NCAA report boasts record-setting graduation rates

NCAA report boasts record-setting graduation rates

Mark Emmert finally has something to brag about.

NCAA president Mark Emmert (Photo: LM Otero, AP)The NCAA announced Thursday that graduation levels for Division I athletes in all sports were up almost across the board.

Eighty-two percent of student-athletes in the 2006-07 freshman class earned their diploma across all sports, a tie for the best since the NCAA began tracking what it calls the “graduation success rate” with the incoming class of 1995.

“More student-athletes than ever before are earning their college degrees, and we are gratified to see our reform efforts impact the lives of those we serve,” Emmert said in a statement. “We have even higher expectations for the future, but we are proud of the progress we have made.”

In football, players FBS schools boasted a 71 percent graduation rate, beating last year’s record-high of 70 percent. African-American men’s basketball players graduated at a 68 percent rate, a number that was also the highest ever.

But the NCAA report was not all positive. The graduation rate for all men’s basketball players in the one-year measure dipped to 72.9 percent this year after making a 6-percentage point jump to 74 in last year’s report. Still, it’s the first time that graduation rates for all Division I college basketball players have been above 70 percent.

Men’s basketball and football traditionally earn the lowest graduation rates among all sports.

It remains to be seen how much play the NCAA’s report will receive, but Emmert will gladly take all of the good press he and his embattled organization can get.

Photo credit: L.M. Otero, AP

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