How will the NCAA's new standards affect minority student athletes?

by Stephen P. Klein, Robert M. Bell

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Prior to the fall of 1986, the only academic requirement for playing as a freshman at a Division I college was graduating from high school with a C average. All courses, including gym, were counted in this average. Consequently, many athletic scholarship recipients had poor prospects for earning a college degree. Since 1986, the NCAA has raised its eligibility standards twice. Opponents believe that these measures are biased against minority students and would have the effect of reducing the number who earn bachelor's degree. This analysis shows that, although minority enrollments initially decreased after the ruling, they soon rebounded and have continued to increase. Although some talented athletes may have been denied scholarships, their places have been taken by minority athletes who have greater chances of receiving their bachelor's degree.

Originally published in: Chance, v. 8, no. 3, Summer 1995, pp. 18-21.

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