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Date of Award

Spring 5-28-2019

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Christopher Knaus, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer Hoffman, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Martin Smith, Ph.D.


Extensive research has been conducted on substance use within college athletics. However, a gap in the literature exists that does not specifically explore substance use among Black male student-athletes. This qualitative study seeks to answer the following research questions: (a) What do Black male student-athletes identify as reasons for engaging in substance use? (b) Do Black male student-athletes see substance use as a problem? If so, what supports would they envision needing to change their behavior? (c) Is there a perceived and/or experienced relationship between substance use and exploitation of Black male student-athletes? Ten Division I current and former Black male student-athletes were individually interviewed. Participants revealed the concept of athlete-student, marijuana use, lack of emotional and mental support, and the Black male student-athlete experience’s role in substance use.