Expert Answer:SOC 180 UCLA Racial Inequality in Black Male Athle

  

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University of Pennsylvania
From the SelectedWorks of Shaun R. Harper, Ph.D.
2013
Black Male Student-Athletes and Racial Inequities
in NCAA Division I Revenue-Generating College
Sports
Shaun R. Harper, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Collin D. Williams Jr., University of Pennsylvania
Horatio Blackman, University of Pennsylvania
Available at: https://works.bepress.com/sharper/54/
Black Male Student-Athletes
and Racial Inequities in NCAA Division I College Sports
BY SHAUN R. HARPER, COLLIN D. WILLIAMS JR., AND HORATIO W. BLACKMAN
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Message from Kenneth L. Shropshire
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Background and Research Methods .
Racial Equity: Winners and Losers .
Atlantic Coast Conference
Big East Conference .
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Big Ten Conference .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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12
Big 12 Conference
Pac 12 Conference .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Southeastern Conference .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Recommendations for Improving Racial Equity in College Sports
References .
Opinions expressed herein belong entirely
to the authors and do not necessarily represent viewpoints of the
Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.
© 2013, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.
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20
RECOMMENDED CITATION FOR THIS REPORT:
Harper, S. R., Williams, C. D., & Blackman, H. W. (2013). Black male student-athletes and racial inequities in
NCAA Division I college sports. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Center for the Study of Race and
Equity in Education.
The report is also available in .PDF for free download at www.gse.upenn.edu/equity/sports
Executive Summary
Transparency, not shock value, is the primary aim of this report. In
fact, statistics presented herein concerning the overrepresentation
of Black male student-athletes are unlikely to surprise anyone who
has watched a college football or men’s basketball game over the
past 20 years. Likewise, scholars who study race in intercollegiate
athletics will probably deem unsurprising our findings on racial
inequities in six-year graduation rates. What we find shocking is
that these trends are so pervasive, yet institutional leaders, the
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and athletics
conference commissioners have not done more in response to
them. Also astonishing to us is that it seems the American public
(including former Black student-athletes, sports enthusiasts,
journalists, and leaders in Black communities) has accepted as
normal the widespread inequities that are cyclically reproduced in
most revenue-generating college sports programs.
Perhaps more outrage and calls for accountability would ensue
if there were greater awareness of the actual extent to which
college sports persistently disadvantage Black male student-athletes.
Hence, the purpose of this report is to make transparent racial
inequities in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big East
Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac 12
Conference, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Data from
the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Education are presented
for the 76 institutional members of these six athletic conferences.
Specifically, we offer a four-year analysis of Black men’s representation
on football and basketball teams versus their representation in the
undergraduate student body on each campus. We also compare
Black male student-athletes’ six-year graduation rates (across
four cohorts) to student-athletes overall, undergraduate students
overall, and Black undergraduate men overall at each institution.
Thank you for taking time to read our report; feel free
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and useful. Please direct questions, feedback, and
reactions to us via e-mail at sharper1@upenn.edu,
cold@gse.upenn.edu, and horatiob@gse.upenn.edu.
We hope this document heightens public awareness and
ignites serious action in response to one of the most
vexing racial equity issues in U.S. higher education.
“Perhaps nowhere
in higher
education is the
disenfranchisement
of Black male
students more
insidious than
in college athletics”
Major results of our study include:
U Between 2007 and 2010, Black men were 2.8% of full-time,
degree-seeking undergraduate students, but 57.1% of football
teams and 64.3% of basketball teams.
U Across four cohorts, 50.2% of Black male student-athletes
graduated within six years, compared to 66.9% of studentathletes overall, 72.8% of undergraduate students overall, and
55.5% of Black undergraduate men overall.
U 96.1% of these NCAA Division I colleges and universities
graduated Black male student-athletes at rates lower than
student-athletes overall.
U 97.4% of institutions graduated Black male student-athletes
at rates lower than undergraduate students overall. On no
campus were rates exactly comparable for these two
comparison groups.
U At one university, Black male student-athletes
graduated at a comparable rate to Black
undergraduate men overall. On 72.4% of
the other campuses, graduation rates
for Black male student-athletes
were lower than rates for Black
undergraduate men overall.
– (Harper, 2006, p. 6)
In the pages that follow, we
summarize previously published
studies on Black male studentathletes and provide more details
about our research methods.
We then present lists of highand low-performing institutions.
Statistics are also furnished for
each individual college/university
in the six athletic conferences.
The report concludes with
implications for college and
university presidents, athletics
directors, commissioners of the six
major sports conferences, the NCAA,
journalists, and Black male student athletes and their families.
1
Dead Ball
Though many aspire to play
professional sports after college, the National Football
League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association
(NBA) will draft fewer than
2% of student-athletes each
year.
SOURCE:
Martin (2009)
2
Message from
Kenneth L. Shropshire
One quandary scholars and policymakers have sought to unravel
is the proper role of sports in our society. Intercollegiate athletics is
one sector that has received much scrutiny.
