The NCAA is considering a number of proposals designed ostensibly to increase graduation rates of…

The NCAA is considering a number of proposals designed
ostensibly to increase graduation rates of basketball players at D-I level. The
BCA has asked for your advice regarding a couple of the proposals. One proposal
is designed to improve graduation rates by creating disincentives for programs
with lower graduation rates. The proposal in question would provide for a
reduction of two scholarships for programs with graduation rates that fall
below 50 percent, and four scholarships for programs with graduation rates
below 25 percent. A number of coaches fear that the proposals will harm their
programs because they take players from weaker high schools, many of which are
poorly funded inner-city schools in which a large percentage of the students
are racial minorities. The coaches believe that it is more difficult to
maintain the higher graduation standards with student-athletes from these
poorer schools. As such, they believe that the proposal is questionable on
racial equity grounds. A second proposal calls for incentives in the form of
additional scholarships for schools with graduation rates above 60 percent (one
new scholarship at 60 percent, two at 70 percent, and three at 80 percent or
higher). Once again, many of the coaches believe that this requirement may
benefit universities that recruit heavily from wealthier school districts,
which include fewer minority students. A few coaches in the association
disagree and argue that the graduation incentives and disincentives programs
will ultimately increase the number of minority athletes graduating from universities.
Are there legal or ethical problems with the proposals as outlined? What
response should the BCA offer to such proposals at the legislative level within
the NCAA?

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