Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Research

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

According to graduation rates published by the NCAA, 2.5 in 10 Black NCAA football players do not graduate, whereas only 1 in 10 White players fails to complete a degree across all Divisions (NCAA, 2020a). The purpose of this study is to examine the role of race in the experiences of student-athletes who do not complete their programs of study. This qualitative, narrative case study explored the factors that compelled Division I, Black male student-athletes to leave their Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), to which they were recruited to participate in revenue-generating sports.

Using an interpretivist approach, this qualitative, narrative case study explored the lived experiences of five Black male student-athletes and their decision to prematurely withdraw from their programs and universities. The researcher used a Critical Race Theory framework, particularly the tenet of counter-storytelling, to illuminate convergence in the narratives of student-athletes and the administrators who supported them. Student support administrators attributed attrition primarily to deficiencies in academic preparation and lack of familial support for academic study. Conversely, student-athletes focused on the race-related impacts of harmful stereotyping and transactional relationships with coaches as the driving factors in their decisions to leave.

The findings suggested that for these student-athletes, experiences at their PWIs could have been significantly improved through intentional programming to foster student agency in their relationships with faculty and coaches, comprehensive student-athlete profiles for use by student support administrations, and dynamic implicit bias training for staff working with student-athletes.

Date

11-13-2021

Committee Chair

Curry, Jennifer

Available for download on Thursday, November 02, 2028

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