Division I Basketball Players Graduate at Lower Rates Than Non-Athletes

January 10, 2013

Students who play basketball at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s highest level – Division I -- continue to graduate at rates lower than their non-athlete peers who attend school full-time, according to the latest Adjusted Graduation Gap report from the Collegiate Sport Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The AGG formula calculates graduation rates differently than the Federal Graduation Rate and the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate: because athletes are required to take full course loads, the AGG omits part-time students from the data, resulting in larger gaps between the athletes and non-athletes. While the GSR consistently finds athletes graduating at higher rates than non-athletes overall, the AGG finds the opposite.

This AGG installment found that throughout Division I, male basketball players graduate at rates 20 percentage points lower than non-athletes, and female players at rates 9.2 percentage points lower. The gaps are higher at colleges in the eight major, more lucrative conferences: the Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Conference USA, Mountain West, Pacific 12, and Southeastern. For male athletes, the gap in mid-major conferences is 14.5 percentage points lower than the gap in major conferences; for female players the difference is 5.9 percentage points. The report also notes gaps by race. While this point was not significant among female athletes, the AGG for black basketball players is close to double that of white players (26.7 and 14.6 percentage points, respectively).

The CSRI releases three AGG reports annually, with each focusing on a different sport. The previous report, looking at rates among football players, came out in September. The baseball/softball report comes out in the spring.

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