Supporting the Supporters: Decreasing Workaholism in Athletic Academic Advisors

Molly Harry – University of Arkansas
A. Lamont Williams – San Jose State University
Kristopher White – Florida State University

Previous scholarship contends that workaholism is a common feature in intercollegiate athletics. However, limited scholarship has applied this perspective to examine the experiences of athletic academic advisors. Through the lens of workaholism, this study used survey methods to explore what factors contributed to feelings of workaholism amongst Atlantic Coast Conference athletic academic advisors (n = 68) and what resource improvements these advisors feel are needed to decrease workaholism. Through affective coding methods, factors contributing to workaholism were categorized into three major themes. First, personal characteristics of advisors, such as individuals’ value systems and internal motivation, perpetuated workaholism. Second, components of the athletics environment (such as competition between colleagues and inefficient processes) fostered advisors’ workaholism. Third, parts of the athletics culture, mainly high standards of leaders and the perception that individuals must always be working, contributed to workaholic tendencies. To combat workaholism, athletic academic advisors noted resources centering the athletics environment would lessen their feelings of workaholism. These improvements centered around enhanced salary/benefits, better financial support for academic programming, and more academic support staff.