Education secretary: ban NCAA teams with low grad rates

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by AP/WHAS 11

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 18, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 18 at 6:13 PM

WASHINGTON (AP/WHAS11) -- U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says college basketball teams that don't graduate at least 40% of their players should be banned from postseason play.

Duncan told USA Today in an interview published Wednesday that the 40% mark is a "low bar."

If a school can't graduate two out of five of student-athletes, Duncan asked, how serious is it about its academic mission?

Under Duncan's proposal, a dozen of the teams taking part in the NCAA men's basketball tournament this week would be on the outside looking in. That includes No. 1 seed Kentucky, which has a graduation rate of 31 percent, according to figures released this week.

According to a report by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida, Louisville's graduation rate is 38% and Kentuckys is 31%.

Wildcats Coach John Calipari said "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" and he went on to say "so academically, I’m all about that."

U of L's sports information director said they had no comment.

The Department of Education can't force a change on the NCAA but Duncan says he would use his office to push for reform.

   (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

 

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