March Madness teams show no improvement in the classroom

The teams invited to March Madness might be celebrating, but researchers who monitor academic performance among college athletes are not so thrilled.

A study released Monday by the University of Central Florida suggests that, even though the NCAA continues to push for academic progress, the country's top basketball programs are not showing much improvement in the classroom.

"This year we seemed to be treading water instead of moving ahead," said Richard Lapchick of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

The Graduation Success Rates for white male players decreased from 90% last season to 89% this year. African American players' rate remained steady at 65%.

"Race remains a continuing academic issue not only in college sports but also in higher education in general," Lapchick said.

Using another NCAA measurement, seven tournament teams this season fell below 925 -- last season's mark -- for the Academic Progress Rate. Only three teams missed that mark in 2013.

The APR standard was raised to 930 for this season, and eight teams missed that mark.

College sports advocates have long pointed out that athlete graduation rates compare favorably to rates for the overall student population.


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