Twenty-three of the women’s basketball teams competing in the NCAA tournament have recorded 100 percent graduation rates, while only seven of the men’s teams have graduated all of their players, according to a new University of Central Florida study.
The analysis by Richard Lapchick, director of UCF’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, found that the 63 women’s teams that report graduation rates all graduated at least 50 percent of their players. UCF’s women’s basketball team, which will play Ohio State on Saturday, posted a 94 percent graduation rate.
In the men’s tournament, Villanova, Illinois and Belmont joined Notre Dame, Brigham Young, Utah State and Wofford in graduating all of their players.
“Women have consistently done much better academically than men, and this year is no exception,” Lapchick said.
However, the graduation rate gap between African-American and white student-athletes is a point of concern for both men’s and women’s teams.
While the graduation rate for African-American basketball student-athletes is much higher than it is for African-American students overall, the 32 percentage point gap between white versus African-American male basketball players was especially alarming, according to the study.
The study, co-authored by Kara Adams and Simone Jackson, is based on six-year graduation rates for the freshman classes that enrolled between 2000 and 2004.
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 sports. The institute is part of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program in the College of Business Administration. The landmark program focuses on the business skills necessary for graduates to conduct successful careers in the rapidly changing and dynamic sports industry while also emphasizing diversity, community service and sport and social issues.