Derrick Z. Jackson, a columnist and associate editor of The Boston Globe, recently published an informative study on Black male athletes at colleges and universities.
Jackson wrote that “universities giant and small, public and private, bring African-American men to campus at grotesque levels to earn the school millions in football and basketball revenues. In a figurative — and nearly literal sense — at many schools, if athletes did not speak up about racism or anything else, there would be no black men at all to be heard.”
Jackson presents some starling statistics:
- In the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I schools, an African American man at a college or university is 13 times more likely to be on a football or basketball scholarship than a White man at a college or university.
- In the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I schools, one of every 168 White men is a scholarship football or basketball player. At the University of Utah, half of the Black men are on football or basketball scholarships.
- At Duke University, 16 percent of the Black men have athletic scholarships compared to 1.8 percent of the White men.
- At athletic powerhouse schools such Ohio State, Florida State, and the University of Southern California, Black men are more than 50 times as likely as White men to be on athletic scholarship.
Jackson concludes that “such ratios are an indictment against universities – many use Black athletes up and spit them out without degrees.” He calls this “the height of hypocrisy in higher education.”