The NCAA’s latest graduation numbers show nearly four out of five student-athletes earn their diplomas on time, an all-time high, and federal statistics show athletes are still more likely to graduate on time than other students.
“The misconception is that NCAA student-athletes are not good students,” interim NCAA President Jim Isch said in a conference call Wednesday. “The truth, as [late NCAA President] Myles reminded people, is that they could perform in the classroom and they outperformed the general student body in almost every measure.”
NCAA officials believe the improving numbers can be attributed to stronger eligibility standards for incoming freshmen and a greater emphasis on academics during Brand’s tenure as president.
No surprise to us that female athletes outperformed their male counterparts, 88 percent to 72 percent. The only women’s sport to score lower than 79 percent was bowling at 74 percent (better hit those books bowlers). Women’s basketball came in at 83 percent under NCAA guidelines.
The three biggest men’s sports — football, basketball and baseball — all failed to top 70 percent in the NCAA report (those players better hit the books as well).
Walter Harrison, chairman of the committee on academic performance, believes next year’s rate will show even more progress and he offers congratulations to all student-athletes for proving the critics wrong.