquiring into its methodology. In 1991, the NCAA sought to institute a model of the program throughout a select number of its member institutions nationwide. This test program would evolve into the Challenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success (CHAMPS) Life Skills Program by 1993. This CHAMPS program, as with the student-athlete program at Alpha, uses a well-rounded approach embodied in a number of principles comprised of 1) academics 2) athletics 3) personal development 4) career development, and 5) public service. The program provides support and practical training for student-athletes with the aim of promoting their success beyond their years of collegiate eligibility. With the launch of the CHAMPS program in 1993, Alpha’s athletic support program was viewed as the model for student-athlete development in the nation. The academic support center’s endowment allowed the athletic director to hire the personnel necessary to handle all facets of his multi-dimensional athletic support program. By the time the assistant athletic director for academics resigned his position in

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93 1995, the athletic support program, including the academic support, career services, and personal wellness divisions, had 16 full-time employees. The budget had grown from just over $250,000 to an amount in excess of $2 million in just over 13 years. When the assistant athletic director for academics stepped down and with his own retirement imminent, the athletic director decided to spin off the personal wellness division of the support program from the academic support unit. This had the effect of creating two separate offices, both of which operated under the umbrella of the athletic support program. A director for the new personal wellness division was hired at the same time a replacement for the assistant athletic director was found. In 1997, the athletic director decided to retire. His replacement, who had been an assistant football coach at the institution in the 1960s, became only the sixth athletic director in the institution’s history. With a new athletic director came a new structure for the athletic support program. A third division was created to reorganize the life skills elements of the program. Career advisement services, community outreach efforts, and personal growth initiatives, such as time management skills, were now coordinated under this new division. Prior to this reorganization, these services were assigned to individual academic advisors who coordinated their activities among themselves and reported to the assistant athletic director for academics. After less than two years in the position, the assistant athletic director for academics resigned. This offered the new athletic director the opportunity to reclassify the position as the director of academic services. This titled equalized the position with the director titles of both the life skills and personal wellness divisionspersonal wellness was subsequently renamed as the sports performance center. Familiar with the

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94 athletic department’s original practice of using a faculty member to oversee the academic support for the student-athletes, the athletic director named a former faculty member and then associate dean of students to direct the academic support division of the program. With this new hire, the academic support staff was increased with one additional academic advisor to assist with football, bringing the total working staff with that team to three. A computer technology specialist was added to maintain the department’s revamped computer lab, and the tutoring budget was nearly doubled. The new staff additions and increased budget paid immediate dividends. By the end of the 2000-2001 academic year, Alpha was graduating nearly 80 percent of its student-athletes with a median grade point average of 2.81. An idea that began nearly a half-century earlier with a former math professor providing tutoring assistance to the football team evolved and grew into an entire endowed department, with another former professor leading the way, at the dawn of a new century. Summary Alpha’s student services for athletes program has evolved over a half-century dating back to its first athletic advisor in the 1950s. Since that time, the idea that began as a method of managing eligibility has emerged as a way of promoting overall personal development among the institution’s student-athlete population. The original emphasis, from the mid-1950s through the late-1970s, was on tutoring and priority registration as the keys to academic success. Eventually that emphasis gave way to more elaborate concepts, such as academic counseling, personal wellness, and learning assessments in the 1980s and 1990s. The primary reason for this shift in focus at Alpha resulted from a new administrative initiative for student-athlete support created by the athletic director in

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95 the early 1980s. From a macro-perspective, the founding of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics in the mid-1970s brought a marked increase of attention to the underlying issues of why student-athletes were underachieving academically and socially. This backdrop of heightened publicity and awareness coincided with the athletic director’s vision for a new kind of approach to student services for athletes. This vision, which was coupled with the resources provided by a substantial endowment to the athletic department, allowed the athletic director to implement his program by hiring the necessary staff to complement the various specialized facets of the program. The success the program managed to achieve attracted the attention of many other athletic programs looking to fashion their more traditional approaches to athletic advising after what Alpha managed to achieve. Beta University Introduction Beta University is a private institution founded in 1925. Currently, its student population hovers around 12,000 full-time students. The institution began competing in intercollegiate athletics in 1926 when it played its first football contest. As a private institution, Beta struggled throughout much of its history to stay competitive in intercollegiate sports in a region dominated by its larger public neighbors. Balancing the need to field a winning team and provide resources to keep them on track to graduate proved a difficult task when academic advising for student-athletes first arrived on campus in a significant way in 1971. In the 1970s, student-athlete support services were still an unproven investment of human resources and funding to some athletic departments throughout the country,

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96 especially those that did not have the demonstrated record of success on the playing field and subsequently lacked the resources of other institutions. Beta was one such institution in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As previously discussed, coaches have played a key role and are one of the primary factors in the evolution of academic support services for student-athletes. However, Beta represents an example where a former football player, and a head coach, served as the initiating factors in the evolution of the support program on its campus. As with the other institutions in this study, one individual who possessed strong motivation to serve the student-athletes, laid the foundation for the support program. From its initial stages in the early 1970s through its substantive development in the 1990s, the student-athlete support program at Beta has evolved in relative proportion with other SSA programs around the country. From Tutoring to Advising The academic support program at Beta began in 1971 when a former football player at Beta was hired upon the recommendation of the head football coach to provide academic support to Beta’s student-athletes. The idea for such a program arrived at Beta when the institution hired a new football coach for the 1971 season. At a football banquet held by the Beta Touchdown Club, the new coach met with a former player, who had just received his doctorate in educational administration at Beta earlier that year. The discussion revolved around the coach’s desire to supply all of Beta’s athletes with some measure of academic support to promote scholarship and graduation among the student-athlete population. Upon the recommendation of the new coach, the former player, who, only months prior, had been hired as an assistant professor in Beta’s School of Education, met with the athletic director and was immediately appointed as the athletic department’s assistant

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97 athletic director for academic guidance and counseling. As the first person to serve in the newly created position, the advisor had little in the way of precedent to show him how to achieve the department’s goals of keeping its athlete’s eligible and on track to graduate. The athletes themselves and the issues they presented to the advisor helped shaped the initial direction of how the academic support was provided. Often the needs of only a small number of student-athletes, who perhaps needed to drop one class and register for another one, or who wanted to find a tutor for a particular class, would preoccupy any given day’s agenda. The head football coach’s main concern was to help Beta’s student-athletes stay on track to graduate and this directive guided the focus of the new advisor as the program got off the ground. The first task he set about achieving was establishing links and relationships with professors and advisors in each of Beta’s 12 colleges and schools. The duties the advisor tended to most frequently included assisting with scheduling for classes, hiring tutors for particular subjects, and organizing a study hall. Despite his administrative position as an assistant athletic director, the advisor maintained his appointment as an assistant professor in the School of Education. As a result of this unique arrangement, the advisor received half of his salary from the athletic department and the other half from his academic department. Like his counterpart at Alpha, the advisor at Beta had little to concern himself about over the budget for the academic support program. According to the advisor, “I would just send the athletic department a bill for the tutoring services. I don’t even know if there was a budget for it back then” (personal communication, May 3, 2005).

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98 However, finances for the athletic department as a whole were scarce so the advisor tried to run the program as efficiently and effectively as he could. Instead of organizing the tutors around the athlete’s schedules, the advisor often grouped together all of the athletes taking a specific course to sit in on a combined tutorial session. Also, because of a lack of space for the study hall the advisor utilized the athletic dining facility to hold study sessions in the evening when the facility was unoccupied. Due to his prior experience as a student-athlete himself, the advisor understood what the student-athletes needed in terms of his services. One of his primary tasks was to ensure that the athletes maintained the required academic progress towards their degrees. To facilitate this, he often worked in close collaboration with the academic advisors and professors within the various schools and departments. The advisor noted that his educational background proved quite valuable in helping him to build rapport with the professors he dealt with throughout the institution: “my doctorate definitely helped me to gain the respect of the academics I worked with; they thought of me as more of a colleague than as an administrator” (personal communication, May 3, 2005). Not long after he began, the advisor’s efforts proved so successful that all freshmen athletes and all of the football players were required to attend the study hall sessions throughout the first several years of its existence. This policy eventually changed in the mid-1970s when only freshmen and those athletes whose grade point average fell below a 2.0 would be required to attend. Student-athletes and coaches from all of Beta’s athletic teams praised the practice of offering the new advising services to all of the institution’s athletes. At some institutions such support services were exclusive to the football program. However, with

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99 his academic background in education the advisor continually emphasized to coaches and administrators in the athletic department, as well as his colleagues among the faculty, that his interests were in helping all of the institution’s athletes graduate, not merely those on the football team. Hard times for the football team through much of the 1970s meant lean years for the athletic department. However, despite the strict fiscal limitations, the department did not waver in its commitment to providing some measure of academic support to Beta’s student-athletes. In 1971, due to budget shortages and losing seasons, the athletic director decided to do away with the floundering basketball program altogether. To continue offering tutoring services, the advisor often personally worked with the student-athletes when necessary. Helping the student-athletes with the rigors of their classes often required the advisor to help them overcome challenges they faced with learning in general. While such problems for student-athletes were not uncommon they received little in the way of formal acknowledgement from most academics. The advisor also began utilizing his connections with faculty members and graduate students throughout the institution to place student-athletes with qualified tutors in the various degree programs. This way he felt that the student-athletes were connected with individuals within their departments who could provide them with a finer level of guidance relevant to their degree. Administrative Role As a former high school football coach, the advisor had some familiarity working with high school athletes and their parents. With this in mind, the athletic department asked the advisor to assist in recruiting potential student-athletes for all of Beta’s athletic teams. The advisor began promoting the academic support program he administered to

