Study Shows That Athletes Make Up Huge Percentages of Black Students at Many Universities

jacksonDerrick Z. Jackson, a columnist and associate editor of The Boston Globe, recently published an informative study on Black male athletes at colleges and universities.

Jackson wrote that “universities giant and small, public and private, bring African-American men to campus at grotesque levels to earn the school millions in football and basketball revenues. In a figurative — and nearly literal sense — at many schools, if athletes did not speak up about racism or anything else, there would be no black men at all to be heard.”

Jackson presents some starling statistics:

  • In the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I schools, an African American man at a college or university is 13 times more likely to be on a football or basketball scholarship than a White man at a college or university.
  • In the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I schools, one of every 168 White men is a scholarship football or basketball player. At the University of Utah, half of the Black men are on football or basketball scholarships.
  • At Duke University, 16 percent of the Black men have athletic scholarships compared to 1.8 percent of the White men.
  • At athletic powerhouse schools such Ohio State, Florida State, and the University of Southern California, Black men are more than 50 times as likely as White men to be on athletic scholarship.

Jackson concludes that “such ratios are an indictment against universities – many use Black athletes up and spit them out without degrees.” He calls this “the height of hypocrisy in higher education.”

Comments (8)

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  1. Josh says:

    In other words, livestock. It’s just like slavery, but with a modern twist.

  2. Edward says:

    Interesting study, the issue though isn’t the schools per se but the persistent and significant gap in college readiness between blacks and frankly everyone else.

  3. David Williams says:

    Yes this is very true and has been the case for a number of years. The follow up question is at what rate are these colleges graduating these young men. Looking at the last published federal graduation rates provides a most interesting answer and opportunity for the athletic departments of these schools.


    Isn’t that Slavery By Another Name?

    Isn’t that a vicious economic exploitation of Black Male athletic talent to stash the coffers of these universities with cash to keep them solvent?

    What should we do to ensure that these Black Male athletes profit from their talent?

    • Doug says:


      In addition, it definitely doesn’t help some these athletes who matriculate with poor academic preparation and leave with a degree, however, with no tangable skills to convert to the job market. Read about the scam that happend at UNC-Chapel Hill. Basketball athletes had to take “paper classes” (fake classes) in order to stay eligible for the season.

  5. Rosemary Thrasher says:

    I think the whole athletic culture of our high schools and colleges needs to be challenged. Sports take up so much of a student’s time that it is difficult for any young man or woman, black or white, to be a good athlete and a good student.

  6. M.Rick Turner says:

    We should be ashamed. We allow all the things that happen to us and our children.

  7. Shawn Mc says:

    hell many black parents can only see their own kids getting into college through sports, the importance of education is being sidetracked for this focus on racism

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