Racial gap continues grad rates for bowl-bound professional athletes

  • Richard Lapchick, Contributing Author, ESPN.comJan 9, 2024, 04:52 PM ET


    • American leader of the sports boycott of South Africa from 1975 until the end of apartheid
    • Chair of the DeVos Sport Company Management Graduate Program at the University of Central Florida
    • Author of 16 books and the yearly Racial and Gender Transcript
    • Directs UCF’s Institute for Variety and Ethics in Sport
    • Director of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport

Editor’s note: Richard Lapchick is a human rights activist, leader for racial equality, professional on sports issues, scholar and author.Now that Michigan has actually

won the nationwide college football championship, it is time to reflect on the scholastic success of student-athletes. Will they have the education they require to be successful in life?I have actually been blogging about this for more than 4 decades. Things have actually gotten far better over those years. Various scholastic reforms have actually helped. In 2022, the overall academic success of college football student-athletes reached an all-time high. The rate stayed the exact same in 2023. Nevertheless, when it pertains to total football graduation rates

, the average space between white and Black football student-athletes increased for the 82 Football Bowl Subdivision( FBS)bowl-bound schools. This has been my greatest concern over the 40 years we have followed this. The results were reported in” Keeping Rating When It Counts: Examining the Academic Records of the 2022-23 Bowl-Bound College Football Teams, “a research study released Tuesday by The Institute for Variety and Ethics in Sport(TIDES), which remains in the DeVos Sport Organization Management Graduate Program at the University of Central Florida. I directed both till my retirement in August 2023. Editor’s Picks 2 Related As the main author of the research study now, Adrien Bouchet, director of TIDES, said the scholastic success

of FBS football student-athletes, as measured by the graduation success rate (GSR), remained at 83%– the like in 2022.” The space in between white and Black football student-athletes increased somewhat this year, so it continues to be a significant problem, “Bouchet stated.

“The gap this year is 13.2 %, up from 11.6%last year. Among the 82 bowl-bound teams, the average GSR for Black football student-athletes is 79.3%, a little below 79.5 %in 2022. The average GSR for white football student-athletes increased from 91% in 2022 to 92.5 %in 2023. “For the past 10 days, football fans and pundits have concentrated on the four schools betting the championship game: Alabama, Michigan, Washington and Texas. Alabama(93%)

, Michigan(89 %), and Washington(84 %)had high graduation rates, while Texas had a lower graduation rate( 75%). Other than for Texas, each had a space between white and Black football student-athletes, but they were all better than the nationwide gap. Their Black football student-athletes graduated at rates of 92%at Alabama, 88%at Michigan, 81%at Washington and 68%at Texas, while their white football student-athletes graduated at rates of 94 %, 100 %, 95%, and 92%, respectively. The 24 portion point space for Texas is almost double the national average of 13.2 portion points.The national Academic Development Rate( APR)average among the bowl-bound groups was 71%. All 4 schools succeeded with their APR, with Texas once again behind the others. APRs for the 4 schools were Alabama 995, Michigan 987, Washington 986 and Texas 974

. For the whole field of bowl teams, there were really disturbing data. – Eighty-two schools (100 %)had GSRs of 70 %or greater for white football student-athletes, which was around 1.2 times the number of schools with equivalent GSRs for Black football student-athletes(69 schools or 84.1 %). – In 2023, 5 bowl-bound teams had a GSR for Black football student-athletes a minimum of 30 portion points lower than that of white football student-athletes. – In 2023, 22%of bowl-bound schools (18 overall)had GSRs for Black football student-athletes that were at least 20 percentage points lower than the rates for white football student-athletes. – 8 schools had an APR below 950– 21 points listed below the national average amongst these teams.

