Making the NCAA playoffs means big money for colleges. If the league were serious about academics it may want to adopt Duncan’s suggestion.
"Some six years after the NCAA warned members to get serious about graduating student-athletes or lose scholarships and face a postseason ban, here’s the list of Division I schools that have been sent to sit in the corner at tournament time:
If Education Secretary Arne Duncan had his way, the list wouldn’t have ended with one school. It would have had an even dozen names on it, including luminaries such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisville and Maryland.
Duncan, a White House insider and basketball-playing buddy of President Barack Obama, is too politically savvy to believe his proposal is going anywhere. But that didn’t stop him from asking the question.
‘‘One out of five men’s teams in the NCAA tournament has graduated less than 40 percent of their players in recent years. If you can’t manage to graduate two out of five players,’’ Duncan said, ‘‘how serious are the institution and the coach about their players’ academic success?’’