Racial Gaps in Bowl Teams' Academic Performance
By E. Wayne Ross at Dec 08, 2009
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida reports that large racial gaps remain in the academic performance of football players who will appear in bowl games this year. Among the findings on 67 teams (with one still to be determined):
- 57 colleges (up from 56 in 2008â€9) or 85 percent had graduation success rates of 66 percent or higher for white football players, which was more than 2.8 times the number of colleges with equivalent rates for Africanâ€American football athletes.
- 21 colleges (up from 19 in 2008â€9) or 31 percent graduated less than 50 percent of their Africanâ€American football athletes, while only two colleges graduated less than 50 percent of their white players.
- Seven colleges (up from five in 2008â€9) or 10 percent graduated less than 40 percent of their Africanâ€American football studentâ€athletes, while no college graduated less than 40 percent of their white football players.
- 14 schools (up from 12 schools in 2008â€09) or 21 percent had graduation success rates for Africanâ€American football studentâ€athletes that were at least 30 percent lower than their rates for white football studentâ€athletes.
- 35 schools (up from 29 schools in 2008â€09) or 52 percent had graduation success rates for Africanâ€American football studentâ€athletes that were at least 20 percent lower than their rates for white football studentâ€athletes.
Four schools had graduation success rates for Africanâ€American football studentâ€athletes that exceeded their rates for white football studentâ€athletes: Connecticut (five percent higher), Troy (seven percent higher), Southern Miss (eight percent higher), and Rutgers (four percent higher). That was down from five schools in the 2008â€09 study.
Only Texas Tech and Troy had overall graduation success rates for football players that were better than the overall studentâ€athletes’ GSR. Only Cincinnati and Connecticut had equivalent graduation success rates between the football players and overall studentâ€athletes.
TIDES Director Richard Lapchick highlighted that, “If there were a national championship based on graduation success rates among bowl teams, Navy and Northwestern would have played for the National Championship. Both teams graduated at least 92 percent of all football studentâ€athletes and at least 83 percent of Africanâ€American football studentâ€athletes. If there were a national championship based on APR [NCAA's Academic Progress Rate] scores, Stanford and Air Force would battle each other with APR scores of 984 and 983, respectively.”