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NCAA Task Force Pushes for Elimination of SAT, ACT Scores to Advance 'Racial Equity'

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The NCAA Standardized Test Task Force recommended that high school students preparing to compete in Division I or Division II sports should not have to submit SAT or ACT scores.

"This work reflects the NCAA's commitment to continually reviewing our academic standards based on the best available data and other relevant information," said Morgan State President David Wilson, who led a group of representatives in both divisions in carrying out a nearly six month project on the matter. "We are observing a national trend in NCAA member schools moving away from requiring standardized test scores for admissions purposes and this recommendation for athletics eligibility aligns directly with that movement."

The announcement from Friday comes as part of the NCAA's eight-point plan to "advance racial justice and equity," which includes reviewing eligibility requirements, reviewing the league's Academic Progress Rate and its impact on historically black colleges and universities, and implementing "unconscious bias training" for all national office staff.

The recommendation was made based on data from NCAA research staff and external bodies, as well as input from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, testing agencies such as the College Board and the ACT, and Division I and II membership.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches in a tweet lauded the task force’s recommendation.

In a July 2020 proposal, the NABC called for the elimination of standardized test scores for high school students looking to play collegiate sports. 

"The NABC Committee on Racial Reconciliation believes that the SAT and ACT are longstanding forces of institutional racism and no longer have a place in intercollegiate athletics or higher education at large," the NABC said in a statement at the time.

The Division I Committee on Academics and Division II Academic Requirements Committee will make a decision at their next meetings in February on whether standardized test requirements for prospective college athletes will be dropped.

The recommendation from the NCAA Standardized Test Task Force is just the latest instance in which claims were made that suggest standardized test scores hurt racial minorities. 

In 2019, then-candidate Joe Biden said on the campaign trail that he would put an end to standardized testing in public schools after he was asked about their "history of racism and eugenics."

Townhall reported in May that the University of California system would be eliminating SAT and ACT score admission requirements for all students following a legal settlement. The lawsuit, filed in 2019, alleged that standardized testing requirements resulted in an unfair disadvantage for students of color, students with disabilities, and those coming from low-income families.

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