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100 the parents and recruits on weekends when they came to visit the institution. The greatest advantage of this practice, according to the advisor, was that “if you could convince the parents of the institution’s academic credibility you had a better chance of landing a recruit” (personal communication, May 3, 2005). From the research he had conducted on student-athletes, the advisor attempted to implement some of the ideas he garnered and practices he knew of at other institutions. This proved a difficult task since he had no staff or other personnel assistance to share the tremendous workload. For much of the business day the advisor tended to the athletes in the athletic administration building before going to teach his classes in the evening hours. The athletic department’s perennial deficits, which required significant subsidization from the general university fund, made expanding the program beyond the basic academic advising model next to impossible. In addition, the lack of funding prevented the athletic department from improving their facilities as a whole, which, in turn, made it more difficult to attract highly regarded recruits to the institution. Across the country, many athletic advisors found themselves in similar situations to that of Beta’s advisor: precious few resources to throw at the problems of a chronically underachieving population of students who happened to garner more media attention than any other constituency on college campuses. And like at Beta, these advisors usually faced such obstacles by themselves with no assistance from other staff or institution personnel. At Beta, the problem for the advisor was how to meet the needs of more than 300 student-athletes, many of whom possessed learning disabilities and others simply had weak academic skill sets. Yet all of them had class schedules, homework assignments,

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101 and lives after college to prepare for. The advisor found it next to impossible to serve the student-athletes the way he felt they needed to be served. With the financial illness of the athletic department and no additional funds to hire another full-time staff member, the only recourse left for him remained utilizing the resources of the campus facilities. Exploring and Creating Options In 1977, a young faculty member began directing the institution’s Upward Bound program, a federally funded program designed to assist at-risk freshmen and sophomores with the transition to college. The program is specifically designed to assist with potential retention issues and provides counseling, academic advising, course selection assistance, tutoring, and grade-tracking services to students participating in the program. The new director immediately increased the program budget, boosted the total number of students enrolled in the program and, in the process, significantly raised the program’s profile on campus. In stark contrast, the athletic department continued to find its fortunes receding. The institution’s Board of Trustees had repeatedly visited the question of dropping the football program and, perhaps inevitably, doing away with intercollegiate athletics altogether. Amid such clouds of uncertainty and failure, the athletic director resigned, effective February 1979 due to health concerns involving his wife. The advisor, who for eight years had served as the assistant athletic director for academic guidance and counseling, was named to replace him. This promotion presented an opportunity for the advisor to develop new relationships with key departments on campus that had deteriorated over the years. It also allowed the advisor to seek a meaningful solution to the critical lack of academic and social support given to the institution’s student athletes.

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102 Throughout the 1970s, the annual losing campaigns of the football team had worn alumni booster support for the athletic department down to a trickle. The new athletic director sought to rally support for the department by reaching out to the institution’s booster club. In the spring of 1979, Beta successfully lured a high-profile assistant head coach away from a top NFL franchise to take on the challenge of rebuilding its dilapidated football program. The new athletic director used the well-publicized hire to stir some interest in the team among the jaded boosters. Part of his selling package to prominent alumni included the need for an academic support program for the student-athletes. In several speeches he gave at booster club meetings, the athletic director emphasized the interrelated nature of success on the field with success in the classroom, pointing to the fact that as the institution’s graduation and retention rate among its student-athletes fell, so fell their winning percentage on the field. Just as importantly, by the end of the 1970s, the influence of the N4A began to spread around the nation. Colleges with high athletic aspirations began to create academic support units within their athletic departments in competitive response to the actions of their rival institutions. By 1980, the predominant Division I-A institution in the state began devoting more resources to its athletic academic support office, a point not lost on the athletic director at Beta when he spoke to boosters and influential community members. According to Clarence Underwood, the co-founder of the N4A, the institutions that were the most successful at providing support services for their athletes were the ones who did it for the right reasons: “The institutions that jumped ahead of the pack [in providing support to student-athletes] were those that did it out a genuine concern for the

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103 personal welfare of the athletes, not just to keep up with the Joneses” (personal communication, May 12, 2005). Along with many other institutions during this time, Beta had the willingness, but it had neither the resources nor the administrative flexibility to tailor its educational delivery to the needs of many of its student-athletes. To further his cause on the campus, the athletic director began meeting with the dean of students to help coordinate some orientation events for the freshmen student-athletes arriving on campus. In response to the athletic director’s repeated inquiries about creating an athletic advising sub-unit of the university advising department, the dean suggested the athletic director visit the director of the Upward Bound program, who was having tremendous success assisting incoming freshmen and sophomores with the transition to the university. With a doctorate in education, the Upward Bound director knew quite well of the troubles that student-athletes experienced, in general, concerning their academic and professional development. At their meeting the athletic director explained to the Upward Bound director that the athletic department did not have the resources to provide a comprehensive support program. As a result, a great number of marginal student-athletes were floundering in the sea of eligibility with little strength to resist the current of academic regulations determined to wash them ashore. An agreement took place between the director and the athletic director that allowed him to assign some of his entering student-athletes, all of them football players, to participate in the services provided through the Upward Bound program. This arrangement served as a foothold from which the athletic director hoped more far-reaching services could be added for the benefit of all 300-plus student-athletes at the institution. The inevitable hurdle of financial instability continued to plague the athletic

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104 department in all areas; however, by 1981, the new coach had started delivering on his promise to turn the football program into a winner. This turn of fortunes proved uplifting in many respects, not just on the football field. With the newfound success created by some high profile victories against traditional powers and traditional rivals, the athletic director again began to trumpet the need for greater internal support to the individual athletes themselves. Joining him in his call for action to the boosters and the surrounding community was the former director of women’s athletics at the institution and several coaches of women’s teams. They felt that the female athletic teams had long borne the brunt of discrimination on many fronts, academic and otherwise. Starting the Revamped Program In early 1983, the athletic director surprised the institution’s community by announcing his resignation effective in June. During his tenure as athletic director, he succeeded in raising the awareness of Beta’s administrators, faculty, and boosters regarding the lack of committed assistance to the institution’s athletes. Following his resignation, the former athletic director returned to his faculty position within the institution’s School of Education. He believed that as a faculty member, with his athletic background, he could prove a greater force for change for the student-athletes. This thinking proved correct as the institution quickly appointed him as its faculty representative to the NCAA, a post he kept at Beta through the 1995 academic year. The goal for the former advisor-turned-faculty representative had always been an administrative sub-unit within the athletic department to attend to the academic and social affairs of the student athletes. The next step in solidifying a centrally located, permanent office for this program was to bring the new athletic director onboard for the idea. The

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105 year 1983 turned out to be the most successful season ever for the football team. Abruptly following the 1983 campaign, the head football coach resigned in lieu of a head coaching position with a professional football franchise. For the second time in five years, the athletic department would head into a new season with both a new head football coach and a new athletic director. While he held the athletic director position, the professor successfully persuaded two prominent local boosters of the need for and merits of an academic athletic support office. In January 1984, the professor, the two boosters, and the director of the Upward Bound program met with the new athletic director regarding the possibility of implementing a new program for the student-athletes. The money raised from the tremendous success of the past season, particularly its very high profile New Year’s Day bowl game victory, augmented by booster support, gave the athletic department its best opportunity to put together at least a pair of full-time advisors for the student-athletes. This was in addition to the complement of tutors who were already offered. The new athletic director deferred the matter to the new associate athletic director for internal affairs who had followed the new head football coach from their prior institution in the Big 8 athletic conference. During his tenure at this previous institution, the associate athletic director had overseen the birth of a similar program. He thought he would have the best insights as to how to initiate such a program within the athletic department at Beta. Following the recommendations given by the professor, the associate athletic director hired a sports psychologist and a former student-athlete pursuing her doctorate in counselor education to get the program running. Office space was created in

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106 the institution’s main athletic center, which was located on campus. It housed all of the athletic department’s administrative and coaching staff. With a newly hired sports psychologist and doctoral candidate now onboard to provide the daily operations for the program in the fall of 1984, a coordinator for the program needed to be selected. A colleague of the director’s, who had worked with her in the Upward Bound program, lobbied the director to recommend her to the associate athletic director to whom the position would report. She began as the coordinator for the program in October of 1984. Ultimately, the rigors of both coordinating a start-up unit from scratch and working with an unfamiliar population of students discouraged the new coordinator and she left the position in September 1985. Two years into his tenure at Beta, the athletic director observed that the vision behind the program ultimately came from the Upward Bound director. He felt that in order to truly come into its own, the new program needed her leadership to cultivate its growth. She had worked with student-athletes in Upward Bound and her involvement with the Beta booster club so she was comfortable and familiar with the population. To upgrade the athletic advising program, the athletic director lured the director away from Upward Bound with a modest salary increase and direct control over the operation. By 1987, the institution’s football team had turned from a consistent loser in the late 1970s to a perennial contender for the national championship. This on-the-field success translated into resources that the athletic director liberally funneled into the athletic academic support program to achieve some off-the-field success as well. The coordinator, herself, had achieved national recognition through her academic support techniques in the Upward Bound program. Her plan for the athletic academic support program essentially

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107 called for her to take the academic support model that she knew worked and apply it to athletics. As a specialist in academic support, the coordinator knew precisely how to divide the labor into specialization rather than merely averaging it out to each staff member indiscriminately. Refining in the Wake of Scandal In the late 1980s, in the wake of a series of high-profile scandals involving the football program at the institution, some of which concerned academic integrity, the coordinator received a mandate from the athletic director to put together a model that would graduate student-athletes. In response to the ultimatum, the coordinator went so far as to have the tutors who worked with the athletes certified by the National Tutoring Association. In addition, experts in learning disabilities, study skills, social anxiety, and even mnemonic devices visited the athletic department to present a series of seminars to the staff to educate them about how to help the athletes. Many of the ideas and innovations that the athletic director at Alpha famously implemented at that institution, were already utilized, in a slightly altered form, by programs such as Upward Bound that specialized exclusively in students with academic deficiencies. While not as well funded or as widely publicized as the holistic program developed at Alpha, the support program at Beta emphasized a highly concentrated approach to enhancing learning skills, teaching learning methodologies, and overcoming learning deficiencies. By 1990, the program’s budget swelled to nearly $500,000 dollars. A significant proportion of that funding went toward the salaries of four specialist positions hired by the coordinator, including a learning specialist and a life skills specialist, who assisted the student-athletes with time management, career planning, and placement. The life skills concept, which was adopted by the NCAA between 1990 and

