Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

The NCAA requires its member institutions and student athletes to maintain certain academic requirements to remain eligible for competition. To ensure academic success, many institutions establish academic centers for their student athletes. The University of Kentucky was the first institution to develop a facility of this type. The Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS) provides academic enhancement for its student athletes.

After a brief overview on current NCAA academic eligibility requirements, this paper looks at the organization of CATS and at the current literature on student athlete academic achievement. Then a few analyses were conducted on the academic achievement of the 2008 freshman student athletes by sport and the effects of the student athlete to counselor ratio on academic performance controlling for gender, incoming test scores, athletic aide, and season of sport. It found significant differences of academic achievement for certain sports at UK and a negative relationship between the student athlete to counselor ratio and academic achievement.

Finally, the paper recommends a few ways to improve services for student athletes at CATS. These recommendations include reducing student athlete/counselor ratio, redistributing additional job responsibilities for counselors, and collecting measurable data to improve services in the future.