As schools gear up for March Madness, a new study released Wednesday shows that race and gender gaps in higher education continue to plague college basketball players nationwide.
The study found that female players continue to out-graduate their male counterparts, and that graduation disparities between blacks and whites persist but are considerably less pronounced among women.
"The women's teams always give us good news to report each year," said Dr. Richard Lapchick, the lead author of the report, which was produced by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.
The study found that women student basketball players graduate at a rate of about 89%, compared to 67% for men.
An disparity of 8 percentage points also exists between white and African-American women; a figure that jumps to 28 percentage points among male athletes, the report found.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Wednesday's report shows that "too many racial gaps in graduation rates remain, especially among the men's teams."