The Relevant Scorecard
- by Kenneth L. Shropshire
A new report, Black Male Student-Athletes and Racial Inequities in NCAA Division I College Sports, concludes that particularly when it comes to Black male student athletes, we need to re-center our focus.
The report was researched and written by several members of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, including lead author Shaun Harper, Ph.D., associate professor at the Penn Graduate School of Education (GSE) and the director of the center, and Collin D. Williams, Jr. C’10, and Horatio W. Blackman, research assistants at the center and Ph.D. students at GSE.
This research is worthy of close study.
As we finish the college football bowl season on through March Madness, there will be occasional studies looking at various aspects of academic performance by participating teams. Often the data is dismal.
The percentage of black men that compose the ranks of student-athletes gives us reason to pause and incentive to readjust our focus. While representing only 2.8 percent of full-time undergraduate students, they constitute 58.4 percent of the football and basketball teams at colleges and universities in the six major NCAA Division I sports conferences.
What schools’ have the highest graduation rates for black athletes? Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State and Villanova, according to the GSE report.
At the bottom? Iowa State, University of South Florida and the University of Arizona.