Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Recreation and Sport Management (EdD)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Stephen Dittmore

Committee Member

Michelle Gray

Second Committee Member

Merry Moiseichik

Third Committee Member

Sarah Stokowski


Distributive Justice, Intercollegiate Athletics, Organizational Justice, Softball


The purpose of this study was to explore fairness factors used by NCAA Division I head softball coaches in scholarship distribution. Research by Hums & Chelladurai introduced Distributive Justice principles to intercollegiate athletics; indicating need was a popular distribution principle. Continued research by Mahony, Hums, & Riemer determined need as a common distribution principle in athletics. Prior to this study, no research has been done to examine distribution principles by NCAA Division I softball coaches based on distributive justice principles. This study used a single scenario of grant-in-aid distribution with six possible decisions coaches make to determine fairness of grant-in-aid allocation, using a one-way between-subjects ANOVA measuring fairness of allocation principles by NCAA Division. Division results varied between fairness perceptions. FBS Autonomy 5 participants perceived an athlete’s performance the previous year to be most fair, while FBS, FCS, and I-AAA participants perceived student-athletes who play key positions to be most fair. In addition, participants were asked to determine which of the six allocation methods was most fair and determined student-athletes who play key positions was most fair and those student-athletes with the greatest need as least fair.