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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Derrick Z. Jackson

Touchdown! for Graduation Gap Bowl

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame, where graduates come with gridiron fame. The Fighting Irish are in the national collegiate championship football game Monday with a 100 percent Graduation Success Rate for their African-American players, tied for first with Rice University. Among the 70 teams in this season’s bowl games, Notre Dame also tied with Northwestern for a 97 percent overall graduation rate.

But cheer not just for Notre Dame. Fifty-six teams, a record 80 percent, scored either a “Touchdown” or a “First Down” in my 17th annual Graduation Gap Bowl. Touchdowns are scored by teams with graduation rates of at least 50 percent for black and white players, and with racial gaps of less than 15 percentage points. Notre Dame’s opponent, Alabama, earned First Down honors with very good graduation rates, but too big of a gap between black and white players to make my end zone of education.

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