The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the impact the NCAA’s 2011 9 Credit Rule would have on football academic advising strategies. The legislation requires players to earn nine credit hours in every fall term or be suspended for the first four games the following season. For this study, a survey was distributed to Football Academic Advisors at NCAA Division I institutions. Subjects were asked if the 9 Credit Rule has changed their advising strategies regarding: at-risk students, incoming freshmen, clustering and the use of elective credits. The subjects were also able to provide open ended responses regarding strategies they plan to implement to help students from becoming ineligible. According to the data, due to the 9 Credit Rule, 69.4% of responding advisors planned to change their advising strategies for all student athletes. Additional results specified that 83.1% of the respondents were more likely to change their advising strategy when dealing with at-risk student athletes. Additionally, 73.1% of the responding advisors indicated they were more likely to change their advising strategy for incoming freshmen. Over 58% of the responding academic advisors stated they were more likely to use elective credits earlier in a student-athletes’ career and 60.6% would be more likely to cluster student athletes into specific majors. The responses indicated that, on average, 6.1student athletes/program would have been affected by the rule if the legislation had been enacted in 2010. One respondent went so far as to surmise that 30% of their student athletes would be ineligible for the first four games of the following year. The NCAA’s 9 Credit Rule has the potential to impact numerous athletic departments across the United States. Knowledge and awareness of the implemented legislation is the first step for football academic advisors in the monitoring of their student-athletes. Additional studies will be necessary to determine if the legislation has caused major changes in academic advising for football players including an increase in the clustering of student-athletes in specific academic majors.
Key words: Extracurricular activities, human resource management, mixed methods approach, physical education, volunteer.
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