Study Shows That Athletes Make Up Huge Percentages of Black Students at Many Universities

jacksonDerrick 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.”

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting study, the issue though isn’t the schools per se but the persistent and significant gap in college readiness between blacks and frankly everyone else.

  2. Yes this is very true and has been the case for a number of years. The follow up question is at what rate are these colleges graduating these young men. Looking at the last published federal graduation rates provides a most interesting answer and opportunity for the athletic departments of these schools.

  3. Isn’t that Slavery By Another Name?

    Isn’t that a vicious economic exploitation of Black Male athletic talent to stash the coffers of these universities with cash to keep them solvent?

    What should we do to ensure that these Black Male athletes profit from their talent?

    • Stephen,

      In addition, it definitely doesn’t help some these athletes who matriculate with poor academic preparation and leave with a degree, however, with no tangable skills to convert to the job market. Read about the scam that happend at UNC-Chapel Hill. Basketball athletes had to take “paper classes” (fake classes) in order to stay eligible for the season.

      • It’s seems many black Americans will never be satisfied regardless of what policies, rules etc are put in place for the black race. I am paying almost $50k back in student loans. When you apply for student loans you know you have to pay them back. And the ratio of black athletes on full scholarships vs. white athletes is almost 50 to 2. Many black Americans live in the above average class and live in high end neighborhoods. Sure there poor black and poor white Americans. It’s seems like many black Americans will never be satisfied. And it’s up to black athletes to wisely use their scholarship’s. Life is what you make of it. And if you fail it’s not always due to you race. All race’s should stop looking for hand outs. This country is going to go bankrupt from so many government handouts! Maybe if we stop complaining and start working together we can accomplish great things for this country. Stop living in the past. We all should put God first then we will see positive changes for all race’s.

  4. I think the whole athletic culture of our high schools and colleges needs to be challenged. Sports take up so much of a student’s time that it is difficult for any young man or woman, black or white, to be a good athlete and a good student.

  5. hell many black parents can only see their own kids getting into college through sports, the importance of education is being sidetracked for this focus on racism

  6. The data also show that the black athletes at these D-I schools are not earning valid or useful degrees IF they ever actually graduate. Worthless degrees on top of exploiting the black athletes to pay millionaire coaches, AD’s, and school Presidents.

    If we look even further to what happens to these NCAA slaves: just about all of them leave college in debt! The rare few that advance to a professional sports league like the NBA or NFL also tells us these men only play for 2 to 4 years….leaving them broke and leaving them without a useful degree.

    Time to separate sports from the education system….especially removing the NCAA and all D-I programs out of colleges and under a sports federation or under professional leagues where their semi-pro college age athletes are paid!

  7. maybe I’m not understanding something. But aren’t these students getting a free education? Tuition at duke university is over $50,000 per year.How is this not a benefit to a student who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford college?

    • I agree with Nick. Why is everything always about being a victim?? How about changing things to be about the opportunity? My son is a D1 BB player and they have a person on staff that literally makes sure kids go to class. They track everything for them, schedule, study hall, grades, tudors… Many schools we visited literally had every player up on the wall with their weekly schedule. Plus they meet with them weekly to review it and plan for the week. And if they leave school in debt its because they made some really bad decisions with their money. My son will graduate with a finance degree.

  8. Slaves??? It’s dispicable that anyone could even say that. These kids are being afforded opportunities that many others can only dream of. I don’t feel sorry for them. People think the athletes should be paid, well the ones that have full rides are getting paid in a sense. And if they leave a college or university, where they are able to get a top notch education, and don’t have a degree… it’s hard for me to have empathy.

    • I agree.. expensive college degrees and they barely have to appear in class. They receive meal allowances on top of their already free food at the sports facilities. Many of the families of superior athletes are taken care of , while illegal we can’t say it doesn’t happen… and now they are permitted to make money off of their numbers or likeness… people need to watch how they use the word slavery bc I assure you slaves never had it as good as these athletes do

  9. Why does it not seem to occur to anyone that black people of this age are disproportionately physically talented.

    Regardless of previous shortcomings their physical ability is providing them an opportunity at some level of education that would otherwise not be available to them or many other people of this world that lack the financial ability to pay for school.

    Sto sop it already. Take what is positive no matter underlying intent and build on that.

    Who’s behind this poison. Stand on your own feet and be accountable as an individual then you will see success.

  10. Easy solution…no one gets in any university to play sports without first meeting the academic requirements. After all, aren’t these institutions about higher learning? Minor leagues for professional sports does not have to be at a college or university.

    • It’s no longer clear what is the role of higher education. The cited study shows black persons disproportionately secure athletic scholarships. Shouldn’t equity demand a more balanced approach?

  11. Equity only cuts one way now. Young white men know that their chance of getting an athletic scholarship at a major university is just about non existent. Gone are the days when colleges focused on education. It’s now all about money and how much television revenue the school can get from sports. With that in mind they’re turning away future professionals, scientists, doctors, lawyers, et al, just for the sake of the almighty dollar. And meanwhile young white men are getting more and more depressed, dropping out and turning to drugs and alcohol. This needs to be fixed. If nothing else then establish an equity system where whites can get scholarships based on grades and aptitude again.

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