Graduation Rate Narrows Between Black and White Athletes

A University of Central Florida report points to a closing in the gap between the graduation rates of Black and white college athletes.

Posted: 03/13/2012 02:05 PM EDT
college athletics, University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics, Basketball, National News

The graduation rate of Black athletes compared with their white counterparts has narrowed slightly for 2012, according to a recent report.

In its study, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida said that there had been some progress in the graduation rates of Black athletes, with the gap between them and white college athletes narrowing by almost 4 percent.

Meanwhile, the overall graduation rate for male basketball student-athletes saw a slight increase in 2012 to 67 percent from 66 percent in 2011. The graduation numbers for white male basketball student-athletes dropped from 91 percent in 2011 to 88 percent in 2012.

Richard Lapchick, the primary author of the study, said that despite the positive numbers, there were nonetheless some less-than-stellar statistics as well.

“While all of that is positive news, the most troubling statistic in our study is the continuing large disparity between the graduation success rate of white basketball student-athletes and African-American basketball student-athletes,” he said.

“Although the gap closed by 4 percent, it remains an embarrassing 28 percent. The primary reason for most of the change in disparity was the decrease in the GSR of white student-athletes,” Lapchick said.

He added that there was a 3 percent increase in the number of teams that graduated 50 percent or more of their student-athletes, from 76 percent including 51 teams in 2011, to 79 percent including 54 teams in 2012.

The percentage of teams with graduation rates below 40 percent decreased to 7 percent, which included five in 2012, which is 3 percent lower than last year’s rate of 10 percent.

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(Photo: Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)