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Research has shown the athletic departments of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) do not generate significant revenue. The financial struggle facing HBCU athletic departments can be explained using resource dependency theory. Specifically, as HBCUs are the most under-resourced member institutions of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the numbers demonstrate how these institutions lack sufficient funding to invest in their programs. The purpose of this study is to explore the fiscal challenges facing HBCU athletic departments. To gather this information, two different groups of participants were interviewed to obtain an independent and insider perspective of the challenges. Phenomenology was the methodological approach for this study as each participant had the opportunity to discuss their unique view of the current financial state of HBCU athletic departments. Participants took part in semi-structured interviews framed around fiscal challenges. This study contributes to the growing body of literature addressing HBCU athletics by providing an exploration of current fiscal challenges facing the institutions.


Originally published in

Elliott, K., & Kellison, T. (2021). Perceptions of the Fiscal Challenges Facing Athletic Departments of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 14(1).


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