Continuity of operations planning preparedness of NCAA Division I athletic departments

Brandon Lane Allen


Collegiate athletic departments face the same threats of private and public businesses. Multiple disruptive events have caused havoc at various athletic events causing change of venues, loss of revenue, injuries, and deaths. Natural disasters and terrorism continue to pose serious threats on all types of organizations; therefore, athletic departments must become proactive in preparing for the unexpected (Wheatman, 2001). The purpose of this study was to assess NCAA division 1 athletic departments' continuity of operations planning preparedness. The population for this study was limited to athletic directors or facility directors responsible for continuity of operations planning (N=344). A total of 91 completed surveys were returned for a 26% response rate. The total score from the 26-item questionnaire (derived from FEMA's guidelines for continuity of operation planning) was used to measure the institution's level of preparedness. Demographic variables consisting of number of students, budget of athletic department, type of institution (public or private), location of institution (FEMA's 10 regions) and experience of a presidential disaster (received federal funding for recovery), were used for hypothetical testing with the alpha level set at 0.05. Descriptive statistics (frequencies, means, and standard deviations) and an analysis of variance were used to conduct the analysis. Tukey's HSD post hoc test was used as a follow up on the statistical significant difference in athletic budget to determine the location of the difference. The average mean of 3.44 on a 5-point Likert scale (1=no progress; 5=Objective achieved) revealed areas of concern for NCAA division 1 athletic departments continuity of operations planning preparedness. Athletic departments should be proactive in developing and implementing COOP measures in order to resume normal operations in the event of an accident.