School Sports and Graduation Rates

School sports provide important functions in schools.  They teach team work, build school morale, raise funds, inspire competition and competitiveness and provide problem-solving skills. Yet there is a downside to this activity.

The United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has said that if he had any say in it, dozens of teams in the NCAA championship basketball competition would be declared ineligible to participate.  It seems that a number of teams had graduation rates of less than 40%.  The list includes #1 ranked Arkansas (29%) and includes Baylor (36%), California (20%), Clemson (37%), Georgia Tech (38%), Kentucky (31%), Louisville (38%), Maryland (8%), Missouri (36%),  New Mexico State (36%) Tennessee (30%), and Washington (29%).

The figures were compiled from NCAA rates and come from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida.  The reported rates do not include transfers or players who leave early for the NBA.

School sports also cost schools a great deal of money.  To have such high failure rates among basketball players is unacceptable.  It would appear that the players need to have academic mentors and additional academic assistance.  why can’t these schools allocate funds to assist these young people?

If these graduation rates affect colleges, then school administrators in middle and high schools should look at how many of their athletes fail to graduate.  After all schools weren’t built to develop athletes but were built to develop brains and academics.