A Mixed Methods Investigation of the Impact of the NCAA Presidential Pledge

Andrea Dawnyell Fletcher, Tennessee State University


In college athletics, there appears to be evidence of misalignment between stated commitments and institutional practices. Though institutions publicly promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), college athletic departments have failed to create large scale systemic change in the representation and retention of women and people of color. Largely composed of White male leadership, the existing organizational culture cultivates an environment of inequity and exclusion. To address challenges with institutional cultures and to enhance EDI efforts, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) adopted initiatives such as the Presidential Pledge and athletic diversity and inclusion designee (ADID). Using espoused theory and theory-in-use as a framework, this study explored the relationship between stated commitments, departmental activities, and structural change to determine the impact of the NCAA Presidential Pledge on EDI efforts in college athletic departments. A mixed methods explanatory sequential design was used to survey NCAA ADIDs. Data for this project were collected through a webbased survey, interviews, and content analysis of institution websites. Most institutions were found to be moderately aligned with the pledge but showed no alignment or minimal alignment in representation of both gender and racial/ethnic minorities. Qualitatively, six themes emerged related to organizational culture, candidate pools, resource allocation, education, recruitment, and accountability. Quantitatively, no significant difference in perspective was found regarding gender or race/ethnicity. It is the hope that this study will inform college athletic leaders of practices that promote or challenge the successful alignment of EDI efforts with stated goals, specifically as it applies to the Presidential Pledge.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Higher education|Organization Theory

Recommended Citation

Andrea Dawnyell Fletcher, "A Mixed Methods Investigation of the Impact of the NCAA Presidential Pledge" (2023). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI30314987.