Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Miller, Randy

Keywords

role, manager, media relations, communications director, sports information

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency with which college sports information directors (SIDs) are promoted to athletics director (AD) positions. Results reveal some reasons why SIDs, the primary communications officer in the athletics department, may or may not be considered as qualified candidates for AD jobs. This study illustrates that current ADs predominately come from the ranks of former coaches, compliance officers, business managers and fund raisers, while few were formerly SIDs. In addition, this study sought to determine whether the SID develops skills and experience most closely related with ADs. The variables examined in this study include the SIDs' perception of themselves and their desire to move into the director's role, and their perception of skills and characteristics required to be an AD.

Variables to be considered include the number of ADs who have been SIDs, the number of SIDs who have interviewed for AD positions and who express interest in developing skills associated with AD positions. A survey instrument was constructed to determine if SIDs perceive themselves as qualified to be ADs and to measure their interest in the position. In addition to providing self evaluations of their ability and interest in serving as ADs, SIDs were asked questions regarding the background experience of their supervisors and the hiring history of their institutions, which should provide a sufficient picture of hiring practices for AD positions. Data collected for this study reinforces the findings in the literature review that the majority of communications professionals are content with technician roles, even in advanced stages of their careers.

Results indicate that SIDs perceive that they are toiling in an underrated profession and that, for the majority, their personality and training can be tailored for the AD job. However, the significant lack of interest by SIDs in pursuing AD positions was a surprising result of the investigation. Few SIDs are being interviewed for AD jobs because few apply for the positions.

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