The Embodied Experience of a Football Championship Subdivision Student-Athlete


  • Megan Turk University of Arkansas
  • Sarah E. Stokowski University of Arkansas
  • Bo Li St. Ambrose University
  • Amber Shipherd Texas A&M University, Kingsville



student-athlete development, student-athlete experience, FCS, football championship subdivision, athlete identity, student-athlete stereotype, intercollegiate football,


Many scholars feel that due to the intensity of college sport, student-athletes are confined to borders, being denied a well-rounded experience (Potuto & O’Hanlon, 2007).  Although past research has focused on the educational experiences in regards to the general student-athlete population, few studies have focused on the culture that constructs the overall student-athlete experience.  This study utilized the narrative methodology, revealing the genuine human experience and assisting in mobilizing action for progressive social change (Riessman, 2008).  This study utilized semi-structured interviews and journals to examine the embodied in-season experience of an athletically gifted Cuban FCS football student-athlete.  Open coding revealed two major themes that will be discussed: football, identity, social support, and stereotype.  This study is one of the first to explore the experience of a FCS student-athlete and sheds light on a Cuban football student-athlete’s experience.  

Author Biographies

Megan Turk, University of Arkansas

Recreation and Sport Management, Senior Doctoral Student

Sarah E. Stokowski, University of Arkansas

Recreation and Sport Management, Assistant Professor

Bo Li, St. Ambrose University

Kinesiology, Assistant Professor

Amber Shipherd, Texas A&M University, Kingsville

Health and Kinesiology, Assistant Professor


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