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Bowl playoff teams graduate nearly three-fourths of players

The four teams in the College Football Playoff all graduated at least 74 percent of their players in 2016, according to the latest look at graduation rates for all college football bowl teams, released Monday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.

Alabama graduated 80 percent, Clemson graduated 84 percent, Ohio State graduated 74 percent and Washington graduated 78 percent of their football players, the survey showed. However, that number is lower for black players -- something TIDES director Richard Lapchick noted in his analysis of the results.

"The academic success of FBS football student-athletes continued to grow this year," Lapchick said. "The overall football student-athlete Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for bowl-bound teams is 75 percent, up from 73 percent in 2015.

"However, the gap between white and African-American football student-athletes continues to be a major issue, standing at 19 percent this year. Among the 80 bowl-bound teams, the average GSR for African-American student-athletes is 68 percent, up from 66 percent in 2015. The average GSR for white football student-athletes is 87 percent, up from 85 percent in 2015."

The four highest-ranking schools were Stanford, South Carolina, Northwestern and Wake Forest. All had at least 91 percent of their football players graduate overall, and more than 83 percent of their black players.

Every bowl-bound school graduated at least 50 percent of their white players, and 76 of the 80 graduated more than 50 percent of their black players. Overall, 79 of the 80 schools graduated more than half of their players.

Five of the schools going to bowl games -- Boise State, South Florida, South Carolina, UTSA and Stanford -- had higher graduation rates for football players than for the rest of the athletes in their schools.