Bimper, A. Y. (2013). NCAA Black Male Student-Athlete Identity and Academic Outcomes. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 84, A79.
Background/Purpose Sport scholars and academic advisers face the premier challenge of enhancing the experiences of Black collegiate student athletes and understanding the elements influencing their academic performances. Limited research exist investigating the impact of salient psychosocial and culturally relevant variables related to Black student athletes and their academic outcomes. Prior studies have investigated relationships between Black students’ racial identity perceptions and academic outcomes, yet no known research has explored this relationship in high profile collegiate student athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the degree that athletic and racial identities predict academic outcomes of Black student athletes participating in NCAA Division 1-FBS football.
Method A total of N=255 student athletes participating in NCAA Division 1-FBS football completed questionnaires containing items to determine athletic identity perceptions and six subscales of racial identity that operationalize Cross’s Nigrescence model.
Analysis/Results Significant bivariate correlations were found between athletic identity and GPA and between athletic identity and pre-encounter assimilation and miseducation. Using hierarchical multiple regression analysis, findings indicate athletic identity significantly predicted GPA. Racial identity subscales did not emerge as direct predictors, but the model explained 16% of the variance in GPA.
Conclusions Sport practitioners should be cognizant of the extent culturally salient psychosocial elements play on the uniqueness of the Black experience in sport and athlete academic performances. Although racial identity wasn’t a direct predictor of GPA, it plausibly has an indirect effect on Black male student athletes’ academic performances. Future research is needed to further explore the complexity of these relationships