Black Male Student-Athletes and Racial Inequities in NCAA Division I College Sports: 2016 Edition

by Shaun R. Harper

Mar 15, 2016

The purpose of this report is to make transparent racial inequities in the Power 5 conferences. Specifically, the author offers an analysis of Black men's representation on football and basketball teams versus their representation in the undergraduate student body on each of the 65 institutional members. He also compares Black male student-athletes' six-year graduation rates to rates for student-athletes overall, Black undergraduate men overall, and undergraduate students overall at each university.

  • During the 2014-2015 academic school year, Black men were 2.5 percent of undergraduate students but 56.3 percent of football teams and 60.8 percent of men's basketball teams.
  • Across four cohorts, 53.6 percent of Black male student-athletes graduated within six years, compared to 68.5 percent of student-athletes overall, 58.4 percent of Black undergraduate men overall, and 75.4 percent of undergraduate students overall.
  • Only the University of Miami and Northwestern University graduated Black male student-athletes at rates higher than or equal to student-athletes overall.
  • Two-thirds of the universities graduated Black male student-athletes at rates lower than Black undergraduate men who were not members of intercollegiate sports teams.
  • Only Northwestern University graduated Black male student-athletes at a rate higher than or equal to undergraduate students overall.