Last week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan was on the Washington Post's op-ed page, pouring cold water all over America's March Madness excitement. He wrote that ?10 of the 68 men's teams in the NCAA tournament are not on track to graduate half of their players,? and he blamed both the individual schools?for ?trotting out tired excuses for basketball teams with poor academic records and indefensible disparities in the graduation rates of white and black players??and the NCAA, for ?handsomely rewarding success on the court with multimillion-dollar payouts to schools that fail to meet minimum academic standards.? A discussion of the issue ensued on NPR's Tell Me More. It all comes down to money, of course: The schools make money, the NCAA makes money, the coaches make money, and the players don't . . . and after the arenas empty, many of them walk away from the court without even a diploma.
?Liam Julian, Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow