Frequently Asked Questions

What is Scholar Baller®?

Scholar Baller® is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that has developed culturally relevant educational and incentive-based programs at the middle school, high school and college levels to help bridge the gap between education, sport and popular culture.  The mission of Scholar Baller® is to inspire youth and young adults to develop leadership skills and to excel in education and life by using their cultural interests in sport and entertainment.   The vision of Scholar Baller® is to systematically recognize and reward all student-athletes who excel academically in order to further their academic and personal development.

College and University Level: Scholar Baller® has collaborated with over 50 colleges and universities to “make school cool” and to create a new mindset among student-athletes in terms of their perceptions about education, sport and career aspirations.  Scholar Baller® works with NCAA Division I schools, as well as numerous Junior Colleges and Historically Black Colleges & Universities.  To learn more about Scholar Baller® partner schools at the university level, click here.

High School Level: Scholar Baller® has worked with numerous high schools to help students balance playbooks with textbooks.  Click here read about how high schools are using the Scholar Baller® Program to brand and promote academic success.

What is a scholar-baller®?

A “scholar-baller®” is someone who succeeds academically and athletically.

Scholar is a term used to describe an individual who possesses academic prowess or a commitment to education and learning.

Baller is an urban term that resonates with individuals of all origins and has taken on global meaning in recent years.  In popular culture, baller has been mainstreamed on ESPN, Music Television (MTV), in major newspapers such as USAToday, and in speeches by President Obama.  The term baller can be used as a noun, adjective, or verb to signify aspects of achievement or success.  Many of today’s student-athletes view a baller as someone who has gone to the top, won the biggest prize, and who has simply just made it.  Ask a room full of high-school or college football players, ‘‘Which one of you is a baller?’’ and nearly all the hands in the room reach sky high.  It is a concept student-athletes understand and embrace.  Any misunderstanding about the term or any uneasiness has come from coaches and administrators who do not identify with young people and what they are interested in and can relate to. Dr. Harrison, Original Founder and President of Scholar Baller®, has published numerous articles and book chapters relating to how popular culture (e.g., sports and entertainment imagery) impacts the educational aspirations and perceptions of youth in society.

Who created and who leads Scholar Baller®?

Scholar Baller® was founded by a team of college professors and athletics and academic administrators.  To read more about the Scholar Baller® Leadership Team, click here.
Dr. Harrison, Original Founder and President of Scholar-Baller®, is an Associate Professor and Research Director at the University of Central Florida.  He has taught college classes for almost 20 years and has published many peer-review journal articles and book chapters on leadership and diversity issues in sport and the perceptions and academic performance of student-athletes.  To read some of the scholarly journal articles and book chapters by Dr. Harrison, click here.

What are some examples of Scholar Baller® Academic Performance Recognition Incentives?

Scholar Baller®, which is endorsed by the NCAA, recognizes the academic achievements of student-athletes who attain a high grade point average (GPA) or who demonstrate significant academic improvement.

Academic performance recognition incentives include official Scholar Baller® jersey patches, helmet stickers, plaques and various apparel items.  Each year over 1,000 student-athletes are individually recognized by Scholar Baller® for their academic performance.  Click here to view photos of student-athletes sporting ThinkMan® patches, ThinkMan® helmet stickers and other official Scholar Baller® Academic Performance Apparel™.  Click here to view some of the customizable items in the Scholar Baller® Academic Performance Apparel™ line.

The goal of the new AthletesThink™ Initiative is to further brand and market academic success by providing academic performance recognition incentives to student-athletes who possess Academic Swagger™.

Arizona State University became the first NCAA Division I football team to recognize academic achievement during athletic competition on September 2nd, 2004.  Student-athletes on the Arizona State University football team who achieved scholar-baller® status (GPA of 3.0 or better) were recognized with the ThinkMan® logo jersey patch, the first known time in the history of NCAA Division I football that academic success had been acknowledged on the jersey of student-athletes.

What is the Scholar Baller® Curriculum?

Scholar Baller® has designed an extensive academic curriculum for its partner schools.  The curriculum currently contains 47 lessons that help student-athletes balance playbooks with textbooks.  The lesson plans (which contain multimedia features) focus on the following core areas: (1) self-identity, (2) the competitive spirit, (3) the Scholar-Baller paradigm, (4) purpose/vision/mission and goals, (5) decision-making system, and (6) living the Scholar-Baller way.  Click here to learn more about the Scholar Baller® Curriculum.

What is the Academic Momentum Award™?

Scholar Baller®, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, sponsors the Academic Momentum Award™, which recognizes about 20 student-athletes each year for their academic accomplishments.  Click here to learn more about the student-athletes who have been recognized for demonstrating a significant academic improvement throughout their collegiate careers.

Is Scholar Baller® a trademarked term?

Yes, Scholar Baller® is a federally registered trademark belonging to Scholar Baller I.M.A.G.E., LLC.  Individuals and organizations must receive prior written authorization from Scholar Baller® (and must pay any applicable licensing fees) before using any of the following trademarks: Scholar Baller®, Scholar-Baller®, ThinkMan®, ThinkWoman®, ThinkKids®, ThinkTwins™, AthletesThink®,  Academic Swagger™, Are You Ballin or Fallin?™, Bringing Education to Sport and Entertainment™, Educationalism™, Athleticated™, Academic Performance Apparel™, Scholar Baller: It’s Off the Book™, Helping to Make the Cool People Smarter and the Smart People Cool™, Scholar-Baller: It’s Black and White™, Scholar-Baller: Balancing Playbooks With Textbooks™, Train for Life™, along with any other registered trademarks belonging to Scholar Baller I.M.A.G.E., LLC.

How can I contact Scholar Baller® to get my school involved with this international movement?

Please send an e-mail to to learn more about how your school or organization can work with Scholar Baller® to recognize student-athletes who are making plays in the classroom.  Schools and organizations are required to pay for the cost of official Scholar Baller® Academic Performance Apparel™ and lesson plans from the Scholar Baller® Curriculum.   We receive many e-mails from interested schools and organizations, so please be specific and detailed in your initial note to us.  Thank you.

How can I make a charitable contribution to Scholar Baller®?

You can make a tax-deductible charitable contribution through PayPal (coming soon). Click here to learn how to get in touch with us. Scholar Baller® depends on community support for all of its programming.

Scholar Baller:  It’s Off The Book™

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