Junior college and community college athletic capitalism and the work of athletic trainers
This study reviewed the funding, budgeting, revenue generating practices of community college athletics. Several theories informed the research including institutional theory (isomorphism) academic capitalism, resource dependency, and role/work conflict.
The design of the study was to interview an athletic administrator or athletic director, a coach, and an athletic trainer from each of the community colleges in a western state. These interviews occurred on the community college campus to allow for observation of the facilities. In addition, a national sample of athletic trainers from community colleges was interviewed.
The study indicates that community college athletics is philosophically resisting the pressure to look and behave like larger collegiate athletic departments. Resistance is not universal however; some community college athletics personnel consider the move toward budget driven decisions and marketing similar to Division I (one) institutions as coming and inevitable.
Isomorphism is alive and well among community college institutions. The decisions for spending and growth are not always the decisions, which are best for the institution and its athletes. At times these decisions are made because of mimetic isomorphism.
The study indicates that athletic personnel can base decisions in the context of the budget and fund raising practices. These decisions are not yet raised to a critical state where untoward influence on the institution is felt at the community college level.
Overall, community college athletic personnel are individuals who care about the student athlete model and believe the role of collegiate athletic is to contribute to the community and the college. I found the athletic personnel to be professional and supportive of athletics from the president to the departments, through the athletic directors, coaches and athletic trainers.
0523: Physical education
0275: Community colleges