Black coaches, NCAA discuss eligibility tests

September 23, 1994|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- After meeting for more than two hours yesterday at Georgetown University with the executive board of the Black Coaches Association, NCAA executive director Cedric Dempsey said that he hoped the continuing dialogue will help alleviate some of the group's concerns.

Those concerns are over issues such as minority-hiring practices, freshman eligibility requirements and the access its members have to their respective communities.

"There are some strong emotions falling on both sides," said Dempsey. "What I'm hearing is that both sides should look at the data from an educational point of view rather than from an emotional standpoint."

Dempsey was referring to data collected by educators and scientists asked by a congressional committee on behalf of the BCA to analyze standardized tests currently used to determine freshman eligibility.

According to Rep. Cardiss Collins, D-Ill., as well as members of the BCA, that data showed the Scholastic Assessment Test and the American College Test to be biased culturally.

"The standardized test is just an instrument to keep minorities in their place, just like voter registration," said Southern Cal basketball coach George Raveling, a member of the BCA's executive board. "There are 200 colleges which don't even use standardized test scores for admission and they've shown no noticeable decrease in the quality of students or the success of the students."

Collins said that the group will meet again Oct. 22 to "get the NCAA to see the light."

The BCA hopes to get impending NCAA legislation that proposes tougher freshman eligibility requirements reversed at next January's NCAA convention in San Diego.

Current legislation -- known as Proposition 48 -- requires prospective athletes to score at least 700 on the SAT and carry a 2.0 grade-point average in 11 core courses.

The new legislation, Proposition 16, will require a 2.5 GPA in 13 core courses and a 700 SAT, with a sliding scale that would allow students with a 2.0 GPA to qualify as long as they scored 900 on the SAT.

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