This paper reports the results of an empirical study that draws on a means-end perspective to examine the factors influencing the school choice decisions of collegiate student athletes. A sample of 27 NCAA Division I collegiate football players were questioned to identify the attributes that differentiated the school they selected from the others they had considered attending. The interviewing technique known as laddering was then used to link the salient attributes of the chosen school to the consequences and personal values important to the athlete. An analysis of the resulting data provided unique insight into the means-end relationships that underlie students' selection of competing athletic programs. A discussion of the study findings outlined the implications of this investigation and the means-end approach for future recruiting and research efforts.