Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Love, Adam W.

Committee Member

Twietmeyer, Gregg

Committee Member

Barrett, Marsha E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Sports Administration

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Education


Department of Kinesiology


This content analysis was designed to investigate newspaper coverage of the desegregation of Mississippi State varsity football through the media coverage of the first Black football players at Mississippi State University, Robert Bell and Frank Dowsing. Two hundred and three articles from three newspapers (The Starkville Daily News, Mississippi State Reflector, and Jackson Clarion-Ledger) were examined using a three-tiered qualitative analysis. That analysis resulted in 426 frame instances and 686 theme instances, or a total of 1,112 codes. The resulting data were then interpreted using Critical Race Theory (CRT) to generate understanding of the desegregation of the football program. The CRT guided interpretation of the results of the content analysis contradicted the popular narrative regarding Mississippi State University desegregation and athletic desegregation, indicating that the varsity football team and the careers of Bell and Dowsing were reported in a way that supported the existing MSU power structure.



media analysis||football history||colorblind discourse||race relations||college football||Mississippi sports heritage