“Regardless of race, if education is the most dominant important factor, you will usually see a higher graduation rate,” said Dave Czesniuk, director of operations for Northeastern University’s Sport in Society.

There is a fine line when sports starts to eclipse the pursuit of education and for African American men, distinguishing which holds more significance is become a blurred line in regards to college and higher learning.

An annual report prepared by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida revealed that 45 teams had graduated at least 70 percent or more of their white players, which rose from the 33 teams reported the year before.

Black athletes, however, were not as fortunate with the numbers as only 20 teams graduated at least 70 percent of their players.

How long has this problem existed where Black athletes are only being honed for their athletics skills, but are given a pass when it comes to the curriculum within colleges and universities?

“The most disturbing thing to me is that the gap continues to widen even though the graduation rates of African-American basketball student-athletes are increasing,” said Richard Lapchick, the director of the institute.  He added that the gap is a representation of failure in higher education.

There was a moment of hope, however, as the study also showed that graduate rates for Black basketball players are higher than Black students who aren’t athletes by 18 percent.

“Although we would like to see even greater progress than is being made, we are seeing significant improvement every year,” NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said in a statement. “The fact remains that intercollegiate athletics is doing a better job on average of closing the graduation success gap between white and African-American male student-athletes than any other component of higher education.”

Like they always say for Black men, if you can’t pick up a microphone or dribble a ball, then there’s really no point.  With disheartening facts and figures like these, when will there be a stand?

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