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108 1991 and initiated in 1993, was already a familiar working paradigm for academic specialists dating back a decade or more. Consequently, the coordinator had great familiarity with organizing a program to meet the learning and development needs of an at-risk population, which many student-athletes represented. Frequently, the most at-risk student-athletes were first-generation college students, thus the coordinator’s emphasis, upon their enrollment, centered around guiding them through the emotional challenges of navigating an environment they perceived as potentially hostile. When asked how she went about accomplishing this, she stated succinctly, “The athletes were often underdeveloped to handle college on their own so we made them view [the academic support staff] as their off-the-field coaches” (personal communication, May 17, 2005). Much of the staff’s attention focused upon improving the academic skill base of the student-athletes, particularly those in football and basketball. According to the coordinator, athletes participating in the majority of the other sports required little support: Aside from some occasional remediation, the majority of the female athletes were all business when it came to their classes, as were a large number of the men in the non-revenue producing sports. Most of them would have gone to college with or without athletics. (personal communication, May 17, 2005) By the mid-1990s, the athletic support office employed six full-time employees. Each athletic advisor had a specialization, such as learning disabilities or career services, and counseled one or more athletic teams; the football team was divided among three different advisors. After a series of lengthy punishments were handed down by the NCAA for the numerous violations that took place in the 1980s, the athletic department found itself

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109 under greater scrutiny than ever before by the central administration. As the recovery from the sanctions imposed progressed, the coordinator invited several members of the faculty to become more involved with the athletic support program. The primary emphasis during this period was to place faculty supervision over the activities of the program to ensure the athletes were making progress toward graduation. Influence of the Knight Commission The 1990s felt the impact of two significant events that permanently impacted the way the athletic support office would function. The first occurred in 1991 with the release of the first Knight Commission Report. Essentially an indictment of the commercialization encompassing intercollegiate athletics, the Knight Report chided college presidents for their failure to uphold the educational enterprise of their institutions with their involvement in competitive college sports. The second contributing factor was the revision of NCAA Bylaw 14.3, more commonly known as Proposition 48, to create a national clearinghouse to certify freshman eligibility. Athletic advising suddenly became a more important part of the recruiting process than it had previously been, and the spectrum of concerns facing advisors now extended to the secondary education level. A supervisory committee reporting to the provost was created to work with the athletic department on compliance and academic issues. This committee primarily handled oversight of how the athletic department conducted its affairs. However, the coordinator used her connections with the faculty members on the committee to address her concern that the faculty did not adequately communicate the progress of student-athletes often enough with the individual athletic advisors. At the coordinator’s suggestion, the advisors then began issuing report cards to individual faculty members

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110 requesting them to highlight any potential issues that an athlete might be experiencing in a particular class. The practice was eliminated, however, in 1998. 1997 to Present In 1997, the coordinator decided to leave higher education to work with disadvantaged populations through a nonprofit religious organization with which she was affiliated. During her 12-year tenure overseeing the program, the coordinator reported directly to the athletic director. The athletic director position turned over twice during that span of time. In the eight years since her departure, the athletic support program has shuffled leadership of the program among three different individuals, not including any interim directors for academic support. Along with the continual rotation of the position, the title of the leadership position has changed from coordinator of academic services to assistant athletic director for academics, followed by director of academic support services to its current title of associate director of academic services. Reporting for the position has also fluctuated from a direct line to the athletic director to its current reporting status, which links it to the associate athletic director for internal services. Ironically, this was the original reporting line for the position at its inception 21 years ago. Financially, the athletic support program has kept pace with the average Division I-A institution with a budget of slightly more than $1 million. The amount spent on academic support can exceed upwards of $2 million at some institutions. Propelled by the success of its football program and conference affiliation, the athletic department has prospered into one of the richest in Division I-A. Despite its prosperity, however, of the three institutions in this study, Beta’s SSA program currently has the smallest staff with only seven full-time employees and one or two graduate assistants.

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111 With respect to coordination between the athletic advising program and the campus student affairs office, little collaboration exists regarding the daily operations of the athletic advising program. The most common collaboration between the advising program and student affairs occurs between the associate athletic director of internal services and the vice-president for student affairs on the athletic oversight committee that each serves on. Recently, there have been some concerted efforts to promote student-athletes’ attendance in student affairs events, such as freshman orientation and an array of community service activities. Both the associate athletic director and senior student affairs officer believe that greater involvement between their respective operations would behoove student-athletes on campus, but they both acknowledge that the inflexibility of the athletes’ schedules necessarily make collaborative arrangements a low priority. Since the departure of the coordinator, essentially the architect of the program, the qualifications for hiring staff have changed relatively little. Two of the seven full-time staff members have the required baccalaureate degree, and the remaining five full-time employees possess a master’s degree. No one working in the program possesses an earned doctorate. The areas of education of the staff are as follows: the associate director possesses a master’s degree in educational leadership; two of the academic advisors have master’s degrees in educational counseling; another advisor has a master’s degree in sports management; the academic coordinator possesses a master’s in student personnel; the learning specialist has her bachelor’s degree in special education, and the tutorial coordinator has a bachelor’s in sports management. Summary of Beta University The professional athletic advising program at Beta developed as somewhat of a spin-off of a more mainstream academic program dealing with at-risk students. In the

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112 1970s, its creation and evolution were due to the efforts of a single administrator who also served as a member of Beta’s faculty. The advisor’s efforts at providing tutoring and study hall resources, while successful in their limited aims, could not expand due to a lack of funds, coaching changes, and sparse coordination between the faculty and the athletic department. As with most other units within an athletic department, the program’s development hinged upon the on-field success of its revenue-producing sports, in this case football, to help attract support from boosters and the community. Not until the early 1980s, when the football program strung together a series of winning seasons, did the necessary resources to trigger the program’s growth come forward. With enough funding to lay the foundation for a program, the former athletic director, community leaders, and a prominent faculty member convinced a newly hired athletic administration to dedicate the required expenditures to hire three full-time staff to begin operations. The program took a broader approach to advising student-athletes in 1984. A year later, the director of the institution’s Upward Bound program, who assisted the former athletic director with advising student-athletes as well as lobbying for the SSA program, was hired to be its new coordinator. Based upon her experiences working with at-risk student populations, she designed the SSA program as a learning facilitator, not simply a guidance counseling program as the former athletic director had envisioned. By 1990, after a succession of high-profile incidents involving the misconduct of student-athletes, the coordinator for the SSA program instituted several measures to educate the staff. The coordinator also instructed the tutors on how to more effectively address the varying issues student-athletes face as they progress toward graduation. In forming the staff itself, the coordinator mandated the need for professional specialization

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113 among those hired to adequately fill the different positions the office required, including, but not limited to, a learning specialist, career placement officer, and life skills counselor. The minimum qualifications were a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate area of concentration with additional consideration given to those with a master’s degree. As of 1990, the office employed four full-time staff members, all of whom possessed the master’s degree in their field. By 1997, the entire staff had changed including the coordinator herself. In the spring of 2005, the athletic advising program at Beta employed seven full-time employees, not counting the part-time complement of graduate assistants and interns. Of the seven, only two had tenures longer than five years. The majority of the staff still possessed the master’s degree, but with the number of athletic advisors expanding, the master’s degree was no longer considered mandatory. Among the most critical factors influencing the evolution of the SSA program at Beta was the leadership provided by the coordinator and the former athletic director who had begun formally counseling student-athletes at the institution in the late-1960s. Another key factor in the development of the program was the professional expertise that the coordinator brought to the program. Her experience dealing with at-risk students enabled her to readily identify potential problem areas affecting retention and achievement, such as learning disabilities or academic unpreparedness. Placing staff members to address these issues helped Beta lower its attrition rate among student-athletes 11 percent from 1990 to 1992. Increased faculty awareness and support also played a fundamental role in the development of the program, particularly after the episodes of misconduct in the mid-to

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114 late 1980s. Faculty input with the athletic advisors increased as did communication between the program and the provost’s office via a supervisory athletic committee. Direct solicitations also increased from the advisors to the faculty regarding the academic progress of individual student-athletes. With increased communication with the faculty came an increased sense of accountability from the athletic advising staff for the welfare of the student-athletes they counseled. No longer could any institution, in terms of negative publicity and moral culpability, fail to put forth a significant effort to graduate its student-athletes. As SSA programs began to proliferate in the late 1980s, Beta began flaunting the rapid growth and sophistication of its program as a recruiting tool to prospective athletes and their parents. As this strategy became more accepted as a necessary component of a competitive athletic program, the athletic department had little qualm about feeding the program’s ever-increasing budget. The coordinator’s resignation in 1997 marked the end of the program’s formative development. Fully staffed and fully funded from 1997 to the present, the program has changed little in its overall operations. As individual turnover has taken place, changes in the reporting line of the program, as well as modifications of the program director’s title have occurred. However, control of the program has remained centralized within the athletic department with few, if any, direct changes coming from outside the department. In 2005, the program intends to hire a new director for the program with the title of director for academic services.

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115 Gamma University Introduction Gamma University’s formal athletic program is the youngest of the three institutions investigated in this study. Despite the institution’s lack of steep athletic tradition, its athletic department blossomed relatively quickly into national prominence on the back of its highly celebrated football program. As at Alpha and Beta, Gamma’s success in cultivating an athletic academic support program hinged greatly upon the success of the institution’s athletic teams on the field. For this reason, it is no surprise that Gamma’s attempts at developing its athletic support program were quite limited until the late 1970s when the institution hired a new head football coach. Spurred on by its desire to compete with in-state and regional rivals, Gamma University developed its support program in response to the growing movement of helping athletes succeed on the field by supporting them in the classroom. The Turnaround In the mid-1970s, Gamma University, as with many other institutions, pined for a successful football program to help establish its identity as an institution. With a less established alumni base and less history than its chief in-state rival, the institution needed a way to elevate its presence into the public consciousness. To usher the institution into the upper echelon of college football, the administration believed it needed a youthful, charismatic head coach who could create an atmosphere of winning at the institution. In January 1976 the institution hired a former Gamma assistant coach with a prior stint dating back to the mid-1960s. In an attempt to raise awareness of the football program on the national level, the new head coach took his team on the road to play many of college football’s elite teams.

