The identity and history of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) has been the subject of immense political discussion and popular debate. Using a conceptual and analytical framework guided by stigma and stigma management, this study examines the debate through the lens of football recruiting at Ole Miss. Qualitative interviews with prominent football players and program administrators (i.e. coaches, recruiters) at Ole Miss, as well as prominent football players at Mississippi State University, highlight a number of negative recruiting strategies used by coaches from competing schools to portray Ole Miss in an unfavorable light when interacting with prospective student-athletes. In turn, those associated with the Ole Miss Rebel football program enlist a number of tactics designed to manage the stigmatized identity of Ole Miss. This paper underscores the need to address ways sports practices intersect with educational institutions, as well as the need to examine stigma at both the structural (institutional) and situational (interpersonal) levels.
Fondren, Kristi M.
"Sport and Stigma: College Football Recruiting and Institutional Identity of Ole Miss,"
Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics: Vol. 3, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jiia/vol3/iss1/9