Should NCAA Teams Be Disqualified Based on Graduation Rates?

ncaaThe U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has high expectations for college basketball players. Duncan recently stated his opinion that if at least 40 percent of a college’s players do not graduate, that team should be banned from any NCAA tournament. Duncan’s statement was based off the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport’s annual report of graduation rates for NCAA basketball teams. This report showed several of the top teams in the nation as being at the bottom of the list.

However, does graduation rate really matter when you are talking about college basketball players? The University of Maryland coach Gary Williams doesn’t think so:

“Obviously, those years we had players leave early and they’re millionaires now, and they’re coming back to get their degrees, just like other guys have come back and gotten their degrees,” he said.

According to this view, maybe the standard for allowing teams to compete should be based off current team GPA, not graduation rate. But just so you know who’s actually graduating and who’s not doing so well, here are the best and the worst schools:

The Best (100 percent graduation rates):

The Middle (between 20 and 36 percent graduation rates):

The Worst (8 percent graduation rate):


10 Responses to “Should NCAA Teams Be Disqualified Based on Graduation Rates?”

  1. bonus says:

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  2. Realistic Reader says:

    Lets be honest with ourselves, do you really think the coaches should be more concerned with the players education? They are there to get the players to the highest level of success in Basketball. Most of the players who get to the NBA know they are going to get there, and plan accordingly, why would you stay in school when you can possibly earn more in a a few seasons then most people do in their lifetime. It’s nice to say that the coaches should be concerned with the education, and to an extent yes, we want our Basketball players to be able to live a healthy life beyond basketball, but basketball is their education, and you are lying to yourself if you think that coaches are going to put a possible NBA career at jeopardy just so the player will know just a little bit more about economics or anatomy.

  3. Scott says:

    I think that if graduation rate were the standard, universities may see fit to ease graduation requirements or degree standards for their athletes in order to artificially boost rankings.

    Not that they don’t do similar things already…

  4. Brandi says:

    Any coach who isn’t a proponent of his team’s education shouldn’t be coaching in an academic environment. I understand a lot of these players leave early to collect million-dollar checks, and there is something to be said for their returning to complete those degrees, but when you play college sports performance in the classroom is equally important, if not moreso, than performance on the court. These players have opportunities of a lifetime to attend some of the best schools in the nation free of charge – they need to take advantage of that situation and see their work through to the end. When a knee gets shot and they can’t play any more, what do they have to fall back on? Some NBA savings (maybe) and a high school diploma? Not good enough.

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