New Mexico State had the lowest at 916. It was the first time a bowl-bound school had an APR listed below the 930 minimum score. They were joined by LSU at 923. Among the 8, there were 3 SEC schools: LSU, Tennessee

at 946 and Texas A&M at 949. – Nine schools had a GSR for Black football student-athletes that went beyond the rates for white football student-athletes, 2 more than in 2022: Wyoming, Auburn, UTSA, Louisiana, Arkansas State, Rice, Oregon State, Boston College and Northwestern. “We can not lose sight of the importance of our student-athletes graduating and having the education for a complete and meaningful life, “said Arne Duncan, previous Secretary of Education in the Barack Obama administration and previous co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Sports.”The [transfer] portal and NIL, which are welcome to support the desires

and needs of our student-athletes, have to some degree made complex the path to a significant education. We must be sure that we get used to make certain that they do get that meaningful education.”The APR was developed in 2004 to determine the success of present student-athletes. It was also hoped that it would help enhance graduation rates. It analyzes the scholastic success of private groups and sets a minimum goal of a 50 %graduation rate with a rating of 930. Failure to satisfy that standard can lead to loss of scholarships and/or ineligibility for postseason competition.In addition to a team’s current-year APR, its rolling four-year APR is also used to determine accountability.This postseason eligibility structure became personnel in the 2012-13 academic year with an original standard of 900, which was roughly the equivalent of a 40 %graduation rate. In three years, the benchmark was moved from 900 to 930. For access to postseason competition, groups should attain a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent 2 years to take part in champions. That is approximately the equivalent of a 50% graduation rate.Bowl-bound FBS schools in Power 5 conferences(ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12, and SEC)had a typical APR of 974.2. This was 8.8 points higher than bowl-bound schools in Group of 5 conferences(American Athletic Conference, Conference U.S.A., MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt)with an average score 965.4. This is a significant widening from the 1.4 percentage point typical difference in between Power 5 conferences with a typical APR of 970.0 and the Group of 5 conferences with an average APR of 968.6 in 2022.Bowl-bound schools in the Big Ten

had the highest typical APR among all FBS conferences, and the AAC had the highest average GSR for Black football student-athletes among all FBS conferences.I support the work of the Drake Group, for many years possibly the most important reform group in college sports. They are strong advocates of using the federal graduation rates(FGR )rather of the GSR, which was established in 2002. I believe the GSR is a more reasonable requirement. The FGR does not account for transfers who leave one school in good academic standing and graduate at another institution. The FGR also

does not count a junior who transfers into a four-year college and graduates. And it doesn’t consist of a previous student-athlete who returns and finishes more than 6 years after initial enrollment.

The GSR represent these aspects and, from my viewpoint, is as a better method to relatively measure the results.Using the FGR, taking a look at the rates of student-athletes in between 2018 and 2021, the graduation rates would be between 18 and 35 portion points greater than using the FGR. The wide variation is reflective of the sport, race and gender in the DI earnings sports.I remain concerned that with all the significant changes in college sport, from NIL to the transfer website, we lose sight of the academics of college sport. How can professional athletes get a complete education if they play for four different schools in 4 years? That needs to be on the schools and not the student-athletes. For years, I have advocated for increasing the standard of the APR from 930( or the equivalent of a 50%GSR)to 960(around a 60 %GSR ). Only eight of the 80 bowl teams this year were below that standard, which is the largest number in the last few years. The typical GSR of the 82 groups is 83%– 33%greater than if the requirement were 950. Michigan and Washington played for the championship game. We can celebrate that and the reality they got there with outstanding academic records. They had an 89%and 84%GSR, respectively. And an APR of 987 and 986, respectively. Their Black football student-athletes had GSR of 88 %and 81%, with a gap in between white and Black professional athletes of 3% and 1%, respectively.

Their records come as no surprise as they have been led by 2 of the sports directors I appreciate most: Warde Manuel at Michigan and Jen Cohen, who was at UW from 2016 through October 2023, when she ended up being USC’s AD.It can be done but just with a focus on the student in the student-athlete. I am so thankful they can now be paid and have the flexibilities that they never had before.

I have supported both for several years. However the supreme prize here is a degree that will serve them and their households for a lifetime.Richard E. Lapchick recently retired as director of The Institute for Variety and Ethics in Sport(TIDES) at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of 17 books and the annual Racial and Gender Transcript and is the president of the Institute for Sport and Social Justice. He has actually been a routine analyst for ESPN.com on concerns of variety in sport. Follow him on Twitter @richardlapchick and on Facebook.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.