Graduation Rate Reality

The NCAA just released figures showing graduation rates for Division I athletes holding steady at 62 percent — which is 2 percent higher than the general student population. It then broke it down by gender and race. For example, 70 percent of female athletes graduated — as opposed to 55 percent of men. In addition, 55 percent of major college football players graduated. Among all Division I sports, 48 percent of black male athletes and 59 percent of white males graduated.

Even more telling — and hopefully helpful — would be a breakdown across all sports. It’s a lot easier to bury men’s basketball statistics in the context of cross-country, tennis, gymnastics and swimming.

Moreover, it might be illuminating to look at majors and to separate prize-recruit, front-line players prepping for the pros from those who mainly ride the pine. Many of the latter are often better students than athletes — and their GPA’s and graduation rates help inflate the overall averages that their teams, universities and NCAA can then tout.

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