Lori Ulferts

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of the study was to examine the factors that influenced college basketball players to choose to attend a certain institution of higher education. The secondary purpose was to learn if the perceptions of head college basketball coaches as to reasons for student athletes to choose a college were the same as the student athletes' stated reasons. The study sought to determine what factors influence athletes' decisions and whether those factors differed for female and male athletes, female and male coaches, athletes from different divisions, and coaches from different divisions. The study was intended to contribute to knowledge in the area of college athletic recruiting. A survey instrument was developed by the writer and sent to head basketball coaches and their varsity athletes of ten NCAA Division I, ten NCAA Division II, and twenty-eight NAIA colleges in the upper midwest.

Results of the study indicate that the top three reasons for student athletes to choose to attend a certain college were the academic reputation of the college, the athletic scholarship, and the basketball program and tradition. The top three perceptions of college coaches as to why a student athlete chooses to attend a certain college were the academic reputation of the college, the basketball program and the tradition, and the athletic scholarship.

The people who most influenced the student athletes to choose a certain college were the athlete's father, the athlete's mother, and the head college basketball coach. The campus facilities which most impressed student athletes during their "on campus" visits were the athletic facilities, the academic facilities, and the campus grounds. The facts that high school senior student athletes were most unclear about when selecting a college were what is important to look for in a college, identifying their own ability in knowing what level they can play, and how financial aid and scholarships work.

Recommendations based on the results of the study were made to student athletes, high school coaches and counselors, parents of student athletes, and college coaches and recruiters. In addition, recommendations for future research about recruitment of student athletes are made.