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Post Dropping graduation rates for womens hoops

Friday January 27, 2006

Ray Melick of the Birmingham News wonders why graduation rates are dropping across women’s basketball. It’s not a huge decrease. Among the reasons offered are 1) more pro opportunities and 2) an increase in transfers looking for a chance to play.

My guess? As womens basketball becomes a bigger and bigger economic engine and more national attention is paid to the sport, the pressures to win are increasing. The sport is no longer dominated by the same group of ten programs, and a good group of players can make a big impact quickly (see Baylor). As a result, teams are willing to take bigger risks on marginal students in order to land players who might help their program make a splash. This isn’t the case of course at the major programs where schools still cherry pick from among the best, but for a mid-major or a lower-tier member of a big conference desperate for that breakthrough player, taking a risk on a poor student might be a risk-reward tradeoff more schools are willing to try now.

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