Policy decisions are often based on belief rather than facts. In the
African American community the reference is often to “mother
wit,” a feeling that something is right or wrong. People often
adhere to long held beliefs when making policy recommendations
rather than looking at evidence and cutting-edge research.
My old pastor once began a sermon with the query, “which is
correct: two heads are better than one, or too many cooks spoil
the broth?” He stared into the congregation and asked, “they
can’t both be right, can they?” His point was that we should
not rely on lyrical beliefs that have been handed down to us,
as they are often contradictory. He was guiding us to look to
the Bible for answers. That was not a bad suggestion. Another
recommendation for social issues and educational inequities is
to look to statistics. That is where Professor Harper and his coauthors lead us in this report.
The percentage of Black men that composes the ranks of
student-athletes gives us reason to pause and incentive to look
further. While representing only 2.8% of full-time undergraduate
students, they constitute 58.4% of the football and men’s
basketball teams at colleges and universities in the six major
NCAA Division I sports conferences. Intercollegiate athletics
provide college opportunity to young Black men and take them
off the streets, or major sports programs take advantage of these
students without serious care for their personal and academic
success. They can’t both be right, can they?
What can we learn about racial inequities in higher education by
examining six-year graduation rates? At all but three institutions
in this study, Black male student-athletes graduated at rates
lower than teammates from other racial groups. Are these racial
inequities in college completion best explained by Black men’s
fascination with playing for the NFL and NBA, or is it that coaches
only care if these students are academically eligible for athletic
Professor Shropshire
LVDIDFXOWDIÀOLDWH
in the Penn GSE
Center for the Study
of Race and Equity
in Education. His 11
books include “Agents
of Opportunity:
Sports Agents and
Corruption in
Collegiate Sports.”
competition but are considerably less concerned about rates at
which they graduate? Which is right, which is wrong?
Do Black men on college sports teams graduate at higher rates
than do their same-race male peers who do not participate in
athletics? Yes at about one quarter of the institutions in this study,
no at the overwhelming majority of others. The NCAA maintains
that student-athletes graduate at higher rates because they are
better at maximizing limited study time bounded by hours of
practice, travel, and competition. This lyrical belief seems to not
apply to Black male student-athletes at institutions in the six
championship sports conferences examined in this report. Is
the broth spoiled?
This study represents the path we must take
to distinguish right from wrong and lyrical
beliefs from statistical realities. The authors
provide data that are necessary to improve
student-athlete success and develop
policies that address longstanding
racial inequities in college sports. This
study provides statistical insights
into problems that are in need of
accountability and policy response.
Mother wit has its place, but
data do a better job of making
transparent what is actually right
and wrong.
Warmest Regards,
Kenneth L. Shropshire, J.D.
David W. Hauck Professor of Legal
Studies and Business Ethics
Director, Wharton Sports Business
Initiative
University of Pennsylvania
3
Background and Research Methods
Every Heisman
Trophy winner
over the past 21
years attended
one of the
universities
analyzed in
this report.
This report builds on Harper’s (2006) analysis of Black male student-athletes’
representation on revenue-generating sports teams (football and basketball),
as well as racial differences in six-year graduation rates, at 50 public flagship
universities. Black men were 2.8% of undergraduates, but 54.6% of football
players and 60.8% of basketball team members at institutions in the report.
Across four cohorts of student-athletes, 47% of Black men graduated within
six years, compared to 60% of White males and 62% of student-athletes
overall in the 2006 study.
In this report, we provide data on representation trends and six-year
graduation rates at 76 colleges and universities that comprise six major
sports conferences: the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, and SEC.
These conferences were chosen for our analysis because every NCAA
Division I football champion since 1989 and each Division I men’s basketball
championship team since 1991 has come from them. They were also selected
because their football conference champions receive automatic bids to the
Bowl Championship Series (BCS), a post-season series of five nationally
televised football contests. According to the BCS website, “Each conference
whose team qualifies automatically for the BCS receives approximately $22
million in net revenue. A second team qualifying brings an additional $6
million to its conference” (www.bcsfootball.org). Millions are also paid to
conferences when men’s basketball teams at member institutions advance to
the NCAA Division I Final Four championship. Above all, we are focusing on
colleges and universities in these six conferences because they are likely sites
at which trends reported in published research on Black male student-athletes
are most problematic.
Black Male Student-Athletes: A Research Overview
Much has been written over the past four decades about Black male student
participation in intercollegiate athletics. Numerous studies highlight a range
of inequities at Division I institutions, the NCAA’s highest and most financially
lucrative competition level. Most emphasis in the literature has been on
members of revenue-generating sports teams, namely football and men’s
basketball. Harper (2006) explains that these are the two sports that garner
the most media attention (which also generates television contracts and
corporate sponsorships), attract the most fans (who pay to attend games),
and yield the most revenue from merchandise sales (e.g., jerseys and other
apparel).
