College Choice Factors Influencing Community College Softball Players

in Journal of Coaching Education

A large amount of research and scholarship has focused on the college and university choice factors of potential student-athletes. The aforementioned research, however, is disproportionately conducted using male or large revenue-generating sport participants. Kankey and Quarterman (2007) addressed these biases by developing a questionnaire and conducting research centered on Division I softball players in Ohio regarding the factors that influenced their college or university choice. Additionally, Kankey and Quarterman advocated more research utilizing different athlete populations to further analyze college and university choice factors among student athletes. As a result, the purpose of this research is to apply Kankey and Quarterman’s (2007) questionnaire to community college softball players in an attempt to determine: What factors are important to community college softball players when deciding to attend their present school? Statistical analyses indicate the most important choice factor to be head coach. Other important factors include personal relationships, financially-based reasons, and academics. The least important factors included media related issues, school infrastructure, and past coaches. Hossler and Gallagher’s (1987) student choice model is combined with Symbolic Interactionism to explain results, and provides recommendations for college sport practitioners.

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Mark Vermillion is an assistant professor in the Department of Sport Management at Wichita State University. He is a socio-cultural specialist with research interests in sport participation factors, crime/deviance in sport, and sport’s impact upon the individual. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with his doctoral degree in sociology, which is his primary analytical framework for analyzing issues within sport, and has studied a wide variety of groups including collegiate athletes, community college athletes, disabled athletes, and college students’ perceptions of sport imagery.

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