Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Philo Hutcheson - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Jodi Kaufmann

Third Advisor

Dr. Merrily Dunn

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Mike Metzler


Throughout the history of college football, there have been efforts to reform the system and stop improprieties, yet conflict between gaining academic and athletic prowess at colleges remained a central theme. In the 1980s, the Jan Kemp trial involving the University of Georgia demonstrated this clash between revenue-generating athletics and academic integrity. This historical study is an in-depth analysis of archives, legal documents, interviews, and other textual evidence that demonstrated how the factors surrounding the Jan Kemp case evolved and how key administrators and faculty members reacted to pressure related to academic and athletic conflicts. An analysis of past reform efforts in college football identified presidential control, commercialization of athletics, and corruption of the student-athlete ideal through preferential treatment as the key issues universities must address in relation to their football programs. An analysis of the University of Georgia in relation to these issues showed that pressure to increase revenue from football led to a lack of presidential control over academic-athletic conflicts and allowed preferential treatment of athletes to persist at the expense of academic integrity.