The NCAA reported yesterday that graduation rates for all Division I women’s basketball players declined for the second straight year, according to the recently released 1999 NCAA Graduation Rates Report. NCAA President Cedric Dempsey called the drop “distressing,” and added, “We don’t know what the causes for the decline are, but its certainly an area that needs to be monitored.”
Two years ago, the graduation rate of all female Division I basketball players was about 67 percent, but has now dropped to 62 percent, which is its lowest rate since 1986, when academic standards were toughened by Proposition 48. For black female players, the graduation rate has dropped to 49 percent.
Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Betty Jaynes, said she was “stunned” by the drops. “We’ve prided ourselves in the fact that we have such good graduation rates,” she said. “We will have to look at this, monitor this and get to the bottom of this. I want to be a part of the solution, not the problem. We’ve got to stop it.”