Date of Graduation

8-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Sociology and Criminal Justice

Advisor

Song Yang

Committee Member

Anna Zajicek

Second Committee Member

Shauna Morimoto

Keywords

Academic Clustering, College Athletics, Student-athletes

Abstract

This study explores the topic of academic clustering within the football and men's and women's basketball teams at the University of Arkansas. Given the prominence of collegiate sport in America, this paper examines a relatively understudied topic regarding student-athletes and education. Using a mixed methods approach, the topic of academic clustering is analyzed statistically, as well as through in-depth interviews with student-athletes and academic advisors in the athletic department. Statistical analysis shows significant over- and under-representation of student-athletes in certain University colleges (e.g., Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, Walton College of Business, and College of Engineering), the presence of academic clustering within the women's basketball team, and a significant relationship between race and choice of major by college. Qualitative findings attempt to explain these statistical findings, as well as highlight a possible unwanted consequence of these findings.

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