Should Graduation Rates Affect NCAA March Madness Bids?

Some schools have dismal educational records. Should it matter?

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The NCAA basketball championship is great for fans, schools, and sponsors, but some ask whether it is good for student athletes, with graduation rates dismal at many colleges. Others say players understand the deal and suggest that the NCAA should give up the ‘amateur’ pretense.
Edited by Steve St. Angelo

Yes

Ben Miller
Policy analyst at Education Sector, an independent think tank in Washington

This week, 65 teams will begin competing in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament. A billion-dollar, monthlong extravaganza, the tournament showcases the best of college sports—rabid fan bases, historic rivalries, and a format that puts small rural colleges on par with big state powerhouses. But beneath the glam and glitz lies a problem the NCAA would rather leave unnoticed: the dismal classroom performance...

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No

Marc Isenberg
Author of 'The Student Athlete Survival Guide' and 'Money Players' and adviser to college programs

Asked if he had earned a degree while playing basketball at Clemson University, former NBA player Elden Campbell replied, “No, but they gave me one anyway.” That was in 1991. At the 2010 NCAA Convention in January, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed the continuing contradiction between playing big-time college basketball and football and getting an education. Duncan proposed restoring freshman ineligibility...

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