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116 This not only helped to establish the name of the program but also proved extremely helpful with recruiting many top athletes. By his second year at the institution, Gamma’s new coach had turned the program around from only four wins in its prior three seasons to more than twice that number in 1977. Such a quick and unprecedented turnaround jump-started alumni fundraising and helped the athletic department pull its way out of the deep financial deficits that had nearly buried it over the past two decades. Prior to the head coach’s arrival, precious little resources found their way toward keeping Gamma athletes on a path to graduate. Despite the growing movement throughout college athletics in the mid-1970s to draw attention to the plight of student-athletes struggling to handle the demands of post-secondary education, Gamma’s athletic department lacked sufficient funds to hire a full-time athletic advisor. This circumstance began to change in the late 1970s as winning teams produced greater interest in the football team and greater financial support for the athletic department. As winning increased, maintaining and promoting the welfare of the football team and its student-athletes became a higher priority for Gamma’s athletic administration. The events that occurred at Gamma in the late 1970s are illustrative of the larger interplay of factors coinciding with the innovation of athletic academic advising at the time, namely, the interrelatedness between the football program, its on-the-field success, and the financial capability to provide academic support aimed primarily at student-athletes on the football team. At most Division I-A institutions, football is the primary revenue-producing sport representing an investment that can either make or break an athletic department. As winning increases, the potential rate of return on the investment likewise increases. Protecting that investment and its correlated potential rate of return

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117 then becomes a significant matter to an athletic department attempting to compete at the highest level in Division I-A football. Maintaining the eligibility of student-athletes often becomes a matter of practical resource management in light of such ambitions. Men and Women’s Programs As resources increased and the priority of attending to the academic needs of student-athletes grew, Gamma’s athletic department created separate academic advising positions for both men and women’s sports. In 1977, the athletic director appointed a former graduate assistant who had worked with the football team to coordinate tutoring and arrange scheduling for student-athletes on all the men’s teams. On the women’s side, the woman’s athletic director hired a former Gamma graduate student with a master’s degree in psychology to advise the female student-athletes. At the time, the women’s athletic program was mired with inadequate facilities, insufficient staff, and substandard transportation to its away games, to say nothing of the more erstwhile burden of sparse fan support. Despite a budget of only $163,000 for all seven women’s sports in 1978, the women’s athletic director insisted upon having a full-time athletic advisor for the female student-athletes to make sure that they also received the same benefits as the men’s teams. Gamma’s commitment to women’s athletics underscores the often overlooked problem of gender inequity in athletic advising, especially in its formative stages. As these programs originated, primarily in response to the needs of the football team, access for women to take advantage of such services rarely existed until such time when the program became a formally organized unit within the athletic department. By 1980, with the football program growing in stature and reputation, the athletic department’s budget on the men’s side swelled to $5 million. At the dawn of a new

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118 decade, athletic academic advising had caught the attention of a large number of athletic departments at the Division I-A level. Membership within the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics had jumped from 15 in 1976 to more than 50 in 1980. This trend was not lost on Gamma’s athletic department, which recognized that providing academic support services for its student-athletes had become a necessity. Rivalry In April 1979, Gamma’s chief in-state rival began developing a formal athletic support program of its own, with two full-time personnel, a part-time graduate assistant, and a full-time staff member for clerical support. The rival chose to hire a full-time academic advisorwho specialized in working with undergraduatesaway from another institution to jump-start its athletic advising program. Less than a year later, after visiting the rival institution to consult on the implementation of its program, Gamma followed a similar path and hired a full-time advisor from outside to direct its program. With a budget of roughly $100,000, of which 15 to 20 percent went toward tutoring expenses, the new director of academic advising for athletics was able to hire a part-time advisor and a part-time clerical position. To compensate for its limited budget, the director met with the provost to discuss ways in which the program might access the institution’s services without paying extra costs. The provost had high hopes for the program and responded enthusiastically to the director’s requests. In conjunction with these requests, the provost and director visited several institutions with established athletic advising offices, all of whom were now members of the N4A. Their goal was to get ideas as to how to keep their expenses low and provide the necessary services to their student-athletes.

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119 In the early 1980s, diagnostic testing arose as a very popular phenomenon in counseling and psychology studies (Zingg, 1982). Utilizing such testing on student-athletes to determine arbitrary indicators, such as biorhythms, personality types, and intelligence quotients, became common practice for fledgling athletic advisors seeking to create innovative ways to serve the student-athlete population at their institutions. After consulting with several other institutions, Gamma also began to experiment with different forms of diagnostic testing to determine if certain factors existed that might predict a student-athlete’s behavioral or academic tendencies. Diagnostic testing represented just one of the novel ideas institutions began using to provide more multi-faceted services to student-athletes. Some institutions attempted to increase learning and achievement among student-athletes by conducting psychological profiling in conjunction with skill and interest surveys. To keep pace with these other institutions, the director of academic advising for athletes at Gamma desired to shift the focus of the office away from traditional academic advising, characterized by course scheduling, arranging tutoring appointments, and academic monitoring, toward a more counseling-based individual need assessment model. The director’s intent was to promote positive educational outcomes for the student-athletes by appealing to the individual student’s personal interests and abilities beyond athletics. Implementing this strategy proved difficult due to the program’s relatively small budget and lack of specialized personnel to coordinate the approach. The solution that the director and the provost created provided for utilizing the institution’s existing student services infrastructure where allowable. This approach called for a great deal of coordination between the athletic department and student affairs units throughout the

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120 main campus. In order to effectively govern the program, the director received wide latitude to experiment with different methodologies and ideas that might provide tangible results for retaining and graduating the male student-athletes. Meanwhile, on the women’s side of the athletic department, the early 1980s also showed a great deal of improvement from the previous decade, but much still remained unequal in comparison to the men. In 1980, the budget for the women’s athletic program was increased to $1.5 million, providing a greatly needed boost to the program’s staffing needs and travel arrangements. Athletic advising for the female student-athletes did not receive, and apparently did not require, a great deal of additional funding. Indeed, the same individual hired in 1978 to operate the athletic advising for the women’s teams remained the sole advisor as late as 1982, when she decided to leave Gamma to pursue a career in the private sector. Among the three institutions in this study, Gamma represents the only one that divided its athletic advising operations between its men and women’s programs. As late as 1985, athletic advising was operated independently within each respective side of the athletic department. The director of the men’s program reported directly to the athletic director, and the coordinator of academic support services for the women’s teams reported directly to the women’s athletic director. In 1984, the women’s athletic director announced that she had also decided to leave the institution in order to pursue private sector opportunities. After the resignation of the academic coordinator two years prior, the women’s athletic advising program had failed to keep pace with the men’s side in terms of innovative learning initiatives, funding, or even coordination with main campus entities. According to the women’s athletic director,

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121 no definitive need existed to develop such formal relationships since the female student-athletes conducted their affairs more like their non-athlete peers than did the male student-athletes (personal communication, June 10, 2005). This sort of discrepancy required the director of academic advising to pursue ties to main campus resources more proactively than his counterpart on the women’s side, particularly after the original coordinator stepped down in 1982. This inevitably led to the development of a larger number of dedicated support services for the male athletes. Self-study Report Once the women’s athletic director officially stepped down in 1985, Gamma’s athletic director decided to combine the two advising programs to promote greater equality among them and consolidate available resources. A year prior, in 1984, at the president’s direction, a study was commissioned to examine Gamma’s entire intercollegiate athletics program. The report was issued partly in response to some controversy brought about after a student-athlete filed a lawsuit against Gamma in the early 1980s, which alleged negligent supervision of the athletics program by the institution. The report, authored by a Gamma faculty member with extensive research experience in intercollegiate athletics, contained a comprehensive overview of Gamma’s athletics program, including reporting structures, academic integrity, and student-athlete welfare. One of the report’s findings cited a lack of oversight in the athletic advising area and it added the recommendation that in order to strengthen ties to the faculty the director of academic advising in athletics should report to academic affairs rather than athletics. In 1986, the president, provost, and athletic director conferred over the suggestion and decided to create a direct reporting line for the director of athletic advising to the dean of undergraduate studies. A dotted-line-reporting relationship remained between the director

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122 of academic advising and the athletic director. This change in the structure received almost unanimous praise from Gamma’s faculty senate and proved beneficial in establishing effective working relationships for athletic advising with faculty members. Despite this change in structure, the athletic advising program remained a low priority for Gamma’s athletic department, which continued to fund the program despite the change in reporting responsibilities to academic affairs. With a relatively low budget for academics and no conference affiliation to help add additional revenue to the overall department, Gamma’s academic advising for athletes program struggled to stay effective in the late 1980s as controversy raged over the NCAA’s Proposition 48. Critics of the legislation insisted that it unfairly discriminated against minorities and set them at a disadvantage once they reached a college campus. This controversy became intensely magnified in 1988 when a high-profile Gamma athlete participated in post-season competition after he failed to take any of his final exams at the end of the semester immediately preceding the post-season. Leadership In 1989, the director of the athletic advising program shifted into a position within the compliance unit of the athletic department. As a show of its commitment to establishing a collaborative relationship with the faculty, the athletic department hired a faculty member from the physical education department to direct the program. Along with the new director, an additional advisor was hired to take over the advising duties vacated by the outgoing director. A former graduate assistant, who had previously worked in Gamma’s registrar’s office where he gained valuable experience auditing student-athlete transcripts, was hired to advise the football, basketball, and baseball teams. The other full-time advisor provided services to all the other sports for both men

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123 and women. While the new director of the program came from the faculty ranks, little innovation or improvement of the existing academic services took place. From 1989 to 1993, the program remained staffed with only the director and two full-time advisors to serve a student-athlete population of more than 300. This lack of growth provided little opportunity to expand the array of services the program could offer to student-athletes, and it essentially remained static in a strictly academic advising orientation. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, many athletic advising programs, which were under the leadership of the N4A and individual institutions, began branching out into non-traditional advising models for athletic programs. These models included offering services related to personal and vocational counseling, as well as overall personal wellness. In 1992, a year after Gamma joined a major Division I-A athletic conference known both for its competitive athletics and stellar academics, the director of Gamma’s athletic advising program announced his intention to retire at year’s end. The athletic director viewed this as an opportune time to upgrade the athletic advising program. He therefore conducted a national search to find an individual to raise the quality of the program to a level consistent with its peer institutions. The new director for athletic advising possessed a doctorate in higher education administration and came from an institution in the Midwest with both a solid academic reputation and a long tradition of winning in football. Moreover, as the director of the athletic advising program at his former institution, he possessed the expertise and experience that Gamma desired to place their program on a par with other similarly situated institutions throughout the country.

