If you don’t count the ones who transferred or otherwise left the university in good academic standing (i.e. went pro), every University of Kansas men's basketball player who came to KU between 2006 and 2009 went on to graduate in six years or less, according to newly released stats from the NCAA and KU Athletics. Just one other KU team equaled the men’s basketball team’s 100-percent “Graduation Success Rate”: women’s golf.
The NCAA released Graduation Success Rates this week for athletes at Division I schools nationwide, and I also requested team breakdowns from KU Athletics.
KU men’s Graduation Success Rates were higher than the national rates in all sports except cross country/track, according to the breakdowns I got. KU women’s Graduation Success Rates were lower than the national rates in all sports except golf and soccer.
Note that the Graduation Success Rate measurement used here was developed to take into account the mobility of student athletes, according to the NCAA. The Graduation Success Rate formula accounts for student-athletes who transfer in to their school and does not penalize schools for student-athletes who leave in good academic standing. In comparison, the traditional federal graduation rate reflects the percentage of first-year, full-time students who entered a school on athletics aid and graduated from the same school within six years; it doesn’t account for students who transfer and graduate elsewhere.
In KU basketball-speak, that means one-and-dones don’t count against the team’s graduation rate. (So, Josh Jackson, if worries about trashing KU’s graduation rate keep you up at night should you find yourself weighing the NBA draft after this season, you can relax thanks to this metric.)
This is the men’s basketball team’s fifth straight year to have a 100 percent Graduation Success Rate, according to KU Athletics. In other highlights, the football team’s Graduation Success Rate of 81 percent was a record-high for the program. Overall, KU athletes had a Graduation Success Rate of 85 percent and a federal graduation rate of 72 percent.
Here’s a full list of Graduation Success Rates (with federal graduation rates in parentheses) for KU and Division I schools nationwide. The numbers reflect percentages of scholarship athletes who entered the programs from 2006 to 2009.
Graduation Success Rates for KU
Baseball — 80 (59)
Basketball — 100 (38)
Cross country/track — 71 (39)
Football — 81 (72)
Golf — 88 (71)
Basketball — 86 (75)
Cross country/track — 82 (75)
Crew/rowing — 90 (81)
Golf — 100 (83)
Soccer — 92 (92)
Softball — 87 (73)
Swimming — 78 (64)
Tennis — 80 (50)
Volleyball — 85 (92)
Graduation Success Rates for Division I overall
Baseball — 79 (50)
Basketball — 76 (47)
Cross country/track — 80 (65)
Football (FBS) — 74 (61)
Football (FCS) — 73 (58)
Golf — 86 (67)
Basketball — 87 (63)
Cross country/track — 88 (72)
Crew/rowing — 94 (82)
Golf — 93 (75)
Soccer — 91 (73)
Softball — 89 (71)
Swimming — 93 (79)
Tennis — 93 (72)
Volleyball — 92 (71)
Source: KU Athletics
— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.
KU links: KU men’s basketball team reaches title game in academic bracket; Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap advances in college food tourney
Your spring break edition of KU tidbits from around the Internet:
• The KU men's and women's basketball teams will hit the court in their NCAA Tournaments today and tomorrow, but the results are already in for the publication Inside Higher Ed's annual Academic Performance Tournament. So you can go ahead and distribute prizes for your office pools in that area.
The tournament is a fun little exercise that uses the same seeds and bracket as the basketball tournaments but advances teams based on their Academic Progress Rate—the NCAA's measure of academic performance for each team. A graduation-rate measure is used as a tiebreaker.
APR gives each athletic program at each school a score based on how many players stay in school and remain eligible to play. It doesn't penalize programs for athletes who leave early to play professionally, as long as they are in good academic standing when they leave.
The KU men's team has performed as well in the academic tourney in recent years as it has in, well, basketball. It won the whole thing last year, and this year it made the title game before running into the buzzsaw that is Belmont University (man, those "B" teams, huh?). Memphis and Butler also made the Final Four.
The men's team's APR is a perfect 1,000 for each of the past four years published by the NCAA here. The women's team's score is a bit lower — 982 in the most recent year published. As such, the team was knocked out in the first round by Colorado in Inside Higher Ed's corresponding women's tournament.
• Speaking of brackets: The KU Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap has moved on to the Sweet 16 of the Cooking Channel's college food tournament, where it faces some honey buns from Syracuse University. It defeated some Iowa State cherry pies in the first round, by a margin of 4,257 to 3,904. (The University of Missouri's entry lost in the first round.)
• We told you a few weeks back that Kim Wilcox, a former dean of liberal arts and sciences at KU, had managed to be named a finalist in two different state universities' search for a new leader (both of which go by the acronym UW, no less). But now each of the UWs has chosen someone else. The University of Wisconsin-Madison picked Rebecca Blank, the acting U.S. secretary of commerce, while the University of Wyoming went with Robert Sternberg, the provost at Oklahoma State University.
We are sure you have spent your spring break, if you get one, resting calmly and reserving energy for the final two months of the semester. Get yourself started up again today by sending in a few KU news tips to email@example.com.