Jada Crocker

George Mason University
“Model Policies” for Whom?: Cluster Criticism of NCAA Pregnancy and Parental Discourse
“Model Policies” for Whom?: Cluster Criticism of NCAA Pregnancy and Parental Discourse
According to the NCAA's Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes: Resources and Model Policies manual (Hogshead-Makar & Sorensen, 2008, p. 5), it “provide[s] information and resources to member institutions and their student-athletes to effectively meet the needs of student-athletes dealing with a pregnancy. It will improve compliance with federal law and NCAA bylaws, and help institutions create a safe, healthy environment while fulfilling their educational missions.” While this may be the document’s intent, much of the discourse is situated towards female student-athletes, even though “male student-athletes are also affected by pregnancy” (p. 8). Title IX legislation indirectly addresses discrimination regarding parenting and the parental status of students (“Code,” 1972)._x000D_
The purpose of this study was to perform a close textual analysis via rhetorical cluster criticism (Foss, 2009; Burke, 1950/1969) of the NCAA document. While its title suggests a treatment of pregnancy and parenting resources, it appears that the discourse centers around pregnancy and little on the parental component. As such, the manual may be read as a document emphasizing female student-athletes and related lived experiences. Further, the analysis addresses the role of gender, primarily in print and via the manual’s visual imagery.
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