Dean M. Ekeren


Morse, Alan L.

Committee Member

Stotlar, David Kent, 1952-

Committee Member

Brustad, Robert John, 1952-


Sport and Exercise Science


University of Northern Colorado

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Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





189 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


In recent years, increasing revenues to the top NCAA athletic programs has accelerated an athletic “arms race” among universities, where coach salaries escalate, new facilities are built, existing facilities undergo massive renovations, and amenities and services are added for athletes, all to attract top recruits and new donors. Although sponsors and broadcast deals provide huge sources of revenue to these institutions, the majority of athletic departments rely on subsidies from the university to meet the increasing demands required to remain competitively relevant. Many stakeholder groups of intercollegiate athletics are becoming increasingly concerned that the financial pressures associated with sustaining the “marquee” athletic programs will threaten the existence of the nonrevenue, Olympic sports in the NCAA program. This study utilized a survey sent to all men’s NCAA gymnastics, swimming and wrestling coaches in the fall of 2016 to examine their perceptions on the sustainability and value of their sport, given the increasing impact of commercialism in intercollegiate athletics. A total of 192 responses were received from a population of 687, resulting in a 28% response rate. To analyze coaches’ perceptions, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the data, and three factors were extracted accounting for 31.15% of the total iv variance. Results suggested that coaches at the NCAA Division I level are concerned about the future of their sport within the NCAA program, although they were less inclined to believe their own program was in jeopardy. These coaches also felt that increased collaboration between the NCAA and the USOC was necessary to sustain these programs and ensure continued Olympic and international success. All respondents indicated that nonrevenue Olympic sports provided value to their institutions. Although institutional isomorphism exists among similar universities, it appears from the data that coaches’ perceptions vary based on their specific situations, and therefore coaches of nonrevenue, Olympic NCAA sports must understand and manage the unique needs of their stakeholder groups in order to ensure the sustainability of their programs.

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