Attitudes of College Presidents toward Intercollegiate Athletics

Article excerpt

John E. Billing, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

College presidents are ultimately responsible for their institution's athletics program. Many influential groups including the Knight Commission and the NCAA President's Commission have urged greater involvement by presidents in the operation of athletics programs. The attitudes and values which presidents have regarding athletics are important factors in their decision making process. A questionnaire designed to determine these attitudes was sent to all NCAA Division I-A college presidents. Forty-seven completed surveys were returned (44%). The questions were arranged in three categories: value of athletics programs, value of athletics success, and problems facing athletics. Although the means for all questions concerning the value of athletics were positive, presidential attitudes produced a significantly lower rating for "positive contribution to the institution's educational goals" than for "important part of educational experience," "positive contribution to campus life," and "enhance institutional educa tional reputation." Presidents rated athletics success as important to "institutional fund raising," "emotional bonding of faculty and students," "overall university reputation," and "rate of admissions applications," with only rate of admissions as significantly lower than the other factors. …