Career Motivation, Career Path, and Gender: NCAA Division II Administrators’ Motivation to Advance to Division I Athletics

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This study investigates whether the lack of growth in female leadership in college athletics is related to factors internal to the candidates. Specifically, it analyzes career motivation among NCAA Division II athletic administrators and their career path choices in advancement to Division I as a function of gender and position. The entire population of Division II athletic administrators at the assistant athletic director level or higher was surveyed generating 327 useable responses. Results indicate there are no significant differences in career motivation for male and female Division II athletic administrators. A main effect exists only for position, with athletic directors scoring higher than assistants and associates in career motivation. Vertical career path movement to Division I is not perceived as advancement by the majority of Division II athletic administrators because of different organizational structures and philosophies thus creating a self-imposed barrier between the two divisions.