Dr. C. Keith Harrison is currently Associate Professor in the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program at the University of Central Florida in the College of Business Administration.
Dr. Harrison not only brings theoretical knowledge to intercollegiate athletics and sport management, but also unique personal insights as a former NCAA football scholar-athlete, co-captain his senior year and honor roll performer during his community college and university life experiences.
Harrison earned his associate of arts degree from Cerritos College, a bachelor's degree from West Texas State in physical education, his master's degree in physical education from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a doctorate in higher and post-secondary education from the University of Southern California (USC). Following his doctorate at USC, Harrison accepted a joint appointment as a visiting professor in the Departments of Teaching and Learning and Kinesiology and Leisure Studies in the College of Education. Harrison was recognized as outstanding faculty educator by fraternity and sorority student groups during his two years at Washington State University.
Harrison first established the Paul Robeson Research Center for Academic and Athletic Prowess at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1998, while on the faculty in sport management. In his first year at the University of Michigan, Harrison won the prestigious "Teacher of the Year" Award in the Division of Kinesiology representing four academic units and departments (sport management, athletic training, physical education and movement science). During his stint in Michigan (1997-2004) Harrison developed courses on leadership, race and diversity in sport at the graduate and undergraduate level that were uncommon in other undergraduate and graduate programs in sport business or sport management. Harrison also helped students in their development of the sport business club and one of the contributors to the master's program in sport management.
Prior to joining UCF, Harrison helped Arizona State University and the College of Education/Division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies develop graduate classes with an emphasis on sport, culture and higher education during his two years at the institution.
Harrison has published numerous peer-review articles and book chapters on intercollegiate athletics, diversity in sport and representations of athletes in mass media. He has lectured nationally and internationally about his research. This has included invited research presentations at Stanford University, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, UCLA, Michigan State, and many others. Internationally, Harrison has presented in Korea, Norway, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. In the summer of 1998 and 1999, Harrison conducted research as a visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto respectively.
Harrison has been the author and principal investigator for the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Hiring Report Card Study from 2003-present. As director of the Robeson Center received a three year grant to lead this investigation. This is as a landmark study on the equity and diverse hiring practices of NCAA IA and IAA head football coaches.
The media has extensively covered Harrison's research in the areas of diversity, education, and sport management in various print and mass media forms including the Associated Press, NY Times, ESPN, ESPN the Magazine, Tavis Smiley's NPR Show, Religion and Ethics Weekly, and KTLA.
In addition to his duties at the University of Central Florida and the BCA Hiring Report Card, Harrison is presently Scholar-in-Residence at Rush Philanthropic's Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN). This organization has supported and validated Harrison's research and writing about athletes facing stereotypes in terms of the "scholar-baller" concept. Scholar-Baller is a social and cultural identity that affirms academic excellence through the salience of sport and entertainment to youth and young adults. Access to both sport (athletic organizations) and musical icons (entertainment organizations) enables the theoretical framework of scholar-baller to literally become theory in practice.
Dr. Harrison believes in the mass media as a teaching tool and has created and co-produced six educational documentaries or videos. One of these is related to BCA Hiring Report Card, The (In)visible Men" African American Head Football Coaches. This documentary was completed with 48 students in the undergraduate class Race Relations, Cultural Images and Sport during the fall of 2003. The most recent video was completed at Arizona State University (2006) with the summer class Higher Education, Sport and Film titled "Paul Ball for Life" with eight graduate students in the College of Education. The project was an educational and sport management remix of Sean Combs noted video "Bad Boy for Life" created in 2001. Dr. Harrison not only brings theoretical knowledge to intercollegiate athletics, but also unique personal insights as a former NCAA football scholar-athlete, co-captain his senior year and honor roll performer during his community college and university life experiences.
Last Updated: Monday, January 31, 2011.