Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Jared Schlenker


Billions of dollars are spent each year on athletic teams and the education of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) student-athletes. Successful athletic programs require teams that are excelling in the classroom and also within their sports. Stakeholders are continually searching for factors that impact the academic success of the student-athlete population. This study explored one of those factors: motivation. In this research, an ex post facto quantitative research format was utilized to determine if there were relationships among three subscales of Gaston’s (2002) Sports and Academics Questionnaire (SAMSAQ) and gender identity. More specifically, the three SAMSAQ subscales that were examined in this study were the academic motivation (AM) subscale, the student athletic motivation (SAM) subscale, and the career athletic motivation (CAM) subscale. The motivation scores of student-athletes with similar demographics were also examined. The results of this study indicated that the type of financial aid a student-athlete receives may influence motivation scores. In addition, the results also indicated that the gender identity of the student-athletes may influence motivation scores.