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Amateurism, Player Compensation, and College Sports an Analysis of the Perceived Effects of a Free Market Model on the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Three Stakeholders of Division I Athletics

Title: Amateurism, Player Compensation, and College Sports an Analysis of the Perceived Effects of a Free Market Model on the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Three Stakeholders of Division I Athletics.
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Name(s): Hart, Steven, author
Kim, Amy C. H. (Amy Chan Hyung), professor directing thesis
James, Jeffrey D. (Jeffrey Dalton), committee member
Xue, Hanhan, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Sport Management, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Master Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (205 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The debate about student-athlete compensation in college athletics has received increased media attention in the past decade. As many parties continue to call for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (the NCAA) to reform its organizational model and rulebook, commentators have proposed several alternatives to the current amateurism model. Among the most commonly discussed is a free market model. This model, arguably, would have the most significant impact on the NCAA and its stakeholders. Critics and proponents of such a model disagree as to what the impacts would be on the NCAA and its ability to achieve its organizational purposes, including governing the fairness of competition and establishing rules defining the amateur status of student-athletes (Beggs et. al., 2004). The purpose of this study was to investigate managers and stakeholder groups' perceptions of a free market system on the organizational structure and the ability of the NCAA to achieve its organizational goals, and the impact on three key stakeholders: Division I athletic departments, Division I student-athletes, and sports law attorneys. Since much of the current discussion about the future of the NCAA is proffered by industry commentators, celebrities, and sports writers, there is a need to identify and gain perspective from key stakeholders who would directly affect and be affected by a change to the current student-athlete compensation model. Stakeholder theory was used as a framework for substantiating the importance of key stakeholders in college athletics. Stakeholder theory helps an organization explore the interests, expectations and perspectives of those who affect and are affected by its actions insomuch a decision maker can accordingly develop appropriate strategies and policies for responding to both internal and external influences (Hester, Bradley, & Adams, 2012). The three stakeholder groups chosen for this study included division I intercollegiate athletic administrators, division I student-athletes, and sports law attorneys. These stakeholder groups were selected because of their potential to be impacted by the implementation of a free market model. By way of understanding the importance of the three key stakeholders, this thesis focuses on exploring their perception of: 1) what a free market model is for intercollegiate athletics, and 2) how such a free market model would potentially impact the development of the NCAA and stakeholders themselves. To facilitate the study, semi-structured interviews with eight participants were conducted. The participants included two members from each of the above-mentioned stakeholder groups (i.e. two division I student-athletes, two sports law attorneys and two division I athletic administrators) as well as two NCAA committee members. Those participants were chosen through a process of purposive sampling created through a set of specific criteria (e.g. only student athletes who played football or basketball were selected to participate). Semi-structured interview questions were developed based on the research questions listed in this study. All interviews were recorded and participants' answers were transcribed. The transcribed interviews were reviewed and key words and themes emerging from the interviews were identified. The data was then analyzed using conventional qualitative content analysis. Results of the study revealed that stakeholders of the NCAA have varying ideas of what a free market model is for intercollegiate athletics. Both NCAA committee members described a free market for intercollegiate athletics as a pay-for-play model. The attorneys' perceptions were related to a traditional economic definition of a free market. Other ideas were similar to a professional model where salary caps are negotiated through a process of collective bargaining. A key finding from this study is that there are differences in stakeholder perceptions of how a free market model would potentially impact the development of the NCAA and stakeholders. Many of the perceptions identified amongst all or most of the stakeholders interviewed are uncommon in the media narratives about the future of the NCAA. Future implications of the findings on stakeholder theory were discussed.
Identifier: 2019_Summer_Hart_fsu_0071N_15451 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Sport Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2019.
Date of Defense: July 16, 2019.
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Amy Kim, Professor Directing Thesis; Jeffrey James, Committee Member; Hanhan Xue, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Sports administration
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/2019_Summer_Hart_fsu_0071N_15451
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Hart, S. (2019). Amateurism, Player Compensation, and College Sports an Analysis of the Perceived Effects of a Free Market Model on the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Three Stakeholders of Division I Athletics. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/2019_Summer_Hart_fsu_0071N_15451