Are College Athletes Cheaters? What do Faculty Think?

Ashley P. Kuhn – Florida Gulf Coast University
Lisa M. Rubin – Kansas State University

This study used intergroup contact hypothesis as a framework to understand faculty perceptions of college athletes. Faculty at four NCAA Division I institutions located in the SEC and Big Ten conferences were surveyed to examine their views of college athletes’ academic behavior. Faculty were randomly assigned to answer questions about either men’s football, men’s baseball, or women’s basketball. Overall, faculty had low perceptions of college athlete normative deviance. However, when looking at group differences, faculty had the most negative perception of deviance among men’s football college athletes and the least negative perceptions about women’s basketball college athletes. In addition, the more familiarity or accessibility faculty have to college athletes the less likely they are to have negative perceptions.