BCS produces champions but not graduates

The Associated Press has an excellent article based on a diversity study done by University of Central Florida professor Richard Lapchick.  Lapchick examined the academic performance of this year's 64 bowl teams.  A large part of the article is the comparative graduation rates between black and white football players.  Some of the interesting numbers:

The overall graduation rates of the 64 bowl teams exceed the NCAA average.

White players from the 5 BCS games graduate at a rate of 81% compared to 56% for blacks.

Top ranked Ohio State ranked next to last in black graduation rate at 32%; their white graduation rate for football players is 85%

According to the AP article, Lapchick said the racial disparity was a continued concern, but the NCAA's new academic standards are already making a difference.  No matter what the numbers show in regards to how poorly African-Americans are performing, it's always met with a positive spin.  These incremental gains makes the coaches and administrators feel better about the national embarrassment that is Division I sports.

Anyone who has attended a BCS Conference school can attest to the fact that athletes, especially black athletes, are treated like kings from the moment that they walk on the yard until the moment that their eligibility runs out.  From the Heisman Trophy candidate, to the 5th year special team player, athletes live in the best dorms, eat the best food, and drive the best cars.

But as soon as their time on the field is done and the school has no more use for them, a sad cycle continues to take place.  A harsh reality sets in where so many of these black athletes learn that the thousands of hours spent preparing for games did very little to prepare them for graduation or the real world.  These black men who once strutted around campus with such confidence, now move around with their heads down, knowing that their days at the school are numbered. 

And the same jokers that allow for these disparities pretend that college football can't have a playoff because of their concern for it's possible effects on academics.  These major schools are only worried about money and their alumni are worried about winning at all cost.  So who is concerned about the student-athlete?

This system is ugly, as it continuously turns over black athletes, producing half as graduates, and another half as a sort of by-product that is no longer viable for the institution.  This process is now moving into the high school ranks as AAU basketball is exploiting our youth in ways no one has ever seen before.  Where will we stand on this as other Maurice Claretts are ridden to championships and placed on the streets when they've run their course? 

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