One issue facing the NCAA is the racial disparity in academic persistence (graduation rates). Previous research suggests that student perceptions of institutional fairness have an impact on academic persistence. Further, racial and cultural differences in the socialization processes of moral development influence perceptions of institutional fairness. Students who feel they are treated fairly are more likely to remain at an institution. Using both managerial responses to an initial positive drug test as a proxy for institutional ethical orientation and NCAA graduation success rate data for 87 Universities across three years, we examine the association between management practices and racial disparities in the graduation rates of scholarship athletes. Specifically, we advanced and tested the following hypothesis: athletic departments employing policies and management practices which reflect amoral orientation and combine an ethic of justice and an ethic of care (an orientation that is more typical of black community youth sports) will be more successful with black athletes than those whose management practices reflect more mainstream ethical reasoning. Performance outcomes based on a two-way ANOVA testing for the moderating effect of race on the relationship between policy and graduation rates found support for the hypothesis. The findings indicate that management practices contribute to racial disparity in graduation rates of scholarship athletes. Departments with an ethical orientation that combines justice and care reduce the racial disparity by one third, from those schools whose orientation is driven primarily by a concern for justice (rule driven) or care (nurturing with absence of accountability).
Crosset, Todd; Filo, Kevin; and Berger, Joseph
"Ethics Matter: Ethical Orientations and Disparate Racial Outcomes in Elite Collegiate Athletic Programs,"
Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics: Vol. 4, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jiia/vol4/iss1/9