Phi Beta Cons

March Madness Watch

How good are the academic games of schools in the NCAA basketball tourney? CHE reports:

When it comes to academics, there’s good news and bad news for the basketball teams vying for the top spot during this year’s March Madness, according to a new report by the University of Central Florida. Over all, the colleges with teams playing in this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship have a better history of graduating student athletes than previous years’ contenders, but the improvement was not consistent across racial lines. …
The report noted striking differences, however, between graduation rates of black players and their white counterparts. Over 80 percent of the colleges saw at least 60 percent of their white basketball players graduate, while just 46 percent of them could say the same thing for black students. …
Mr. Lapchick put the University of Florida and College of the Holy Cross in his own “Final Four” for academic success, since they graduated all of their players during the study period. Among the institutions with the lowest graduation rates were University of Nevada at Las Vegas, which graduated 17 percent of its basketball players, and Florida A&M University, where only 9 percent of basketball players earned a diploma. Twenty-three colleges in the tournament graduated less than half of their players.

The full report, produced by the University of Central Florida, is available here (pdf).

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.