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College Graduation Gap Between Black and White Football Players Increases

Ready to watch your favorite team play in a bowl game? Some of those players won't be graduating next spring, especially if they're black.

With the BCS bowl games just around the corner, college football is about to have its day in the sun. But a new study, Keeping Score When It Counts: Assessing the 2010-11 Bowl-bound College Football Teams - Academic Performance Improves but Race Still Matters says that off the field, black players are losing out when it comes to completing their degrees.

Graduation rates for student athletes across the board clearly need improvement, but the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport study found that the graduation rate for white players is increasing faster than the rate for their black counterparts.

According to the study, "of the 70 bowl-bound teams this year, the graduation success rate (GSR) for African-American football student athletes is 60 percent while the rate for White football student athletes was 80 percent."

Although graduation rates for both black and white players increased slightly from the 2009 to 2010 school year, the gap between the two groups of players grew from 19 to 20 percent.

There are a few standout exceptions, however. Five schools, including Northwestern University and football powerhouse Notre Dame, graduate more black players than whites. Both Notre Dame and Northwestern also graduate 95 percent of all players, and at least 95 percent of all black players.

Photo (cc) via Flickr user Clint

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