Racial Gap Persists in March Madness Teams' Graduation Rates

Racial Gap Persists in March Madness Teams’ Graduation Rates

Kansas posted the highest Graduation Success Rate among the 68 NCAA men's basketball tournament teams. (Photo: University of Kansas)

The gap in graduation rates between white and black men’s college basketball student-athletes remains nearly 25 percent for the teams competing in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Richard Lapchick, director of UCF’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, on Monday published his annual study of the academic performance of the teams competing in the 68-team tournament. He found that the graduation rate for white men’s basketball student-athletes was 89 percent, down from 90 percent last year. The graduation rate for black men’s basketball student-athletes remained at 65 percent.

“There is not much good news to report as almost every category examined remained the same or got worse,” Lapchick said. “The most troubling statistic in our study is the continuing large disparity between the GSR (Graduation Success Rates) of white basketball student-athletes and African-American student-athletes.”

The 10 schools with the highest Graduation Success Rates in the 2014 tournament field are Kansas, Duke, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan, Florida, Dayton, New Mexico, Stanford and Colorado.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport serves as a comprehensive resource for issues related to gender and race in amateur, collegiate and professional sport. The institute is part of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program.

Lapchick co-authored the study with DeVos students Drew Donovan and Juan Dominguez.