Table of contents(27 chapters)
While sports have historically provided a space for Black males to experience a high sense of self-efficacy, the question about whether or not it transfers to educational endeavors persists. A challenge for practitioners is to ensure that Black males also thrive educationally as well as in their athletic pursuits. The author presents a brief history of Black males’ participation in sport, along with the historical implications of such participation. The utility of empowerment theory is explored within the context of promoting the college and career readiness of Black male student-athletes in high school. High school counselors’ use of empowerment theory is specifically highlighted. Specific indicators of college and career readiness are discussed, and the author posits the use of empowerment theory in counseling and advising can facilitate positive change in this process, assuring that sports remains the positive mobilizing mechanism that it can be for all student-athletes.
The Athletic Casting Call: Factors Contributing to the Social Construction of the Black Male College Athlete
Intercollegiate athletics is a tremendous part of today’s society and encompasses numerous American lives. Its wide spectrum attracts various people from gender, race, ethnicity, cultures, religion, and sexuality. Black male student-athletes, a target of higher education institutions, are affected by sociological, institutional, and athletic factors. This population is highly sought after by college coaches due to their athletic abilities and ability skills in their specific sport in order to elevate their respective sports team, athletics’ department, and university into the national limelight. Current institutional and intercollegiate athletics’ trends that are incorporated to recruit Black male student-athletes are explored. Specific recruiting techniques utilized by college coaches to persuade this population are examined. The sociological issues in current intercollegiate athletics are analyzed with their direct effect on the college selection choice of Black male student-athletes.
The overrepresentation and lack of academic success for Black male athletes on college campuses are problems that warrant attention in the 21st century. A recent report from the University of Pennsylvania shows that over the four-year period between 2007 and 2010, Black males were overrepresented in college sports (Harper, Williams, & Blackman, 2013), a startling reality considering that Black males are severely underrepresented in the general student body. Further complicating matters is the fact that Black male student-athletes do not graduate from college at rates comparable to their peers (Harper et al., 2013). Focused primarily on the experiences of Division I Black male student-athletes, this chapter begins with an overview of literature relevant to successful academic support programs. The authors also present an overview of best practices for advising African American male student-athletes, derived from athletic departments with a demonstrated record of academic success for Black males.
There is a great deal of discussion involving Black male college athletes, particularly at Division I colleges and universities in revenue-generating sports. However, there is little discussion with regard to the unique role and complex challenges faced by Black male personnel who have the task of supporting student-athletes, especially athletes who are also Black males. The authors of the chapter extensively review the role of student-athlete academic support departments and the competencies needed to work in the profession. In addition, the chapter authors discuss how Black male identity can affect the Black male’s role in academic support positions.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established during an era of legal segregation in the United States and, by providing access to higher education, added considerably to the progress of millions of Black Americans. Moreover, to the benefit of their students, faculties, staffs, alumni, and local communities, most HBCUs sponsor intercollegiate athletic teams. No doubt on these campuses, student-athletes are under pressure to meet academic and athletic demands. In this chapter, the central narrative is on the academic and athletic experiences of Black male student-athletes matriculating at HBCUs with National Collegiate Athletic Association affiliation. This chapter adds to the extant literature on the athletic status and academic plight of Black male student-athletes at HBCUs.
Empirical studies reveal Black male student-athletes have both positive and negative experiences on predominantly White college and university campuses. Mindful also of race-based stereotypic beliefs about Black male student-athletes in collegiate sports, these phenomena warrant further discourse and scrutiny. Critical race theory is a race-centered theoretical and analytical framework that has shaped discourse on race and racism in intercollegiate athletics in recent years. Discourse in this chapter is therefore grounded in the narrative of critical race theory and focuses primarily on the academic and athletic plight of Black male student-athletes matriculating at predominantly White colleges and universities with National Collegiate Athletic Association affiliation.
In the 1980s, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) passed several eligibility rules to address concerns about the academic and personal development of its participants (Gaston-Gayles, 2009). Despite garnering publicity, fostering school pride, providing entertainment, and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the Division I-affiliated institutions they attend (Sylwester, M., & Witosky, T. (2004). Athletic spending grows as academic funds dry up. USAToday.com , February 18. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2004-02-18-athletic-spending- cover_x.htm), student-athletes are prevented from receiving compensation beyond athletic scholarships by the NCAA’s amateurism principle. Consequently, the ethical question at the center of college sports is: how do participants benefit from the college experience relative to their non-sport peers? While the NCAA typically reports benefits, research that disaggregates the data by sport, division, race, and sex reveals long-standing and pervasive inequities (Harper, Williams, & Blackman, 2013). Accordingly, this chapter juxtaposes NCAA’s rhetoric, principles, and espoused goals with the lived realities of the most populous demographic group within high revenue-generating collegiate sports, Black male student-athletes.
