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Comparing BYU’s Black Graduation Rates

Many college athletes, especially black athletes, are unprepared for college.  In this episode, we’ll talk to Dr Darron Smith of the University of Memphis to see how BYU’s graduation rate for black students compares to other colleges.  I think the answer may surprise you.  Dr. Smith says,

Vanderbilt has a very high GSR score, the Graduation Student Record.  So basically when a student graduates from college, the university guarantees a student will graduate within a six year period after they have finished their years of eligibility.  In this situation the students there have a much higher GSR, they graduate because the mission of Vanderbilt is education, not football.  It’s why they don’t do very well.  Occasionally they’ll do ok in basketball.  Occasionally you have a fluke year where they’ll have a decent team.  Generally Vanderbilt, when I was there in Nashville as a youth, they never did well because that wasn’t their mission.  Their mission was education.

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[BYU has] The lowest [black graduation rate] in the state?  I was surprised to see that, very surprised to see that.  The data, all of that data, plus the GSR scores, the story is becoming clearer.

Check out the video, audio, or transcripts.

Black Graduation Rates at BYU

4 thoughts on “Comparing BYU’s Black Graduation Rates

  1. Per the article……..

    [BYU has] The lowest [black graduation rate] in the state? I was surprised to see that, very surprised to see that. The data, all of that data, plus the GSR scores, the story is becoming clearer.”

    “But there’s a reason for that though. It goes back to what you were saying before. It goes back to the fact that these young men are not Mormon. They don’t have the same—they don’t know the rules. They don’t understand the rules. They don’t understand the Honor Code is not just a code, it’s theology It’s Mormon theology in a code. The Honor Code for Mormon students is kind of like, yeah I do it already. They don’t have to think about that, most Mormon students don’t. But black students, they don’t have that. They already come primed.

    “…The white athlete has the repentance process he can begin, initiate, almost immediately, whereas the African-American player who’s non-Mormon, they don’t have that same luxury, so for them, it’s a much harsher reprisal from the institution because they have none of those systems in place.”

    This statement is fallacious and horribly misleading because BYU has a plethora of athletes who are either Converts or who have been “Born In The Covenant” – born to members of the LDS Church – in all sports who are Tongan, Samoan, Asian, South-Sea Islander, Mongolian….Dr. Smith is either ignorant of this fact, or just thinks BYU only has “Black and White” students…..a common misconception. I really doubt Dr. Smith, with all of his talents and intellectualism, cannot possibly mean that only White members of the Church can and do understand or follow the “Code.”

    https://policy.byu.edu/view/index.php?p=26

    “As a matter of personal commitment, the faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, BYU-I, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off-campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will:

    Be honest
    Live a chaste and virtuous life
    Obey the law and all campus policies
    Use clean language
    Respect others
    Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
    Participate regularly in church services
    Observe Dress and Grooming Standards
    Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

    “The white athlete has the repentance process he can begin, initiate, almost immediately, whereas the African-American player who’s non-Mormon, they don’t have that same luxury, so for them, it’s a much harsher reprisal from the institution because they have none of those systems in place.”

    This comment would also be a huge surprise to the leadership of the BYU Cricket Club!!!!

    BYU Cricket Club….

    President – Chathura Rathankumara

    Adviser – James Slaughter

    Vice-President – Shalindra Herath

    Secretary – Ahsan Javed

    Treasurer – Sameer Ahmad

    Scheduling Representatives – Vish Gopalkrishnan/ Tapesh Joshi

    Event Coordinators – Ranga Arachchige/ Hassan Ali/ Helena Tsai

  2. Of course there are exceptions. How many fans does the cricket club have? Your comments make no impact on the football or basketball teams, which are much higher profile sports, and don’t you think?

  3. What does the “profile” level of any organization have to do with inclusion in an “academic” treatise?
    The point is, the “professor” failed to take into consideration other ethnicities, which is the norm for those with his political and cultural bent.

    Remember when San Jose State’s football players wore Black armbands because BYU had no “Blacks” on its team? No one heard about the Brown arm bands worn by some BYU players since SJSU had no Tongans, Samoans or South Sea Islanders playing.

    George Thompson and Jerry Tarkanian had it right…..education comes first, and athletics, 2nd. Bball and football won’t make the average player at any level more successful in, or have the ability to enjoy life once his or her playing days are over. The percentage of folks who actually make the “bigs” is minuscule when compared to those who make it, so why not push education instead of the misguided possibilities of getting into the Hall of Fame?

  4. You still seem to miss the point. Many athletes want no part of college. Just look at the current NCAA scandals where Rick Pitino funneled $100,000 to a recruit. Sure BYU isn’t guilty of that kind of corruption, but to recruit athletes and make millions from ESPN (BYU makes approximately $5 million per year for ESPN to televise football games) without paying athletes is taking advantage of them. BYU is as guilty as other schools.

    I’m sorry but Cricket doesn’t make any money for BYU. Basketball and football are the money makers, and this is about enriching BYU, not about academics. If this is about academics, why is BYU failing to graduate black athletes? Why is Utah and Utah State doing a much better job graduating black athletes?

    (And you’re referencing Jerry Tarkanian, one of the most corrupt coaches as being in favor of academics??? Yeah, that’s pretty hypocritical. Jerry bent rules for every one of his athletes because he was more concerned about winning than academics.)

    (By the way, if you listen to the interviews, Dr. Smith mentions “Adviser – James Slaughter” and had a lot of nice things to say about him.)

    Are you simply defending BYU at all costs, or can you agree that BYU could improve the graduation rate of black football and basketball players?

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