April 13, 2011

Losing to Win on Huffington Post

Conference co-organizer Timothy Davis weighed in on calls to ban teams from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament if they do not graduate at least half of their players. In an opinion piece for the Huffington Post, Davis pointed out that it is not enough to look only at graduation rates. The focus also should be on the disparity between black and white players. The persistent and widening gap between the graduation rates of black and white athletes raises a number of questions, Davis wrote. “To what extent are universities willing to sacrifice academic integrity in return for athletic prowess? Given the huge sums of money generated by men's basketball, does the graduation gap raise the specter of exploitation of African American athletes?” he added. “Perhaps more importantly, what steps are academic institutions taking to assist all of their athletes in taking full advantage of the educational opportunities implicit in their athletic scholarships?” While there are no easy answers, Davis conceded, the discussions taking place at this week’s conference are a good starting point.

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