Much of the extant literature has focused heavily on the recruiting aspects of college sports (Beamon, 2008; Broughton, E., & Neyer, M. (2001). Advising and counseling student athletes. New Directions for Student Services, 93, 47–53). Far less attention has been given to the supply chain of athletic departments from a macro-level perspective. A supply chain is a stream of information or goods from a supplier to an end customer. This study will provide a synthesis of previous literature, which will be integrated into a conceptual framework explaining the college athlete supply chain and its impact on Black males. We will also utilize secondary data to examine the organizational development of college recruiting and the conceptual nature of college athlete suppliers and manufacturers. The chapter will conclude with recommendations on how best to address the issues of the supply chain where revenue in college football has taken precedence over the collegiate experiences of many Black male student-athletes. This knowledge will be essential to all stakeholders within college athletics, particularly administrators, athletes, recruiters, coaches, and parents of athletes.
The purpose of this chapter is to analyze ethical issues and current trends of major college athletics in relationship to Black males in society. The focus of this chapter is on identity and how higher education institutions can cultivate a more balanced student-athlete mindset through images and representations. In addition to a review of relevant literature, a content analysis of six State Farm Insurance Cliff and Chris Paul commercials was conducted so that new knowledge is applied to the constructs of academic and athletic identity. Commercial and advertisement content analysis was utilized to address student-athlete life skills issues in terms of transferable attributes from sport to life. College athletics programs need to develop systemic and culturally relevant strategies that enable Black males to transfer skill sets developed through participation in intercollegiate athletics to future occupational endeavors. The chapter concludes with a recommendation section for education research, practice, and policy.
African American student-athletes represent the largest racial minority group of athletes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the majority of male student-athletes in football and basketball. The NCAA has partnered with It’s On Us, an awareness campaign to help end sexual violence on college campuses. Intercollegiate athletics is a viable context, then, to consider transformative Black masculinity and sexual violence prevention. Transformative Black masculinity is when an African American or Black man intentionally employs his identity in the service of social justice and purposefully engages other Black males, as well as others, for that cause. This chapter considers transformative Black masculinity as a conceptual tool for the intentional engagement of Black male student-athletes within institutions of higher education for sexual violence prevention. Recommendations for policy, education and practice, and research are provided.
This chapter explores the potential of African American male faculty and staff members to serve as mentors to high-profile African American male student-athletes at large, predominantly White institutions (PWIs) of higher education. These students are a large and very visible subset of the African American male student population at these institutions and often influence how African American male students are viewed and treated by other faculty, students, and the university communities at large. Based on empirical research and combined classroom and administrative experience of over 35 years, this chapter will present the issues that African American male student-athletes face as they transition into these institutions utilizing the athletic identity, transition, and mentoring frameworks and provide solutions for administrators and faculty members to use in their efforts to help guide these students toward achieving athletic, academic, and personal success.
Impact of College Athletics Involvement on African American Male Student-Athletes’ Career Development
Intercollegiate athletics are a major investment of time for student-athletes who must balance their academic and athletic commitments. For African American males, sports participation may have adverse effects on both their educational outcomes and career development. According to the extant research base, the low academic achievement and high aspirations toward professional athletic careers for many African American males are due to a variety of factors including socialization toward athletics by family, community members, and the media. We posit that African American male student-athletes may prematurely settle on an athletic identity with limited or no exploration to other possible identities, namely career identities. Using an adaptation of Dawkins, Braddock II, and Celaya’s (2009) model of academic engagement, we categorize African American male student-athletes into three persona types; maintenance, incentive, and integrative. Maintenance and incentive persona types value academics as a necessary step toward an athletic career, whereas integrative persona type understands that academics and athletics can benefit a comprehensive career development.
This chapter explores the complexity of issues surrounding Black males and athletics in higher education. Multiple studies over the past decade and a half have depicted an oppositional relationship between athletics and academic achievement. Research suggests that media imagery, stereotyping, and other non-academic influences on African American males who participate in intercollegiate athletics tend to result in an over-identification with professional athletes, sports, and perceptions of great value associated with physical performance activities and a simultaneous under-identification with academic performance, scholarly identity, and student development. These pressures ultimately limit career options outside of athletics. In an effort to combat these issues, Beyond the Game™ (BTG) Program, a program described in this chapter that was developed in Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) and implemented at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, seeks to harness curricular, co-curricular, and on-the-field leadership training to strategically develop and support post-graduation options. This comprehensive, multi-faceted program directly confronts the challenges student-athletes face when they exhaust their eligibility status but have yet to identify viable career alternatives to professional sports. This chapter explores the main tenants of the program, established with a group of Division 1 NCAA-affiliated college athletes as participants.
Most professional athletes are broke financially within a short few years after they stop playing. It is easy for outsiders to place the blame squarely on the athlete himself. This rush to judgment, however, is not entirely accurate. Black student-athletes who have the talent and ability to play professional sports are hyper-focused on getting to the next level, and the system around them is built to accommodate that focus. A lack of educational, financial, and legal structures creates a dynamic that sets the athlete up for failure. This chapter will focus on the legal and financial realities that Black males face when transitioning into and out of professional sports. In order to shift the current paradigm, this chapter will also provide solutions for both the athlete and the coaches, friends, family members, and agents who surround the athlete, in order to empower the athlete to positively impact himself, his family, and his community.
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- Diversity in Higher Education
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- Emerald Publishing Limited
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