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The NCAA says 77 percent of black men’s Division I basketball players who entered college in 2009 earned a degree within six years, up five points from a year earlier and a record high.

The NCAA said Tuesday that improvement helped the Graduation Success Rates of all student-athletes match last year’s record high of 86 percent graduating within six years. Of all black Division I athletes, 74 percent graduated within six years. NCAA President Mark Emmert called the improved rates “hugely significant.”

The statistics show graduation rate for black basketball players is up 31 percentage points over the past 15 years.

B. David Ridpath, an associate professor and sports business and president of The Drake Group, an NCAA watchdog, said the GSR provides only a partial picture.

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