Charles Barkley Leaves $5M in Will to Black Auburn Students After Affirmative Action Ruling reported that the NBA legend had decided to leave the $5 million to Auburn University students from low-income households, but he changed his mind following the U.S. Supreme Court decision ending affirmative action in college admissions.
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Published on July 7, 2023
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  • With the gift, Charles Barkley said he wanted to do his part to ensure Auburn University is more diverse.
  • According to, Black enrollment at Auburn fell from 5.3% in 2020 to 4.91% in 2022.
  • Affirmative action allowed institutions to consider a student's race in college admissions.

After the U.S. Supreme Court repealed affirmative action in college admissions, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley decided to dedicate part of his will to help future Black students at his alma mater Auburn University. reported that Barkley is amending his will and dedicating $5 million in scholarships to Black students instead of to students from low-income homes.

"I'm going to change it to be just for scholarships for Black students," Barkley told "That's just my way of trying to make sure Auburn stays diverse." said the 16-year NBA player and current TV commentator had initially considered making the scholarships solely for Black students but chose against it — until the affirmative action ruling.

According to, Black enrollment at Auburn fell from 5.3% in 2020 to 4.91% in 2022.

BestColleges reported on the Supreme Court's June 29 repeal of affirmative action, making it illegal for colleges to consider an applicant's race in the admissions process, and the effect that could have on higher education.

According to dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Black and Hispanic children are more likely to go to underfunded schools, disadvantaging them in college admissions. The repeal creates an unlevel playing field, she and other critics of the ruling said.

"We've always lacked diversity," Barkley told about Auburn. "I'm doing my part to make sure we are more diverse."