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Graduation Success Rates Released

The NCAA released the latest Graduation Success Rate figures for student-athletes, and the news is once again not great for the Maryland basketball program. The GSR measures the percentage of student-athletes who entered college in 2001 who have earned their four-year degrees.

The GSR should not be confused with the Academic Progress Rate (APR), which aims to give a more accurate picture of how current student-athletes are faring academically. The APR is the figure that the NCAA can use to mete out punishments against programs who fall below a cutoff score.

To look up the GSRs for any NCAA school, you can go here. You will see two sets of numbers for each program: The Fed Rate, which counts students who transfer from a school in good academic standing against its score, and the GSR, which does not.

Here are Maryland's scores in its various sports

Men's Sports
Sport............GSR.......Fed Rate

Women's Sports
Field Hockey.83...........87

How much do these types of scores matter to you as fans of the sports programs?

By Matthew Rennie  |  October 14, 2008; 2:01 PM ET
Categories:  Football , Men's basketball , Women's basketball  
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Who cares? Until the way they calculate the rates is fixed... the number is meaningless.

Posted by: Greg | October 14, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if you graduate if you end up making over a million a year playing your sport? If you do not count those basketball players then the idea itself is worthless.

I don't know of any other job that pays that much right of college with or without an undergraduate degree.

Posted by: Broken Clipboards | October 14, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I am a little concerned considering these people are getting FULL rides. You gotta take advantage. Sports are not forever.

Posted by: Elwood | October 14, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to ake anything away from student athletes. Fom my experience, a fulltime student who works 30+ hrs/week to make ends meet, endups struggling to make the grade and receive no leniency from his/her professor. At the same time, a student athlete gets a lot of breaks from their professors when it comes to grade, homework credits, projects, papers etc. So, I am not surprised student athletes have high graduation rate.

Posted by: David | October 14, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

If the rates didn't choose to exclude players who take longer than 6 years (Tahj Holden for example) than the numbers would look a lot better. MD has had SEVERAL players over the years not factor into the NCAA rates because they received their degree after the arbitrary 6-year window had closed.

Posted by: Greg | October 14, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The excuses fans are making for the low graduation rate for the basketball team is pretty sad.

How come Georgetown and North Carolina, two teams with better success the past 5 years, sport a much higher graduation rate?

Whenever I ask that question on these message boards, no one can answer that one.

Gary Williams doesn't give a rats butt about academics, that's why the graduation rate is so low. He once lambasted Obinna Ekezie for studying on a team bus.

Posted by: Charles | October 14, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse


One reason (which is Maryland's own fault) is that some of the other schools, like UNC, allow you to complete your degrees online.

Also, before anyone gets too worked up about all this, let's be realistic and know that a lot of this "getting your degree" thing is a farce. Like Duke's graduate in 3 years program. A lot of their regular students couldn't do that.

Posted by: Island 1 | October 14, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

How come we aren't railing about the low graduation rates for the tennis teams?

Posted by: Double Standard? | October 14, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

It still sounds like excuses to me.

Other schools that are better academically than Maryland are able to graduate a much higher percentage of their student athletes.

Sure, maybe the guy makes a million dollars for a few years, but what happens when his career is over? He has no education to fall back on.

Someone needs to be accountable for that.

Posted by: Charles | October 14, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

This is directed at the men's basketball program. I think men's soccer and football are doing a good job.

The way people stand behind blindly with Gary Williams is mystifying. They've elevated him to godlike status.

Here's a question to think about. How long can you live on past accomplishments and past glory? Five years, ten years, twenty years?

Posted by: Charles | October 14, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why people care if these guys graduate. They're legally adults (and no younger than most college students), they can make choices, just like a non-athlete can choose to neglect school work for other interests. People don't finish degrees all the time for all sorts of reasons. If a person wants to make that choice, let them. It doesn't affect me either way.

Posted by: Grant | October 14, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

This continues to be debated among sports fans all over the country. I am and have been a big Penn State fan for over 40 years. For the most part during this time Penn State has had successful sports programs while requiring student athletes to keep up with their studies. This mostly due to coach Paterno in football who, because of his success sets the standard for all sports at Penn State. I think his team this year is evidence of this. His starting team this year collectively has over a 3.0 average in school while experiencing success on the field.
I have always felt that schools should have a program for those athletes who don't have the skills academically but will be successful at the pro level in sports. Don't insult the regular students in the college by awarding the athletes with diplomas not earned, but have a "Sports Degree'' which could include things the athlete will have to deal with after becoming a pro athlete.
I know this makes sense but the politics of big college sports will probably keep it from happening!

Posted by: Rick Ide | October 15, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with Grant, but a low graduation rate does reflect poorly not only on the program, coach, and players, but also on the school. Does anyone have a high opinion of Huggins and his 0% graduation rate when he was at CIN?

It's obvious that the Student is gone from Student Athlete, which is sad. It takes away from the college game to have hired guns come in for a year, maybe two, to try and win big. Is the school any better off? I guess in the short-run, but in the long run, I beleive it does more harm than good.

I can't believe that being a good athlete and a good student are mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Vince | October 15, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It's valid to be concerned about graduation of players and taking care of them academically. I am a graduate, and I care. It means something to me. The criticism of Maryland basketball, though, is superficial.

Last year, the rate was zero, because in that window you had 9/10th of the players go off to pro ball, and one graduated outside the 6 year window. This year you have (I think), a few drop outside the window, and one or two enter it. One of them graduated. Exactly how much change in this "rate" does one expect in 12 months?

Terrence Morris is making $4 Mil in Moscow as I write this, so clearly he has no incentive to fly back and forth between here and Russia. Most of the other pro Terps are in Europe. Maryland does not support distance learning for graduation - you have to physically come to class. Maryland also does not give academic "gifts" to athletes, allowing them to make up independent study courses done over the summer and breaks so they can acquire credits faster, like other institutions.

There was one idiotic argument about Georgetown being "more successful on the court," yet having a higher graduation rate. This has nothing to do with success on the court. It has to do with a unusually high number of players going pro before they graduate (Georgetown does not compare in that period), players sticking with teams in remote countries, and not have degrees handed to them like some schools (I don't know how easy Georgetown makes it, but Duke's policy was touched on elsewhere).

In the period immediately preceding this window, Maryland's grad rates are pretty high. Immediately after this window, Maryland's grad rates are also pretty high, yet they don't count for the 2001 class (which is being measured). What exactly is the problem here?

And saying Williams doesn't care about academics is sheer ignorance. He's donated at least $2 Mil to the school for academic programs and helped raise much more in fund raisers.

Basically this argument will keep coming up - Groundhog Day fashion - until subsequent classes get measured, and all of a sudden people will say Williams changed because of the public criticism.

Posted by: howdydooit | October 15, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Nice job, Gary Williams. 10 % graduation rate

No parent - should allow their son to play for University of Maryland

Go Tar Heels !

Posted by: Gary | October 15, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Can someone give me the racial breakdown???

Posted by: CJ | October 18, 2008 4:33 AM | Report abuse

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