Graduation rates: Terps at ACC rear

UM last in men's basketball, 9th in football in conference rankings of latest NCAA data

December 20, 2005|By HEATHER A. DINICH | HEATHER A. DINICH,SUN REPORTER

College Park -- The Maryland men's basketball program ranked last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in the first Graduation Success Rate report, which was released yesterday by the NCAA, and only three conference programs graduated a lower percentage of athletes than the Terps' football team.

The data are from a study of athletes who entered colleges between 1995 and 1998.

The GSR is the NCAA's new method of calculating graduation rates, with the difference being that transfer students are now considered in the equation. Schools are no longer penalized when athletes with eligibility leave, but they are rewarded when a student transfers into the program and graduates.

The Maryland men's basketball team had a GSR of 30 percent and the football team 63. Wake Forest led the ACC in both sports, with a GSR of 96 in football and 100 in basketball. The only football teams in the conference with a lower GSR than the Terps were Georgia Tech (53), Florida State (52) and North Carolina State (50).

Three Maryland teams - women's soccer, women's golf and women's gymnastics - were at 100 percent.

Athletic director Debbie Yow deferred all comments to Anton Goff, assistant athletic director for academic support and career development. He said Maryland's numbers for football and basketball aren't a trend because the data are from a decade ago.

"So many things change in 10 years it's hard to say right now we're not doing well," Goff said. "Back in '95, we didn't have the same resources, we weren't in Comcast [Center], we didn't have the staff, we didn't have the financial support. ... There's a big difference between then and now.

"We've put some things in place that should help those graduation rates as well as GSR rates," he said. "And nationally, football and basketball usually are at the bottom as far as graduation rates. The fact that we're lower is just part of the trend of those particular teams, the revenue sports. A lot of those guys come back and graduate, but they graduate outside the six-year window, so it doesn't count for us."

Maryland assistant basketball coach Keith Booth, for example, played for coach Gary Williams from 1994 to 1997 and left school early for a professional career. He came back and earned his degree in criminology and criminal justice in 2003, but that doesn't count toward the Terps' graduation rate because it was too late. Athletes have six years from the time they enroll in college to earn their degree.

Only team rates were released, but an aggregate rate for each institution will be released in January.

The GSR is one of three calculations released annually that measure academic progress. The others are the federally mandated graduation rate, which uses the NCAA's old formula, and the NCAA's academic progress rate, which is a more current snapshot.

"We graduated both of our seniors last year," Williams said. "Hopefully we'll continue to do a good job academically."

Elsewhere in the state, Navy shined in the GSR figures. Only four of the 19 Navy sports had a rate less than 100 percent, and the lowest rate of any program was the 97 percent scored by baseball, men's basketball and men's cross country and track.

Loyola was the next best performer, with men's swimming as the only program with a graduation rate below 90 percent. Nine of Loyola's 13 athletic programs had perfect rates.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Christian Ewell contributed to this article.

Graduation rates in ACC

The Graduation Success Rates for Atlantic Coast Conference schools in football and men's basketball were released by the NCAA yesterday. The figures represent the percent of the freshman classes from 1995 to 1998 six years after their entry. The numbers do not include those who leave school while academically eligible, but do count those who transfer in and ultimately graduate.

............................... Football .................................. Men's basketball

School .................. Pct. .................... School .....................Pct.

Wake Forest .......... 96 .................. Wake Forest ............. 100

Clemson ................. 94 ................... Virginia Tech ............. 88

Boston College ...... 89 .................... North Carolina .......... 82

Duke ...................... 87 ..................... N.C. State ................ 78

Virginia ................. 74 .................... Clemson .................. 75

Virginia Tech ........72 ..................... Miami ..................... 75

Miami .................... 67 ..................... Virginia ................... 64

North Carolina ...... 64 ................... Boston College ....... 60

Maryland .............. 63 ................... Florida State ............ 56

Georgia Tech ....... 53 ..................... Duke ....................... 50

Florida State ...........52 ................... Georgia Tech ........... 31

N.C. State ............. 50 .................... Maryland ................ 30

State rates

The Graduation Success Rates for Maryland Division I-A or I-AA schools in football and men's basketball.

Football

School ............................ Pct.

Navy .................................98

Maryland ..........................63

Towson .............................60

Morgan State ...................52

Men's basketball

School .............................Pct.

Navy .................................97

Loyola ..............................90

Towson ............................89

UMBC .............................83

UMES ..............................80

Mount St. Mary's ............73

Coppin State ....................70

Morgan State ..................60

Maryland .........................30

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