My DNA: The Role of Social Support in the Academic Success of College Athletes at HBCUs

Publication Date


Document Type



African-American Studies

Publication Title

North American Society for the Sociology of Sport 2017 Annual Conference

Conference Location

Windsor, Canada


The purpose of this presentation is to illuminate the role of social support on the academic success of college athletes attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The college athlete demographic at HBCUs (perceived limited resource institutions) is predominantly Black, but over the years the institutional demographic has diversified to include Hispanics, Whites, and International Students (e.g., Canada, West Indies). Nevertheless, extant literature denotes college athletes of color (e.g., specifically Black males) that attend historically White institutions of higher education (HWIHE) at the Division I level are academically underprepared, have low graduation rates, and have low grade point averages. However, this population has access to ample social support resource programs (e.g., mentoring) and services (e.g., tutors). Hence, this research presentation will include the current role of HBCU college athletes’ perceived/received social support and the influence of identity on their academic success.