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124 Upgrading the Department One of the steps to improve not only the athletic advising program but the athletic department as a whole took place in 1991. That year ground was broken on a new athletic administration facility as part of a larger expansion project of the football stadium. From the program’s inception, the advisors had been without a permanent office location and were often physically separated from each other throughout the main athletic administration facility. Completed in the summer of 1994, the new facility consolidated Gamma’s academic advising program for the entire institution within one facility. It expanded the available space for the athletic advising program, which allowed for private tutoring rooms, a computer lab, and an assigned study hall area. Almost overnight, after stepping into his new position in 1993, the director of the athletic advising program doubled the office’s budget from approximately $250,000 to $500,000 and he increased the number of advisors to work with the athletes from two to five. The new director also added additional clerical support to bring the number of full-time staff to seven, and implemented the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills program. The significant increase in funding and personnel coincided with the stellar rise of the football program, which by the 1993 season had become a perennial top-five team in the year-ending national rankings. All these developments that contributed greatly to the prosperity of Gamma’s athletic department served to make it a highly attractive situation by the time a new athletic director was hired in 1995 to maintain the athletic program’s rise to national prominence. The new, youthful athletic director brought with him from his former institution an experienced athletic advisor, who had served as a consultant for the NCAA

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125 during its pioneering implementation of the CHAMPS/Life Skills program in 1992 and 1993. This change in leadership resulted in a slightly restructured advising program. The director of the athletic advising office had already implemented many of the services called for by the CHAMPS program by the time the new athletic director arrived in 1995. However, because the academic support arm of the advising program reported to the dean of undergraduate studies, it was decided that the Life Skills component of the office would have its own director and would report solely to the athletics through an associate athletic director position. Thus the athletic advising program split with student services and academic support operating as separate divisions, each with its own staff, budget, and reporting lines. As opposed to strictly academic matters, such as grades, eligibility concerns, scheduling, and tutoring, the student services unit focused upon student development issues, such as career planning and placement, personal leadership, and community service activities. In certain instances there is some overlap between academic support and student services, such as the academic mentoring component of the CHAMPS/Life Skills program. Gamma implemented a mentoring program in 1993 in order to provide its athletes with academic role models. These mentors meet with the student-athletes individually and help them map out their academic responsibilities throughout a given semester. Mentoring is designed to teach student-athletes how to be more responsible for their academic assignments, as well as allow them experience with planning, time management, and goal setting. It is an element of the student-athlete support program that combines both academic and personal development aspects. Gamma coordinates its

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126 mentoring program under the academic support division even though the impetus of the service deals with personal development and responsibility more so than strictly academics. In 1996, the newly revamped athletic advising program won a national award in recognition of its dedication to the success of its student-athletes. This was followed in 1998 by another national award from the NCAA acknowledging the program’s excellence in developing innovative approaches to enhancing student-athlete achievements. Meanwhile, in 1997, the director of academic support services resigned his position at Gamma to take over a director of academic support position at an institution in the Midwest. The academic counselor for the football team, who was hired in 1986 to assist with coordinating tutoring and scheduling for the football team, was selected as the interim director for the program in the spring of 1997, only to be named as the permanent replacement later that same year. Since that hire, Gamma has enjoyed remarkable consistency over the last eight years in the leadership of both its overall athletic department and its athletic advising program. Its athletic director, head football coach, and director of academic support have all remained fixed in their positions over the last eight years, with the head coach and athletic director currently adding to their tenures of 29 and 10 years, respectively. Today, the athletic advising program at Gamma has an operating budget of $700,000 and a total budget for the combined divisions of $1.3 million. There are 11 full-time staff members manning the academic support division with an additional 4 full-time staff on the student services side. The major sports for both men and women now have

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127 their own academic advisor, while the sports with smaller rosters share an advisor. A recent upgrade to the facilities in 2001 has increased office space and provided room for a larger computer lab filled with 18 state-of-the-art computers and wireless Internet capacity. Minimum qualifications for working in the athletic advising program have also increased significantly as the field has become one of the fastest growing segments of athletic administration and one of the most specialized. All the athletic advisors at Gamma possess at least a master’s degree in a field related to education or student affairs. The program has expanded enough in the scope of its operations to allow for graduate students to gain practical training and skills in athletic advising. The academic support division employs one part-time graduate assistant while the student services division now retains two, with both of these numbers varying, depending upon the needs of the office. Summary of Gamma University Gamma’s athletic advising program has grown exponentially over the last 15 years, mushrooming in connection with the general spread of the profession over this period of time. As others did around the country, Gamma’s athletic advising program began as an academic support office staffed by one full-time advisor who focused primarily upon grades, eligibility, and scheduling. In an effort to stay competitive with rival institutions and other peers, Gamma attempted to ramp up its program by hiring a specialist from outside the institution. Gamma is unique among the three institutions surveyed in that it operated dual advising programs for men and women roughly between the years 1978 and 1985. Gamma’s athletic advising program is also unique with respect to the academic support unit’s reporting responsibility directly to the dean of undergraduate studies rather than to the athletic director, even though the program is funded through the athletic

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128 department budget. This change in the reporting line took place after questions were raisedfollowing a controversial lawsuitover the athletic department’s supervision and direction of its student-athletes. The controversy prompted the president to commission a study of Gamma’s athletic department to suggest ways of resolving any current or potential issues relating to student-athlete welfare that might lead to similar problems in the future. The study concluded that placing athletic advising under Gamma’s main academic advising office would help improve the academic performance of Gamma student-athletes. In an effort to further improve relations with the faculty, a professor from the physical education department was hired to direct the program. Despite the change in reporting structure, the overall program remained relatively unchanged in terms of funding, personnel, or services until 1992 when Gamma decided to conduct a national search to replace the retiring professor who had directed the program since 1989. The new director, who arrived in early 1993, had extensive experience leading an athletic advising program from his tenure at a highly respected Division I-A institution in the Midwest, and he used that expertise to instantly upgrade Gamma’s athletic advising office. Within one month of his arrival, the budget nearly doubled, the athletic advising staff increased from two to five, and an extensive array of student services was initiated to complement the academic support functions of the program. The athletic advising program greatly benefited, albeit indirectly, by Gamma’s union with a major Division I-A athletic conference in 1991 and the football program’s rapid rise to a national powerhouse in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These events helped rally support for the institution and build prestige for the athletic department. In

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129 conjunction with this newfound prosperity, Gamma began making physical improvements to its athletic facilities, which, once completed in 1994, allowed the athletic advising office to consolidate itself within one location for the first time since its inception in the late 1970s. These physical upgrades in facilities, along with the hiring of a nationally recognized athletic administrator propelled Gamma’s athletic advising program to a level of competency rivaling that of any other comparable program in the country. Further changes were in store for the program in the mid-1990s as a new athletic director arrived at Gamma, bringing with him a highly experienced athletic advisor with expertise in the NCAA’s CHAMPS/Life Skills program. This addition to the department resulted in a division of responsibilities in the athletic advising program between the student services office, which concentrated on counseling and personal wellness, and the academic support division, which dealt primarily with the student-athletes’ grades, tutoring, and scheduling concerns. In 1997, the architect of the newly revived athletic advising program left Gamma. This paved the way for an advisor, who was originally hired in 1989 to advise the football, basketball, and baseball teams, to take over the reins of the officeinitially only on an interim basisbut later permanently in January 1997. From that time until now, this individual has directed the program and overseen a steady rise in the program’s budget, number of full-time and part-time staff, and level of sophistication. With a current budget of more than $1 million, athletic advising receives far more attention and funding than it did when it began at Gamma in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As NCAA legislation governing the academic progress of student-athletes becomes increasingly

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130 complex, athletic advising also receives far more pressure to graduate athletes as productive members of society rather than to merely keep them suited up for game day. As these three case studies shows, there are several clear connections between the institutions in how they developed their SSA programs, as well as some important differences that account for their individual growth. This study will now examine the findings relevant to each program’s development, how they influenced the evolution of these programs, and where their current development places them within Cameron and Whetten’s organizational life cycle. Summary of Overall Findings As each of the stories from these three institutions illustrates, athletic advising evolved out of a need to help student-athletes overcome the inherent disadvantages of balancing their respective responsibilities in the classroom and on the playing field. Several factors existed that not only helped create the profession of athletic advising, but also led to the evolution of identifiable organizations that now operate as integrated components within athletic departments and higher education institutions. Finding 1: Programs Initially Connected with Football As with the particular athletic departments as a whole, the engine that drove the development of these programs was football. Without sufficient talent taking the field on Saturdays, many athletic departments at the Division I-A level would struggle to fill their stadiums, please their alumni, and favorably market their institutions to the general public. However, this need for athletic talent was confined within the parameters of academic institutions, which require all students to meet certain academic standards to remain enrolled at the institution. It is very likely that the growth of the NCAA and the

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131 individual athletic conferences as regulatory agencies placed additional pressure upon institutions to hold their athletes accountable for making satisfactory academic progress. Faced with the possibility of losing athletes to academic ineligibility, head football coaches began looking for ways to help their athletes make adequate grades and remain eligible to compete. Consequently, the task of coordinating this search for academic support fell to assistant coaches and graduate assistants who had contacts with professors and also graduate students who were in a position to tutor and coach athletes through their classes. At each of the three institutions examined in this study, the origin of the athletic advising program resulted from actions taken by individuals connected with the football program. And at each institution, the head football coach served as the catalyst for seeking out a specific individual who could adequately coordinate the search for, and the administering of, tutoring services for the football team. At Alpha University, this individual, who was selected by the head football coach to coordinate tutoring, occupied a faculty position and had prior experience tutoring the football team. At Beta, the original advisor was a former football player for the institution and an assistant professor with a doctorate in educational leadership, who was hired based on the recommendation of the head football coach. At Gamma, the advising program began under the supervision of an undergraduate academic advisor hired due to a request made by the head football coach for an experienced advisor. These organizational members became affiliated with the athletic department through the football program to fill a niche needed to keep the program operating with

