This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Pens, Paper and Football Plays: A Case Study of Student Athlete Literacy




Rifenburg, James

Type of Degree





Football players, as their community of practice demands, perform a high level of complex literate practices. While the literate activity of football is closely parallel to that we require of students in first year composition, football players traditionally struggle in the writing classroom. At the core, this thesis explores the complexity of a football play, illustrates how it is learned and then suggests how these learning strategies can be better implemented into the writing classroom Data is drawn from a semester long qualitative case study of three male, freshmen, football players, at Auburn University, graduates of Auburn’s 2008 Summer Transition Enhancement Program (STEP), and currently enrolled in STEP English 1100. This data, combined with interviews, textual analysis and classroom observation, yields beneficial insight into the richly textual world of collegiate football.