Academic Progress High for Bowl-Bound Teams

Kyle Hightower, Yahoo! Sports, December 3, 2012

A study of the 70 schools selected for college football bowl games this season showed football teams maintained high recent academic progress, but the gap between African-American and white players persists.

The annual report released Monday by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport showed overall Graduation Success Rate improvement from 68 to 69 percent for football players at the bowl-bound schools.


Primary study author Richard Lapchick said he thinks the recent awareness raised by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and NAACP President Ben Jealous has been instrumental in pushing schools to make academic progress by athletes a priority.


This year’s numbers show a 20 percentage point gap between the graduation rate of white and African-American athletes, 82 percent to 62 percent. The numbers were 81 and 61 percent last year. But Lapchick is encouraged that the rate for African-American athletes has risen consistently recently.

As recently as 2009, those rates were 58 percent for African-American and 77 percent for white athletes.


Lapchick noted that across the NCAA, African-American football players graduate at higher rates than male African-American students as a whole. Another study released Monday, though, found less success by that measure among schools in the six BCS automatic qualifying conferences.

The report from the Penn Graduate School of Education Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education looked at all athletes at those schools, not just football players. Using federal graduation rates, it found that at those schools, 50.2 percent of African-American male athletes graduated within six years, compared with 55.5 percent of African-American undergraduate men.

The GSR measures graduation rates of Division I schools after four years and includes students transferring into the institutions. The GSR also allows schools to subtract athletes who leave before graduation, as long as they would have been academically eligible to compete if they remained.


Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • The dork in Orlando with a fax machine strikes again.

    This happens so promptly after the college football bowl teams are announced in December then again in mid-March after the basketball bracket is filled out that you can pretty much synch your watches to it. And the media can merely change the date on the same story it has written in this verve every December and March for the last handful of years.

    And my reaction hasn’t changed, either. It is not the responsibility of an athletic coach to take care of the academic business of his adult students.

    • So CAL Snowman

      I was always curious why they blame the coaches for the lack of success of their pet blacks. The coach is NOT a teacher, his job is to win football games. If you want your athletes to graduate then you have to set HIGH academic standards for the school’s athletes. You can’t just let Sharquavious and D’Antrell Jasper III onto campus and expect them to do anything other than thug.

      • We know the real answer, because the typical black football or basketball player that coaches are said to have responsibility over have the self-control and sense of responsibility of 12-year olds. But still, coaches are coaches, it shouldn’t be their jobs to be de facto parents/proctors.

        Speaking of, Notre Dame is good in football again. So what’s the catch? The sports talking heads are talking about how much better defensively ND is than they’ve been in a long time. Does this mean ND weakened its academic standards to get the kind of dumb fast blacks in that you need to have enough team speed on defense in order to beat other schools who have similarly weakened their own academic standards?

        Hell, if HARVARD looks the other way to win basketball games (see: ), then why wouldn’t Notre Dame do it to win in a sport they used to win in all the time?

        • Strider73

          I wasn’t aware of the hoops scandal, but I did watch this year’s Yale-Harvard football game on the NBC Sports Network and noticed few blacks on either team. It will be interesting to observe the racial makeup of this weekend’s Army-Navy game.

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    The academic failure of the “full ride” African American athlete is one of the great stories of sociology and race realism of the last forty years.

  • libertarian 1234

    “But there is still a 20-point graduation rate gap between white and black athletes.”

    If black athletes had to earn their grades instead of being awarded them, the gap would probably be around 90% or higher.

    And I’m basing that on all the intelligent types I see being interviewed on t.v. “expressing” their views on matters.

    • The__Bobster

      Ah, the “Communication” majors.

      • So CAL Snowman

        more like P.E. or black studies majors

  • So CAL Snowman

    How in the world do 62% of african athletes in college graduate? The only possible way is for the instructors to “cook” their grades and for the Deans to look the other way. Shameful. These people are dumber than a box of liberals on MLK day.

    • IstvanIN

      Afro-Caribbean studies.

    • There are various easy basket weaving courses tailor made to scholarship athletes that are mysteriously not found in the college’s main coursebook.

    • At Georgia Tech, there is a major called “Housing” or something like they.

  • Michael Alan Prock

    A interesting study I found by Michael McCann at the Mississippi College School of Law found that of those NBA players with arrest records:
    57.1 percent went to college for 4 years
    17.9 percent went to college for 3 years
    14.3 percent went to college for 2 years
    4.8 percent went to college for 1 year
    4.8 percent did not go to college
    and the remaining 1.2 percent were international players.
    Less than one-quarter of NBA players have undergraduate degrees.
    It seems that every year of college given to these people has made them worse citizens, more contemptuous of authority, less grateful for what they have and worse examples for the young people who look up to them. I wonder why?

    [Source: Arrested NBA Players: Education, Age and Experience; Michael McCann; July 20, 2005;

  • 1stworlder

    The page is now gone.

    • Katherine McChesney

      The page is there.

  • LastBastionOfHope

    I am college-aged and I can tell you from experience that athletes in general especially at big time athletics schools will get tons of preferential treatment. Many of them just skip class and pay other students to do their work, or go to class and sleep through it. The professors are pressured by the administration to let them pass anyway so their school can have athletic prestige. It’s disgusting and ridiculous. I am now a graduate student closing in on 7 years of higher education and I can tell you that at least 75% of the black students in my classes did not belong at the school academically. They were there for sports or due to affirmative action. These are literally black thugs from the ghetto…they are not scholars by any means. Once the world can admit there is a real inherent IQ difference genetically, we can finally move on and it would be better for blacks to realize their true ability just isn’t there no matter how hard they try.

  • Whatthehell?

    I go to a university with a competitive college football program and I have never seen such ‘babying’ and perks given to the athletes in all the years that I have attended college (7 total. They have private tutors for godsakes! White or Black, how can they not pass their courses with all the help they recieve! However, I didn’t see one athlete in any of my science courses. Anything that is actually challenging weeds them out. I would like to see the statistics on what becomes of these athletes after college. Do they actually find jobs?