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132 few academic distractions. Each person selected had educational qualifications that suited him to the task of providing academic assistance and guidance to the football team. Finding 2: Each Program Either Began or Expanded Under a Leader with a Doctoral Degree. Interestingly, two of the programs examined in this study, those at Alpha and Beta, began under the leadership of an individual holding a doctoral degree, with all three operating under the leadership of a doctorate. at some point in their evolution. Today, a doctorate in education or sports administration is a commonly preferred qualification for the director position of an athletic advising office at a major Division I-A institution. As these programs have developed and their presence within higher education has grown, the qualifications to attain a position in athletic advising, in terms of educational attainment and prior work experience, have also increased. At each of the three institutions, the individual who initially ran their respective program had either prior teaching or academic counseling experience. Thus, from their inception, these programs were based on a solid commitment to providing educational guidance. In the case of Beta, the only private institution surveyed, the advising program operated under the leadership of a doctorate in education who possessed both teaching and advising experience. While each program began as a way to provide support to student-athletes, and particularly football players, there existed at each institution studied a transfer of responsibility from an individual within the athletic department, usually a coach, to an educator with academic expertise in order to properly assist the institution’s athletes. Interestingly, both Alpha and Beta had athletic directors who possessed a doctorate during the period of time when their athletic advising programs began their period of

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133 growth from a simple academic support model toward a more sophisticated holistic advising and personal development unit. The fact that these leaders had such high academic credentials may have made them more aware of the need for an athletic advising program. Whether this is the case, both of these athletic directors directly participated in the creation of the athletic advising program on their respective campuses, and both were each laying the foundation at their institution for the holistic advising model that eventually took shape. Gamma did not have a doctorate involved in its athletic advising program until 1989. It was not until a new director with a doctoral degree, with established prior experience leading an SSA program, was hired from outside the institution in 1993 to serve as its director that Gamma’s athletic advising office achieved a level of sophistication equal to many of its peer institutions. Finding 3: Initial Development Motivated Primarily by Academic Concerns Each program went through a stage at which the advisor concentrated almost exclusively upon grades, classes, and study hall. Until the late 1970s and early 1980s, athletic advising took little interest in the personal development of the student-athletes. Advisors were simply required by the coaches and athletic departments to help the athletes keep their grades at acceptable levels. Each program was operated by a single individual, who was encouraged to be creative and given considerable flexibility with how to run the advising program. At Alpha, as previously indicated, the advisor who began in the late 1960s had considerable discretion in how he operated the advising program since his primary responsibilities were all academic in scope: coordinating tutoring, arranging schedules, and organizing study hall. Likewise at Beta, the original advisor, who possessed a

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134 doctorate and later became the athletic director, concentrated on making schedules and preparing students for classes, tests, and various homework assignments, with little time spent on extracurricular concerns. Gamma also focused upon academic issues, as mandated by the head coach, who did not want any eligibility issues interfering with the team’s on-the-field operations. Gamma hired an undergraduate academic advisor to serve in that capacity for their student-athletes. While academic issues constituted the thrust for the development of athletic advising programs, moral concerns relating to the lack of preparedness of many student-athletes, particularly African American student-athletes, represented an underlying issue mentioned by individuals at each of the participating institutions. Individuals commenting on this issue stated that administrators in the athletic department felt a need to help student-athletes “catch-up” to their non-athlete peers in terms of academic ability, especially since the athletic department had brought them to campus and placed them in a potentially daunting situation. Finding 4: Athletes’ Lack of Development Helped Promote Innovations For the entrepreneurial athletic advisors it became painfully evident that student-athletes experienced many inhibiting factors in their development as functioning adults. The problems included an inability to identify realistic career goals, a lack of skill with planning everyday tasks, and difficulty behaving comfortably in sophisticated social situations. Job interviews, for instance, were common observations made by the original advisors charged with helping student-athletes raise their performance in areas other than just athletics. In 1980, Alpha’s evolution began to move away from a predominantly academic advising model into a more holistic personal development program with the arrival of

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135 their new athletic director. He brought thoughtful insight into how the institution could help athletes realize greater personal, social, and psychological gains as young adults. However, the previous administrator of the program had also recognized a need for expanded services to help the student-athletes. Likewise, Beta’s development toward more service-based initiatives began in the early-to-mid-1980s when the former Upward Bound director took over leadership of the program. Her expertise with academically at-risk and socially underdeveloped student populations placed her in a position to create many of the personal growth programs parallel and concurrent to those implemented at Alpha during the late 1980s and early 1990s. These models for personal development attempted to touch upon and improve specific areas in which many student-athletes typically struggled, such as business or social etiquette, career planning, and community service. In reference to these developments, participants interviewed for this study indicated again that there existed a certain moral obligation behind investing resources to help student-athletes achieve levels of competency in these areas. Because athletics demanded so much of their timemental and physical energy and concentrationthe athletes had little opportunity to develop and hone these skills in comparison to most of their non-athlete counterparts. To compensate for this lack of time to develop these skills on their own, advisors therefore took the initiative to bring the necessary training and opportunities to the student-athletes within the athletic advising programs. The athletic advising programs in this study differed in how and when they evolved into more formal organizations within their respective athletic departments. Yet the

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136 change came as a result of taking upon this additional responsibility of promoting the athletes’ personal, as opposed to strictly academic, welfare. Finding 5: Formal Structure Resulted from New Leadership As previously indicated, each institution initially appointed a single individual to coordinate and monitor the academic concerns of the institution’s student-athletes. In each case, this appointment came from the head football coach who gave the new advisor little in the way of guidance for the position’s responsibilities. As the advisor at Alpha stated, “My job when I was hired was to look out for the players with their classes” (personal communication, May 2, 2005). Usually minimal resources were devoted to these programs, at least in their initial stages. The possible exception was Alpha University, which, due to its demanding curriculum, offered little shelter for athletes seeking an easy path toward a four-year degree. Consequently, the advisor at Alpha who began in the late 1960s generally received from the athletic department and the administration whatever he needed to keep the athletes on track, including free on-campus housing for himself. Nevertheless, the programs still received limited office space and little attention from the athletic department or the institution’s senior administrators, who “for the most part . . . left [the advisor] alone” (personal communication, May 2, 2005). Unlike his counterpart at Alpha, Beta’s original advisor received sparse financial support for the advising program despite the fact that upon his hiring in the early 1970s he possessed the title of Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Guidance and Counseling. He, too, however, wielded complete administrative control over the academic advising program until he accepted the promotion to athletic director in 1979. Due to the lack of funding for the program, there existed little in the way of a formal

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137 organized structure until additional resources became available in the early 1980s. Consequently, the advisor had to come up with creative ways to operate the program on a small budget to ensure the athletes received the necessary academic support they needed. Gamma faced a similar lack of resources throughout much of the 1980s with only a single full-time advisor to provide academic services to the institution’s athletes until 1988. As with Alpha and Beta, funding for the program was limited. The advisor at Gamma struggled to meet the needs of the student-athletes without shortchanging them in the quality of guidance he provided to them. From their initial status as essentially small entrepreneurial organizations, each of the three programs experienced a critical event involving the introduction of new leadership within each program. This resulted in the growth of the program and increased formalization and structure. At Alpha, the arrival of a new athletic director in 1980 led to a complete restructuring of the program culminating in the development of what many consider as the model athletic advising program in the nation. By hiring additional staff to implement an entirely new philosophy for the program, the new athletic director forced the program to grow in its level of sophistication. Beta’s critical change occurred with the hiring of the institution’s Upward Bound director to lead its academic advising program. The new advisor reshaped the program’s mission to better serve those student-athletes with a limited academic skill base. She simultaneously offered services that promoted a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle for young adults. Like Alpha, this resulted in additional staff joining the program to administer a broader array of services offered to the student-athletes.

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138 Gamma underwent radical change in its program from hiring an experienced athletic advising director from another institution. Based on his prior experience, the new director of the Gamma program immediately increased the program’s budget and the number of staff available to work directly with the student-athletes. Within four years of this hire, Gamma’s program received a pair of national awards in recognition of the high quality of service it provided to student-athletes. Finding 6: Faculty Were Involved in the Development of Each Program The very first athletic advisor at Alpha University, hired in 1955and perhaps was also the very first in the nationcame from the faculty ranks of the mathematics department, as did his successor who was hired in 1968. Beta’s SSA program exists in large part due to the efforts of a professor who became an athletic administrator. In addition, the program’s subsequent director, who formerly administered Beta’s Upward Bound program, held a faculty appointment within Beta’s college of education. The unique reporting structure of Gamma’s SSA program required that the program director report to the dean of undergraduate studies rather than to the athletic director. This structure resulted largely from a study conducted by a Gamma faculty member assigned to investigate potential problems of control within the athletic department. Later, in 1989, a faculty member from the physical education department took over leadership of the program after the former director moved into an upper-level athletic administrative position. Gamma’s program is the only one of the three studied herein with a direct reporting line to academic affairs rather than to the athletic department. According to individuals interviewed at Gamma, this connection with academic affairs has led to a significant

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139 increase in the amount of support given by Gamma faculty members to the program and its staff. Faculty members interviewed at Alpha and Beta indicated that they would like to see the SSA programs on their respective campuses integrate themselves more with the academic departments on campus. Faculty at both Alpha and Beta made mention of the potential conflict of interest that exists with requiring athletic advisors to answer solely to the athletic department. Finding 7: Each SSA Program Operates on a Million-dollar Budget According to budgetary data requested at each institution, each SSA program examined for this study operates on a budget exceeding $1 million, including staff salaries. This finding is significant as it demonstrates the high level of commitment that athletic departments have pledged to providing academic support services to student-athletes. Finding 8: Program Administrators Do Not Expect Much Further Growth When asked to provide their expectations for the future of SSA programs, no participant indicated that they expected much growth to continue in their respective program. Participants at both Alpha and Beta stated that they were in the process of searching for a permanent director for their respective programs; however, they had no plans to add any further advisors or support staff. The athletic director at Alpha indicated that Alpha’s SSA program has “all of the resources they need in order to effectively serve [the student-athletes], so I don’t anticipate that there would be a need for making any big changes” (personal communication, April 26, 2005). An advisor for the basketball team at Beta echoed that statement by adding, “we don’t have any more room to grow” (personal communication, April 4, 2005).

