The Disconnect Between Athletic Department Employees and Student-Athletes on Leadership Programming Initiatives

Jessica K. Brougham – University of Florida
Elizabeth Taylor – Temple University
Matt R. Huml – University of Cincinnati
Hannah R. Kloetzer – Temple University
Janelle E. Wells – University of South Florida

There is limited research exploring leadership programming within intercollegiate athletic departments, despite the NCAA requiring member institutions to house Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC). This study explores the perceptions of leadership development training within athletic departments through a sequential mixed-method design, which used a combination of interviews (6 staff members, 8 student-athletes) and surveys (98 staff, 188 student-athletes). Themes constructed from the interviews for the athletic department employees were: flexibility, collaboration, intentional and directional programming, relationships, holistic development, and access. The following themes were found for student-athletes: time commitment, communication of programming, definition of leadership, and SAAC involvement in building the student-athlete community. Quantitative findings identified significant differences across the perceptions of available resources, as well as importance of skill development for post athletic-career success.