Event Title

Oberlin College Hoops: Sport and Diversity in Higher Education

Presenter Information

Zach Moo Young, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center A154

Start Date

10-28-2016 3:30 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 4:50 PM

Abstract

The men’s basketball program at Oberlin College is a Division III program in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that historically has recruited and matriculated students who brought socioeconomic diversity to the college. Division III institutions differ from those in Division I in that there is no athletics-based financial aid at a Division III institution, while Division I offers full athletic scholarships. Subsequently, at a Division III school, a student-athlete’s ability to remain at the college is not contingent on their athletic performance. This study seeks to explore whether Division III basketball players who are Black and/or who come from relatively lower income families, and/or are first generation college students experience different academic and athletic outcomes than those players at Division I schools. Nineteen Black men, who were formerly Oberlin College basketball players as far back as the early 1970s, were interviewed for this study. Preliminary findings reveal almost all of them cite basketball as introducing and bringing them to Oberlin College. Almost all expressed satisfaction in their decision to attend Oberlin and felt that they were prepared for life after their undergraduate studies. These effects were especially pronounced in players who played for a coach they considered to be a mentor figure. These patterns provide some evidence that the structure of Division III athletics allows for a more balanced approach to athletics participation in higher education, leading to more satisfactory college experiences and post-college outcomes. However, Division III institutions may struggle relative to Division I institutions regarding admission and financial support for low-income student-athletes, including many prospective Black student-athletes, as the NCAA prohibits them from providing any athletics-based financial aid.

Notes

Session II, Panel 4 - Race & Education

Major

Psychology

Award

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF)

Project Mentor(s)

Daphne John, Sociology
Clovis White, Sociology

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Oct 28th, 3:30 PM Oct 28th, 4:50 PM

Oberlin College Hoops: Sport and Diversity in Higher Education

Science Center A154

The men’s basketball program at Oberlin College is a Division III program in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that historically has recruited and matriculated students who brought socioeconomic diversity to the college. Division III institutions differ from those in Division I in that there is no athletics-based financial aid at a Division III institution, while Division I offers full athletic scholarships. Subsequently, at a Division III school, a student-athlete’s ability to remain at the college is not contingent on their athletic performance. This study seeks to explore whether Division III basketball players who are Black and/or who come from relatively lower income families, and/or are first generation college students experience different academic and athletic outcomes than those players at Division I schools. Nineteen Black men, who were formerly Oberlin College basketball players as far back as the early 1970s, were interviewed for this study. Preliminary findings reveal almost all of them cite basketball as introducing and bringing them to Oberlin College. Almost all expressed satisfaction in their decision to attend Oberlin and felt that they were prepared for life after their undergraduate studies. These effects were especially pronounced in players who played for a coach they considered to be a mentor figure. These patterns provide some evidence that the structure of Division III athletics allows for a more balanced approach to athletics participation in higher education, leading to more satisfactory college experiences and post-college outcomes. However, Division III institutions may struggle relative to Division I institutions regarding admission and financial support for low-income student-athletes, including many prospective Black student-athletes, as the NCAA prohibits them from providing any athletics-based financial aid.