Miami's Durand Scott is lifted by Julian Gamble. (Photo: AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Overall graduation rates are up this year for men's NCAA tournament players and African-Americans have made the most improvement, according to a study from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.
African-American players' graduation rate increased from 59 percent in 2012 to 65 percent this year. This number is higher than the college graduation rate for African-American men overall, which is at 38 percent. Overall NCAA tournament players' graduation success has improved from 67 percent in 2012 to 70 percent.
The increase comes after U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who was once a student athlete, became more involved with the NCAA in tightening academic rules and teams have lost scholarships for not meeting them. Ten schools were banned from this year's post season.
"In general, it's the most progress I've seen overall," Richard Lapchick, the study's primary author, told the Associated Press. "To be specific, every facet that we consider, everyone on the team, all the graduation rates increased. The [Academic Progress Rate] scores increased significantly over the past year. And the difference in rates between white and African-American players declined 3 percent, though that gap is still a major factor of concern."
The Associated Press reports:
Six out of the tournament's 68 teams have an APR score that falls below the NCAA's new 930 line, which could lead to future penalties. Those teams are Southern, James Madison, Saint Louis, New Mexico State, Oregon and Oklahoma State.
Lapchick said the majority of the report contains good news.
Information was collected by the NCAA from member institutions for the study. The institute reviewed the six-year graduation rates of each school's freshman class, or Graduation Success Rates, then calculated a four-class average or Academic Progress Rate.
There is a 25 percentage point difference in the graduation gap between white and African-American players among tournament teams this year.
Read the full story here.
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