Who Calls the Shots?: An Examination of Factors That Impact Student Athletes’ Choice of Academic Major



Vault, Merrissa

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Earning a degree and playing at the NCAA Division I level are both incredible accomplishments and accolades. Both require hard work, dedication, and commitment. However at many institutions, athletics outweighs the value of academics, and student athletes succumb to their preferred degree being put on the backburner due to the high intensity and demand of their athletic schedule. With the use of Crawford, Jackson, and Godbey’s (1991) leisure constraint model and Raymore’s (2002) facilitator model, this study looked at constraining and facilitating factors that impacted Division I athletes’ decisions to major in their preferred academic area. This study used a mixed methods approach and looked at former Division I student athletes who participated in nonrevenue generating sports. The study found that the majority of Division I student athletes in non-revenue generating sports are majoring in their preferred choice of major; however there are multiple constraints that arose in their degree choice selection. Academic clustering was also found to be evident amongst seven schools within the Atlantic 10 Conference.



Academic major selection, Academic clustering, Student athlete, None-revenue-generating, Facilitators, Constraints