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ERIC Number: ED515755
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 171
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-8133-8
Reclassification to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision: A Case Study at Western Kentucky University
Upright, Paula A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Louisville
The purpose of this study was to describe the reclassification process of Western Kentucky University's football program from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest and most visible level of NCAA competition. Three research questions guided the study: (a) Why did Western Kentucky University reclassify the football program from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision, (b) How did the National Collegiate Athletic Association procedures on reclassification impact the transition to FBS football, and (c) What are the expected effects of the reclassification on Western Kentucky University and its stakeholders? This qualitative case study was an in-depth look at one institution's organizational change during an NCAA reclassification. This case study gathered evidence through document mining, interviews and observation during the two-year football reclassification at Western Kentucky University. Credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability addressed the quality of this research. The findings were presented in a descriptive narrative around emergent themes. Regarding rationale the following themes emerged; (1) NCAA affiliation is important to the overall mission and reputation of Western Kentucky University, (2) Athletic programs are an undeniable part of WKU history and modern culture and their importance and impact cannot be ignored, (3) There were multiple athletic administrative reasons for the reclassification, and (4) The football reclassification is one aspect of an overall transition taking place at WKU. Regarding process the themes showed; (5) The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Sun Belt Conference supported WKU's transition to FBS football, (6) The decision to reclassify required careful planning and research, and (7) Administrative leadership played a key role in the reclassification process. Effects expected were; (8) The elevation of the football program will enhance the quality of all other sports and (9) A division I football program can improve WKU's profile and the community of Bowling Green, Kentucky. This examination of athletic change provided insight on the value of intercollegiate athletics and provided useful information for other institutions considering an athletic reclassification. Furthermore, this study identified considerations for future research in athletic and higher education administration. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A