Throw, Catch, Score! Now Study
Thumbs up to Pennsylvania State University for graduating 77 percent of its Black athletes and 83 percent of its White athletes, one of the best graduation rates among college athletic departments, according to a recent study by Dr. Richard E. Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.
Graduation success rates are on the rise for college athletes as academic support services grow, recruitment tightens and coaches fear losing scholarships if they don’t meet NCAA standards. But plenty of work clearly remains.
The University of Georgia and The Ohio State University graduated less than a third of their Black football players last year. The dismal rate was exacerbated by the racial disparity: While only 32 percent of Black players graduated, 85 percent of White players graduated.
The University of Tennessee didn’t fair much better, with 47 percent of its Black athletes graduating compared to 92 percent of White athletes. Time to hit the books.
“Most athletes aren’t going to be professional football players, so without a college degree they will be in a disadvantaged position,” Lapchick says. “These are institutions of higher education, and their mission is to educate the students who enter their doors. So if an institution isn’t graduating a significant percentage of students, it’s failing in its mission.”
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