Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Committee Member

Angela N Pratt, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Stephanie Pangborn

Committee Member

David T Scott


The migration of male international soccer student-athletes to American collegiate institutions has seen an ascending trend of participation popularity. Using a phenomenological research design, I sought to gain an in-depth understanding of how male international soccer student-athletes experienced their recruitment processes with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I institutions. Seventeen participants from various universities engaged with me in semi-structured in-depth interview conversations. Analysis of the information they shared, suggested five significant themes rooted in the communicative nature of the recruitment process: 1) Social Acceptance, 2) Sense of Belonging, 3) Acceptance vs Rejection, 4) The Incognizant Reality, and 5) Increase of Self-Awareness. These themes, which resonate with social identity theory, have the potential to offer beneficial information to institutions, coaches, recruiters and prospective international student athletes as well as to provide a qualitative framework from which future studies can be modeled.



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