In past years, I used to scrounge newsstands for any piece of needed information to fill out mimeographed bracket sheets, only to later lose my hard-earned money in the worksite pool. Don’t get me wrong — I still sequester myself watching the first two rounds through bloodshot eyes, with the mute button at full volume. However, I no longer act like Marvin Gaye, foolishly asking what’s going on, because I’m now like Johnny Nash and can see clearly now — my eyes are now wide open. While broadcasters and others call it the “Big Dance,” the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament actually is like the players’ ball where the “pimps” — the television networks, the NCAA, advertisers and big-school officials — all get rich. An estimated $702 million in television revenues will be raked in, and with ticket sales, that amount is expected to balloon to around $797 million. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
All last week, endless bracket stories were told ad nauseam. But not a Mavis Staples hoot about Richard Lapchick’s annual “Keeping Score When it Counts” report on NCAA men’s and women’s tournament teams.
Lapchick, director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), each year examines the Graduation Success Rates (GSR) and Academic Progress Rates (APR) for these teams, and also compares Black and White male and female basketball student-athletes. “The enormous gap between the graduation rates of White and African-American student-athletes narrowed by almost four percent,” wrote Lapchick in his March 12 report: White male players graduate at 88 percent, down from 91 percent in 2011; and 60 percent of Black males graduate, a percent higher than last year. Also, White female players’ graduation rate is 93 percent compared to 85 percent for Black females.
His study also noted that a combined 13 schools — 10 women’s and three men’s — have a higher Black graduation rate than Whites’; and 31 schools — 22 women’s and nine men’s — have a 100-percent graduation rate for both Black and White players. Continue Reading →