Balancing the Ball: How Georgetown Basketball Became a Beacon for Recruitment and Success

By Hayes, Dianne Williams | Black Issues in Higher Education, April 6, 1995 | Go to article overview

Balancing the Ball: How Georgetown Basketball Became a Beacon for Recruitment and Success


Hayes, Dianne Williams, Black Issues in Higher Education


Balancing The Ball: How Georgetown Basketball Became a Beacon for. Recruitment and Success

by Dianne Williams Hayes

It was televised basketball games that gave Georgetown University its following of teen-agers who sport the Hoya's sweatshirts and hats on googobs of American streetcorners. But it is the university's academic program that is responsible for attracting the growing number of minority students who are applying to the university.

Successful basketball program aside, Georgetown has scored some additional points for keeping its bargain with students off the basketball court as well, through its minority recruitment and retention efforts.

The number of African-American applicants has increased steadily over the last eight years, with 799 applicants in 1987 and 945 in 1995. In 1994, the university received 1,023 applications from African-American students -- the largest number in any given year.

Minorities represent about 24 percent of the student population, 9 percent of whom are African American. Asians, at 10 percent, represent the largest minority group on campus. While the graduation rate is 88 percent for the overall student population among students who remain at the institution for four years, the rate is 92 percent for African American students.

Made 'Top 100'

Founded in 1789, the Jesuit institution's mission has changed from one of exclusion to inclusion. In the 1970s, Georgetown, like many predominately white institutions, stepped up its efforts to create a more diverse student body. Ironically, recruiters only needed to look outside of the university's doors in the majority African American District of Columbia to find a large pool of candidates.

According to Admissions Officer Nia D. Kilgore, although the university recruits throughout the world, most of its applicants come from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and West Coast regions of the country.

"Little kids may wear the paraphernalia, and the sports program does receive a great deal of attention, but from an admissions standpoint, 95 percent of the students know of the academic program and the high quality of academics," said Kilgore. "For minority students, most of them want to come because they know that it is one of the top universities in the country."

In fact, Kilgore suggests that the rigorous course requirements, especially in divisions such as the law school, limit students' ability to participate in the sports programs that have gained so much attention. Georgetown's law school has earned a reputation for graduating high numbers of African-American students, ranking third last year in the Top 100 list published by Black Issues In Higber Education.

African-American students are primarily concentrated in the College of Arts and Sciences, with 700 applicants this year -- half of whom are applying for the pre-med program. The programs in business, foreign service, languages and nursing are also among the top picks by students.

The Sports Factor

Since the days of Sleepy Floyd, Pat Ewing and Reggie Williams, there has been a symbiotic relationship between sports and the minority community. However, at many institutions, that relationship has meant a winning team for the university, but not always a solid education for the players.

Georgetown Coach John Thompson has gained a national reputation as one of the early advocates for ensuring that athletes also become students. In addition, his presence at a time when there were few African-American coaches at majority white institutions served as an additional draw to the university. Georgetown, in fact, was the first mostly white Division I university to hire an African-American basketball coach.

The deflated basketball perched in his office is a reminder to anyone who enters that a sports career, like the ball, is only as useful as what's inside.

"He tells students when they are coming in, that the rubber is worthless without the nine pounds of air," said Bill Shapland, the university's senior sports communication director. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Balancing the Ball: How Georgetown Basketball Became a Beacon for Recruitment and Success
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.