I am writing in response to The Post's Sept. 16 editorial on Proposition 48, "Making Athletes Scholars."

Prior to the inception of Proposition 48, the controversy over its purpose was led by black educators at historically black colleges. They specifically confirmed that the setting of minimum cutoffs on standardized tests was arbitrary and capricious and that it would have a racially biased impact. They said that fewer black student-athletes would qualify to represent the larger, predominantly white Division I schools in athletic events.

They also contended that if quality education was the thrust of this regulation, then other strategies should be used that would not restrict educational accessibility for those members of the population who most need higher education.

The initial fears of the black educators have now come to pass. The editorial stated that the survey by Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sports in Society revealed that 85 percent of those ruled ineligible by Proposition 48 were black student-athletes.

According to the Associated Press, Oregon's football coach signed 22 new players in 1987, and none of them was black. The previous year, he signed 23 freshman football players, and 12 were black. The AP survey also reported that the freshman class of '87 included fewer blacks; college coaches are afraid to recruit them because they may not qualify under Proposition 48.

These are bleak statistics and a grave concern for the black student-athlete. It is unlikely that the black student-athlete will regain the pre-Proposition 48 level of accessibility to higher education when there is inequality of opportunity within the system that arbitrarily and capriciously changes the standards for the benefit of the majority.

It is no surprise to black educators that Proposition 48 is making the black scholar-athlete an endangered species.

HENRY J. GASKINS Washington