An analysis of support services for student-athletes attending Division I institutions of higher education

Date of Completion

January 1989


Education, Physical|Education, Higher




Major American universities and colleges that participate in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletics have been struggling for the past decade with the problem of how to address academic failures of student-athletes. This problem has become one of particular conceren because many student-athletes, for whatever reason, do not graduate. It has been concluded that four principal factors contribute to this problem: first, pressure from alumni, athletic administrators and fans to win at any cost; second, recruitment of student-athletes who lack the necessary academic preparation to be successful in academic and athletic programs; third, the fact that student-athletes register for a variety of courses which will not lead to graduation; and fourth, the substantial amount of negative publicity universities and colleges are receiving from the media regarding academic failures of student-athletes (Baker, 1984; Gabriel, 1984; Monaghan, 1984).^ In an effort to solve the academic problems of some athletes, many major institutions have created support service programs which provide academic advising and counseling solely for student-athletes. The ultimate mission of these programs is to resolve the student-athletes' role conflict and enhance their chances of graduating from these institutions.^ Administrators of academic advising and counseling programs for student-athletes at 285 NCAA Division I institutions will be surveyed to obtain information necessary to clarify their job descriptions, experiences and perceptions of academic success with student-athletes. Five percent of this population will be used to field test the questionnaire. Data will then be presented and interpreted in such a way as to be of practical as well as theoretical value to institutions engaged in developing or improving academic and counseling support service for student-athletes. ^