Most Men’s NCAA Tourney Teams Failed To Reach 50 Percent Graduation Rate

AP, Mar. 16

ORLANDO, Fla.—A new study says 42 of the 65 teams playing in the men’s NCAA tournament graduated less than 50 percent of their players.

The graduation rate statistics, compiled in a study released Tuesday by the University of Central Florida, also found that women’s teams in the NCAA tournament continue to graduate players at a much higher level. The numbers are based on athletes who entered the universities from 1994 to 1997 and were or were not able to graduate in six years.

If the NCAA’s new academic reform plan was in place, the teams with less than 50 percent graduation rates would face penalties that include loss of scholarships and a ban on postseason play.

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The study also found an increasing disparity between the graduation rates of white and black student-athletes on NCAA tournament teams.

Two men’s team, LSU and Minnesota, failed to graduate even one basketball player, according to numbers supplied by the 2004 NCAA Graduation Rates Report. Two No. 1 seeds—Illinois (47 percent) and Washington (45 percent)—graduated less than half its players.

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