College Basketball Coaches Call for End to ACT, SAT Requirement

By: Alina Dang

The National Association of Basketball Coaches called for an end to the ACT and SAT requirement in the U.S.A on Thursday, July 16th. They called it “longstanding forces of institutional racism” and do not want the scores to determine athletes’ eligibility.

The association believes that the SAT and ACT, as Amaker and Martin said in a joint statement Thursday, “no longer have a place in intercollegiate athletics or higher education at large. This is an important step toward combating educational inequality in our country.”

A spokesman from the College Board, the parent company of the SAT, denied that the test is discriminatory. He said that any objective measure of student achievement would light up inequalities in the education system. He also stated that the College Board has asked colleges to consider students for admission who are unable to take the standardized tests because of the pandemic.

Many colleges are already moving in the direction to eliminate the requirement of the tests. In an article published in The Wall Street Journal, journalist Rachel Bachman wrote, “A proposal that accompanied the NABC news release Thursday noted the wider trend already under way to move away from the tests. Many four-year colleges and universities, including those in the Ivy League and Duke and Stanford, won’t require the tests for admissions in 2021. The schools cited challenges students might have in taking the tests during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The University of California board of regents agreed to stop using the SAT and ACT in admissions. One regent even called the tests “a proxy for privilege”. They are echoing that the tests penalize students who can not afford to pay for test-prep courses. Before the University of California system’s decision, more than 1,000 other universities had made the tests optional.

Recently, Division-I male basketball player graduation success rates have increased overall. Black male Division-I basketball players have rates between 76% and 82%, according to NCAA data, compared with the low 90s for white male players.

The NCAA requires new athletes in Division I or II sports to both complete a series of requirements to be academically eligible. This includes receiving a qualifying score on either the ACT or SAT. However, it allowed an exception for students whose final semesters were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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