The African American male student-athlete occupies one of the most peculiar positions in American society. While lauded for their sport performance, they are often viewed as problematic in the broader society. While their performance generates millions of dollars for universities and the NCAA, for most, their labor often produces comparatively little personal gain. While they are recruited as student-athletes, they soon realize that the demands of their athletic commitment renders them athlete-students. Many outside of sport would argue that this is a choice and an informed decision. But we argue much of this is a consequence of the mis-education of the African American student-athlete. We examine this phenomenon through the lens of Critical Race Theory to provide an alternative view of the issues faced by African American student-athletes and suggest an alternative pedagogy that might be investigated to meet their needs.
Harrison and Logan are with the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. Bimper is with Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Smith is with Duke University, Durham, NC.