Cooper, J. N., Gawrysiak, E. J., & Hawkins, B. (2015;2013;). The impact of baseball participation on the educational experiences of black student-athletes at historically black colleges and universities. Race Ethnicity and Education, 18(5), 696-27.
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of baseball participation on the educational experiences of black student-athletes at two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the southeastern United States (US). HBCUs were selected for this study because of the limited amount of research on student-athletes at these institutions. Two separate focus group interviews were conducted for data collection. Data was retrieved from student-athletes who participated in baseball at two selected HBCUs in the southeastern US. A grounded theoretical approach was employed to examine the relationship between intercollegiate athletic participation and the educational experiences of black baseball student-athletes at HBCUs. The findings from this study revealed that the current structure of intercollegiate baseball created both positive and negative impacts on the overall educational experiences of black baseball student-athletes at HBCUs. However, when there is a healthy balance between academics and athletics, positive outcomes for students can be achieved. With the grounded theoretical approach to analysis, the researchers developed the Education-Sports Symbiosis (ESS) hypothesis to explain the phenomenon in this study. These findings support previous research that suggested the current structure of intercollegiate athletics requires immediate reform in order to enhance educational experiences and developmental outcomes for black student-athletes. These general findings will be discussed in terms of their implications for policy, practice, and future research.
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