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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Graduation rate stands at 62 percent

Kansas University's figures better than overall national average, NCAA study indicates

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— The graduation rate for Division I athletes remained at 62 percent, or 2 percent higher than the general student population.

The figures, released Monday by the NCAA, were for athletes who entered college in 1997 and graduated within the six-year window set by the U.S. Department of Education.

Starting next year, the NCAA will also compile separate rates that take transfers into account and do not penalize schools if athletes left in good academic standing.

Kansas University's rate for Div. I athletes who entered school on scholarship in 1997 was 63 percent compared to 58 percent for the entire student body at KU.

The year's report showed 70 percent of female athletes who entered Division I colleges on scholarship in 1997 have graduated, compared with 55 percent of the male athletes over the same period. KU's rate was 79 percent for female athletes, 44 percent for male. For the entire student body, KU's rate for females was 61 percent and males 54 percent.

In football, the Division I-A rate was 57 percent.

KU's rate for football was 47 percent. For all of Division I, the graduation rate for football players was 55 percent, a 1-percent increase from the previous report.

The rates for collegiate men's basketball teams also continued to climb, despite a drop from 52 percent to 48 percent for whites. An increase from 38 percent to 42 percent for blacks helped push the overall men's graduation rate for basketball to 44 percent, 2 points higher than last year. KU's rate for basketball was 33 percent, Jeff Carey graduating in a six-year span with Kenny Gregory and Eric Chenowith currently planning to continue work toward their degrees.

Among all Division I sports, 48 percent of black male athletes and 59 percent of white males graduated, the same as last year.

KU's rate for black males was 22 percent and white males 48 percent. KU's rate for black females was 100 percent and white females 78 percent.

The national rate for black females was 62 percent and white females 70 percent.

KU's rate for baseball was zero percent.

Of the four freshman baseball players in that incoming class, one graduated a year after the six-year window was completed and two of the other three are playing professionally. For men's track and field and cross country, the graduation rate was 56 percent.

All other men's sports combined for a 50 percent rating.

Women's basketball and cross country at KU landed a 100 percent rating. The other sports combined rating was 73 percent.

KU's graduation rate for the four class average of the incoming freshmen classes of 1994, '95, '96 and '97 was 64 percent for all athletes compared to 57 percent for the entire student population.

"We're pleased with the overall figures for the freshmen in 1997. Sixty three percent is very respectable," said Paul Buskirk, KU associate AD/student support services.

"We're very pleased the four-class average was 64 percent."

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