Legislation requiring all colleges and universities that receive federal aid to disclose publicly by sport, sex and race the graduation rates of athletes in five sports, including football and basketball, easily passed the House of Representatives yesterday.

The Student-Athlete Right to Know Act, co-authored by Reps. Tom McMillen (D-Md.) and Ed Towne (D-N.Y.), also would require the institutions to disclose, through the Department of Education, revenues and expenditures of their athletic departments (broken down by sport), crime statistics on campus and graduation rates for all students (broken down by sex and race).

The bill would allow a waiver for institutions reporting their athletes' graduation rates through a nongovernmental agency, such as the NCAA, if the reporting requirements are "substantially comparable" to those in the legislation. However, a House committee last month ruled the NCAA rules for reporting athletes' graduation rates, passed in January, were not substantially comparable, an aide to McMillen said.

Besides football and basketball, the House version would mandate on an annual basis disclosure of the graduation rates for baseball, hockey and track and field/cross-country."

The bill now will go to the Senate, which has passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) that more closely follows the guidelines passed by the NCAA, whose leadership did not want to see federal intervention.

NCAA Executive Director Dick Schultz and spokesman Jim Marchiony were unavailable for comment yesterday, but Mike Scott, the NCAA's Washington attorney, said: "The NCAA may take a look" at the House version "and say, 'What's the big deal.' "

McMillen said: "This legislation can offer {student-athletes and parents} the basic consumer information needed to make one of the most important decisions of their lives."