Scholars have recently examined how Black men are socialized to value
sports over academics at a young age (e.g., Beamon & Bell, 2006; Benson,
4
2000); the ways in which colleges and universities reap enormous financial
benefits at the expense of Black male student-athlete success (e.g., Beamon,
2008; Donnor, 2005; Harper, 2009a); and the long-term effects of sports
participation on Black men’s psychological wellness and post-college
career transitions (e.g., Beamon & Bell, 2011; Harrison & Lawrence, 2003).
Considerable effort has also been devoted to exploring racial differences
between Black men and their White male teammates. For example, Harrison,
Comeaux, and Plecha (2006) found disparities in the academic preparation
of Black and White student-athletes. Specifically, Blacks were recruited
from less prestigious high schools with insufficient resources, which likely
underprepared them for the rigors of college-level academic work.
Nearly 30 years ago, renowned scholar-activist Harry Edwards wrote, “They
must contend, of course, with the connotations and social reverberations
of the traditional ‘dumb jock’ caricature. But Black student-athletes are
burdened also with the insidiously racist implications of the myth of ‘innate
Black athletic superiority,’ and the more blatantly racist stereotype of the
‘dumb Negro’ condemned by racial heritage to intellectual inferiority” (1984,
p. 8). This caricature and other racial stereotypes continue to plague Black
male student-athletes at many predominantly white colleges and universities
(Hodge, Burden, Robinson, & Bennett, 2008; Hughes, Satterfield, & Giles,
2007; Oseguera, 2010). Because Black men are so overrepresented in college
athletics, Harper (2009b) contends the myth also negatively affects those
who are not student-athletes, as their White peers and others (e.g., faculty,
alumni, and administrators) often erroneously presume they are members of
intercollegiate sports teams and stereotype them accordingly.
The importance of engaging student-athletes in educationally purposeful
activities and enriching educational experiences, both inside and outside
the classroom, has been well established in the literature (Comeaux,
Speer, Taustine, & Harrison, 2011; Gayles & Hu, 2009; Martin, 2009).
Notwithstanding, Black male student-athletes rarely accrue benefits
and developmental outcomes associated with high levels of purposeful
engagement beyond athletics. This has serious implications for faculty-student
interaction, an important form of engagement. Comeaux and Harrison (2007)
found that engagement with faculty was essential to academic achievement
for Black and White male student-athletes, yet professors spent significantly
more out-of-class time with Whites. Furthermore, high-achieving Black male
student-athletes in Martin, Harrison, and Bukstein’s (2010) study reported that
coaches prioritized athletic accomplishment over academic engagement and
discouraged participation in activities beyond their sport.
Studies cited in this section illuminate problems that are both longstanding
and pervasive, especially in big-time college sports programs. They advance
a sociocultural understanding of the status of Black male student-athletes,
one of the most stereotyped populations on college campuses. Our report
complements the literature by furnishing a statistical portrait of these
students and highlighting racial inequities that disadvantage them in the six
conferences that routinely win NCAA Division I football and men’s basketball
championships.
We also analyzed each institution’s NCAA graduation rates report and
compared Black male student-athletes to three groups: [1] student-athletes
overall, [2] undergraduate students overall, and [3] Black undergraduate men
overall. These graduation rates were averages across four cohorts, as opposed
to a single year. These undergraduate students entered college in 2001, 2002,
2003, and 2004 and graduated by 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Complete
data were available for every institution except the University of Utah. Rates
reported herein are for Black male scholarship athletes on all sports teams,
not just football and basketball.
Data Sources and Analysis
This report is based on quantitative data from the U.S. Department of
Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the
NCAA Federal Graduation Rates Database. We used IPEDS to calculate Black
men’s share of undergraduate student enrollments across four cohort years at
each of the 76 colleges and universities in this study. These percentages were
juxtaposed with Black men’s share of scholarship student-athletes; numbers of
Black male students on football and basketball teams at each institution were
retrieved from the NCAA database. These statistics reflect the 2007, 2008,
2009, and 2010 academic school terms. Five institutions (DePaul University,
Marquette University, Providence College, Seton Hall University, and St. John’s
University) do not have NCAA Division I intercollegiate football teams; only
Black men’s representation on basketball teams was calculated for them.
Limitations
This study has two noteworthy limitations. First, the NCAA database is
inclusive of only scholarship student-athletes. It is possible (but not likely)
that a team had significantly more or substantially fewer Black male members
who were not athletic scholarship recipients. Second, graduation rates do not
account for undergraduates who transferred from one institution to another.
Transfer students are counted as dropouts. Notwithstanding this limitation,
no published evidence or anecdotal reports suggest that Black male studentathletes are any more or less likely than other racial groups to transfer.
Advisory Committee
A dozen athletics administrators, former college and current professional athletes, and experts on intercoll …
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