Racial Differences in the Predictors for Academic Achievement of Student-Athletes in Division I Revenue Producing Sports

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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Concern over academic integrity in recent years has led the NCAA to establish eligibility standards for incoming student-athletes. This has stirred controversy because of the differential effects of the use of standardized test scores on black versus white student-athletes. The present study examines race differences in the predictors of college grade point average (GPA) for student-athletes participating in revenue producing sports. The findings suggest there are different predictors of college academic achievement for black versus white student-athletes. High school GPA and mother’s occupation are the only significant predictors of college GPA for black student-athletes. On the other hand, high school GPA, socioeconomic status, and SAT/ACT scores were significant predictors for white student-athletes. The results are discussed in light of the need for future investigations into the predictors of academic performance of student-athletes as well as current and future NCAA policy

Robert M. Sellers is with the Department of Psychology, 102 Gilmer Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

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