Women’s NCAA teams best men in grad rates

ORLANDO, Fla. – Women's teams competing in the NCAA tournament are graduating their players at a higher rate than their male counterparts.

A study released Tuesday by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport shows the women graduating at a rate of 87 percent, compared to 72 percent for the men.

The women's field has 21 teams graduating at 100 percent.

Northwestern State University was the lone women's NCAA tourney team to fall below the NCAA-mandated Academic Progress Rate score of 930, or 50 percent graduation rate equivalent. Eight men's teams were below that standard.

The women also saw 1 percentage point decrease in the disparity between the graduation rates of white and African-Americans. That gap is five percentage points. It is a 24-point gap for men's teams.

Study author Richard Lapchick said the women's success in consistently closing the gap between white and African-American players is proof that the men's gap can also be reduced.

"Clearly the thing that troubles me in these reports the most is the gap between white and African-American athletes, though for women it's very different, and it includes a number of situations where the rates for African-Americans are higher than whites," Lapchick said.

Lapchick said he would like to see disparity gaps be factored into APR calculations to motivate both men and women's teams to improve their numbers.

"If (the gap) is narrowing, it should be a positive impact, but if there is a 30 percentage point or more gap and not narrowing, they should be facing penalties," he said.

Currently, teams scoring below a 925 APR can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships. Teams can also be subject to penalties for poor academic performance over time.

Beginning with 2012-13 championships, teams must earn a minimum 900 four-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible for NCAA championships.

The APR was developed by the NCAA in 2004 as a way to improve graduation rates. It is a four-year rolling average of academic performance that takes into account academic eligibility and retention.

The NCAA recently voted to institute stricter policies with regards to APR performance and postseason participation. The new legislation will require teams to have a four-year APR above 930 to qualify for postseason participation the following year.

For 2014-15, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930.

To that end, the women in this year's tournament are well on their way to surpassing those benchmarks.

All of the teams in the women's field graduated more than 60 percent of their players except Florida Gulf Coast (40 percent). Eighty-eight percent of the teams in the men's tournament currently graduate at least 60 percent of their players.

"Some people say `What's your real aim with these studies, not anything less than a 100 percent (graduation rate)?' I'm always going to be somebody who wants to see people get the best possible mark they can get," Lapchick said. "There still can be improvement and the area is the gap between white and African-American athletes. If the women can do that, obviously the men can do that."

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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NCAA graduation rates hitting record highs

INDIANAPOLIS – Final year’s national runner-ups in football and men’s basketball got here out the big winners within the classroom.

Of the 10 groups that reached the BCS National Championship and the boys’s and ladies’s Ultimate Four, just one completed with a commencement charge decrease than 70 percent within the NCAA’s latest report, with Notre Dame producing better educational marks than national champion Alabama and Michigan coming in slightly ahead of nationwide champion Louisville.

Notre Dame Helmet

While Alabama could have gotten the better of Notre Dame in final season’s BCS title game, the Preventing Irish gained the battle of the books with a higher graduation rate – ninety four % to 73 % – according to NCAA statistics.

These marks are primarily based on four years of data collected from freshman athletes who entered college between 2003-04 and 2006-07 and earned their degrees in six years.

“More pupil-athletes than ever before are incomes their college levels, and we are gratified to see our reform efforts influence the lives of those we serve,” NCAA president Mark Emmert stated in a press release. “We’ve got even higher expectations for the future, however we are proud of the progress we now have made.”

In a year that Emmert and the NCAA have been beneath intense scrutiny, the annual report gave Emmert lots to tout.

Eighty-two percent of athletes in the 2006-07 freshman class earned their diplomas, matching a one-12 months report. Commencement rates over the four-12 months span hit 81 p.c, also a 1-percentage-level increase and one other file.

The one-12 months measuring stick amongst black feminine athletes improved from 76 percent in 2005-06 to 78 % in 2006-07.

And gamers within the Football Bowl Subdivision topped last yr’s document excessive of 70 % by hitting 71 p.c because of a four-proportion-point bounce, to 84 percent, amongst white FBS gamers and 2-share-level jump, to sixty four p.c, amongst black FBS gamers.

Alabama, which has gained the past two BCS titles and is ranked No. 1 this season, finished at 73 percent, ahead of football’s four-yr average (70 p.c). Notre Dame, which lost in January’s BCS title sport, had a grad charge of 94 %.

There have been comparable tendencies in basketball.

• Michigan, the lads’s runner-up, and shocking Wichita State each came in at 75 p.c, both ahead of the 4-year average in their sport (70). Nationwide champion Louisville was third at 70 p.c, and solely Syracuse (forty five) fell beneath the national average.

• Three of the 4 ladies’s Closing Four groups also topped the sport’s four-12 months common (85). Notre Dame came in at one hundred pc with Connecticut and Louisville each at 92. California’s grad charge was 75 %.

NCAA officers imagine that educational reforms applied over the previous twenty years have made an affect.

“We’re attaining nice success by way of the academic performance program, and our student-athletes, coaches and administrators are working collectively,” mentioned Walter Harrison, president at the College of Hartford and chairman of the NCAA’s committee on academic efficiency. “They understand the program, and there are extra pupil-athletes graduating.”

Critics contend that the NCAA numbers are not as accurate as these compiled by the federal authorities. They point out that faculty athletes receive more financial help than different college students and have more access to tutors and different tutorial assist, supplied by the athletic department.

Even so, the federal report showed that school athletes have been barely extra likely (sixty five to 64 %) to graduate in six years than different college students. It’s the third consecutive year faculty athletes hit 65 percent, still the record.

The numbers vary as a result of the NCAA contains transfer students who leave school in good tutorial standing and earn a degree some other place. The feds don’t count anyone who leaves his first faculty, no matter whether the student or athlete truly earns a level.

But not all was rosy, even throughout the NCAA’s own report, which showed some regression in the one-year statistics.

• After making a 6-proportion point jump to seventy four in last 12 months’s report, all men’s basketball players in the one-12 months measure slipped to seventy two.9 percent this yr. It’s still the primary time Division I college basketball players have had to back-to-back years at 70 % or better.

• And in accordance with the 4-year federal numbers, only forty seven % of men’s basketball players and 58 percent of FBS soccer gamers graduated. Soccer Championship Subdivision players got here in at fifty six p.c. Of the 35 sports that have been measured, solely three others – baseball (48 p.c), girls’s bowling (fifty three p.c) and wrestling (56) – had grad rates lower than 60 p.c.

The NCAA began monitoring commencement charges with the 1995-96 class.
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