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Northwestern, Notre Dame Lead in Top Schools Graduating African-American Male Athletes

African-American male athletes make big money for top schools, so it is not surprising that schools recruit them, but how many schools actually ensure that those athletes graduate? Sadly, not many.

A study by the Penn Graduate School of Education Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education confirms that most schools in the NCAA don’t do a good job of graduating black athletes.

According to the study, the  Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, and SEC show that only 50.2 percent of African-American male student-athletes graduated within six years. That means only roughly half of the athletes recruited to these schools to play sports actually leave with a degree.

In addition, virtually all of the schools graduated fewer black athletes versus non-black athletes.

So which school are actually graduating black male athletes at the highest rates? Northwestern leads the way, with  graduation rate of 83 percent for its African-American male student-athletes, far above the 50 percent standard. Next up is Notre Dame, which is ranked second based on its 81 percent graduation rate.

The study also highlights strategies to curb the low graduation rate phenomenon.

“While the graduation disparities were not surprising, what was surprising was the astounding pervasiveness and depth of the disparities, as well as the fact that institutional leaders, the NCAA and athletics conference commissioners have not done more in response to them,” said Shaun R. Harper, the report’s lead author. “Research has yielded clear strategies for (African-American) male student-athlete success. However, there needs to be the institutional will to implement these simple, and often low-cost, solutions, as well as accountability from the media and the athletes themselves.”

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