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140 Most administrators and advisors who commented on the future of SSA programs indicated that they believed SSA programs would remain fairly static without any significant further evolution occurring. According to the concept of the organizational life cycle put forth by Cameron and Whetten (1983), SSA programs appear to have reached the second stage of transition. This second stage is marked by strong cohesion among members within the organization, an emphasis on internal practices, and an emerging sense of collectivity and mission. This transition is demonstrated in the more defined organizational structures and high levels of commitment put forth by staff and personnel. The third level of organizational transition in the life cycle theory, characterized by “formalization and control,” emphasizes increasingly conservative policies marked by more rigid procedures and reduced flexibility. It is possible that as SSA programs mature and their growth rates slow down, that they may become saturated by rules and policies. They consequently become less able to adapt nimbly to new organizational strategies to account for stricter academic requirements or pronounced lifestyle changes among student-athletes. Many administrators and advisors interviewed for this study feel that SSA programs will simply continue to make calculated modifications in response to any changing needs within the student-athlete population. One reason given for this likelihood is the fact that SSA programs have a 100 percent usage rate by student-athletes. Sustaining growth and maintaining visibility are therefore not very relevant to the future of these unique programs. Finding 9: Current Advisors Lack Historical Insight into Their SSA Programs Few of the current advisors working in the SSA programs studied could provide an accurate or informative account as to how, when, where, and why the program on their

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141 campus came into existence. Apparently little effort has been made to educate advisors about how the programs they work in have developed during the past several decades. Such a lack of institutional memory among current staff increases the risk that important knowledge on the advances made in student-athlete support may become lost.

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142 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY This study was conducted to investigate how student services for athletes (SSA) programs evolved at three different Division I-A institutions in order to understand the factors that led these three institutions to develop, or ganize, and implement support services for student-athletes. Specifically, the researcher addressed the following three questions: 1. What factors were important in the decisi ons made at Division I-A institutions to establish SSA programs? 2. How did these programs evolve from the period 1970 to 2000? 3. To what extent have the various admini strative, funding, and reporting models been significant in the evolution of SSA programs? Findings The focus of this study was on how SSA programs evolved over a period beginning approximately 30 years ago. This evolution was examined in regard to the organizational life cycle theory put forth by Cameron and Whetten (1983), which posits that organizations pass through four sequential st ages of development. The first stage, characterized by “creativity a nd entrepreneurship,” emphasizes less formal management and more innovation. As the organization esta blishes itself, it evolves into the second stage of “collectivity.” At this level, the organization is still growing while becoming progressively more organized in its methods and more focuse d in its results. The third stage, known as “formalization and contro l,” centers around increasing efficiency, formalizing goals and policies, and solidifying its strategies. The final stage, “elaboration

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143 of structure,” focuses upon decentralizing its administration to allow for more flexibility, expanded visibility, and establishing sub-units of the organization. The overall development for SSA programs substantially reflects the tenets of the first and second stages of this theory. The origins of SSA programs depended highly upon informal, innovative practices by individuals who struggled to effectively achieve the goals set out for these programs, namely, enhanced academic performance for student-athletes. Once the programs acquired the resources needed to attain legitimacy from their respective institutions, there were increased levels of commitment from administrators, faculty members, and advisors to promote academic responsibility and personal accountability among student-athletes. For the entrepreneurial advisors, who undertook the task of starting a program from the beginning, the primary concerns included: making sure the student-athletes went to class; making sure they understood the class material (if not, tutors were hired to assist them); and making sure they received the classes they needed to accommodate their schedules. In each case, the advisor initially reported to the head football coach directly with a dotted line leading to the athletic director. The coaches knew the need their athletes had for academic assistance and provided strong support to the advisors, especially in terms of enforcing disciplinary sanctions if an athlete failed to attend study hall or a tutoring session. The support of the head coach, in both finding individuals to operate these programs and in providing the resources to keep them operating, was the single biggest factor in each program’s early development. A second critical factor in the evolution of each program was the strong educational background possessed by the individual chosen

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144 to direct the program at each institution. Two of the SSA programs studied began under a director who had a doctorate (Alpha and Beta), with all three eventually evolving into more sophisticated organizations under the leadership of an individual with a doctoral degree in either sports management (Alpha) or education (Beta and Gamma). The education levels attained by these early advisors may have made them more aware of the struggles that student-athletes experienced as they attempted to earn their degrees. Focusing upon academic issues was a fundamental tenet of each advising program in its initial stages. With few resources and little assistance, early advisors concentrated upon core academic concerns, such as tutoring, class scheduling, and study hall, to maximize their efficiency. This is significant as it shows a definitive evolutionary process in the development of these programs, which today promote far more than academics and offer more services than simply tutoring and study hall. The inherent need of the student-athletes for academic assistance in an easily accessible system, which accommodated their schedules and time constraints, stood out as a primary factor in promoting how these programs were originally organized. The early advisors who worked with this population received broad latitude to coordinate the program however they felt would best meet the needs of the student-athletes. This hands-off approach from coaches and athletic directors provided the entrepreneurial advisors with the freedom to experiment with different approaches to providing academic assistance. These alternative techniques, such as counseling and study skills workshops, eventually led to many of the innovations utilized by SSA programs today. Allowing the original advisors to construct the programs according to their professional judgment promoted a positive atmosphere in which the advisors felt valued

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145 and appreciated by the athletic department. This, in turn, prompted each of the advisors interviewed for this study to develop vested personal and professional interests in the programs they helped create. As they administered these programs either by themselves or with very little assistance, long hours with few tangible rewards were required of these early advisors. As a result, each advisor mentioned that finding ways of improving their efficiency and raising their graduation rates led to a considerable exchange of ideas with colleagues in similar situations around the country. All three advisors, at some point in the early years of their athletic advising careers, either met with or communicated with colleagues to discuss how they might better serve their student-athlete populations. This collaboration eventually led to a new stage of professional development for SSA programs. Ideas and problem-solving methods flowed freely from one institution to another, thus building a network of support between programs. This network of professional advisors proved highly beneficial to Gamma due to its relatively late entry into the field of athletic advising. As Gamma’s initial advisor had little experience in athletics upon his arrival at the institution, his consultations with other established programs allowed him to bring the program up to speed much faster than they otherwise could have. The development of these programs, with the likely exception of Alpha, also relied heavily upon successful football teams to help attract resources for the athletic department. As the beneficiary of a large philanthropic contribution in the early 1980s, Alpha was able to implement its new and expanded athletic advising program largely independently of other financial considerations. However, Beta and Gamma did not experience extensive growth in their SSA programs until they began fielding winning

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146 football teams on a regular basis. Without the revenue that a nationally competitive football team can produce, it is uncertain whether either SSA program would have evolved much beyond the basic tutoring and scheduling services that they had previously offered. This academic advising model served as the foundational component from which SSA programs evolved into the more sophisticated, counseling-based model often implemented today. However, some faculty believe that SSA programs do not focus enough on academics and argue that this is due in part to the lack of faculty involvement in their day-to-day operations. Generally, as SSA programs have expanded into offering a broader array of student services, direct faculty involvement in these programs has diminished. Gamma, however, is unique among the three programs studied in that it has structured its program to report to the dean of undergraduate studies rather than to the athletic director. According to Gamma’s current director of athletic advising, this structure encourages faculty input into the program and has increased communication between advisors and faculty members. It is interesting to note that while Gamma’s program reports to academic affairs, it remains funded by the athletic department. This unusual reporting arrangement may be an indication of what may lie ahead for SSA programs around the country. One senior administrator interviewed for this study speculated that as the NCAA continues to raise its academic standards in order to increase accountability from its member institutions, more SSA programs will become integrated into the undergraduate advising office. This will occur in an effort to increase faculty participation with advising and planning, thus lessening the likelihood of running afoul of the NCAA guidelines.

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147 The logistical problems with such arrangements remain unresolved financially. With all three of the SSA programs costing their respective athletic departments more than $1 million per year, it is doubtful that most academic administrators would want to take on such expense, particularly given the programs’ current duplicative structure of separate advisors, counselors, and staff members. This scenario makes it more likely that as long as athletic departments are willing to pay the high cost of running SSA programs they will remain largely under the control and direction of athletics. It is uncertain whether SSA programs will progress further into the third and fourth stages of the organizational life cycle. While a more sophisticated SSA program, such as Alpha, elicits certain traits of “formalization and control,” with respect to its large size and extensive structure of services, it has not become so large or saturated that it has become inflexible. It also does not emphasize efficiency so much as it champions personal, individualized service to student-athletes. It remains even more uncertain as to whether SSA programs have the capacity to grow into the fourth stage of development based upon “elaboration of structure.” Ordinarily such evolution occurs to adapt to changes in growth, market share, or new user segments, none of which necessarily applies to SSA programs that focus upon a strictly defined service population. Implications of the Study The results of this research raise interesting questions, such as: how institutions of higher education make decisions; how they solve problems relating to students; how they manage and allocate resources; and how they integrate programs into their overall infrastructure. This study revealed that SSA programs were neither planned organizations, nor did they garner much attention on their respective campuses beyond a select target group of students. Rather these programs were created in response to a need

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148 from a specific student population and adapted in unexpected ways to better meet this need. Institutions of higher education that compete at the Division I-A level in intercollegiate athletics place a high priority on the success of their athletic teams, particularly the fortunes of their football programs. The results of this study reveal that the athletic departments within these institutions possess the motivation, autonomy, and leadership to respond to challenges in innovative ways. The research indicates that those leaders closest to the students, namely the head coaches, identified a salient problempoor academic performance in this caseand immediately hired or appointed a specialist to address the problem. These specialists then relied upon their expertise to develop innovative ways to address not only the original problem but also those ancillary issues related to the problem. Understanding such a model could help institutions of higher education in their decision-making processes as they deal with other problems related to student growth and development. This study may also reveal how independent departments within larger organizations can most effectively address issues without relying upon external contingencies. This study examined the origins of SSA programs on their respective campuses primarily through interviews with individuals connected to the programs who were also employed by these institutions. Consequently, this study looked at SSA programs from an institutional point of view as opposed to the view from the student-athletes themselves. Many of the issues that SSA programs seek to address among student-athletes, such as poor academic preparedness, deficient study skills, and inadequate interpersonal skills,

