Indianaoplis — Almost two dozen Division I schools reported graduation success rates of at least 95 percent for athletes who enrolled from 1995 to 1998. All were higher than their general student populations and significantly higher than the rates reported by the federal government, according to NCAA figures released Thursday.
The average for the 318 Division I colleges, including the Army, Navy and Air Force academies, was 76 percent. Other GSR averages included 69 percent for men, 86 percent for women, 82 percent for whites, 59 percent for blacks, and 68 percent for Hispanics.
The figures compiled by the NCAA are generally higher than those reported by the government because the GSR counts all athletes who earn a degree within six years of enrollment or, while still in good academic standing, transfer to other schools or turn professional.
The NCAA considers any rate above 50 percent, a standard adopted by the privately funded Knight Commission on college sports, to be good, president Myles Brand said.
Kansas University has a graduation success rate of 68 percent. KU had GSR four-year averages of 51 percent for men, 86 percent for women.
"This is not Lake Wobegon, where every student-athlete and every team can be above average," Brand said. "The 50-percent rate, while not sacrosanct, is a good rate to measure whether we're making progress."
The NCAA released data for specific sports in December. But Thursday's listing was the first school-by-school and gender and ethnic breakdown that also included federal graduation data and a comparison of the rates for athletes with the entire student bodies.
Radford was the only Division I school with a 100 percent GSR for 1995-98, the most recent reporting period.
Savannah State had the lowest, at 22 percent, followed by Florida A&M at 35 percent, Texas Southern at 36 percent, New Orleans at 38 percent and Norfolk State and Charleston Southern at 40 percent.
The national graduation average for all Division I students, including non-athletes, was 59 percent; Kansas University's was 57 percent.
KU basketball had a four-year average of 43 percent compared to the national average of 44 percent for athletes starting school in 1995, '96, '97 and '98.
A separate Academic Progress Report, which will trigger the first penalties under the NCAA's new academic reform package, are expected by late February or early March.