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Erianne A. Weight, Coyte Cooper and Nels K. Popp

Philosophical debate about the proper role of athletics within the academy has reverberated through each era of collegiate sport, and a growing body of literature points toward an impending tipping point unless radical reform ensues. This study contributes perspective to a proposed reform model through investigating perceptions of National Collegiate Athletics Association Division I coaches (N = 661) about their roles as educators and how this role could be altered through structural and philosophical changes within the academy. Quantitative and qualitative data provided mixed findings related to coach support for an integrated organizational structure with high variance in all structural facets explored except for compensation, where coaches believed structures should not be uniform between athletic and academic units because of the perceived greater workload, hours, media attention, and pressure in athletics.