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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

It's all about football: The lived academic experiences of undergraduate African-American football players
by Maxwell, R. Scott, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2011, 170; 3466372
Abstract (Summary)

Media focus on intercollegiate athletics has reached an all time high. To many, the entire institution is now defined by this tiny part of campus life and the credibility of higher education as a whole can be jeopardized by the actions of a few. Most of the literature published on academic issues in intercollegiate athletics has focused on identity development, graduation rates, and financial issues.

This study examines the lived academic experiences of a group of six African-American undergraduate football players at a Division1 university. The participants in the study were all students on the campus for at least one academic year before taking part in this work. The academic performance and motivation of African-American male student-athletes have received considerable attention in the higher education literature over the past two decades. This qualitative, phenomenological study will explore the perceptions and experiences of football players who are struggling academically. The purpose of this study is to attempt to understand the lived experiences of a group of football player student-athletes who are struggling with academic requirements.

The study describes how for these participants athletics is the be-all and end-all of their existence. Close relationships with family members and team mates are key to academic success and the role of coaches is pivotal. The positive and negative consequences of interactions with faculty, staff and non-athlete students are presented with positives and negatives for each being presented and behaviors contributing to success and failure are explored. Implications for the findings are offered for parents, high schools, Division 1 football coaching staffs, postsecondary administrators and faculty, athletic department administrators and staff, and administrators within the NCAA.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bean, John P.
Commitee: Jaffee, Bruce L., Palmer, Megan M., Steinfeld, Jesse A.
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Educational psychology, Higher education, Recreation
Keywords: Academic experiences, African-American athletes, College football, Intercollegiate athletics, Phenomenology, Student athletes
Publication Number: 3466372
ISBN: 978-1-124-79417-4
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