Study Finds That Racial Diversity on Many Campuses Is Due Mainly to the Recruitment of Black Athletes

A study by the online journal Inside Higher Ed demonstrates that the level of racial diversity on many college campuses is due primarily to the enrollment of black male athletes. The study found that at 96 of the 330 colleges and universities in the NCAA Division I, black male scholarship athletes make up at least 20 percent of the total of all black male students. At 46 schools, black scholarship athletes are a third of all black students.

A large percentage of black male students at public universities in states with very small black populations are athletes. These black students are usually recruited from outside the state, but the vast majority of the total student body comes from within the state. For example, 88 percent of the black male students at Montana State University are scholarship athletes. At the University of Maine, 66 percent of all black male students are athletes. At the University of Nevada, 64 percent of all black males on campus are scholarship athletes.

Athletes also make up a large percentage of the black students at several highly selective colleges and universities. Among the selective private colleges and universities where black athletes make up more than 40 percent of all black male students are Colgate University, the College of the Holy Cross, Furman University, Lafayette College, Rice University, Villanova University, and Wake Forest University.