Racial Graduation Gap Persists on Men¡¯s Basketball Teams

Fourteen women¡¯s basketball teams in the NCAA tournament have perfect graduation rates, while a graduation gap persists between White and Black student-athletes on the men¡¯s teams.

The list of women¡¯s teams with a 100 percent graduation rate includes the tournament¡¯s top seed, Connecticut, according to a report released Monday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

On the men¡¯s side, the study noted a significant gap in graduation rates between White and African-American players. Nineteen tournament teams had a gap of 20 percentage points or more between the two groups.

¡°Nonetheless, the continuing significant disparity between the academic success between African-American and White men¡¯s basketball student-athletes is deeply troubling,¡± said Dr. Richard Lapchick, director of the institute. ¡°One of higher education¡¯s greatest failures is the persistent gap between African-American and White basketball student-athletes in particular and students in general. The good news is that the gaps are narrowing slightly and that the actual graduation rates of African-American basketball student-athletes are increasing.¡±

The graduation rates were based on whether freshmen who entered school between the 1998-99 and 2001-02 school years earned diplomas within six years.

Based on Graduation Success Rate data, the study finds:

¡¤         58 percent (33 teams) of the men¡¯s tournament teams graduated 70 percent or more of their White basketball student©\athletes, while only 32 percent (20 teams) graduated 70 percent or more of their African©\American basketball student©\athletes for a 26 percent gap. However, this improved on a 31 percent gap from last year¡¯s study.

¡¤         65 percent (37 teams) of the men¡¯s tournament teams graduated 60 percent or more of their White basketball student©\athletes, while only 42 percent of schools (26 teams) graduated 60 percent or more of their African©\American basketball student©\athletes resulting in a 23 percent gap. This is an improvement of ten percent from last year¡¯s study, which showed a gap of 33 percent.

¡¤         88 percent (50 teams) graduated 50 percent or more of their White basketball student©\athletes, but only 50 percent (31 teams) graduated 50 percent or more of their African©\American basketball student©\athletes for a 38 percent gap that is larger than the 26 percent gap in last year¡¯s study.

Of the other No. 1 seeds on the women¡¯s side, Duke has a 90 percent graduation rate, Oklahoma is at 69 percent and Maryland is at 67 percent.

The other schools with 100 percent graduation rates are DePaul, Evansville, Florida, Lehigh, Marist, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Sacred Heart, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt and Villanova.



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