- Fab Melo can’t play in the NCAA tournament because he’s academically ineligible.
He may soon have company. The entire Syracuse team wouldn’t be eligible under NCAA rules that go into effect next year. Neither would St. Bonaventure.
The reason? Pitiful graduation rates.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports released its annual March Madness study and the results should make fans of these schools ashamed.
Syracuse’s basketball program has a six-year graduation rate of 54 percent, 44 percent for black men. St. Bonaventure’s six-year graduation rate is 65 percent, 56 percent for black men. The graduation rates at both schools are far below the rates for student athletes overall.
What would get these schools booted from future tournaments is the four-year academic progress of players. The NCAA’s new formula requires a 50 percent graduation rate after four years. Cuse and Bona wouldn’t make the cut with their current stats.
Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim called the NCAA’s formula “completely nuts” last year in USA Today:
Boeheim said because basketball teams have small rosters, it takes only two or three players “who do the wrong thing” to put a team under a 925 cutoff. He said coaches and schools can do little to force student-athletes whose eligibility is up to go to class.
“Any good school can have a bad class and fall below,” Boeheim said. “It’s a lot more difficult than it looks. What looks to be simple on paper isn’t as simple as it looks. If three guys leave (school) and your other seven guys are ‘A’ students, that still puts you below. It’s hard to recover from that.”
Boeheim argues students leaving early for the NBA hurts the team’s academic standing. NCAA officials say the formula takes that into account. Even if Boeheim is right, he’s admitting his team is a basketball factory that has little to do with academics.
Instead of talking about student athletes who have no intention of graduating and the programs that pretend to care, we’re talking about our brackets.
That’s not Fab. That’s sad.
- Brooks Landing is hot. Students, residents and businesses are making their home in the redeveloped area. A new highrise student apartment building is planned.
- Why can’t our City Hall have crises like this? Trenton, N.J. is in a dispute with its toilet paper supplier. The health department may have to shut down toilet paper-less public buildings as a result.
- After 244 years, Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer publish.