Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington UPDATE: New Athletic Requirements Could Hurt African Americans

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington UPDATE: New Athletic Requirements Could Hurt African Americans

Article excerpt

Washington UPDATE: New Athletic Requirements Could Hurt African Americans.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) says less than two-thirds of high school seniors -- and fewer than half of African Americans -- could participate in Division I college sports as freshmen under a new academic policy of the NCAA.

The study by ED's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) examined Proposition 16, a plan that requires high school students to earn more credits in core academic subjects in order to participate in college sports. The first phase of Proposition 16 took effect in August.

NCES used high school transcripts and other data to track 1992 high school graduates and their course choices. Overall, only 46 percent of African Americans would meet the new standards -- compared to the 64 percent of African Americans who met the current Proposition 48 requirements to play sports as freshmen.

About 54 percent of Hispanics would meet the new requirements, compared to 67.5 percent who met the Proposition 48 standards. Sixty-seven percent of white high school students would meet the new requirements, while 86 percent met Proposition 48 standards.

ED said the data showed a tremendous need for educating students and their parents about the policy. "It is critical that school counselors, parents, teachers and community members tell students about these changes that affect their schooling and their future," said Sharon Robinson, assistant secretary for educational research and improvement.

"By sharing this information, perhaps fewer college freshmen will be excluded from college athletics if they plan ahead," she added. …

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