“I’m Running So You Can Be Happy and I Can Keep My Scholarship”

A Comparative Study of Black Male College Athletes’ Experiences With Role Conflict

Authors

  • Joseph N. Cooper University of Connecticut
  • Jewell E. Cooper University of North Carolina

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2014-0120

Keywords:

Black male college athletes, educational experiences, role theory, academic performance

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of two groups of Black male college athletes at a Division I historically White institution (HWI) to better understand the key contributors that influenced their academic performance levels, academic engagement, and the quality of their overall college experiences. Two focus groups were conducted with 10 Black male college athletes enrolled at a Division I HWI and a demographic questionnaire was administered to ascertain a better understanding of their personal backgrounds, college academic experiences, and college athletic experiences. Role theory was incorporated as a theoretical lens to investigate the participants’ identity salience, role commitments, and overall college experiences. Findings revealed participants from each group shared common experiences encountering role conflict. However, the coping strategies and academic performance outcomes varied between each group. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

Author Biographies

Joseph N. Cooper, University of Connecticut

Joseph Cooper is with Educational Leadership, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Jewell Cooper is with Teacher Education and Higher Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.

Jewell E. Cooper, University of North Carolina

Joseph Cooper is with Educational Leadership, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Jewell Cooper is with Teacher Education and Higher Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.

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Published

2015-12-01

How to Cite

Cooper, J. N., & Cooper, J. E. (2015). “I’m Running So You Can Be Happy and I Can Keep My Scholarship”: A Comparative Study of Black Male College Athletes’ Experiences With Role Conflict. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 8(2), 131–152. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2014-0120