Using a combined grounded theory and case study methodology, Jayakumar and Comeaux examined the role of organizational culture in shaping the lives of college athletes, particularly related to negotiating dual roles as both student and athlete. Data collection involved 20 interviews with athletes and stakeholders in the affairs of intercollegiate athletics at a Division I public university, as well as field observations and document analysis. The story that emerged from this breadth of data corroborates with and is largely told through the powerful counternarrative of one key informant who is a former Division I college athlete. Findings reveal a cultural-cover up imposed by an idealized image of achieving excellence in academics and athletics, that masks inadequate organizational support toward academic success. While academics are espoused as a priority at the university and within an athletic department that features an academic support system (e.g., tutors, computer center), and although the importance of balancing a dual student/athlete role is constantly reinforced verbally, underlying messages and structures push college athletes toward a greater focus on athletics at the expense of their academic futures. Implications for organizational change are discussed.