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College basketball: The women’s NCAA ‘scorecard’ is far better than the men’s

We wrote about men’s basketball and academic performance Monday.

Today, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released its report on teams in the women’s NCAA championship bracket.

No surprises there: Women basketball players do far better than the men.

Why? Major theory has always been that girls and women understand that pro sports and its oodles of cash won’t be there for them when their college days are over. (Won’t be for most men, either, but try telling them that.) So, they focus more on academics.

At Minnesota, where the men’s graduation rate was 38 percent, it’s 67 percent for women basketballers, close to the grad rate for all Gophers athletes, and higher than for the undergraduate student body in general.

There’s still a gap between African-American women players — 57 percent — and white players — 67 percent — but it’s narrower than among the men.

Amazing stat: 97 percent of the women’s teams — including Gophers — have grad rates higher than 60 percent — compared with just 65 percent of the men’s teams.

TIDES director Richard Lapchick said in a release: “Women basketball student‐athletes do much better academically than men and the gap between the academic success between African‐American and white women’s basketball student‐athletes is smaller, although still significant, than between African‐American and white men’s basketball student‐athletes. Women have regularly been the best news academically in college sport.”

Here’s the full report. (PDF)

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