Systemic barriers in athletic administration: An analysis of job descriptions for interscholastic athletic directors

Warren Whisenant, John Miller, Paul M. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if the job descriptions for interscholastic athletic directors (AD) used by school districts contained some form of gender bias that might deny women the opportunity to compete for those positions. Job descriptions were collected from 112 school districts within the state of Texas. A content analysis of each job description showed that 17% of the job descriptions listed as a qualification that the AD also serve as the head football coach (HFC). The link between the AD position and the HFC suggests that those districts may be engaging in an unfair employment practice because the courts have determined that such a requirement fails to meet the standard as a bona fide occupational requirement. In addition to the analysis of this possible systemic barrier for women in interscholastic athletics, suggestions are offered for further research to explore the root causes of the disparity between the number of men and women who serve as athletic directors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-918
Number of pages8
JournalSex Roles
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005



  • Athletics
  • Interscholastic
  • Job descriptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender Studies

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