Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Shawn J. Gillen
Mandates and regulations from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have caused extreme reforms to take effect in the NCAA's education system. However, little is known about how these reforms have impacted student-athletes participating in college athletics. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore how Division II football players from public colleges and universities view their ability to balance their education and athletics to create a well-rounded college life. Astin's involvement theory was used to frame this study. Open ended questionnaire data was collected from 12 college football players, enrolled in public, Division II colleges and universities. Questionnaire responses were analyzed and interpreted using Moustakas' data analysis methods. Findings revealed participants' limited understanding of NCAA rules and a need for more clearly defined policies, participants recommended implementation of standard policies sports and divisions, and the use of visual aids to help student-athletes understand the NCAA's education rules. Findings may be used to create legislation to involve the federal government in overseeing NCAA policies to support the educational needs of student-athletes.