Dr. Richard Lapchick
Dr. Richard Lapchick

A study released Monday shows growing disparity between graduation rates for white and black players at schools in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

An annual report by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found a 2 percent overall graduation rate increase, to 66 percent, but showed the rates for white players with a greater increase.

White players show a 91 percent graduation rate, which is up 7 percent. Black players have a graduation rate of 59 percent, up 3 percent from last year’s study. This is the third straight year the gap has grown.

Richard Lapchick, the institute director and primary author of the study, said the gap makes it hard to celebrate the overall progress.

“To say that it’s troubling is an understatement,” Lapchick said. “It is a staggering gap, but I think you’ve seen an increased percentage among African American athletes over the years because of the (Academic Progress Rate) thresholds. Losing scholarships is a big lever there. … Now you have to raise the expectation level of the rates.”

Source:  © 2011 Hearst Communications Inc., San Francisco Chronicle March 15, 2011 04:00 AM, Staff and News Services, Graduation rates widen between blacks, whites

UCF Today Note: Dr. Richard E. Lapchick is an ESPN.com commentator on issues of diversity in sport. Lapchick is Chair of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program in the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida. Lapchick also directs UCF’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, is the author of 14 books and the annual Racial and Gender Report Card, and is the Director of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport.