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Old 03-18-2010, 12:40 AM  
Ari Chi3fs Ari Chi3fs is offline
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NCAA Tournament ban for Universities with Low Grad Rates

Duncan: NCAA ban for low grad rates
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Associated Press
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pushed a proposal Wednesday to bar men's college basketball teams from postseason play if they fail to graduate 40 percent of their players, an idea that didn't go over well with the NCAA and coaches preparing for March Madness.

If put into practice this year, a dozen teams in the NCAA tournament would be ineligible, based on an annual study from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

That includes a No. 1 seed, Kentucky, which graduated 31 percent of its players, according to the institute's latest report.

"Frankly, that's a low bar, and not many teams would be ineligible," Duncan, who played college basketball at Harvard, said on a conference call. "Over time, we should set a higher bar. But it's a minimum, a bright line, which every program should meet to vie for postseason honors."

Duncan emphasized the troubling disparities between graduation rates for black and white players.

The annual report examining the NCAA tournament field found that 45 teams graduated 70 percent or more of their white players, up from 33 teams last year. But only 20 teams graduated at least 70 percent of their black players, the same as last year. Two teams -- Maryland and California -- graduated none of their black players who started school from 1999 through 2002, Duncan said.

Even so, the study pointed out, graduation rates for black basketball players are 18 percent higher than for male black students who are not athletes.

The men's basketball teams that would barred from postseason play this year if Duncan's idea were adopted: Maryland (8 percent graduation rate), California (20 percent), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (29 percent), Washington (29 percent), Tennessee (30 percent), Kentucky, Baylor (36 percent), Missouri (36 percent), New Mexico State (36 percent), Clemson (37 percent), Georgia Tech (38 percent) and Louisville (38 percent).

The University of Kansas would still be the overall number one seed in the tournament, having qualified with 94%. The school had a couple student-athletes transfer and couple more leave early for the NBA, however they would count these as positive, as long as the students were in good standing at the time of leaving the school.

Bob Williams, an NCAA spokesman, said the sports governing body shares Duncan's concern about low graduation rates of some tournament teams. But he said the NCAA believes a ban based on graduation rates wrongly penalizes current student-athletes for the academic performances of those who entered as freshman eight to 11 years ago.

The numbers cited Wednesday by Duncan measure six-year graduation rates for the freshman classes that entered college from the 1999-2000 through 2002-03 school years. Schools are not penalized for players who transfer or go to the NBA as long as they are in good academic standing at the time.

For the past six years, the NCAA has used a formula called the Academic Progress Rate that measures factors such as athletes' academic eligibility, progress toward graduation and staying in school. A school faces sanctions if it fails to achieve a certain score for two consecutive years.

So far one school, Centenary, has been banned from Division I postseason basketball under the system. Another three -- Georgia Tech, Tennessee and New Mexico State -- have lost scholarships, Williams said.

"What we want to do at the end of the day is change behavior so that when people come to college, they have to be prepared to do the work and institutions are prepared to support them academically," Williams said. "We shouldn't measure success by how many teams receive a ban."

Duncan said that while the NCAA has made progress in recent years, it hasn't gone far enough. He said making the postseason is "the prize," and a great motivation. Duncan said he's open to using a different calculation other than older graduation rates if it is "fair, honest and transparent."

Duncan made a similar argument speaking at an NCAA conference earlier this year, but is using the spotlight of the tournament to press his case again. The federal government can't mandate minimum graduation rates for postseason eligibility. That's the NCAA's decision.

Coaches' reactions were largely critical.

"We're going to graduate three seniors on this team, and we're going to have a junior that's going to graduate this year," Kentucky's John Calipari said. "So, academically, I'm all about that."

Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl said his program is "disappointed and apologetic in many, many ways to be on that list." He said numbers have improved each year he's been there but "they're not where I want them to be. I want to graduate them all."

However, Pearl also said Duncan should concentrate his efforts on secondary education, saying the real problems lie in under-equipped schools beset with budget issues.

"I share the pain in not having student-athletes graduate," Pearl said. "But I don't want to deny the opportunity to students that aren't prepared. And I'm going to stand up here and I'm going to fight for the student-athletes that come in and aren't as prepared."

Georgetown coach John Thompson III, whose university gets high marks for graduation rates, said Duncan's 40 percent cutoff "sounds harsh. That's just my initial thought. Our responsibility is to help young men grow up. And when you say graduate, what time frame are we talking about? What are the other factors that fall into place? Are we talking about a four-year window, five-year window, 10-year window?"


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

Last edited by Ari Chi3fs; 03-18-2010 at 01:13 AM..
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:43 AM   #2
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sigh, I guess lets throw athletics out the window! Heres to an even more obese America!
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:48 AM   #3
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Conspiracy theory, could this be a ploy from the NBA to have these kids to stay in school and become more fundamentally sound which lead to more competitive games.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tribal Warfare View Post
Conspiracy theory, could this be a ploy from the NBA to have these kids to stay in school and become more fundamentally sound which lead to more competitive games.
It needs to be like NCAA baseball. You are in college for 1 year? Nope, if you go, it's three year minimum. You can go to majors right out of high school, but if you go to college, you must go for 3.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:25 AM   #5
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Definitely interesting. I had no idea our graduation (MU) was so low. That's certainly pathetic. What caused that?
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WoodDraw View Post
Definitely interesting. I had no idea our graduation (MU) was so low. That's certainly pathetic. What caused that?
Well that's for players only, not for the university as a whole.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:35 AM   #7
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Six institutions (Brigham Young, Marquette, Notre Dame, Utah State, Wake Forest and Wofford) achieved a 100 percent graduation rate.
That's pretty cool.


A lot of this has to do with our integration of development leagues and college. In most other countries, they separate them. For instance, in England if you want to become a professional soccer player, you join a professional academy at a relatively young age and dedicate your life to that.

It's a hard choice. As Education secretary, you obviously want to deal with kids graduating. But for professional leagues, the distinction becomes less clear. How many current NBA starting players spent four years in college? You have students going to college that have no desire to ever finish.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:35 AM   #8
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Well that's for players only, not for the university as a whole.
Yeah, I understand that.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:39 AM   #9
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The NBA rule of 1 year has likely been a large part of this. However, if the NCAA want's to go down this path that is suggested, college BB will become even worse than it is already.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:43 AM   #10
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In the case of NBA players, there's no real virtue in having them spend four years in college. Those types of players aren't even getting a real education unless they want to. There's little reason to expect them to give up the financial security of getting to the NBA sooner in return for what is (for them) a relatively meaningless education. And money is really at the heart of this matter for the schools, players, and the NBA.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:43 AM   #11
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Now that I've read a bit more, the stats seem suspect. A lot of the numbers come from kids that were kicked off, transfered, or went home and quit.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:49 AM   #12
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Definitely interesting. I had no idea our graduation (MU) was so low. That's certainly pathetic. What caused that?
It's pretty much skewed numbers from the Quin Snyder devasty. Anderson has cleaned this program up rather nicely. He didn't help our numbers by kicking 2 people off the team for off the court issues. Most teams around here would just deal with the problems "in house" and maybe suspend them for the preseason games. It's the price you pay for wanting a clean program.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tribal Warfare View Post
Conspiracy theory, could this be a ploy from the NBA to have these kids to stay in school and become more fundamentally sound which lead to more competitive games.
The fundamentally sound player because of college is a total myth IMO.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:16 AM   #14
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It's pretty much skewed numbers from the Quin Snyder devasty. Anderson has cleaned this program up rather nicely. He didn't help our numbers by kicking 2 people off the team for off the court issues. Most teams around here would just deal with the problems "in house" and maybe suspend them for the preseason games. It's the price you pay for wanting a clean program.
Yeah, that's what I just read. In that case, seems a perverse incentive to keep damaging players on to protect your graduation rate. I'm unbiased though, of course.

But no, I do take graduation rates seriously. And this annoys me, even with the Snyder to Anderson transition. When you take pride on your graduation rates, they shouldn't be qualified.

Snyder and Anderson should be looked at independent of each other of course, but I'd be interested in what the NCAA has to offer here. We're a college, not a farm team. Should players wish to go to the NBA after high school, they should certainly do so. Otherwise I'd like to enjoy them for four years of good basketball and study.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:26 AM   #15
Basileus777 Basileus777 is offline
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Yeah, that's what I just read. In that case, seems a perverse incentive to keep damaging players on to protect your graduation rate. I'm unbiased though, of course.
It's a definite problem, especially since you are dealing with such small sample sizes for a basketball team. It would to easy to manipulate the numbers if a policy like this was implemented.


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Originally Posted by WoodDraw View Post
We're a college, not a farm team. Should players wish to go to the NBA after high school, they should certainly do so. Otherwise I'd like to enjoy them for four years of good basketball and study.
NCAA basketball programs are also essentially businesses, and these players fund programs and bring in money for the schools. The NCAA and the NBA are both benefiting from the current age limit, which is why it was implemented. The NBA gets free filters on their future players/investments and the universities gets extra revenue because some great players are in school for at least a year. The players still get paid after a year.

But the current age limit isn't the real problem here. At worst it's exacerbating the larger problems with NCAA athletic programs.

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