Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Larry Moss


The purpose of this thesis was to conduct a preliminary investigation to analyze the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) relationship to the treatment of the black athlete. Exploitation is described for the purposes of this paper as a system that facilitates the economic use of students by contracting with them to play sports for the university or college, in return for a "possible education" (which the athlete presumes is guaranteed to him and will be maintained until he receives his baccalaureate degree). This behavior among most colleges and universities is reprehensible and it promotes among these athletes an illusion that they are amateur athletes. Furthermore, most colleges and universities perpetuate the illusion that their athletes have a high probability of becoming professional ball players when in reality approximately 1 percent of all amateurs make the pros. Also, the NCAA Proposition 48 rule is briefly discussed·. and how it affects the black student athlete.

To answer some of the researcher's questions and concerns, the researcher conducted a survey in which he interviewed thirty (30) former black male collegiate athletes who participated in the NCAA. These athletes were black males between the ages of 30 to 65 years old. This survey also assessed the attitudes, experiences and successful/unsuccessful outcomes of their collegiate career. The results of this preliminary investigation generally concluded that indeed, the black college athlete has been exploited by the NCAA and the university or college which he attended. Recommendations were provided that pertain to advocacy, information and creating other career options for college/university athletes.