Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Will Tyson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lakshmi Jayaram, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Travis Bell, Ph.D.


Academic Advising, College Athletics, Responsibility, Interviews, Advising Method


College athletics is a mainstay in the United States entertainment market. The public will often recognize the names of high-profile college athletes as they move from college sports to professional sports. However, while they are in college, sports is not the only focus of their attention. Student athletes are in college to get an education. The academic advisor is someone that works with the student to better facilitate the academic aspects of college. Using in-depth, semi-structured interviews, I find out how an academic advisor views their formal and informal roles and responsibilities and how they accomplish them. Among prior research in the areas of both college athletics and academic advising, the academic advisor for student athletes has been ignored as a population, despite being as unique as the student athletes they work with. Within the interviews, I found that the academic advisors for student athletes, through having intrusive access to their student athlete’s academic record and through relationship building practices are able to gain wholistic insight into who their student athletes are. In doing so, the academic advisor can better empower their student athletes to find motivation to succeed not only in their sport but also academically as well. Finally, this thesis aims to educate those that have not thought of the role of an academic advisor for student athletes and informs them of just how important these people are to the success of student athletes.