U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, a former college basketball player, condemned the practice of allowing college basketball teams to compete in NCAA postseason tournaments even if they are graduating less than their student athletes in the program.
And he called the growing graduation gap between white and black players “unconscionable.”
On a media call Thursday, Duncan said the issue was personal. Co-captain of the Harvard basketball team and a first-team Academic All-American, Duncan also played professional basketball in Australia. He grew up playing with guys on Chicago’s Southside, where his mother runs an after-school center. (She still is operating it today.)
“I can’t not speak out on something that I have seen from the time I was a child,” he said. He recalled playing with athletes on street courts who helped earn their colleges millions of dollars only to be leave