The NCAA and the 40 Percent Solution

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On January 15th, Education Secretary (and former Harvard basketball player) Arne Duncan proposed that schools that graduated less than 40 percent of basketball players shouldn’t be eligible to participate National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Duncan said:

I propose … that if you don’t graduate X percent of your players – call it 40 percent as a starting point – that you’ll be ineligible for postseason competition. … Some folks might think that’s tough, but think about that. If you can’t graduate two out of five of your players, what are they doing at your university?

Inside Higher Ed reports that by Duncan’s standard, 12 schools would be ineligible for this year’s tournament: Baylor, Clemson, Georgia Tech, New Mexico State, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Cal (apparently the graduation rate of Berkeley basketball players is a mere 20 percent), Kentucky, University of Louisville, UMaryland, Mizzou, University of Tennessee, and University of Washington.

That’s 18 percent of schools. Wow.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer