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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Fred Muskal

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Donald Bryan

Third Committee Member

Stephen Davis


Institutional control of intercollegiate athletics has been a core issue throughout the history of the NCAA. Institutional control is defined generally as the governance and ultimate responsibility for the proper running of an intercollegiate athletics program. The purpose of this study was to investigate the issues of institutional control over the history of the NCAA system, using various major, external reviews of the system and recommendations for reform as reference points. The study employed an Eastonian political systems analysis to examine persistent issues in institutional control of intercollegiate athletics and the different types of demands on the system since its formation. The NCAA was initially formed in response to the physical violence inherent in football. The Association was created as a voluntary national association with local control left in the hands of individual member institutions. Member institutions have control over their own programs (to run them in accordance with the institutional mission, vision, goals, and finances). The NCAA was created to maintain balance. When issues get out of balance, the NCAA provides leadership and the local gatekeepers usually follow that lead. In order for a nationally based system with mostly local control to persist, there must be balance. The most realistic system equilibrium for the NCAA is to have academics and athletics in balance. Without such balance, the legitimacy of the institutions themselves is in question. Normally, institutional presidents act as local gatekeepers, identifying their own issues for review. Now, the Board of Directors is acting as a group of system gatekeepers, allowing certain demands entry into the system, modifying and combining those demands, and identifying issues and plans for system response. The Board is working to address the issues in intercollegiate athletics and maintain a balance between the conflicting pressures. They are reviewing the issues and shaping system reform. The current system of athletics administration is basically a sound one and with some changes and efforts, institutional control can be achieved and maintained. If history is any guide, the system will follow through on enough of the reform agenda to maintain dynamic equilibrium in the system.




9780493646213 , 0493646213

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