Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sports Education Leadership

First Committee Member

Monica Lounsbery

Number of Pages



With the impact winning athletic teams have on a university it is not surprising that pressure to produce winning teams is enormous. Coaches are expected to recruit the most athletically talented players to provide the university with winning seasons (Letawsky, Palmer & Schneider, 2005). In order for institutions to bring in athletes who are able to excel academically and athletically, it is important for coaches to understand what characterizes the college selection process for student-athletes. Therefore, an important step in this regard would be to develop instrumentation to measure this process. Hence, the purpose of this study was to conduct pilot research to develop instrumentation in which the underlying structure of student-athletes' college selection processes could be better understood. The study took place at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and in cooperation with the UNLV Athletic Department. Based on the literature and structured interviews with UNLV athletic coaches, administrators, and student-athletes, it was determined that the instrument should attempt to measure the following six components: (a) relationship with coaching staff, (b) success of program, (c) personal achievement, (d) academics, (e) teammates, (f) and UNLV/Las Vegas. A 45-item instrument comprised of six components was developed and piloted. The field test of the instrument included 290 current UNLV student-athletes. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was used to identify the components that comprise the instrument. PCA is often used in the early stages of research to gather information about the interrelationships among a set of variables (Pallant, 2005). Results of the PCA revealed 5 components that explained 68.45% of the variance. Further inspection of the data demonstrated difficulty in identifying unique relationships between items based on their loadings. The second PCA conducted resulted in a 2 component model, with 15 items explaining 43.6% of the variance. These items conceptually fit with one another, identifying the two major components (Relationship with Coach and Family Perceptions of UNLV/Las Vegas) in recruiting the current UNLV student-athletes. Independent samples T-test showed that there were no significant differences between current male and female UNLV student-athletes. However, ANOVA results showed significant differences between sports on both components.


Athletes; Intercollegiate Athletics; Recruitment; Students; Student-athletes; Student-athlete; University; University Of Nevada, Las Vegas; Las Vegas; Vegas

Controlled Subject

Physical education and training; Education, Higher

File Format


File Size

1720.32 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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