The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an institution’s past on the administrative decision to reclassify the institution’s athletic department to NCAA Division I. The study focused on the environment that existed prior to the reclassification and the administrative rationale used to justify the move. Two universities, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and Elon University, were chosen for case study analysis. Data were collected and analyzed using case study methodologies and an adapted model of Pettigrew’s contextualist approach. Documents, archival records, semi-structured interviews, participant observations, physical artifacts, and direct observations from each institution were gathered. Three constructs from Pettigrew’s model: context, process, and content served as the basis for data analysis. Content analysis of all documents and interview transcripts revealed several themes. Results indicated that although the context at each university was different, each university believed the reclassification would improve their institutional profile among competitive peer institutions. Findings aid in gaining a better appreciation of the historical context in which the organizational change of the upward reclassification to Division I occurred. This study serves as a first step to understanding adminstrators’ rationale for moving an athletic program to Division I.
"Reevaluating Prestige: The Influence of History on the Decision to Reclassify to Division I: A Case Study,"
Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics: Vol. 3, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jiia/vol3/iss1/8