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View Full Document Right Arrow Icon Sociology of Sport International Review for the DOI: 10.1177/1012690208099874 2008; 43; 399 International Review for the Sociology of Sport John N. Singer in a Big-Time College Football Program Benefits and Detriments of African American Male Athletes' Participation The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: On behalf of: International Sociology of Sport Association at: can be found International Review for the Sociology of Sport Additional services and information for Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: Citations at RUTGERS UNIV on April 14, 2010 Downloaded from
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BENEFITS AND DETRIMENTS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE ATHLETES’ PARTICIPATION IN A BIG-TIME COLLEGE FOOTBALL PROGRAM John N. Singer Abstract The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the nature and status of four African American male athletes’ educational experiences as participants in a big-time college football program at a predominantly white institution of higher education (PWIHE) in the United States of America. A focus group and individual interviews revealed that although these African American males felt that they derived certain tangible and intangible benefits from being participants in this football program, the term ‘student-athlete’ was an inaccurate description of who they are, especially given the expecta- tions and tremendous time demands their participation in football related activities placed on them. These general findings are discussed in terms of their implications for future research in college sport. Key words • African American athletes • college sport • psychosocial benefits • psychosocial detriments Since the integration of African American (used interchangeably with Black) male athletes into big-time college football and basketball programs (i.e. highly visible and commercialized with large athletic budgets) at predominantly white institutions of higher education (PWIHE) in the USA, several scholars and educators have examined racial differences in the educational experiences and outcomes of athletes in these programs (Adler and Adler, 1991; Comeaux and Harrison, 2007; Edwards, 1973; Hawkins et al., 2007; Hyatt, 2003; Parham, 1993; Purdy et al., 1982; Sellers, 1992; Siegel, 1994; Upthegrove et al., 1999). In general, this literature has suggested that given the historical racial discrimination in American society in general, and PWIHE in particular, African American athletes experience academic, social, career transition, and financial challenges that, in many cases, their white counterparts do not experience. Sellers (2000) discussed the different perspectives that are out there con-
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