Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-14-2023


The increase in the number of incidents associated with sports has led to the rise of litigation, and physical, emotional, and financial damage to stakeholders. Collegiate athletic directors (ADs) have the duty to keep their programs safe.

This study aimed to explore and understand the practices, perceptions, and experiences of ADs from National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) institutions regarding preventive risk management. As risk management is significantly new in the sporting industry, an exploratory study using a qualitative design, grounded in narrative inquiry was conducted using the D.I.M. Process as a guide to collect data from 10 NAIA ADs through individual interviews and journaling.

The findings of this study include positive and negative actions, perceptions, and experiences that may serve as examples to be used for the overall enhancement of safety in athletic programs, and as a guide for new studies as this subject evolves.


risk management, sports, athletic director, NAIA

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Todd Seidler

Second Committee Member

Dr. Allison B. Smith

Third Committee Member

Dr. Edward Horne

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. John C. Barnes