College basketball coaches on Thursday called for the permanent removal of SAT and ACT scores from the NCAA's initial eligibility standards, labeling the tests as "longstanding forces of institutional racism."

The proposal came from the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Committee on Racial Reconciliation, co-chaired by Harvard's Tommy Amaker and South Carolina's Frank Martin. The committee was formed earlier this summer to address racism and social justice issues.

"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," Amaker and Martin said in a prepared statement. "This is an important step towards combating educational inequality in our country."

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA Eligibility Center in April waived the standardized test score requirement for incoming freshmen in Division I and Division II for the 2020-21 academic year.

Under normal operations, the NCAA uses a sliding scale for Division I athletes seeking eligibility. A lower score on the SAT or ACT must be balanced by a higher grade-point average in core courses, and vice versa.

"We feel it is prudent for college athletics to address a standardized test structure that has long had disproportionately-negative impacts on low-income and minority students," NABC executive director Craig Robinson said in a statement.

--Field Level Media

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