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149 raise numerous other issues regarding the ways student-athletes respond to these programs. Given the disproportionate racial composition of many high-profile Division I-A football and basketball teams, and the accompanying concerns regarding the academic performance of some of the student-athletes on these teams, there remain questions regarding what types of student-athletes do SSA programs serve most effectively. Likewise, these same issues relate to questions concerning the gender of those student-athletes that rely most heavily upon SSA programs and the services they seek to provide. This study found that the SSA programs at the institutions surveyed have their foundations linked with the football program of each institution. Thus, it is certainly relevant to consider just how predominant do the concerns of the football team remain in the ongoing development of each SSA program. It is also pertinent to consider the high cost of these programs to their respective institutions and how these institutions utilize their SSA programs for purposes beyond providing academic support, such as recruiting, public relations, and athletic fundraising. Beta’s original advisor began assisting his coaches with recruiting efforts in the early 1970s and the practice hasn’t slowed down since that time. Showing off expensive, technologically well-equipped, academically oriented SSA facilities to the parents of highly desired recruits has become an expensive game of one-upsmanship for the richest Division I institutions. Along with fancier skyboxes, additional decks of stadium seating, and bigger practice facilities, remodeled and expanded SSA buildings have become yet another jewel to dazzle the eyes of the next blue-chip prospect on his official visit.

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150 Certainly it is worthwhile to appraise the value of SSA programs in attracting the attention of not only the student-athlete but also his or her parents who certainly want their child to have access to the very best assistance available. That is one reason why so many SSA programs employ a cadre of highly educated specialists who tend to the needs of the institution’s student-athlete population, when such resources are usually already available to the entire student body through the institution’s student affairs division. The interaction of SSA programs with an institution’s student affairs division raises other appropriate topics for examination. SSA programs, for the most part, tend to remain isolated within the athletic sphere on their campus and have little direct collaboration with the main campus student affairs office. Much of the literature in student affairs research points to the need for students to experience other groups on campus in order to gain an adequate perspective of themselves and other campus constituencies. However, SSA programs cater so directly to the specific needs of student-athletes that many athletes seldom have to venture outside of the confines of the SSA office to obtain any service they require. SSA programs may have grown to the extent that they may create additional issues relating to a student-athlete’s development as much as they serve to further it. Issues such as these have practical applications to how SSA programs function to provide student-athletes with additional opportunities for success while they are in college. They also help educators understand the context within which SSA programs operate and what kinds of problems they will have to address in the future. Recommendations for Further Study With so little information available about the background and development of SSA programs, many possibilities for further study exist. This section will briefly outline some

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151 of the areas of athletic advising programs in which additional research is needed. As more and more college and universities offer advanced degrees focusing upon careers in intercollegiate athletics, the opportunities for potential research also increase. The following research possibilities exist with regard to continued study of SSA programs and their impact on intercollegiate athletics. Recommendation 1: Investigate Any Correlation Between SSA Programs and Academic Progress Rate Scores. This study was not evaluative in nature and therefore did not take performance variables into consideration. However, since SSA programs strive to strengthen the academic abilities of student-athletes, future research could investigate the impact SSA programs have had on graduation rates as they have become more sophisticated in their scope. Additionally, with so much attention now focused upon the NCAA’s new Academic Progress Rate (APR) guidelines, future researchers could undertake to examine any possible correlations between SSA programs and APR compliance based on factors such as: number of personnel working in a program; level of education of personnel working in a program; number and variety of services offered by the program; experience of personnel working in a program; and amount of funding provided to the program. Recommendation 2: Examine W hat Role SSA Programs P lay in the D ecisions Made by Student-Athletes. While post-graduation data have been collected regarding student-athletes’ graduate educations, occupations, and income, additional research into the influence of SSA programs on these post-graduation outcomes could help institutions channel their resources more effectively. The following questions could be explored in this regard: What services are most commonly employed? Which services do student-athletes use

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152 most often? Which services have proven most successful and in what combination? Does the number of contact hours with advisors influence post-graduation choices such as graduate or professional school? How has the institution’s graduation rate for student-athletes changed since implementing an SSA program? More information also needs to be gathered concerning those student-athletes who most benefit from SSA programs. There needs to be further clarification on which student-athletes, in terms of gender, race, and sport, tend to utilize these services the most frequently. Further, an inquiry into their motivation for taking advantage of such services should be conducted. Recommendation 3: Investigate the Role Prio r Athletic Experience P lays in Choosing a Career in Advising St udent-Athletes. Additionally, more information about the people who work in SSA programs is needed. How many SSA program directors in Division I-A possess a doctorate? What would a profile of such directors reveal? How do SSA programs, or their equivalents, function at Division I-AA, Division II, and Division III institutions? What is the average tenure for an SSA program director? How does turnover within an SSA program affect student-athletes? Inquiries into these and many other questions regarding student services programs for athletes would provide considerable contributions to the current literature. The information gathered would help athletic administrators in their decisions as they seek to meet the wide variety of needs of their student-athletes. Ultimately, meeting the needs of student-athletes is what SSA programs were created to do more than 30 years ago, and they have held true to that mission through their evolution to the present day.

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153 Recommendation 4: Investigate the Relatio nship Between SSA Programs and Student Affairs. There is considerable overlap between SSA programs, the types of services they offer to student-athletes, and departments within the division of student affairs. Having a better understanding of how SSA programs interact with student affairs and how student affairs might develop stronger partnerships with student services for athletes could help increase overall efficiency in providing services for all students. In addition, examining the effectiveness of SSA programs in advising and delivering services to student-athletes could produce valuable insights for student affairs, as well as academic affairs, to apply toward internal practices. Recommendation 5: Examine How SSA Progr ams Relate to Parents D uring the Recruiting P rocess and How They Ultimately Factor Into Recruiting Decisions. SSA programs play a significant role in demonstrating to parents that their child will have access to a wide array of resources dedicated to ensuring that student’s academic success. Those institutions with sophisticated SSA programs often attempt to utilize their programs as a tool in the recruiting process by showing the facility to the recruits and parents. The object is to assure the recruits and parents that student-athletes receive all of the assistance the institution can render towards assuring good grades and graduation for the student-athlete. It would be worthwhile to study how SSA programs prepare for these recruiting visits and how they factor into the decisions that recruits and parents make regarding where the recruit ultimately decides to attend as a student-athlete.

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154 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW QUESTIONS My name is Scott Sloan, I am a doctoral ca ndidate at the University of Florida in the Department of Educational Leadership. I am conducting research on the history of support services for student-at hletes. I would like to ask you a few questions regarding the evolution of the support program and services at this institution. 1. Can you please identify your pos ition at the university? 2. Would you share with me your academic and professional background? 3. What is your involvement with the office for student-athlete support? 4. When did you assume this position? 5. How long has the office been in existence? 6. Can you tell me about how and why the office was created? 7. Were there any outside influences that led to the office’s establishment? 8. Who were the people at your institution re sponsible for its creation? Do you know if there were any specific events that motivated the creation of the office? 9. Before the office was created, who was re sponsible for student -athlete services? 10. To whom does the office report? Ha s it always followed this structure? 11. How is the office funded? 12. How is the office staffed? How many em ployees? Can you describe how this has changed over the years? 13. What are the qualifications for the vari ous professional positions and how have they changed? 14. How does your office coordinate with the stud ent affairs division at the university? 15. How does your office coordinate with the academic affairs division at the university?

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155 16. Could you describe the role of coaches w ith student-athlete academic advisors since the establishment of the office? 17. What kinds of interactions do you have with other departments on campus? How long? When? Why? Is it working? 18. Have any assessments been conducted of the office? 19. What changes, if any, do you see taking plac e in student-athlete support services in the future?

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APPENDIX B LETTER OF INVITATION University Athletic Association P.O. Box 14485 Gainesville, FL 32604 April 8, 2005 Director of Athletics Alpha University Athletic Association 123 Athletic Association Drive Southeastern, USA 33333-4444 Dear Colleague, I am writing to you on behalf of Scott Sloan. Scott is a UF doctoral student in the department of Educational Leadership and he is writing his dissertation on the evolution of athletic student life offices at Division I-A institutions during the last 25-30 years. This is not an evaluative study; rather, its purpose is to examine the major influences that helped create and shape these offices. He intends to visit three campuses (Alpha, Beta, and Gamma) and meet with athletic, academic, and student affairs personnel to identify the major factors that have contributed to the development of athletic student life offices. Scott plans to schedule these visits soon, and this, of course, is my reason for writing to you. I hope that you can meet with him during his visit to Alpha, and perhaps help him as well, as he seeks pertinent current and former administrators to interview. Scott has discussed this study with myself and Dr. Keith Carodine, our Associate A.D. for Academic Affairs, and has received our approval of this study. Because of his association with UF, Scott decided not to include UF in his research. The participating institutions will not be identified in the study by name, even though this is not an evaluative study of the services or the quality of them. I think Scott’s study can be a fine contribution to the student affairs and athletic literature, as I am not aware of anything comparable with this. I would be grateful if you would be willing to meet with Scott when he visits your campus, and I know Scott would appreciate it a great deal as well. Thank you very much for your consideration of this request! Best regards, _________________ __________________ Jeremy Foley Scott A. Sloan Director of Athletics, Principal Investigator University of Florida 156

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Scott Allen Sloan was born in Clearwater, Florida, where he earned his Associate of Arts degree from St. Petersburg Junior College. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Florida in 1999 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2002. Mr. Sloan was the recipient of the University of Florida’s prestigious Alumni Graduate Fellowship. Mr. Sloan has a lifelong love for athletics and education. He has worked as an educator at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. In his spare time he serves passionately in the Gainesville community and participates in several faith-based activities to promote character, self-discipline, and integrity among young people. 164