Duquesne Law Review


In January, 1983, the Division I schools of the NCAA promulgated Proposition 48, NCAA 5-1-G), to be effective August 1, 1986. The extent of Proposition 48 was two-fold. Beginning in the fall of 1986, student-athletes were expected to be able to demonstrate basic minimum academic competencies as evidenced first by satisfactory completion of a very modest and yet well-balanced high school corecurriculum and, secondly, by reasonable, minimum performance standards in essential verbal and mathematics skills on nationally administered examinations. The record of the 1983 National Collegiate Athletic Association Convention concerning the debate over the proposed adoption of Proposition 48 reveals that discussions only vaguely related to raising academic standards for the student-athlete. The debate actually centered on whether Proposition 48 discriminated against traditionally black institutions. Despite the adoption of Proposition 48, two questions persist. First, does it actually discriminate against minorities and others from poor socio-economical backgrounds? Second, given the number of athletes sidelined by Proposition 48, why have none of them challenged its legality?

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