Academic clustering has become an epidemic across all intercollegiate levels. Academic clustering is present when at least twenty-five percent of an athletic team, or department, is specialized in one academic area (Case, Greer, & Brown, 1987). This concept has been often examined among collegiate athletes; however, most research has been centralized on top-tier football programs and other revenue generation sports. This ignores the collective intercollegiate landscape as a whole. The purpose of this study is to further investigate the idea of academic clustering, but with a more under representative demographic. Women’s Basketball and Softball student athletes’ academic interests within the Mid-American Conference will be looked at in depth to determine if academic clustering existed within mid-major competition. Data was collected during the fiscal year 2017 and academic majors were gathered through the various institutions’ athletic websites, mainly a team’s Internet rosters. A complete list of academic majors for these athletes was created, then percentages were calculated to determine whether clustering existed within each sporting program. It was imperative that data be collected from nine different team members to show statistical significance that clustering was present within the program based off preceding studies (Paule-Koba, 2015). The results indicated that academic clustering was existent within the Mid-Major Women’s athletics as previous literature suggested. This study will examine the possible reasons clustering occurs and the implications academic clustering may have for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Mid-American Conference, and member institutions.
Severns, Alexander, "Academic Clustering: Mid-Major Issues Within Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics" (2017). Masters of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects. 43.