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The Current State of NCAA Division I Collegiate Strength Facilities: Size, Equipment, Budget, Staffing, and Football Status

Judge, Lawrence W.1; Petersen, Jeffrey C.2; Bellar, David M.3; Craig, Bruce W.1; Cottingham, Michael P.4; Gilreath, Erin L.5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 8 - p 2253–2261
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000368
Original Research

Judge, LW, Petersen, JC, Bellar, DM, Craig, BW, Cottingham, MP, and Gilreath, EL. The current state of NCAA Division I collegiate strength facilities: Size, equipment, budget, staffing, and football status. J Strength Cond Res 28(8): 2253–2261, 2014—Strength and conditioning training programs are essential components of athletic performance, and the effectiveness of these programs can be linked to the strength and conditioning facilities (SCFs) used by athletes. The primary purpose of this study was to provide a statistical overview of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I SCFs, equipment and maintenance budget, and the relationship between SCF budget and staffing space, and equipment. The secondary purpose was to note differences in SCFs between those schools with and without football programs. An 84-item online survey instrument, developed with expert input from certified strength professionals, was used to collect data regarding the SCFs in NCAA Division I universities. A total of 110 valid and complete surveys were returned for a response rate of 38.6%. Results of Pearson's χ2 analysis demonstrated that the larger reported annual equipment budgets were associated with larger SCFs (χ2 = 451.4, p ≤ 0.001), greater maximum safe capacity of athletes using the facility (χ2 = 366.9, p ≤ 0.001), increased numbers of full-time coaches (χ2 = 224.2, p ≤ 0.001), and increased number of graduate assistant or intern coaches (χ2 = 102.9, p ≤ 0.001). Based on these data, it can be suggested to athletic administrators and strength and conditioning professionals at the collegiate level that budgets need to be re-evaluated as the number of personnel available to monitor student-athletes and the size and safe capacity of the facility are related to the ability of the strength and conditioning staff to safely and adequately perform their duties.

1School of Physical Education Sport and Exercise Science, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana;

2Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, Texas;

3Department of Kinesiology, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana;

4Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Houston, Texas; and

5Department of Athletics, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana

Address Correspondence to Dr. Lawrence W. Judge,

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.