The fifty-three percent: examining the successful academic journey of Black male student athletes

The purpose of the following study was to provide insights into the successful academic journey of BMSAs and how they are overcoming barriers within post-secondary institutions. The factors that contributed to the attainment of a Baccalaureate degree by BMSAs within California State University Sacramento (CSUS) was examined, along with an analysis of the relationship between their persistence and institutional/societal factors was investigated. A mixed methods approach was utilized to collect the data for the study; surveys were distributed to for BMSAs that graduated from CSUS with a Baccalaureate degree between the years of 2000 and 2016. The quantitative data was analyzed to determine if there were significant relationships between their persistence and several institutional and societal factors. Interviews were conducted with former BMSAs to identify common themes pertaining to the factors that contributed to them attaining a Baccalaureate degree from CSUS. From an analysis of the data, the researcher identified six themes (self-imposed pressure, handling business, like-minded people, family support, knowing that they care, and the SARC) that were major factors in BMSAs that qualified for this study achieving academic success and graduating with a Baccalaureate degree from CSUS. Additionally, the researcher was able to reveal that there was a significant relationship between the persistence of BMSAs in achieving a post-secondary degree and the following variables: the academic support from coaching staff; the academic support from athletic department personnel; and the interactions with faculty.